صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني
[blocks in formation]

is a peculiar, but not uncommon, use of should: for example, in the West of Scotland when repudiating a certain line of conduct, a native will say, "I'd do so and so, or it were kent I should do the like o' that." 1. 589. my payne thole, endure my suffering, run my risk, pay the penalty in 1. 950, no pyne tholed received no hurt, was quite unhurt.


tholit paynis occurs in Barbour's Bruce, 2. 767, 3. 21, and 3. 435. 1. 597. till ye fay worthe, till you be killed: fay and fey occur frequently in Morte Arth. in the same senses as in this work (compare Glossaries): fay, fey are still used, but with a secondary meaning. 1. 617-8. pat aunter, that hardihood will and power; as is said of a weakling, "he has nae aunter in him." quycke, mortal. The meaning of these two lines is, “Of all mortals, I only have the secret of how to destroy the power of Mars."


1. 629. pis wirdis to fall, (that) this (good) fortune should befall me: wirdis is fate, luck, fortune either good or bad; it occurs in Morte Arthure, 11. 385 and 3889, and in Barbour's Bruce in this plural form; but it occurs also in the singular (see Gloss.), and both forms still exist. 1. 633. qweme, leal, willing, loving: see note, 1. 1809.

1. 646. on hor best wise, as best they may. See note, 1. 232.

1. 649. Bes, imper, of Be, be you: so in l. 1. 655. worship, fame, renown.


1. 656. gate and gouernaunse, undertaking and conduct, i. e. how and by what means he should get to the place, and how he should act when there gate is so used in 1. 2239 and 1. 6138. See Gloss., and note, l. 1334.

1. 658. lykyng, will.

1. 662. fre buernes, noblemen.

1. 663. pas, a section, a division: so in Piers Plowman, and in Wyntoun, V. 9.

"In þis next pas yhe sal se

Qwhat Empriowre fyrst tuk Crystyanté."

1. 665. woso tentis after, may be either whosoever seeks after it, or wishes to know, or, whosoever attends to what follows: tent has still both meanings, to be concerned about, and to attend to; and it is used as a s., as in 1. 2462. toke tent took heed.

1. 671. Janglyng, prating, prattling, chattering: so used in 'The Cherrie and the Slae;' also in l. 2873.

1. 673. ouerdroghe, liter. drew over

passed by: droghe is so used

in 11. 4664 and 7630, and by Burns in 'Tam o' Shanter,'

"The night drave on wi' sangs and clatter."

1. 676. Waynet, raised, moved up; from A.S. gewaenan, to turn: still used in the sense of to wind up: wayne occurs in 1. 9783, = to remove; in 1. 13796 to stretch up, to rise; and in the 'Awnters of Arthur' to raise, to remove;

"He wayned up his viser fro his ventaile."

1. 678. the dregh of the derke night, the time of the greatest length

of darkness, i.e. midnight: so in l. 10633, the day of the dreight, i. e. the longest day. dregh, dreigh, is still used in the sense of long, wearisome, as a dreigh road; and the dreigh is also used = the greatest part, the most tedious portion, and the longest time: hence we have the dregh o' the day, and, the day o' the dreigh,

1. 713. he laid on his hond, he promised solemnly: to lay on is here, and still means, to strike, as two parties do when they conclude a bargain, they strike hands; and each party in this manner solemnly promises: hence the saying "There's my han', I'll ne'er beguile ye," which is sometimes rendered, "There's my thumb, I'll ne'er beguile ye." he laid on occurs also in l. 934, = he struck.

1. 715. belirt, belied, deceived: so also in ll. 8134 and 8447.

1. 728. dawly, dolefully, with heavy heart: occurs again and again (see Gloss.), and is dawlily (perhaps an error of the scribe) in 1. 9335. It is used as an adj. by Douglas in his Virgil, and still exists as dowy : cf. Fr. deuil, grief. hir distitur, liter. made herself destitute, bereft herself.

1. 729. shunt, withdraw, shrink: this is rather a peculiar phrase. In Morte Arthure we have,

"He ne schownttes for no schame, bot schewes fulle heghe." 1.3715 and in this Troy Book we have,

Shentyng for shame to shew furth þere ernd.
With shame may þou shunt fro thi shire othes.
ffor shame may pou shunt as shent of all knightes.
Ne shamys you not shalkes to shunt of pe fild.
Neuer of shame to be shunt when shalke is on lyue.
And schunt for no schame but hit schope faire.

1. 481






1. 736. what myndes, thoughts, recollection: mynd is still so used, as in, “I had na the least mind o 't;" but it may also stand for presence of mind.

1. 738. your sciense of pe seuen artes, your skill in the seven arts; which were, grammar, dialectics, rhetoric, music, arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy: see Piers Plowman, ed. Wright, note, 1. 5911.

1. 741. loket not large, looked not beyond the present.

1. 751. busket, hurried, hastened: for different meanings of busk, see Glossary. This is a favourite word of our author, and many of the phrases in which it occurs are common to all the works attributed to him; such as, buske thee belyve, buske to battle, buskes þere battels; and in Morte Arthure we find :

"Buskez theire batelles, theire baners displayez,"

while in this work we have,

"All buskes hor batels on hor best wise."

1. 1618

1. 10646

[ocr errors]

1. 758. be-daghe, befool, cover with shame: same as be-daffe in North's Plut., p. 105: “Then are you blind, dull-witted, and bedaft :' this word would be pronounced bedaght, like laugh, pron. lagh, rough, rugh, &c.

[blocks in formation]

1. 761. heght, promised: another form of het, 1. 995, in the same way as not is often noght in the works of Scottish writers: see ll. 1823, 8485. Both forms are still in use.

1. 776. naite shulde, should use or employ: naite occurs again in 1. 6031, =require, need. It is used as a s. by Douglas in his Virgil, p. 122, 1. 2; and naitly, both adj. and adv., occurs in this work: see Gloss. 1. 777. white siluer, ought to be quite siluer, and the same error occurs in 1. 3028; a proof that the scribe wrote to dictation at those lines, as indeed he appears to have done during the greater part of his work. white spoils the alliteration in both cases; but the mistake is remarkable in 1. 3028, where the word occurs twice.

1.797. When he his deuer hade done, when he had (so far) done as directed when he had fairly begun his work: deuer is still so used by workmen in the West of Scotland: when hesitating over a difficult piece of work one will say, "It will be a hard job, but let's da our devor," meaning, "let us make a beginning." Jamieson gives an example of this meaning: see under Deuore.

The omission of h in his is another proof that the scribe wrote to dictation.

1. 807. clappe shall full clene, shall close quickly and completely : clap still has this meaning, as in the common boys'-phrase," he ran into the house, an' clappit ta the door."

1. 808. dere hym a dyse, hurt him in the least: as in the phrase, “no worth a dys" = not worth the smallest article.

1. 814. By the renke, by the time that the renke when the renke: by same as be in 1. 383, be pan, by that time. See note.

1. 817. feynit with fare, pretended by his action.

1. 823. spird at hym specially, inquired particularly of him: to spere AT a person, is, to ask him to spere FOR a person, to inquire for him, or regarding his welfare: to spere AFTER a person, to ask information regarding him, such as, where and how he is, and what he is about.—what his spede were, what his errand was, what had brought him there.

1. 825. longe am I here, I am long enough here: a common expression still, when a person thinks it is high time to begin his work or take his departure: sometimes it means, "I have been too long here." 1. 828. & your wille be, if it be your will, if you'll allow me. 1. 834. = to be blamed for your death, should you not escape; to be sclaundret of one's skathe, is, to be talked of as the cause of said disaster, while in reality innocent thereof.

1. 855. atlet before, which had been provided beforehand, or, previously provided (for this encounter).

1. 860. blasound of brunston, blazing with brimstone.

1. 870. to doll broght, brought to grief or destruction: doll, dole, dol, doole (see Gloss.), is still used in all the shades of meaning from that of simple sadness or suffering up to despair or destruction: pronounced dool. See note on doly, 1. 728.

1. 882. 3epely 3arkit hym perfore, quickly prepared himself for using it.

1. 893. Hit stake up, it shut up: stake implies greater rapidity of movement than steekit: thus "he steekit the door " implies simply shutting it; but, “he stake the door in his face" implies slamming it to.

1. 897. ymur & aire, belching (of flames) and breathing. In Gloss. ymur is rendered fresh, wholesome fragrance, from Icel. ilmr, which certainly does not convey the sense of this passage, and does not suit well in 1. 1575; but if we take A.S. ymbren, circuit, course, passage, as the root, the meaning in both cases becomes clear: here, it is the coursing, rushing, or belching (of the flames), and in 1. 1575, passing to and fro, passage, traffic. Here, aire breath or breathing; in l. 1575, it means



1.900. maistur behouet, mastery demanded, or could wish for: maistur is so used by the early Scottish poets; but it may have been intended for maistri or maistré or maistre, as this contraction is very variable in meaning; or, it may represent the mystir of Wallace, Bk 8, 1. 235 need.

1. 902. belyue, then as in 'The Cottar's Saturday Night,'

"Belyve the elder bairns come drapping in."

1. 903. ploghe. See note, 1. 23.

1. 905. the gayre of the ground, the upturned earth of the field, i. e. the furrows a surface is said to be gaired when it is creased or furrowed.

1. 910. Skremyt vp to the skrow, bellowed up to the sky: skrow = scroll, expanse, hence, the sky: the more common form is skew or skiew; but in l. 10182 we find,

"The skrew for the skrykyng & skremyng of folke," &c.,

and the alliteration demands that the word remain as in the MS. skryke felle, horrific yell: skryke is still used, pronounced skreek and skraich.

1. 911. smult (lit. boiled, bubbled), rolled: pret. of smile, to ferment or boil: thus "the kettle's smilin' on the fire." Lines 910-1 afford another proof that this work was written by the author of Morte Arthure observe that they have the same rhyme letter (s), which is a very striking peculiarity throughout the Morte Arthure, to which the Rev. Mr Skeat first drew my attention. The examples of this rhymingpower to be found in this work are not so wonderful as those of the Morte Arthure, p. 55, where there are sixteen consecutive lines and only three rhyme-letters (11. 1852-1867); but they are plentiful: for examples of double lines, see l. 1245-6, 1247-8, 1263-4, 1517-8, 1520-1, 1997-8, 2009-10, 2011-2, 2075-6: for triplets, see 11. 3036-8, 3519-21, 9666-8, while II. 3508-11 is an imperfect quartet. Observe too that the favourite rhyme-letters are the same in both works; as are also the subjects and particulars on which the author spends his strength. Still the Morte Arthure is the nobler and more finished poem; which

[blocks in formation]

suggests that it was the later of the two; for any one who had written this Troy Book must have acquired great mastery of rhyme by the time he got to the "ferre end." See note, 1. 1271.

11. 923-4. erdand, see note, 1. 121. Isoder, Isidorus Hispalensis, bishop of Saville, about 600 A.D., who wrote Origines, an encyclopædia of arts and sciences. smaragden hit hat, it is called smaragdus (emerald) for a full account of the smaragdus, see Natural History of Precious Stones, by C. W. King, M.A. (Bohn: London, 1870).


1. 925. du eddur, deadly serpent.

1. 933. pyne to beholde, horrible to be seen. 1. 934. full dregh, full wearisome

full many and severe :

note, 1. 678, and Jamieson's Dict. under Dreigh.


1. 939. juste were to-gedur, were tightly closed: juste is dashed, tilted, clenched.,

1. 954. flypit of the fflese, stripped off the fleece: flype is to pull off anything, as a stocking, by turning it inside out as a rabbit is skinned. It is used by Lyndsay in his satire on Syde Taillis, and is still in use.

1. 965. wee, a lord, a noble: in 1. 3356 = a lady. See note, 1. 23. 1. 985. on the fome, by sea: so in the ballad, 'Sir Patrick Spens,'

"To Noroway, to Noroway,

To Noroway o'er the faem," &c.

1. 1000. a Sourdyng with sourgrem, an increasing dislike and a desire for revenge.

1. 1045. All redy to the Roode, lit. all ready for the road, i. e. the expedition in 1. 1180 the same phrase is applied to the soldiery of Troy just assembled to repel the Greeks. From these and other examples that follow the phrase seems to have been used in our author's time, as it is still, to express ready for action whatever the undertaking may be.

1. 1054. euyn like of a lenght, alike equal in length: a common phrase still in the West of Scotland. The short description of Spring to which this is the introduction, is a fair example of our poet's power when treating such a subject.

1. 1061. Suoghyng of swete ayre, the 'souching' (sighing) of the sweet air. Swalyng of briddes, the swelling (singing) of birds. This line is a good example of onomatopoeia.

1. 1085. vnkeppit were pe costes, the coasts were unguarded.


1. 1089. Skairen out skoute-wacche, lit. divide out (scatter over their lines) the patrols (the pickets): in Morte Arthure, 1. 2468, the phrase occurs with a different application of skaire, "Skayres thaire skottefers, and theire skowtte-waches" scatters their marskmen and their pickets, i. e. drives them in: not "frighten their shield-bearers," as the Glossary makes it. Skayre, skair, is to divide (Su.-Go. skaera), and is still used in the sense of to share, as in the phrase, “skair even now,” i. e. share equally now the pieces of a fishing rod are called skairs. skoute-wacche occurs again in l. 6042. The wacche, as in 1. 1561, is

« السابقةمتابعة »