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In Su. Goth. rapa, to rush headlong; A.S. krepan, to cry, to shout, to scream; Moso-Goth. hropjan, to call out, to cry out.
1. 3097. pe bre, the water: still used, and applied to any liquid in common use, as in Willie brew'd a peck o' maut.'
"The cock may craw, the day may daw
And aye we'll taste the barley-bre."
Also in The Barrin' o' the door,'
"Wad ye kiss my wife before my face,
And scaud me wi' puddin' bree O?"
1. 3700. fore, fared; hence, fore as a fyre glowed, blazed.
1. 3703. caget to-gedur, caught, warped (through shaking and shifting among each other): the phrase is still used for ropes in that state; and cage, or cadge, is common in the sense of to shake, to toss.
1. 3746. wild as a lion: in 1. 3810, wode as a lyon: in l. 6405, wode as a wild lyon: in 1. 6523, wode as a wild bore; and in Morte Arth, 1. 3837, wode alls a wylde beste. See note, 1. 6523. 1. 3758. a streught loke, or a strenght loke, staring) look, or a strong (clear, searching) gaze.
a straight (steady,
1. 3772. gleyit a litill, squinted a little. The expressions in this line are exactly such as would still be used. It is noted of Achilles, Æneas, and Cassandra, that they were 'gleyit a litill:' see II. 3943, 3995.
1. 3793. no make, no match: from A.S. maca, a mate, a husband; hence, a companion, an equal: the word occurs in 'The King's Quair,' Can. 2, sts. 39 and 45; and in 'The Cherrie and Slae' it is mayock. wordye should be wordys.
1. 3802. vnlell of his trouthe, unfaithful in promise.
1. 3825. stutid, stuttered: stot, stoit, stut, and stutter, are still used in Scotland to express stumbling either in speech or walk: stoit, however, is usually expressive of staggering, reeling in 1. 3881 it is stotid. 1. 3838. pluccid, pimpled; see note, 1. 3078.
1. 3842. presit after seruys, looked sharply out for his service (allowance of food at meals), was greedy at meals.
1. 3895. swat neuer, never sweated, i. e. perspired through fear: the expression is still used, and means, as here, was never afraid.'
1. 3911. The ton fro pe tother, the one from the other.
1. 3956. faffure should be fassure, colour of the hair, complexion : A.S. faex, hair of the head: allied to which is fasse, a tassel, A.S. fus, a fringe.
1. 4062. was an, was one: Scot. ane.
1. 4097. od shippes, great ships, ships of the largest class: od, or odd, is a law term in Scotland applied to the umpire in a case; and from this usage comes the one here (chief, greatest). Od shippes, bigge shippes, and barges, seem to be different names for the largest vessels then known. See od in 1. 4165.
1. 4137. Nawlus son the grete, son of Nawlus the Great.
1. 4138. graidly graithly, readily, properly, in due time.
1. 4176. alate or olate: throughout the MS. this prefix is to determine, owing to the cramp style of writing.
1. 4185. Compare Mort. Arth., 1. 298.
1. 4212. eght = aght, from A.S. agan, to own, to possess.
1. 4274. appollus doughter, Apollo's daughter: in all Teutonic languages the sun is feminine, e. g. A.S. sunna: but in 1. 4370, our author contradicts himself regarding the moon.
1. 4301. myrtlit, in 1. 4312, myrtild, crumbled: mirle, or murle, a contracted form of this word is still common in Scotland, as in, 'the wall is mirlin' down:' also mirlin, and moolin, a crumb, a small portion.
1. 4312. This is perhaps the shortest complete line possible in this alliterative measure. Note also, the rime letter is a vowel: examples of this kind are plentiful in this work, and in the Morte Arth, they are
1. 4336. berynes, burial: occurs in Barbour's Bruce, Bk 3, 1. 562, 'And syne wes broucht till berynes:' also in Wallace, Bk 4, 1. 498.
11. 4379-80. aykewardly, awkwardly, stupidly. Note the use of y here, and often throughout the work, for w: indicating that the MS. had been copied, or dictated, or both, from an older MS. in which the Saxon w was used.
on him, i. e. Minerva: gender not very strictly defined, nor perhaps definable as regards the 'maument.'
11. 4395-4421. This passage agrees with one in Piers Plowman (A), p. 12.
his sete he wold make full noble in pe north compare with 'ponam pedem in aquilone,' in Piers Plow.; and see an interesting article in Notes and Queries, 3rd Series, vol. XII, p. 110.
1. 4439. warloghe, a monster: is used as an adj. in 1. 6425; as also The Evergreen,'
"A bytand ballat on warlo wives,
That gar thair men live pinging lives";
and in Hogg's 'Witch of Fife,'
"The warlock men and the weird wemyn
And the fayes of the wood and the steep."
1. 4500. pus-gatis, in this manner: a more common form is pus-gate. 1. 4511. beldid were pen, encouraged, strengthened: beld, is to protect, to cover; then, to support, or anything that will tend to support, or carry forward. In 1. 5864, it is used in the sense of' to rest in order to recover strength,' or, 'to shelter:' the word is used by the earlier Scottish poets both as a noun and as a vb.
1. 4589. pullishet, revolved, circled: in Scotland a pulley is still called a pullishee;' and Ramsay has,
wedges rive the aik: and pullisees
Can lift on highest roofs the greatest trees."
1. 4605. has, imperat. pl. of have, but still used as here = take. cast, throw, and pronounced 'haese.' Thus Wyntoun, Bk 9, ch. 8, 1, 127, Hawys armys hastily,' and Barbour has,
That ye thus gate your gate will ga
Harys gud day!"
highes, imperat. pl. of hie, but still used, like has, in different senses: here, haste ye, or hoist ye: in 1. 4608, drive on, hurry on. 1. 4622. Hade bir at hor bake, had a favourable wind: see note on 1. 1902.
1. 4648. Emperour, commander, captain. This is a test-word for the authorship of this work: the word is uncommon in the sense here used, although it is clearly the most literal: L. imperator, a commander. It is so used in the Morte Arth., ll. 307, 1326, 1957, 2291, &c., and is the very word upon which Wyntoun expatiates, and excuses Huchown for using, because it is used in this sense. The Morte Arthure corresponds exactly with the description Wyntoun gives of Huchown's Gest Hystoryale of Arthure; it uses the word Emperour as explained by him; and this work has every indication of having been composed by the same author, so far as words, phrases, peculiar expressions and modes of expression enable us to judge; and here, and at least five times else, occurs the word Emperour used in the same way. For the other instances of its use, see Gloss.
1. 4743. Whappet in wharles, lashed, drove, shot in quarrels. whap is still used to express rapid motion or action; also, wap, which occurs as a noun in 1. 6405, and as a vb. in 1. 7297. Observe the interchange of wh and qu in wharles quarrels as before in wheme queme, &c., and now in whellit quellit: in country districts of Scotland it is still common.
1. 4773. bare as a bast, as bare as a mat. In the Rom. of Alexander the Edit. renders 'a bast,' the stem of a linden tree: more probably it should be, the mat made of the inner bark of the linden, which is much used by gardeners, &c., for packing, and certainly is as bare and smooth as possible. The phrase, bare as a bast, is still common, and used in the same sense as here.
into the ditch: dush, to diche, pron. ditch or dike
1. 4776. dusshet into the diche, tumbled push, to drive, to overturn, is still used. (see Gloss.), is still common: for examples, see Jamieson's Dict. 1. 4787. menye, company: see note, 1. 37.
1. 4795. boue should be bone.
11. 4849-50. lewte, loyalty: here used in the sense of humility. The reference here seems to be to the story of Nebuchadnezzar. Micah vi. 8, and Dan. xii. 3. fylyng of pride, humbling it to the dust: fyle, to defile, is still common.
1. 4857. ertid, heartened, strengthened.
1. 4871. to filsom, to further: lit. to fill or fulfil: for different forms of this word, see Gloss. It occurs in Morte Arth., 11. 881, 1975; and in the West of Scotland filse, filsh, fulse, fulsh, are used in the same sense; and when a sack is well filled it is said to be filshed up, or, filshed fu'.
1. 4951. Lightyn at the low, alighted at the portal or lodge: the low
(A.S. loh, a place, a stead), may be, as it still is, the lodge, or the lodge gite, of a gentleman's seat; hence, where there is no such lodge, the entrance might be so called.
1. 4973. Kuyt, white: probably spelled quite or quit in the MS. from which this one was copied and dictated. Most probably it was quit, as in 1. 8522, which occurs in a portion of the MS. which is in the copying hand; and the scribe, not sure of the word by its sound, had it spelled to him, and confounded the qui with kuy. There are many such indi
cations throughout the MS.
And-one enemy to another-naught beseems it, saluting or courteous speech with bared head: i. e. enemies do not salute and take off their hats.
11. 5001-2. hit doghis the bettur, lit. it thrives the better = so much the better (for you). set noght, regard not, or, set at nought. Dogh dow, is still common both in Scotland and the North of Eugland, and is used in different senses: from A.S. dugan, to profit, to avail.
1.5048. wetheruns, mortal enemies: from A.S. wiðerwinna, an adversary in battle or combat; and hence the word suggests all the ideas of hate and revenge connected with enmity.
1. 5071. full swice should be fulls-wice fool's-wise, like a fool. 1. 5075. blym of hor brathe, cease of their wrath: blym should be blyne, from A.S. blinnan, to rest, to cease. In Morte Arth., 1. 1931,
"That I sulde blyne fore theire boste."
1. 5106. Insert [me] between deme and to.
1. 5132. waynet, lightened, lessened, curbed: wayne, from A.S. gewaenan, to turn, hence, to lift up (as in 1. 676); or, from wanian, to diminish, to lessen.
1. 5186. to stall, to satisfy is still used, both in this sense, and, to surfeit thus Burns, in his Address to a Haggis,' has,
"Is there that o'er his French ragout,
Or olio that wad star a sow."
1. 5199. Kuit, quiet
quietness another mark of dictation. 11. 5231-91. Compare this battle-scene with any of those in the Morte Arth., but specially with the one after the defeat of Modred's fleet the reader will thus get an idea of the author's mode of viewing such a scene. Some of the most striking similarities are given below. 1. 5242. Morte Arth., 1. 2143.
1. 5249. Morte Arth., 1. 1813:
"Schotte thorowe the schiltrouns & scheuerede launces."
1. 5250. Morte Arth., 1. 3024 :
"Many dowghty es dede be dynt of his hondes."
11. 5251-6. Morte Arth., 2228-9, 2911-2.
1. 5284. sounys, seeks, rushes, vibrates: see note, 1. 495.
1. 5285. Morte Arth., 1. 2178:
"That he was dede of he dynte & done owte of lyfe."
1. 5414. fulthe, plenty, abundance: the word is still used, and pronounced both fulthe and fouth, as in Burns, 'On the late Capt. Grose,' "He has a fouth o' auld nick-nackets."
1. 5437. Compare Morte Arth., l. 317. 'be tale' occurs in this work, 1. 2746; and thrifty in armes' in l. 5450.
1. 5553. martrid, mangled, tortured: like Fr. martyriser.
Or to get to the walls, (which were) watched, as they
1. 5638. wynnyt should be wyn yt.
1. 5728. big bowes of brake, great cross-bows. There are three different explanations of the term bowes of brake, which of course depend on the meaning of the word brake. 1. Bows with a brake, i. e. with an instrument for breaking the tension of the bow, or for making the arrow break away from it. In support of this explanation, allusion is made to the flaxdresser's brake, and the farmer's brake-harrow for clayey soil. 2. That the brake was the crank or handle which the soldier worked when using the bow. In support of this, allusion is made to the brake, i. e. the handle or lever of a ship's pump: but there are breaks where there is no handle at all, as brakes for wheels, &c. 3. That bows of brake were bows for breaching: just as a war-ship is called a man-of-war, or a ship-of-war. In support of this it is said that cross-bows were first used for that purpose, and that it was long after their use as breaching engines, before they were used as hand weapons ; and that when they were adapted to hand use they still retained their old name. From a review of these explanations the question comes to be, were they so called from the machine with which they were provided, or from the use to which they were first applied. (See Wedgwood's Etymol. Dict., and Boutell's Arms and Armour.)
1. 5732. shout should be shont, shrunk, withdrew.
1. 5810. Compare with Morte Arth., 1. 3831.
1. 5932. Morte Arth., 1. 1796:
"Wroght wayes full wyde & wounded knyghttez."
1. 5939. Morte Arth., 1. 2975:
"Sleyghly in at the slotte slyttes hyme thorowe." Compare also 11. 5936-40 with Morte Arth., 11. 2252-4.
1. 5998. mony warchond wound, many painful wounds: the phrase occurs in Wallace, Bk 3, 1. 204: warchond, from A.S. waerc, pain.
11. 6037-8. beccyn, blaze: beik is generally transitive, but here neuter. tendlis, resinous splints used in early times as candles were afterwards from A.S. tendan or tyndan, to set on fire.
11. 6051. qwistlis, reed instruments, as the shepherd's pipe, the clarionet, &c. qwes, fifes. other quaint gere, other instruments of the olden time. 1. 6063. felous should be felons, fierce, cruel, infuriated ones: from A.S. felle, fierce, fell: Fr. felon, fellon. The word occurs often in The Bruce, as an adj.; in Wallace, Bk 6, 1. 292; in Douglas's Virgil, p. 118, 1. 44; and in Golag, and Gawane, 1. 670.