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death, where there is a slight gap including the winding up of the
Besides these faults, there are two gaps in the MS.—between fols. 6, 7, and 179, 180: the first, containing the account of the first landing of the Greeks at Troy, and consisting of three or perhaps four leaves, was no doubt a gap in the MS. from which the existing one was copied ; and the second consists of one leaf, which has been lost or torn from the set.
The MS. affords further evidences of being a copy from an older one, and gives some information as to how the copyist worked at his task. The writing is in a hand of somewhere about the middle of the 15th century, and in two distinct styles : one (in which the larger portion of the work is written) is the common cursive style of the period, cramp, and often careless, shewing no regularity in spelling and contractions, confusion of the letters t and c, a and 0, with a decided preference for the o sound : the other (in which only a few folios and scattered portions are written) is a fine, clear, Saxon, copying style, shewing greater regularity in contractions and spelling, and a more frequent use of the older forms of letters. 1
Yet they are
| The portions that are written in the copying style are 11. 4203—30, 6101 -32, 6260–328, 6592—664, 6873—941, 6975—7015, Rubric and first 10 lines of Bk XVI., 7415–51, XIX. Boke-7858, 8511—26, 9728—33, 9763—88, 11244-98, 12015 to the middle of 12156, 12167--200, 12234–54, 1261727, 12650 -98, Rubric and first 22 lines of Bk XXXIV., 13574-634, 136724 738, 13946–81.
the work of the same hand, for the two styles again and again run into each other: and a careful comparison presents differences of form and spelling, peculiarities and mistakes, which suggest that when the scribe used the copying style he had the text before him and worked carefully; and that when he used the cursive style, he wrote for the most part to dictation. In the notes at the end of the work the reader will find abundant evidence to that effect, to which the following may be added : in l. 2552 the MS. has sororow euer for sorow for euer ; l. 3704, tilude for tild; 4475, a little to pe Grekes for attle to be Grekes; 5406, welcomth þat worthy for welcomt þat worthy ; 10627, he was hengyng for he u as lengyng ; 11721, Knowith hit yourselfe for Knowis hit yourselfe ; 13452, buerne for burne ; 13640, after pai were for as be right ayre; and confusion of the pronouns hym and hom. But perhaps the most striking proof (of which examples are given in the Notes) is the use of wh for qw or qwh, by which the alliteration is sometimes spoiled, as in 11. 3028, 4202, and 11726 ;' and which could not have been used by one who was simply copying. Indeed, this alteration alone suggests something more than mere writing to dictation,-it suggests that the writer, who was evidently a West Midland man, adapted the work to his own dialect, with an honest intention no doubt of simply rendering it more readable for himself and friends : and the work being in a different dialect quite accounts for the writer preferring to have it dictated to him.
From these particulars it is evident that the existing MS. is not the original, nor even an exact copy of the one from which it was made, but a rendering of it by some one who was a native of the West Midland district.2 A thorough analysis of the language and
Compare with 11. 1809, 1928, 2693, 2737, 3055, 4973, 5351, 6051, 11783. ? At the end of the MS., and apparently in the same hand, is written * Notehurst; ” and on one of the blank spaces already referred to occurs the following in a later hand :—“John Chethaum sonne and heyre of Thomas Chetham late of Notehurst Decessyd is the verey awner of thys Boke to be an here-lome at Notehurst according to be tenour and effec of my fathers will. In witness wherof I haue written this saying wt my awne hand. Iane Iohana Chetham.” Certainly the saying' suggests more than ownership. Notehurst is, no doubt, for Nuthurst : but there are two places of that name, one
ear Horsham in Sussex, the other in Solihull, Warwickshire, which must be the one referred to.
structure of the work will yield us important particulars regarding the dialect in which it was written, its date, and perhaps authorship: but meanwhile the following sketch and results may be sufficient.
The plurals of nouns generally end in es, is, or ys; and sometimes the same word occurs in all these forms, as, lordes (1411), lordis (1082), lordys (263). Nouns of more than one syllable take 8 only, as batels (91), girduls (1373), maters (1454); and even when they have es or is the alliteration shews that the s only is sounded (see the list of trades in p. 53, also 1. 1683); and a further proof is given in ll. 1367, 1372, where florins is written florence. Some nouns have different plurals, as doghter (1474), deghter (1489); suster (1495), susters (1726); brother
brother (8368), brether (6810); childer (1356), childur (1382), children (1418); but the en form of plural occurs only in children, ene, and exin. As peculiar forms of plural we note althing = all things (281), mony freik (1429), mony lede (5981), mony tulke (5911), where mony = many a: this forin of
= plural is pretty common.
The genitive singular is sometimes in es, is, or s, as mannes saule (4445), bysshoppis bone (7895), emperours awne tent (5143); but more frequently there is no termination, as, fader dethe (1464), wemen dissyre (2920): indeed a marked feature of the language as represented by this work is the tendency to drop all terminations.
The adjectives shew no inflexion for number or case : but we note a few .peculiar words, as, more in more-halfe (13303), moreynde (8631); fer, ferre, used as pos., comp., and super: (11. 78, 95, 110, 216, 3950, 8272), and as an adj., an adv., and a sb. (see Gloss.); herre = higher (1102), pronounced sometimes as a monosyllable, as in herhond (7075, 7362); heghest (1640) is hext (13504); mo= more, in oper mo = others, some others (819); miche occurs
; occasionally, but mekell, mykyll is much more common, and is used also as an adv. and a sb.; ilke a=ilka, each (423, 3656); mydward
; the middle (7324), as in The Pricke of Conscience, 1.435, and yet
is verb mydell occurs in the same line ; tyuys: 43456, 13543); lagher lower (9152), feghur = fewer (7822). The participial forms and, aund, ond are often used, as warchand (1238), plesaund (2885),
thryuond (4103); and the same word sometimes appears in all these forms. The ordinal numerals are first, secund, thrid, fourt (5446) and fourthe, fyfte, sext, seuynt, eght and eghtid, neynt, tent, fyftene, sextene (see Rubrics of the Books and the orders of the batells in pp. 198—207, also the reckoning at the close of the work). Often we find the ton = the one, and the tothir = the other ; but only in 1. 13828 12628, 167364e.
= have we selfe = same. Many of the adjectives are used adverbially; and the prefix un, the terminations ful and ly are often employed.
Adverbs from adjectives end in ly (never in liche), or take the prefix on or 0, very rarely a; and we note the forms hethyn (763), thethyn (8790), sithen (66), sethyn (455), sydelyng (7320), hedlynges (7485), hedstoupis (6638), furthe (2242), utwith (11753), unneth (10881), so-gat (5207), thus-gate (1758), thus-gatis (4500), no-gatis (612), une (7258), uppon-one (6677), ay (5205), syn = since (1106), syne = afterwards (2551), be-ban = by that time (383), oghter any longer (1898), to-morne (11366), on-a-crye = crying, screaming (11801).
The personal pronouns have only two case forms for each number,-one for the Nom., and one for the Dat. and Acc.,
The possessives are used like adjectives and have no inflexion for case, thus : Singular.
Plural. mi, min, mine.
our, oure. þi, pin, pine.
your, youre. his, hys.
þere, paire, hor. hir, hur.
In l. 3327 we find to me go to myne ; and in 11. 1171-2, to me & to myne, to you & to yours. The demonstratives are pis or pise, pat
or at, with their plurals þes or þese, þo, pos or fose ; sometimes we find þies for þese. The relatives are wo, who, qwo, Dat. and Acc. qwom, þat, qwat, what ; w0-80, who-so, quat-so: and the distributives, aither, euper, other, tothir : while the substantive forms the ton, the tothir, occur frequently. The terminations selfe, seluon, are added to singular and plural personals indiscriminately, as hym-selfe (969), hym-seluor (1236); hom-selfe (983), hom-seluon (752), paim-selfe (1582); þi-seluyn (3508).
In the verbs we note a marked simplicity of inflexion, and great variety of forms and spelling. For the Infinitive there is no terminal mark, but it is very frequently preceded by the preposition for, as, for to say (1839), for to mele (1933), for to greue (2766). In the Present tense there is no termination in the 1st person sing. and plu., as, I thanke (554), I put (557), we fors (1929), we loue (1930); but frequently we find the 3rd per. sing. of the impersonal verb with the 1st personal pronoun in the acc., as me mervells (5014), me mervellis (1864), me semys (4229), vs qwemes (1928), vs gaynes (11306), v8 likes (11657); and such irregular or contracted forms as me think (1932, 3156), vs liste (3631). This impersonal form of the verb is found in all the persons of the Present.
The 2nd and 3rd persons sing. and plu. generally end in s, es, is, ys, and se, as, thou bes (870), thou ges (2089), þu mase (1402), thou rises (11339), þu tellis (11299), zou sechis (11274), you bese (3487), ye mase (1851); he loues (1932), he bes (3389), he karpes (829), men turnys (2926), men puttes (2927): but sometimes there is no termination in the 2nd and 3rd per. plu., as ye kepe (1845), ye haue (1851), men rauisshe (2926), pai chaunge (2933); and sometimes in the same sentence we find verbs with and without termination, as in 11, 2926-7. There are also a few examples of the plural in en, on, yn, as ze menen (5027), ze demyn (11255), men holdyn & takon (2723-4).
In the past tense the singular and the plural of weak verbs are generally alike, and end in d, ed, id, yd, t, et, it, yt, as, spird (823), wend=wened (6653), waited (9476), assentid (11371), ertyd (11335), angurt (2615), comburt (11331), waivet (9476), deirit (9484), hurlyt (9483); but the t termination is by far the more frequent,-a result