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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 11. 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 l. 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 l. 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 þan, 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. 831. 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 nieaning from that of simple sadness or suffering up to despair or destruction : pronounced dool. See note on dre::ly, 1. 728.
1. 882. zepely zarkit hym þerfore, 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 ventilation.
1. 900. maistur behouet, mastery demanded, or could wish for: muistur 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 inore common form is skew or
but in 1. 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 ffelle, 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 11. 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 11. 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
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, l. 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. 935, 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 filese, 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 l. 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
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. Swoghyng 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 onomatopæia.
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 : pieces a fislıing rod are led skairs. skoute-wacche occurs again in 1. 6042. The wacche, as in 1. 1561, is the sentinel at or on a castle, or at the camp; the skoute-wacche, is the soldier on patrol, or picket duty : in l. 7352, nightwacche occurs, including both the wacche and the skoute-wacche ; but it most frequently represents the watchmen of towns. for skeltyng of harme, for the purpose of avoiding surprise : lit. for warning of danger. skelt is a rumour, and skeltyng is spreading a rumour. The phrase occurs again in l. 6042.
1. 1092. warne, is “ to give notice,” and is still used: for example, the town officer warns the magistrates of a meeting; and the sheriffofficer warns awa' the tenant whom the landlord wishes to remove.
1. 1098. The word of your werkes, the fame of your works : word is still used in this sense, as in the phrase, “he's got the word o't,” i.e. report says so of himn : “word has come to town,” i. e. a report or rumour has reached town.
1. 1107. spede-full, helpful, expedient: so used by Barbour, as in 4. 486, and still in use.
1. 1117. riffe, plenty, abundant: still used in this sense.
1. 1118. fraght, freight, cargo : again in 1. 5384; and in 1. 13301 it means fleet, a set of ships : both senses are still common; and another, the price of a passage, fare.
1. 1127. with-outyn threp more, without further assertion. threp occurs both as a s. and a vb. in various senses (see Gloss.), and is still so used.
1. 1131. In the ton, in the one, i. e. in the first (division): ton occurs often, so does tother, and sometimes together, as in 1. 3911, “ The ton fro pe tother,” which is an every-day phrase still : examples in The Bruce, 11. 123-5, 14. 1064-5.
1. 1132. furse men of armes, a common phrase in this work and the Morte Arthure, as at II. 1537, 1897.
1. 1146. þat oper, should be pe toþer.
1. 1158. Hit liket well be lordes, it pleased the lords much : like has still this active sense.
1. 1163. here was used by the early Scottish poets in various senses (see Jamieson's Dict.), most of which occur in this work: see Gloss., and compare 11. 1432, 6188, 6253.
1. 1166. Silen to the Citie softly and faire, wend to the city, &c. The same idea is expressed in Morte Arthure, l. 1297,
"Syland softely in, swettly by theme-selfene.” 1. 1188. Compare the battle scene which follows with that given in Morte Arthure in the attack of the Roman camp and the sack which followed, pp. 62-8.
1. 1194. Shildes throgh shote shalkes to dethe : so again in 11. 6780, 9431,
Mony shalke þurgh shot with þere sharpe gere.
Compare with Morte Arthure, 11. 1857, 2545, 3748,
Schalkes they schotte thrughe schrenkande maylez.
Thourghe the scheldys so schene schalkes they towche,
1. 1196. frusshe, dash, onset: so in Mort. Arth., 1. 2900, and in Barbour : in all three it is used both as a s, and as a rb.
1. 1197. All dynnet pe dyn the dales aboute : so in Mort. Arth., 1. 2031, “ Alle dynned fore dyn that in the dale houede.” dyn, noise; and dyn, to make a noise, to resound, are still very common words.
1. 1200. withouten sware more, without a struggle, and never moved : sware, sweir, is still used in the sense of reluctant, making much to-do, as in “man, ye're deid sweir”
man, you are very reluctant, or, make inuch to-do about it. The word occurs in Gol, and Gaw., 1. 1053, in a similar connection, “Mony sweit thing of sware swonit full oft” Many a young lady through horror (of the sight) swooned again and again.
1. 1217. Alse wode, &c.: see 11. 3810, 5257, 6404, 6523, and compare Mort. Arth., 11. 3817, 3837. wode, mad, furious, enraged; thus in The Bruce, Bk XI. 1. 804,
“ —thai ran rycht as thai war woud." and in Burns's 'Scotch Drink,
“When neebors anger at a plea
An just as wud as wud can be." 1. 1219. topsayles ouer, topsy turvy: so Burns in 'Green Grow the Rushes,'
“And warly cares and warly men
May a' gae tapsal teerie 0 !!! 1. 1224. He with-drogh hym a draght, he fell back a short distance, or, he drew forth a trumpet. d a dyn made, and blew a blast, sounded a call. So Douglas in his Virgil, p. 230, 1. 35,
“Be this thare armour grathyt and thare gere,
The draucht trumpet blawis the brag of were." 1. 1230. consayuit his come, observed his approach, saw him coming on, keppit hym swithe, quickly prepared himself (to meet him): kep may here mean, to arrest, to stop, or, to prepare to catch or receive; both meanings are still common, and examples from Wyntoun, Barbour, and Douglas are given in Jamieson's Dict. swithe, sometimes swice, swike, see Gloss.
1. 1234. the rod all to-roofe, the shaft shivered to pieces.
1. 1237. caupe, blow, shock, (0.F. coup) : for various meanings of Caupe, see Gloss. : the word is still in use, and pronounced coup.