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and it long continued in the heroic or mock-heroic style, as we see in the following, from the eighteenth century.

• In every village mark'd with little spire,
Embower'd in trees and hardly known to fame,
There dwells, in lowly shed and mean attire,
A matron old, whom we Schoolmistress name,
Who boasts unruly brats with birch to tame;
They grieven sore, in piteous durance pent,
Aw'd by the power of this relentless dame,

And oft times, on vagaries idly bent,
For unkempt hair, or task unconn'd, are sorely shent.'

William Shenstone (1714-1763), The Schoolmistress. In the ordinary paths of the language, however, the personal inflections were reduced nearly to their present simplicity before the Elizabethan epoch.

The tenacity of which we spoke displays itself most conspicuously in the tense-forms; that is to say, the forms used for expressing varieties of time.

The boldest feature which is found among the verbs of our family, is the formation of the preterite by an internal vowel-change, without any external addition. This character supplies a basis for the division of the verbs into three classes,-the Strong, the Mixed, and the Weak.


The strong are of the highest antiquity, are limited in number, are gradually but very slowly passing away, as one by one at long intervals they drop out of use and are not recruited by fresh members. They are characterised by the internal formation of the preterite, and by the formation of the participle in N. This latter feature has however been less constant than the preterite. The following list comprises most

of them. Only those forms which are given in the ordinary type are in full use. Those in black letter flourished in mediæval times; those in thick type are chiefly of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; and those in italics are negligent forms which were mostly current in the eighteenth century. The few which are in SMALL CAPITALS are Saxon forms. Those in spaced type are from a collateral language or dialect.

Only the simple verbs are given, and not their compounds. The list contains come, hold, get; but not become, behold, beget; bid but not forbid; give but not forgive, &c. On the other hand, those compounds whose simples no longer exist in the language, are here given, as abide, begin, forsake.




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[a]bidden * baken borne and born beaten, beat begun BOLGEN, bowln * been bidden, bid bounden, bound bitten, bit blown bowne * broken bursten, burst

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cropen *, cruppen

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delve dig draw drink drive



crope *, crap* crew dalfe * dug drew drank, drunk drove ate fell fought found flung flew forsook froze got, gat gave

drawn drunken *, drunk driven eaten fallen, fell * fought, foughten* found Aung flown forsaken frozen gotten, got given

glod * gnew *



gnawn gone graven * ground grown

fight find fling fly forsake freeze get give glide gnaw go GRAFE grind grow heave help hing * hold lade lese lie melt plat ride ring rise run seethe shake shape

ground grew hove holp hang, hung held

holpen, holp * hung holden * laden, loden * lorn lain, lien * molten


plet* rode, rid * rang, rung rose

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shone shot shrank, shrunk sang, sung

PRESENT. shave shear shew shine shoot shrink sing singe sink sit slay slide sling slink slit smite speak spin spring steal stick sting stink

sank sati, sat slew slod *, slid slang *,

slung slunk slat, slit smote spoke, spake span sprang stole stuck stung stank and stunk

PARTICIPLE. shaven shorn shewn shone shotten * shrunken, shrunk sung sung sunken, sunk stiten slain slidden, slid slung slunk slit smitten spoken, spoke spun sprung stolen stuck stung stunk stricken or striken* stridden stricken strung striven sworn swollen


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swell swim swing take tear thrive throw tread wake wash

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Remarks on the Forms signed with an Asterisk. [a]bidden. We find the simple form in Eger and Grine, line 555:

• He might full well haue bidden att home.' beuk. Gentle Shepherd, act ii. sc. i. bowln. A relic of a forcible word in Saxon poetry, GEBOL

GEN = 'swollen,' generally with anger. It is found in Surrey's Translation of the Second Book of the Aeneid, and there it simply means physically swollen :

• Distained with bloody dust, whose feet were bowln

With the strait cords wherewith they haled him.' bote. Eger and Grine, 992. bowne. • And now he is bowne to turne home againe.'

Eger and Grine, 948. Here also must be put the expression Homeward bound'

—though there is a great claim for the Icelandic buinn. carf. * And carf biforn his fader at the table.'

Chaucer, Prologue, 100.
chode. Genesis xxxi. 36; Numbers xx. 3.

Maggie coost her head fu' high,
Looked asklent and unco skeigh,
Gart poor Duncan stand abeigh.'

Robert Burns, Duncan Gray.

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