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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.
I. STRONG VERBs.
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 mediaeval 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.
PRESENT. PRETERite. PARTICiPLE. abide abode [a]bidden" bake be uk # baken
bear bore, bare borne and born beat beat beaten, beat begin began begun
BELGAn BEALh BoLGEN, bowln * BEON - - - been bid bade, bid bidden, bid bind bound bounden, bound bite bote *, bit bitten, bit
blow blew blown
bow BEAH bowne *
break broke, brake broken
burst burst bursten, burst Carve Carf * CORFEN
Cast coost + casten +
chide chid, chode * chidden, chid choose chose chosen
cleave clove, clave cloven
cling clung clung
Came Comen”, come
PRESENT. creep crow delve dig draw drink drive eat fall fight find fling fly forsake freeze get give glide gnaw go GRAFE. grind grow heave help hing * hold lade Ieşc lie melt plat ride ring rise run seethe shake shape
PRETERITE. trope *, crap * crew Dalft + dug drew drank, drunk drove ate fell fought found flung flew forsook froze got, gat gave glot * gnew * GROF ground grew hove holp hang, hung held
plet” rode, rid + rang, rung rose
cropen", cruppen " dolven
sod * shook shope
drawn drunken”, drunk driven
holpen, holp *
shave shear shew shine shoot shrink sing singe sink sit slay slide sling slink slit smite speak spin spring steal stick sting stink STRICAN stride strike string strive SWear swell swim swing take tear thrive throw tread wake wash
spoken, spoke *
stricken or striken"
taken, took ".
PRESENT. PRETERITE. PARTICIPLE. Wax bjør - waxen” wear wore worn Weave" wove woveil WESAN was [Germ. gewesen] win won Won wind wound wound wreak - - - ywroken + wring wrung wrung write wrote, wrat *, writ written, writ, wrote *
Remarks on the Forms signed with an Asterisk.
[a]bidden. We find the simple form in Eger and Grime,
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, GEBOLGEN = ‘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
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. tarf. “And carf biforn his fader at the table.” Chaucer, Prologue, Ioo. chode. Genesis xxxi. 36; Numbers xx. 3. COO St. ‘Maggie coost her head fu' high,
Looked asklent and unco skeigh,
Robert Burns, Duncan Gray.