Immagini della pagina

casten. As in the quotation from Surrey, above, p. 126.
comen, Spenser, Faerie Queene, iv. 1. 15, overcommen.
* And if thou be comen to fight with that knight.'

Eger and Grine, 887. crope, croper. Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, 4257, 11918. crap. Gentle Shepherd, act v. sc. i. cruppen. The Antiquary. dalfe. Quoted by Richardson from Chaucer, Boecius, Bk. II. drunken. Luke xvii. 8. fell, participle. • Which thou hast perpendicularly fell.'

King Lear, iv. 6. 54. foughten.

On the foughten field
Michael and his Angels prevalent
Encamping Paradise Lost, vi. 410.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

glod, for glided. Poem of Genesis and Exodus, 76. gnew. In Tyndale, Prologue to the Prophet Jonas (Parker Society, p. 456), we find gnew as the preterite of gnaw.

Whereupon for very pain and tediousness he lay down to sleep, for to put the commandment, which so gnew and fretted his conscience, out of mind; as the nature of all wicked is, when they have sinned a good, to seek all means with riot, revel, and pastime, to drive the remembrance of sin out of their thoughts; or, as Adam did, to cover their nakedness

with aprons of pope-holy works.' gnawn. Shakspeare: 'begnawn with the bots,' Taming of

the Shrew, iii. 2. The Saxon form was GNAGEN. graven. Psalm vii. 16, elder version, 'He hath graven and

digged up a pit.' And often 'graven image' in the Bible

of 1611. holp, participle. Shakspeare, Richard II, v. 5. 62. hing. This form lingers still in Scotland, if we may so con

clude from a story in Dean Ramsay, who puts it into the

mouth of a Scotch judge of the last generation. [I am assured, on good authority, that it is quite common to this day.]

This verb made an early transit to the weak form, and was conjugated thus : hang, hanged, hanged. Properly speaking, this was a new and quite different verb, and should have had the transitival use, while the strong hing, hang, hung, kept the neuter function. There are extant traces of the observance of this principle. Thus, nobody says that his hat hanged on a peg. But as nothing can restrain the caprice of speech, this early broke rule, and the young weak form hanged, stood for the neuter sense. Example :• But could not finde what they might do to him: for all the people

banged vpon him when they heard him.'—Luke xix. 48. Geneva, 1557. holden. Psalm lxiii. 9, elder version: and eleven times in

the authorized version of the Bible. loden. Sir Philip Sidney, An Apologie for Poetrie, 1581;

ed. Edward Arber, p. 19. lien. “Though ye have lien among the pots, &c.,' Ps. lxviii.

13, elder version. Shakspeare, King John, iv. I. 50,

where the first three folios spell it lyen. plet.

I took delyte
To pou the rashes green, wi' roots sae white;
O' which, as weel as my young fancy cou'd,
For thee I plet the flow'ry belt and snood.'

Allan Ramsay, Gentle Shepberd, act ii. sc. 4. rid.

• I remember two young fellows who rid in the same squadron of a troop of horse. Spectator, Aug. 24, 1711. This form is in present use in Somersetshire and Gloucestershire : • He walked all the way there, Sir : but he rid home again.' (Swanswick.)

I find this preterite also in a quotation by Mr. Furnivall from Journey of Irish Gentlemen through England in 1752: ‘We set out in our post-chaise; Valerius and I rid as before.'


* And I was ta'en for him, and he for me;
And thereupon these ERRORS are arose.'

Comedy of Errors, v. I. 386. sod. Genesis XXV. 29. shook. The preterite form was much adopted for the par

ticiple from the seventeenth to the early part of the present century. Thus Milton, Paradise Lost, vi. 219:

• All Heaven Resounded, and had Earth been then, all Earth

Had to her Center sbook.' And Edmund Burke, while at Dublin College, writing to an old schoolfellow, says,

You ask me if I read? I deferred answering this question, till I could say I did; which I can almost do, for this day I have sbook off idleness and begun to buckle to.' .(March, 1746-7.) And Samuel Taylor Coleridge:

“For oh! big gall-drops shook from Folly's wing

Have blackened the fair promise of my spring.' shotten. • In that nooke-sbotten Ile of Albion.'

Shakspeare, Henry V, iii. 5. 14. Compare cup-shotten, Cotgrave, s. v. Yure. Probably also

Falstaff's 'shotten herring' belongs here. sung, participle of singe, Gentle Shepherd, act ii. sc. I. slod. Trevisa. slang.

1 Samuel xvii. 49.

1 A Temporary Preface to the Six-Text Edition of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, p. 16.

spoke, participle. In Shakspeare, King John, iv. I. 51; King

Richard II, i. 1. 77. stricken. This old participle, meaning gone, advanced, is

now quite extinct. We read it in Luke i. 7, 'well stricken in years;' and we retain it in the compound povertystricken, which means far gone in poverty, extremely poor. In Sidney's Arcadia (ed. 1599), p. 5, we read, 'He being

already well striken in years.' took. See what has been said under shook.

• Too divine to be mistook.'

Milton, Arcades.

waxen. Jeremiah v. 27, 28: 'They are become great and

waxen rich. They are waxen fat, they shine.' ywroken, Spenser, Colin Clouts come home againe, 921:

• Through judgement of the gods to been ywroken.'

wrat. This preterite form occurs in Raleigh's (Edwards,

Letter xv.) correspondence under 'date May 29, 1586:

. And the sider which I wrat to you for.' wrote. “I have wrote to you three or four times.' Spectator,

No. 344. (1712)

Notwithstanding the tenacity of which we have spoken there is a manifest tendency in these strong verbs to merge themselves gradually into the more numerous class of the weak verbs. Many have dropped their strong form since Saxon times, and adopted the weak. Thus the verb to wreak was anciently conjugated, —




but it has long ago adopted the more prevalent form in -ed. Thus Smollett (quoted by Richardson): 'I wreaked my resentment


the innocent cause of my disgraces.'

Other examples of Saxon strong verbs which have been altered:

[blocks in formation]

acwele bace beorge brede bruce buge byrne ceowe climbe crawe creope delfe dufe fealde fleote frete geote glide grafe hele hleape hreowe leoge luce mete

acwal boc bearh bræd breac beah barn ceaw clomm creow creap dealf deaf feold fleat fræt geat glad grof hæ! hleop hreaw leah leac mæt mearn reac reow sceaf SCOP slep smeac spearn stærf swealh teah þærsc brang wod weold

acwolen bacen borgen broden brocen bogen burnen gecowen clumben crawen cropen dolfen dofen fealden floten freten goten gliden grafen holen hleapen hrowen logen locen meten mornen rocen rowen scofen sceapen slapen smocen spornien storfen swolgen togen þorscen gebrungen wæden gewealden

quell bake borrow braid brook bow burn cbew climb crow creep delve dive fold float fret yote (=pour) glide grave beal leap rue lie (mentiri) lock mete or measure mourn reek row sbove shape sleep smoke spurn starve swallow tow thresh throng wade wield


reoce rowe scufe scyppe slape. smeoce spurne steorfe swelge teoge þersce þringe wade wealde

This list does not include the strong verbs that have altogether died out since Saxon times. It only contains those

« IndietroContinua »