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So among the tribes of Israel at the time of the Judges, it was a peculiarity of the tongue of the Ephraimites that they could not frame to pronounce sh, but said Sibboleth instead of Shibboleth. This is so definite a feature of the northern dialect that it is worth while to collect some of the examples in which it makes the contrast of the two texts :
The wall of Severus, which was made against the Picts, is called in the elder text scid-wall, that is, wall of separation, quasi Scheide-Wall; and in the later or northern text it is sid-wal. (Vol. ii. p. 6, ed. Madden.)
The following specimen is from the elder text of Layamon's Brut :
THE ORIGIN OF THE NAME OF GLOUCESTER.
Line 9616. . fa þe time wes ifulled,
When the time was fully come þat hit fulleht sculde habben, that it baptism should bave æfter pan a pelene lazen,
according to the national laws þat stoden ofen ilke dæzen,
that stood in those same days; nome heo him arahten,
a name they bestowed on him and Gloi þat child hahten.
and named the child Gloi. Þis child wæx and wel iþæh; This child grew and throve well and muchel folc him to bah.
and much people bowed to him, and Claudien him bitæhte,
and Claudien committed to bim
þa burh þe he ahte : and sette heo mid cnihten, þe gode weoren to fehten. and hæhte heo wite wel faste and heoten heo Gloichestre : al for his sune luuen, be leof him wes an heorten ; Þe seoðde bizæt al Walisc lond, to his azere hond. and þerof he was deme; and duc feole zere.
the borough that be owned, and manned it with knights which good were to fight. [securely And be ordered them to guard it and be called it Gloucester; all for love of his son wbo was dear to his heart; who afterwards conquered all Welshto his own band.
[land And thereof he was demster and duke many years.
The next specimen is from the younger or northern text:
ORIGIN OF BILLINGSGATE.
Nou ich be habbe i-sed hou hit his
agon, of Kairliun in Glommorgan. Go we get to Belyn, to pan blisfolle kyinge. þo he hadde imaked bes borh, and hit cleopede Kair-Uske: bo þe borh was strong and hende; bo gan he þanne wende, riht to Londene, bo borh he swipe louede. He bi-gan þer ane tur ; þe strengeste of alle þan tune : and mid mochele ginne, a zet par hunder makede. þo me hit cleopede Belyneszat. Nou and euere more, be name stondiþ þare. Leuede Belyn þe king, in allere blisse: and alle his leode lofde hine swipe. In his dazes was so mochel mete, þat hit was onimete.
Now I have said to thee how it
bappened, touching Caerleon in Glamorgan. Go we back again to Belyn, to that blissful king. When be bad made the burgh and called it Caer-Usk : When the burgh was strong and trim, then gan be wend thence right to London, the burgh be greatly loved. He began there a tower the strongest of all the town; and with mucb art a gate there-under made, T'ben men called it *Billingsgate.' Now and ever-more, the name standeth there. Lived Belyn the king in all bliss : and all his people loved him greatly. In his days was there so much meat, that it was without measure.
The Ormulum may be proximately dated at A.D. 1215. As the date cannot be given with precision, the date of Magna
Carta is here selected, for the sake of its bearing on the subject, as will be seen presently. The Ormulum is a versified narrative of the Gospels, addressed by Ormin or (curtly) Orm to his brother Walter, and after his own name called by the author'Ormulum'; by which designation it is commonly known.
Icc þatt tiss Ennglish hafe sett
Ennglisshe men to lare,
Orrmin bi name nemmedd.
I that this English have set
English men to lore,
Ormin by name named.
Fiss boc iss nemmnedd Orrmulum
Forrpi þatt Orrm itt wrohhte.
This book is named Ormulum
For-this that Orm it wrought.
This book has been admirably edited, and with the most perfect fidelity to the one extant manuscript, by Dr. White, formerly Professor of Anglo-Saxon. It was printed at the Clarendon Press, 1852. As the Brut represents the western type of English, so this does the eastern. In this poem we find for the first time the term 'English' in the mature form. Layamon has the forms englisc, englis, anglis, anglisce, &c.; but Orm has enngliss, and still more frequently the fully developed form ennglissh.
The excess of consonants with which this word is written is a constant feature of the Ormulum. The author was one of Nature's philologists, and he displayed his talent by attempting a phonetic system of spelling. Had his orthography been generally adopted, we should have had in English not only the mm and nn with which German abounds, but many other double consonants which we do not now possess. How great a study Orm had made of this subject, we are not left to gather from observation of his spelling, for he has emphatically pointed out the importance of it in the opening of his work.
HOW TO SPELL.
And whase wilenn shall biss boc
And whoso sball determine to copy this book, I beg him to write it accurately as the book directelh; and that he write a letter twice wberever in this book it is so written. Let him look carefully that he write it so, for else he cannot write it correctly in English-of that he may be assured!
There is another matter of orthography which is a philological peculiarity with this author. When words that begin with b follow words ending in d or 1, he generally (and with a few definite exceptions) alters the initial þ to t. Where (for example) he has the three words patt and balt and be succeeding one another continuously, he writes, not þatt þatt þe, but þatt tatt te. One important exception to this rule is where the word ending with the d or t is severed from the word beginning with þ by a metrical pause; in that case the change does not take place, as
j agg affterr þe Goddspell stannt þatt tatt te Goddspell menepp.
and aye after the Gospel standetb that which the Gospel meaneth.
Here the stannt does not change the initial of the next word, because of the metrical division that separates them. Other examples of these peculiarities may be seen in the following extract.
CHARACTER OF A GOOD MONK.
Forr himm birrþ beon full clene mann,
and all wipþutenn ahhte,
unnorne mete and wæde.
And tær iss all þatt eorplig þing
þatt minnstremann birrþ aghenn, Wipþutenn cnif and shæþe and camb
and nedle, giff he't geornebø. And all biss shall mann findenn himm
and wel himm birrþ itt gemenn; For birrþ himm nowwþerr don þæroff,
ne gifenn itt ne sellenn. And himm birrþ æfre standenn inn
to lofenn Godd and wurr þenn, And agg himm birrþ beon fressh þærto
bi daggess and bi nihhtess; And tat iss harrd and strang and tor
and hefig lif to ledenn, And forbi birrþ wel clawwstremann
onnfangenn mikell mede, Att hiss Drihhtin Allwældennd Godd,
forr whamm he mikell swinnkebþ. And all hiss herrte and all hiss lusst
birrþ agg beon towarrd heoffne, And himm birrþ geornenn agg þatt an
hiss Drihhtin wel to cwemenn, Wipp daggsang and wiþþ uhhtennsang
wiþþ messess and wiþþ beness, &c.
For be ought to be a very pure man
and altogether without property, Except that be shall be found in
simple meat and clothes. And that is all the earthly thing
that minster-man should own, Except a knife and sheath and comb
and needle, if he want it. And all this shall they find for bim
and his duty is to take care of it, For he may neither do with it,
neither give it nor sell. And he must ever stand in (vigorously)
to praise and worship God, And aye must be be fresh thereto
by daytime and by nights ; And that's a bard and stiff and rough
and heavy life to lead, And therefore well may cloister'd man
receive a mickle meed At the hand of his Lord Allwielding God,
for whom he mickle slaveth.