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Then called Arthur, noblest [boldest] of kings: “Where be ye, my Britons, my bold thanes [knights]? The day it forth goeth; this folk against us standeth. Cause we to glide to them sharp darts enow, and teach them to ride the way towards Rome l’ Even with the words that Arthur [then] said he [they] sprang forth on steed [upon steeds], as spark doth of fire. Fifty
thousand were following him.
47. In the second specimen, which is from the elder text, th has been substituted for p and 8, to accommodate the unpractised reader.
THE PASSING OF ARTHUR.
Tha nas ther na mare,
tha habbedth istonden a mine da;en:
and alle tha lažen gode,
Then was there no more in that fight left alive, out of 2Co,000 men, that there lay cut to pieces; but Arthur the King only and two of his knights. Arthur was wounded dangerously much. There to him came a youth who was of his kin; he was son of Cador, the earl of Cornwall. Constantin hight the youth; to the king he was dear. Arthur looked upon him, where he lay on the ground, and these words said, with sorrowful heart. Constantine thou art welcome, thou wert Cador's son : I here commit to thee, my kingdom: and guide thou my Britons aye to thy life's cost: • * and assure them all the laws, that have stood in my days: and all the laws so good, that by Uther's days stood. And I will fare to Avalon, to the fairest of all maidens; to Argante the queen, elf exceeding sheen: and she shall my wounds, make all sound,
al hal me makien, mid haleweise drenchen. And seothe ich cumen wulle to mine kineriche: and wunien mid Brutten, mid muchelere wunne. AEfne than worden, ther com of se wenden, that wes an sceort bat lithen, sceouen mid vthen : and twa wimmen therinne, wunderliche idihte: and hed nomen Arthur anan, and aneouste hine uereden, and softe hine adun leiden, and forth gunnen hine lithen.
Tha wes hit iwurthen, that Merlin seide whilen; that wedre unimete care, of Arthures forth fare.
Bruttes ileueth 3ete, that he beo on liue, and wunnie in Aualun mid fairest alre aluen: and lokieth euere Bruttes 3ete, whan Arthur cume lithen.
48. A third specimen shall be taken from near the close of this voluminous work, where the elder text only is
all whole me make,
A BRITISH VIEW OF ATHELSTAN'S REIGN.
pa tiden comen some,
The tidings came soon
and bu he sette moting,
and how he set mote-ting,
49. The Ormulum may be proximately dated at A.D. 1215. This is a versified narrative of the Gospels, addressed by Ormin or Orm to his brother Walter, and after his own name called by the author ‘Ormulum'; by which designation it is commonly known. Icc patt tiss Ennglish hase sett Ennglisshe men to lare,
Icc wass par par I cristnedd wass
I that this English have set
I was there-where I christened was
In this poem we find for the first time the word “English ’ in the mature form. Layamon has the forms englisc, englis, anglis, anglisce; but Orm has enngliss, and still more frequently the fully developed form ennglissh. The author is lavish of his consonants.
50. This is a constant feature of the Ormulum. For Orm was one of Nature's philologers, and a spellingreformer. He carefully puts the double consonant after the short vowel. Had his orthography been generally adopted, we should have had in English not only the mm and nn with which German is studded, 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 called attention to it in the opening of his work.
eggwhaer pact itt uppo piss boc upon this book it is written in that iss writen o patt wise. wise. Let him look carefully that loke well patt he’t write swa, he write it so, for else he "cannot
for he ne magg no.hht eless write it correctly in English—that on Ennglissh writenn rihht te word, know he well for certain patt wite he well to sope.
51. There is another point of orthography which is (almost) peculiar to this author. When words beginning with / follow words ending in d or 1, he generally (with but a few, and those definite exceptions) alters the initial / to 1. Where (for example) he has the three words /att and /ai/ and /e succeeding one another continuously, he writes, not /a///aff /e, but /a/ fast se. One important exception to this rule is where the word ending with the d or f is severed from the word beginning with / by a metrical pause ; in that case the change does not take place, as—
T agg affter be Goddspell stannt and aye after the Gospel standeth patt tatt te Goddspell menepp. that which the Gospel meaneth.
Here the stammt 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 birrp beon full clene mann, and all wipputenn ahhte, Buttan patt mann himm findenn shall unnorne mete and wade. And taer iss all patt eorplig ping patt minnstremann birrh aghenn Wipputenn cnif and shape and camb, and medle, giff he’t geornepp. And all piss shall mann findenn himm and wel himm birrp itt gemenn; For birrp himm nowwperr don paeroff, ne gifenn itt ne sellenn. And himm birrp afre standenn inn to lofenn Godd and wurrpen, And agg himm birrp beon fressh paerto bi daggess and by nihhtess; And tat iss harrd and strang and tor and hefig lif to ledenn, And forbi birrp wel claww.stremann onnfangenn mikell mede, Att hiss Drihhtin Allwaldennd Godd, forr whamm he mikell swinnkepp. And all hiss herrte and all hiss lusst birrp agg beon towarrd heaffne, And himm birrp geornenn agg patt an hiss Drihhtin wel to cwemenn, Wipp daggsang and wipp uhhtennsang wipp messess and wipp beness, &c.
For he ought to be a very pure man and altogether without property, Except that he 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 him, and it is his duty 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 he be fresh thereto by daytime and by nights; And that's a hard and stiff and rough