תמונות בעמוד

the declaration of the Latin version (King's MS. 15. A. vü.), that the same fables “ were rendered into English by the orders of king Alfred,” is more than sufficient to outweigh the testimony of the Harleian MS. 4333, which ascribes Marie's original to a king Henry. It also seems to have escaped the same diligent antiquaries, that the English language of Henry the First could not have differed materially from the AngloSaxon of Alfred; that any person, whether native or foreigner, who could master the one, would find no difficulty in comprehending the other; and consequently, that the argument raised on the imagined obscurities of the earlier copy is perfectly groundless. As to “the uncouth language of Robert of Gloucester,” which is supposed to have cost Marie so much labour in acquiring, we must remember, that however horrific this dialect may appear to modern Frenchmen,- printed as it is with a chevaux-de-frise of Saxon consonants,—its rude orthography only slightly varied from the language of

general conversation in the Chronicler's age. There could be no greater difficulty in learning to read or speak it, than is felt by a foreigner in modern English. In addition, there is reason to believe, that in Marie's time, some popular Anglo-Saxon subjects were rendered accessible to the modern reader, by the same process which fitted the early poetry of Italy for general circulation at the present day. We know, from certain testimony, that at a subsequent period the Brut of Layamon was made intelligible by a more recent version; and probability seems to favour the belief, that such was the case with the

Sayings of Alfred,” formerly in the Cotton Library. If these “Sayings” were registered by one of Alfred's contemporaries, or in the Anglo-Saxon language, they were doubtlessly written in the same metre as the translation appended to the edition of his Boethius, and would only have received the dress in which they are exhibited by Wanley, about the time of Richard I., or John. Mr. Sharon Turner has produced this collection of apophthegms, as the first specimen of English prose; but they are evidently written in the same mixed style of rhyme and alli



terative metre, which we find in Layamon. It is this circumstance which has suggested the possibility of their being recorded at an earlier date than the language in which they are written seems to indicate: but of course neither this, nor the claim of Alfred to the English version of Æsop, is insisted upon as demonstrable. The only object of these remarks is to impugn the evidence which MM. de la Rue and Roquefort consider as conclusive in favour of Henry I.

In closing this excursive note it may not be amiss to observe, that the Harl. MS. calls Marie's collection of fables L’Ysopet or the little Æsop, of which a Dutch translation is said to have been made in the 13th century. (See Van Wyn, Historische Avondstonden, p. 263.) This title appears to have been given it by way of distinction from another collection of fables, probably made at an earlier period, and derived from a purer source. The latter is mentioned in the prologue to Merlant's Spiegel Historiael.

In Cyrus tiden was Esopus
De Favelare, wi lessent dus,
Die de favele conde maken
Hoe beesten en vogle spraken,
Hierute es gemaect Aviaen
Eñ andere boeken, sonder waen,
Die man Esopus heet, bi namen.
Waren oec die si bequamen
Die hevet Calfstaf eñ Noydekyn

Ghedicht, en rime scone eñ fyn. i. e. We read that Esop, the fabler, who made fables how the birds and beasts converse, lived in the time of Cyrus. No doubt Aviaen (Avienus ?) drew from it, and other books which people call Esopus. Calfstaf and Noydekyn put into fair rhymes those which they took pleasure in.



[See DissERTATION I. page xl.]

THE text of this poem has been formed from a collation of the Cotton MSS. Tiberius A. vi. B. i. B. iv. In the translation an attempt has been made, to preserve the original idiom as nearly as possible without producing obscurity; and in every deviation from this rule, the literal meaning has been inserted within brackets. The words in parentheses are supplied for the purpose of making the narrative more connected, and have thus been separated from the context, that one of the leading features in the style of Anglo-Saxon poetry might be more apparent to the English reader. For the benefit of the Anglo-Saxon student, a close attention has been paid in rendering the grammatical inflections of the text, a practice almost wholly disused since the days of Hickes; but which cannot be too strongly recommended to every future translator from this language, whether of prose or verse.

The extracts from Mr. Turner's and Mr. Ingram's versions cited in the notes, have been taken from the History of the Anglo-Saxons, vol. ii. and the recent edition of the Saxon Chronicle. But those variations alone have been noticed which differed in common from the present translation.

Æthelstán cyning,
eorla drihten,
beorna beáh-gyfa,
and his brother eac,
Eadmund ætheling',

Æthelstan (the) king,
lord of earls,
bracelet-giver of barons,
and his brother eke,
Eadmund (the) prince,

The reader must be cautioned against in Anglo-Saxon poetry; and though receiving this literal interpretation of generally applied to persons of eminent the text, in the same literal spirit. The rank or exalted courage, we have no terms eorl and beorn-man and bairn- proof of their appropriation as hereditary are used with great latitude of meaning titles of distinction at the early period

ealdor langne-tir,
geslogon æt secce,

very illustrious chieftain,
combated in [at] battle,

your vessel

when this ode was composed. The word pound adjectives “tir-meahtig" (exceed“ Ætheling”-strictly speaking The son ing mighty), “tir-fæst” (exceeding fast of the æthel or noble-appears to have or firm) “tir-eadig" (exceeding blessed), gained an import in England, nearly evidently point to the first of these. corresponding to our modern prince. There can be little doubt but the followIn the Saxon Chronicle it is almost al- ing passage of Beowulf preserves another ways, if not exclusively, confined to per- compound of “tir :" sonages of the blood royal. Perhaps

Swylce ic maga-thegnas, there is neither of these terms whose

mine hate, modern representative differs so essen with feonda gehwone, tially from its original as “ ealdor.”

flotan eowerne, At the present day no idea of rank is

niw tyr-wydne, attached to the word “elder," and none

nacan on sand, of authority except among some reli

arum healdan. gious sects, and a few incorporated societies. In Anglo-Saxon poetry it rarely,

And I will also if ever, occurs as marking seniority in order my fellow-thanes, point of age. Even the infant Edward against every foe, is called an “elder of earls."

deep (and) exceeding wide,
And feng his bearn

boat on the sand,
syth-than to cyne-rice;
cyld unweaxen,

carefully to hold.
eorla ealdor,

“ Niwe” is here equivalent to niwel; tham wcs Eadweard nama.

as in the expression, “niwe be næsse

low by the nose or promontory. “ TyrAnd his bairn took

wydne nacan" is clearly synonymous after that to the kingdom;

with “sid-fæthmed scip,” the wide-bochild unwaxen,

somed ship, occurring shortly afterwards. elder of earls,

The learned editor's version, pice obducto whom was Edward name. tam, is founded on an expression still ? Elder! a lasting glory, T. Elder, of preserved in his native language (Iceancient race, I. But «tir" is not used landic), and of which Ihre has resubstantively in the present instance. corded the following example: “Let han .“ Ealdor langne-tir," or “ Langne-tir leggia eld i tyrwid oc göra bala scipino;" ealdor”-exhibits the same inverted con- Jussit ignem tædæ subjiciendum, pystruction as “flota fami-heals," ship ramque in nave struendam. “ Arum," foamy-necked; “ ætheling ær-god,”

which the Latin version renders “renoble exceeding-good, &c. The present mis," is used adverbially, like bwilum, translation of * tir” is founded upon an gyddum, &c. The vessel lay upon the etymology pointed out in the glossary to beach, and was afterwards moored : Sæmund's Edda, where it is declared to there could therefore be no use for her be synonymous with the Danish “zyr," oars. The present version of “arum” is and the German “zier.” In the Low founded on the following passage, where German dialects, the z of the upper cir. Waltheow says she has no doubt but cles (which is compounded of t, s, like Hrothulf will prove a kind protector to the Greek & of d, s) is almost always her children : represented by t, and splendour, bright Thet he tha geogothe wile, ness, glory, &c. are certainly among the

arum healdan, most prevalent ideas attached to "tir” when used as a substantive. If this in

That he the youths will, terpretation be correct,-power, domi

carefully protect (hold). p. 90. nion, or victory, must be considered as Arum (lit. with cares, attentions,) is in only secondary meanings; and the com- the dative case plural. See note 34.

sweorda ecgum,
ymbe Brunanburh.
Bord-weal clufon,
heowon heatho-linda”,
hamora lafum“,

with edges of swords,
near Brunanburh.
(They) clove the board-wall,
hewed the high lindens,
with relics of hammers (i. e. swords),


p. 175.

They hewed the noble banners, T. It may, however, be contended, that And hewed their banners, I. In this though “lind” in all these passages interpretation of " lind” all our voca- evidently means a shield; yet "beatha bularies agree.

The translation of the lind,” whose qualifying adjective seems text has been founded upon the follow- rather an inappropriate epithet for a ing authorities. When Beowulf re- buckler, may have a different import. solves to encounter the “fire-drake" The following examples of a similar who had laid waste his territory, he combination will remove even this oborders a “wig-bord,” war-board” (as jection : it is called) of iron to be made ; for we

Ne hyrde ic cymlicor, are told that,

ceol gegyrwan, Wisse he gearwe,

hilde.wæpnum, thet him holt-wudu,

and heatho-wædum, helpan ne meohte,

billum and byrnum,
lind with lige.

Nor heard I of a comelier,
He knew readily,

keel (ship) prepared,
that him forest-wood,

(with) war weapons, might not help,

and high-weeds, (garments) linden against fire.

with bills and burnies.
And when Wiglaf prepares to join his Nemne him heatho-byrne,
lord in the combat, it is said of him : helpe gefremede.
Hond-rond gefeng,

Unless him (his) high-burnie,
Geolwe linde.

with help had assisted.
Hand-round he seized,

Mr. Grimm found this expression in the yellow linden.

the Low-Saxon fragment of Hildebrand In the fragment of Judith, “lind” and and Hathubrand, where misled by the "bord” are used in the same connexion common interpretation of “lind-wigas in the present text:

gende,” vexilliferi-he has expended

much ingenuity and learning in making Stopon heatho-rincas,

a very simple narrative unnecessarily obo beornas to beadowe,

bordum bedeahte,
hwealfum lindum.

hewun harmlicco,

huitte scilti, (The) lofty warriors stepped,

unti im iro lintun,
bairns to (the) battle,

Juttilo wurtun.
bedeckt (with) boards,
(with) concave lindens.

(they) hewed harm-like,

(their) white shields, The following extract from the fragment

until to them their lindens, of Brith noth shows both terms to have

became little. been synonymous :

Mr. Grimm translates “lintun," geLeofsunu gemælde,

bende-bands or girdles. and his lind ahof,

* The survivors of the family, T. With bord to gebeorge.

the wrecks of their hammers, I. The Leofsunu spoke,

only authority for the former interpretaand hove up his linden,

tion is a meaning assigned to “hamora board for protection.

in Lye's vocabulary. It will be suffi.

p. 194.

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