MoboReader> Literature > Anglo-Saxon Literature

   Chapter 4 THE SCHOOLS OF KENT.

Anglo-Saxon Literature By John Earle Characters: 28072

Updated: 2017-11-30 00:05


§ 1.

It is a debatable question whether any Roman culture lived through the Saxon conquest.

The Saxon conquest of Britain was certainly, on the whole, a destructive one, and it has been justly contrasted with the Frankish conquest of Gaul; where the conquerors quickly assimilated with the conquered. The relics of Roman civilisation which the Saxons adopted, were indeed few. This is true, as a general statement. But there is some ground for regarding Kent as a case apart. Here all accounts seem to indicate a gradual and less violent intrusion of the new race, and to suggest the possibility that there was not for that area a complete break in the traditions and customs of life. The capital city itself, Dorobernia (Canterbury), whatever revolution it may have suffered, was at least not destroyed. There is nothing that requires us to assume the extinction of the schools of grammar which existed presumably in Kent as in Gaul.

The foundation of schools by the Roman mission is not recorded, nor does Bede say anything to imply it when thirty years later he describes the foundation of schools in East Anglia. These were founded by king Sigberct because he desired to have good institutions such as he had seen in Gaul, and his wishes were carried into effect by bishop Felix, after the pattern of the schools of Kent.57 Whether it would be possible to trace the study of Roman law as a scholastic exercise through these obscure times, is very doubtful.58 But certainly there is something about the Latinity of our earliest legal documents, that has a local and even a vernacular aspect. Slight as these traces may be, they are interesting enough to merit consideration.

In the Kentish laws are preserved our oldest extant relics of ancestral custom. The first code is that of ?thelberht, with this title:-"This be the Dooms that ?thelbriht, king, ordained in Augustine's days." It is much concerned with penalties for personal injuries. These are some of the "Dooms":-

Cap. 40. If an ear be smitten off, 6 shillings amends (b?t).

" 41. If the ear be pierced through, 3 shillings.

" 43. If an eye is lost, 50 shillings.

" 44. If mouth or eye be damaged, 12 shillings.

" 45. If the nose be pierced, 9 shillings.

" 51. For the four front teeth, 6 shillings each; the tooth that stands next, 4 shillings; the next to that, 3 shillings; and thenceforth, each, 1 shilling.

Penalties for theft are graduated according to the quality of the person injured, i.e., according to the different orders of men in the body politic, each of whom has a separate value: king, noble, freeman, serf, slave. Such we may suppose to have been the primitive institutes of the tribes in the old mother country on the Continent. But the code is headed by a captel, in which the property of the Church is valued beyond that of the king, and the same applies to the higher clergy. "Cap. 1. The property of God and the Church, 12 fold; Bishop's property, 11 fold; Priest's, 9 fold [the same as the King's]; Deacon's, 6 fold; Clerk's, 3 fold." Next follows one that we may well suppose might have been the first of the pre-Christian code: "Cap. 2. If the king summon his people to him, and one there do them evil-double b?t, and 50 shillings to the king." Bede mentions (ii., 5) these laws of ?thelberht, and especially this feature of them, that they began with the protection of Church property. He also says, that the king constituted these laws according to Roman precedent (juxta exempla Romanorum), by which some have been led to expect that there would be an element of Roman law in them. The imitation consisted only in committing the laws to writing.

?thelberht died in 616, and then came a heathen reaction under his son Eadbald; but he was converted to Christianity in 618 by Bishop Laurentius. His son Erconbriht, who succeeded in 640, was the first king who dared to demolish the heathen fanes. Bede informs us that this king made a law for the observance of the Lenten fast; but no law of the kind appears until we come to the laws of Wihtred. Ecgbriht succeeded his father in 664, under whom the waning power of Kent reasserted its former sway. To him succeeded first Hloth?re in 673, and then Eadric. These two reigns were short, and the names of both the kings stand at the head of the next Kentish code.

The introductory sentence of this code was this:-"Hlothh?re and Eadric, kings of the men of Kent, enlarged the laws which their predecessors had made aforetime, with these dooms following":-

Cap. 8. If one man implead another in a matter, and he cite the man to a 'Methel' or a 'Thing', let the man always give security to the other, and do him such right, as the Kentish judges prescribe to them.

This code has a little series of laws concerning offences to the sense of honour, and consequent danger to the king's peace:-

Cap. 11. If in another's house one man calleth another man a perjurer, or assail him offensively with injurious words; let him pay a shilling to the owner of the house, and 6 shillings to the insulted man, and forfeit 12 shillings to the king.

Cap. 12. If a man remove another's stoup where men drink without offence, by old right he pays a shilling to him who owns the house, and 6 shillings to him whose stoop was taken away, and 12 shillings to the king.

Cap. 13. If weapon be drawn where men drink, and no harm be done; a shilling to the owner of the house, and 12 shillings to the king.

After a troublous time of encroachment from the side of Wessex, the kingdom of Kent had again a time of honour, if not of absolute independence, under king Wihtred (691-725), who, in the preamble to his laws, is called the most gracious king of the Kentish folk (se mildesta cyning Cantwara). His laws are mostly ecclesiastical. The rights of the Church and of her ministers, the keeping of the Sunday, manumission of slaves at the altar, penalties for heathen rites, these subjects make the bulk of a code of 28 captels, of which the last four are about theft. The closing provision is characteristic of the state of society:

Cap. 28. If a man from a distance, or a stranger, go off the road, and he neither shout nor blow a horn, as a thief he is liable to be examined, or slain, or redeemed.

In the preamble this code is precisely dated on the 6th day of August in Wihtred's fifth year, which is 696. Also it mentions Berghamstyde, which seems to mean Berkhamstead (Herts), as the place of enactment, and Gybmund, bishop of Rochester, as having been present. Doubts have been cast upon the genuineness of this code, but it is defended in Schmid's introduction. This is the last of the laws of Kent.

The Kentish laws are found in a register of the twelfth century, which has a high character for fidelity. No doubt the substance of them is faithfully preserved. But they are not in the original Kentish dialect; they have been translated into West Saxon. The translation has not, however, obliterated all traces of the original; there are some peculiarities which survive, and which enable us to see through the present form those traces of a higher antiquity, which strengthen that confidence which the contents are calculated to inspire.

The Kentish dialect was the first literary form of the language of our Saxon ancestors. It has been thought that in the Epinal Gloss, of which a specimen will be given below, we have the best extant representation of this ancient dialect. Early in the ninth century we have some original documents in the Kentish dialect, and these are our surest guides in judging of other specimens.59

The following extract is from a legal document of the year 832. Luba had made a deed of gift from her estate to the fraternity of Christ Church at Canterbury, and the following sanction was appended:

? Ic luba eaemod godes eiwen eas forecwedenan god ? eas elmessan gesette ? gefestnie ob minem erfelande et mundlingham eem hiium to cristes cirican ? ic bidde ? an godes libgendes naman bebiade e?m men ee eis land ? eis erbe hebbe et mundlingham eet he eas god foreleste oe wiaralde ende se man se eis healdan wille ? lestan eet ic beboden hebbe an eisem gewrite se him seald ? gehealden sia hiabenlice bledsung se his ferwerne oeee hit agele se him seald ? gehealden helle wite bute he to fulre bote gecerran wille gode ? mannum uene ualete.

I, Luba, the humble handmaid of God, appoint and establish these foresaid benefactions and alms from my heritable land at Mundlingham to the brethren at Christ Church; and I entreat, and in the name of the living God I command, the man who may have this land and this inheritance at Mundlingham, that he continue these benefactions to the world's end. The man who will keep and discharge this that I have commanded in this writing, to him be given and kept the heavenly blessing; he who hinders or neglects it, to him be given and kept the punishment of hell, unless he will repent with full amends to God and to men. Fare ye well.

§ 2.

The middle of the seventh century was a very dark period throughout the West. The lingering rays of ancient culture had grown very faint in France, Italy, and Spain. Literary production had ceased in France since Gregory of Tours and his friend Venantius Fortunatus, the poet; in Spain, soon after Isidore of Seville, the Christian area had been narrowed by the Moslem invasion; in Italy, though the tradition of learning was never extinguished, yet no writer of eminence appeared for a long time after Gregory the Great. At such a time it was that the seed of learning found a new and fruitful soil among the Anglo-Saxon people; and they who had been the latest receivers of the civilising element, quickly took the lead in religion and learning.

In the year 668 three remarkable men came into Britain, These were Theodore, a Greek of Tarsus, who came as Archbishop of Canterbury; Hadrian, an African monk who had deprecated his own appointment to that office; and Biscop Baducing (called Benedict Biscop), an Angle of Northumbria, who had left his retreat in the monastery of Lerins, to guide and accompany the travellers into his native country.

This had risen out of an unforeseen event, and had almost the appearance of accident. But the consequences were great and far-reaching. Theodore organised the English Church upon lines that proved permanent. A new era was also inaugurated for literature and art. Literature was represented by Hadrian, who set up education at St. Augustine's upon an improved plan; and art, especially in relation to religious and educational institutions-books, buildings, ritual-was the province of Benedict Biscop.

Up to this time education and literature had two rival sources, the old schools of Kent, and the schools of the Irish teachers. But from Hadrian's coming a new literary era commences. For more than a hundred years our island was the seat of learning beyond any other country in the world of the West. Even Greek learning, extinct elsewhere, was revived for a time; and Bede, whose childhood had corresponded to the opening of this new activity, looked back on it when he was old as a glorious time, and he put it on record that he had known many scholars to whom both the Latin and Greek languages were as their mother tongue.

Of those who were formed in the school of Hadrian, the first and most conspicuous is Aldhelm. His rudimentary education must have been over before he knew Hadrian. The school of Maidulf gave him his boyish training at the monastery which was called after the Irish founder, and which has given name to the town of Malmesbury (Maidulfes burh). So Aldhelm stands between the two systems, the old Irish and the new Kentish. His preference was for the latter, but his works retain the characteristics of both. He has a love of grandiloquence which is both Keltic and Saxon, and a delight in alliteration which is more especially Saxon. His familiarity with the national poetry looms often through his Latin. But his proper characteristics, those whereby he fills a position altogether his own, are apart from these peculiarities. He is the scholar of the age, the type of that set whom Bede delighted to recall, who knew Latin and Greek like their mother tongue. He is the father of Anglo-Latin poetry. He made a zealous study of the Latin metres, and he commended the pursuit to other scholars. His Greek knowledge manifests itself everywhere: not always with a good effect, according to present taste; but in a manner which is of historical value as demonstrating his real familiarity with the Greek language.

Aldhelm's great work, and the work which most conveys his interpretation of the spiritual conditions of his time, is his book, "De Laude Virginitatis," in praise of Celibacy. But for the purposes of literary history, his artistic studies are of more importance than those which are strictly religious and ecclesiastical. Of the greatest interest for us are his Riddles. These are short Latin poems somewhat after the model of Symphosius, whose work he describes,60 and whom he seems ambitious to outstrip. The riddles of Symphosius are uniformly of three hexameter lines, those of Aldhelm vary in length from four lines to sixteen; rarely more. The external structure is that of the Epigram, with the object speaking in the first person. The riddles both of Symphosius and Aldhelm are so closely identified with the vernacular riddles of the famous Exeter Song Book, that the reader may be glad of a specimen from each author. It should be premised that in each collection the subject stands as a title at the head of each piece. The subject of the sixteenth in Symphosius is the book-moth:-

DE TINEA.

Litera me pavit, nec quid sit litera novi,

In libris vixi nec sum studiosior inde,

Exedi musas nec adhuc tamen ipse profeci.

I have fed upon literature, yet know not what it is; I have lived among books, yet am not the more studious for it; I have devoured the Muses, yet up to the present time I have made no

progress.

One of Aldhelm's riddles is on the Alphabet; and this will be a fit specimen here, as containing something that is germane to the history of literature:-

Nos den? et septem genit? sine voce sorores,

Sex alias nothas non dicimus adnumerandas,

Nascimur ex ferro rursus ferro moribund?,

Necnon et volucris penna volitantis ad ?thram;

Terni nos fratres incerta matre crearunt;

Qui cupit instanter sitiens audire, docemus,

Turn cito prompta damus rogitanti verba silenter.

We are seventeen sisters voiceless born; six others, half-sisters, we exclude from our set; children of iron by iron we die, but children too of the bird's wing that flies so high; three brethren our sires, be our mother as may; if any one is very eager to hear, we tell him, and quickly give answer without any sound.61

Aldhelm is the first of the Anglo-Latin poets, and he was a classical scholar at a time when to be so was a great distinction. Both in prose and verse, his style has the faults which belong to an age of revived study. His love of learning, his keen appreciation of its beauty and its value, have tended to inflate his sentences with an appearance of display. His poetic diction is simpler than that of his prose; but here, too, he is habitually over-elevated, whence he becomes sometimes stilted, and oftentimes he drops below pitch with an inadequate and disappointing close. But we must honour him in the position which he holds. He is the leader of that noble series of English scholars who represent the first endeavouring stage of recovery after the great eclipse of European culture.

There is nothing of his remaining in the vernacular; but that he was an English poet we have testimony which, though late, is not to be disregarded. William of Malmesbury quotes a book of King Alfred's, which said that Aldhelm had been a peerless writer of English poetry: and he adds, moreover, that a popular song, which had been mentioned by Alfred as Aldhelm's, was still commonly sung in his own time-that is, in the twelfth century.

Attempts have been made to identify some of our extant Anglo-Saxon literature with a name so eminent. In 1835 the Anglo-Saxon Psalter of the Paris manuscript was first printed at Oxford, and as this book gives a hundred of the Psalms in vernacular poetry, the suggestion that they might be Aldhelm's, though modernised, had rhetorical attractions for the editor (Thorpe), and supplied him with material for a few rather idle sentences of his Latin preface. In 1840 Jacob Grimm edited (from Thorpe's editio princeps) two poems of the Vercelli book, the "Andreas" and the "Elene;" and in his preface he sought to fix this poetry upon Aldhelm by a line of argument altogether fallacious, as was afterwards shown by Mr. Kemble in his edition of the "Andreas" for the ?lfric Society.

That which we have to show for this period in the native Kentish dialect is less ambitious, but it will not be despised by the considerate reader. In the beginnings of learning, when students had not the apparatus of grammars and dictionaries, which now, being common, are almost as much a matter of course as any gift of nature, it was necessary for students to make lists of words and phrases for themselves, and after a while a few of these would be thrown together, and would be reduced to alphabetical order for facility of reference. It is to such a process as this that we owe the Glossaries which form an interesting branch of Anglo-Saxon literature. The Epinal Gloss is the oldest of these, and it is very valuable because of the archaic forms of many of the words. A selection is here given by way of specimen:-62

EPINAL GLOSS.

(Cooper, Appendix B, p. 153.)

Alba spina, haegu thorn (hawthorn).

Aesculus, boecae (beech).

Achalantis, luscina netigal? (nightingale).

Acrifolus, holegn (holly).

Alnus, alaer (alder).

Abies, saeppae (fir).

Argella, laam (loam).

Accitulium, geacaes surae (sorrel).

Absintium, uuermod (wormwood).

Alacris, snel (swift, German schnell).

Alveus, stream rad (stream-road = channel).

Aquil?, segnas (military standards).

Anser, goos (goose).

Beta, berc, arbor (birch).

Ballena, hran (whale).

Buculus, rand beag (buckler).

Berruca, uueart? (wart).

Cados, ambras (casks).

Chaos, duolma (confusion, error).

Cicuta, hymblicae (hemlock).

Cofinus, mand (hamper).

Fulix, ganot, dop aenid (gannet, dip-chick).

Filix, fearn (fern).

Fasianus, uuor hana (pheasant).

Fungus, suamm (German schwamm).

Fragor, suoeg (swough, sough).

Finiculus, finugl (fennel).

Follis, blest baeelg (blast-bellows).

Glarea, cisil (pebble, cf. Chesil Bank).

Hibiscum, biscop uuyrt (marsh mallow).

Horodius, uualh hebuc (foreign hawk).

Hirundo, sualuuae (swallow).

Intestinum, thearm (German Darm).

Jungetum, risc thyfil (jungle).

Inprobus, gimach (troublesome).

Iners, asolcaen (lazy).

Inter primores, bituien aeldrum (among the chief men).

Juris periti, red boran (counsellors).

Invisus, laath (loath).

Iuuar (= jubar), leoma, earendil (gleam, beacon, crest).

Ignarium, al giuueorc (fire-work).

Ibices, firgen gaett (mountain goats, chamois).

Lunules, mene scillingas (coins or bracteates on a necklace).

Lucius, haecid (hake, German Hecht).

Lolium, atae (oats).

Limax, snel (snail).

Ligustrum, hunaeg sugae (honeysuckle).

Manipulatim, threatmelum (in bands).

Manica, gloob (glove).

Mascus, grima (mask).

Malva, cotuc, geormant lab (mallow).

Mars, Tiig (cf. Tuesday).

Ninguit, hsniuuith (snoweth).

Nigra spina, slach thorn (sloe-thorn).

Nanus, duerg (dwarf).

Olor, aelbitu (the elk, wild swan).

Piraticum, uuicing sceadan (pirates).

Pares, uuyrdae (Fates).

Perna, flicci (flitch).

Pictus acu, mie naeelae sasiuuid (embroidered).

Pronus, nihol (perpendicular).

Pollux, thuma (thumb).

Quoquomodo, aengitinga (anyhow).

Rumex, edroc.

Ramnus, theban (thorn).

Salix, salch (sallow).

Sturnus, staer (starling).

Titio, brand (firebrand).

Tignarius, hrofuuyrcta (roofwright).

Vadimonium, borg (pledge, security).

In this glossary we see the preparation for our modern Latin-English dictionaries. Already, as early as the reign of Augustus, the foundation of the Latin dictionary was laid by Verrius Flaccus, but his dictionary would naturally consist of Latin words with Latin explanations. But in the seventh century there was a demand for Latin vocabularies, with equivalents in the vernacular languages; and here, in the Epinal Glossary, we have the earliest known example of such a work. At first such glossaries would be merely lists of words formed in the course of studying some one or two Latin texts, and in process of time would follow the compilation of several such glossaries into one, until, in the tenth and eleventh centuries, we find vocabularies of some compass (as ?lfric's), and by the fifteenth century we have such bulky dictionaries as the "Catholicon" and the "Promptorium Parvulorum."

We will close this chapter with specimens of the "Psalter of St. Augustine," which received an Anglo-Saxon gloss (dialect Kentish63) at the end of the ninth, or early in the tenth century. The book has been already described above, p. 33.

PSALM XLIX. (L.), 7:-"Hear, O my people," &c.

geher folc min ond sprecu to israhela folce ond ic cythu the th?tte god god thin ic eam

7. Audi populus meus et loquar Israhel et testificabor tibi quoniam Deus Deus tuus ego sum

na les ofer onsegdnisse thine ic dregu the onsegdnisse soth thine in gesihthe minre sind aa

8. Non super sacrificia tua arguam te holocausta autem tua in conspectu meo sunt semper

ic ne on foo of huse thinum calferu ne of eowdum thinum buccan

9. Non accipiam de domo tua vitulos neque de gregibus tuis hircos

for thon min sind all wildeor wuda neat in muntum ond oexen

10. Quoniam me? sunt omnes fer? silvarum jumenta in montibus et boves

ic on cneow all tha flegendan heofenes ond hiow londes mid mec is

11. Cognovi omnia volatilia c?li et species agri mecum est

gif ic hyngriu ne cweothu ic to the min is sothlice ymb hwerft eorthan ond fylnis his

12. Si esuriero non dicam tibi, meus est enim orbis terr? et plenitudo ejus

ah ic eotu fl?sc ferra oththe blod buccena ic drinco

13. Numquid manducabo carnes taurorum aut sanguinem hircorum potabo

ageld gode onsegdnisse lofes ond geld tham hestan gehat thin

14. Immola Deo sacrificium laudis et redde Altissimo vota tua

gece mec in dege geswinces thines th?t ic genere thec ond thu miclas mec

15. Invoca me in die tribulationis tu? ut eripiam te et magnificabis me

D I A P S A L M A.

to th?m synfullan sothlice cweth god for hwon thu asagas rehtwisnisse mine ond genimes cythnisse

16. Peccatori autem dixit Deus Quare tu enarras justitias meas et adsumes testamentum

mine thorh muth thinne

meum per os tuum

thu sothlice thu fiodes theodscipe ond thu awurpe word min efter the

17. Tu vero odisti disciplinam et projecisti sermones meos post te

gif thu gesege theof somud thu urne mid hine ond mid unreht h?mderum d?l thinne thu settes

18. Si videbas furem simul currebas cum eo et cum adulteris portionem tuam ponebas

muth thin genihtsumath mid nithe ond tunge thin hleothrade facen

19. Os tuum abundavit nequitia et lingua tua concinnavit dolum

sittende with broether thinum thu teldes ond with suna moeder thinre thu settes eswic

20. Sedens adversus fratrem tuum detrahebas et adversus filium matris tu? ponebas scandalum

thas thu dydes ond ic swigade thu gewoendes on unrehtwisnisse th?t ic w?re the gelic

21. H?c fecisti et tacui existimasti iniquitatem quod ero tibi similis

ic threu thec ond ic setto tha ongegn onsiene thinre Ongeotath thas alle tha ofer geoteliath dryhten

Arguam te et statuam illa contra faciem tuam (22.) intelligite h?c omnes qui obliviscimini Dominum

ne hwonne gereafie ond ne sie se generge

ne quando rapiat et non sit qui eripiat

onsegdnis lofes gearath mec ond ther sithfet is thider ic oteawu him haelu godes

23. Sacrificium laudis honorificabit me et illic iter est in quo ostendam illi salutare Dei

* * *

PSALM LXXVI. (LXXVII.)

Ond smegende ic eam in allum wercum thinum ond in gehaeldum thinum ic bieode

13. Et meditatus sum in omnibus operibus tuis et in observationibus tuis exercebor

god in halgum weg thin hwelc god micel swe swe god ur thu earth god thu the doest

14. Deus in sancto via tua quis Deus magnus sicut Deus noster (15.) tu es Deus qui facis

wundur ana cuthe thu dydes in folcum megen thin gefreodes in earme thinum folc

mirabilia solus notam fecisti in populis virtutem tuam (16.) liberasti in brachio tuo populum

thin bearn

tuum filios Israhel et Joseph

gesegun thec weter god gesegun thec weter ond on dreordun gedroefde werun niolnisse mengu

17. Viderunt te aqu? Deus viderunt te aqu? et timuerunt turbati sunt abyssi (18.) multitudo

swoeges wetre stefne saldun wolcen ond sothlice strelas thine thorh leordun stefn thunurrade

sonitus aquarum Vocem dederunt nubes et enim sagitt? tu? pertransierunt (19.) vox tonitrui

thinre in hweole

tui in rota

in lihton bliccetunge thine eorthan ymbhwyrfte gesaeh ond onstyred wes eorthe

Inluxerunt coruscationes tu? orbi terr? vidit et commota est terra

in sae wegas thine ond stige thine in wetrum miclum ond swethe thine ne bioth oncnawen

20. In mari vi? tu? et semit? tu? in aquis multis et vestigia tua non cognoscentur

thu gelaeddes swe swe scep folc thin in honda mosi ond aaron

21. Deduxisti sicut oves populum tuum in manu Moysi et Aaron

These specimens of the Kentish dialect (with the exception of the Epinal Gloss) are of much later date than the times which our narrative has yet reached; and they are only offered as a proximate representation of that which was the first of English dialects to receive literary culture. This dialect is peculiarly interesting as being that from which the West Saxon was developed; in other words, it is the earliest form of that imperial dialect in which the great body of extant Saxon literature is preserved. But the Kentish did not ripen into the maturer outlines of the West Saxon without the intervention of a third dialect; and in order to appreciate this it is necessary for us to review that more spacious culture of which the scene was laid in the country of the Northern Angles.

57 "Ecclesiastical History," iii., 18.

58 Aldhelm speaks of the study of Roman law in connexion with other scholastic studies, as Latin verses and music. But then that was after the new start given to education by Theodore and Hadrian. A century later, Alcuin described the studies at V York in this order,-grammar, rhetoric, law.-Wharton, "Anglia Sacra," ii. 6; Alcuin's poem, "De Pontificibus &c."

59 They are in Kemble, "Codex Diplomaticus," Nos. 226, 228, 229, 231, 235, 238.

60 Aldhelm's "Works," ed. Giles, p. 228.

61 Seventeen consonants and six vowels; made with iron style and erased with the same, or else made with a bird's quill; whatever the instrument, three fingers are the agents; and we can convey answer without delay even in situations where it would be inconvenient to speak.

62 I have given the th, or t, or e, as in the manuscript. This is done in the present instance because a peculiar interest attaches to it in the earliest specimens of writing. The frequency of th, and the rarity of the monograms, is itself a distinguishing feature. Speaking in general terms of Anglo-Saxon literature, as it appears in manuscripts, it might be fairly said that there is no th; this sound is represented by e or t. And of these two, the modified Roman character, D e, is found to prevail over the native Rune (t) in the oldest extant writings. Throughout this little book the th is commonly used, as being most convenient for the general reader.

63 Transactions of the Philological Society for 1875-6.

Free to Download MoboReader
(← Keyboard shortcut) Previous Contents (Keyboard shortcut →)
 Novels To Read Online Free

Scan the QR code to download MoboReader app.

Back to Top

shares