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give to each of these twenty methods of spelling many the distinct and different sounds which their different combinations of letters would call for. This would be to make twenty words where there surely was but one. He would probably reduce them all, wherever he met with them, to the single and simple sound of many, which all of them aimed to produce.

This, then, is what I would wish to have done to the reader's hand, in order to facilitate and encourage his undertaking. For remove the obstacles of uncouth spelling and unfamiliar character, and there would be little more difficulty in understanding an Anglo-Saxon writer than Burns' Poems. So as to the form of the characters of their alphabet. That may be changed without affecting the language. It is not very long since the forms of the English and French characters were changed from the black letter to the Roman; yet the languages were not affected. Nor are they by the difference between the printed and written characters now in use. The following note, written by Elfric, is not the less Latin because expressed in Anglo-Saxon characters:

'Єzo Elfricuɲ гcɲipri hunc Libɲum in monasteriò Baldonio et dedi Brihtpoldo Preporito.'

We may say truly, then, that the Anglo-Saxon language would still be the same, were it written in

the characters now used in English, and its orthography conformed to that of the English; and certainly the acquisition of it to the English student would be greatly facilitated by such an operation.

A SPECIMEN

OF THE

FORM IN WHICH THE ANGLO-SAXON WRITINGS STILL
EXTANT MIGHT BE ADVANTAGEOUSLY PUB-

LISHED, FOR FACILITATING TO THE ENGLISH
STUDENT THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE

ANGLO-SAXON DIALECT.

[blocks in formation]

'The prefixes ge, ye, y, i, being equivalent, I shall use the y for them all.

4. God y-saw tha that it good was, and he to-dealed that liht from tham thestrum.

God saw then that it good was, and he dealed that light from the darkness.

5. And het that liht day, and the thestre night. Tha was y-worden even and morowen an day.

And hight that light day, and the darkness night. Then was wrought even and morn ane day.

6. God cwoth tha aft, y-werth nu fastness to-mids them waterum, & to-'tweme the water from them waterum.

God quoth them afer, were now fastness amidst the waters, & twain the waters from the waters.

7. And God y-wroht the fastness, and to-twemed the water the weron under there fastness from them the weron boven there fastness; it was tha swa y-done.

And God wrought the fastness, and twained the waters that were under the fastness from them that were aboven there fastness; it was then so done.

8. And God het the fastness heavenan, and was tha y-wroden even & morowen other day.

And God hight the fastness heaven, and was then wrought even & morn other day.

9. God tha soothlic cwoth been y-gathered tha water the sind under there heavenan, and atewy

Twam (tweme) signifies twain.

4. God geseah tha that hit god was, and he to dælde that leoht fram tham theostrum.

5. And het that leoht dæg, and tha theostra niht. Tha was ge-worden æfen & morgen an dæg.

6. God cwæth tha eft, gewurthe nu fæstnis tomiddes tham waterum, and totwæme tha wæteru fram tham wæterum.

7. And God geworhte tha fæstnisse, & totwæmde the wæteru the wæron under thære fæstnisse fram tham the wæron bufan thære fæstnisse; hit was tha swa gedon.

8. And God het tha fæstnisse heofenan, and was tha geworden æfen & morgen other dæg.

9. God tha sothlice cwath, beon gegaderode tha wæteru the sind under theare heofenan, and

dryness; it was tha swa y-done.

God then forsooth quoth, be gathered the waters that are under the heavens, and shew dryness; it was then so done.

10. And God y-kyed the dryness earthan, and the water y-gathering he het seas: God y-saw tha that it good was.

And God called the dryness earth, and the water gathering he hight seas: God saw then that it good was.

II. And cwoth, sprute se earth growend gras & seed workend, and apple bear tree wæstm workend after his kin, these seed sy on him selfum over earthen; it was tha swa y-done.

And quoth, sprout the earth growing grass & seed working, and apple bear tree fruit working after his kin, the seed be in him self over earth; it was then so done.

12. And se earth fortha-teah growend wort & seed bearing by hire kin; & tree westm workend, and y-while seed havend after his hue. God y-saw tha that it good was;

And the earth forth-brought growing wort & seed bearing by. their kin; & tree fruit working, and lc seed having after its hue. God saw then that it good was;

13. And was y-wroden even and morwen the third day.

And was wrought even and morn the third day.

æteowigedrignis, hit was tha gedon.

10. And God gecigde tha drignisse eorthan and thæra wætera gegaderunga he het sæs. God geseah tha that hit god was.

11. And cwæth, spritte seo eorthe growende gær and sæd wircende, and applebære treow, wæstm wir cende æfter his cinne; thæs sædsig on him silfum ofer eorthan. Hit was tha swa ge

don.

12. And seo eorthe fortha-teah growende wirte and sæd berende be hire cinne, and treow westm wircende & gehwilc sæd hæbbende æfter his hiwe. God geseah that hat hit god was.

13. And wæs gewroden æfen & morgen the thridda dæg.

1Teon producere, fortha-teon, forth-bring. See post v. 20, teon, forth; also u, 9, fortha-teah.

14. God cwath tha sothlic, be nu liht on there heavenan fastness, and to-dealon day and niht, and been to-toknum & totidum, & to-dayum, & to-yearum.

God quoth then forsooth, be now light in the heaven fastness, and deal day and night, and be tokens & tides, & days & years.

15. And hi shinon on there heavenon fastness, and a-lithon tha earthan; it was tha swa y-wroden.

And they shine in the heaven fastness, and a-lighten the earth; it was then so wrought.

16. And God y-wroht twa mickle liht, that mair liht to these days lihting, & that less liht to the niht lihting; and starran he y-wroht.

And God wrought twa mickle lights, the more light to the days lighting, & the less light to the night lighting; and stars he wrought.

17. And y-set hi on there heavenon that hi shinon over earthan,

And set them in the heavens that they shine over earth,

18. And gimdon these days and these niht, and to-dealdon liht and thester. God y-saw tha

that it good was.

And govern the days and the nights, and deal light and darkness. God saw then that it good

was.

1Fastness, firmament.

14. God cwæth tha sothlice, beo nu leoht on thære heofenan fæstnisse, and to ælon dæg & nihte, & beon to tacnum & to tidum & to dagum & to gearum.

15. And hig scinon on thære heofenan fæstnisse and alihton tha eorthan. Hit was tha swa geworden.

16. And God geworhte twa micele leoht, that mare leoht, to thæs dæges lightinge, and that læsse leoht to thære nihte lihtinge; & steorran he geworhte.

17. And gesette hig on thære heofenan, that hig scinon over eorthan.

18. And gimdon thæs dæges thære nihte, & to dældon leoht and theostra. God geseah tha that hit god was.

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