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ahebban, and ofer ealle men uplift, and over all men account. tellan. Se ælmihtiga God cythæ The Almighty God make his saule mildheortnisse, 6 and known to his soul mercy, and do him his synna forgifenesse. grant him his sins' forgiveness.
NOTES. Se cyng Willelm. William, Duke of the 'agean.' Later are found 'ongænes,'
Normans, was born in 1027. In "agenes ;' then t. euphonic, was 1066 he invaded England, defeated added to make a firmer ending—as, King Harold in a desperate in 'amidst,' 'amongst,' alongst,' battle at Senlac, near Hastings &c. Thus we come to "against.' (Oct. 14), and was crowned king of Cf. Germ. entgegen. the English at Westminster (Christ- Biscopas. 'Biscop,' softened now to mas-day). He died in 1087.
bishop,' was changed from Lat. On Eastron. 'Easter' is the festival episcopus, Greek episcopos (from epi,
commemorating the resurrection of over, and scopein, to look), lit. an Christ. Easter-day is the Sunday overseer, superintendent. after Good Friday; and, according Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, was William's to the time of full moon, falls in the half-brother. The king had given end of March or the beginning of him several hundred manors in April. In the East, the common England, and on returning to Norname of the festival was the Paschal mandy soon after the coronation, Feast, because it was kept at the had left the government to him and same time as the Pascha, or Jewish William Fitz-Osbern. Feeling himPassover, and in some measure suc self very powerful, he began to ceeded to that. In Scotland, it is intrigue with the baronage. William known also as Pace (or Pasche) kept Odo in prison all his own life. Sunday.
Mihte faran, &c. Compare Gibbon, On Pentecosten. 'Pentecost' (from Decline and Fall of the Roman
Greek pentecostë, fiftieth), a festi Empire, chap. 65: ‘Timour (or val of the Jews, celebrated on the Tamerlane) might boast that, at
fiftieth day after the Passover. The his accession to the throne, Asia name was adopted by the Christians was the prey of anarchy and rapine ; for their feast in commemoration of whilst under his prosperous monthe descent of the Holy Spirit on the archy, a child, fearless and unhurt, apostles at that season. Whitsun might carry a purse of gold from tide is the common name in this the east to the west. country. The Germans use Pfing- Nan man ne dorste . . . næfde he sten, a curious corruption of Pente- | næfre, &c. Remark the emphatic coste.
accumulation of negatives. On Westmynstre : the famous Abbey of Mycel deor frith. The New Forest, West-Minster, as rebuilt by Edward in the south of Hampshire, at easy the Confessor in honour of St | distance from the royal residence at Peter. It has been again rebuilt Winchester. since then.
Laga, pl. of 'lagu;' which in course of On Midewintre. Midwinter-day was time modifies g and becomes law. Christmas-day.
‘Law' is allied to Lat. lex, but Ongean modifies on to a, making must not be derived from it.
Thæt hine man sceolde blendian. This
construction with indef. 'man' (one)
ishes in German and French. We should now say: 'that he should be blinded,' using the passive verb.
LAYAMON.–ABOUT 1205. LAYAMON, in the opening lines of his poem, the Brut, speaks of himself as a priest, dwelling at Ernley (Lower Arley, or Arley Regis, in Worcestershire), at a noble church, upon Severn's bank, near Redstone, where he read books' (probably the services of the church). Beyond this we have no information.
The Brut, or Chronicle of Britain, takes name from Brutus, a supposed great-grandson of Æneas. It opens with the destruction of Troy; follows Æneas to Italy, where Brutus accidentally kills his father Silvius (son of Ascanius, son of Æneas) with an arrow intended for a deer, and is banished by his kinsmen; relates how Brutus by-and-by is made duke of the Trojans, and at last arrives in Albion, which now becomes Britain ; and details the history of Britain, fabulous or true, down to the death of King Cadwalader in 689 A.D. The poem is compiled chiefly from the Anglo-Norman metrical chronicle, the Brut, the work of a French clerk, Wace (1155 A.D.); which again was translated from Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Britonum. Layamon has twice Wace's number of lines more than 32,000.
There are two MSS.: the earlier belongs to the beginning of the 13th century; the other is say fifty years younger. We quote them side by side, and add a modern version below, inclosing in square brackets the parts special to the later MS. We follow Sir Frederic Madden.
KING ARTHUR'S LAST BATTLE.
(From the Brut.) (Arthur, son of Uther and Ygærne, was a half-mythical king of the Britons (or Welsh), who made a determined stand in Somersetshire and the neighbouring counties against the West Saxons. When setting out upon a continental expedition, he left his kingdom in charge of Modred, his sister's son (his suster sune, Brut, 27,996), the 'wickedest of all men' (for-cuthest alle monnen. Brut. 27,901). Modred usurped the throne. On hearing of this treachery, the king returned and fought with Modred, driving him at last into Cornwall.
“There the pursuer could pursue no more,
And he that fled no further fly the king.' The decisive battle was the one now described.
'Nor ever yet had Arthur fought a fight
Like this last, dim, weird battle of the west.']
Later Text. And at Camelforde wes isom. And [at] Camelford were mid ned!
Arthur? sixti thusend.
sixti thousend manne. and ma thusend ther to! and mo thousendes zite ! Modred wes heore ælder. in Modred his syde.
Tha thiderward gon ride Tho thiderward gan ride!
mid onimete folke? uæie thah hit weore.
of cnihtes wel bolde. Uppe there Tambre !
Vppen thar Tambre ! heo tuhte to-somne.
hii smite to-gadere. heuē here-marken! halden to-gadere. luken sweord longe?
drowen sweorde longe! leidē o the helmen.
and smiten on the healmes. fur ut sprengen?
28,550 that the fur ut sprong: speren brastlien.
the swippes were bitere. sceldes gānē scanen? scaftes to-breken. ther faht al to-somne! folc ynimete. Tambre wes on flode:
Tambre was on flode! mid vnimete blode.
mid onimete blode. mon i than fihte non ther ne ne mihte man in than mihte!
fihte? ikene nenne kempe.
icnowe nanne kempe. no wha dude wurse no wha wo dude wors ne wo dude bet:
28,560 bet? swa that withe wes imenged. so that weder was imenged. for ælc slo adun riht:
for ech sloh adun riht! weore he swein weore he cniht. were he sweyn were he cniht. Ther wes Modred of-slaze! Thar was Modred of-slaze: and idon of lif-daze.
and idon of lifdaze.
and alle his cnihtes ? in than fihte.
islaze in than fihte. Ther weoren of-slaze!
Thar weren of-slaze: alle tha snelle,
alle the snelle. Arthures hered-men ?
Arthures hired-men! heze
28,571 hebze and lowe. and tha Bruttes alle!
and the Bruttes alle! of Arthures borde.
of Arthur his borde. and alle his fosterlīges ! and alle hi . fosterlin .. 8! of feole kineriches.
of ... ne riche. And Arthur forwunded
And ... him seolf for-w... mid wal-spere brade.
mid one spere brode. fiftene he hafde!
... tene he hadde feondliche wunden.
feond .. che wond ...
mon mihte i thare lasten man mihte in than leaste?
Tho nas thar na more! i than fehte to laue.
ileued in than fihte. of twa hundred thusend mon- of two hundred thousend
manne! tha ther leien to-hauwē. that thar lay to-hewe. buten Arthur the king ane bote Arthur the king? and of his cnihtes tweien. and twei of his cnihtes.
And at Camelford was assembled [were with Arthur] sixty thousand [men], and more thousands thereto; Modred was their chief [yet, on Modred his side). Then thitherward gan ride Arthur the mighty, with innumerable folk; fated though it (the folk) were [of knights well bold]. Upon the Tambre they encountered [smote] together; raised the standards; advanced together; drew the long swords, [and] laid [smote] on the helms; [that the) fires out spring [sprang] ; spears resound (splinter) [the strokes (sweeps) were bitter] ; shields gan shiver; shafts brake in pieces. There fought all together folk innumerable. Tambre was in flood with unmeasured blood. There might no [not] man in the fight know no (any) warrior, nor who did worse nor who [did] better; so the conflict [storm, weather] was mingled; for each slew downright, were he swain, were he knight. There was Modred slain and done (out) of life-day, [and all his knights slain] in the fight. There were slain all the brave (snell), Arthur's warriors, high (and low], and the Britons all of Arthur's (Arthur his] board, and all his foster-children (dependants) from many kingdoms [a kingdom). And Arthur [himself] (was) wounded with [a] broad slaughter-spear; fifteen he had terrible wounds ; one might in the least two gloves thrust. Then was there no more in the fight as leavings [left in the fight], of two hundred thousand men that there lay hewed in pieces, but Arthur the king one (alone), and two of his knights.
(Arthur, mortally hurt, is presently carried away in a little boat by two women, wondrously fair, to Avalun ('Isle of Apples,' Glastonbury), where he is to be cured of his wounds. In the poet's time, the Britons yet believed that Arthur would return and rule them.]
28,536. Camellord, a town in the north /
of Cornwall. 28,538. Ma, mo, contracted forms of
‘mara, compar. of 'micel' (much). Later writers (Shak., &c.) often have it as 'moe' (adj. and adv.).
28,539. Modred his syde (later text), / text); and there are others in the for ‘Modredes syde.' Cf. 28,573 : 1 present extract. On the whole,
Arthures' (first text), 'Arthur his', however, Layamon is not fond of (second text). The substitution of the new softened form; and for sc 'his' for the poss. inflection occurs of the first text we mostly find s chiefly in the second text, and more! alone in the second text. usually with proper nouns than with 28,558. Non, later form of 'nan,' which common nouns. It was in use down is made up of 'ne + an' (not + one). to Queen Anne's time, when the 's Observe the repetition of ne' before was firmly believed to be a contrac the verb, and another negative, tion of his.
'nenne (nanne),' in next line, and 28,540. Gon (gan) ride, did ride. Gon, yet another in the line following,
gan acts simply as an auxiliary to 'no-no' give the past tense. This usage 28,560. No-no, neither-nor; for the continues for more than three cen- I older 'ne-ne.'—-Wurse, wors. The turies longer.
-se is an older form of the compar. 28,543. Væle = fæie, fey: fated, ending -reler). Cf. Dan. værre,
doomed, destined to die. A second which, in the form war,' was meaning, also in Layamon, is ‘slain,' used later by good writers, and dead.'
is still heard in Scotland. The 28,544. Tambre, now called the Camel Wrse (the Worse),' line 1140, is used
(from the ancient British name, for the devil. Bet has dropped Camlan), in the north-west of Corn the compar. ending. The superl. wall. It rises about two miles north 'best' is for 'betst.' of Camelford, and falls into the sea | 28,562-3. Compare Scott, Marmion, below Padstow.
vi. 34: 28,546. Heuē= heuen, 3d pl. of "hæf,'
'Groom fought like noble, squire past tense of 'hæhuen,' to heave,
like knight, raise. From 'hæh' (high).
As fearlessly and well." Here-marken, army (here)-marks, ensigns.
Also Gibbon, Decline and Fall, chap. 28,549. Leidē= leiden, 3d pl. past indic. 41: 'Each plebeian (under Belisarius, of 'legge(n);' to lay, put.
at Rome) conceived himself to be a 28,552—3. Sceldes, scaftes. Cf. shields, hero.'
shafts; where the c is softened. | 28,570. Hired (hered)-men, men of the
cirice' has come to under French knights of the Round Table.