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ORMIN-ABOUT 1215. Regarding ORMIN (or shortly Orm), we have no information beyond what is contained in his work, the Ormulum. He was a canon regular of the order of St Augustine ; and, from his language, we may fix his abode in or near the county of Nottingham. The Ormulum,

Thiss boc iss nemmnedd Orrmulum

Forrthi thatt Orrm itt wrohhte' may be dated at 1215, the year of the Great Charter. It is a metrical version of the Gospels, or portions of the New Testament, that were read in church in the service of each day, together with doctrinal and practical explanations, also in verse. Though containing 20,000 lines, it yet reaches no further than the 32d daily service, which is but the merest fragment. The aim of the book was to spread religious knowledge among the people. In his homilies, or expositions, Ormin borrows largely from other writers. His spelling, which is elaborately careful, is a remarkable feature of his writings.




(From the Ormulum.) Nu, brotherr Wallterr, brother Now, brother Walter, brother min

mine Affterr the flæshess kinde; After the flesh's kind; And brotherr min i Crisstenn. And brother mine in Chris

tianity Thurrh fulluhht and thurrh Through baptism and through

truth;1 And brotherr min i Godess And brother mine in God's hus,


house, Zet o the thride wise,

Yet on the third wise, Thurrh thatt witt

hafenn Through that we-two have takenn ba

taken both An rezhellboc to follzhen,

A rule-book to follow, Underr kanunnkess had and lif, Under canon’s rank and life, Swa summ Sannt Awwstin So

Saint Austin

10 Iec hafe don swa summ thu I have

done so

thou bada,

badest, And forthedd te thin And performed to thee thy

will, Icc hafe wennd inntill English I have turned into English Goddspelless ballzhe lare, 14 The Gospel's holy lore,

1 Faith. 2 Appointed.







Affterr thatt little witt tatt me After that little wit 3 that me

Min Drihhtin hafеthth lenedd. My Lord hath lent. Thu thohhtest tatt itt mihhte Thou thoughtest that it might wel

well Till mikell frame turrnenn, To mickle profit turn, Ziff Ennglissh follk, forr lufe off If English folk, for love of Crist,

Christ, Itt wollde zerne lernenn, 20 It would earnestly learn, And follzhen itt, and fillenn itt And follow it, and fulfil 4 it Withth thohht, withth word, With thought, with word, withth dede.

with deed. And forrthi zerrndesst tu thatt And for that yearnedst thou icc

that I Thiss

the shollde This work to thee should wirrkenn;

work; And icc itt hafe forthedd And I it have performed to te,

25 thee, Acc all thurrh Cristess hellpe; But all through Christ's help ; And unnc birrth bathe thannk. And us-two it becometh both

to thank Christ That itt iss brohht till ende. That it is brought to end.


enn Crist

3 Understanding. 4 Practise.

NOTES. 3. Crisstenndom (like Ger. Christen- 10. Sannt Awwstin, Aurelius Augus

thum) is the condition or position tinus, usually called St Augustine, of Christians as such; the faith the greatest of the Latin fathers. and profession of Christians; Chris- He was born in Numidia, 354 A.D., tianity. The modern meaning is was ordained Bishop of Hippo in 395, different: the area or extent of and died at Hippo Regius (near country where Christianity is pro- modern Bona), on the coast of

fessed; Christian lands, collectively. Numidia, in 430. 4. trowwthe, truth, is trowing or be- 12. Te, for the. It is one of Ormin's lieving ; belief, faith.

spelling notions to change initial th 7. witt, or wit, we two, a dual form into t after words (in the same line)

for the ist pers. pron. The gen. ending in d, dd, t, or tt. There are was 'uncer;' dat. 'unc;' acc. occasional exceptions; as thurrh, (unnc)' occurs below (27). There was also a dual for the 2d pers. 13. Wennd, turned, translated ; past pron.; nom. 'git (zitt),' gen. “incer part. of 'wendenn,' to wend, go, (3unnker),' dat.

turn, change. (Gunnc).' These dual forms did not 14. Goddspell, god-spell, good speech, outlive the 13th century.


good tidings. Spellenn' is 'to de8. Rezhell, older English and Germ. clare' or 'preach.'—Lare, lore, regel; Lat. regula : rule.

learning, teaching, instruction.


line 4.



15. Tatt, for thatt, after 'witt.' See part., except in the single word note to 12.

• Zehatenn' (called, named). 23. Zerrndesst. From Zeorne,' '5ern-e' | 28. Tul. Cf. 13, inntill. This is one of

(older 'georn-e'), willing-ly, ear- the many marks of Northern influ

nest-ly. Cf. Germ. gern (willingly). ence in the Ormulum; the avoidance 27. Birrth, becomes, concerns, ought : of ge in past part. is another.

the older 'gebyrath' ('him geby- When Alfred re-wrote in his Southrath,' 'it becomes him, it is his ern dialect a famous fragment of duty, he ought). The ge is dropped. Cadmon's, he wrote 'to' for Ormin drops the ge even of the past


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(From the Ormulum.) And whase wilenn shall thiss And whoso shall will this boc


book Efft otherr sithe writ. Aft(erwards) another time to enn,

write, Himm bidde icc that het write Him bid I that he it write rihht,

right, Swa summ thiss boc himm So as this book him teachtæchethth,

eth, All thwerrt ut affterr thatt itt All throughout after that it iss

is Uppo thiss firrste bisne, 100 Upon this first pattern, Withth all swillc rime alls her With all such rime as here is iss sett,

set, Withth all se fele wordess; With all so many words ; And tatt he loke wel thatt he And that he look well that he An bocstaff write twizzess,

A letter write twice, Ez3whær thær itt uppo thiss Everywhere where it upon this boc


book Iss writenn o thatt wise.

Is written on that wise. Loke he well thatt het write Look he well that he it write swa,

so, Forr he ne masz nohht elless For he may not else Onn Ennglissh writenn rihht te In English write right the word,

word, Thatt wite he wel to sothe. 110 That know he well for sooth.

NOTES. 96. Otherr, other, was anciently used Cf. Germ. buchstabe.- Twi33ess,

also where we now use 'second.' twice. Cf. 'aness,' thrizess' (once, 97. Het = he itt.

thrice). "The adverbs once, twice, 104. Bocstaff, letter of the alphabet. thrice, are in fact genitival forms

under a Frenchified orthography.'

(Earle.) 108. Ma35. Ormin is the first writer

to use the softened 33 at the end of

a word after a vowel. -Nohht byand-by becomes not.'—Elless, else, lit. 'of other,' a genitive form,


(From the Ormulum.) Icc thatt tiss Ennglissh hafe I that this English have sett


set Ennglisshe menn to lare, English men to lore, Icc wass thær thær I crisstnedd I was there where I christened wass

was Orrmin bi name nemmnedd. Ormin by name named.


322. Ennglisshe menn, is dat. :

'to English men.'-To lare, not the infinitive, but prep. and noun; lit.

'to lore,' that is, 'for or as instruction. More freely, 'for the instruction of English people.'

JOHN MANDEVILLE.—1300-1371. Sir John MANDEVILLE was born at St Albans in 1300. After studying medicine for some time, he went abroad in 1322, and passed thirty-four years travelling in the East.

He died at Liège in 1371. On his return to England in 1356, he wrote an account of his travels. The facts that he saw with his own eyes are intermixed with very wild fictions that he heard related.


(From the Prologue to the Voiage and Travaile.) And for als moche as it is longe tyme passed that ther was no generalle passage nel vyage over the see; and many men desiren for to here speke of the Holy Lond, and han therof gret solace and comfort; I John Maundevylle, knyght, alle be it I be not worthi, that was born in Englond, in the town of Seynt Albones, passede the see, in the seer of our Lord Jhesu Crist MCCCXXII., in the day of Seynt Michelle; and hidre to? have been longe tyme over the see, and have seyn 3 and gon thorghe manye dyverse londes, and many provynces and kingdomes and iles ; and have passed thorghout Turkye, Tartarye, Percye, 4 Surrye, 5

1 Nor.

2 Hitherto.

3 Seen.

4 Persia. 5 Syria.

Arabye, Egypt the highe and the lowe, Ermonye6 the litylle and the grete; thorgh Lybye, Caldee, and a gret partie of Ethiope ; thorgh Amazoyne, Inde the lasse and the more, a gret partie ;

and thorghout many othere iles, that ben abouten Inde; where dwellen many dyverse folkes, and of dyverse maneres and lawes, and of dyverse schappes of men. Of whiche londes and iles, I schalle speke more pleynly hereaftre. And I schal devise 10 you sum partie of thinges that there ben, whan time schalle ben, aftre it may best come to my mynde ; and specyally for hem that wille and are in purpos for to visit the holy citee of Jeru. salem, and the holy places that are thereaboute. And I schalle telle the weye that thei schulle holden thidre. For I have often tymes passed and ryden the way, with gode companye of many lordes : God be thonked.

And zee schulle undirstonde that I have put this boke out of Latyn into Frensch, and translated it azen out of Frensche into Englyssch, that every man of my nacioun may undirstonde it.

But lordes and knyghtes and othere noble and worthi men, that connell Latyn but litylle, and han ben bezonde the see, knowen and undirstonden, zif I seye trouthe or no, and zif I erre in devisynge, for forzetynge, or elles ;12 that thei mowe

13 redresse it and amende it. For thinges passed out of longe tyme from a mannes mynde or from his syght, turnen sone into forzetynge; because that mynde of man ne may not ben comprehended ne withholden, for the freeltee 14 of mankynde. 6 Armenia. 7 Amazonia. 8 India the less and the greater.

9 Shapes. 10 Describe, relate. 11 Know. 12 Otherwise. 18 May, can.

14 Frailty.

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It is longe tyme passed, &c. Nearly from 'isle :' the old form is ‘ea-land,'

three-quarters of a century earlier, later, 'eilond' (water-land); cf.
the Crusades had ended with the Ger. eiland. 'Ile, without the s,
fall of Acre in 1291.

is found for more than a century Desiren and other verbs in this passage

later: see extract from Fortescue. shew the 3d plur. pres. indic. in en Amazoyne, the country of the Amazons, Midland dialect).

on the south coast of the Black Sea, Alle be it, albeit, although.

about the modern Trebizond. The day of Seynt Michelle. Michaelmas Citee, on the way to become 'city. The

Day, properly named the Day of St classical Lat. civitatem became, in Michael and All Angels, is Sept. vulgar speech, citatem, whence Fr. 29

cité. Des, isles. Usually derived from O. Amende, Fr. amender, from Lat. emen.

Fr. isle (Mod. Fr. ile), from Lat. in- dare (from e, ex, out of, and menda, sula; yet the Old High Germ. has fault, blemish), to free from faults, isila. 'Island' perhaps gets the s


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