Hand-Book of Anglo-Saxon and Early English

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Research Press, 2008 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 592 pages
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PREFACE. THE present work is an attempt to furnish the student with such reading material and accompanying aids as will enable him to trace the growth of the English language from the purest existing form af the Anglo-Saxon or Anglish down to the end of the fourteenth century, when it had become, with the except ion of a few lingering remains of the old inflections, essentially the same as the uninflected language of the present day. The selections are sufficiently abundant, if thoroughly mastered, to serve as a basis for the fullest course of English philolngy that can be made practicable in our High-Schools and Colleges, as they are at present constituted. The aim has been, in making up the book, to choose such passages from the works represented as are both interesting in matter and in manner, and philologically valuable greater variety of selections might easily have becn made from the carefully edited material that has acumalated the last twenty years, but the real purposes of an educational text-book of this kind are better subserved by fewer extracts of considerable length, and, as far as possible, by complele productions, representing the best form of the language at different periods, than by tid-bits that give but a faint idea of the general style of a work. The Anglo-Saxon version of the Gospel according to St. John has been given entire, as affording, by reason of the simplicty of the Ianguage and the familiarity of all with the subject-matter, the easiest reading for the beginner, for whom the book is meant. Elirics Homily on the Birthday of St. Gregory has been printed in the so-called Anglo-Saxon character, that the student map not be a loss when he meets with any work or cited passage in which that character is used....

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