Changes and specimens of the English language — страница 6

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eth; which last is sometimes shortened into s. It seemeth to have been poetical licence which first introduced this abbreviation of the third person into use; but our best grammarians have condemned it upon some occasions, though perhaps not to be absolutely banished the common and familiar style." "The persons plural keep the termination of the first person singular. In former times, till about the reign of Henry the eighth, they were wont to be formed by adding en; thus, loven, sayen, complainen. But now (whatever is the cause) it hath quite grown out of use, and that other so generally prevailed, that I dare not presume to set this afoot again: albeit (to tell you my opinion) I am persuaded that the lack hereof well considered, will be found a great blemish to our

tongue. For seeing time and person be, as it were, the right and left hand of a verb, what can the maiming bring else, but a lameness to the whole body?"--Book i, Chap. xvi. Reign of James I, 1625 to 1603.--From an Advertisement, dated 1608. "I svppose it altogether needlesse (Christian Reader) by commending M. William Perkins, the Author of this booke, to wooe your holy affection, which either himselfe in his life time by his Christian conversation hath woon in you, or sithence his death, the neuer-dying memorie of his excellent knowledge, his great humilitie, his sound religion, his feruent zeale, his painefull labours, in the Church of God, doe most iustly challenge at your hands: onely in one word, I dare be bold to say of him as in times past Nazianzen spake of

Athanasius. His life was a good definition of a true minister and preacher of the Gospell."--The Printer to the Reader. Examples written about the end of Elizabeth's reign--1603. "Some say, That euer 'gainst that season comes Wherein our Saviour's Birth is celebrated, The Bird of Dawning singeth all night long; And then, say they, no Spirit dares walk abroad: The nights are wholsom, then no Planets strike, No Fairy takes, nor Witch hath pow'r to charm; So hallow'd and so gracious is the time." SHAKSPEARE: Hamlet. "The sea, with such a storme as his bare head In hell-blacke night indur'd, would haue buoy'd up And quench'd the stelled fires. Yet, poore old heart, he holpe the heuens to raine. If wolues had at thy gate howl'd that sterne time, Thou shouldst haue

said, Good porter, turne the key." SHAKSPEARE: Lear. 4 ENGLISH OF THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY Reign of Elizabeth, 1603 back to 1558.--Example written in 1592. "As for the soule, it is no accidentarie qualitie, but a spirituall and inuisible essence or nature, subsisting by it selfe. Which plainely appeares in that the soules of men haue beeing and continuance as well forth of the bodies of men as in the same; and are as wel subiect to torments as the bodie is. And whereas we can and doe put in practise sundrie actions of life, sense, motion, vnderstanding, we doe it onely by the power and vertue of the soule. Hence ariseth the difference betweene the soules of men, and beasts. The soules of men are substances: but the soules of other creatures seeme not to be substances;

because they haue no beeing out of the bodies in which they are."--WILLIAM PERKINS: Theol. Works, folio, p. 155. Examples written about the beginning of Elizabeth's reign.--1558. "Who can perswade, when treason is aboue reason; and mighte ruleth righte; and it is had for lawfull, whatsoever is lustfull; and commotioners are better than commissioners; and common woe is named common weale?"--SIR JOHN CHEKE. "If a yong jentleman will venture him selfe into the companie of ruffians, it is over great a jeopardie, lest their facions, maners, thoughts, taulke, and dedes, will verie sone be over like."--ROGER ASCHAM. Reign of Mary the Bigot, 1558 to 1553.--Example written about 1555. "And after that Philosophy had spoken these wordes the said companye of the

musys poeticall beynge rebukyd and sad, caste downe their countenaunce to the grounde, and by blussyng confessed their shamefastnes, and went out of the dores. But I (that had my syght dull and blynd wyth wepyng, so that I knew not what woman this was hauyng soo great aucthoritie) was amasyd or astonyed, and lokyng downeward, towarde the ground, I began pryvyle to look what thyng she would save ferther."--COLVILLE: Version from Boethius: Johnson's Hist. of E. L., p. 29. Example referred by Dr. Johnson to the year 1553. "Pronunciation is an apte orderinge bothe of the voyce, countenaunce, and all the whole bodye, accordynge to the worthinea of such woordes and mater as by speache are declared. The vse hereof is suche for anye one that liketh to haue prayse for tellynge