Beowulf (Wyatt)/Beowulf 22
Bēowulf maþelode, bearn Ecgþēowes:
- 1480. Heyne divides this line wrongly, after mīnum.
- 1485. MS. ‘hrædles.’
- 1488. MS. ‘hunferð.’
- 1506. MS. ‘brim wyl.’
- 1508. MS. ‘þæm’; Grundtvig (adopted by Heyne) ‘þæs’; Grein ‘þēah.’ Grein’s emendation makes admirable sense. I would retain the MS. reading in preference to þæs, which Heyne supports by parallel passages. It is undeniable that þæs is common enough with the meaning “so” (see l. 1509); but what can be feebler than to be told, half way through the poem, that Beowulf is brave enough to wield his weapons?
- 1510. MS. ‘swecte.’
- 1513. Thorpe ‘[in].’ Grein (followed by Heyne) ‘nið-sele,’ aula in profundis; Sweet ‘nīð-sele,’ hostile hall. The line is of the same type as 482, and a long syllable is required for the scansion (see “Beiträge” x. 297).
- 1520. MS. ‘hord swenge’; Sweet ‘swenge hond,’ without explanation.
- 1530. MS. ‘hylaces.’
- 1531. MS. ‘wundel mæl.’
- 1537. Sweet adopts Rieger’s emendation ‘feaxe,’ apparently for the sake of the alliteration—a wanton change, for gefēng alliterates normally with fæhðe.
- 1541. Heyne and Sweet (who however glosses hand-lēan alone) adopt Rieger’s emendation and-lēan, alliterating with eft. So, in l. 2094, Heyne reads ond-lēan for hond-lēan, “mit Rücksicht auf die Allitteration.” On the other hand, it is unfortunate that the alliteration is not decisive in the case of either line. Moreover, the phrase and-lēan forgieldan, “to repay reward,” is distinctly over-redundant, containing as it does the re- notion in both and- and for-, as well as in the word lēan itself (here, also, in eft in the first half-line). Cf. ll. 114, 1584. Thus no case is made out for setting aside the clear readings of the MS.
- 1545. MS. ‘seaxe’; Ettmüller (followed by Sweet) ‘seax.’ Getēon always takes an accus.; cf. l. 2610 and brād, brūn-ecg, 1546.
- 1546. Heyne ‘brad [ond] brun-ecg,’ on metrical and syntactical grounds.
- 1555. Wülcker has a colon after gescēd and no stop after ȳðelīce.