Bright's Anglo-Saxon Reader
EDITED, WITH NOTES, A COMPLETE GLOSSARY,
A CHAPTER ON VERSIFICATION
AN OUTLINE OF ANGLO-SAXON GRAMMAR
JAMES W. BRIGHT, Ph.D.
PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH PHILOLOGY AT THE JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY
REVISED AND AUGMENTED
HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY
Copyright, 1891, 1894,
HENRY HOLT & CO.
CAMELOT PRESS, 18–20 OAK STREET, NEW YORK
This book is planned for an introductory course in Anglo-Saxon. The glossary has been constructed so as both to facilitate the use of a grammar and to reduce the necessity of grammatical notes. Cook’s excellent translation of Sievers’ Grammar has made available for reference the best exposition of Anglo-Saxon phonology and inflection. March’s Grammar will assist the teacher in matters relating to syntax.
In the choice of texts by which the student is to introduced to the language and literature of Anglo-Saxon times, an editor is compelled, in view of the practical end, to suppress many considerations: there must be gradation that may contradict chronology, or dialectal relationship; there must be a degree of variety that may do violence to completeness. An adjustment in partial harmony with all reasonable requirements is as much as can be hoped for.
The West-Saxon dialect, though not exactly in the line of the subsequent development of the language, is yet best adapted to the conditions of the beginner, for it possesses sufficient uniformity in phonology and inflection, the grammars are based upon it, and it embraces most of the literature. The style and the character of the literature also determine the easiest introduction to be through the later form of this dialect. The following texts have been selected and arranged in accordance with these views. The first three extracts are intended to supply a sufficient basis for an elementary preparation that will fit the student to pass to the study of the Early West-Saxon dialect, and thereafter to read the literature in chronological order. Any slight admixture of dialectal forms will be easily understood by the user of Siever’s Grammar.
Most of the selected texts, in will be observed, are such as have been employed, either wholly or in part, in other Anglo-Saxon Readers. In the case of some of them, exclusion from an introductory course would be welcome to few teachers; in the case of others, the choice cannot be expected to please all. The selections which are now admitted for the first time will, it is hoped, serve an obvious purpose.
The texts are given according to the best manuscript source, without normalization, without silent changes, and, for the most part, with but slight emendations. The variant readings, in some cases complete even for unessential details, are to give a wider view of the condition of the language and of the orthographic fashion of the scribes. The first, second, ninth, tenth, eleventh, and eighteenth selections are based upon my own copies and collations of the manuscripts. For the homily on St. Gregory Professor W. W. Skeat, of Cambridge, and Professor Arthur Napier, of Oxford, has supplied the readings (given in full) of the next best MS., that of the Bodleian Library. The seventeenth and nineteenth selections are according to the collations of Dr. Frank G. Hubbard, of the University of California. For the extracts from the Bede the recent edition by Miller has been used, and for the ‘Wars of Alfred,’ Plummer’s edition of the Chronicles. The remaining texts have been taken from the publications of Thorpe, Sweet, Earle, and Morris.
Orthographic variation (chiefly due to chronological differences in the texts) has made difficult a compact yet clear arrangement of the glossary; however, the variant forms in parentheses, the principal parts of the verbs, and citations will be found, it is believed, to mitigate the somewhat sparing use of cross-references. The etymological hints conveyed either in the definitions or by the bracketed forms will suggest some of the fundamental principles of derivation, but they are especially meant to lead the student to consult the Etymological Dictionaries of Skeat and Kluge.
It is pleasant to acknowledge the special obligations incurred in the preparation of this book. The kind assistance, already mentioned, given by Professor Skeat and Professor Napier is to be added to many personal kindnesses in the past; I also regard it as a further pledge of their hearty interest in the cause of English studies in America. My thanks are due to Dr. Frank G. Hubbard for the use of a sheaf of his first gleanings in the libraries of England, and to Professor James Morgan Hart, of Cornell University, for valuable suggestions always freely given. More than can be expressed in a brief acknowledgment is due to Professor George Lyman Kittridge, of Harvard University; he has read the entire work in proof with the discrimination of a scholar and with the helpfulness of a friend.
JAMES W. BRIGHT.
Johns Hopkins University,
NOTE TO THE THIRD EDITION.
In compliance with a persistent request made by teachers, this edition has been augmented by An Outline of Anglo-Saxon Grammar. This Outline is to be sufficient for a thorough elementary course. Moreover, it has been planned so as to direct the teacher to the more complete work of Sievers, and it may serve perchance to give to the student an impulse toward subsequent study of the more technical aspects of the subject.
The favorable reception of this Reader has created welcome opportunities for the correction of misprints and for supplying omissions in the Glossary. I owe much to the exact observation of those teachers who have discovered and kindly reported many of these errors and omissions.
J. W. B.