Page:English Historical Review Volume 37.djvu/407

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1922
399
'KING HAROLD'S BOOKS'
regis libris reperimus scripta, ut quicunque his intentus disputatione[m] habeat si negotium exercuit paratus[1] esse possit. Tuum itaque sit inquirere, meum explicare.

Nepos. Inde audire desidero quales[2] esse velis qui huic studio conveniant. A. Sobrios, pacientes, castos, bene hanhelantes, necessitatibus expedites. N. Quare ? [A.] Ebrietas enim oblivionis mater est. Ira lesiones generat. Meretricum frequentatio tineosos ex tactu accipitris facit. Fetidus vero anhelitus et osores hominum eos facit et egro odore implet unde reumatici efficiuntur. Necessitas demum quando legem non habet id efficit ut vel per pluvias vel turbines feriantur vel nimis vexentur vel parum teneant. Ideoque huiusmodi artifices a necessitatibus expedites esse convenit. …

It ends:

Hec habui que de cura accipitrum dicerem. Ceterum si tibi vel alicui alii suam addere sententiam placet, non invideo.

The discussion is severely practical, with mention of English usage[3] and English simples which suggest the Anglo-Saxon leechdoms,[4] and there is no trace of Oriental influence. There is a family resemblance to other early works on the subject,[5] but Adelard's treatise is anterior to all of these which have been identified. One would particularly like to compare it with the lost libre del rei Enric d'Anclaterra on falconry.[6]

It would be still more interesting to identify the libri Haroldi regis which Adelard cites as a source. The phrase is vague, as there was more than one King Harold, and the books may conceivably have been either written by Harold, or dedicated to him, or possessed by him. It is, perhaps, simplest to assume that the reference is to books possessed by Harold Godwin's son, whose devotion to falconry is well known from the Bayeux tapestry.[7] These might easily have fallen into the hands of the Conqueror

  1. MS. paritus.
  2. Here begins the Cambridge extract, with a paraphrased and somewhat briefer text.
  3. 'Alii enim per gambas eos capiunt digitis ex anteriori parte nterpositis, Angli vero a parte dorsi manibus alis subiectis eos apprehendunt' (fo. 49V).
  4. A certain plant which grows by streams 'poete electrum vocant, phisici boricam, Angli sua lingua nigram herbam dicunt, cuius ramus quadrangulus est ad modum dice factus, folia vero foliis magne urtice similia' (fo. 50V). 'Salva alia confortiva que apud veteres Anglos vocatur milda, alia purgativa que apud eosdem dicitur strica. Milclam [sic] sic facies: betonice, serpilii, malve, albule regie quam Angli woeronam vocant, plantiginis, millefolii equales mensuras in butiro coque et deinde secundum arbitrium tuum mel liquidum adde et amisce … Stricturam autem sic compones. …' (fo. 51).
  5. See in general Werth, in Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie, xii. 146–191, 381–415; xiii. 1–34.
  6. Ante, xxxvi. 347 f.
  7. On falconry in Anglo-Saxon times compare Liebermann, Gesetze, ii. 501, 525 f.; Hoops, Reallexikon der germanischen Altertumskunde, ii. 7–9; and the entries in Domesday (Ellis, Introduction, i. 340 f.).