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been put in the alphabetical index, if I had earlier decided to add the index.

A mistake slipped into the superscription of No. 4. It was entitled according to Wright as Archbishop Ælfric's Vocabulary, however, according to Dietrich's excellent investigation, the author was Abbot Ælfric. In the table of contents I have thus also changed it.

Only the agreeable duty remains to me to thank most heartily those who aided me in the elaboration of my work by the loan of transcripts; namely, Prof. Dr. J. Zupitza (No. 1), Miss Lucie Toulmin Smith (Nos. 21 and 7), the Librarian, Dr. A. Holder (No. 9) and Dr. W. Aldis Wright (No. 15).


LEIPSIC, January 1884.

1 As the first sheets of the text were already printed in 1877, reference in No 2 could not be made to Zupitza's Supplement (Haupt's Zeitschrift p. 223—226). ORIGINAL PREFACE.1

The Public is indebted for the following volume to the liberality and public spirit of Mr. Joseph Mayer, whose name is now so well known to all who interest themselves in the Archæology of this country. Its design originated in a social conversation between Mr. Mayer and myself, and we have endeavoured in it to make available to labourers in the field of antiquarian research and investigation a class of documents which, though they have been hitherto almost overlooked, form a rich treasury of information on almost every subject connected with the Archæology of the Middle Ages. They have been furnished by a number of contemporary manuscripts, scattered through various libraries in this country and abroad. Of one of the most valuable of the later vocabularies here printed, the original is preserved in Mr. Mayer's own collection; and for the communication and permission to print another—the curious and interesting pictorial vocabulary which closes the series— we owe our sincere thanks to the Lord Londesborough, of whose collection the manuscript forms a part. As far as regards my own labours, I will only say, that I have endeavoured to make the texts, which are arranged in strict chronological order, as nearly as is consistent with the duty of an editor, fac-similes of those of the original manuscripts. In fact, their very errors and corruptions

1 September 1857.

form no unimportant facts in the history of education and knowledge, and they have been carefully preserved as, under these circumstances, an integral part of the text itself. Nevertheless, whenever I have been able to meet with several copies of the same tract, I have collated them, and made use of any additional matter they furnished, without interfering with the text of that which I have chosen as the best. It will be quite evident to anybody who glances at the contents of the present volume, that it is susceptible of annotations which might be made to swell out several such volumes. I therefore beg to state that I have had no intention of loading the volume with elaborate annotations; but I have hoped that a few explanatory and illustrative notes would make the work more popular, and would render it more useful to the general reader, and their pretensions go no further.



September, 1857.


TE Treatises which form the present volume are interesting in several points of view. Their importance in a philological sense, as monuments of the languages which prevailed at different periods in this island, is evident at the first glance, and need not be dilated upon. They are curious records of the history of Education; and, above all, they are filled with invaluable materials for illustrating the conditions and manners of our forefathers at various periods of their history, as well as the Antiquities of the Middle Ages in general. The history of Education is a subject which is now deservedly attracting more attention than was formerly given to it. It is certainly not uninteresting to trace the various efforts which were made, at all periods of the middle ages, to simplify and render popular the forms of elementary instruction, and the several modifications which these forms underwent.

The groundwork of all school-learning was the knowledge of the Latin language; and the first tasks of the young scholar were to learn the elements of the Latin grammar, to commit to memory words and their meanings, and to practise conversation in the Latin tongue. It was this practical application of the language which contributed very largely to its corruption, for the scholar began by making himself acquainted not with the pure Latin diction of classical books, but with a nomenclature of words--many of them extremely barbarous-which it had then become customary to apply to objects of ordinary use and occurence. The lessons were given by word of mouth, as boys could not in those times be accommodated with books; but they had slates, or roughly made tablets (tabulce), on which they wrote down the lesson in grammar, or the portion of vocabulary, from the lips of the master, and, after committing it to memory,

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erased the writing, to make place for another. The teacher had necessarily his own written exemplar of an elementary Latin grammar, as well as his own written vocabulary of words, from which he read, interpreted, and explained. The old illuminations of manuscripts give us not unfrequently pictures of the interior of the school, in which we see the scholars arranged, with their tablets, before or round the teacher, who is dictating to them. In the earlier periods of Christianity among the Anglo-Saxons, the study of the Latin language was pursued with extraordinary zeal and proportionate success, and our island was celebrated for its learned men; but as time passed on, various circumstances combined to produce a general neglect of learning, so that king Alfred complained, in the latter part of the ninth century, that very few of his subjects could translate from Latin into their mother tongue. “So clean,” he said, “was teaching ruined among the English people, that there were very few even of the ecclesiastical order, southward of the Humber, who could understand their service in English, or declare forth an epistle out of Latin into English; and I think there were not many beyond Humber.” It may be observed, that in the earlier period, the Northumbrian kingdom was the great seat of learning. "So few such there were,” Alfred adds, "that I cannot think of a single instance to the south of the Thames when I began to reign. To God Almighty be thanks that we now have any teacher in stall.” 1

Some of the causes of this decadence in the study of Latin among the Anglo-Saxons belonged probably to a change which had taken place in the social condition of the country, and were not to be overcome. Our great-minded Anglo-Saxon king intimates that his countrymen began to prefer books translated into or-compiled in their own language to Latin compositions, and his own example in labouring upon such translations, or causing others to labour upon them, contributed no doubt to give permanence to this very natural taste. Nevertheless, the study of Latin was revived in England with some success during the tenth century, and it was increased by the intercourse between the English and continental scholars. Still this study was by no means general, and at the end of this century and beginning of the next, the labours of the two Alfrics in translating and compiling in English show sufficiently the neglect of the study of Latin

1 Swæ clæne hio wæs offeallepu on Angelcynne þæt swide feawa wæron behionan Humbre be hiora þeninga cučen understondan on Englisc, 0f%efurðum an ærend-gewrit of Lædene on Englisc areccean; and ic wene bætte noht monige begiondan Humbre næren. Swæ feawa hiora

wäron, bæt ic furðum anne anlepne ne mæg gebencean, be sudan Temese ba ba ic to rice feng. Gode ælmihtogum sie benc, bætte we nu ænigne on stal habbað lareowa.”—King Alfred's Preface to the Translation of Gregory's Pastorale.

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