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That we shall die, as uncertain* we all


Ben of that day when death shall on us fall.
Accepteth then of us the true intent,
That never yet refused your behest,

And we will, Lord, if that you will assent,
Choose you a wife in short time at the mest,
Born of the gentilest and of the best

Of all this land, so that it ought to seem
Honor to God and you, as we can deem.

"Deliver us out of all this busy dread,
And take a wife, for highe Goddes sake!
For if it so befell, as God forbid,

That through your death your lineage should slake,

And that a strange successor should take
Your heritage, oh, wo were us on live!
Wherefore we pray you hastily to wive."
Hir meeke prayer and hir piteous cheer
Made the marquis for to have pity.

"Ye wold," quoth he, "mine owen people dear,
To that I never ere thought, constrainen me;

I me rejoiced of my liberty,

That selden time is found in marriage;

There I was free, I must ben in servage.

"But natheless I see your true intent,
And trust upon your wit, and have done aye.
Wherefore, of my free will, I will assent
To wedden me as soon as ever I may.

But thereas ye have proffered me to-day

To choosen me a wife, I you release

That choice, and pray you of your proffer cease.

* Uncertain. Acc. 1st and 3d syl.-Ben (0. Eng.), be, are.-Mest (A. S. mas!), most.— Busy (A. S. bysig, D. bezig, busy; Ice. bisa, to toil), causing business or care.-Slake (A. S. slacian, to slacken; sleacian, or slacian, to render less intense, mitigate), fail.-Strange (Lat. extraneus, foreign; extra, beyond). Dissyl. To make strange fr. extraneus, the prefix is dropped. So to form uncle fr. avunculus, and sample fr. exemplum.-Successor. Acc. 1st and 3d syl.-On live, in life. Emphatic.-Hir (early Eng. pos.), their.—Cheer, countenance. See Index.-Made. Dissyl.-Pity (Fr. pité; Lat. pietas, filial affection, kindness). Acc. 2d syl.-Wold (A. S. willan ; Ger. wollen; Lat. velle, volo; Fr. vouloir, voudra; Eng. would; Gr. Bovλopai), would. Auxil.Ere, before.-Selden (A. S. seldon or seldan, rare), seldom.-There, where.-Servage, servitude.-Natheless (A. S. na; Lat. ne, no, not; the; less), nevertheless. In Milton we have nathless. Trisyl. Thereas, whereas.-Owen (st. 13) is past participle of A. S. ágan, to possess.

Ben of that day when death shall on us fall. The sound of a in fall, as it requires the mouth to be opened wide to enounce it properly, and is rather large in volume, seems appropriate for large things, and for serious or important subjects. E. g., all, lord, broad, law. Other examples? Deliver us out of all the busy dread. Busy has, perhaps, an onomatopoetic force. We speak of the hum of business. Buzz is clearly imitative of sound. Z final often denotes buzzing sounds, as in whis, buzz, buzfuz. Give other examples.


"For God it wot,* that children often been
Unlike hir worthy elders them before.
Bountee cometh all of God, not of the streen
Of which they been engendered and ybore.
I trust in Goddes bounty, and therefore
My marriage and mine estate and rest
I him betake; he may do as him lest.


"Let me alone in choosing of my wife;
That charge upon my back I will endure!
But I you pray, and charge upon your life,
That, what wife that I take, ye me assure
To worship her, while that her life shall dure,
In word and work, both here and everywhere,
As she an emperores daughter were.

"And furthermore thus shall ye swear, That ye
Against my choice shall never grudge nor strive;
For since I shall forego my liberty

At your request, as ever mote I thrive,


There as mine heart is set, there will I wive;
And, but ye will assent in such mannere,

I pray you speak no more of this matiere."


With hertly will they sworen and assenten

* Wot (A. S. witan, to know), knows.-Been, are.-Bountee (Nor. Fr. bountee; Lat. bonitas, goodness; bonus, good; Fr. bonte), goodness.-Streen (A. S. strynd, stock, breed; streon, power), race, stock, breed, descent. In Shakespeare we have strain in this sense.Ybore, born. The A. S. past tense, and often the past participle, took the prefix ge, at first with an intensive force. This ge became y.--Marriage, Tris.--I him betake (A. S. dative case is him or hym to him), I refer to him, or I entrust to him.--Him lest, it pleases him. --Dure (Lat. durare, to harden, to last; durus, hard; Fr. durer, to last), endure.-Emperores (Lat. imperator, commander-in-chief; Fr. empereur; emperores being old pos.; the e of the old pos. being now dropped, and the apostrophe taking its place to form the pos.)-Mote (A. S. mot; O. Sax. motan), must. 1st sing. present.-There as, there where, just where.-But ye (A. S. butan, without, except; be, by, with; utan, out, abroad. Be is not here the imperative), unless ye.-Hertly (Ger. herzlich. Herz is akin to Lat. cor, cord-is, Eng. heart; Gr. κapdía), hearty. This word illustrates Grimm's famous law of consonant changes. This law embraces remarkable correspondences among the English, the German, and the classical languages; in fact, it extends to the whole Indo-European stock, though with many exceptions in particular words. The Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Lithuanian, and Slavonic, are one class; the High German dialects, another; the Moso-Gothic and Low German, a third. The mutes are divided into:

Labials (lip mutes).
Palatals (palatal mutes).
.K (C)
Linguals (tongue mutes).


.B (V).

.Ph (F).
.Ch (H).
.Th (Z).

To change Latin or Greek to English (or to A. S.), change smooth to rough, rough to middle, and middle to smooth. To change German to English, change rough to smooth, middle to rough, and smooth to middle. To change English to Latin or Greek, or to German, reverse these operations respectively. Thus Lat. cor, cord-is, Gr. Kapôía, becomes Eng. heart; Lat. corn-u becomes Eng. horn; Lat. tres becomes Eng. three; Lat, frater, Eng, brother; Lat. pater, Eng. father; Lat, frang-o, freg-i, Eng. break. For further illustrations, see Index. Grimm's Law.- Sworen. O. plu.--The student should be taught to scan every line; that is, to distinguish and name the metrical feet of which each verse is composed.

Against my choice shall never grudge nor strive. Str, as in strive, seems to denote exertion; e. g., strain, strenuous, stress, strike, stroke, streak, strip, strap, stripe, strife, string, strong, strength, strict, stretch, straight, struggle. The fact is, it requires a considerable exertion to articulate proper this combination of consonants. Hence its fitness to express effort. Other examples?

To all this thing. There saide* no wight, " Nay;”
Beseeching him of grace, ere that they wenten,
That he would granten them a certain day
Of his spousail, as soon as ever he may.
For yet alway the people somewhat dread
Lest that the marquis would no wife wed.

He granted them a day, such as him lest,
On which he would be wedded securely;
And said he did all this at their request;
And they with humble heart, full buxomly,
Kneeling upon their knees full reverently,
Him thanken all; and thus they have an end
Of their intent, and home again they wend.
And hereupon he to his officers
Commandeth for the feste to purvey;
And, to his privy knightes and squieres,
Such charge he gave as him list on them lay.
And they to his commandement obey,
And each of them doth all his diligence
To do unto the feast all reverence.



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*Saide. Dissyl.-Wight (A. S. wiht, a creature; wagian, to move; whence wight and whit), person.-Spousail, marriage. Acc. 2d syl.-Him lest, pleased him.-Securely. Acc. 1st syl.-Buxomly (A. S. bugan, to bow, bend, yield; A. S. sum, Gr. òuós, Lat. similis, Goth. sama, like, same; Ger. biegsam, O. Eng. bocsom, A. S. bocsum, pliable; A. S. lic, like), obediently. -Feste (Lat. festum, plu. festa; O. Fr. feste; Fr. fete, festival, holiday), feast. Feste is dissyl. -Privy (Lat. privare, to separate; privus, single; Fr. prive), private.-Knightes (A. S. cniht, a boy, attendant, military follower). Dissyl. A knight was a man admitted in feudal times to a certain military rank, and entitled to be addressed as Sir. "When the order of knighthood was conferred by the sovereign in the leisure of a court, imposing preliminary ceremonies were required of the candidate. He prepared himself by prayer and fasting, watched his arms at night in a chapel, and was then admitted with the performance of religious rites. Kuighthood was conferred by the accolade, which, from the derivation of the name, should appear to have been originally an embrace; but afterwards consisted, as it still does, in a blow of the flat of a sword on the back of the kneeling candidate." Brande.-Squieres (Fr. ecuyer, shield-bearer; from escu, shield; Lat. scutum), shield-bearers, or armor-bearers attendant on a knight. Dissyl. Acc. 2d syl. As him list, etc., as it pleased him to lay on them. List is A. S. lystan, lustan, to incline, to desire. Hence lust.-Commandement. Quadrisyllable.-Thilke (A. S. thylc, thus lie, thuslike; as A. Ward would say, Thusly." The demonstrative element th, found in this, that, the, there, they, etc., is perhaps connected radically with the element of the second person singular, th, in thou), this same.-Honorable. Acc. 1st and 3d syllables. "The tendency of English accentuation has been to get as far back in words as it is possible for it to go."-Corson.

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Not far from thilke palace honorable. N, as in not, denotes negation; e. g., Gr. v in výπios: Lat. ne, non; Ger. nicht, nein; Welsh na, ni, not; Russian ne; It. na, ni; Sans. na; Pers. neh; Eng. no, nor, nay. The explanation of this fact I do not find; but I conceive it to be the rejection, by the nose, of disagreeable odors; whence all rejection, all refusal, comes to be expressed in the same way. Then is naturally prominent in the name of the nose, and in some operations in which that organ is used; as, sneeze, sneer, snort, snuff, sniff. Other examples?





Where as this marquis schope his marriage,
There stood a thorp of sighte delitable,
In which that poore folk of that village
Hadden their beastes and their herbergage,
And of their labor took their sustenance,
After the earthe gave them abundance.

Among this poore folk there dwelt a man
Which that was holden poorest of them all;
But highe God sometime senden can
His grace unto a little oxe stall.
Janicula, men of that thorp him call.
A daughter had he, fair enough to sight,
And Griseldes this younge maiden hight.

But for to speak of virtuous beauty,
Then was she one the fairest under sun;
Full poorely yfostered up was she,
No licorous lust was in her heart yrun;
Well ofter of the well than of the tun
She drank, and, for she woulde virtue please,
She knew well labor, but none idle ease.

But though this maiden tender were of age,
Yet, in the breast of her virginity,
There was enclosed ripe and sad courage;
And in great reverence and charity

Her olde poore father fostered she;

A few sheep, spinning, on the field she kept;

She woulde not been idle till she slept.

And, when she homeward came, she woulde bring
Wortes and other herbes times oft,

The which she shred and seethe for hir living;

* Where as, just where.-Schope (A. S. scapan; Ger. schaffen), shaped.-Marriage. Trisyl. -Thorp (Dan. thorp; A. S. thorp; Lat. turba ? Gr. Túpßŋ?), hamlet.-Delitable. The same as in the first stanza.-Herbergage, lodging.-In which that poore, in which poor.-Sometime. E final is often a syllable in Chaucer, as here.-Oxe. Dissyl.-Younge. Dissyl.-Hight. See 1st stanza.-Poorely. Trisyl.-Yfostered. The prefix y, so common in the old writers, as already remarked, grew out of the fuller form ge, the usual prefix of the past participle. A. S. ge ; O. Sax. gi; Maso-Gothic, ga. G in the A. S. is often changed to y in Eng.-Licorous (A. S. liecian; Ger. lecken; Fr. lecher; Lat. lingere; Gr. déixer, to lick), lickerish, greedy, lecherous.-Yrun, run.-Tun (A. S. tunne; Ger. tonne; Fr. tonne, tonneau), cask (of liquor).-For she woulde, because she would, etc. Woulde is a dissyl.-Sad (A. S. sad, sated, weary, sick; Ger. satt, sated; Lat. sat, satis, enough), steady, grave.-Been, be.-Wortes (A. S. wyrt, wirt, herb, root, as in liverwort, motherwort), worts, plants. Dissyl.-Times. Dissyl.-Shred (A. S. screadian, Ger, schroten, to tear or cut), to cut into small pieces or strips, to shred.-Seethe (A. S. seodhan), boiled, seethed. --Hir, their. The pos. sing. masc. and neut. of he was in A. S. his; the pos. fem. was hire or hyre; the pos. plu. of all genders was hira, heora, often shortened to hir, her.

She woulde not been idle till she slept. T, as in till, points out, or demonstrates, and so is akin to th. E. g., Sans. tat, it; Gr. Tó, the, Touro, that; Lat. tot, so many, talis, such, tantus, so great, tendere, to stretch; Eng. to, tend, tell. Other instances?




And made her bed full hard and nothing soft;
And aye she kept her father's life on loft*
With every obeisance and diligence
That child may do to father's reverence.
Upon Griseldes, this poor creature,
Full often sithe this marquis set his eye,
As he on hunting rode peraventure;
And when it fell that he might her espy,
He, not with wanton looking of folly,
His eyen cast on her, but, in sad wise,
Upon her cheer he would him oft avise.

Commending in his heart her womanhead
And eke her virtue, passing any wight
Of so young age, as well in cheer as deed;
For though the people have no great insight
In virtue, he considered aright

Her bountee, and disposed that he would
Wed her only, if ever he wedden should.

The day of wedding came, but no wight can
Tellen what woman that it shoulde be;
For which mervaille wondered many a man,
And saiden, when they were in privity,
"Will not our lord yet leave his vanity?
Will he not wed? Alas, alas, the while!

Why will he thus himself and us beguile?

* On loft (A. S. an, on; lyft, the air), aloft.-Obeisance. Acc. 1st and 3d syl.-Creature. Acc. 1st and 3d syl.-Sithe (A. S. sidh, path, time, occasion), times.-Peraventure, by chance. Acc. 2d and 4th syl.-Fell, fell out, happened.--Eyen (A. S. eage; Ger. auge; Lat. oculus; D. oog, the eye; Gr. ooσe, two eyes), eyes. In A. S. the plu. very often ended in n, as oxan, oxen.— Cheer (Gr. kápa, head; It. ciera, mien, face; Sp. cara, face; Gr. xapá? joy; Fr. chere, entertainment, fare), countenance, mien.-Avise (Lat. ad, to, videre, to see), to see to, observe, reflect.-Him oft avise, often take counsel with himself (a reflexive use of avise).-Womanhead (A. S. wif; Ger. weib, woman; Sans, ma, to measure; man, to think, mann, the thinker, man; A. S. wifman, wimman; A. S. had, state; hadian, to ordain; Ger. heit? state, habit, condition), womanhood, womanly character.-Wight, person.-Bountee. See Index.-Disposed, arranged, determined.-Mervaille (Fr. fr. Lat. mirabilis, wonderful), marvel.-The while (A. S. hwil, Ger. weile, time), the time.--Beguile (be is orig. same as by; A. S., Ger., Sw., Dan., D., be, near, by, at; Goth., O. S., O. Ger,, bi, Ger. bei. Sometimes this prefix gives emphasis, as in bespatter, bedeck. Guile is A. S. wile, Ice. viel, Eng. wile, fraud, deceit), cheat, deceive.

Upon Griseldes, this poor creature. The sound of oo in poore is soft and smooth. Hence it sometimes denotes softness and smoothness; as soothe, smooth, cool, poor. Other examples?

Will he not wed? Alas, alas, the while. The second a in alas has a sound naturally expressive of pain or grief. Its enunciation requires little besides the ordinary position of the organs of speech in a child, with the simple opening of the mouth and breathing. It is an unpleasant sound to the ear, perhaps from its association with the cries of infants and of sheep and calves. So the sound of a în ah; e. g. Heb. ahh; Gr. a; Lat., Sans., Pers., Eng., Ger., ah; Ger. ach; Welsh a; Ir. a. As it is little more than a forcible breathing, it enters into some words denoting to breathe, breath, air; as Gr. áw, ăŋui; Lat. halare, to breathe; aer, air; Eng. air. Give other examples in illustration of these principles.

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