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GIBBON. In the second century of the Christian æra the empire of Rome comprehended the fairest part of the earth, and the most civilized portion of mankind. The frontiers of that extensive monarchy were guarded by ancient renown and disciplined valour. The gentle but powerful influence of luws and manners had gradually cemented the union of the provinces. Their peaceful inhabitants enjoyed and abused the advantages of wealth and luxury. The image of a free constitution was preserved with decent reverence.
Johnson. Of genius, that power which constitutes a poet ; that quality without which judgment is cold and knowledge is inert ; that energy which collects, combines, amplifies, and animates ; the superiority must, with some hesitation, be allowed to Dryden. It is not to be inferred that of this poetical vigour Pope had only a little, because Dryden had more; for every other writer since Milton must give place to Pope: and even of Dryden it must be said, that if he has brighter paragraphs, he has not better poems.
From the preceding instances we may form an idea of the power of the Saxon language; but by no means a just idea ; for we must not conclude that the words which are not Saxon could not be supplied by Saxon words. On the contrary, Saxon terms might be substituted for almost all the words not marked as Saxon.
To impress this sufficiently on the mind of the reader, it will be necessary to shew how much of our ancient language we have laid aside, and have suffered to become obsolete; because all our writers, from Chaucer to our own times, have used words of foreign origin rather than our own.
In three pages of Alfred's Orosius I found 78 words which have become obsolete, out of 548, or about ;. of his Boethius I found 143 obsolete, out of 666, or aboutz. In three pages of his Bede I found 230 obsolete, out of 969, or about The difference in the proportion between these and the Orosius proceeds from the latter containing many historical names. Perhaps we shall be near the truth if we say, as a general principle, that one-fifth of the Anglo-Saxon language has ceased to be used in modern English. This loss
In three pages
must be of course taken into account when we estimate the copiousness of our ancient language, by considering how much of it our English authors exhibit.
I cannot agree with Hickes in classing the works of Alfred under that division of the Saxon language which he calls Danish Saxon. The Danes had no footing in England til! after the period of Alfred's manhood, and when they obtained a settlement, it was in East Anglia and Northumbria. We cannot therefore suppose that Alfred borrowed any part of his language from the Danes. None of their language could have become naturalized in Wessex before he wrote, nor have been adopted by him without either reason or necessity. We may therefore refer to the Anglo-Saxon laws before the reign of Athelstan, and to the works of Alfred, as containing the Anglo-Saxon language in its genuine and uncorrupted state.
I should have been desirous to have stated some opinions on the affinities of the Anglo-Saxon tongue, but that I found it a subject which could not be accurately handled without a deep consideration of almost every other language; and which, therefore, could not with any propriety have been made a part of this history.
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I N D E X.
ALFRED, his first studies, 285.--He seeks.
for literary friends, 291.-His kindness to
294.-His preface to one of his transla--
Saxons, ii. 10-Ditto among the Anglo- In architecture, ib.
his care in the education of liis chil--
dren, 301.-His last address to his son, 303.
His arrangement of his officers, 304.-
His employment of his income, 305...
Of his time, ib.-His piety, 307.
disease, 330.-The first monarch of the
his poetry, ii. 321.-His translations,ib..
381-401.-His Notitia of Germany, ib.
ib. 384.-His Psalter, ib. 402.--His
to Rome, 185.—His youth and educa- Algar, his patriotic struggle agaiust the
His poem on the battle of Cattraeth, 122..
poetry, 105.—His death, ib.--His family,
107.-His remains discovered, ib. --Ori-
gin of the romances concerning him, 108.
Arts of the Anglo-Saxons, ii. 406.
Cadwallon, his successes, 143.-His death,
Anlat, 344.--His battle at Brunanburh, Cadwaladyr goes to Bretagne, 151.
his connections with Bretagne, 352.- CANUTE the Great, becomes king of Den-
his books, 363.-He kills his brother, 430.—Made king of England, 431.-
Punishes Edric, 433.—His reign, 431-443.
the Saxons the naval art, 54.
Carthaginians, acquainted with Britain, 15.
Cassiterides, the British islands, 11-14.
Ceadwalla, 154.-His death, 155.
Cena, his verses, ii. 352.
Cenwalch reigns in Wessex, 148.
latin poetry, ib. 347.—His other litera- Llongborth, 99.--At the Llawen, 100.-
Chivalry of the Anglo-Saxons, ii. 139-148.
CHRISTIANITY introduced into England,
133.-Into China, 140.-- In India, 316.-
Cimmerians. See Kimmerians.
Cimbri, same as the Kimmerians, 4.-Their
Clubs of the Anglo-Saxons, ii. 103.
Cnihts of the Anglo-Saxons, ii. 144.
Conveyances, Anglo-Saxon, ii. 182.
Cookery of the Anglo-Saxons, ii. 51.
Known to the Greeks, 16.-Manners of Leaves Britain, ib.-Destroyed, 76.
discord, 85.-Many kings in it, 86.
Danes. See Northmen.
life, ib. 372.
Danes, first land in England, 174.-Invade | Egbert, archbishop, his love of literature, ii.
Egbert, 182.- Invade Ethelbert, 190. 362.
from the Court of Charlemagne to Eng-
Invades Northumbria, 182.-His death,
152.—Perishes against the Picts, ib.
Elfric, account of, ii. 403.
Elgira, her sufferings, 390.
Decomes a courtier, ib.—Disgraced 380. Ella kills Ragnar Lodbrog, 222,
Welsh, 163.—With Cuthred, ib.-Pe-
Fra:ce, ib.--Her miserable death, 175. Ethelbert, invades Cealwin, 131.-His death,
136.-His reception of christianity, ii.433.
Ethelfrith's successes, 133.- Destroys Ban-
gor, 134.-Seizes Deira, 138. Falls,
Ingwar, 235.—His address to the Danish battle with the Northmen, 239.—Dies,
flight, 420.--His death, 422.
tenths, 186.-His present to the Pope,
Ethilwald, his verses, ii. 352. .
King of Northumbria, 139.-Attacked
Food of the Anglo-Saxons, ii. 44.
at his coronation, 387.- Conspiracy Fosete, a Saxon deity worshipped in Helig-