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may arise in either way. Only, by one method or other, it must speedily be organized; for the progress of the gospel is accomplished in the long-run, not merely by the teaching of a man, but by the leaven of a society. Care must be taken, however, to avoid over-drill and discipline and socialism, and to encourage a natural and spontaneous association of the converts, whereby they may help each other, and exercise their own powers, and grow in knowledge and wisdom ; for a school-system of elaborate education is apt to produce a mere dull mechanical learning by rote, and a social system of elaborate over-government is sure to end, like the Jesuit Reductions, in rearing“ bearded babies.” But a spontaneous Christian society, though it will require wise counsel and watchful help, for errors and sins will naturally arise in it, is essential to the wide diffusion of that gospel which is not a mere philosophy of religion, but a manifest life in God.

3. We had intended in the body of this article to allude to the question of Funds, which assumes such proportions in all our home proceedings and appeals. But we hesitate to refer to so delicate a matter, partly because Directors are naturally rather touchy about it, and partly lest contributors might take advantage of any remarks to lessen their subscriptions, instead of increasing them. We may be permitted however to say that all care should be taken, in managing a benevolent trust, to see that it is done with the utmost economy. Of course, we do not sympathize with those who sneeringly calculate how many pounds each convert costs us. That is a line of argument more effective than creditable. But anything like waste or extravagance tends to dry up the sources of supply; and when a missionary society uses 25 per cent. of its income in mere expenses of management, the contributors will grumble, because no other trusts are so expensively conducted. Then, if missionaries want wives, it is rather too much to have to pay their passage home and back again, where by and by the wife turns sick perhaps, and both quit the field together. Further, all the societies have a bad habit of falling every now and then into debt. Possibly it is unavoidable. Possibly there is no blame whatever attachable to anybody. But it is unfortunate to be making a new appeal, every five or six years, in order to get rid of debt; and we would suggest that something like a rest should be accumulated year by year, if possible, so as to obviate these repeated calls. But this is an unpleasant theme; and we close by simply expressing a hope that the most rigid economy may be exercised, lest the Christian community become weary of giving, instead of growing “ in this grace also."

In concluding this paper, we would remind our readers that Christianity is essentially aggressive, and our business is, not so much to save it, as to save the world by it. Judaism was a testimony, but the gospel is a leaven. We may see this in its very geographical distribution. So we find it first at Jerusalem, just before the dispersion of Israel ; then among the restless Greeks, with their colonies everywhere, and commercial transactions everywhere,, and a philosophical influence over all realms of thought ; and then in Rome, the heart of the old world. Finally, Britain—the mother of colonies, the centre of commerce-has become the chief depositary of this saving light, just because it was not meant to be preserved merely, but always to be diffused. Are we then rising to the level of our opportunity ? Let us remember the so-called “dark ages," the Abbot Columba, the Monk Augustine, and the thousands who rushed from Irish cells and wattled huts on lonely isles; or the Romish priests and knights and scholars of the fifteenth century who followed Xavier to the East, or Nobrega to Paraguay; and as we think of their zeal and courage, and sacrifice and faith, and love of souls and love of our Lord, if these were children of darkness, are we walking like children of the light? It is worth a little serious consideration whether our “clear views” and committees and collections present after all so grand a spectacle, or do so great a work, as the brave and solemn enthusiasm of those great-hearted men.

The Old Anglo-Scottish Dialect.


ART. VII.-1. The Brus, writ be Master Johne Barbour. Aber

deen. Printed for the Spalding Club. 1856. 2. The Pricke of Conscience (Stimulus Conscientiæ). A Northum

brian Poem. By RICHARD ROLLE DE HAMPOLE. Edited (for the Philological Society) by RICHARD MORRIS. 1863.

It cannot be doubted that the old Scottish language of our forefathers is hastening to decay; and it is not improbable that before the close of the century the use or the knowledge of it may be confined to the humblest classes, or to the most retired districts of our native land. A hundred years ago it was freely current among the better ranks of society, and at the beginning of this century, it was the common language of our nurseries, and was intelligible to every one. Now, however, our nursemaids and nursery-governesses speak nothing but a sort of school-English ; our sons and daughters conclude their education beyond the Tweed, and except by special study, are unable to appreciate either Burns or Ramsay; and every day the number becomes fewer of those who could stand the test which an old friend of ours used to apply, of being able to interpret the lines in the Address to the Deil :"

“And dawtit twal-pint Hawkie's gane

As yell's the Bill." This change is so natural, and indeed so necessary an effect of the wider diffusion of uniform education and of an increased communication with our Southern neighbours, that it ought not to excite either wonder or regret. But let us hope that, if the old Scottish dialect is thus doomed to languish and die, it may thereby gain something of that additional honour which ought to attend the departed. Things in every-day use have about them a certain tincture, if not of vulgarity, yet at least of triviality, which antiquity tends to remove. If we had the veritable "parritch-pats and auld saut-backets” of an antediluvian age, they would not be vulgar but venerable. Our Scottish tongue has still strong claims on our regard, though it may no longer be colloquially used. It is deserving of careful study, both for its intrinsic excellence as a vigorous and expressive form of speech, and as an apt vehicle by which men of distinguished intellect and genius have conveyed to the world the creations of their fancy and the emotions of their heart. It must always have an additional attraction for Scotchmen, or those interested in Scotland, as being a true reflex of the national character and an indispensable key to the national history.

But we are desirous at this time to interest in its study, not only our fellow-countrymen of Scotland, but all our brethren of British birth, and we wish, therefore, to point out some strong inducements to their making its better acquaintance.

And here, in the outset, we may both ask and attempt to answer the question, What is this Scottish tongue which we are thus seeking to recommend to notice? What is it as to its elements, and as to its affinities with other systems of speech? The answer, in our view of the matter, is short and simple. The Scottish is but another form of English. The two are sister dialects of one and the same language.

No one, we think, who approaches the consideration of this subject without prejudice or prepossession, can fail to arrive at the same result. If we regard as among the most ancient and authentic remains of Scottish, the well-known lines that are said to have been made on the death of Alexander III., we shall be convinced that we are dealing with a mere variety of old English. Divesting them of some peculiarities of spelling, we recognise scarcely more than a single word in them that is not ordinary Saxon and Norman. The character of the language is precisely that which belongs to English, being a graft of Norman inserted on an Anglo-Saxon stem.

If, indeed, we take a wider view, and compare together the longer compositions of Scottish and of English writers which begin to abound in the fourteenth century, we shall find certain inter-diversities of form which deserve our attention. If, for instance, we compare Barbour and Chaucer, who are as nearly as possible contemporaries, and belong to the latter portion of the fourteenth century, we discover differences both in words and grammatical forms, but chiefly in the latter, which naturally call for explanation, and lead us to inquire from what source these discrepancies arise. Before, however, we can determine whether there is here a sufficient ground for separating Old Scottish from Old English, the previous question occurs, Whether there is only one form of old English of that period, or whether, among English writers themselves, there are not diversities, more or less great, corresponding to those which distinguish the poet of Bannockburn from the Morning Star of English literature. We soon find that there are such diversities, and we are thus involved in an examination of the different dialects of early English, to see if we can trace in any of them an identity or close resemblance with our own Northern tongue.

We should not consider ourselves competent guides, and our readers would probably be unwilling to follow our footsteps, through the various and intricate differences of old or existing English dialects, with their several local limits at successive periods of time. But we have here on our table four wellknown volumes, which will sufficiently illustrate this question for our present purpose. These contain the Metrical Chronicles The Old Anglo-Scottish Dialect.


published by old Thomas Hearne, two of the volumes being occupied by the work of Robert of Gloucester, and the other two devoted to that of Robert de Brunne. In these two compositions we see at a glance a marked diversity of dialect, such as cannot be ascribed to difference of date ; for the two writers lived within half a century of each other, Robert of Gloucester having written after 1280 and Robert de Brunne before 1330. The contrast is plainly ascribable to the different localities to which the writers belong, the one connected with the western and the other with the eastern part of EnglandRobert de Brunne being a monk first at Sempringham, and afterwards at Sixhill in Lincolnshire.

We shall here notice a few of the points in which the dialects of these two chronicles differ from each other. These are :

1. The absence or extreme rarity in Robert de Brunne of the prefix y or i (the Saxon ge), and its frequent occurrence in Robert of Gloucester, particularly as the sign of the past participle.

2. The use in Robert de Brunne of the demonstratives they, their, them, as the plural of the third personal pronoun, instead of the proper and original plural of he, being hi, hire, hem, which are found in Robert of Gloucester.

3. The absence or rarity in the Lincolnshire chronicle of the final n in the infinitive and in the other inflections of verbs, with the remarkable exception of the n of the past participle, which in those verbs which the Germans call strong is more faithfully preserved in Robert de Brunne than in the monk of Gloucester.

4. The greater rarity in Robert de Brunne of the final n in the plurals of nouns; the plural of brother, for instance, being not brethren, but brether, while ky not kine is the plural of cow.

5. The absence in Robert de Brunne of the termination th in the inflection of verbs, and the substitution of the final s instead of it; the second person plural of the imperative always ending in s when it has any inflection at all.

Now these differences, some of which have found their way into modern English, are among the most remarkable of those which distinguish Barbour from Chaucer, the dialect of Barbour having a strong resemblance to that of Robert de Brunne, while Chaucer approximates to that of Robert of Gloucester. We are thus led to the conclusion that the old Scottish language of this early period corresponds more nearly with the old English of the east of England, than with that of the south or west. A further examination of early English compositions will convince us that, in the 13th and 14th century the east coast of Britain, from Essex northward to the Forth, was occupied by a population substantially the same in blood, and, with insignificant local varieties, speaking throughout its whole extent one and the same Anglo

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