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« The mans honde doth what he maie,
Gower, lib. 1, fol. 26, pag. 1, ccl. l.
Knyghtes Tale, ful. 1, pug. 1, col. I.
Douglas, booke 7, pag. 226.
Douglas, booke 13, pag. 475. “ He that eres my land, spares my teame, and giues mee leaue to inne the crop.”
Alls Well that Ends Well, pag. 233.
Richard II. pag. 35. Instead of Earth, Douglas and some other antient authors use ERD, i. e. ered, er'd.... that which is ploughed. The past participle of the same verb. " The nicht followis, and euery wery
Douglas, booke 4, pag. 118. “ Thare speris stikkyng in the End did stand.”
Douglas, booke 6, pag. 187. « Of youth thay be accustumed to be skant, “ The ERDE with pleuch and harrowis to dant.”
Douglas, booke 9, tag. 299.
“ O thou Faunus, help, help, I the pray,
Douglas, booke 12, pag. 440. MATH...A. s. Maped. The third person singular of the indicative of Mapan, metere, to mow.
As latter math....i. e. that which one moweth later, or after the former mowing.
« Lo, now of al sic furour and effere
Douglas, booke 13, pag. 454. BROTH.... the third person of the indicative of bripan, coquere. That which one briped. Hence the old English saying, of a man who has killed himself with drinking....“ he has fairly drunk up 6 his broth:”.... the Italian brodo is the past participle of the same verb..... That which is brıpeo, brod.
Wath....i. e. where one wadeth, the third person singular of ladan, to wade ; is used commonly in Lincolnshire and in the North, for a ford.
GARTH; i. e. girdeth; is commonly used in the same counties for a yard.
(k) Where we now say EARTH, the Germans use ERDE; which Vossius derives from the Hebrew. “ Ab Hebræo est 6 etiam Germanicum ERD." From the Hebrew also he is willing to derive tellus. But both ERD and tellus are of northern origin, and mean.... ERD....that which is er-ed.
Ar-are. Tell-us....that which is till-ed. STıl-ian.
Tol-ere. And it is a most erroneous practice of the Latin etymologists to fly to the Hebrew for whatever they cannot find in the Greek: for the Rom were not a mixed colony of Greeks and Jews; but of Greeks and Goths. As the whole of the Latin language most plainly evinces.
FIFTH In the same manner are formed the
&c. ten-eth, twenty-eth, &c. or, which maketh up the number five, six, nine, ten, twenty, &c.
LENGTH 7 In the same manner are formed our
HEIGTH singular, lenged, bræded, Paded, dipped, heaped, of the indicatives of lengian, extendere; bræðan, dilatare ; Padan, procedere; dippan, submergere; hea fan, extollere.
F. It has been remarked indeed that Milton always wrote heigth, as our antient authors also did; but the word is now commonly written and spoken height: which seems to oppose your etymology
H. That circumstance does not disturb me in the least: for the same thing has happened to many other words. But this interferes not at all with their meaning nor with their derivation ; though it makes them not quite so easily discoverable.
So it has happened to
Might; which the Anglo-Saxons wrote Mæged or Mægge, i. e. what one MAYETH.... quantum potest aut valet aliquis. Might is the third
person singular of the indicative of Magan, posse, valere.
“ Meath, vox agro Linc. usitatissima, ut ubi “ dicimus, I give thee the meath of the buying, “ i. e. tibi optionem et plenariam potestatem pretii seu emptionis facio.”
Skinner. Lichr: which the Anglo-Saxons wrote leohted, leohd, and leoht, i. e. quod illuminat. It is the third person of the indicative of leohtan, illuminare.
Sight: which the Anglo-Saxons wrote sið and ride, i. e. that faculty which seeth. The third person singular of the indictive of reon, videre.
This change of E for i is nothing extraordinary : for, as they wrote sied or sið for seeth; so they wrote rie for see, and siene for seen.
And Gower and Chaucer wrote sich for saw.
« And tho me thought that I sighe
Gower, Prol. fol. 4, pag. 2, col. l.
Gower, lib. 1, fol. 17, pag. 2, cal. 2.
Rom. of the Rose, f l. 123, pag. 2, col. 2. Weight....A. s. Päged. The third person singular of the indicative of lægan, to weigh..... The WEIGHT of any thing, is....that which it weigheth.
WRIGHT:i. e, one that worketh. The third person of the indicative of Výpcan, operari. As
shipwright, cartwright, wainwright, wheelwright: one that worketh at ships, carts, waggons, wheels.
R and h, the canine and the aspirate, are the two letters of the alphabet more subject to transposition than any other. So work....aliquid operatum.... which we retain as our substantive, is the regular past tense of Pýrcan; which, by the addition of the participial termination Ed, became worKED, WORK'D, WORKT. This our ancestors, by substituting - for k or c, wrote P'opht, and by transposition Proht; which we now write WROUGHT, and retain both as past tense and past participle of Pyrcan, to work.
For Pýrced, our ancestors wrote Výpht; and, by a transposition similar to the forgoing, pnýht; which with us becomes WRIGHT.
These words, and such as these, are not difficult to discover. Because the terminating ht, instead of th, leads to suspicion and detection. But there are many others, such as blow, HARM, ALE, KNAVE,' ROOM("), &c. which are not so readily
(1) Roomth (in the Anglo-Saxon Rýmðe,) the third person singular of Ryman, is the favourite term of Drayton.
“ When wrathful heauen the clouds so lib'rally bestow'd 6 The seas (then wanting ROOMTH to lay their boist'rous load) “ Upon the Belgian marsh their pamper'd stomachs cast."
Poly-olbin, song 5. “ But Rydoll, young'st and least, and for the others price “ Not finding fitting ROOMTH upon the rising side, 6 Alone unto the west directly takes her way.”
Poly-olbion, song 6.