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( 258                             ORTHOMETRY.
(v) The story of King Lear and his Daughters.
(vi) The Consolations of Boethius, attributed to King Alfred.
(vii) Many sea and battle pieces.*
When the Normans subdued our forefathers at Hastings, 1066, and made themselves lords ol Angle-land, amongst the many changes introduced by the new masters, there was a deliberate attempt made to supersede the old tongue of the conquered people, and to substitute Norman-French in its stead. The latter was made the language of the court, the universities, and the courts of law, while Latin was the tongue of the Church, and of all foreign intercourse; but although this effort was persisted in for two hundred years, and brought about great changes in the vocabulary and inflec­tion of the Old English speech, it remained at the end of that time substantially as Teutonic, in all its main features, as at the beginning. The mightiest conqueror can no more change the speech of a people than can an Act of Parliament make them moral. Macaulay has pointed out that King John was probably the first monarch after the Conquest that conversed in the vernacular, and that the severance of the French possessions from the English Crown, which took place in his reign, was an unmixed blessing to the English nation, inas-
• Great attention has been given by scholars of late years to our early poetry. No fewer than six different versions of Beowulf have appeared since the one by Kemble in 1837, the last being by Professor Earle in 1892. Copious extracts from the poems mentioned abovr, as well as other fragments, are to be found in the works of Kemble, Turner, Thorpe, Conybeare, and Ellis. An exhaustive treatise on our early poetry, down to the accession of Alfred, by Stoptord,A. Brooke, was issued Dec. i8<j2.






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III