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There is, moreover, pretty satisfactory evidence that Angles formed some portion, at least, of the new population, and though we have no reliable direct proof of the emigration into Britain of any tribe that had called itself Saxon while resident on Germanic soil, yet, apart from tradition, we are authorized to infer such an emigration from the loca! names Sussex, Essex, Wessex, and Middlesex, (South Sax ons, West Saxons, East Saxons, and Middle Saxons ;) from the fact that all the intruders alike were named Saxons by the native Celts; and from the further, circumstance, that after the language was reduced to writing, it was called by those who spoke it Saxon as well as English. How then did England become the exclusive appellation of the country, English of the language? We have no evidence whatever of the application of any general or collective name to the people, the country, or the speech, before the introduction of Christianity into England. The new inhabitants of the isl. and became first known to the Roman see through Anglian captives who were carried to Rome in the sixth century. The name of their tribe, in its Latinized form, Angli, we may suppose was bestowed by the Romans upon the whole people, and the derivative, Anglia, upon the territory it occupied. The Christian missionaries who commenced the conversion of Britain would naturally continue to employ the name by which the island had become known anew to them, and their converts, especially if no general name had been already adopted, would assume that which their teachers brought with them. This, in the absence of any satisfactory proof that the Angles were a particularly numerous or powerful element in the population, appears the most probable reason that can now be assigned, why a people, who, in large proportion, retained for themselves and their several provinces the appellation of Saxon, and who were known to neighboring nations by no other name, should have surrendered this hereditary designation, and given to their language the name of English, to their country that of England, or the land of the Angles.

long possessed the only printing press in the island. In the case of Húsum, the dative plural, which would mean at the houses or at the village, is a much more probable etymology than Húshjem, (Haus-heim,) which would be pleonastic. These instances in the modern Scandinavian dialects are precisely analogous to the formation of Stanchio from és tày Kw, and other similar names in modern Greek, the accusative in that language supplying the place of the dative, which is obsolete. See, further, Appendix, 4.

The names of the two brothers, Hengist and Horsa, who are said to have beaded the most eventful incursion of the invaders, are words in one or another form common to all the Scandinavian and the Teutonic dialects. Both are names of the genus horse, but in most localities hengst is appropriated to the male, while in some, and particularly in Schleswig, borsa or hors is confined to the female animal. J. G. Kohl informs us that both the proper names are still current in the district from which the ancient conquerors are reported to have emigrated. A Danish colonel told the traveller that in a company his regiment there were two privates bearing these names; and it happened, odd. ly, that in this case Hengist and Horsa, like Castor and Pollux, were still inseparably united, the places of the two soldiers being side by side in the ranks. Inseln u. Marschen Schlesw-Holst. i., 290.

The language itself, in the earliest existing remains of the native literature, whether composed in Latin or in the vernacular, is generally called English, but sometimes Saxon. These remains are all of later date than the adoption of Christianity by the English people, and, of course, however prevalent the use of English as a national appellative may be in them, nothing can be thence inferred as to the extent to which the term was applied at earlier periods. The compound term, Anglo-Saxon, first occurs in the life of Alfred, ascribed to his contemporary, Asser, who calls that prince Angul-Saxonum Rex, king of the Anglo-Saxons. The employment of the word as a designation of the language and literature is much more recent.*

The Anglo-Saxon language, though somewhat modified by Scandinavian influence, differs too widely from the Old Northern or Icelandic, (which I use as synonymous terms,) to afford any countenance to the supposition that either of them is derived from the other. Nor is there any good reason for rejecting the term Anglo-Saxon, and, as has been proposed, employing English as the name of the language, from the earliest date to the present day. A change of nomenclature like this would expose us to the inconvenience, not merely of embracing, within one designation, objects which have been conventionally separated, but of confounding things logically distinct; for though our modern English is built upon and mainly derived from the Anglo-Saxon, the two dialects are now so discrepant, that the fullest knowledge of one would not alone suffice to render the other intelligible to either the eye or the ear. They are too unlike in vocabulary and in inflectional character, to be still considered as one speech, though in syntactical structure they resemble each other more closely than almost any other pair of related ancient and modern tongues. But even in this respect, the accordance is not so strict as some writers conceive it to be. Sir Thomas Browne, for instance, in the eighth of his Miscellany Tracts, has, by a compendious process, established very nearly an absolute identity between the two. Taking, or, more probably, composing a page or two of English, from which all words of Latin or French origin are excluded, he has turned, or, to use a Germanism here not inappropriate, overset it into Anglo-Saxon, by looking out the corresponding terms in a Saxon Dictionary, and arranging them word for word as in English, with scarcely any attention to grammatical form, and has thus manufactured a dialect bearing no greater relation to Anglo-Saxon than the macaronic compositions of the sixteenth century do to classical Latin. In the want of more extensive means than the

* The pretended formal imposition of the name of England upon the AngloSason possessions in Great Britain, by a decree of King Egbert, is unsupported by any contemporaneous or credible testimony. It is rejected as fabulous by most historical investigators, and it is certainly very improbable that a king, himself a Saxon by birth and name, ruling Saxon subjects and Saxon provinces, should have voluntarily chosen for his realm a designation borrowed from another people and another territory. The title of Angliæ or Anglorum rex is much more naturally explained by the supposition that England and English had been already adopted as the collective names of the country and its inhabitants.


has yet made accessible for the study of the dialects of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries—the transition period--we cannot assign any precise date to the change from AngloSaxon to English ; nor, indeed, is there any reason to suppose that any such sudden revolution occurred in the Anglican speech as to render it hereafter possible to make any thing more than an approximative and somewhat arbitrary determination of the period. For the purposes of an introductory course, no nice distinctions on this point are necessary, and it will suffice to say that the dialect of the period between the middle of the twelfth and the middle of the thirteenth centuries partakes so strongly of the characteristics of both Anglo-Saxon and English, that it has been usually, and not inappropriately, called Semi-Saxon.

It is a matter of still greater difficulty to refer the subsequent history of English to fixed chronological epochs. The name of Old-English has been applied to the language as spoken from the latter date to the end of the reign of Edward III. in 1377; that of Middle-English to the form of


speech extending from the close of Edward's reign to the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1603, while all its subsequent phases are embraced under the common designation of Modern-English. This is, in many respects, an objectionable division of our philological history. The Old-English era would include many of the works of Chaucer, which belong properly to a later stage of our literature, and at the same time exclude the English Bible of Wycliffe and his fellowlaborers, whose style is more archaic than that of Chaucer. Middle-English would embrace the Confessio Amantis of Gower, who, philologically, is older than Chaucer, and the entire works of Hooker, as well as many of the plays of Shakespeare, both of whom belong unequivocally to the Modern-English period. It would, I think, be more accurate to commence the second era about the year 1350, and to terminate it with the third quarter of the sixteenth century.

The first marked and specific change in the English language took place in the time, and in a very considerable degree, by the influence of Wycliffe, Gower, and Chaucer, the period of whose lives extended through the last three quarters of the fourteenth century, and included the brilliant reign of Edward III., and the glorious history of the Black Prince. The works of Wycliffe and his school, including their translations of the Bible, which are known to have been widely circulated, undoubtedly exerted a very important influence on the prose, and especially the spoken dialect. “The moral Gower," as Chaucer calls him, was inferior in ability to his two great contemporaries, and his literary influence less marked; but his contributions to the improvement of his native tongue are of some importance; and if it is true, as Fuller quaintly remarks, that he “left English very bad,” it

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