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THE CAMBridge Series

for

Schools and Training Colleges

OUTLINES OF THE HISTORY

OF

THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

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OUTLINES

OF THE

HISTORY OF THE

ENGLISH LANGUAGE

BY

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T. N. TOLLER, · M.A.

LATE FELLOW OF CHRIST'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE
PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH IN THE OWENS COLLEGE, MANCHESTER

New York

THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
LONDON: MACMILLAN & CO., LTD.

1900

All rights reserved

LIBRARY OF

DR. EWALD

FLÜGEL

219303

COPYRIGHT, 1900,

BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.

Norwood Press

J. 8. Cushing & Co. - Berwick & Smith

Norwood Mass. U.S.A.

PREFACE

In the following pages an attempt is made to give some idea of the conditions under which language-material was gradually accumulated, was sifted and shaped, before the result was attained which we see in the present speech of England. It is an attempt to give such a representation of a very complicated subject as is possible by tracing merely its outlines. These, however, if they are properly distinguished, may at least suggest the claims to consideration which the subject can make, claims that can be properly appreciated only when the outlines are filled in. And surely one such claim is that the study of English affords the opportunity for a varied mental training. For to realise the language of a

people at any time in their history would be to realise their life at that time; it is in their words that their thoughts remain embodied, and really to understand their words we must feel as they felt. To follow a language completely throughout its gradual development would be to follow all phases in the changing life of those who spoke it; and only as the powers of the imagination are cultivated is progress made towards this ideal. A language, again, may be regarded as a living organism, ever undergoing changes, of which some, though they may be vital, yet do not affect its outward form

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