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Thorpe, and has tended not a little towards awakening a taste for that tongue long so TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE. gr nearlying, but fyrstr (or fyztr) from the old for or fur before, staerstr (or sta? where it has the sound of S, dependant how- ever on thi preceding letter (34). of koina, ris-tu of n'sa to rise, at the end of syllables it is never found except when written instead of ff (35.) Reading.
VII shamefully neglected; a livelier interest is taken in re- prints of our Old English Authors; and it may not perhaps be too much to expect that we shall soon have a Professor of English in the University of Oxford. The art of writing was already known in the North long before the introduction of Christianity; the characters then in use are called Runes (run pi. They were in the oldest times only 16 in number, the forms names and power of which may be seen in Table A. ztr) greatest from stdr, so also horskr (or hozskr) sniff, clever. The word pu is often HEADING thus conn-acted witli verbs, in which case u loses its accent, and p is changed into 8, d, or /, as the foregoing letter may require; e.
Again many learned antiquarians of both these nations have, by mu- tual abuse, by which they supplied (he want of enquiry, reason and knowledge, deprived their works on Runes of almost all interest and worth, stifled the truth, and finally awakened general disgust for the subject itself. F.) vhich is also found in maiiy printed Icelandic books, and vhich Baden, Abrahamson, arid others have tried to introduce again into Dansk; just as the Germans also have fused fs, ch and tz, into so many separate forms. Such was the arrangement of the alphabet over the hole North : and thus we find it in all old Swedish laws id deeds, till nearly about the' time of the Reformation the v:lermanw, a, and 6 were brought in, and along with these was formed a new a; besides these changes b and 8 were first resolved into th and dh, and afterwards vanished altogether out of both speech and writing *.) Among the Icelanders as among other European Nations, the true old Latin characters have begun very much in later times to drive out the blackletter, and all * As an example of this I may quote the beginning of the West- gothland Laws according to the oldest codex in the Royal Library (at Stockholm), it comes, if the accentuation be preserved, very near to the Icelandic. aztr is often written for astr, because this degree used to be derived from the comp.
"Kryster ser fyrst i laghum varum, ba aer cristnae var , oc allir cristnir konongaer, bcendaer, oc allir bocarlaer, biscupajr oc allir boclacr Sir maen. It has been, like c, retained by the Society for the Diffusion of Knowledge, hut rejected by the Icelandic Literary Society, so much is certain lhat it is of no kind of use either as an etymological sign, or as an abbreviation in writing, but on the contrary a hindrance; e. qvikr and kykr quick, (alive}, qvonbon and konbon courtship, are the same words; koma to come makes in the Imperf, kom or qvam, pi. kjami or qvami, and thus according to the rule the same sound in the same word is spelt differ- ently, and many derivatives are separated from their primitives.
M man Ufa, nema old fariz, bragna lof, e Sa bill heimar. Of the characteristics of our age, not the least curious assuredly is its indifference to what was done before it; we are so eagerly bent on going forward that we cannot spare a glance behind. Vo matter what our Forefathers said or did, their time is gone by, ours is come in; peace be to their ashes! has always the chief tone seems to occur in some prepositions ; e. amdti against, amilli between, igegnum through, which are pron. words emot, ~enitllan; but these are properly only compounds of two words which are often and more correctly written separate, a moti, i gegnum, a mefian, and accordingly the first part, or actual prep, always falls away in all compounds formed with these words; e. The Swedish Academy in its treatise on spelling, and Botin in his work entitled ,, The Swedish Lan- guage in speech and writing" prove that the Swedish still follows the same laws; though in every day use the national system of spelling has been lau! Thus the Icelanders write just as correctly h T-it the life (subst. affixed), as lif life, haf-a to have as haf have, and have no need of fc (as in Swed.) because f always stands at the end of a syll. Position indeed makes the foregoing vowel prosodi- acally long, but gives it a sharp short tone, as in the Swed. The words sverft sword, h;;r$r hard, boro, board, kaldr cold, hagl hail, fegn thane, horn haven , vopn weapon, vatn water , are pron. in itseif, which however is seldom or never reck- oned in verse.
Some one will exclaim, that the anomalous condi- tion of our Language is no fault of the present Age, that it has only succeded to sins entailed on it by those that came before, and that it adds very little to the store of mutilation, nay strives hard in many ways to bring about a purer state of things.
In good truth it seems hopeless to expect that Englishmen should ever get to understand their native tongue till they are taught it, and by teaching I mean, till they study its structure and literature, just as they study the structure and literature of any other language of which they are wholly ignorant.
Hitherto on the contrary it seems to have been assumed as granted that we take in our mother's tongue along with their milk; our instruction in English rarely reaches beyond the CJ J nursery, or if continued is conveyed to us under the dreary auspices of Lindley Murray.
Varbaer barn til kirkju boret oe bebiz cristini, ba seal fabir ok nio Ser fa gu S- faebur oe gu Smobor oc salt oc vatn, bat seal baerae til kirkju, ba seal a prest kallae, nan seal a kirkjuboli boa3." The same alphabet (with 5) is also used in the addition to this cod.; which however otherwise betrays a much later hand. Within the word q is not readily used, but only at the be- ginning; we write therefore commonly vokvi sap, soekva (or sokkva) to sink; though sokqva or socqva etc., are also found in old writers.
LETTERS 5 good Editions of old Poetry, Sagas, Laws etc., are printed in Koinan type, p and ae have been all along retained, 6 is now often written with two strokes or points over it, (but never 6), 8 has been laid aside since the Reformation, and supplied by p or d, through its sound is siill left in daily talk among the Icelanders, and is strictly separate from that of either of the Letters mentioned above. But this system of spelling is less right, even though q should be retained, because v after ck is never essential in the old Norse; but only, like,/ in beckja etc., inserted for the sake of euphony , which may be seen in the cases cited , and from the word ek sock / sink. Z never occurs at the beginning of a word, hut at the end it was used by old writers, 1.