Page images

John. Wanley says that it formerly belonged to the Abbey of St Augustine's, Canterbury, and was afterwards in the possession of Archbishop Cranmer, whose name-Thomas Cantuarien:-is on the first page. This would seem to connect it with Canterbury as its locality.

[ocr errors]


VII. THE LINDISFARNE MS. This MS. is also known as the Durham Book; it is now one of the Cotton MSS. in the British Museum, its class-mark being Nero D. 4. This fine MS., one of the chief treasures in our national collection, has been frequently described at great length; see Wanley's Catalogue, p. 250, and especially the descriptions in Professor Westwood's "Palæographia Sacra Pictoria and "Facsimiles of Miniatures and Ornaments of Anglo-Saxon and Irish MSS.; also the Prolegomena to Part IV. of the "Lindisfarne and Rushworth Gospels," edited for the Surtees Society by Stevenson and Waring. It consists of 258 leaves of thick vellum, each measuring 13 inches by 9, and contains the four Gospels in Latin, written in double columns, with an interlinear Northumbrian gloss; together with St Jerome's Epistle to Pope Damasus, the Eusebian Canons, two prefaces, short notices of the four Evangelists, arguments of the sections into which the Gospels are divided, and tables of lessons to be read on Sundays, festivals, &c.1 The Latin text was written in the island of Lindisfarne by Eadfrith, who was bishop of Lindisfarne A.D. 698-721; so that if he wrote it before his election we must date it before 698. We cannot be far wrong in dating it, in round numbers, about A.D. 700. The interlinear gloss is two and a half centuries later, having been made by Aldred, a priest, about A.D. 950, at a time when the MS. was probably kept at Chester-le-Street, near Durham, whither it had been removed for fear of the Danes. The stains made upon the edges of the leaves by sea-water, probably during its transit from Lindisfarne to the mainland, are still plainly visible. The Durham Ritual, edited for the Surtees Society by Mr Stevenson in 1840, is glossed by the same hand. An entry at the end of St John's Gospel gives the names of Eadfrith the writer, and Aldred the glossator, as well as of Ethilwald and Bilfrith, who were employed upon the cover of it. Ethilwald succeeded Eadfrith in the see of Lindisfarne, A.D. 721, and died about the year 737. Another and much shorter entry occurs at the bottom of leaf 88, at the back, and is printed in this volume, p. 1; see also the Critical Notes. Immediately above this note is written "Incipiunt capitulae (sic) secundum marcum," and on the next leaf is a short life of St Mark headed "Incipit argumentum." Next, on leaf 90, "Incipiunt capitula lectionum;" and, at the bottom of leaf 92, a very imperfect list of days when the lessons are to be read. All this preliminary matter to St Mark's Gospel is here dum Mattheum, p. 21. The table of lessons from St Matthew is omitted by Kemble.

1 See Kemble's edition of the Gospel of St Matthew, which contains-Prologus decem Canonum, p. 1; Canones, p. 4; Præfatio ejusdem (i.e. Hieronymi), p. 7; Præfatio Eusebii, p. 10; Argumentum Matthei, p. 12; Capitula Lectionum secundum Mattheum, p. 13; and Evangelium Secun

2 See Wright's Biographia Britannica (Anglo-Saxon Period), p. 426.

printed, pp. 1-5. The Latin text of the Gospel, with the Northern-English gloss, occupies the upper part of the right-hand pages, beginning at p. 9.

VIII. THE RUSHWORTH MS. This MS. is in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, and is marked Auct. D. ii. 191. It now consists of 169 leaves of thick vellum, measuring 14 by 10 inches, but is incomplete. It is described by Wanley, p. 81; by Professor Westwood in his "Palæographia Sacra Pictoria," and his "Facsimiles of the Miniatures and Ornaments of Anglo-Saxon and Irish Manuscripts;" by Mr Waring, in his Prolegomena to St John's Gospel, p. xlvii; and others. The Gospel of St Luke is incomplete, and there are no prefaces, arguments or tables, as in the Lindisfarne MS. In other points, however, it strongly resembles it, excepting that the Latin text is written all across the page, instead of in double columns. The Latin was written by a scribe who gives his name, at the end, as Macregol and Macreguil, but the date is uncertain. Wanley supposes it to have once belonged to Beda, who died A.D. 735; whilst, on the other hand, the Irish Annals of the year 820 record the death of a scribe named Mac Riagoil. We may, perhaps, refer it to the eighth century. The gloss is by two hands, those of Farman and Owun, whose names are given at the end of St John's Gospel; and Farman is described as a priest of Harewood, which is in the West Riding of Yorkshire, on the river Wharfe. The portion written by the former ends at the word hleonadun in v. 15 of the second chapter of St Mark, as the reader may perceive by turning to p. 19, and observing that the thorn-letter (p) seldom again occurs after that verse, except when used with a stroke through it, to denote the word "pæt." In v. 13 it occurs in pa preat, in v. 14 in midty, and cwep, and in v. 15 in midpy, for the last time. The gloss may be referred to the latter half of the tenth century. Nothing more is known of the history of the MS. till we find it in the hands of John Rushworth, of Lincoln's Inn, barrister, and deputyclerk to the House of Commons during the Long Parliament; by whom it was presented to the Bodleian Library.

The Latin text of the Rushworth MS. differs but slightly from that of the Lindisfarne MS., and hence it is omitted here, as in Kemble's edition of St Matthew; but I have thought it advisable to give, in the Appendix, every variation of spelling and of readings which it presents, as compared with the text of the Durham Book. The Northern-English (Yorkshire) gloss is given at the bottom of the right-hand pages, beginning at p. 9. Hitherto, it hardly seems to have been pointed out with sufficient distinctness that the Rushworth gloss is really derived from the Lindisfarne gloss in a very direct manner. I have no doubt that Farman and Owun actually consulted the identical Lindisfarne MS. which we now possess, to

1 The number 3946, assigned to it in note 3 on p. iv, is its number in the Old General Catalogue of MSS., printed at Oxford in 1697.

2 A rude figure, apparently of a flying lion, is drawn in the margin of the MS. to mark where the handwriting changes.



assist them in glossing their own text, which occasionally differs, be it remembered, from the Latin Lindisfarne text. Hence it is that even the marginal notes of the one are reproduced in the other. In i. 6, we find a note on wudu hunig (woodhoney), viz. † waxes on wudu binde; this is reproduced in the Rushworth gloss in the form-p waxep on wude bendum. In v. 9, legio (legion) is explained in the Lindisfarne MS.-[Jusend] xii Susend p is legio [is] was diowla legio. This is exactly reproduced in the margin also of the Rushworth MS. One more example may suffice. It so happens that, in the Lindisfarne gloss, wherein capital letters are very rare indeed, the word Ne is written with a capital in xiii. 31. Precisely the same phenomenon occurs in the Rushworth gloss, only that the Ne is shifted into the preceding verse owing to confusion of transibit with transibunt. This is more than coincidence; it is proof. It is clear that Farman and Owun had the pages of the Lindisfarne MS. open before them whilst engaged in writing their own glosses. At the same time they exercised an independent judgment. At times they took leave to alter, or to omit a gloss as doubtful. In the case of double glosses they generally took the first. Thus, at p. 111, xiv. 4, the Lindisfarne gloss for est is was vel is; the Rushworth gloss is was simply. In xiv. 12, the gloss to immolant is asægcas vel ageafað in L., but asagas only in R. Sometimes, both glosses are copied, in the order in which they occur. Thus, in xiv. 4, we find hia bulgon vel unwyrde sægdon in the former, and hia bulgun vel unwyrne sægdun in the latter. The fact of the Rushworth gloss being, to a considerable extent, a mere copy of the older one, does not seem hitherto to have been fully perceived; but it is a great help towards the right understanding of the later gloss, and sometimes even throws light upon the earlier one. It is not going far enough to say, as Mr Waring rightly says, that "both glossists drew from a common original;" we can go still further, because we know what this original was.

In some cases, for example, the Rushworth gloss remains a mere riddle till the Latin of the Lindisfarne MS. has been consulted. I would particularly draw attention to such instances as the following. In iv. 36, the Rushworth MS. has ita ut erat, i. e. as he was; but erat is actually glossed by hie werun, i. e. they were. This singular mistranslation is, however, at once accounted for when we observe that the Lindisfarne MS. has erant, with the gloss hia weron. Once more, in vi. 14, the Rushworth MS. has et propterea operantur virtutes [in] illo, where operantur is glossed by un-woene sint, i. e. are unexpected; the simple clue to which is that the Lindisfarne MS. has not operantur at all, but inopinantur, by which the gloss there given, viz. un-woen sint, was evidently suggested. The result may be briefly expressed by saying that, whereas the gloss in the Lindisfarne MS. depends upon the Latin text of that MS. only, the gloss in the Rushworth MS. depends upon the Latin texts in both.

1 The words dusend and ðis are supplied from conjecture; they have been cut away by the binder of the volume.


I. The earliest edition of the Saxon Gospels is that printed by John Day in 1571, at the suggestion of Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury, with a dedication to Queen Elizabeth by John Foxe, the martyrologist, who probably had a considerable share in the work. For the purpose of ascertaining the exact critical value of the various editions, it will be convenient to analyse Chapter xi. of St Mark's Gospel in them all, as it is a short one, and occurs in the middle of the


Parker's edition is, no doubt, as Mr Thorpe says, closely copied from the Bodley MS. The chief variations from the MS. are these.

(a) The editor ignores the accents. These occur, in the MS., in the words bethanía, ínc1, áledon, osanná, cóm, áne, éte, láreow, sæ, gé, agén, ús.

(b) He prefers as a final letter, printing cwad for cwap, twynaɣ for twynaþ, and the like; also gewurde for gewurþe.

(c) He prefers y to i, printing hym, hyne, sy, nys, &c., where the MS. has him, hine, si, nis.

[ocr errors]

(d) He puts capital letters to proper names, according to the usual custom; and expands all the contractions.

(e) The following seem to be misprints, viz. Asson for assan, v. 2; Hælend for hælende, v. 7; twelfe for twelf, v. 11; pære for þæra, v. 18; Fulluhte for fulluht,

v. 30.

(f) The following are corrections. He inserts ge after gelyfde in v. 31; he prints hafdon for the incorrect MS. reading afdon in v. 32; and in v. 33, alters pincg into ping. The final cg, however, occurs sufficiently often in the Bodley and Cotton MSS., and might have been retained. The corrections shew that some other MS. was occasionally consulted, and the fact that the rubrics are inserted throughout tells us which, viz. the Cambridge one.

The edition may therefore be regarded as a tolerably correct print of MS. Bodley 441, with a few corrections from the Cambridge MS. The occasional misprints render it not quite trustworthy, but it often affords a probable clue to the peculiarities of the MS. which it follows. Thus, in the last word but one in the Gospel, we find in this edition the extraordinary form fyligendend in place of fyligendum. This is the actual reading, but the page on which it occurs is spurious; by which I merely mean, that it is copied out in a modern hand. The edition is printed in the (so-called) Saxon characters.

II. An edition of the Gothic and Anglo-Saxon Gospels in parallel columns was printed by Junius and Marshall in 1665.

1 In the first two words the stroke over the i is not, however, a true accent, but only used to distinguish ni or in from m.

This edition deserves a good deal of attention, and is executed with more critical ability than Mr Thorpe, in the preface to his own edition, seems to imply. It would have been still better had it been founded upon one of the MSS. themselves, but the real basis of it is Parker's edition. Marshall's Observations on the Anglo-Saxon version, pp. 487-565, contain, as Wanley remarks, many things worthy of note. At p. 490, we read that Junius, taking Parker's edition in hand, collated it with the Bodley, Cambridge, and Corpus MSS., and gave the collations to Marshall for him to make use of as he thought fit. The Hatton MS. and the Rushworth gloss were also consulted. By help of these materials, Marshall corrected a large number of readings in Parker's edition, retaining those that seemed to be sufficiently correct. Turning to Chapter xi, we find that he has eliminated all the misprints noticed above in section (e), and gives the correct readings assan, hælende, twelf, þæra, sacerdas, and fulluht. In the following instances he adopts readings from the Cambridge MS. viz. in ongean for ongen, v. 2; hig for hi, v. 4; tempel for templ, v. 11; mynetera for mynetra, v. 15; sacerdas for sacerdos, v. 27; and in the addition of the words pe on heofonum1 ys at the end of v. 26. In v. 33, he restores dincg as the reading of the Bodley MS., though it is really written pincg. In v. 8, he corrects boceras to bogas, a correction suggested by the Hatton MS. Throughout he adopted the general rule of never giving any reading which may not be found in one or other of the MSS.; the only drawback being that he does not always say which of the MSS. contains the reading given. It is clear, however, that the Cambridge MS. was the one first consulted; then the Corpus, Hatton, and Rushworth MSS., in this order. In other respects he follows Parker's peculiarities, in (a) ignoring the accents; (b) the frequent use of X as a final letter; (c) the frequent use of y for i; (d) the use of capital letters in proper names, and the expansion of contractions. He also introduces capitals frequently at the beginning of verses, but these occur in the MSS. The volume contains also the Moso-Gothic version; some notes on the differences between the readings of the Anglo-Saxon and Vulgate versions, p. 495; some notes on the rubrics, and the Anglo-Saxon words occurring in them, p. 508; some particular readings from the Bodley, Cambridge, Corpus, and Hatton MSS., which are denoted by the letters O., C., B. and H. respectively, p. 538; and notes upon passages in which the A. S. version seems to be corrupt or badly translated, p. 555; the whole displaying a good deal of care and painstaking.

III. An edition of A. S. Gospels was printed in 12mo. at London by Mr Thorpe in 1842, with the title-"Da halgan godspel on Englisc."

This edition is said to be based upon the Cambridge MS., with occasional readings from the Corpus MS. The Bodley and Cotton MSS. were also consulted.

1 MS. A. heofenum.

2 “ O. denotat codicem Oxoniensem; C. Cantabrigiensem; B. Benedictinum; et H. Hattonianum,” p. 538.

« PreviousContinue »