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(Britojgmplw mid djlimprife
Creates, mt shorter then lumaarh,
for the ^rhoolcs,
EDITED FKOM THE ORIGINAL MS. IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM,
HENKY B. WHEATLEY.
PUBLISHED FOE THE EARLY ENGLISH TEXT SOCIETY,
Price Fmr Shillings.
The Philological Society has issued the following Early English Texts, which can be procured of Asher & Co., 13, Bedford Street, Covent Garden, W. C.:—
1. "EARLY ENGLISH POEMS AND LIVES OF SAINTS"
(with those of the Wicked Birds Pilate and Judas), 12501460. Edited by E. J. Furnivall, Esq., M.A. 5*. (Phil. Soc. Trans., Part II., 1858.)
2. "THE PLAY OF THE SACRAMENT," a Middle-English
Drama. Edited by Whitley Stokes, Esq., M.A. 5*. (Phil.
3. "LIBER CURE COCORUM," a Cookery Book in verse, about
1440 A.d. Edited by Richard Mokbis, Esq. 3*.
4. "THE PRICKE OF CONSCIENCE" (Stimulus Conscientise).
A Northumbrian Poem, by Richard Rolle De Ham Pole, about A.d. 1340. Edited, with an Introduction, Notes, and Glossarial Index, by Richard Morris, Esq. 12«.
5. "CASTEL OFF LOUE" (Chasteau d'Amour, or Carmen de
Creatione Mundi), from the French of Bishop Grosseteste, early 14th century. Edited, with Notes and Glossary, by R. F. Weymouth, Esq., M.A. 6s.
CHEAP ARTHUR TEXTS.
LE MORTE ARTHURE, Edited from the Harl. MS. 2252, by F. J. Furnivall, with a Prefatory Essay on Arthur by the late Herbert Coleridge. Macmillans, 7s. Gd.
LE BEL INCONNU, the French version of Giglain, son of Sir Gawain, edited by C. Hippeau. Paris, Aubry, 6 fr.
MESSIRE GAUVAIN, ou La Vengeance de Roguidel, poeme de la Table Ronde, publie par C. Hippeau. Paris, Aubry, 6 fr.
Of the Three Early English Metrical Romances edited by Mr. Robson for the Camden Society, 1842, two are The Anters of Arther at the Tarnewathelan, and The Arotoynge of King Arther.
Report of the Committee, January, 1865.
The close of the first year of the Society's operations affords the Committee the welcome opportunity of congratulating the members on the Society's success. Instead of two Texts, which the first Circular to the Society suggested might perhaps be issued, the Committee have been enabled to publish four, and these four such as will bear comparison, as to rareness and intrinsic value, with the publications of any of the longest established societies of the kingdom. The Arthur was edited for the first time from a unique MS., wholly unknown to even the latest writers on the subject, and exhibits our national hero's life in a simpler form than even Geoffrey of Monmouth, or Layamon. The Early English Alliterative Poems, though noticed long ago by Dr. Guest and Sir F. Madden, for their great philological and poetical value, had been inaccessible to all but students of the difficult and faded MS. in the British Museum: they have been now made public by the Society's edition, with their large additions to our vocabulary, and their interesting dialectal formations. The Sir Gawayne, from the same MS., could only have been had before in Sir Frederick Madden's rare and costly edition, printed by the Bannatyne Club. And the Lauder has restored, as it were, to Scotland, a Poet whose name had found no place in the standard History of Scottish Poetry, and the Biographical Dictionaries.
Though the Society started late in the past year, these four Texts were published within a fortnight of its close; and before that time the first Text for the second year was in the printer's hands. The Committee pledge themselves to continue their exertions to render the Texts issued worthy of the Society, and to complete the issue of each set within the year assigned to it. They rely with confidence on the Subscribers to use their best endeavours to increase the list of Members, in order that funds may not be wanting to print the material that editors place at their service. The aim of the Committee is, on the one hand, to print all that is most valuable of the yet unprinted MSS. in English, and, on the other, to re-edit and reprint all that is most valuable in printed English books, which from their scarcity or price are not within the reach of the student of moderate means.* Those relating to King Arthur will be the Committee's first care; those relating to our Language and its Dialects the second; while in due proportion with these, will be mixed others of general interest, though with no one special common design. The Committee hope that no year will pass without the issue of one Text in the Northern dialect, as well in acknowledgment of the support that the Society has received in Scotland, as to obviate the hitherto limited circulation of the works of the early Scotch writers among students south of the Humber.
* "A vast mass of our early literature is still unprinted, and much that has been printed has, as the late Herbert Coleridge remarked, 'been brought out by Printing Clubs of exclusive constitution, or for private circulation only, and might, for all that the public in general is the better for them, just as well have remained in manuscript, being, of course, utterly unprocurable, except in great libraries, and not always there.' It is well known that the Hon. G. P. Marsh, the author of 'The Origin and History of the English Language,' could not procure for use in his work a copy of ' Havelok' for love or money; and the usual catalogue-price of 'William and the Werwolf,' or 'The Early English Gesta Romanorum,' etc., etc., is six guineas, when the book should be obtainable for less than a pound. Notwithstanding the efforts of the Percy, Camden, and other Societies and Printing Clubs, more than half our early printed literature—including the Romances relating to our national hero, Arthur—is still inaccessible to the student of moderate means; and it
is a scandal that this state of things should be allowed to continue
Those who would raise any objection to these re-editions—as a few have raised them— are asked to consider the absurdity and injustice of debarring a large number of readers from the enjoyment of an old author, because a living editor has once printed his works, when the feeling of the editor himself is well expressed in the words of one of the class, 'You are heartily welcome to all I have ever done. I should rejoice to see my books in the hands of a hundred, where they are now on the shelves of one.'"—Extract from the first Prospectus.
The publications for 1864 are :—
1. Early English Alliterative Poems in the West Midland Dialect of
the fourteenth century (ab. 1320-30 A.d.). Edited for the first time from a unique MS. in the British Museum, with Notes and Glossarial Index, by Richard Morris, Esq. 16».
2. Arthur. Edited for the first time from the Marquis of Bath's MS.
(ab. 1440 A.d.), by F. J. Furnivall, Esq., M.A. 4s.
3. Ane compendious and breve Tractate, concernyng ye office and
dewtie of Kyngis, Spirituall Pastoris, and temporall Jugis; laitlie compylit be William Lauder. Reprinted from the edition of 1556, and edited by Prof. Pitz-Edward Hall, D.C.L. 4s.
4. Sir Gawayne and the Green Knight. Edited by R. Morris, Esq.,
from the Cottonian MS., Nero, A x. (ab. 1320-30 A.d.) 10».
The publications for the present year (1865) will comprise Texts from at least four unique MSS., two of which will be edited for the first time.
5. Of the Orthographie and Congruitie of the Britan Tongue, a treates
noe shorter then necessarie, be Alexander Hume. Edited for the first time from the MS. in the British Museum (ab. 1617 A.d.), by Henry B. Wheatley, Esq. 4s.
6. Syr Lancelot du Lak. Edited from the MS. in the Cambridge
University Library (15th century), by the Rev. Walter W.
7. Morte Arthure: the Alliterative Version. Edited from Robert
Thorntone's MS. (ab. 1440 A.d.) at Lincoln, by the Rev. F. C.