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treatment of the subject, correctness of detail, and accuracy of the opinions expressed, cannot be too highly praised. In 1830 Mr. Thorpe translated this work into English, and thus conferred a boon upon the Anglo-Saxon student that can never be adequately acknowledged. :

Thorkelin's edition of the Beowulf, together with Rask's Saxon Grammar, may be regarded as the immediate causes of the revival of the interest in Anglo-Saxon studies which characterises the present century. We acknowledge, though not without shame, that this second revival of Anglo-Saxon learning is due to the genius of foreigners; still, we can turn proudly to the names of Parker and Cotton, Thorpe and Kemble, Conybeare and Ingram, Bosworth and Wright, to show that the descendants of the Anglo-Saxons have awakened to the fact that the language and literature of their ancestors is worthy of the attention of scholars, and that they will not allow other nations, although kindred, to carry off the palm in this particular.

Simply to enumerate the works upon every branch of the subject which have appeared during the past fifty years would tax the reader's patience to too great an extent, even if our space permitted. One fact is clear. A revival of Anglo-Saxon learning has taken place, and this in so thorough a manner that

we venture to predict it will not suffer another relapse. As the revival of classical learning in the fifteenth century has resulted in a masterly investigation of the history, the laws, the politics, and the social institutions of Greece and Rome, not to mention the accurate scholarship of the day which has produced these results, so, we believe, the time is not very far distant when there will arise many a fine Anglo-Saxonist to carry on the work begun by Turner, Thorpe, and Kemble, until at length every branch of the literature of Anglo-Saxon England will be understood as thoroughly as are those of ancient Greece and Rome.

CHAPTER I.

Advantages of the Study of Anglo-Saxon.

NOTWITHSTANDING all that has been ac

OTWITHSTANDING all that has been ac

complished during the past fifty years, especially in England and Germany, to facilitate and popularise the study of Anglo-Saxon, it is, nevertheless, a fact that, even at the present day, the subject has not the same fascination to the majority of students, (and we refer especially to University men,) as the study of the Classics, or even as the study of modern European languages; while by the masses of ordinarily well-educated people it is but too often regarded as a mere virtuoso affair, worthy only to amuse the idler hours of the antiquary.

We do not contend that a thorough knowledge of Anglo-Saxon literature is indispensable if one would attain to eminence in Letters, at the Bar, in the Senate, or in the Church; but we do hold that the advantages of the study to those who speak the English tongue can hardly be overrated.

The Anglo-Saxon literature, considering the state of civilisation to which Europe had attained at the time when it appeared, will bear comparison with any literature of the same age, and with a great deal that has appeared in later times. We must not compare it with the classic literature of Greece and Rome, which was produced after these nations had reached maturity and were in the very zenith of their intellectual greatness.

This literature corresponds more exactly with the writings of that brilliant period in England, the dawn of which illumined the later years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and the full splendour of which is felt even at the present day. The Anglo-Saxon literature, though far from being so highly polished or showing so high a degree of intellectual culture as this, yet has charms of its own of a very marked character.

It is undeniable that it possesses intrinsic merit of a high order, and is therefore capable of affording pleasure to those who can look beneath the antique style, and seize upon the poetic and other treasures which lie embedded in the obsolete language and verse-systems of a by-gone age.

One fact concerning the writings of the AngloSaxon period does not seem to be generally appreciated, namely, that judging from the extant relics,

which have already been discovered, they must originally have extended over a very wide field. They show the class of poetry that gave pleasure to the warrior in the Mead-hall, to the family in the ton, and to the religious in the monastery; they bring to light the quaint catechetical system of education generally adopted in the monastic schools, and disclose the extent of the scientific attainments of the literati of that day; and they comprise historic documents of high value, though but too frequently coloured by clerical bias or monastic prejudice. There are charters which explain many a point and unravel many a difficulty in constitutional history; there are codes of laws, civil and ecclesiastical, that, in many instances, show the basis of our modern canon and common law; there are Anglo-Saxon translations of the Gospels, the Psalter and other parts of the Holy Scriptures; there are renderings of the Decalogue, the Lord's Prayer, the Creed, the Ave Maria and of other parts of the Anglican service books; and finally, there are treatises on theology, and writings on philosophy, besides manuals of piety, and homilies of illustrious prelates. These works, considered simply as relics of an important past, might well excite curiosity, apart from their value to the littératcur, the historian, the divine, the lawyer and the general student, for the simple

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