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SELECT TRANSLATIONS FROM

OLD ENGLISH PROSE

EDITED BY

Slanburz

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ALBERT S. COOK
PROFESSOR OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE IN

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COPYRIGHT, 1908, BY
ALBERT S. COOK AND CHAUNCEY B. TINKER

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

830.10

The Athenæum Press
GINN AND COMPANY PRO-
PRIETORS. BOSTON • U.S.A.

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عمر می

PREFACE

The reception accorded to our Select Translations from Old English Poetry has encouraged us to believe that a companion volume from Old English prose might be welcome. While primarily intended for the student of literature, it will be found to contain matter of scarcely less interest to the student of history, and especially of what the Germans call the history of culture.

A preliminary examination of the writings of the period, with reference to a provisional selection of passages for the work, was made, at the suggestion of the senior editor, by Miss Mary W. Smyth and Miss Elizabeth W. Manwaring, both of whom are represented in the volume by translations; but the eventual decision was made by ourselves.

Some justification may be necessary for including translations from Latin, as well as from Old English. In the first place, works like the Ecclesiastical History and the Pastoral Care were originally composed in Latin, and this Latin can hardly be ignored in making translations into modern English; while most other prose writings of the period are colored by Latin influence. In the second place, an author like Alcuin is essentially English, though none of his extant writings are in that tongue, and though much of his life was passed on the Continent. Finally, portions of the Benedictine Rule are included, because of its profound and extensive influence upon men's minds in that age, and because it, too, was translated and glossed in the Old English period.

Our thanks are due to those translators all of them graduate students of English at Yale in the past or present — who have willingly collaborated with us. It became more and more evident, as we proceeded, that the older versions, such as those of Giles, are too inaccurate to be reproduced without modification; our only regret on this point is that new translations were not made in all such

cases.

We should be glad if this book might do something to extend and deepen the interest in the words and works of those who toiled, a millennium or more ago, that England and the world might live; and we could even wish that it might suggest a closer conformity to their simplicity, courage, and devotion to the things of the spirit. YALE UNIVERSITY

November 15, 1907

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