Part 1: Old English

[KING] ALFRED [871-901].

Preface to St. Gregory's Pastoral Care. [Transcribed and translated by John F. Tinkler] Aelfred kyning hateth gretan _____________ biscep his wordum Alfred king bids greet bishop _____________ with his words luflice ond freondlice; ond the cythan hate thaet me com loving and friendly; and to thee bids make known that to me comes swithe oft on gemynd, hwelce wiotan iu waeren giond very often into remembrance, what wise men once were throughout Angelcynn, aegther ge godcundra ge woruldcundra; ond hu English-kind, both godly and worldly; and how gesaeliglica tida tha waeron giond Angelcynn; and hu tha kyningas happy times then were throughout English-kind; and how the kings the thone onwald haefdon thaes folces Gode ond his aerendwrecum who then power had over the people obeyed God and his errand- hiersumedon; ond hu hie aegther ge hiora sibbe ge hiora siodu bearers; and how both their peace and their morality ge hiora onweald innanbordes gehioldon, ond eac ut and their power within their borders they held, and also outside hiora ethel rymdon; ond hu him tha speow aegther ge their property enlarged; and how to him then was success both mid wige ge mid wisdome; ond eac tha godcundan hadas hu giorne in war and in wisdom; and eke then the godly -hood how eager hie waeron aegther ge ymb lare ge ymb liornunga, ge ymb ealle tha they were both about lore and about learning, and about all the thiowotdomas the hie Gode don scoldon; ond hu man utanbordes services they for God must do; and how men outside our borders wisdom ond lare hieder on lond sohte, ond hu we hie nu wisdom and lore hither in land sought, and how we them now sceoldon ute begietan, gif we hie habben sceoldan. Swae claene must from outside get, if we them must have. So complete was hioe waes othfeallenu on Angelcynne thaet swithe feawe waeron their falling off among English-kind that very few were behionan Humbre the hiora theninga cuthen understondan on behind the Humber who their services could understand in Englisc oththe furthum an aerendgewrit of Laedne on Englisc English or even an errand-writ from Latin to English [could] areccean; ond ic wene thaette noghte monige begiondan Humbre. translate; and I ween that not many were beyond the Humber. Swae feawa hiora waeron thaet ic furthum anne anlepne ne me So few of them were that I even an one cannot me gethencean be suthan Temese tha tha ic to rice feng. Gode think south of the Thames when I grasped rule. God aelmihtegum sie thonc thaette we nu aenige onstal habbath almighty be thanked that we now any supply have lareowa. For thon ic the bebiode thaet thu do swae ic geliefe of teachers. Therefore I thee command that you do as I believe thu wille, thaet thu the thissa woruldthinga to thaem geaemetige, you wish, that you from these worldly affairs disengage yourself, swae thu oftest maege, thaet thu thone wisdom the the God sealde as oftenest as you may, that you entrust the wisdom that God gave thaer thaer thu hiene befaestan maege, befaeste. Gethenc hwelc you wherever you may entrust it. Think what witu us tha becomen for thisse worulde, tha tha we hit nowhaether punishments upon us then came in this world, when we neither ne selfe ne lufden, ne eac othorum monnum ne lefdon; thone naman loved it ourselves, nor eke allowed it to other men; the name aenne we lufedon thaette we Cristne waeron, ond swithe feawa tha alone we loved that we were Christians, and very few [loved] the theawas. virtues.

AELFRIC's Colloquy:

Written by Aelfric [c.950-1020] in Latin, and anonymously translated into Old English in the early 1000s. The three versions here are (a) the Latin original; (b) the Old English translation; (c) John F. Tinkler's plodding translation. [Transcribed and translated by John F. Tinkler.] Discipulus: Nos pueri rogamus te, magister, ut Discipulus: We cildra biddath the, eala lareow, thaet Student: We children bid thee, oh teacher, that doceas nos loqui Latialiter recte, quia idiote sumus, thu taece us sprecan rihte, for tham ungelaerede we syndon thou teach us to speak rightly, for the unlearned we are et corrupte loquimur. and gewaemmodlice we sprecath. and corruptly we speak. Magister: Quid vultis loqui? Magister: Hwaet wille ge sprecan? Teacher: What will ye speak? D: Quid curamus quid loquimur, nisi recta locutio sit, D: Hwaet rece we hweat we sprecan, buton hit riht spraec sy S: What care we what we speak, unless it right speech be et utilis, non anilis, aut turpis? and behefe, naes idel oththe fracod. and [useful/]behooveful, not idle or wicked. M: Vultis flagellari in discendo? M: Wille ye beon beswungen on leornunge? T: Will ye to be beaten in learning? D: Carius est nobis flagellari pro doctrina, quam nescire; D: Leofre ys us beon beswungen for lare thaenne hit ne cunnan; S: Dearer it is to us to be beaten for teaching, than it not to sed scimus to mansuetum esse, et nolle inferre ac we witan the bilewitne wesan and nellan onbelaeden know; but we know you kindly are and do not wish to inflict plagias nobis, nisi cogaris a nobis. swincgla us buton thu bi togenydd fram us. blows on us, unless you are forced by us. M: Interrogo te quid mihi loqueris. Quid habes operis? M: Ic axie the, hwaet sprycst thu? Whaet haefst thu weorkes? T: I ask thee, what say you? What have you of work? D: Professus sum monachum, et psallam omni die septem sinaxes D: Ic eom geanwyrde monuc, and ic sincge aelce daeg seofan tida S: I am professed monk, and I sing each day seven times cum fratribus, et occupatus sum lectionibus et cantu; sed mid gebrothrum, and ic eom bysgod on raedinga and on sange; ac with the brethren, and I am busied in readings and in song; but tamen vellem interim discere sermocinari Latina lingua. theah hwaethere ic wolde betwenan leornian sprecan on Leden-gereorde. nevertheless I wish betweentimes to learn to speak in Latin-language.

AELFRIC's Lives of the Saints [1010?].

[Transcribed and transalted by John F. Tinkler] Aelfric gret eadmodlice Adelwerd ealdorman and ic saege Aelfric greets humbly Adelwerd alderman and I say the leof thaet ic haebbe nu gegaderod on thyssere bec thaera to thee dear that I have now gathered in this book those halgena thowunga the me to onhagode on englisc to saints' sufferings that for me have been convenient in English to awendene for than the thu leof swithost and aethelmaer swylcera translate for that you most dear and Aethelmaer for such gewrita me baedon and of handum gelaehton eowerne geleafan writings me bade and from my hands received your faith to getrymmenne mid thaere gerecednysse the ge on eowrum gereorde to confirm with these accounts which you in your language naefdon aer. Thu wast leof thaet we awendon on tham twam had not before. You know dear that we translated in the two aerrum bocum thaera halgena throwunga and lif the angel-cynn earlier books those saints' sufferings and lives that the English mid freols-dagum wurthath. Nu ge-wearth us thaet we thas boc with feast-days honor. Now it happens to us that we this book be thaera halgena throwungum and life gedihton the mynster-men about the saints' sufferings and lives compose that minster-men mid heora thenungum betwux him wurthiath. with their services between themselves honor.

WULFSTAN (1014):

The sermon of "Wolf" to the English when the Danes persecuted them most, which was in the year 1014 from the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. [Transcribed and translated by John F. Tinkler.] Leofan men, gecnawath thaet soth is: theos woruld is Beloved men, know what sooth is: this world is on ofste, and hit nealaecth tham ende; and thy hit is on on haste, and it neareth the end; and for it is in the worulde a swa leng swa wyrse, and swa hit scael nyde world ever so much longer, so much worse, and so it must needs aer Antecristes tocyme yfelian swythe. Understandath before Antichrist's arrival worsen greatly. Understand eac georne thaet deofol thas theode nu fela geara dwelode also clearly that the devil this people now many years has led to swithe, and thaet lytle getrywtha waeron mid mannum, astray too much, and that little faith was among men, theah hi wel spaecan, and unrihte to fela ricsode on though they well spoke, and wrongs too much have reigned on lande. And naes a fela manna the hogade ymbe tha land. And there was not ever many men that thought about the bote swa georne swa man scolde, ac daeghwamlice man ihte remedy as eagerly as men should, but daily they added yfel aefter othrum and unriht raerde and unlaga manege evil after other and injustice reared and many wrongs ealles to wide gynd ealle thas theode. all too widely throughout this nation.


[Originally prepared during Alfred's reign, 871-901, with later continuations] [Transcribed and translated by John F. Tinkler.] 893. Her on thysum geare for se micla here, the we gefyrn Here in this year went the great host, that we previously ymbe spraecon, eft of thaem eastrice wesweard to Bunnan, spoke about, again from the east kingdom westward to Boulogne, ond thaer wurdon gescipode, swa thaet hie asettan him on anne and there were provided-with-ships, so that they crossed in one sith ofer, mid horsum mid ealle, ond tha comon up on journey over, with horses and all, and they came up in the Limenemuthan mid ccl hunde scipa. Se mutha is on easteweardre mouth-of-the-Lympne with 250 ships. This mouth is in Eastern Cent, aet thaes miclan wuda eastende the we Andred hatath; Kent, at the great wood's east end that we call Andred; se wudu is eastlang ond westlang hundtwelftiges mila lang oththe this wood east to west a hundred and twelve miles long or lengra, ond thritiges mila brad; seo ea the we aer ymbe spraecon longer, and thirty miles wide; the river that we before spoke lith ut of thaem wealda; on tha ea hi tugon up hiora scipu oth about flows out of that forest; on this river they towed their scipu oth thone weald iiii mila from thaem muthan uteweardum, ships to the forest 4 miles from the outside of the mouth, ond thaer abraecon an geweorc; inne on thaem faestenne saeton and there destroyed a fort; within that fortress lay [Para] feawa cirlisce men on, ond waes samworht. Tha sona aefter thaem a few churlish men, and was half-wrought. Then soon after this Tha sona aefter thaem com Haesten mid lxxx scipa up on Then soon after this came Haeston with 80 ships up in Temesemuthan, ond worhte him geweorc aet Midddeltune, ond the mouth-of-the-Thames, and wrought him a fort at Middeltune, and se other here aet Apuldre. the other army at Apuldre. 894. On thys geare, thaet was ymb twelf monath thaes the hie In this year, that was about twelve months that they on thaem eastrice geweorc geworht haefdon, Northymbre in the eastern kingdom the fort had fortified, the Northumbrians ond East Engle haefdon Aelfrede cyninge athas geseald, ond and East Anglians had to Alfred king oaths given, and East Engle foregisla vi; ond theh ofer tha the East Anglians preliminary hostages six; and who against the treowa, swa oft swa tha othre hergas mid ealle herige utforon pledge, as often as the other forces with all force went forth thonne foron hie, oththe mid, oththe on heora healfe on. Tha then went they, either with, or in their own direction. Then gegaderade Aelfred cyning his fierd, ond for thaet he gathered Alfred king his army, and for that he gewicode betwuh thaem twam hergum, thaer thaer he niehst rymet camped between the two armies, there where he nearest room haefte for wudufaestenne ond for waeterfeastenne, swa thaet had for wood-protection and for water-protection, so that he mehte aegtherne geraecan gif hie aenige feld secan wolden. he might each seize if they any field would seek. Tha foron hie siththan aefter thaem wealda, hlothum ond Then went they after through the woods, in bands and flocradum, bi swa hwatherre efes swa hit thonne fierdleas waes; troops, at whichever edge where it then defenseless was; ond him eac mid othrum floccum sohte maestra daga aelce, oththe and them also with other troops sought almost every day, either on daegd oththe on niht, ge of thaere fierde, ge eac of thaem by day or by night, both from the army, and also from the burgum; haefde se cyning his fierd on tu tonumen, swa thaet cities; the king had his army in two divided, so that hie waeron simle healfe aet ham, healfe ute, butan thaem they were always half at home, half abroad, except those monnum the tha burga healdan scolden. men who must guard the cities.