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The reports in the present volume have never The rebefore been published. It may be hoped that it will this8 m appear from them, as Coke remarked, "how necessary volume
. • . n ii i i not pre
"it is to read records and pleas reported or viously "recorded, though they were never printed. For ^g1,ghed: "those and the like records are veritatis et vetustatis opinion of "vestigia."1 They are full of information of thesuohre"
most varied character, and the matters which occur in them might be made the subjects of almost innumerable dissertations. The book will, however, be quite sufficiently bulky without the addition of any very lengthy introduction, and the Editor's remarks have, therefore, been restricted to comments on a few cases.
The volume contains the whole of the reports of Division Hilary and Easter Terms and about half of the °*r\hse0rfe" reports of Trinity Term of the year 20 Edward III. the year 20 A considerable difficulty has arisen in dividing the Jjj jnj0 material which has been found into volumes of a two parts, convenient size. The reports of Michaelmas Term of j^is js ^e this year extend, in one of the MSS., over a much firstgreater space than those of any Terms which have hitherto been printed in the series. By placing the first half of Trinity Term here, however, and the second half with Michaelmas Term, I hope to effect the best arrangement which is possible, and so to complete the year, and fill up the gap existing in the old printed editions, in one more volume.
saT to*03 ^ W^ ^en remam ^ ^ may permitted to look succeed forward so far) to produce the Glossary which was liratlon'of i^u^ed m original instructions relating to the the second Year Books. I have on many occasions mentioned Part- the progress which was being made with it, and it has constituted a part of my work from the very first day when I took up the editorship more than a quarter of a century ago. Siyno Though French must have been commonly spoken previous in England by the higher classes from a time not
dictTonary1 very long after tbe Norman Conquest until the of the middle of the reign of Edward III., there is hinguage practically no comprehensive dictionary' or glossary spoken in of the language as used in this country. There is fowrTto a curious "Dictionary of the Norman or Old French the year "Language collected from such Acts of Parliament, 1362, ". . . . Law Books, &c, as relate to this nation," by Bobert Kelham. It gives no indication of the different parts of speech. It appears to have been compiled on no definite system, and printed without any correction of the manuscript as first written, or of proofs for the press. It was published in 1779. M. Moisy's more recent Glossaire comparatif anglo-normand does not include Year Books, or Statutes, or Parliament Bolls among its sources.
There are glossaries to the texts of various works, too numerous to mention here, but each extending to the one particular text, and no further. The late Professor Maitland, whose premature death is a deplorable loss to all students of legal history, began "an examination of the Year Book verb . . ., and "spent some weeks in the collection of forms that "are written at full length."1 The words thus collected extend over five pages and a half. They were, of course, only intended to serve as specimens. In some cases the infinitive is given without the other moods; in other cases there are various moods,
i Year Books of Edw. IJ, (Selden Society), Vol. I., Introd., p. liii.
tenses, and persons without the infinitive. It was not a glossary which was being attempted, but an illustration of some inconsistencies in conjugating and spelling, to be followed by some examples of the sequence of tenses.
There are many dissertations (English, French and J?^r*^ German) on- the character of the French language eeming spoken in England. They usually indicate peculiarities the lan_ which are supposed to distinguish it from theguage' language spoken or written on the Continent. They agree, for the most part, in representing it as of an inferior quality. They commonly, however, relate to some special work, and their argument is from the particular to the general. To the French language spoken in England in its entirety, to its vocabulary and grammar as a whole, there is practically no guide.
There are dictionaries and glossaries, as well as Dictiongrammars, of the Eomance languages.1 There are th^Eoalso glossaries limited to the Langue d'o'il,2 which, manoe being more specialised, throw more light upon the lansua§es' various dialects of French spoken north of a certain * boundary. None of them will, however, be found to suffice for the interpretation of the Year Books and other French writings of English origin.
More closely associated with our subject are, per- Dictionhaps, some comprehensive dictionaries of old French, the old which include occasional references to French works preach written in England. Among these may be mentioned Saintege the Dictionnaire historique de Vancien langage fraru-ois PaleTe(in ten volumes)- of La Curne de Sainte-Palaye. The
1 Specially worthy of mention among these are the works of Eaynouard (who discovered the laws of the old French declension), and Diez. A fifth edition ol Diez's Etymologisches Worterbuch der romanischen Spraclten was published inl887,withanAppendix,or^»AB»9, by August Scheler. There was also an Index to this edition, by Johann
Urban' Jarnik, published in 1889.
2 Among these may be mentioned the Glossaire etymologique which forms the third volume of Bnrguy's Grammaire de la langue d'o'd, 1853-1856. It is restricted to French dialects of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. There is also a Glossaire de la langue d'oil by Dr. A. Bos, published in 1891.
author died in the year 1781, and the work is consequently not illumined with any modern scholarship. It . remained 'long in manuscript, and was not published in its entirety until the year 1882.1 Gociefroy's The most recent dictionary of the kind is the ary-Tt" Dictionnaire de I'ancienne langue francaise by Frederic does not Godefroy, of which the first volume appeared in grounds 1880' and the tenth (the last) in 1902. It has the pro- a considerable number of references to French works glossary, written in England, including even some of the earlier volumes of Year Books of the reign of Edward I. published in the Eolls series. It also shows an acquaintance with some of our earlier statutes written in French, but not with the edition of the Statutes of the Realm published by the Kecord Commission. Naturally, perhaps, it is not always strictly correct when dealing with the technical terms used in England, as when it converts an array of jurors (Arraie) into a judicial decision. It contains, moreover, at once too much and too •little for the student of English law and history. Etymology is excluded from it, but it embraces all the French dialects, and the period from the ninth century to the fifteenth. Its vocabulary is, perhaps, all that is needed for the French which was spoken before and shortly after the Conquest. It does not, however, include sufficient details of the speech actually used in England in later years. Illustra- Suppose, for instance, that anyone wishing to study his author at first hand, in the original language, met with the word conisast. He would look for it in vain in any of the works mentioned above. In the glossary now in course of preparation
'1 It is a work of great erudition, but the value which it possessed when it was written diminished, of course, with the advance of knowledge. See the compte rendu of it by M. Paul Meyer in Romania,
Vol. IV., p. 278; M. Leopold Favre's reply entitled " Le Glossaire de La Gurne de Sainte Palaye et M. Paul Meyer" • and M. Paul Meyer' final remarks in Romania, Vol. IV. p. 492.
he would find it with a reference to the infinitive Conustre. Under Conustre the various meanings of^ the verb are stated, together with the various forms of the moods, tenses, and persons, and the word canisast among them. There are many instances in which a word may belong to more .verbs than one. Veie, for example, may be the third person singular of the present subjunctive of Veer, Veier, &c, (to see); it may also be the past participle of Veier, Vier, &c. (to deny or forbid). In each case .a reference will be given to the infinitive of both verbs. Laxity of spelling in the manuscripts is a cause o innumerable pitfalls, and one of the objects of the glossary will be to save the student from some, at any rate, of the risks of falling into them. Some further remarks on the principles on which it is being constructed will be found in the Introduction to a previous volume.1 There is reason to believe that it will not exceed a moderate compass.
The manuscripts which have been used to establish Manuthe text of the present volume are the Lincoln's usedto Inn MS., the Harleian MS. No. 741 in the British establish Museum, and the MS. in the University Library at offte^ Cambridge numbered Hh. 2, 3, all of which have present been described in the Introductions to previous volumes. With them has been collated a transcript which there is reason to believe was made by or for the late Mr. A. J. Horwood from a MS. formerly belonging to the late Sir Charles Isham, on which he reported to the Historical Manuscripts Commission.2
Sir Charles Isham's MS. is described in the Preface Disappearto the volume of Year Books containing reports ofj"^ftbe cases from Hilary Term 11 Edward III. to Trinity MS.: a Term 12 Edward III.8 It was seen by me in the ^ndscript
1Y.B., Easter and Trinity, 18 Manuscripts Commission, Appendix, Edw. III., Introd., pp. lxxxix-xc. p. 252. 2 Third Report of the Historical 8 pp. xiii-xv.