> the following highlighted words mean:
> Of Absolon and hende Nicholas,
Hende is one that gave me pause. It does appear to be a word that has dropped out of ussage. I don't immediately recongnize it.
> But it were only Osewold the Reve.
Simple. Oswald the REVEREND! Or, as we would still say today, "The Rev."
> He (be)gan to grucche, and blamed it a lite.
He bagan to "grouch." Get grumpy. Complain.
> This white top writeth myne olde yeris, Myn herte is also
> mowled as myne heris, But if I fare as dooth an
> open-ers, - That ilke fruyt is ever lenger
> the wers, Til it be roten in mullok or in
This white top writeth mine old years, My heart is also
moldy as my hairs, But if I fare as doth an
open-ers, - That ilk fruit is ever longer
the wear, Till it be rotten in mullok or in
"Open-ers" doth confuse me. :-) "Ilke," based on context and form suggests "distasteful." "Ever longer the wers" meaning "exposed for a long time (wers = wear)." "Mullok," a noun, possibly refering mould. Same goes for "stree."
> "Foure gleedes have we which I shall devise, -
> Avauntyng, lyng, anger, covetousness; These four
> sparkles long unto eelde.
"Gleedes:" Can't guess. Context might help.
"Avauntyng" = Avarice.
> Is Beowulf relevant to this particular discussion? If
> so, here's a snippet in the original Anglo-Saxon:
The increadible divergence between Old English and Middle English is certainly made apparent. Middle English is, asside from a few nouns and adjectives that have passed in and out of ussage, essentially Modern English. I'd wager a weeks pay that if you visited the village I was born in, you'd not understand any more of my neighbors than a modern reader is likely to understand of Chaucer (in fact, Chaucer is MORE intelligible!). But I dare you to suggest that Newfoundlanders are not English-speakers!
The contention is not that language does not change, but whether or not there is a parent-child relationship between the language of Beowulf and the language of the Cantebury Tales. M.J Harper says no. I am enclined to agree! :-)