Sidor som bilder

Now she will, and then she will not;
Put her to the trial, if once she smile:
Silly youth, thy fortunes spill not;

Lingering labours oft themselves beguile.
He that knocks, and can't get in,
His pick-lock is not worth a pin.

A woman's nay is no denial;

Silly youths of love are served so: Put her to a further trial;

Haply she'll take it, and say no. For 'tis a trick which women use, What they love they will refuse.

Silly youth, why dost thou dally?
Having got time and season fit;

Then never stand "Sweet, shall I shall I?”
Nor too much commend an after-wit;
For, he that will not when he may,
When he will he shall have nay.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]





As it was a principal object of this Miscellany, to collect such a series of early poetry as should exhibit specimens of our language through all its gradations, it may, perhaps, be convenient to the reader to bring into one point of view the various conclusions or conjectures which these specimens have suggested. These are dispersed through the first volume of the work, so as to form a succinct and intelligible, if not a satisfactory history of the formation and early progress of the English language.

The Saxon conquerors of this country, having been converted to Christianity towards the close of the sixth century, appear to have engaged in the pursuit of learning with the usual eagerness of proselytes. Great numbers of them, travelling to Rome in quest of religious truth, distinguished themselves by their zeal and industry, and, returning to their own country, brought with them considerable stores of such learning as that age could furnish. At a time when single books were estimated so highly, as to form no trifling part of

« FöregåendeFortsätt »