Two Passages in Bale's "John, King of England." Act I, ll. 450-8

Montague Summers
1916 Modern Language Review  
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more » ... tion of Bale's King John (The Dramatic Writings of John Bale: Early English Drama Society), which The impossible 'O.E. spider' given in most English dictionaries is, as was duly pointed out in the Oxford English Dictionary, due to a mistake of Cockayne's. He prints (Leechdoms III, 42, in a charm) ' Her com ingangan in spider wiht,' but the MS. has clearly inspidenwiht. There is some appearance of an erasure in the n, but the letter cannot possibly have been r, and Cockayne's translation, 'a spider wight,' does not suit the context. The words are clearly corrupt, but no satisfactory emendation has occurred to me. HENRY BRADLEY. OXFORD. A PASSAGE IN 'SALOMON AND SATURN.' The prose Salomon and Saturn is printed in Thorpe's Analecta Anglo-Saxonica, p. 110 seq. In answer to the question, what are the eight pounds by weight called, of which Adam was made ? Solomon is made to say: 'fifte waes gyfe pund, panon him waes geseald se fat and ge5ang.' Kemble (IElfric Society no. 13), in a text so incorrect that it can hardly be taken from the MS., reads 'se faet and gepang,' and translates: 'the fifth was a pound of grace, whence were given him his fat and growth.' Bosworth-Toller, relying on and quoting only this passage, has: 'Gepang, growth.' I do not know how the mistake arose, or how fat came to be regarded as a product of grace, presumably a byproduct (as in Mr Chadband); but the MS. (Cotton Vitel. A. xv, the Beowulf MS.) has quite clearly and unmistakably: 'fifte waes gyfe pund, Janon hym wes geseald sefa 7 gedang' (the fifth was a pound of grace, whence was given to him mind and thought). I lay stress on the perfect legibility of the text, because sefa is regarded as a word belonging entirely to the poetic vocabulary.
doi:10.2307/3712978 fatcat:y2ukw3yuabeclezkreoyzulpma