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Of the Orthographie and Congruitie of the Britan T

All material in parentheses () or square brackets [], including the (_sic_) notations, is from the 1865 original. Material added by the transcriber is in braces {}. Greek words have been transliterated and shown between +symbols+. Single Greek letters are identified by name: _eta_, _alpha_. o: and e: represent omega and eta. "i" represents upside-down i (used in I.3.6). {gh} represents yogh (used in I.4.10). {L} represents the "pounds" symbol. Letters with diacritics are "unpacked" and shown within braces: {a'} {e`} a with acute accent, e with grave accent Irregularities in chapter numbering are explained at the end of the editor's Notes.}

OF THE

ORTHOGRAPHIE AND CONGRUITIE

OF THE BRITAN TONGUE

A Treates, noe shorter then necessarie,

for the Schooles,

Be

ALEXANDER HUME.

Edited from the Original MS. in the British Museum, by HENRY B. WHEATLEY.

LONDON: Published for the Early English Text Society, by Truebner & Co., 60, Paternoster Row. MDCCCLXV.

HERTFORD: Printed by Stephen Austin.

PREFACE.

The following Tract is now printed for the first time from the original Manuscript in the old Royal Collection in the Library of the British Museum (Bibl. Reg. 17 A. xi). It is written on paper, and consists of forty-five leaves, the size of the pages being 5-3/4 in. by 3-3/4 in. The dedication, the titles, and the last two lines, are written with a different coloured ink from that employed in the body of the MS., and appear to be in a different handwriting. It is probable that the tract was copied for the author, but that he himself wrote the dedication to the King.

The Manuscript is undated, and we have no means of ascertaining the exact time when it was written; but from a passage in the dedication to James I. of England, it is fair to infer that it was written shortly after the visit of that monarch to Scotland, subsequent to his accession to the throne of the southern kingdom, that is, in the year 1617. This would make it contemporaneous with Ben Jonson's researches on the English Grammar; for we find, in 1629, James Howell (Letters, Sec. V. 27) writing to Jonson that he had procured Davies' Welch Grammar for him, "to add to those many you have." The grammar that Jonson had prepared for the press was destroyed in the conflagration of his study; so that the posthumous work we now possess consists merely of materials, which were printed for the first time in 1640, three years after the author's death.

The Dedication of this Tract is merely signed _Alexander Hume_, and contains no other clue to the authorship. Curiously enough there were four Alexander Humes living about the same time, and three of them were educated at St. Mary's College, St. Andrew's; only two, however, became authors, the first of whom was Minister of Logie, and wrote _Hymnes or Sacred Songes_. There can be little doubt, however, that the present grammar was written by the Alexander Hume who was at one time Head Master of the High School, Edinburgh, and author of _Grammatica Nova_.


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