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The transition from the impersonal to the personal construction in Middle English

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ficier.t to adduce a few instances of such phrases as underwent a change later on.

Iloccleve, Minor Poems III, 4'6 Despende on me a drope of thy largesse... if it thee lyke & plese.

Book of the Kn. of La Tour Landry 11/2, God yeuithe and sendithe where hym plesïthe.

Generydes 443, mjy message wold I say, if it yow please.

Ibid. 824, If it please yow ye may respite his payn; similarly 1390, 1394, 1523. 1734, 1786, &c.

Ibid. 1245, when ener it please yow do so meche for me.

Ibid. 6529,... as it please yow to do.

Merlin 253/18, cheseth with yow soche as yow pleseth.

Ibid. 302/32,... yef it plese hym. -— Yef it plese yow occurs 51/1, 81/27, 86/29, 169/7, 230/3 &c.

Caxton, Reynard, p. 72, he shall werke and avenge it as it plesyth hym.

29. semen, 'seem, appear'.

O. E. seman, connected with the noun som, 'concord, agreemcnt, reconciliation', and the adverb same, 'similarly', means 'conciliate, settic, arrange', so that the M. E. and Mod. E. signification cannot be considered a development of the sense of the O. E., verb. In early M. E. semen often means 'be suitable, fitting, convenient, becoming', e.g. Juliana 54- we^ semed to beon swuch streon; Cursor Mnndi 3311 C, all hir dedis can hir seme ; a late instance is found in Cleanness (E. E. All. P.) 793, wel hit hem semed, and a still later one in üestr. 'of 7 roy 3046, Hir nose... was... nawther to wide no to wan, but as hom wel semyt. Sim. Ibid. 3832. 1 even have one dating from 1576: hit seemes hir well, Phy, phy, phy, phy, to sing (Gascoigne, Compl. of Phil. p. 111). Now O. N. sa ma has exactly the same meaning, so that M. E. semen 'be suitable &c' is not a continuation of O. E. seman, but a Scandinavian loanword. *) It seniel> = 'it suits, it is becoming, it has a pleasing appearance', soon got a more general meaning, that of 'appear', as in Orm's Dedication 66,... alls it scmc])j>; Gen. & Exod. 2169 It semet wel fc,at ge spies ben; Havelok 978,lian

*) Cf Bjürkuiau. Luan Word», p. 81 and 21!).