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The booke of the common prayer, 1549

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In before (OE. beforan, biforan; ME. bi- before(n),eeis occasionally found: beefore 03720. It is not possible to attach much importance to a spelling like this.

1 The use of single or doublé vowel-signs is rather arbitrary. Wee 05621 (2) occurs by the side of the more usual we ; bee by the ade of be ; beefore 03720 by the side of before.

There is no hard and fast rule on this point, though it can be said that usage is not in favour of doublé vowel-signs at the and of words.

Capitain,- -ayne, 06306, 12804, is a survival of the original form. OED.: 4-5 capitain, 4-5 capteyn. It is not impossible that the forms with and without i suil coexisted at the time, though of course i may be a mere remnant in spelling.

Cerimonies 17224 is the old form (OED.: L. caerimoma, OF. cerymonie (probably): 4 een-, cery-, ceremoyn(e, -rnone, 4-5 serimorde, 4—6 seri-, seremonie, 6 cerimonie. Mediaeval Latin often had the spelling cere-, which spelling has been established since the 16th c. in French and English.)

By the side of Chapiter(s, Chapter(s is found. The two forms are about equally frequent. The form without i does not yet occur in the 14th c. according to Jordan § 248. The OED., however, gives it as occurring in the 14th c, though with a different spelling. OED : 4—6. Sc. chaptour; 4—8 chaptar, 6- chapter.

By the side of the usual form enough, in which e may indicate a vowel between e and i, there are 5 instances of inough(e (5), in which the old spelling has been preserved.

Mattens 05819 (rare) occurs by the side of mat(t)ins (25 tunes at least). This probably points to syllabic n by the side of forms

mMaarteX an old e-form by the side of i. OED.: 1-6 martir, 3-6 marter, 4-5 -tre, 5 -tier. OE. martyr. Perhaps there was no vowel at all in the second syllable of this word, but merely syllabic r.

2. parttculiarly 27432', is probably a printer's error. The form is not given by the OED.


After -g we find i instead of e to indicate the quality of -g in the word : pigions 23014. OED.: OF. pijon, pejon: 4-5 pejon, 5 pegion, 5-6 pygeon. The MoE. spelling is due to MoF. pigeon. The use of e in the second syllable of pügremes 15307 (ME. pelegnm