Chaucer, Cant. T. B 2270 ther nis no creature so good that kim ne wanteth somwhat of the perfeccioun of god.
At flrst lackcn and wanten were quite synonymous; in later M. E. wanten acquired a secondary sense; vie tvantej) often nieant not only 'I have not', but also 'I wish to have. I he transition was an easy one, and is strikingly illustrated by a comparison of the above quotation from the Ashmole version of Alexius (2nd quarter 14th cent.) with the corresponding passages in the other versions, I.aud 108 & \ ernon 1. 32, ( otton 1- 33 & 34- Laud 463, and Trinity 1. 28 & 29; Laud 622 1. 106 & 107, in which we are told that Alexius' parents prayed God to send them a child.
The General Causes of the Transition.
32. The most potent cause of the transition has already heen referred to (§ 3). We must now go more ftilly into this matter.
Whenever the third pers. sing. present of any of the verbs and phrases under consideration was acconipanied by a noitn in the singular, confusion was likely to arise, and was inevitable whenever the noun preceded the verb, as:
Prov. of Alfr. (O. E. Misc.) Jesus MS. 75, je eurl and />c fjulyng ilmrej) vnder godne king |iat lond to lede.
Chaucer, Pari. of F. 101, 102, The juge dremeth how his plees ben sped; The carter dremeth how his cartes goon.
Gower, Conf. Am. I, 239, Supplaunt with his slie caste
Full ofte happeneth for to mowe Thing which another man hath sowe.
Myr. of oure Ladye 8, 9,... if eny suche persone happen to se this boke...
Libell of Eng. Pol. 120, what hath than Flaundres. be Flemminges leef or lothe, But a litel madere and Flemish clothe.
Hoccleve, Minor P. XX 269, 27o, Well ny eny wyght forto comune with me lothe is.
N. E. Leg. 33/229, |iat mi lord likes to hauc.
Ü. E. Hom. I p. 187, hwinis me bitter al |iet m flehs likes.