The adjective, too, figures in a D construction anterior to 1250, viz. in
Gen. & Exod. 3982, \or- fore am ic wi& \e &us lo<t. Dr. Morris thinks this line corrupt, and suggests wroiï; but right or wrong from an editor's point of view, the fact remains that we have here an instance of a construction that was to become very general within less than a century.
The earliest instance I have found in the Northern dialect is c. 1320 Cursor Mundi 9240 C, abyuth [elyachym... Azor...
sadoch] that lath er for to lig in rim; F and G similar; T different.
I must own this example is open to the objection that lath er may not have developed from lath es; it is just possible that lath er means simply 'are ugly', 'are unfit', although I do not think so, especially because I have never come across a similar instance of lop ben used in this way.
70. In the following quotations, dating from before 1400, all three dialects are represented.
1303 Brunne, Handl. Synne 3017, 5if j)y prout wurdys make hym wroth Be pou neuer so lefe ne loth. beg. I4th cent. Bonaventura's Med. 299, Lope pon not hys sorowes to se; cf. 300: ]>e which hym loped not to suffre for l>e.
Ibid. 597, Thos howndes zvere lothe hys de]> for to tarye.
1320 Shoream, I'oems I 1065, l»e bydde ich, brojier, be nau~,t loft To do penaunce here.
c. 1350 Alex. & Dind. 272, al lu|iur bi-leue we lopen in herte.
Ibid. 373, IVe libben in loue & lopen enuie.
1362 Piers PI. A Prol. 52, Grete lobres & longe ]tat lop weore to swynke = B Prol. 55.
c. 1375 St. Machor (Ae. Leg. Neue F.; Aberdeen dial.) 1606, sa |l»ai] partyt, Jiocht pat war lath.
1393 Gower, Conf. Am. V 4650, Suche brocage as wyves lothe.
Ibid. V 5606, The fader and the tnoder bothe To leve here douhter weren lothe.
71. ïn the fifteenth century the new construction gradual-