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She had woven in a stames large,
The main difficulties here lie in the fourth line-neither of the words in italics having as yet been explained. From the context stole is conjectured to mean some kind of stool or frame; but this conjecture has not, so far as we are aware, been in any way supported or confirmed by evidence. rore, on the other hand, has hardly received even a conjectural explanation; the far-fetched suggestion in Urry's Glossary being scarcely entitled to rank as a probable conjecture. Another word, stames, also requires detailed explanation. We will take the first and last of these difficulties, stole and stames, together, as they represent respectively the loom and the web, the machinery for weaving, and the completed work. As we have said, no explanation of either word has yet been given beyond the unsupported conjecture that stole would seem to mean a stool or frame, and that stames is a kind of cloth or fine worsted. That stole was an early English word for weaving frame or loom, admits, however, of definite proof. The . Promptorium Parvulorum, for example, gives a slightly different form of what is evidently the same word, stodul, which is glossed by Telarium, a mediæval word for loom. Telarium is explained in an early French glossary as, · Mestier, ou instru* ment à tixtre;' and Cotgrave gives as the second meaning of mestier, 'a weaver's frame or loom.' Again, Cooper, in his Latin Dictionary, explains textris as a woman weaving in a * frame or stoole;' and Golding, translating Ovid's description of weaving, employs the word frame in the same way for a loom :
Immediately they came And tooke ther places severally, and in a severall frame Ech streynde a web, the warpe whereof was fine. The web was tide Upon a beame. Betweene the warpe a slay of reede did slide. The woofe on sharpened pinnes was put betwixt the warpe and wrought With fingers, and as oft as they had through the warpe it brought, They struke it with a Boxen Combe.' Stames, again, given by Tyrwhitt in his Glossary,' as stamin, which is no doubt the same word, is used primarily for anything fixed and level, especially for anything fixed and levelled in a frame. In this way it is applied in the metrical romance of Morte Arthure, to the deck of a vessel, or possibly a raft,
and, in the early alliterative poem of Cleanness,' to a threshold or platform. In a similar way the word was early applied to the web fixed or stretched on the loom, especially as in primitive times the whole of the warp was stretched on the frame, and the finished web seen as a level sheet or single piece at once. Like stamen in Latin, and oth uw in Greek, from having originally designated the fixed threads or warp, stamin soon came to mean the finished web-any completed piece of weaving, plain or figured, arras, tapestry, or common cloth. In earlier times it was often in this way applied to rough woollen cloth, flannel, baize, or frieze, as by Chaucer himself in the tale of Melibeus, and in the metrical life of Thomas à Becket; and eventually was very much restricted to a finer kind of woollen cloth. In the text it is used generally for a web, piece of weaving or loomwork, and is exactly equivalent to another phrase used by Golding in describing Minerva’s completed web when she strove with Arachne for the victory in weaving. After detailing the figures woven by the goddess, the account concludes thus : ‘She maks the earth (the which her speare doth seem to strike) to send An olive-tree with fruit thereon. And that the Gods thereat Did wonder ; and with victorie she finished up
We have now to consider the other the third word or phrase in the extract, describing the kind of the loom-work, the general nature of the pattern or woven fabric, and this word is the greatest puzzle of all. It may, indeed, be fairly looked upon as the greatest word-crux in Chaucer's vocabulary next to hoppesters, if it be not more hopelessly obscure than even that ill-fated term. If not two separate words according to the printing of the early folios, rade vore is evidently a compound; and Mr. Morris is, we believe, the first who has offered any rational explanation of either term or part of the phrase. In his Glossary he gives as the meaning of rade vore, “striped stuff, tapestry;' and this, though unsupported, is certainly a probable conjecture, for, as Ritson points out, reied was used for striped cloth of divers colours. No one has, however, ever attempted to explain the other word or part of the compound, vore. The word is, we believe, entirely unknown both to editors of Chaucer and our English lexicographers. Nevertheless, though wholly overlooked, vore does exist in the language, and has precisely the meaning which the context here requires. It is familiarly used in the sixteenth century for print or pattern, and no doubt it existed in Chaucer's day in the same sense. The following passage from Batman's translation of Glanville will illustrate both the
existence and meaning of the word:- By the opinion of the * common people, the circle Galaxias is the core of the passing
of the sun, that the sun leaveth after him when he passeth in that circle. But Aristotle sayth that this is false ; for, if · Galaxias were of the imprinting of the passage of the sun, *then must this printing be in the signes, in the which the
sunne passeth with other moveable starres.' Again, the word is used for the print of the finger after the pressure has been removed. Referring to an imposthume the writer says:And • if thou thrustest thy finger thereupon, it denteth in; for the * running matter withdraweth, and letteth not the finger to
enter, and then in the middle is a pit, as it were the vore of • an hole; and when the finger is awaye, the matter commeth
againe, and filleth all the place. In these passages it will be seen that vore is exactly equivalent to print, impress or pattern ; and the interpretation of rade vore would thus be striped print, or figured pattern, which, it need scarcely be added, is just the sense required. The meaning of the line would thus be to weave in the loom the figured pattern. This interpretation removes a long-standing difficulty, and we venture to offer it as a slight contribution towards the completer Glossary of Chaucer's language, which we hope some future editor or the Chaucer Society may yet produce.
ART. II.-1. Die baltischen Provinzen Russlands von Dr. J.
ECKARDT. 2te Aufl. Leipzig : 1869. 2. Geschichtsbilder aus der lutherischen Kirche Livlands von
V. HARLESS. Leipzig : 1869. 3. Der deutsch-russische Conflikt an der Ostsee von W. v.
Воск. 1869. 4. Der russisch-baltische Küstenstrich in der Gegenwart von
JURI SAMARIN. Prag: 1868. 5. Livländische Antwort an Herrn Juri Samarin von Prof.
SCHIRREN. 3te Aufl. Leipzig: 1869. 6. Modern Russia. By Dr. JULIUS ECKARDT. London:
1870. UN NTIL recently the Russian Baltic Provinces have been
chiefly known to the British public as a vast granary of corn, and a storehouse of flax, hemp, linseed, and tallow. Latterly, however, news has reached us from that quarter of a fierce struggle, carried on by the German inhabitants against their Russian masters, who are trying to suppress the Protestant faith, the German language, customs, and laws of these provinces, and
to supplant them by the faith of the Orthodox Church, the Russian language, and more especially by the peculiar village-tenure of land which prevails in Russia. This struggle represents a phase of the larger conflict now going on in that comparatively narrow tract of land, which separates the Germanic and the Russian world, and stretches under the same longitude from the White Sea to the Transylvanian Alps. This battle-field of hostile races consists of three distinct territories: one Swedish in Finland ; another German in Curland, Livland, Esthland ; and a third Polish in Lithuania. The three together forming the western boundary of the Russian Empire, but being severally as strange to each other as they are to the race which has incorporated them in its dominion. Each of these territories has a mother-country at its back, on which it leans for support, but the relations between the outposts and the main army are not alike in the three. While the intercourse between Finland and Scandinavia is carried on with energy, and Sweden still cherishes the hope of regaining her former province; while Poles and Lithuanians wrestle united against the common foe; the Baltic Provinces stand nearly isolated in this strife, defending the bulwark of their ancient civilisation against the ever-rising tide of Panslavism. Germany until lately cared little for the
fate of this forlorn and distant colony, and it is only the hardships of the last few years which have re-awakened the sympathies of the mother-country. Considering the German enthusiasm which manifested itself in the Schleswig Holstein quarrel, it is remarkable how slow the Germans have been to show their sympathy with their kinsmen living under the dominion of Russia, and exposed to pressure infinitely more severe than any the Danes could inflict. The works placed at the head of this article show, however, that the question has now been taken up with some vigour, and Dr. Eckardt's excellent volume in English contains an able summary of it.
The Baltic provinces of the Russian Empire, Curland, Livland, and Esthland (more commonly called by us, Livonia and Esthonia), were colonised in the twelfth and thirteenth century by German merchants, knights, and priests, whose number increased so rapidly that the original inhabitants of the country were compelled to acknowledge these Saxons * as lords of the country, and to accept from them the Christian religion. Gradually there arose a federative State, designated by the collective name of Livland (Livonia), which owed allegiance to the Emperor as its liege lord, and to the Pope as its spiritual head. Five bishoprics, Riga, Dorpat, Oesel, Curland, and Lemgallen, shared the dominion of the land with the knightly Order of the Sword and the Teutonic Order, whilst the cities, especially Riga, Reval, and Dorpat, maintained an independent position as members of the Hanseatic League. Between these members of the confederation continual contests went on, in which they expended their best strength. The bishops waged war with the Orders; the cities with knights and bishops; and even while Russians, Swedes, and Poles threatened to invade the land, the rival powers of the country could not heal their differences or cease their quarrels. In the sixteenth century two events happened which caused the inevitable overthrow of this complicated structure-the Reformation and the Russian invasion. When the Lutheran doctrine rapidly spread from Germany over the Baltic provinces, the continuance of this feudal-ecclesiastic form of government became impossible. At the same time an invasion of the country by Ivan the Terrible gave an outward shock of equal force to the old order of things. The devastation which the unfortunate provinces suffered by the inroad of those Tartar hordes surpassed the miseries which the Thirty Years War
* The Esthnic language designates by the same word, Saxa, master and German.