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Old English Riddles

Excerpt from Old English Riddles I am almost ashamed to say that this little book represents the spare hours of the last eight years. It is ten years since I undertook it, at the request of the late Prof. E. M. Brown, of the University of Cincinnati. It has been a labour of love and pleasure, except for the waste involved in picking up the threads again each autumn after an interval of ten or eleven months. The text alone occupied weeks (including several visits to Exeter to consult the Ms.); the punctuation, days. I have not cared about recovering an additional letter here and there in the numerous mutilated passages; but I have cared greatly to try and evolve a more intelligible text in the many whole passages that were yet obscure. The Riddles are the most difficult Old English text I know, because the editor needs to combine the qualifications of an editor, a riddler, and an antiquary in about equal proportions. To such qualifications I can lay no claim: my sole qualification is that I have endeavoured to let neither the riddler carry it with a high hand over the editor nor the editor over the riddler. The only safe road to riddle-guessing is the comparative method, combined with some antiquarian investigation into the exact form and construction of objects in early times. Right or wrong, my own conclusions are in the main independent that is to say, I have read everything that seemed worth reading and formed my own judgment. No rivalry, it seems to me, is possible between this edition and that of Prof. Tupper; but it is necessary to state quite clearly the relations in date between the two books. The text of this edition was completed in 1909;at the end of that year the Notes were finished, except for a few reserved matters; but the Introduction was still unwritten. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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