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ANGLO-SAXON was spoken by our forefathers in England for more than five hundred years; from it have sprung the greater part of our local and family names, very many of our old, and almost all our provincial words and sayings, and fifteen twentieths of what we daily think, and speak, and write. No Englishman therefore altogether ignorant of Anglo-Saxon can have a thorough knowledge of his own mother tongue, while the language itself, to say nothing of the many valuable and interesting works preserved in it, may in copiousness of words, strength of expression, and grammatical precision, vie with modern German.*
The present object is to furnish the learner, if it may be, with a cheaper, easier, more comprehensive, and not less trustworthy guide to this tongue than may hitherto have been within his reach.
The first six chapters are mainly abridged from the Grammar of the late Professor Rask of Copenhagen, as edited by Mr. Thorpe, whom the compiler has to thank for leave to make use of his praiseworthy labours, and for obliging answers to queries.
* See Thorpe's Advertisement to Rask's Grammar