A treasure-chest of pearls
an interesting piece from “for the Wynn”…
Þas þing synt earfoðe on Englisc to secganne, se we wyllað þurh Cristes fultum hig onwreon, swa wel swa we betst magon, and þas meregrota þam beforan lecgan þe þisra gyman wyllað. Þæs anes dæges wanung, hu he byð geworden binnan nigontyne wintrum we wyllað gecyðan.
These things are difficult to say in English, but with Christ’s help we shall reveal them as well as we can, and lay the pearls before those who wish to pay heed to these things. We will explain how the diminution of one day is accomplished over nineteen years.
Text and translation from Baker and Lapidge, Byrhtferth’s Enchiridion, pp. 66-67.
As the late Anglo-Saxon monk Byrhtferth writes, pearls have long been precious to people, and therefore valuable to those seeking a metaphor for intangible riches – in this case, the knowledge which he lays before the reader in his scientific compendium, the Enchiridion
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