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By Kenneth Sisam, J. R. R. Tolkien

This hugely revered anthology of medieval English literature good points a number of well-chosen extracts of poetry and prose, including popular stories from Arthurian legend and classical mythology, in addition to the allegorical poem "Piers Plowman" and John Wycliffe's translation of the Bible. comprises notes on every one extract, appendices, and an in depth thesaurus by means of J. R. R. Tolkien.

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Sample text

Certainly nothing but some such decreed unavoidable Misery attending, and which it was impossible for me to escape, could have push’d me forward against the calm Reasonings and Perswasions of my most retired Thoughts, and against two such visible Instructions as I had met with in my first Attempt. My Comrade, who had help’d to harden me before, and who was the Master’s Son, was now less forward than I; the first time he spoke to me after we were at Yarmouth, which was not till two or three Days, for we were separated in the Town to several Quarters; I say, the first time he saw me, it appear’d his Tone was alter’d, and looking very melancholy and shaking his Head, ask’d me how I did, and telling his Father who I was, and how I had come this Voyage only for a Trial in order to go farther abroad; his Father turning to me with a very grave and concern’d Tone, Young Man, says he, you ought never to go to Sea any more, you ought to take this for a plain and Robinson Crusoe  visible Token that you are not to be a Seafaring Man.

I had slept well in the Night, and was now no more Sea sick but very chearful, looking with Wonder upon the Sea that was so rough and terrible the Day before, and could be so calm and so pleasant in so little time after. And now least my good Resolutions should continue, my Companion, who had indeed entic’d me away, comes to me, Well Bob, says he, clapping me on the Shoulder, How do you do after it? I warrant you were frighted, wa’n’t you, last Night, when it blew but a Cap full of Wind? A Cap full d’you call it?

While we were in this Condition, the Men yet labouring at the  Robinson Crusoe Oar to bring the Boat near the Shore, we could see, when our Boat mounting the Waves, we were able to see the Shore, a great many People running along the Shore to assist us when we should come near, but we made but slow way towards the Shore, nor were we able to reach the Shore, till being past the Light-House at Winterton, the Shore falls off to the Westward towards Cromer, and so the Land broke off a little the Violence of the Wind:* Here we got in, and tho’ not without much Difficulty got all safe on Shore and walk’d afterwards on Foot to Yarmouth, where, as unfortunate Men, we were used with great Humanity as well by the Magistrates of the Town, who assign’d us good Quarters, as by particular Merchants and Owners of Ships, and had Money given us sufficient to carry us either to London or back to Hull, as we thought fit.

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