Æðelgýðe Ellendǽda on Wundorlande

Here’s a little taste of Æðelgýðe Ellendǽda on Wundorlande, the new translation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland by Peter S. Baker, with illustrations by Byron W. Sewell, published by Evertype. The excerpt is from Chapter V, “Advice from a Caterpillar” (“Tréowwyrmes Manung”).

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Capitol V
Tréowwyrmes Manung

Ǽlc þára, se Tréowwyrm and Æðelgýþ, swígiende on óðerne lócode: æt níehstan se Tréowwyrm his drinchorn ádún dyde and tó hire spræc sléacum and slápolum wordum.

“Hwá eart þú?” cwæþ se Tréowwyrm.

Illustration of
  Caterpillar with drinking horn

Næs Æðelgýþ swíðe gebylded þurh þisse sprǽce anginne. Héo scéohmód andswarode, “Ic – ic unéaðe wát, léof, on þisse andweardan tíde. Ic húru wát hwá ic wæs þá þá ic on morgene onwóc, ac ic wéne þæt ic siþþan béo manigsíðes áwend.”

“Hwæt mǽnst þú be þám?” cwæþ se Tréowwyrm styrnlíce. “Gesweotola þé!”

“Mé twéonaþ þæt ic ne mæg mé selfe gesweotolian, léof,” cwæþ Æðelgýþ, “for þám þe ic neom mé selfe, swá þú gesiehst.”

“Ic ne geséo ná,” cwæþ se Tréowwyrm.

“Ne mæg ic þæt sweotollicor secgan,” cwæþ Æðelgýþ swíðe þéawfæstlíce, “and þæt is æt ǽrestan for þám þe ic self þæt understandan ne mæg; þæt biþ micel módes bisgu þonne man sceal on swá fela micelnessum béon binnan ánum dæge.”

“Ne biþ þæt náteshwón sóþ,” cwæþ se Tréowwyrm.

“Wén is, lá, þæt þæt þé gíet ne gelumpe,” cwæþ Æðelgýþ, “ac þá þá þú gewentst on þá wihte þe biþ on Lýden chrýsallis genemned (and þú ánes dæges scealt, swá þú wást), and eft on buterfléogan, ne þyncþ þé þæt þæt wundorlic síe?

“Nese, lá nese,” cwæþ se Tréowwyrm.

“Wén is, lá, þæt þín andgiet ungelíc is,” cwæþ Æðelgýþ, “ac þæt ic wát þæt þæt mé swíðe wundorlic þynce.”

“Þú!” cwæþ se Tréowwyrm bismerlíce. “Hwá eart þú?”

Swá wǽron híe tó þǽre sprǽce anginne eft gelǽded. Þæt Æðelgýðe be sumum dǽle ofþúhte þæt se Tréowwyrm swá scortlíce sprǽce, and héo uprihte stód and on eornoste cwǽþ, “Þæt mé betere þyncþ þæt þú mé ǽror secge hwá þú síe.”

“For hwý?” cwæþ se Tréowwyrm.

Wæs þæt éac díeglu gefrignes, and for þám þe Æðelgýðe nán andswaru on mód ne bearn, and hire se Tréowwyrm swíðe wiðerweard þúhte, héo gewende híe and wolde gewítan.

“Búh ongéan!” se Tréowwyrm æfter hire clipode. “Ic wille þé hefiges hwæt secgan!”

Þæt Æðelgýðe þúhte þæt þá word wel behéten tó gewisse, and héo híe gewende and béah ongéan.

“Ne gebelh þé,” cwæþ se Tréowwyrm.

“Næfst þú má tó secganne?” cwæþ Æðelgýþ, þæt ierre swá héo betst meahte ádwǽscende.

“Ic hæbbe,” cwæþ se Tréowwyrm.

Æðelgýþ þóhte þæt héo his wordes bídan wolde, þá héo næfde hwæt elles tó dónne, and héo wénde þæt hé hire hwæt secgan meahte þe weorðe wæs tó gehíeranne. Hé sume hwíle dranc and nán word ne sægde; ac æt níehstan hé þá earmas unféold and his drinchorn eft ádún dyde and cwæþ, “Þú wénst, lá, þú áwend síe?”

“Ic wéne þæt ic swá síe, léof,” cwæþ Æðelgýþ; “ne geman ic þá þing þe ic ǽr gemunde – and ne mæg ic tíen minuta on ánre micelnesse healdan!”

“Hwilc þing ne meaht þú gemunan?” cwæþ se Tréowwyrm.

“Éalá, ic wolde secgan ‘Hú déþ him séo lýtle bisige béo,’ ac þá word wǽron eallunga áwend,” Æðelgýþ andswarode geómorre stefne.

“Saga ‘Fæder Wilhelm,’ cwæþ se Tréowwyrm.

Æðelgýþ hire handa féold and þus sprecan ongan:

Þus geong guma    georn on móde,
fréolic frumbearn    fæder onmǽlde:
“Hwæt, þú wígcræftig wer,    Wilhelm léofa,
hár hilderinc,    on héafde standest
simble singales,    swǽslicost mǽg.
Þynceþ þé gerisne,    róf óretta,
sigeéadig secg,    þæt þú swylc gefremme?”
Wilhelm maðelode,    woruldsǽlig rinc
eaforan sínum    andswarode:
“Þæt wæs geára geó    þæt ic geong féores
héafodsáres    hearde forhtode
brægentéonan;    ac mé nú brógan lǽsse
egesan eglaþ,    þá ic mec exena léasne
gewislíce wát    on gewitlocan.
Þý ic þæt dæges and nihtes    gedón wille,
beorn brægenléas.” . . .

Text © 2015 by Peter S. Baker.
Illustration © 2015 by Byron W. Sewell.
All rights reserved.