#1 [原创] 书信之衰落
1808年 英国出了一本书，书名是400年英语书信集，精选了 1456年至当时的英人书信。书的序言作者说，英国书信文学之发达，欧洲国家无出其右，只有法国略与之相当。序言盛赞编者以大海捞针的精神在卷帙浩繁的书信文集众去粗取精，编写了这本与金诗宝库异曲同工的书信集。
. The following letter describes the capture and
murder of the Duke of Suffolk, the most able of Henry the
William Lomner to John Paston.
May 5, 1450.
As on Monday nexte after May day there come tydyngs to
London that on Thorsday before the Duke of Suffolk come unto
the costes of Kent full nere Dover with his ij shepes and a litel
spynner; the qweche spynner he sente with certyn letters to
certyn of his trustid men unto Caleys warde, to knowe howe
he shuld be resceyvyd; and with him mette a shippe callyd
Nicolas of the Towre, with other shippis waytyng on hym, and by
hem that were in the spynner, the maister of the Nicolas hadde
knowlich of the Dukes comyng. And whanne he espyed the
Dukes shepis he sente forthe his bote to wete what they were, and
the Duke hymselfe spakke to hem, and seyd he was be the Kyngs
comaundement sent to Caleys ward, &c.
And they seyd he most speke with here master. And soo he,
with ij or iij of his men, wente forth with hem yn here bote to
the Nicolas; and whanne he come, the master badde him ' Welcom,
Traitor/ as men sey ; and forther the maister desyryd to wete yf
the shepmen wolde holde with the duke, and they sent word they
wold not yn noo wyse ; and soo he was yn the Nicolas tyl Satur
day next folwyng.
Soom sey he wrotte moche thenke to be dely verd to the Kynge,
but that is not verily knowe. He hadde his confessor with hym.
And some sey he was arreyned yn in the sheppe on here maner
upon the appechcments and fonde gylty.
Also he asked the name of the sheppe, and whanne he knewe
it, he remernbred Stacy that seid, if he myght eschape the daunger
of the Towr he should be saffe ; and thanne his herte fay lyd him,
for he thowghte he was desseyvyd, and yn in the syght of all his
men he was drawyn ought of the grete shippe yn to the bote ; and
ther was an exe, and a stoke, and oon of the lewdeste of the shippe
badde him ley down his hedde, and he should be fair ferd wyth,
and dye on a swerd ; and toke a rusty swerd, and smotte of his
hedde withyn halfe a doseyn strokes, and toke away his gown of
russet, and dobelette of velvecl mayled, and leyde his body on the
sonds of Dover ; and some sey his hedde was set oon a pole by it,
and hes men sette on the londe be grette circumstaunce and preye.
And the shreve of Kent doth weche the body, and sent his under
shreve to the juges to wete what to doo, and also to the Kynge
whatte shalbe doo. Forther I wotte nott, but this fer is that yf the
proces be erroneous, lete his concell reverse it.
Sir Thomas Keriel is taken prisoner and alle the legge
harneyse, and abonte iij. m 1 ' (3000) Englishe men slayn. 1
Mathew Gooth with xv c (1500) nedcle, and sayvd hym selfe
and hem; and Peris Brusy was cheffe capteyn, and hadde x ml
C 10,000) Frenshe men and more. I prey you lete my mastras
yoi;r moder knowe these tydingis, and God have you all in his
kepyn. I prey you this Lille may recomaunde me to my mastrases
your moder and wyfe.
Wretyn yn gret hast at London the v. day of May.