For the first one hundred or one hundred and fifty years, it seems, the two languages remained for the most part pretty clearly distinct, but in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries English, abandoning its first aloofness, rapidly took into itself a large part of the French (originally Latin) vocabulary; and under the influence of the French it carried much farther the process of dropping its own comparatively complicated grammatical inflections--a process which had already gained much momentum even before the Conquest.
This victory of the East Midland form was marked by, though it was not in any large degree due to, the appearance in the fourteenth century of the first great modern English poet, Chaucer.
During this long period these fables seem to have suffered an eclipse, to have disappeared and to have been forgotten; and it is at the commencement of the fourteenth
century, when the Byzantine emperors were the great patrons of learning, and amidst the splendors of an Asiatic court, that we next find honors paid to the name and memory of Aesop.
It is generally asserted that gunpowder was invented in the fourteenth
century by the monk Schwartz, who paid for his grand discovery with his life.
It is true, indeed, things do look rather less desperate than they did formerly in Holland, when Lewis the Fourteenth
was at the gates of Amsterdam; but there is a delicacy required in this matter, which you will pardon me, brother, if I suspect you want.
Anne had made her escape from Windygates on the occasion of the lawn-party--that is to say, on the fourteenth of August.
If the steward could state whether his employer had arrived on the fourteenth or on the fifteenth of August, that was all that would be wanted to decide the question in dispute.
But from then till the fourteenth he put up the gamest exhibition of his career.
In the fourteenth round he put Danny down again, and himself stood resting, hands dropped at side, while the referee counted.