Between you and I in a 17th-century love story

Cusack (1998)

Reading a selection of journal entries in Bridget Cusack’s Everyday English 1500-1700 (EUP, 1998) I came across what we classify as between you and I in one of the texts, and not once but twice. The writer of the journal is Roger Lowe, a sympathetic young man from Lancashire who records his love for Emma Potter in the journal (and a lot of other things besides). Roger, according to Cusack, was a shopkeeper’s apprentice, and both numerate and literate. So much so that he was regularly called upon to write “wills, letters, accounts and presentments for his fellow-villagers” (p. 178).

Here are the instances:

  • and he enioind old William Hasleden and I to come to Rothwells which we did (ll. 15-16)
  • William Sixsmith would needs have John Moodij and I ride be hind hime which we did (ll. 61-62)

The story of his wooing of Emma doesn’t end in the three weeks that are recorded in Cusack’s selection of entries, but I do hope they lived happily ever after!

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