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HON. EDWARD EVERETT, LL. D.
LATE PRESIDENT OF HARVARD UNIVERSITY,
IS RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED,
HIS LOFTY ELOQUENCE
The Editor of this volume has but little to urge in defence of his presumption in presenting the students of Sophokles with the present work. With the deepest sense of his own want of proper qualification accompanying him at every step in the progress of his work, he has, nevertheless, striven to persuade himself that he should render a service, not altogether unprofitable or unacceptable, in clothing in an intelligible English form the more important results of the labors of abler and more gifted minds. If this hope is not realized, no one will be more ready to confess the entire failure of his ill-judged effort than himself.
Little need be said as to the objects contemplated in the present undertaking. The Editor's chief desire may be stated in brief to be that the divine tragedy he has presumed to edit should be its own interpreter. In subordination to this end he has employed some diligence and care in the endeavor to collect the best assistance from ancient and modern sources that was within his reach. The text and Scholia are principally from the first Laurentian manuscript and the MembrantB of Brunck, but the various readings exhibited by other manuscripts are also mentioned and frequently discussed. Constant reference has been made to the works of the old Grammarians and Lexicographers. The chief merit of the book will be found to consist in the collation of the notes of Musgrave, Brunck, Johnson, Erfurdt,Jaeger, Porson, Elmsley, Schaefer, Hermann, Lobeck, Neue, and Wunder, and it is trusted that nothing of real importance in the commentaries of these distinguished scholars has been omitted. Upon this point it will be sufficient to observe, that the Editor claims nothing for himself beyond whatever merit may be attached to the effort he has made to throw open the labors of the great names already mentioned, and to render them accessible to the tyro by arranging and combining them within the limits of a single book. Considerable pains has been taken to render "suum cuique," and if this has not been done in every instance it is owing either to oversight, or to the fact that the b
VI INTRODUCTORY NOTICE.
limits of the volume were too contracted to render it possible to state the source whence every reference or suggestion has been derived The grammatical notes of Hermann are in the opinion of the Editor a most valuable portion of the work, whilst the vast and unparalleled erudition of Lobeck will tell its own tile to every reader. The wants of the tyro have also received a large share of his attention, as the numerous references to the Grammars of Jelf, Matthiae, Buttmann, and Kruf.gf.ii will evince. Great efforts have been made to shorten and simplify the statement of important syntactical principles, and to illustrate them by repeated reference and comparison. Why add more? The book itself will explain most satisfactorily what has been done and what left undone.
The Editor cannot, however, conclude this notice quite so briefly. It would be crime and shame if he did not seize the opportunity of referring in the most emphatic and grateful terms to the inestimable aid which he has received in the progress of this work from one who lives in the affections of all who are privileged to enjoy his acquaintance, and whose exquisite taste and consummate scholarship are only equalled by the unaffected modesty with which on every occasion he avoids their display. From the commencement of his labors to their close the Editor has appealed to that learning, and been supported by the ready extension of encouragement and assistance, whose importance to himself it is impossible to overstate. Paimam qui meruit, ferat, and if this book should meet with public favor, a result so fortunate will be as justly due to the aid afforded in its preparation by the Eliot Professor of Greek in Harvard University, as to the zeal and industry of the writer of these lines. America can justly boast of many advantages, but the noblest boast of every land is, after all, its scholars.
The acknowledgments of the Editor are cheerfully tendered to the Publisher and Printer for the efforts they have made to present his book to the notice of the public in the attractive form in which it now appears, and in particular to Mr. Bigelow, for the great care and accuracy with which he has superintended the correction of the press.
The Editor will no longer tax the patience of his readers, but will conclude by assuring them of the great gratification that he shall receive, if, in a distant land, it shall be his lot to hear that his book is regarded by those who are competent to judge as a useful contribution to the cause of sound classical learning in America.