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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 Membrana 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 Musgr Ave, BRUNck, Johnson, ERFURDt, JAEGER, Porso N, ELMSLEY, ScHAEFER, HERMANN, Lob Eck, 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