Page:Barlaam and Josaphat. English lives of Buddha.djvu/13

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PREFACE


I trust I shall not be accused of overstepping the bounds of modesty if I confess from the start that I have chiefly reprinted the accompanying versions of the legend of Barlaam and Josaphat in order that I might write the Introduction to them. The English versions of the Barlaam legend are but poor things, contracted and truncated to such an extent that scarcely anything remains of their resemblance to the original. Of the five or six versions extant in English, I have selected that one which first appeared in print, viz., Caxton's treatment in his Golden Legend, and the last that appeared in print independently, a Chapbook in verse, kindly placed at my disposal by Mr. G. H. Skipwith.

I have not, however, confined myself to the English versions in the Introduction, which deals