Page:Bright's Anglo-Saxon Reader.djvu/10

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iv
PREFACE.

three extracts are intended to supply a sufficient basis for an elementary preparation that will fit the student to pass to the study of the Early West-Saxon dialect, and thereafter to read the literature in chronological order. Any slight admixture of dialectal forms will be easily understood by the user of Siever’s Grammar.

Most of the selected texts, in will be observed, are such as have been employed, either wholly or in part, in other Anglo-Saxon Readers. In the case of some of them, exclusion from an introductory course would be welcome to few teachers; in the case of others, the choice cannot be expected to please all. The selections which are now admitted for the first time will, it is hoped, serve an obvious purpose.

The texts are given according to the best manuscript source, without normalization, without silent changes, and, for the most part, with but slight emendations. The variant readings, in some cases complete even for unessential details, are to give a wider view of the condition of the language and of the orthographic fashion of the scribes. The first, second, ninth, tenth, eleventh, and eighteenth selections are based upon my own copies and collations of the manuscripts. For the homily on St. Gregory Professor W. W. Skeat, of Cambridge, and Professor Arthur Napier, of Oxford, has supplied the readings (given in full) of the next best MS., that of the Bodleian Library. The seventeenth and nineteenth selections are according to the collations of Dr. Frank G. Hubbard, of the University of California. For the extracts from the Bede the recent edition by Miller has been used, and for the ‘Wars of Alfred,’ Plummer’s edition of the Chronicles. The remaining texts have been taken from the publications of Thorpe, Sweet, Earle, and Morris.