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For the Texts, the rule has been to select the most authentic copies, and to reprint them as they stand in the collections, restoring readings that had been changed without grounds, and noting all deviations from the originals, whether those of previous editors or of this edition, in the margin. Interpolations acknowledged by the editors have generally been dropped. In two instances only have previously printed texts been superseded or greatly improved: the text of The Horn of King Arthur, in the first volume, was furnished from the manuscript, by J. O. Halliwell, Esq., and Adam Bel, in the fifth volume, has been amended by a recently discovered fragment of an excellent edition, kindly communicated by J. P. Collier, Esq.
The Introductory'Notices prefixed to the several ballads may seem dry and somewhat meagre. They will be found, it is believed, to comprise what is most essential ^ven for the less cursory reader to know. These prefaces are intended to give an account of all the printed forms of each ballad, and references to the books in which they were first published. In many cases also, the corresponding ballads in other languages, especially in Danish, Swedish, and German, are briefly pointed out. But these last notices are very imperfect. Fascinating as such investigations are, they could not be allowed to interfere with the progress of the series of Poets of which this col-