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portance. The chief labour, however, consisted in restoring the orthography and in regulating the metre, both of which had been disturbed in innumerable places by Berthelette. The text of a work like the Confessio Amantis does not require the same scrupulous attention to every existing MS. as that of an ancient classical author. Everybody who examines the MSS. of Gower will soon be satisfied that the principal differences are merely of an orthographical nature. Some spell the word eye as we do now, others have ighe, ize, yhe. After mature consideration, the Saxon letters þ and 3 have been rejected, together with the promiscuous use of y and i, u and v, which does not occur in the oldest MSS. It has been found necessary that some rule and symmetry should be observed, and consequently i and u are used wherever the vowels are required, and y has been left for certain words and proper names, in which it invariably occurs in Latin MSS. of the same age; as for instance in ymage, and for a distinct class of words as ayein, yive, where it stands instead of the soft g, the Saxon 3 3, and is confirmed by the oldest of the Harleian MSS. U instead of v has been retained only in pouer and recouer, where it evidently is not a consonant, but forms a diphthong with the preceding 0, the word being pronounced in two syllables and not like the present poor. In other cases, and with regard to words of French origin, it has been thought best to use the old orthography.
The Latin verses and the marginal Latin index are undoubtedly Gower's own composition, and have therefore been carefully restored to the shape in which they appear in the first two Harleian MSS. The verses, imitations in the manner of Boethius, like Gower's other Latin poetry, abound in instances of false prosody and even of bad grammar ; they are frequently intricate, and ometimes nearly unintelligible. As they always head a iew sub-division, it has been thought useful for the sake of quotation to number them through each book. The Latin prose notes, which in the old editions stand between ind interrupt the text, have been placed in the margin, where they generally occur in the MSS. serving as a table of contents.
The editor desires to embrace this opportunity to thank his friends Th. Duffus Hardy, Esq., keeper of H. M. Records in the Tower, the Rev. H. O. Coxe, M. A. of the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and W. B. Donne, Esq., of the London Library, for their kind and ready assistance, and Mr. F. R. Daldy, B. A. for the useful Glossary which he has added.
London, May 1856.