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CONTRIBUTIONS TOWARDS A MORE ACCURATE
JOHN WILLIAM DONALDSON, D.D.,
CLASSICAL EXAMINER IN THE UNIVERSITY OF LONDON;
THE MASTER, FELLOWS, AND SCHOLARS
TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE,
ORIGINALLY COMPOSED WITHIN THEIR PRECINCTS,
A RECORD OF THE AUTHOR'S GRATEFUL ATTACHMENT
PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION.
TT is a great satisfaction and gratification to me that I have
been permitted to complete a third edition of this work. The period of exactly twenty years which has elapsed since it was first published, would have been materially diminished, if I had not postponed the re-appearance of the book, both on the present occasion, and when it was last reprinted, until I had fully availed myself of the renewed opportunity of surveying the wide field which I had endeavoured to embrace. But long as the interval between the first and third editions of my book may seem, when compared with the rapid sale of writings of a more popular character, it is worthy of remark that the other principal treatises on comparative philology have afforded their authors still rarer occasions for revision and reproduction; that with the exception of a part of the first volume, which came out in 1840, Grimm's Deutsche Grammatik remains in the form which it had reached when the first edition of this work was published; and that Bopp's Vergleichende Grammatik, and Pott's Etymologische Forschungen, which appeared, in the first part of each, in 1833, have just reached the commencement of a second edition respectively.
In thus acknowledging the favourable reception which has been accorded to this book, I may seem to place it on the same footing as the three German works to which I have referred, and to provoke a direct comparison of my labours and theirs. On the other hand, the fact that these works were at least commenced before mine, and the references to these and other treatises on philology which abound in the following pages, may have countenanced the opinion, which some ill-informed or in