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of course make some allowance in consideration of the low state of philological science, as far as it regarded the middle ages, in his time,-yet it must be allowed to his credit that he entered upon his labours in editing Chaucer with zeal, and executed them with no small share of labour and research. His notes on the Canterbury Tales contain much that is useful and valuable, and this I have unscrupulously transferred to my own edition, either in his own words or in an abridged form.
Tyrwhitt's Chaucer, with all its defects, has now for many years been the only edition commonly quoted both at home and abroad, and to the numbering of the lines in that edition references have been made in so many publications of different descriptions, that to change this numbering in a new edition would cause almost as much confusion as the substitution of duodecimal for decimal numeration among mathematicians; yet there are not only spurious lines and passages in Tyrwhitt's edition to be rejected, but there are passages here and there to be added from the Harleian MS., which he, following other manuscripts or the printed editions, had omitted, and which nevertheless I believe to be perfectly genuine. To obviate as much as possible the inconvenience which might thus arise, I have retained between [ ] the lines printed by Tyrwhitt which are not in the
Harleian MS., and I have inserted without numbering them the lines of the Harleian MS. which are not found in Tyrwhitt, adding in every instance a note to explain the apparent irregularity. In this manner, the references to Tyrwhitt's Chaucer will suit equally with the present edition.