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DECLINE AND FALL
BY EDWARD GIBBON, Esq.
WITH VARIORUM NOTES,
INCLUDING THOSE OF
GUIZOT, WENCK, SCHREITER, & HUGO.
WITH FURTHER ILLUSTRATIONS FROM THE MOST RECENT SOURCES,
AN ENGLISH CHURCHMAN.
LONDON : KENRY G. BOHN, YORK STREET, COVENT GARDEN.
| $ $ 8 , sLE |
PRINTED BY HARRISON AND SONS, LONDON GAZETTE OFFICE, ST. MARTIN'S LANE.
AFTER three years of unflagging attention to the object of producing "the best and most complete edition of Gibbon," the publisher has at length the satisfaction of laying the concluding volume before his readers. It would have been unnecessary to add anything to the preface given in the first volume, but that it seemed right to announce that the then ostensible editor, a distinguished churchman and scholar, has for some time ceased to cooperate in the work. Other demands on his time, for the fulfilment of higher duties, necessitated his withdrawal, and it became desirable to substitute new strength. It will be seen that the latter volumes have by no means fallen off, and that the knowledge and reading betokened in the first have been maintained to the last.
One learned and competent editor, sufficient individually for every department of illustration, has been the principal labourer throughout, and, as new responsibilities devolved on him, his care and attention have been redoubled.
The publisher, somewhat in the character of a sub-editor, has watched every page through the press, occasionally contributing some illustration of his own, in departments with which he is presumed to be familiar. He has not, however, included in his task the duties of a printer's devil, and aiming, with singleness of purpose, at the main qualities of a book, sense and information, he may sometimes have overlooked a mis-spelt word or a turned letter. Every possible care has been bestowed on the work by all parties engaged, and if it is not immaculate, it is at least a long way in advance of any of the numerous editions which have hitherto satisfied the public.
It has often been asked, whether this edition, because edited by an English Churchman,' is in any way mutilated. The publisher had hoped that the unflinching character of all his editions would have saved him from such a question; but he thinks it as well to say, and that emphatically, that not a fraction either of the text or notes has been suppressed or modified. His editors had no license to alter or omit, and were only at liberty to disprove, where possible, by facts and arguments. In honest dealing with their author they have gone even further, and ventured to confirm allegations which a churchman would fain have qualified.
THE INDEX is a main feature in the present volume, and has been the cause of considerable delay. It was at first merely proposed to enlarge that given in the original quarto and followed in all subsequent editions, but after the new matter had been inserted, it was found, upon investigation by the editor, to be altogether inadequate, and therefore had to be entirely re-constructed. It is clear that Gibbon could never have examined his own index, or he would have detected many omissions and much confusion of names. The following are a few of the errors and oversights which are found in preceding editions:
ARCHILOCHIUS, Bishop of Iconium. No such person.
} Two persons made one. BASIL, Abp. of Cæsarea.
One person made two.
} Two persons made one. CONSTANTIUS, General of Probus.
} One person made two. CONSTANTIUS Chlorus. PETRA, in the Roman Province of Arabia. | Two different places made in Colchis, on the Phasis.