The Lectures printed in this volume were composed and delivered for the instruction of students in the University of Cambridge, and with special reference to the Examination for the Semitic Languages Tripos.
It appears from the Cambridge University Reporter that Professor Wright began "a short course of elementary lectures" on the Comparative Grammar of Hebrew, Syriac and Arabic in the Easter Term of 1877, and he continued to lecture on the subject at intervals till he was withdrawn from work by his last illness. The manuscript from which this volume is printed represents the form which the Lectures ultimately assumed, after they had passed through repeated and sedulous revision. They were never redelivered without being retouched, and in parts rewritten; and the whole manuscript, except a few pages at the end, was so carefully prepared as to be practically ready to go to press. It was Professor Wright's intention that the lectures should one day be printed, and during his last illness he often spoke of this intention in such a way as to make it clear that he meant to publish them without any substantial modification or addition.