Those words which have become unintelligible or offensive, are exchanged for others, or are explained by notes when it is desirable that they should be retained. These variations, if they may be so called, were as necessary to render this work generally useful, as the adoption of modern orthography. The utmost care has been taken that the meaning of the author should be strictly preserved, and the various pieces have been collated with the best and earliest editions, or with manuscript copies. This has been done, that the meaning of the author might be given as nearly as possible, not from the first editions being the most correct, as they often abound with errors, for which the hurried or careless manner in which they were for the most part passed through the press, will readily account. The present reprints, it is believed, will be found to present the most correct text of these writers that has hitherto appeared. More than half of the pieces included m this collection, have not been reprinted since the sixteenth century, and a considerable portion is now printed for the first time."