Excerpt from The Plays of Euripides, Vol. 1: Translated Into English Prose From the Text of Paley
The whole question of the present state of our classical texts, wrote Paley, in the preface to his third volume of Euripides, is one demanding a most careful and lengthened inquiry. If we cannot have them perfect, which is not to be hoped for, we must make up our minds to choose between adhering to the authority of the best existing mss., or freely admitting the conjectural restorations of eminent critics, or we must adopt a cautious mean between the two, which consists in correcting obvious errors, to the rejection of all purely yeoulatiw or only plausible alterations.
It is this last method which Paley himself adopts; and, agreeing cordially as I do with his strictures on unwarrant able tampering with the text, I have endeavoured as far as possible, to follow his guidance through the tortuous mazes of textual corruption with this reservation, however, that, as my purpose is a twofold one, being as much to enable readers unfamiliar with the Greek to understand the drama tist's meaning as to produce a faithful version of the original, I have, in dealing with passages avowedly corrupt, preferred to adopt provisionally an intelligible emendation to leaving an awkward break in the sense. At the same time, from a textual critic's point of view, Paley's remark is unquestion ably true, passages really corrupt should be marked as avowedly corrupt, not patched up and almost rewritten.
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