The Lady of the Lake
I have restored the reading of the first edition, except in cases where I have no doubt that the later reading is the poet's own correction or alteration. There are obvious misprints in the first edition which Scott himself overlooked (see on ii. 115, 217,, Vi. 527, etc.), and it is sometimes difficult to decide whether a later reading--a change of a plural to a singular, or like trivial variation--is a misprint or the author's correction of an earlier misprint. I have done the best I could, with the means at my command, to settle these questions, and am at least certain that the text as I give it is nearer right than in any edition since 1821 As all the variae lectiones are recorded in the Notes, the reader who does not approve of the one I adopt can substitute that which he prefers.
I have retained all Scott's Notes (a few of them have been
somewhat abridged) and all those added by Lockhart.[FN#l] My own I have made as concise as possible. There are, of course, many of them which many of my readers will not need, but I think there are none that may not be of service, or at least of interest, to some of them; and I hope that no one will turn to them for help without finding it.
Scott is much given to the use of Elizabethan words and
constructions, and I have quoted many " parallelisms " from Shakespeare and his contemporaries. I believe I have referred to my edition of Shakespeare in only a single instance (on iii. 17), but teachers and others who have that edition will find many additional