Early Latin Hymns: With Introduction and Notes
Excerpt from Early Latin Hymns: With Introduction and Notes
Mr. A. S. Walpole died February 20, 1920.A few days before his death he sent me all his notes for the present book, with the request that I would prepare the book for publication and see it through the press. In some ways this was not difficult for me to do. For more than twenty years we had worked at the hymns together. Again and again I had been allowed to go at leisure through the successive drafts of his commentary, criticizing and suggesting, so that I was fairly acquainted with his final views on almost every point of interpretation. A few notes of my own have been added which Mr Walpole had not seen. They are distinguished by being enclosed in square brackets. But for the most part the book represents what Mr Walpole himself had written and approved, and my editorial task has been confined to final arrangements and adjustments.
Nevertheless it is a matter for great regret that Mr Walpole did not live to see the work through for himself. He was a scholar who had read deep and wide in Latin literature. He had taken immense pains over this work. In order, for instance, to judge of the authorship of the hymns attributed to St Ambrose, he had read through the whole of that author's prose works, marking every feature of his thought and every peculiarity of his diction and style. So he did with other authors. He was always learning something fresh to throw light upon the hymns. He wrote the whole series out at least half a dozen times in his clear, strong hand. So many volumes of his notes remain that the chief embarrassment has been to co ordinate them.
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