In editing the present volume I have thought it well to follow the same rule which I laid down for myself in editing _The Study of Words_, and have made no alteration in the text of Dr. Trench's work (the fifth edition). Any corrections or additions that seemed to be demanded owing to the progress of lexicographical knowledge have been reserved for the foot-notes, and these can always be distinguished from those in the original by the square brackets [thus] within which they are placed.
On the whole more corrections have been required in _English Past and Present_ than in _The Study of Words_ owing to the sweeping statements which involve universal negatives--statements, e.g. that certain words either first came into use, or ceased to be employed, at a specific date. Nothing short of the combined researches of an army of co-operative workers, such as the _New English Dictionary_ commanded, could warrant the correctness of assertions of this kind, which imply an exhaustive acquaintance with a subject so immense as the entire range of English literature.