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leave almost no white paper visible. The volume is not in the original binding, and there are places where a careless binder’s knife has trimmed the page so closely as to cut off some of the written words, thus leaving something to conjecture.

The stupendous task of transcribing these manuscript additions was duly accomplished, with the result that a very large majority of them are found to be included in the posthumous edition of 1595. But that edition contains an appreciable number of other additions, together with some modifications of the manuscript emendations on the Bordeaux copy. It has been conjectured that these may have been written on loose or detached sheets, which became separated from the volume, or that they were made upon still another copy of the 1588 edition, which has never been found. But some doubt has been aroused by evidence that Montaigne’s fille d’alliance, Mademoiselle de Jars de Gournay,[1] had a hand in some of them; so that it is the general consensus of opinion at this day that the Bordeaux copy represents the most authentic version available of Montaigne’s proposed revision; and the Bordeaux municipality has adopted it as the basis of its recently published sumptuous edition of the Essays, known as the “Édition Municipale.” This text, therefore, has been used in the present translation; but any variations from the edition of 1595, other than mere verbal ones, are given in the notes, where the term “Édition Municipale” is used, for brevity’s sake, instead of “Bordeaux copy of 1588,” except where the use of the latter phrase is made necessary for the sake of clearness. The problem of paragraphing has been one of considerable difficulty, for in none of the early editions of the Essays was there any division into paragraphs at all. In

  1. In 1635, she published an edition of the Essays, with a very long introduction signed by herself. She is referred to by Montaigne in affectionate and eulogistic terms near the end of chapter 17 of Book II. The term fille d’alliance did not, in this case, indicate any kinship, or even an adoption, properly speaking. Her introduction to her edition of 1635 is dithyrambic in praise of the Essays.