As explained in the first chapter of the Introduction, the text used here is that of the fifth edition of 1705, the last edition which Locke superintended. It has been altered only in three places: (1) in general where at least one variant reading from the previous three editions warrants it, (2) where the compositor of the fifth edition made an obvious mistake, and (3) where the modern eye would be unduly arrested by an anomaly of seventeenth- century spelling or lack of punctuation. The third instance has been used most gingerly, as, for instance, by adding a final s to alway and an apostrophe throughout to the possessive form of parents. All alterations, however, have been recorded in the Collation. Locke's marginal headings now appear in the running page-heads. For the same reasons of economy, I have not undertaken to supply line numbers to the text.
The purpose of the Collation is to show precisely how Locke arrived at a satisfactory text to leave to posterity, and to provide something of a history of it from its original publication to Locke's final correction. This has meant a word-for-word comparison of the first, third, fourth and fifth editions and the recording of all variant readings from the fifth, with one exception. I have not recorded differences in punctuation except for instances crucial to a sensible reading of the text. Very often these anomalies of punctuation were the errors of the compositor of the fifth edition; in correcting them I have had at least one variant reading for authorization. In addition, I have neglected differences of capitalization and of spelling of the same word. For example, I have neglected to record the addition or omission of a final e of many words, or the doubling or singling of consonants in the middle of a word, as realy or really. If the word can be read and understood without difficulty or undue demands on the reader's attention, I have retained the original spelling.
One important exclusion from the Collation must be noted. It was impossible to include the two early manuscript versions of the Education ( Harvard, 1684 and B.M. 1685) and the original