The first four volumes of the Ancient Laws of Ireland published under the auspices of the Brehon Laws Commissioners have repeatedly been made the subject of severe but just criticism. Among other things, the urgent necessity of a collation of the printed text with the original manuscripts from which O'Donovan and O'Curry made their transcripts has often been pointed out. Such a collation I hope will soon be undertaken
p.345by members of the School of Irish Learning founded in Dublin, and the results laid before the public. But far more than this would be necesary if the student is to be supplied with a critical edition of the various texts contained in the four voulmes. O'Donovan and O'Curry selected certain manuscript versions without consulting and comparing, except in a few instances, other copies which often furnish better readings, supply gaps, or contain additional matter of importance. Perhaps now that the first volume is out of print, the Commissioners may see their way to entrust a new edition of the Senchas Mór based upon all existing copies to a scholar of recognised standing. To show by example what important additions to our knowledge may be expected from such an edition I print here an interesting story of the Finn cycle taken from the version of the Senchas Mór contained in the vellum codex H. 3. 18. It is given as an example of the practice of incantation called imbas forosnai, and has, so far as I am aware, not been preserved elsewhere.