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of Mrs. Shelley, who, I doubt not, followed in this respect the indication of Shelley's manuscripts,-especially as we find the same arrangement in the stanzas of cognate form employed in the Ode to the West Wind. In giving the sonnet without “indentions,” the invariable practice of Shelley's own printed volumes is followed ; and in such of his manuscript sonnets as I have seen there are no intentional “indentions,”— merely the same irregularity of margin that we generally find in his manuscripts. As the writing of these two highly artificial forms of verse has ever been matter of much controversy and strong opinion, it is unlikely that Shelley's own way of writing them was unconsidered : it should therefore be followed.

Of the two fragments of verse which have not appeared in any edition of Shelley except the present, the Fragment of a Satire on Satire (Volume II, page 210) is reprinted from Professor Dowden's recent volume The Correspondence of Robert Southey with Caroline Boules. Professor Dowden gave it from a transcript furnished to him by Mr. Garnett. The Lines to William Godwin (Volume II, page 162) have not, I believe, been printed before : they were written by Shelley on a letter addressed to him by Godwin, dated “Skinner Street, Apr. 29, 1817," proposing an eligible investment for Shelley which was also to benefit Godwin, and suggesting a subscription for the payment of the Hunts' fine. The lines seem to be a poetic comment on the situation of Godwin-an eagle caught by night, facing and defying tempests. The couplet in Hellas (lines 76-7)

As an eagle fed with morning
Scorns the embattled tempests' warning,

will at once recur to readers of this fragment; and it is most remarkable that this figure should have remained so long in Shelley's mind.


46 MARLBOROUGH Hill, St. John's Woon,

May 1882.




Of the unannotated text of Shelley's Poetry forming the present volumes, the first edition was issued in 1882 and the second in 1885. This third edition is a reprint of the second in all particulars, including the addition of the preface and notes critical and biographical from Mrs. Shelley's editions of 1839. These notes, in a connected series, as printed here and in the current issue of my annotated library edition, form a study of the poet interesting in a high degree and of unquestionable authority in regard to essential matters, -although the gifted author would have been the first to disclaim the adequacy of this study as a memoir of Shelley, more particularly on account of her want of materials for the carly portion of his life, referred to at page Xxxviii.

H. B. F.







OBSTACLES have long existed to my presenting the public with a perfect edition of Shelley's Poems. These being at last happily removed, I hasten to fulfil an important duty,diat of giving the productions of a sublime genius to the world, with all the correctness possible, and of, at the same time, detailing the history of those productions, as they sprung, living and warm, from his heart and brain. I abstain fronı any remark on the occurrences of his private life; except, inasmuch as the passions which they engendered, inspired his poetry. This is not the time to relate the truth; and I should reject any colouring of the truth. No account of these events has ever been given at all approaching reality in their details, either as regards himself or others; nor shall I further allude to them than to remark, that the errors of action, committed by a man as noble and generous as Shelley, may, as far as he only is concerned, be fearlessly avowed, by those who loved him, in the firm conviction, that were they judged impartially, his character would stand in fairer and brighter light than that of any

"Mr. Shelley's foot-notes are distinguished by the initials M. S. from

VOL. 1.

such notes as I have found it neces. sary to add.-H. B. F.

contemporary. Whatever faults he had, ought to find extenuation among his fellows, since they proved him to be human; without them, the exalted nature of his soul would have raised him into something divine.

The qualities that struck any one newly introduced to Shelley, were, first, a gentle and cordial goodness that animated his intercourse with warm affection, and helpful sympathy. The other, the eagerness and ardour with which he was attached to the cause of human happiness and improvement; and the fervent eloquence with which he discussed such subjects. His conversation was marked by its happy abundance, and the beautiful language in which he clothed his poetic ideas and philosophical notions. To defecate life of its misery and its evil, was the ruling passion of his soul: he dedicated to it every power of his mind, every pulsation of his heart. He looked on political freedom as the direct agent to effect the happiness of mankind; and thus any new-sprung hope of liberty inspired a joy and an exultation more intense and wild than he could have felt for any personal advantage. Those who have never experienced the workings of passion on general and unselfish subjects cannot understand this; and it must be difficult of comprehension to the younger generation rising around, since they cannot remember the scorn and hatred with which the partisans of reform were regarded some few years ago, nor the persecutions to which they were exposed. He had been from youth the victim of the state of feeling inspired by the reaction of the French Revolution; and believing firmly in the justice and excellence of his views, it cannot be wondered that a nature as sensitive, as impetuous, and as generous as his, should put its whole force into the attempt to alleviate for others the evils of those systems from which he had himself suffered. Many advantages attended his birth; he spurned them all when balanced with what he considered his duties. He was generous to imprudence, devoted to heroisin.

These characteristics breathe throughout his poetry. The struggle for human weal; the resolution firm to martyrdom; the impetuous pursuit; the glad triumph in good; the determination not to despair. Such were the features that

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