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THE Publishers, in adding this splendid Volume to the great Standard Works of English Literature, feel it but justice to themselves to state that it is the most complete and perfect edition of the Works of Lord Byron ever submitted to the attention of the Public.
By the kindness of several of the noble Poet's friends, which Messrs. Galignani beg leave here most gratefully to acknowledge, they have been personally favoured with numerous pieces, stanzas, and fragments, the product of his pen, never before published, and with a variety of interesting and curious notes, now also given to the public for the first time; to which are added a series of important critical annotations, which they have been enabled to collect from other authentic sources. The genuine admirer of Byron will estimate the value of these augmentations by the simple fact that they comprise many hundred lines of the Poet's composition, which are not, it is unnecessary to add, to be found in ANY OTHER EDITION EXTANT, not excepting the last published in London in seventeen volumes. That nothing may be wanting to render the present volume worthy the fame of the author, a Sketch of his Life is prefixed, from the pen of Henry Lytton Bulwer, whose name is a sufficient guarantee for the manner in which this portion of the work is executed.
The general order of the London Edition above alluded to has been strictly copied, except that the Miscellaneous Poems, for the greater convenience of the reader, have been placed together at the end of the volume, where they will be found each under its respective date. With this exception, which it is trusted will be found a desirable improvement, the works are arranged thoughout the Volume in chronological order, with the time, place, and circumstances-the history, as it were—of each composition adjoined, presenting a species of autobiography as true as it is curious and interestinga mirror in which the Poet's mind is reflected under every aspect-in its grandeur and its weakness, in its gaiety and gloom—now radiant with hope and happiness, now darkening under the sense of unmerited wrong, and--still harder to be borne
By haughty souls, to human honour tied
The sharp convulsive pang of agonizing pride. The sources which supplied the ample biographical, critical, and historical notes of the London Edition, textually copied and embodied in the present volume, are thus referred to by the Editor of that work:—“Important details have been derived, partly from a private volume of his Lordship’s Diaries and Letters (to which as yet in MS. the Editor had access), and partly from the information of his surviving friends. The writings of Mr. Moore and Sir John Cam Hobhouse, the Conversations published by the Countess of Blessington, with the various Memoirs, Sketches, and Essays, of which the noble author was the subject, by Walter Scott, Campbell, Jeffrey, Egerton Brydges, Wilson, Milman, Lockhart, Bowles, Heber, Croly, Hunt, Dallas, Medwin, Gamba,
Ugo Foscolo, Ellis, Kennedy, Parry, Stanhope, Galt, Nathan, Mrs. Shelley, etc., have been patiently consulted ;-in fine, every page, however fugitive, which could throw a light upon an ambiguous passage, or in any manner mark the graduations of the Poet's genius towards that sublime pre-eminence it ultimately attained, has been carefully sought out, and incorporated in the copious notes of this edition. Besides the information thus furnished, the critical reader will find that the same process has supplied a rich store of various readings, many of them curious and not a few important. With these aids, several passages are now rendered intelligible by the substitution of names for initials or asterisks, and the addition of explanatory notes. Some splendid fragments which the author had rejected after having written, or at least never embodied in his poems, are in this edition appended to Childe Harold and Don Juan : certain complete Stanzas are now also for the first time subjoined, which Lord Byron was induced to withhold from the world only by tenderness for individuals now beyond the reach of satire.”—The additional illustrations given in the Edition now offered to the Public are marked with the initials P. E. (Paris Editor).
It is felt that it would be an idle superfluity to allude in this place to the merits of particular Poems, splendidly illustrated as they all are in the following pages by the leading writers of the epoch in critical literature. Without therefore trespassing unnecessarily upon the attention of the Reader, the Publishers resign the volume to his hands, with the most perfect confidence that the claim of superiority which they here unhesitatingly assert for it will be amply supported by a reference to its pages, and that the present will be acknowledged as the most complete, or, they may be permitted to say, the only complete edition of the Works of Byron ever given to the world.
Lord Byron's controversy with Bowles, and his other Productions in Prose, are included in this volume.
The Index has been arranged with scrupulous and careful attention, and will be found in all respects the most perfect and comprehensive that has yet been published of Lord Byron's Works.
Reply to some Verses of J. M. B. Pigot, Esq.
To the sighing Strephon.
The Death of Calma and Orla.
Lines written beneath an Elm in the Church-
Letter to the Editor of "My Grandmother's
Some Observations upon an Article in
Review of Wordsworth's poems
Review of Gell's Geography of Ithaca, etc.
Two Epistles, translated from the Arme-
Letter to John Murray, esq. on Bowles's