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The text of the present edition of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage is based upon a collation of volume i. of the Library Edition, 1855, with the following MSS. : (i.) the original MS. of the First and Second Cantos, in Byron's handwriting [MS. M.]; (ii.) a transcript of the First and Second Cantos, in the handwriting of R. C. Dallas [D.]; (iii.) a transcript of the Third Canto, in the handwriting of Clara Jane Clairmont [C]; (iv.) a collection of "scraps,” forming a first draft of the Third Canto, in Byron's handwriting (MS.); (v.) a fair copy of the first draft of the Fourth Canto, together with the MS. of the additional stanzas, in Byron's handwriting (MS. M.]; (vi.) a second fair copy of the Fourth Canto, as completed, in Byron's handwriting (D.].
The text of the First and Second Cantos has also been collated with the text of the First Edition of the
First and Second Cantos (quarto, 1812); the text of the Third and of the Fourth Cantos with the texts of the First Editions of 1816 and 1818 respectively; and the text of the entire poem with that issued in the collected editions of 1831 and 1832.
Considerations of space have determined the position and arrangement of the notes.
Byron's notes to the First, Second, and Third Cantos, and Hobhouse's notes to the Fourth Canto are printed, according to precedent, at the end of each canto.
Editorial notes are placed in square brackets. Notes illustrative of the text are printed immediately below the variants. Notes illustrative of Byron's notes or footnotes are appended to the originals or printed as footnotes.
Byron's own notes to the Fourth Canto are printed as footnotes to the text.
Hobhouse's “Historical Notes” are reprinted without addition or comment; but the numerous and intricate references to classical, historical, and archæological authorities have been carefully verified, and in many instances rewritten.
In compiling the Introductions, the additional notes, and footnotes, I have endeavoured to supply the reader with a compendious manual of reference. With the subject-matter of large portions of the three distinct poems which make up the five hundred stanzas of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage every one is more or less
familiar, but details and particulars are out of the immediate reach of even the most cultivated readers.
The poem may be dealt with in two ways. It may be regarded as a repertory or treasury of brilliant passages for selection and quotation; or it may be read continuously, and with some attention to the style and message of the author. It is in the belief that Childe Harold should be read continuously, and that it gains by the closest study, reassuming its original freshness and splendour, that the text as well as Byron's own notes have been somewhat minutely annotated.
In the selection and composition of the notes I have, in addition to other authorities, consulted and made use of the following editions of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage :
i. Édition Classique, par James Darmesteter, Docteurès-lettres. Paris, 1882.
ii. Byron's Childe Harold, edited, with Introduction and Notes, by H. F. Tozer, M.A. Oxford, 1885 (Clarendon Press Series).
iïi. Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, edited by the Rev. E. C. Everard Owen, M.A. London, 1897 (Arnold's British Classics).
Particular acknowledgments of my indebtedness to these admirable works will be found throughout the volume.
I have consulted and derived assistance from Professor Eugen Kölbing's exhaustive collation of the text of the two first cantos with the Dallas Transcript in the British Museum (Zur Textüberlieferung von Byron's Childe Harold, Cantos I., II. Leipsic, 1896); and I am indebted to the same high authority for information with regard to the Seventh Edition (1814) of the First and Second Cantos. (See Bemerkungen zu Byron's Childe Harold, Engl. Stud., 1896, xxi, 176-186.)
I have again to record my grateful acknowledgments to Dr. Richard Garnett, C.B., Dr. A. S. Murray, F.R.S., Mr. R. E. Graves, Mr. E. D. Butler, F.R.G.S., and other officials of the British Museum, for constant help and encouragement in the preparation of the notes to Childe Harold.
I desire to express my thanks to Dr. H. R. Mill, Librarian of the Royal Geographical Society; Mr. J. C. Baker, F.R.S., Keeper of the Herbarium and Library of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; Mr. Horatio F. Brown (author of Venice, an Historical Sketch, etc.); Mr. P. A. Daniel, Mr. Richard Edgcumbe, and others, for valuable information on various points of doubt and difficulty.
On behalf of the Publisher, I beg to acknowledge the kindness of his Grace the Duke of Richmond, in permitting Cosway's miniature of Charlotte Duchess of Richmond to be reproduced for this volume.
I have also to thank Mr. Horatio F. Brown for the right to reproduce the interesting portrait of " Byron at Venice," which is now in his possession.
ERNEST HARTLEY COLERIDGE.