« PreviousContinue »
ILLUSTRATED WITH NUMEROUS FINE STEEL ENGRAVINGS EMBRACING THE PRINCIPAL
^IRST QuAF^TO ^DITION pOMPLETE IN ONE VOLUME.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1887, by JOHNSON, FRY & COMPANY, In the Clerk's Office cf tho District Court of the United States, for tho Southern District of New York
This Edition of the Works of Lobo Bybon is the first printed in the qnarto form. Originally, indeed, many of the separate Poems which constitute the volume were issued in this page; but others first appeared in octavo, and the tendency of recent publication has been to diminish the size oi the type, till it is now rare, or an expensive luxury, to meet with a really enjoyaDle copy of the Poet's Works. This is the distinction of the present edition, which separates it from others, that the text is printed in good readable type expressly cast for the purpose,—open and well displayed in an ample quarto page. How different this from the early American editions in narrow twenty-four or thirtytwo mos in minion type. Yet the receipt of one of these copies, carried to the noble author by an American traveller to the Mediterranean, gave Btbon an unaffected pleasure. The sight, doubtless, stirred his imagination, suggesting to his mind new generations of readers in a remote land, insensible to the difficulties or prejudices which beset him at home. But however this may have been, Byron always regarded the land of Washington with peculiar admiration. Every reader will remember his tribute to Washington in tho fourth Canto of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage :—
Can tyrants bnt by tyrants conquer'd be,
And Freedom find no champion and no child,
Such as Columbia saw arise when she
Sprung forth a Pallas, ann'd and undefiled?
Or must such minds be nourish'd in the wild,
Deep in the unpruned forest, 'midst the roar
Of cataracts, where nursing Nature smiled
On infant Washington? Has Earth no more
Such seeds within her breast, or Europe no such shore?
—the coupling of Washington with Leonidas, and other tributes to his fame in Don Juan. There is a yet more particular passage in one of Byron's Diaries in which he records the visit of a young American. "Whenever," he writes, "an American requests to Bee me (which is not unfrequently), I comply, tirstly, because I respect a people who acquired their freedom by their firmness without excess; and, secondly, because these trans-Atlantic visits, ' few and far between,' make me feel as if talking with posterity from the other side of the Styx. In a century or two the new English and Spanish Atlantides will be masters of the old countries, in all probability, as Greece and Europe overcame their mother Asia in the older or earlier ages, as they are called."