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SHELLEY's last two publications form the first 93 pages of this volume. Of Adonais he had a small issue printed at Pisa and sent to London for publication. He saw it through the press himself; and the Pisa print, a quarto, remains authoritative as to the text, save for some two or three changes of expression which were introduced into Mrs. Shelley's editions, unquestionably on the poet's own authority. Hellas, though printed in London without the author's supervision, is well printed and was considered by Shelley to be unusually free from errors of the press. Still, he furnished the publisher with a list of errata ; and this, with the printer's “copy,” being extant, there is a perfectly solid foundation for the text. The printer's copy was written out by Edward Williams and revised by Shelley himself. Readers of the Aldine edition will find in the Preface to Hellas an innovation which they will expect to have explained, namely the penultimate paragraph now inserted at pages 40 and 41. This paragraph was meant by Shelley to stand as part of the Preface; but the publishers had leave to omit certain passages if they deemed it imprudent to publish them. I suspected that a proof copy varying from the published book might exist; and after many years of search I had the luck to discover and obtain one, though not till after the publication of my Library editions. It is from this copy, as far as I can learn the only one known to exist in England, that the paragraph is given.
The principal printed sources of the remainder of the present volume are the book called Posthumous Poems published by Mrs. Shelley in 1824, her two collected editions of 1839, Leigh Hunt's edition of The Mask of Anarchy (1832), his Literary Pocket-Book (1819), Dr. Garnett's Relics of Shelley (1862), Mr. Rossetti's editions of Shelley's Poetry, and my own editions, in which last the curious reader may find full details as to the sources of individual poems.
Perhaps I should also refer to the volume which I edited for the Shelley Society in 1887, containing a fac-simile of the holograph of The Mask of Anarchy, then recently discovered. The results of collating the holograph with the previously received text are of course embodied in the text of the poem now given.
The Harvard College manuscript book mentioned in my Preface to volume iii furnishes nothing for the present volume, beyond the evidence of an index that Julian and Maddalo (which seems to have been cut out) was called Maddalo and Julian.
H, B. F,
PRINCIPAL POSTHUMOUS POEMS : 1817-1822.