Page:Shelley, a poem, with other writings (Thomson, Debell).djvu/57

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39
SHELLEY'S POETICAL WORKS.

"I can say that the editorial work has been to me a true labour of love, and has been gone through diligently and deliberately. Indeed, the pleasure of having anything to do with Shelley's poems is to myself so great that I should have been my own tormentor had I stinted or slurred work in any particular. I took very great pains with the edition of 1870, and have taken equal or still greater pains with this of 1878. I have now cancelled, I suppose, a full third of the notes to the former edition, and have introduced a rather larger bulk of new notes; and the same, in minor proportion, has been done with the Memoir." This Memoir, we may add, occupies a hundred and fifty pages, and is a full record and discussion of all that has hitherto come to light concerning the career of the poet. Now that his eldest daughter is dead, we think his family owe, both to his memory and to the considerable public for whom it is really sacred, a prompt revelation of the documents regarding his separation from his first wife and the causes that impelled her to suicide. We elders, whose love and reverence for the Poet of Poets were nurtured on a text abounding with mistakes, and in a society which mainly regarded him with horror when it regarded him at all, can heartily congratulate the younger generation who have been brought up to appreciate and revere him, and who have such an Edition as the present to assist their study.

1878