Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/22

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.



The original MS. of the First and Second Cantos of Childe Harold, consisting of ninety-one folios bound up with a single bluish-grey cover, is in the possession of Mr. Murray.[1] A transcript from this MS., in the handwriting of R. C. Dallas, with Byron's autograph corrections, is preserved in the British Museum (Egerton MSS., No. 2027). The first edition (4to) was printed from the transcript as emended by the author. The "Addition to the Preface" was first published in the Fourth Edition.

The following notes in Byron's handwriting are on the outside of the cover of the original MS.:—

"Byron—Joannina in Albania
Begun Oct. 31st. 1809.
Concluded, Canto 2nd., Smyrna,
March 28th, 1810. Byron.

  1. "The first and second cantos of Childe Harold were written in separate portions by the noble author. They were afterwards arranged for publication; and when thus arranged, the whole was copied. This copy was placed in Lord Byron's hands, and he made various alterations, corrections, and large additions. These, together with the notes, are in his Lordship's own handwriting. The manuscript thus corrected was sent to the press, and was printed under the direction of Robt. Chas. Dallas, Esq., to whom Lord Byron had given the copyright of the poem. The MS., as it came from the printers, was preserved by Mr. Dallas, and is now in the possession of his son, the Rev. Alex. Dallas." [See Dallas Transcript, p. 1. Mus. Brit. Bibl. Egerton, 2027. Press 526. H. T.]