Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/351

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CHILDE HAROLD’S PILGRIMAGE, CANTO IV.

conversation, if not to his written "researches." Hobhouse himself made no secret of it. In his preface (p. 5) to Historical Illustrations he affirms that both "illustrations" and notes were "for the most part written while the noble author was yet employed in the composition of the poem. They were put into the hands of Lord Byron much in the state in which they now appear;" and, writing to Murray, December 7, 1817, he says, "I must confess I feel an affection for it [Canto IV.] more than ordinary, as part of it was begot as it were under my own eyes; for although your poets are as shy as elephants and camels ... yet I have, not unfrequently, witnessed his lordship's coupleting, and some of the stanzas owe their birth to our morning walk or evening ride at La Mira." Forty years later, in his revised and enlarged "Illustrations" (Italy: Remarks made in Several Visits from the year 1816 to 1854, by the Right Hon. Lord Broughton, G.C.B., 1859, i. p. iv.), he reverts to this collaboration: "When I rejoined Lord Byron at La Mira ... I found him employed upon the Fourth Canto of Childe Harold, and, later in the autumn, he showed me the first sketch of the poem. It was much shorter than it afterwards became, and it did not remark on several objects which appeared to me peculiarly worthy of notice. I made a list of these objects, and in conversation with him gave him reasons for the selection. The result was the poem as it now appears, and he then engaged me to write the notes."

As the "delicate spirit" of Shelley suffused the third canto of Childe Harold, so the fourth reveals the presence and co-operation of Hobhouse. To his brother-poet he owed a fresh conception, perhaps a fresh appreciation of nature; to his lifelong friend, a fresh enthusiasm for art, and a host of details, "dry bones ... which he awakened into the fulness of life."

The Fourth Canto was published on Tuesday, April 28, 1818. It was reviewed by [Sir] Walter Scott in the Quarterly Review, No. xxxvii., April, 1818, and by John Wilson in the Edinburgh Review, No. 59, June, 1818. Both numbers were published on the same day, September 26, 1818.