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own; indeed, in a certain sense, it is a production of a portion of me already dead; and in this sense the advertisement is no fiction. It is to be published simply for the esoteric few; and I make its author a secret, to avoid the malignity of those who turn sweet food into poison, transforming all they touch into the corruption of their own natures. My wish with respect to it is that it should be printed immediately in the simplest form, and merely one hundred copies: those who are capable of judging and feeling rightly with respect to a composition of so abstruse a nature, certainly do not arrive at that number among those, at least, who would ever be excited to read an obscure and anonymous production; and it would give me no pleasure that the vulgar should read it. If you have any bookselling reason against publishing so small a number as a hundred, merely, distribute copies among those to whom you think the poetry would afford any pleasure, and send me, as soon as you can, a copy by the post. I have written it so as to give very little trouble, I hope, to the printer, or to the person who revises. I would be much obliged to you if you would take this office on yourself." Shelley Memorials, pp. 152, 153.
Shelley (from Pisa) to John Gisborne, October 22, 1821: "The Epipsychidion is a mystery; as to real flesh and blood, you know that I do not deal in those articles; you might as well go to a gin-shop for a leg of mutton, as expect anything human or earthly from me. I desired Ollier not to circulate this piece except to the ovverol, and even they, it seems, are inclined to approximate me to the circle of a servant girl and her sweetheart. But I intend to write a Symposium of my own to set all this right." Mrs. Shelley, Essays and Letters, ii. 333, 334.
Shelley (from Lerici) to John Gisborne, June 18, 1822: "The Epipsychidion I cannot look at; the person whom it celebrates was a cloud instead of a Juno, and poor Ixion starts from the centaur that was the offspring of his own embrace. If you are curious, however, to hear what I am and have been, it will tell you something thereof. It is an idealized history of my life and feelings. I think one is
always in love with something or other; the error, and I confess it is not easy for spirits cased in flesh and blood to avoid it, consists in seeking in a mortal image the likeness of what is, perhaps, eternal." Fortnightly Review, June, 1878.
Trelawny, Records, etc., i. 116: "Shelley; The Epipsychidion that you like so much the reviewer denounces as the rhapsody of a madman. That it may be a rhapsody I won't deny, and a man cannot decide on his own sanity. Your dry, matter-of-fact men denounce all flights of imagination as proofs of insanity, and so did the Greek sects of the Stoics. All the mass of mankind consider every one eccentric or insane who utters sentiments they do not comprehend."
The relations of the Shelley household with Emilia Viviani are best described in Mrs. Marshall's Life of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, but also fully in Dowden. Medwin describes the affair, ii. 60-80, and Mrs. Shelley introduces Emilia as a character, Clorinda, in her novel, Lodore.
Epipsychidion was noticed in The Gossip (a short-lived weekly published at Kentish Town), May 19, June 23, July 14, 1821.
Adonais / An Elegy on the Death of John Keats, / Author of Endymion, Hyperion, etc. / By / Percy. B. Shelley / Αστήρ πρὶν έλαμπες ενι ζῶοισιν εῶος. / Νυν δε θανῶν, λαμπεις έσπερος ev poiμevois. / Plato. / Pisa / With the types of Didot / MDCCCXXI.
Collation: Quarto. Title (with blank verso), pp. i. ii.; face, pp. 3-5; Adonais, pp. 7–25. Issued in blue paper wrappers, with woodcut and ornamental border. Price 3s. 6d. Fragments of a rough draft exist among the Boscombe MSS.
PREFACE: CANCELLED PASSAGES
Garnett, Relics, pp. 48-50 . . . "the expression of my indignation and sympathy. I will allow myself a first and last word on the subject of calumny as it relates to me. As an author I have dared and invited censure. If I under
stand myself, I have written neither for profit nor for fame. I have employed my poetical compositions and publications simply as the instruments that sympathy between myself
and others which the ardent and unbounded love I cherished for my kind incited me to acquire. I expected all sorts of stupidity and insolent contempt from those . .
"These compositions (excepting the tragedy of The Cenci, which was written rather to try my powers than to unburden my full heart) are insufficiently. commendation than perhaps they deserve, even from their bitterest enemies; but they have not attained any corresponding popularity. As a man, I shrink from notice and regard; the ebb and flow of the world vexes me; I desire to be left in peace. secution, contumely, and calumny, have been heaped upon me in profuse measure; and domestic conspiracy and legal oppression have violated in my person the most sacred rights of nature and humanity. The bigot will say it was the recompense of my errors; the man of the world will call it the result of my imprudence; but never upon one head...
"Reviewers, with some rare exceptions, are a most stupid and malignant race. As a bankrupt thief turns thief-taker in despair, so an unsuccessful author turns critic. But a young spirit panting for fame, doubtful of its powers, and certain only of its aspirations, is ill qualified to assign its true value to the sneer of this world. He knows not that such stuff as this is of the abortive and monstrous births which time consumes as fast as it produces. He sees the truth and falsehood, the merits and demerits, of his case inextricably entangled . . . No personal offence should have drawn from me this public comment upon such stuff . . .
The offence of this poor victim [Keats] seems to have consisted solely in his intimacy with Leigh Hunt, Mr. Hazlitt, and some other enemies of despotism and superstition. My friend Hunt has a very hard skull to crack, and will take a deal of killing. I do not know much of Mr. Hazlitt, but . . .
I knew personally but little of Keats; but on the news of his situation I wrote to him, suggesting the propriety of trying the Italian climate, and inviting him to join me. Unfortunately he did not allow me"
NOTES showing the state of other editions, and including minor variations beyond what has been already noted.
viii. 9 Galignani follows Shelley, 1821, except in this line. ix. 9 nor 18391,2.
xii. 6 its 18392.
xiv. 9 around 18391,2.
xv. 7 they 18391,2.
xxii. 4 with omit 18391,2.
xxxiv. 4 sang 18391,2.
xlvi. 8 a 18392.
The poets alluded to are, in xxviii. 7 and xxx. 2, Byron ; xxx. 8, Moore; xxxv. 1, Hunt.
See FRAGMENTS, iii. 430.
CONTEMPORARY RECORDS :
Mrs. Shelley's Note (18391, iii. 150): "There is much in the Adonais which seems now more applicable to Shelley himself than to the young and gifted poet whom he mourned. The poetic view he takes of death, and the lofty scorn he displays toward his calumniators, are as a prophecy on his own destiny, when received among immortal names, and the poisonous breath of critics has vanished into emptiness before the fame he inherits."
Shelley (from Baths of San Giuliano) to Mr. and Mrs. Gisborne, June 5, 1821: “I have been engaged these last days in composing a poem on the death of Keats, which will shortly be finished; and I anticipate the pleasure of reading it to you, as some of the very few persons who will be interested in it and understand it. It is a highly wrought piece of art, and perhaps better, in point of composition, than anything I have written." Essays and Letters, ii. 293.
Shelley (from Pisa) to Ollier, June 8, 1821: “You may announce for publication a poem entitled Adonais. It is a lament on the death of poor Keats, with some interposed stabs on the assassins of his peace and of his fame; and will be preceded by a criticism on Hyperion, asserting the due claims which that fragment gives him to the rank which I
have assigned him. My poem is finished and consists of about forty Spenser stanzas. I shall send it to you either printed at Pisa, or transcribed in such a manner as it shall be difficult for the reviser to leave such errors as assist the obscurity of the Prometheus. But in case I send it printed, it will be merely that mistakes may be avoided; [so] that I shall only have a few copies struck off in the cheapest
"If you have interest enough in the subject, I could wish that you inquired of some of the friends and relatives of Keats respecting the circumstances of his death, and could transmit me any information you may be able to collect, and especially as to the degree in which, as I am assured, the brutal attack in the Quarterly Review excited the disease by which he perished." Shelley Memorials, pp. 155, 156.
Shelley (from Pisa) to John Gisborne, June 16, 1821: "As it is, I have finished my Elegy; and this day I send it to the press at Pisa. You shall have a copy the moment it is completed. I think it will please you. I have dipped my pen in consuming fire for his destroyers; otherwise the style is calm and solemn." Mrs. Shelley, Essay and Letters, ii. 296.
Shelley (from Baths of San Giuliano) to Mr. and Mrs. Gisborne, July 13, 1821: "A thousand thanks for your maps; in return for which I send you the only copy of Adonais the printer has yet delivered. I wish I could say, as Glaucus could, in the exchange for the arms of Diomede, · ἑκατόμβοι evveaßolov." Mrs. Shelley, Essays and Letters, ii. 298.
Shelley (from Baths of San Giuliano) to Mr. and Mrs. Gisborne, July 19, 1821: "I am fully repaid for the painful emotions from which some verses of my poem sprung, by your sympathy and approbation — which is all the reward I expect and as much as I desire. It is not for me to judge whether, in the high praise your feelings assign me, you are right or wrong. The poet and the man are two different natures; though they exist together, they may be unconscious of each other, and incapable of deciding on each other's powers and efforts by any reflex act. The decision of the cause, whether or no I am a poet, is removed from the present time to the hour when our posterity shall assemble; but