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MEMOIR OF PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY
THE REVOLT OF ISLAM
THE CENCI; a Tragedy, in Five Acts
Four Acts 77 QUEEN MAB . . 1 of Notes . . . . . . . . . . 123 ALASTOR, OR THE SPIRIT OF SOLITUDE . 141 ROSALIND AND HELEN; a Modern Eclogue . 148 ADO.N.Als; an Elegy on the Death of John Keats . 159 EPIPSYCHIDION: Verses addressed to the Noble and unfortunate Lady Emilia V-- . 164 HELLAS; a Lyrical Drama . . 17o MISCELLANEOUS POEMS:— Julian and Maddalo; a Conversation . 182 The Witch of Atlas . A . 187 The Triumph of Life . . . . . 193 Lines written among the Euganean Hills . 198 Letter to ——- . . 2 on The Sensitive Plant - . 204 A Vision of the Sea . 207 Ode to Heaven - . . . . 208 Ode to the West Wind. . . . . . . 209 Anode, written October 1819, before the Spaniards had recovered their Liberty 2 to Ode to Liberty - - ib. Ode to Naples 2 13 The Cloud - 214 To a Skylark - 215' An Exhortation - - - - 216 Hymn to Intellectual Beauty . . ib. Marianne's Dream - - - 2 17 Mont Blanc . . * * * * 218 on the Medusa of Leonardo da Vinci, in the Florentine Gallery - - - 2 19 Song. • Rarely, rarely, comest thou - 22 o To Constantia, singing - ib. The Fugitives 22 i A Lament . . . . . . . " ib. the pine forest of the Cascine, near Pisa ib. To Night . . . . . . . - 223 Evening—Ponte a Mare, Pisa ib. Arethusa . - - ib. The Question - 224 Lines to an Indian Air - - ib. Stanzas, written in dejection, near Naples ib. Autumn; a Dirge - 225 ib.
a Lyrical Drama, in
Death of Napoleon
ib. * The sentiments connected with and charneteristic of this cir cumstance have no personal reference to the writer.
Page Page Sonnet. Ozwmandias . . . . . . 237 scenes, from the “Magico Prodigioso of Cal–––. Ye hasten to the dead! What seek deron . . . . . . . . . . 253 ye there” . . . . . . . . . ib. Translation from Moschus . . . . . 260 ––– Political Greatness . . . . . ib. Scenes from the . Faust n of Goethe. —Pro––– “ Alas! good friend, what profit can logue in Heaven . . . . . . .266 you see . . . . . . . . . . ib. May-Day Night . . . . . . . .261 –––. Lift not the painted veil which those - FRAGMENTs:— who live • . . . . . . . . . . . it. Ginevra . . . . . . . . . 265 ——— To wordsworth . . . . . . . ib. Charles the First . . . . . . . 267 ––– Feelings of a Republican on the Fall - From an unfinished Drama . . . . 27.0 of Bonaparte . . . . . . . . . . . i. Prince Athanase . . . . . . ib. ––– Dante Alighieri to Guido Cavalcanti ib. Mazenghi - - - - - - - 273 ––– Translated from the Greek of Moschus 238 The Woodman and the Nightingale 274 TRANslations:– To the Moon - - - - - - 27 Hymn to Mercury—translated from Homer ib. Song for Tasso . . . . . . . ib. The Cyclops; a Satiric Drama, translated from Epitaph . . . . . . . . . ib. the Greek of Euripides . . 245 The Waning Moon - i5.
The Publishers of the present edition of Mr Shelley's Poetical Works think it necessary to state, that the first poem in the collection, - The Revolt of Islam,” did not originally bear that title: it appeared under the name of . LAoN AND CYTHNA; or the Revolution of the Golden City: a Pision of the Nineteenth Century." But, with the exception of this change of name, into the reasons that led to which it is now unnecessary to inquire—some inconsiderable verbal corrections, and the omission of the following paragraph and note in the preface, the poem is in all respects the same as when first given to the public.
• In the personal conduct of my hero and heroine, there is one circumstance which was intended to startle the reader from the trance of ordinary life. It was my object to break through the crust of those outworn opinions on which established institutions depend. I
have appealed, therefore, to the most universal of all feelings, and have endeavoured to strengthen the moral sense, by forbidding it to waste its energies in seeking to avoid actions which are only crimes of convention. It is because there is se great a multitude of artificial vices, that there are so few real virtues. Those feelings alone which are benevolent or malevolent are essentially good or bad. The circumstance of which I speak was introduced, however, inerely to accustom men to that charity and toleration, which the exhibition of a
practice widely differing from their own has a tendency
to promote." Nothing, indeed, can be more mischievous than many actions innocent in themselves, which might bring down upon individuals the bigoted contempt and rage of the multitude.”
Firiu-Place, in the county of Sussex, was the spot 'fagging, which pedagogues are bold enough to
where Percy Bysshe Shelley first saw the light. He was born on the 4th of August, 1792 ; and was the eldest son of Sir Timothy Shelley, Bart. of Castle-Goring. His family is an ancient one, and a branch of it has become the representative
defend openly at the present hour. At Oxford he imprudently printed a dissertation on the being of a God, which caused his expulsion in his second term, as he refused to retract any of his opinions; and thereby in
of the house of the illustrious Sir Philip Sidney curred the marked displeasure of his father. of Penshurst. Despising honours which only rest This expulsion arising, as he believed conscienupon the accidental circumstances of birth, Shel- tiously, from his avowal of what he thought to ley was proud of this connection with an im- be true, did not deeply affect him. His mind mortal name. At the customary age, about thir- seems to have been wandering in a maze of Shelley married at an early age a Miss Har- ment against it, until developed in the - Nairs, riet Westbrooke, a very beautiful girl, much viz. prostitution both legal and illegal. younger than himself, daughter of a coffeehouse- • I am a young man, not of age, and have been keeper, retired from business. By this marriage married a year to a woman younger than myself. he so irritated his father, that he was entirely Love seems inclined to stay in the prison, and abandoned by him; but the lady's father allowed my only reason for putting him in chains, whilst them 200l. per annum, and they resided some convinced of the unholiness of the act, was a time in Edinburgh and then in Ireland. The knowledge, that in the present state of society. match was a Gretna-green one, and did not if love is not thus villainously treated, she, who turn out happily. By this connection he had . is most loved, will be treated worse by a mistwo children, the youngest of whom, born in judging world. In short, seduction, which term 1815, is since dead. Consistent with his own could have no meaning in a rational society, has views of marriage and its institution, Shelley paid now a most tremendous one; the fictitious merit his addresses to another lady, Miss Godwin, with attached to chastity has made that a forerunner whom, in July, 1814, he fled, accompanied by to the most terrible ruins, which in Malabar Miss Jane Claremont, her sister-in-law, to Uri, would be a pledge of honour and homage. If in Switzerland, from whence, after a few days' there is any enormous and desolating crime of residence, they suddenly quitted suspecting they which I should shudder to be accused, it is sewere watched by another lodger; they departed duction. I need not say how I admire • Love, for Paris on foot, and there found that the person and little as a British public seems to appreciate to whom they had confided a large trunk of its merit, in not permitting it to emerge from a clothes, had absconded with them: this hastened first edition, it is with satisfaction I find, that justheir return to England. A child was the fruit stice had conceded abroad what bigotry has denied of this expedition. Shortly after they again quitted at home. I shall take the liberty of sending you England and went to Geneva, Como and Venice. any little publication I may give to the world. In a few months they revisited England, and took |M. S. joins with myself in hoping, if we come up their abode in Bath, from whence Shelley was to London this winter, we may be favoured with suddenly called by the unexpected suicide of his the personal friendship of one whose writings
teen, he was sent to Eton School, and before he had completed his fifteenth year, he published two novels, the Rosicrucian and Zasterozzi. From Eton he removed to University College, oxford, to mature his studies, at the age of sixteen, an earlier period than is usual. At Oxford he ... according to custom, imbued with the elements of logic; and he ventured, in contempt of the fiat of the University, to apply them to the investigation of questions which it is orthodox to take for granted. His original and uncompromising spirit of inquiry could not reconcile the limited use of logical principles. He boldly tested, or attempted to test, propositions which he imagined, the more they were obscure, and the more claim they had upon his credence, the greater was the necessity for examining them. His spirit was an inquiring one, and he fearlessly sought after what he believed to be truth, before, it is probable, he had acquired all the information necessary to guide him, from collateral sources—a common error of headstrong youth. This is the more likely to be the case, as when time had matured his knowledge, he differed much on points upon which, in callow years and without an instructor, flung upon the world o form his own principles of action, guileless, and vehement, he was wont to advocate strongly. shelley possessed the bold quality of inquiring into the reason of every thing, and of resisting what he could not reconcile to be right according to his conscience. In some persons this has been denominated a virtue, in others a sin—just as it might happen to chime in with worldly custom or received opinion. At school he formed
a conspiracy for resistance to that most odious and detestable custom of English seminaries,
doubt at times between truth and error, ardently desirous of finding the truth, warm in its pursuit, but without a pole-star to guide him in steering after it. In this state of things he met with the Political Justice of Godwin, and read it with eagerness and delight. What he had wanted he had now found; he determined that justice should be his sole guide, and justice alone. He regarded not whether what he did was after the fashion of the world; he pursued the career he had marked out with sincerity, and excited censure for some of his actions and praise for others, bordering upon wonder, in proportion as they were singular, or as their motives could not be appreciated. His notions at the University tended to atheism; and in a work which he published entitled - Queen Mab,” it is evident that this doctrine had at one time a hold upon his mind. This was printed for private circulation only, and was pirated by a knavish bookseller and given to the public, long after the writer had altered many of the opinions expressed in it, disclaimed it, and lamented its having been printed. He spoke of the commonly-received motions of God with contenipt; and hence the idea that he denied the being of aury superintending first cause. He was not on this head sufficiently explicit. He seemed hopeless, in moments of low spirits, of there being such a ruling power as he wished, yet he ever clung to the idea of some - great spirit of intellectual beautybeing throughout all things. His life was inflexibly moral and benevolent. He acted up to the theory of his received doctrine of justice; and, after all the censures that were cast upon him, who shall impugn the man who thus acts
and lives? n
wife, who destroyed herself on the oth Novem-
we have learnt to esteem.
A circumstance arose out of his first marriage which attracted a good deal of notice from the public. As we have already mentioned, there were two children left, whom the Lord Chancellor Eldon took away from their father by one of his own arbitrary decrees, because the religious sentiments of shelley were avowedly heterodox. No immorality of life, no breach of parental duty was attempted to be proved; it was sufficient that the father did not give credit to religion as established by act of parliament, to cause the closest ties of nature to be rent asunder, and the connection of father and child to be for ever broken. This despotism of a law-officer has since been displayed in another case, where immorality of the parent was the alleged cause. Had the same law-officer, unhappily for England, continued to preside, no doubt the political sentiments of the parent would by and by furnish an excuse for such a monstrous tyranny over the rights of nature.
Shelley for ever songht to make mankind and
I read this spring, succeeded in making me a things around him in harmony with a better perfect convert to its doctrines. I then retained state of moral existence. He was too young and no doubts of the evils of marriage; Mrs Wolstone. inexperienced when he first acted upon this craft reasons too well for that; but I had been principle too perceive the obstacles which opposed
dull enough not to perceive the greatest argu- the progress of his views, arising out of the