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251: "Shelley loved the people, and respected them as often more virtuous, as always more suffering, and, therefore, more deserving of sympathy, than the great. He believed that a clash between the two classes of society was inevitable, and he eagerly ranged himself on the people's side. He had an idea of publishing a series of poems adapted expressly to commemorate their circumstances and wrongs - he wrote a few, but in those days of prosecution for libel they could not be printed. They are not among the best of his productions, a writer being always shackled when he endeavors to write down to the comprehension of those who could not understand or feel a highly imaginative style; but they show his earnestness, and with what heartfelt compassion he went home to the direct point of injury — that oppression is detestable, as being the parent of starvation, nakedness, and ignorance. Besides these outpourings of compassion and indignation, he had meant to adorn the cause he loved with loftier poetry of glory and triumph — such is the scope of the Ode to the Assertors of Liberty. He sketched also a new version of our national anthem, as addressed to Liberty."
Rossetti adopts Mrs. Shelley's title, and notes that the poem is inspired by the Manchester massacre and addressed to Englishmen.
MS. Montagu, with additional stanza. See FRAGMENTS, iii. 423.
240 On the Medusa of Leonardo da Vinci in the Florentine Gallery. Mrs. Shelley's Note, 18391, iv. 49: “We spent the latter part of the year 1819 in Florence, where Shelley passed several hours daily in the Gallery, and made various notes on its ancient works of art."
TEXT: i. 5 seem 1824.
6 shrine 1824, 18391,2. iv. 2 these 18391,2.
242 The Indian Serenade. Medwin, Life, ii. 126: "For her [Mrs. Williams] were composed the exquisite lines, "I arise from dreams of thee," adapted to the cele
brated Persian air sung by the Knautch girls, Tazee be tazee no be no." Shelley first met the Williamses in the spring of 1821. He gave a copy of this poem to Miss Sophia Stacey in 1819.
Browning to Leigh Hunt, October 6, 1857: "Is it not strange that I should have transcribed for the first time last night the Indian Serenade that, together with some verses of Metastasio, accompanied that book? [the volume of Keats found in Shelley's pocket and burned with his body] — that I should have been reserved to tell the present possessor of them, to whom they were given by Captain Roberts, what the poem was, and that it had been published? It is preserved religiously; but the characters are all but illegible, and I needed a good magnifying-glass to be quite sure of such of them as remain. The end is that I have rescued three or four variations in the reading of that divine little poem as one reads it, at least, in the Posthumous Poems. It is headed The Indian Serenade (not Lines to an Indian Air). In the first stanza, the seventh line is Hath led me.' In the second, the third line is, And the champak's odors fail'; and the eighth, 'O! Beloved as thou art.' In the last stanza, the seventh line was, 'Oh, press it to thine own again.' Are not all these better readings
even to the 'Hath' for 'Has.' There I give them you as you gave us Milton's hair." Hunt, Correspondence, ii. 266, 267.
Garnet, Relics, p. 99: "Several fragmentary versions of the piece exist among Shelley's MSS., all differing more or less from the printed text and each other." Forman states, on the authority of a friend of Mrs. Williams, that the air, sung by Mrs. Williams, was widely known in India.
TEXT: i. 7 has 18392.
ii. 3 And the Forman, Dowden.
TEXT: iii. 7 it to thine own again Forman, Dowden.
The version adopted in this edition is equally supported with any other, and seems to the editor intrinsically the best.
243 To Sophia. From the Stacey MS. Mrs. Shelley (from Florence) to Mrs. Gisborne, December 1, 1819: "There are some ladies come to this house who knew Shelley's family: the younger one was entousiasmée to see him. . . . The younger lady was a ward of one of Shelley's uncles. She is lively and unaffected. She sings well for an English débutante and, if she would learn the scales, would sing exceedingly well, for she has a sweet voice." Shelley Memorials, p. 128. Miss Sophia Stacey was a ward of Mr. Parker, of Bath, an uncle by marriage of Shelley.
244 Love's Philosophy. Shelley wrote this poem, with two others, in a copy of Hunt's Literary Pocket-Book, 1819, and gave it to Miss Stacey, December 29, 1820. TEXT: i. 7 In one spirit meet and Forman, Dowden.
ii. 7 is all this sweet work Forman, Dowden.
These readings are poetically inferior, and are, at least, of no higher authority than Hunt's and Mrs. Shelley's.
MSS. Stacey, Harvard.
POEMS WRITTEN IN 1820
Mrs. Shelley's Note, 18392, pp. 278, 279: . . . "There was something in Florence that disagreed excessively with his health, and he suffered far more pain than usual; so much so that we left it sooner than we intended, and removed to Pisa, where we had some friends, and, above all, where we could consult the celebrated Vaccà, as to the cause of Shelley's sufferings. He, like every other medical man, could only guess at that, and gave little hope of immediate relief; he enjoined him to abstain from all physicians and medicine, and to leave his complaint to nature. As he had vainly consulted medical men of the highest repute in England, he was easily persuaded to adopt this advice. Pain
and ill-health followed him to the end, but the residence at Pisa agreed with him better than any other, and there in consequence we remained. . ..
"We spent the summer at the baths of San Giuliano, four miles from Pisa. These baths were of great use to Shelley in soothing his nervous irritability. We made several excursions in the neighborhood. The country around is fertile, and diversified and rendered picturesque by ranges of near hills and more distant mountains. The peasantry are a handsome, intelligent race, and there was a gladsome sunny heaven spread over us, that rendered home and every scene we visited cheerful and bright. .
"Our stay at the baths of San Giuliano was shortened by an accident. At the foot of our garden ran the canal that communicated between the erchio and the Arno. The Serchio overflowed its banks, and breaking its bounds, this canal also overflowed; all this part of the country is below the level of its rivers, and the consequence was that it was speedily flooded. The rising waters filled the square of the baths, in the lower part of which our house was situated. The canal overflowed in the garden behind; the rising waters on either side at last burst open the doors, and meeting in the house, rose to the height of six feet. It was a picturesque sight at night to see the peasants driving the cattle from the plains below to the hills above the baths. A fire was kept up to guide them across the ford; and the forms of the men and the animals showed in dark relief against the red glare of the flame, which was reflected again in the waters that filled the square.
"We then removed to Pisa, and took up our abode there for the winter. The extreme mildness of the climate suited Shelley, and his solitude was enlivened by an intercourse with several intimate friends. Chance cast us, strangely enough, on this quiet, half-unpeopled town; but its very peace suited Shelley, its river, the near mountains, and not distant sea, added to its attractions, and were the objects of many delightful excursions. We feared the south of Italy, and a hotter climate, on account of our child; our former bereavement inspiring us with terror. We seemed to take root here, and moved little afterwards; often, indeed, enter
taining projects for visiting other parts of Italy, but still delaying. But for our fears on account of our child, I believe we should have wandered over the world, both being passionately fond of travelling. But human life, besides its great unalterable necessities, is ruled by a thousand Liliputian ties, that shackle at the time, although it is difficult to account afterwards for their influence over our destiny." [Omitted passages bearing on particular poems are placed under these poems.]
246 The Sensitive Plant.
Shelley (from Lerici) to Hunt, June 19, 1822: "Williams is one of the best fellows in the world; and Jane his wife a most delightful person, whom we all agree is the exact antitype of the lady I described in The Sensitive Plant, though this must have been a pure anticipated cognition, as it was written a year before I knew her." Garnett, Relics, p. 111.
Medwin, Life, ii. 6: "He lent me [late in the autumn of 1820] a MS. volume containing his Ode to Liberty, The Sensitive Plant, the exquisite Arethusa and Peneus [Hymn to Pan], and many other of his lyrics, which I devoured and enthusiastically admired. He was surprised at my enthusiasm, and said to me, 'I am disgusted with writing, and were it not for an irresistible impulse that predominates my better reason, should discontinue so doing.' On such occasions he fell into a despondent mood, most distressing to witness, was affected with a prostration of spirits that bent him to the earth, a melancholy too sacred to notice, and which it would have been a vain attempt to dissipate."
TEXT: i. 6 And 18392.
100 delight || the light Dixon conj. ii. 23 the going 18392.
iii. 32 leaf after Rossetti, Forman.
day by 18392.
66 the cancelled lines are put in the text by