Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“

Harvard College Library
Norton Collection,

Dec 3, 1997.

LONDON: BRADBURY AND EVANS, PRINTERS, WHITEFRIARS.

PREFACE

TO

THE SECOND EDITIONS OF EDWIN THE FAIR AND

ISAAC COMNENUS.

Of the former of these Dramas I have little to say beyond what will be found in the Preface to the first edition, reprinted here. I have done what lay in my power to improve it; and besides amendments in matters of detail and execution, there are in this edition some corrections of more material faults. Other faults, which are also material, remain uncorrected,—not, certainly, for want of care and consideration, but because, after many endeavours to correct them, I am constrained to conclude that they are incorrigible.

With respect to ‘Isaac Comnenus,' since few of my readers will have heard of it before, it may be necessary to say, that it was first published in 1827, seven years before · Philip Van Artevelde,' and without the name of the author. The book attracted so little notice that I may perhaps be

a 2

justified in regarding it as having been rather unknown than unfavourably received ; and if so, the fact furnishes some sort of plea for the republication.

The subject (which will be found in the fortyeighth Chapter of Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire) is not less attractive to me now than it was when I chose it, eighteen years ago. Far otherwise is it with the work ; and when I came to reconsider it, the tone of mind which betrayed itself in some of the scenes, and the treatment and workmanship in some others, were so repugnant to my present judgment and feelings, that I have thought it necessary to disregard, so far as those scenes are concerned, the objections which are commonly urged against alterations of substance in a juvenile work. Such a work cannot be the worse for having its manifest crudities corrected, so its wholeness and harmony be preserved : and as the faculty of blending and harmonising seems to be one of the tardier growths of the poetic mind-requiring both the former and the latter rains—it will commonly appear, I think, that a work written in youth will rather gain than lose, in respect of harmony, by being competently corrected in after years. MORTLAKE,

March, 1845.

EDWIN THE FAIR.

Pessima enim res est errorum apotheosis.

Novum Organum, i. 65.

« AnkstesnisTęsti »