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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/429

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INTRODUCTION TO HINTS FROM HORACE.

Three MSS. of Hints from Horace are extant, two in the possession of Lord Lovelace (MSS. L. a and b), and a third in the possession of Mr. Murray (MS. M.).

Proofs of lines 173-272 and 1-272 (Proofs a, b), are among the Egerton MSS. in the British Museum. They were purchased from the Rev. Alexander Dallas, January 12, 1867, and are, doubtless, fragments of the proofs set up in type for Cawthorn in 1811. They are in "book-form," and show that the volume was intended to be uniform with the Fifth Edition of English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers, of 1811. The text corresponds closely but not exactly with that adopted by Murray in 1831, and does not embody the variants of the several MSS. It is probable that complete proofs were in Moore's possession at the time when he included the selections from the Hints in his Letters and Journals, 1830, i. 263-269, and that the text of the entire poem as published in 1831 was derived from this source. Selections, numbering in all 156 lines, had already appeared in Recollections of the Life of Lord Byron, by R. C. Dallas, 1824, pp. 104-113. Byron, estimating the merit by the difficulty of the performance, rated the Hints from Horace extravagantly high. He only forbore to publish them after the success of Childe Harold, because he felt, as he states, that he should be "heaping coals of fire upon his head" if he were in his hour of triumph to put forth a sequel to a lampoon provoked by failure. Nine years afterwards, when he resolved to print the work with some omissions, he gravely maintained that it excelled the productions of his