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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/495

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INTRODUCTION TO THE CURSE OF MINERVA.

The Curse of Minerva, which was written at Athens, and is dated March 17, 1811, remained unpublished, as a whole, in this country, during Byron's life-time. The arrangement which had been made with Cawthorn, to bring out a fifth edition of English Bards, included the issue of a separate volume, containing Hints from Horace and The Curse of Minerva; and, as Moore intimates, it was the withdrawal of the latter, in deference to the wishes of Lord Elgin or his connections, which led to the suppression of the other satires.

The quarto edition of The Curse of Minerva, printed by T. Davison in 1812, was probably set up at the same time as Murray's quarto edition of Childe Harold, and reserved for private circulation. With or without Byron's consent, the poem as a whole was published in Philadelphia [? London] by De Silver and Co., 1815, 8vo (see p. 452, note). In a letter to Murray, March 6, 1816, he says that he "disowns" The Curse, etc., "as stolen and published in a miserable and villainous copy in the magazine." The reference is to The Malediction of Minerva, or The Athenian Marble-Market, which appeared in the New Monthly Magazine for April, 1815, vol. iii. 240. It numbers 111 lines, and is signed "Steropes" (The Lightner, a Cyclops). The text of the magazine, with the same additional footnotes, but under the title of The Curse, etc., was republished in the eighth edition of Poems on His Domestic Circumstances, W. Hone, London, 1816, 8vo, and, thenceforth, in other piratical issues. Whatever may have been his feelings or intentions in 1812, four years later Byron was well aware that The Curse of Minerva would not increase his reputation as a poet, while the object