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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 3.djvu/110

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BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE ON THE GIAOUR.

The bibliography of the Giaour is beset with difficulties, and it is doubtful if more than approximate accuracy can be secured. The composition of the entire poem in its present shape was accomplished within six months, May — November, 1813, but during that period it was expanded by successive accretions from a first draft of 407 lines (extant in MS.) to a seventh edition of 1334 lines. A proof is extant of an edition of 28 pages containing 460 lines, itself an enlargement on the MS. ; but whether (as a note in the handwriting of the late Mr. Murray affirms) this was or was not published is uncertain. A portion of a second proof of 38 pages has been preserved, but of the publication of the poem in this state there is no record. On June 5 a first edition of 41 pages, containing 685 lines, was issued, and of this numerous copies are extant. At the end of June, or the beginning of July, 1813, a second edition, entitled, a "New Edition with some Additions," appeared. This consisted of 47 pages, and numbered 816 lines. Among the accretions is to be found the famous passage beginning, " He who hath bent him o'er the dead. Two MS. copies oi Xis pantms uere purpureus are in Mr. Murray's possession. At the end of July, and during the first half of August, two or more issues of a third edition were set up in type. The first issue amounted to 53 pages, containing 950 lines, was certainly published in this form, and possibly a second issue of 56 pages, containing 1004 lines, may have followed at a brief interval. A revise of this second issue, dated August 13, is extant. In the last fortnight of August a fourth edition of 58 pages, containing 1048 lines, undoubtedly saw the light. Scarcely more than a few days can have elapsed before a fifth edition of 66 pages,