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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 4.djvu/18

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PREFACE TO THE FOURTH VOLUME.

into admiration, or scolded into disapproval and contempt. But if they are willing or can be persuaded to read with some particularity and attention the writings of the illustrious dead, not entirely as partisans, or with the view to dethroning other "Monarchs of Parnassus," they will divine the secret of their fame, and will understand, perhaps recover, the "first rapture" of contemporaries.

Byron sneered and carped at Southey as a "scribbler of all works." He was himself a reader of all works, and without some measure of book-learning and not a little research the force and significance of his various numbers are weakened or obliterated.

It is with the hope of supplying this modicum of book-learning that the Introductions and notes in this and other volumes have been compiled.

I desire to acknowledge, with thanks, the courteous response of Mons. J. Capré, Commandant of the Castle of Chillon, to a letter of inquiry with regard to the "Souterrains de Chillon."

I have to express my gratitude to Sir Henry Irving, to Mr. Joseph Knight, and to Mr. F. E. Taylor, for valuable information concerning the stage representation of Manfred and Marino Faliero.

I am deeply indebted to Dr. Richard Garnett, C.B., and to my friend, Mr. Thomas Hutchinson, for assistance in many important particulars during the construction of the volume.