Adonais eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 184 pages of information about Adonais.

1. 8. Motto from Moschus.  Translated on p. 66, ‘Poison came, Bion,’ &c.

1. 13. It is my intention to subjoin to the London edition of this poem a criticism, &c.  As to the non-fulfilment of this intention see p. 31.

1. 16. My known repugnance ... proves at least.  In the Pisa edition the word is printed ‘prove’ (not ’proves’).  Shelley was far from being an exact writer in matters of this sort.

1. 21. John Keats died ... in his twenty-fourth year, on the [23rd] of [February] 1821.  Keats, at the time of his death, was not really in his twenty-fourth, but in his twenty-sixth year:  the date of his birth was 31 October, 1795.  In the Pisa edition of Adonais the date of death is given thus—­’the——­of——­1821’:  for Shelley, when he wrote his preface, had no precise knowledge of the facts.  In some later editions, ’the 27th of December 1820’ was erroneously substituted.  Shelley’s mistake in supposing that Keats, in 1821, was aged only twenty-three, may be taken into account in estimating his previous observation, ’I consider the fragment of Hyperion as second to nothing that was ever produced by a writer of the same years.’  Keats, writing in August, 1820, had told Shelley (see p. 17) that some of his poems, perhaps including Hyperion, had been written ‘above two years’ preceding that date.  If Shelley supposed that Keats was twenty-three years old at the beginning of 1821, and that Hyperion had been written fully two years prior to August, 1820, he must have accounted that poem to be the product of a youth of twenty, or at most twenty-one, which would indeed be a marvellous instance of precocity.  As a matter of fact, Hyperion was written by Keats when in his twenty-fourth year.  This diminishes the marvel, but does not make Shelley’s comment on the poem any the less correct.

1. 22. Was buried in the romantic and lonely cemetery of the Protestants in that city, under the pyramid which is the tomb of Cestius. As to the burial of the ashes of Shelley himself in a separate portion of the same cemetery, see p. 23.  Shelley lies nearer than Keats to the pyramid of C. Cestius.

1. 33. The savage criticism on his Endymion which appeared in the Quarterly Review.  As to this matter see the prefatory Memoirs of Shelley and of Keats, and especially, at p. 39 &c., a transcript of the criticism.

1. 35. The agitation thus originated ended in the rupture of a blood vessel in the lungs. See pp. 27 and 37, The Quarterly critique was published in September 1818, and the first rupture of a blood-vessel occurred in February 1820.  Whether the mortification felt by Keats at the critique was small (as is now generally opined) or great (as Shelley thought), it cannot reasonably be propounded that this caused, or resulted in, the rupture of the pulmonary blood-vessel.  Keats belonged to a consumptive family; his mother died of consumption, and also his younger brother:  and the preliminaries of his mortal illness (even if we do not date them farther back, for which some reason appears) began towards the middle of July 1818, when, in very rough walking in the Island of Mull, he caught a severe and persistent attack of sore throat.

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