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[22]

Chapter 3: a Shelley manuscript

Were I to hear to-morrow that the main library of Harvard University, with every one of its 334,000 volumes, had been reduced to ashes, there is in my mind no question what book I should most regret. It is that unique, battered, dingy little quarto volume of Shelley's manuscript poems in his own handwriting and that of his wife first given by Miss Jane Clairmont (Shelley's “Constantia” ) to Mr. Edward A. Silsbee, and then presented by him to the library. Not only is it full of that aroma of fascination which belongs to the actual handiwork of a master, but its numerous corrections and interlineations make the reader feel that he is actually travelling in the pathway of that delicate mind. Mr. George E. Woodberry had the use of it; he printed in the Harvard University Calendar a facsimile of the “Ode to a Skylark” as given in

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Shelley (2)
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