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page 365 of Volume IV, was not finished till 1823, though already begun in the summer of 1821.
It is to be regretted that the National Portrait Gallery should possess only posthumous portraits of Keats; and one of them totally uninteresting. The large oil painting by Hilton has no claim whatever to a place in the national collection. The forbidding and lowering young man there depicted is not Keats; and the work is a mere posthumous parody of Severn's miniature, done with little skill, less taste, and still less feeling.
It would be interesting to know what became of a bust of Keats exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1822, of which there is a notice in The London Magazine for May of that year. Referring to Frederick Smith, “a pupil of Chantrey," it is said, “There is a bust, by the same hand, of John Keats the poet, which strongly recals the gifted author of Endymion to our remembrance.” Of course the probability is that the bust was executed after Keats's death by the aid of the mask ; but I have no knowledge on the subject.
H. B. F.
NOTE ON THE SPELLING, INFLEXIONS, &C. FOUND
IN KEATS'S WRITINGS, AND ADOPTED
IN THIS EDITION.
In the minor matters of orthography, punctuation, &c., I have thought it proper to let the author have the principal voice, rather than to apply any external standard. To ascertain Keats's deliberate preferences as far as possible, and carry them out consistently, seems to me the best procedure. In applying such a principle to those works which were printed in his life-time, it is necessary to record all deviations from the text even when they are in pursuance of the poet's own rules ; but in reprinting the posthumous works it is allowable to move a little more freely, because the text of those works is certain to have been revised in minor detail from a different point of view. I have therefore endeavoured to accommodate the orthography &c. of the posthumous poems to that of the others without recording the particular forms adopted in previous editions.
In many instances Keats adopted, no doubt deliberately, the orthography of Spenser,-as in lilly, ballance, pavillion, and I have not thought it advisable to interfere with a preference of this kind. Even for but instead of butt he had the authority of elder writers ; and I presume no one will dispute the orthography chace, seeing that Somerville, to whom the word belongs of right, spelt it so.
These are but samples of a great many words which Keats used with a different spelling from that commonly employed; but there is no occasion to discuss the vocabulary further.
The most difficult matter to deal with from the point of view of the poet's intention has been that of words inflected in the past participle. There is evidence both internal and external that Keats attached importance to the way in which his past participles in ed or 'd were printed. The external evidence takes the form of an instruction for the printer, written upon the manuscript of Endymion in his own handwriting :
“Attend to the punctuation in general as marked, and to the Elisions in the last syllables of the participles as they are written.”
This makes it abundantly clear that he had a serious intention in regard to the participles; and there is ample internal evidence that that intention, expressed broadly, was to print ed when that syllable was to be pronounced and to replace the e by an apostrophe in the opposite case. This sounds at first quite simple; and Keats himself had clearly no notion how difficult a task he had set himself, and how very partially the ardent mood of poetic composition admits of carrying out any such rule in detail. The three books which he got printed all betray the intention to follow this rule ; and each is inconsistent in itself as to the carrying out of the rule ; while the manuscripts of Keats which I have examined in connexion with this edition are naturally still more wayward. The difficulty of now carrying the poet's own rule out for him arises from several circumstances. In regard to the great majority of words ending with ed in his works there is no doubt whatever, upon metrical grounds, that the syllable is to be pronounced. But in many instances the e in the final ed is left standing, both in manuscript and in print, when metrical considerations make it absolutely certain that it was meant to be replaced by an apostrophe; while in a not inconsiderable number of cases, where the question is rather rhythmical than metrical, it is by no means certain whether the e was left in by accident or on purpose. Cases in which an apostrophe replaces an e that is peremptorily wanted for rhyme or metre or rhythm are comparatively uncommon; but they exist ; and in one or two passages the author's manuscript shows a curious exception,an è (accented in a manner beyond all dispute) when the verse is such that the real need was an apostrophe instead of an e. If these were all the points one had to consider the matter would still be a simple one enough to settle : one would say without hesitation,“ leave the e in when it is quite clear it is to be sounded; replace it by an apostrophe when it is quite clear it is mute; and when there is a doubt give it the benefit of the doubt and leave it in.” For it is obviously of little consequence whether we read (Endymion, Book 1, line 10)
Of all the unhealthy and o'erdarkened ways
Of all the unhealthy and o’erdarken'd ways : the rhythm is easy and noble in either case : if we sound the e, the richness of the redundant second foot has an echo of redundancy in the fifth foot : if we leave the e out, it has not ; and in the manuscript and first edition of Endymion the e stands,-according to the rule, to be pronounced. Similarly, it is of no great moment whether we read (Sonnet to * ****)
Be echoed swiftly through that ivory shell
Be echo'd swiftly through that ivory shell. On the other hand it is of some consequence whether we read (Endymion, Book I, line 111)
Who gathering round the altar seemed to pry
Who gathering round the altar seem'd to pry : the e has clearly no business there ; but there it is both in the manuscript and in the first edition,-to be pronounced, according to the rule, and therefore to be expelled for an apostrophe by an editor desirous of carrying the poet's rule into effect for him. Just as important is it that we should read in the Sonnet On First looking into Chapman's Homer
That deep-brow'd Homer rul'd as his demesne ; and not
That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne;
but ruled Keats wrote and printed, though in the same sonnet he wrote and printed stard and not stared. And unfortunately the words ending in ed are not all or nearly all of a class thus easy to deal with : there is a host of words which are inflected, not by the addition of ed, but by the addition of d to an e which they have already, as place, face, love, move, range, change, pile, wile, charge, force, rouse, twine, use, scare, dance, pulse, picture ; and many of these, especially those in which the e has an influence upon the value of the consonant it follows, have a disguised, I had almost said an emasculated look, when the e is replaced by an apostrophe : you take something away from them that was theirs ; and this is not the same thing as withholding something that you might or might not give them in inflecting them. Then again there are the words which change a letter when inflected with ed, such as bury, marry, tarry, dry, descry, reply; and these are the hardest of all to deal with. Dried according to Keats's rule is a dissyllable ; the elision of the e makes an ugly word enough, dri’d; and I have not met with it in Keats's poetry; but I do find in his manuscript dry'd, and I also find descry'd; and this, I take it, would have been his way of settling the number of syllables to be given to each of the words of that class. Honied, he writes for a dissyllable; but he would doubtless have put honey'd, had he thought about the spelling of the uninflected word. As regards the words which change their feature and complexion when written with an apostrophe instead of an e, I can only say thus much,-Keats wrote and printed, often over and over again, pulsd, dancd, rang'd, increas'd, discours'd, shard, unconfind, rais'd, arous'd, disguis'd, smild, surcharg'd, heav'd, lovd, pin'd, clos'd, seizd, convuls'd, and even picturd; but that he treated these words thus with some compunction, even were it an unconscious or slumbering undercurrent of compunction, may perhaps be fairly deduced from the fact that he very often left them with the e, in cases in which it was of precisely the same importance to excise that vowel as it was in the cases in which he did excise it.
“ Therefore 'tis "not" with full happiness that I ” have set hand to the task of carrying out in detail the rule which Keats evidently meant to follow. It is a stern duty, from which one must not shrink, to disfeature several more words in order to conform to the practice of an author who has found such disfeaturement generally necessary. With a living author one would argue in the hope of persuading him to leave every e in and put an accent or two dots on every one that is to be sounded, the reader cannot be trusted to sound them for himself. But for one who is among the immortals.we must work as far as may be after his proper fashion. It is necessary to make the text consistent with its own rules,—to consider the ease of the reader in the manner in which the poet intended to consider it, and no other. So much by way of apology to the many lovely words printed in this edition otherwise than one would wish to see them printed. The following lists of altered words have been made with the view of relieving the foot-notes.
H. B. F.
LISTS OF WORDS ALTERED SO AS TO CONSIST WITH
KEATS'S RULE OR PRACTICE.
In the 1817 Volume
Page and line of this edition ancles
50 89 honour
57 128 laureld
94 167 smoothiness 101
Book Line lily
III 33 splendor
IV 118 water-lily
376 Shew ay
In ENDYMION honour
Book Line Latmos
I 63 valley-lilies
628 balances tease
II 56 lilies
129 lily honour