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Peter's College, Cambridge, and a friend of Gray's), who, at his death in 1809, left the greater portion to Pembroke College, and the remainder to his friend Mr. was sold for £131; and in 1875 it was bought by Sir William Fraser for £230, who had 100 copies of it printed in 1884. That he could not have intended the of these stanzas to remain is clear, because they are remodelled in ll. 93-96; but the four stanzas, however beautiful, are abrupt, considered as the last lines of the poem.Bright, - each set containing a copy of the ''Elegy.'' The copy in the possession of the College is usually described as the ''Pembroke MS.,'' and of it there is a facsimile in Mathias' edition of Gray's Works, published in 1814. When Gray sent the poem to Walpole in 1750, he could congratulate himself that the 'thing' had really an .
in the British Museum, and this copy is therefore referred to as the ''Egerton MS.'' The two other copies were among the ''books, manuscripts, coins, music printed or written, and papers of all kinds,'' which Gray bequeathed in his will to Mason, ''to preserve or destroy at his own discretion.'' These Mason bequeathed to Stonehewer (Fellow of St. Granville John Penn, of Stoke Park, for £100; in 1854 the MS. Gosse refers to it as the ''Mason MS.''; but it may not always belong to the Fraser family; and ''Mason MS.'' is not sufficiently distinctive, as the ''Pembroke MS.'' was also Mason's. seems to have been the rough draft, and contains a greater number of original readings and alterations, the other two apparently being made from it by Gray when he had almost ceased correcting the ''Elegy,'' I shall refer to it in the Notes and Various Readings as the ''Original MS.''" Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Gray added his after-thoughts without effacing the lines for which he meant to substitute them: this is characteristic of him, for he had a great aversion to erasure.After June, 1750, it was circulated in manuscript among his firends, and only an accident hastened its publication.An editor of the , a cheap periodical, sent word to Gray that he was about to print it, and naturally the author did not care to have a poem of this nature make its entrance into the world by so obscure a by-path.] [Era gia l' ora, che volge 'l disio A' naviganti, e 'ntenerisce 'l cuore Lo di ch' han detto a' dolci amici addio: E che lo nuovo peregrin d' amore Punge, se ode] — squilla di lontano Che paia 'l giorno pianger, che si muore.[(It was already the hour which turns back the desire Of the sailors, and melts their hearts, The day that they have said good-bye to their sweet friends, And which pierces the new pilgrim with love, If he hears) — from afar the bell Which seems to mourn the dying day.] Ch'i veggio nel pensier, dolce mio fuoco, Fredda una lingua, & due begli occhi chiusi Rimaner doppo noi pien di faville.