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to Horace Walpole, who circulated it among his friends.[For I see in my thoughts, my sweet fire, One cold tongue, and two beautiful closed eyes Will remain full of sparks after our death.] Expanding the poem lines () shows the results of a computationally facilitated analysis of the text.These results should be considered as a basis for deeper interpretative enquiry such as can be found in the notes and queries.One of these belonged to Wharton, and is now among the Egerton MSS. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 211-214. Though I am aware that, as it stands at present, the conclusion is of a later date; how that was originally, I have shown in my notes on the poem.'' (The four stanzas which, according to Mason, originally ended the poem will be found the conclusion as we now read the poem [Footnote: ''Mason says, 'In the first manuscript copy of this exquisite poem I find the conclusion different from that which he afterwards composed.' He has only inferred that the four stanzas were the original and endeavours thus to force this inference upon his readers.''].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.Walpole did not at first accept the account of the date of the poem, submitted to him by Mason before the Memoirs of Gray went to press. 1, 1773:''The 'Churchyard' was, I am persuaded, posterior to West's death  at least three or four years.
At least I am sure that I had the twelve or more first lines from himself above three years after that period, and it was long before he finished it.''And yet Mason appears to have satisfied Walpole that the opinion expressed in the Memoirs was correct, for Walpole writes to him Dec.
Accordingly, so soon as the 16th of February, there appeared anonymously ''. 1751, by Dodsley, & went thro' four editions, in two months; and afterwards a fifth, 6th, 7th, & 8th, 9th, 10th, & 11th; printed also in 1753 with Mr. there is a 2d edition; & again by Dodsley in his ; translated into Latin by Chr. at the British Museum, and that which belonged to Mason, and now belongs to Sir William Fraser, Bart., who printed a transcript of it in 100 copies in January 1884.
The variations between the text here given and those of the first edition of 1751, and of the Pembroke MS., are not noted because both the latter are given verbatim in appendices. 157, we find: ''I am inclined to believe that the Elegy in a Country Church-yard was begun, if not concluded, at this time also'' (August, 1742).
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 .
At any rate, 1742 is the traditional date; we know that it was finished at Stoke Poges, in June, 1750 (see p. It is not probable that Gray was steadily working at it all these years, even if he did begin it in 1742.