HUNT, LEIGH (1784-1859)
EARLY AUTOGRAPH DRAFT OF PARTS OF HIS POEM 'THE PALFREY, A LOVE-STORY OF OLD TIME' (untitled herein), c. 26 lines, including four deleted lines, firstly a draft of the sectional title refrains: (with a second version written sideways on, being different from those in the printed version); and, secondly, a draft for an almost entirely different version of the passage where Sir William ('Sir Lionel' in this manuscript) recoils after his meeting with the father of his love (pp. 28-29 of the printed text), 1 page, octavo, very slightly stained in blank area, small tear in margin professionally repaired, no date [but 1842]
The Palfrey goes, the palfrey goes,
Merry & well the palfrey goes;
You cannot conceive, till my story disclose,
How excessively well the palfrey goes...
The only line which seems to have survived at all into the published version from this manuscript is: 'To think father so foul can have daughter so fair?' The printed version is: 'How father so foul can have daughter so fair?' In the introduction to the printed text Hunt explains that his story is a variation of 'one of the most amusing of the old French narrative poems that preceded the time of Chaucer, with additions of the writer's invention.' The introduction ends with the note: 'Should the public receive with indulgence the present attempt to obey the cheerful impulses occasioned by Norman song, the author will be happy to give them others.' A printed copy of the first edition of The Palfrey (loose), 1842, is included with the draft.