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À Victor Hugo

vers/verse, pub:1829




From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     The full length of this piece, according to M. Glinel's numbering, is 98 lines. These are arranged in irregular stanzas, without any uniformity of rhyming scheme. Prefixed to them are six (or seven) further lines, which may not be by Dumas, since Glinel ignores them in his numeration, and also in his statement of there being 98 lines. No indication of authorship is, however, given. They are by Dumas.
     These lines were, in the first place, written by Dumas on the margins of a very handsome copy of Ronsard (1609), presented to Hugo by Sainte-Beuve. They were then dated 17 August, 1829. The margins of this Ronsard were also adorned by verse from the pens of a number of other Romantic friends of Hugo.
     Dumas' poem was inspired by the interdiction of "Marion De Lorme," and by Victor Hugo's refusal to retain the pecuniary indemnity offered him by the Restoration Government.
     After numerous vicissitudes the volume of Ronsard passed into the possession of the Vicomte Spoelberch de Lovenjoul.
     In print Dumas' verses first appeared in "Le Sylphe" for August 20th, 1829.
     They were re-issued in "La Couronne Poétique de Victor Hugo" ; Fasquelle, 1902.
     The first fifty lines only were published in the "Correspondance Littéraire" for February 5th, 1857.
     These fifty lines, which were all he was then able to procure, M. Glinel reproduced in his "Alexandre Dumas et Son Œuvre," pp. 253-55, remarking at the same time that he left to others the care and good fortune of recovering the whole text. However, it was he himself, with no little effort, who at length ran them to earth and carefully copied them into his MS. collection, where he supplies a list of twelve variants, following the "Revue Hebdomadaire," controlled by Dr. Heime; Paris, December 7th, 1901.

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