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TO THE PRESENT EDITION.
NEARLY the whole of what was thought necessary by way of preface to the present edition had been written, when I was favoured by a gentleman, of whom I had no personal knowledge, but the deeds of whose near and illustrious relative are upon historical record, with information which has led to an important discovery regarding the ownership and history of my corrected folio, 1632.
John Carrick Moore, Esq., of Hyde Park Gate, Kensington (nephew to Sir John Moore, who terminated his brilliant career at Corunna in January, 1809), struck by the indisputable value of many of the published emendations, and animated, like other members of his family, by the warmest love for Shakespeare and his works, was kind enough to address a note to me, in which he stated that a friend of his, a gentleman of the name of Parry, had been at one time in possession of the very folio upon which I founded my recent volume of “Notes and Emendations”-that Mr. Parry had been well acquainted with the fact that its margins were filled throughout by manuscript notes, and that he accurately remembered the hand-writing in which they were made. On being shown the fac-simile, which accompanied my first edition, and which is repeated in the present, he declared his instant conviction that it had been copied from what had once been his folio,
1632. How or precisely when it escaped from his custody he knew not, but the description of it in my “Introduction” exactly corresponded with his recollection.
I lost no time in thanking Mr. Moore for these tidings, and in writing to Mr. Parry for all the particulars within his knowledge. Unfortunately the latter gentleman, just before he received my note, had met with a serious injury, which confined him to his bed, so that he was unable to send me any reply.
For about ten days I remained in suspense, but at last I determined to wait upon Mr. Moore to inquire whether he was aware of any reason why I had not received an answer from Mr. Parry. He accounted for the silence of that gentleman on the ground of his recent accident; and as Mr. Moore was confident that Mr. Parry was correct in the conclusion that my folio, 1632, had formerly belonged to him, he advised me to call upon him, being sure that he would be glad to satisfy me upon every point. I accordingly hastened to St. John's Wood, and had the pleasure of an interview with Mr. Parry, who, without the slightest reserve, gave me such an account of the book as made it certain that it was the same which, some fifty years ago, had been presented to him by a connexion of his family, Mr. George Gray. Mr. Parry described both the exterior and interior of the volume, with its innumerable corrections and its missing leaves, with so much minuteness that no room was left for doubt.
On the question from whence Mr. Gray, who resided at Newbury, had procured the book, Mr. Parry was not so clear and positive: he was not in a condition to state any distinct evidence to show out of what library it had come; but he had always understood and believed that it had been obtained, with some other old works (to the collection of which Mr. Gray was partial), from Ufton Court, Berkshire ; formerly, and for many years before the dispersion of the library, the residence of a Roman Catholic family of the name of Perkins, one member of which, Francis Perkins, who died in 1736, was the husband of Arabella Fermor, the heroine of "The Rape of the Lock."
This information has been communicated to me so recently, that I have not yet been able to ascertain at what date, and in what way the books at Ufton Court were disposed of. Mr. Parry is strongly of opinion that Mr. Gray became the owner of this copy of the folio, 1632, considerably before the end of the last century; and Mr. Parry was himself at Ufton Court about fifty years since, when a Roman Catholic clergyman, eighty years of age, who had remembered the books there all his life, showed him the then empty shelves upon which they had been placed in the library.
A Mr. Francis Perkins died at Ufton Court three years after the publication of the folio, 1632; and if Mr. Parry's belief be correct, that the copy which Mr. Gray gave to him had once been deposited there, it is not impossible that Francis Perkins was the first purchaser of it. If so, we might be led to the inference, that either he or one of his immediate descendants was the writer of the emendations; but, as has been mentioned elsewhere, the present rough calf binding was not the original coat of the volume ; and, as far as my imperfect researches have yet gone, I do not find any Thomas Perkins recorded as of Ufton Court. The Christian name of the great actor of the reign of Charles I. was Richard ; and a Richard Perkins, called Esquire in Ashmole's Collections, at a date not stated, married Lady Mervin, a benefactress of the parish. Why should we deem it impos
1 copy the following from Lysons' Magna Britannia, " Berkshire."
“The family of Perkins resided many years at Ufton Court. Arabella, wife of Francis Perkins, Esq., who died in 1736, was the Belinda of Pope's • Rape of the Lock,' which is dedicated to her under her maiden name of Fermor; she died in 1738. In the parish church (called Ufton-Nervets) are some monuments of this family. The most remarkable is that of Francis Perkins, Esq., who died in 1635; this monument, which exhibits the figures of Mr. Perkins and his lady under an arch supported by Corinthian columns, is of chalk. In Ashmole's Collections, mention is made of a monument for Richard Perkins, Esq., and his wife, Lady Mervin, who was a benefactress to the parish."