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LOSS OF THE LADY HOBART: "We had scarcely quitted the ship, when she gave a heavy lurch to port, and then went down, head foremost."
THE PANDORA: "At this instant, one of the officers told the captain she was going down, and bidding him farewell, leaped overboard: the crew had just time to leap overboard, which they did, uttering a most dreadful yell.”
SHIPWRECK OF THE BETSEY: "The boat, being fastened to the rigging, was no sooner cleared of the greatest part of the water, than a dog of mine came to me running along the gunwale. I took him in.” [lviii.]
BLIGH'S OPEN BOAT NAVIGATION: "It blew a violent storm, so that between the seas the sail was becalmed; and when on the top of the wave, it was too much to be set, but we could not venture to take it in, for we were in very imminent danger and distress; the sea curling over the stern of the boat, which obliged us to bale with all our might."'
THE CENTAUR: "Before it was dark a blanket was discovered in the boat. This was immediately bent to one of the stretchers, and under it, as a sail, we scudded all night, in expectation of being swallowed by every wave." [lxi.]
BLIGH: "The sun rose red and fiery, a sure indication of a We could do nothing more than run
severe gale of wind.
before the sea. . . . I served a tea-spoonful of rum to every person. The bread we found was damaged and rotten." [lxii.]
"... As our lodging was very wretched and confined for want of room, I endeavoured to remedy this defect, by putting ourselves at watch and watch; so that one half always sat up, while the other half lay down in the bottom of the boat, with nothing to cover us but the heavens. [lxiii.]... The fourth day came and not a breath of air." [lxx.]
SHIPWRECK OF THE BETSEY: "The fourth day we began to suffer exceedingly from hunger and thirst. I then seized my dog, and plunged my knife into its throat. We caught his blood in the hat, receiving in our hands and drinking what ran over; we afterwards drank in turn out of the hat, and felt ourselves refreshed." [lxx.]
SUFFERINGS OF THE CREW OF THE THOMAS: "Day after day having passed, and the cravings of hunger pressing hard upon them, they fell upon the horrible and dreadful expedient of eating each other; and in order to prevent any contention about who should become the food of the others, they cast lots to determine the sufferer." [lxxivlxxv.]
FAMINE IN THE AMERICAN SHIP PEGGY: "The lots were drawn: the captain... wrote upon slips of paper the name of each man, folded
them up, put them into a hat, and shook them together. The crew, meanwhile, preserved an awful silence; each eye was fixed and each mouth open, while terror was strongly impressed upon every countenance." [lxxv.]
THE THOMAS: "He requested to be bled to death, the surgeon being with them, and having his case of instruments in his pocket when he quitted the ship. [lxxvi.]... Those who glutted themselves with human flesh and gore, and whose stomachs retained the unnatural food, soon perished with raging insanity.” [lxxix.]
THE CENTAUR: "In the evening there came on a squall, which brought the most seasonable relief, as it was accompanied with heavy rain: we had no means of catching it, but by spreading out our clothes; catching the drops as they fell, or squeezing them out of our clothes." [lxxxiv-lxxxv.]
THE JUNO: "I particularly remember the following instances:Mr. Wade's boy, a stout healthy lad, died early and almost without a groan; while another, of the same age, but of a less promising appearance, held out much longer. Their fathers were both in the fore-top, when the boys were taken ill. Wade, hearing of his son's illness, answered, with indifference, that he could do nothing for him,' and left him to his fate. The other father hurried down. By that time only three or four planks of the quarter-deck remained, just over the weather-quarter gallery. To this point the unhappy man led his son, making him fast to the rail, to prevent his being washed away. Whenever the boy was seized with a fit of retching, the father lifted him up and wiped away the foam from his lips; and if a shower came, he made him open his mouth to receive the drops, or gently squeezed them into it from a rag. In this affecting situation both remained four or five days, till the boy expired. The unfortunate parent, as if unwilling to believe the fact, raised the body, looked wistfully at it, and when he could no longer entertain any doubt, watched it in silence until it was carried off by sea; then, wrapping himself in a piece of canvas, sunk down and rose no more; though he must have lived two days longer, as we judged from the quivering of his limbs, when a wave broke over him." [lxxxvii-xc.]
THE LADY HOBART: "About this time a beautiful white bird, web-footed, and not unlike a dove in size and plumage, hovered over the mast-head of the cutter, and, notwithstanding the pitching of the boat, frequently attempted to perch on it, and continued to flutter there till dark. Trifling as this circumstance may appear, it was considered by us all as a propitious omen. [xciv.] . . . I found it necessary to caution the people against being deceived by the appearance of land, or calling out till they were convinced of the reality, more especially as fog-banks are often mistaken for land: several of the
poor fellows nevertheless repeatedly exclaimed they heard breakers, and some the firing of guns. [xcvi.]. The joy at a speedy relief affected us all in a most remarkable way. Many burst into tears; some looked at each other with a stupid stare, as if doubtful of the reality of what they saw; while several were in such a lethargic condition, that no animating words could rouse them to exertion. At this affecting period, I proposed offering up our solemn thanks to Heaven for the miraculous deliverance." [xcvii-xcviii.]
THE CENTAUR: "At length one of them broke into a most immoderate swearing fit of joy, which I could not restrain, and declared, that he had never seen land in his life, if what he now saw was not land." [xcvii.]
THE THOMAS: "After having suffered the horrors of hunger and thirst for many days, they providentially took a small turtle whilst floating asleep on the surface of the water." [xcix.]
BLIGH : "Our bodies were nothing but skin and bones, our limbs were full of sores, and we were clothed in rags."
ESCAPE OF DESERTERS FROM ST. HELENA: "They discovered land right ahead, and steered for it. There being a very heavy surf, they endeavoured to turn the boat's head to it, which, from weakness, they were unable to complete, and soon afterwards the boat upset."
Don Juan, after various adventures in Spain, the land of his birth, has been sent abroad to travel. Our narrative begins in the midst of his voyage from Cadiz bound for Leghorn.
238: xxv, 2. licentiate, i.e., having taken a degree or license to teach. Cf. the French, licencié.
241: xxxiv, 4-5. Cf. Spenser's 'Faerie Queene' II, xii, st.
242: xxxvii, 8. like Sancho Panca. So written for the sake of the rhyme. Regularly Sancho Panza. The faithful follower of Don Quixote in Cervantes' famous story.
242: xxxviii. thrumm'd a sail. Inserting short pieces of ropeyarn in a sail, making a rough surface, which, applied to the opening, might stop the leak.
244: xliv, 4. A touch perhaps suggested by Erasmus' famous dialogue, 'The Shipwreck,' in his Colloquies,' where, in a similar situation, among other vows there is one of a gigantic candle to St. Christopher if he should bring the petitioner off alive.
245 xlix, 6-8. The curiosa felicitas of phrasing is not often Byron's forte. Here, however, there is classical perfection of phrase. The dim, desolate deep-what three words could more
perfectly convey both the picture and the emotion than these?
Cf. stanza ciii, 1. 8: "the vast, salt, dread, eternal deep." the Argo, in which Jason and his comrades made their voyage in search of the Golden Fleece.
250 lxvi, 8.
252 lxxiv, 8. Julia's letter. The letter sent Juan by his mistress as he is about to sail; described in canto I, stanzas cxcicxcviii.
254: lxxxiii. The story of Ugolino, who perished of hunger in The Tower of Famine," and whom Dante saw in Hell gnawing the head of his arch-enemy, is related in 'The Inferno,' canto xxxii, 124 ff. and canto xxxiii, 1-90. What æsthetic difference is there between Byron's use of the Horrible and Dante's?
254: lxxxiv. Cf. in the Ancient Mariner,' Part III, the description of the thirst of the ship's crew.
255: lxxvi. The allusion is to the story of the rich man and Lazarus in the Bible. Cf. 'St. Luke' xvi, 19-26. Cf. D. G. Rossetti's sonnet Lost Days':
"Such spilt water as in dreams must cheat
258: xcvi. 3. yet now they were so low. The meaning intended is given more clearly in the first reading of Byron's MS. for which the present was substituted: "but their spirits were so low."
258: xcix, 1-3. The hint for this incident Byron may have taken from his own experience. In describing the voyage from Gibraltar to Malta, Galt, who was a fellow-passenger, writes, in his 'Life of Byron': "In the calms the jolly-boat was several times lowered; and on one of these occasions his lordship with the captain caught a turtle."
260: cv, 6-8. The amiable vanity of boasting of this feat (a vanity here more than redeemed by the exquisitely ludicrous and epigrammatic turn of the verse) never left Lord Byron. Again and again he referred to the exploit in his letters and conversation. For a circumstantial account see his letter to Murray, February 21, 1821.
261: cviii. Compare the account of the casting ashore of Ulysses in the 'Odyssey,' Bk. V, near the end. This account, together with that of Nausicaa's reception of him in Bk. VI may
have suggested to Byron the present passage, as well as that which follows relating Juan's rescue by Haidée.
DON JUAN: THE ISLES OF GREECE.'
(Canto III, Stanzas lxxxv-cxi.)
The selection here chosen presents in short compass a fair example of the range, variety, audacity, ease, verve, wit, lyric enthusiasm, satire, and tender pathos which are so strangely and inextricably mingled throughout this poem.
After the shipwreck Juan is rescued by Haidée, the daughter of Lambro, a Greek pirate chieftain, lord of the isle on whose strand Juan is thrown. During Lambro's absence Haidée entertains Juan with festivities in her father's halls. A native poet is present, and the selection opens with the account of his talents. After the song ("The Isles of Greece ") placed in his mouth, Byron takes up the theme and comments on it, speaking in his own person.
On this passage cf. Ruskin, Fiction, Fair and Foul' 53: "Note first here. the concentrating and foretelling power. . . Then, note the estimate of height and depth in poetry, swept in an instant, 'high lyric to low rational.' Pindar to Pope (knowing Pope's height, too, all the while, no man better); then, the poetic power of France-resumed in a wordBéranger; then the cut at Marmion, entirely deserved. yet kindly given, for everything he names in these two stanzas is the best of its kind; then Romance in Spain on-the last war (present war not being to Spanish poetical taste), then, Goethe, the real heart of all Germany, and last, the aping of the Trecentisti which has since consummated itself in Pre-Raphaelitism! . . . Lastly comes the mock at himself—the modern English Greek . . . and then to amazement, forth he thunders in his Achilles voice."
262: lxxxv, 4. Ça ira. The famous revolutionary song of the French, 1789,-"It will speed."
7. Practically all of Pindar's extant poetry consists of the Epinikian Odes, in celebration of the victors in the Greek games. Many of these, as, for example, the first six Olympian Odes, celebrate the winners in "horse-races, as their nominal subjects.
262: lxxxvi, I. The contemporary chansons of Béranger and Desaugiers were very popular at this period.