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6. a quarto tale. Such as Scott and Byron himself were pouring forth.
6. Madame de Staël's famous book De l'Allemagne,' in which, among other subjects, Goethe and other German authors are discussed, appeared in 1810.
7. the Trecentisti. The Italian poets and artists of the fourteenth century.
263, THE SONG, I, 4. Delos, the smallest island of the Cyclades in the Ægean, and the birthplace of Apollo, was fabled to have risen from the sea.
263, 2, I. The Scian muse is Homer (who wielded "the hero's harp"). Scio (or Chios) was one of the seven cities which claimed to be the birthplace of Homer. The Teian muse, Anacreon, born at Teios, in Asia Minor,—the singer of love and wine.
Islands of the Blest, Insula Fortunatæ, islands mentioned in Greek legend as existing in the far Atlantic, where the souls of the blessed were conveyed after death. Cf. Andrew Lang's The Fortunate Islands' (a paraphrase from Lucian). 265, II, 4. Forced to flee from his native land, Anacreon was kindly received by Polycrates, tyrant of Samos.
265, 12. For several years previous to the battle of Marathon, in which he proved himself "Freedom's best and bravest friend,” Miltiades reigned as "tyrant" over the Chersonesus.
265, 13, 2. Suli's rock. Suli is a fortress upon a rocky height on the river Suli, about thirty miles southwest of Janina. Parga, a town on the coast of Epirus opposite the island of Paxo.
6. The Heraclidæ, or descendants of Hercules, who conquered the Peloponnesus in the period before the Trojan war, are here put for the Greeks as a whole.
265, 16. Sunium, a promontory at the southern extremity of Attica, where, on the cliff three hundred feet above the sea, are the ruins of a temple of Athene. Byron's note refers to Sophocles' 'Ajax,' 1217 ff. :
"O, could I be where the woody foreland, washed by the wave, beetles o'er the main, 'neath Sunium's lofty plain."
266: lxxxvii, 6. Horace's
"si vis me flere, dolendum est Primum ipsi tibi" ('Ars Poetica,' 102-3).
May we justly infer from the mocking tone of this stanza that the poet in this case has not felt that which he makes us feel so keenly in the noble lyric which precedes? Or is the change of tone rather a sign of intenser feeling?
267: xc, 8. 'The Memoirs of John, Duke of Marlborough,' by William Coxe, Archdeacon of Wiltshire, in three volumes, appeared at London in 1818-19.
267: xci, 5. Cf. the Life of Milton, in Johnson's 'Lives of the Poets.'
267 xcii, 3. Suetonius and Plutarch relate nothing of "Cæsar's earliest acts" before he was fifteen or sixteen years of age. To the subject of "Titus' youth" Suetonius devotes a couple of short chapters.
4. An edition of Burns, with an Account of his Life by Dr. James Currie, was published at Liverpool in 1800.
5. Cromwell's pranks. The early life of Cromwell has been the subject of many stories of wildness and debauchery, principally the invention of cavaliers and royalists.
In Mark Noble's Memoirs of the Cromwell Family,' 1787, vol. I, pp. 93 ff., (where possibly Byron may have read them), many of these stories are related, including accounts of the young Cromwell's depredations upon orchards and dove-houses, his supposed boyhood meeting and combat with the young Prince Charles, his prowess in athletic sports, and his roystering. These stories have been investigated in Sanford's 'Studies and Illustrations of the Great Rebellion,' 174-268.
267: xciii, 1-2. Southey, Coleridge, and Wordsworth started out with democratic, or at least republican, principles, which, to Byron's implacable indignation, they afterwards abandoned. The two former met in 1794 and formed their scheme of "Pantisocracy," for a communistic colony on the banks of the Susquehanna. The question "whether the marriage contract shall be dissolved, if agreeable to one or both parties," was under discussion. (Hence, Byron's "All are not moralists.") Cf. Byron's 'Observations upon an Article in Blackwood's Magazine,' in 1820: "He [Southey] was one of the projectors of a scheme called 'pantisocracy,' for having all things, including women, in common... and he sets up as a moralist."
Cf. J. D. Campbell's Introduction to the Globe edition of Coleridge's Poems, p. xxi.
3. Wordsworth was appointed Distributor of Stamps for the County of Westmoreland (not exciseman) in March, 1813.
4. The allusion is to 'The Excursion,' originally called 'The Pedlar' by Wordsworth, and referred to as "the Pedlar poem " by Dorothy Wordsworth in 'The Alfoxden Journal.'
6. Coleridge's contributions to the London Morning Post' began in 1798.
7-8. Southey married Edith Fricker, Nov. 14, 1795, and Coleridge her sister Sara, Oct. 4, 1795. Both were originally residents of Bristol, not Bath, and poor girls, but not "milliners" nor "partners."
268: xciv, 7. 'The Excursion' was published in 1814. 268: xcv, 4. Joanna Southcote. The fanatic founder of a sect of religious enthusiasts. She proclaimed that she was to become the mother of a second Shiloh.
8. The physicians certified that she had a dropsy and was not pregnant; and so it was.
269 : xcviii, 2. It is obvious that the emphasis is maliciously
4. Wordsworth's 'The Waggoner,' composed in 1805, was published in 1819.
5-8. So in 'Peter Bell,' 11. 3-5:
"But through the clouds I'll never float
Until I have a little boat
Shaped like the crescent-moon."
269 xcix, 4. Medea, after killing her children, is fabled to have fled from Jason's vengeance through the air upon a chariot drawn by winged dragons.
269 c, 8. Byron has reference to a sentence in Wordsworth's essay supplementary to his preface of 1815: "The verses of Dryden, once highly celebrated, are forgotten."
Cf. the Introduction, above, p. 26. 270: civ, 1-2. In the first draught, these lines ran :
"Are not these pretty stanzas ?-Some folks say,
Did the poet improve by altering?
271: cv, 4. The Adrian wave. The Adriatic, named from the ancient Etruscan town of Adria, at one time on its shores. Ravenna, now six miles from the sea, formerly stood on its shores. and in Byron's time and long before, was surrounded with a pine forest. Since his day fire and frost have destroyed the greater part of this forest.
Ll. 6–7. The references are to Boccaccio's Eighth Novel of the Fifth Day of the 'Decameron,' and to Dryden's translation 'Theodore and Honoria,' the scene of which is at Ravenna and in the surrounding forest.
271: cvi, 5-8. The references are to the events of the tale as told by Boccaccio and Dryden-which see.
271: cvii. A paraphrase of a fragment of Sappho, to which Byron in a note refers :
Εσπερε, πάντα φερεὶς [φέρων], etc.
"Evening, thou that bringest all that bright morning scattered; thou bringest the sheep, the goat, the child back to her mother." (Wharton's Sappho.') Cf. Tennyson, 'Locksley Hall Sixty Years After':
"Hesper, whom the poet call'd the Bringer home of all good things." 272: cviii. This stanza, like the preceding, is a paraphrase, and for its original Byron refers us to Dante's 'Purgatorio,' canto VIII, II. 1-6, which are thus translated by E. H. Plumptre :
"The hour was come which brings back yearning new To those far out at sea, and melts their hearts, The day that they have bid sweet friends adieu; Whereat the pilgrim fresh with strong love starts, If he perchance hear bells, far off yet clear, Which seem to mourn the day's life that departs." 272: cix, 5. "See Suetonius for this fact." [Byron's note. 273: cxi, 8. See Пoinтiкns. The Poetics' of Aristotle.
DON JUAN: DEATH OF HAIDÉE.
(CANTO IV, STANZAS LVI-LXXIII.)
A passage of pure pathos, executed in exquisite keeping. One of the masterpieces of Byron's art.
Lambro, Haidée's father, returning secretly after an absence which had endured so long that his daughter believed him dead, finds Haidée in the company of her lover, Juan. Juan is overcome by Lambro's retainers, and falls, in Haidée's sight, severely wounded,- -as she believes, dead. At this point, turning from Juan to Haidée, the narrative begins in the selection here given. 273 lviii, 1-2. "This is no very uncommon effect of the violence of conflicting and different passions. . . . Before I was sixteen years of age, I was witness to a melancholy instance of the same effect of mixed passions upon a young person. . . ." [Byron's
274: lxi, 4. The adversative “but” in this line is full of implication. The sense is, the fair Venus may be of marble and so lifeless, but she is for that very reason forever fair. Cf. Keats' 'Ode to a Grecian Urn';
"Forever wilt thou love and she be fair."
The Venus which the poet has in mind is the Venus de Medici, described in 'Childe Harold,' IV, xlix, l. 6. Cf. 'Childe Harold,' IV, cxl.
7-8. i.e., Their energy, which is like that of life, is the cause of their impressive effect as statues, yet it looks not like life, because statues are unchanging, being of marble.'
retrace. Apparently here = recall, re
276 lxviii, 4. : member.
277: Ixxi-lxii. Byron has seldom elsewhere attained precisely the exquisite cadence and music and the subdued and reticent pathos of these two stanzas
66 'no dirge, except the hollow seas, Mourns o'er the beauty of the Cyclades."
(ACT II, SCENE I.)
In 'Cain Byron returns to the poetical treatment of some of the problems of evil, sin, death, immortality, fate, and faith, touched upon in Manfred.' This scene, however, is conspicuous above all else for the magnificent sweep of the imagination of interstellar space displayed in it. Three or four prototypes may