« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
planting the standard wherever their conquests and commerce extended.
7. Candia, in Crete, defended against the Turks by the Venetians for twenty-five years (1644-1669), as compared with the ten years of the siege of Troy.
8. Lepanto, the great naval battle in 1571, in which the Venetians and their allies defeated the Turks.
97: xvi. Alluding to the story that some of the Athenian prisoners in Sicily who were able to recite portions of Euripides were released by their masters, so great was their admiration for that poet. Cf. Plutarch, 'Life of Nicias.' 97: xvii, 6. Thy lot is shameful to the nations: Who, by the Treaty of Paris, 1814, permitted Venice to fall back into the hands of Austria.
98 xviii, 5. For Otway and Shakspere see note to iv, 6-7, above. Venice is the scene of Mrs. Radcliffe's 'Mysteries of Udolpho,' 1794, and of Schiller's 'Die Geisterseher.' "This [the Doge's Palace] was the thing that most struck my imagination in Venice,-more than the Rialto, which I visited for the sake of Shylock; and more, too, than Schiller's Armenian, a novel which took a great hold on me when a boy. It is also called the Ghost-Seer, and I never walked down St. Marks by moonlight without thinking of it, and 'at nine o'clock he died!'" (Byron's Letter to Murray of April 2, 1817). A translation of Schiller's romance had appeared in London in 1795. Also in 1800.
98: xx, I. Tannen, German for 'fir-trees.'
99 xxiii, 6-9. E. H. Coleridge cites appositely here from Browning's 'Bishop Blougram's Apology':
"Just when we are safest, there's a sunset-touch,
And that's enough for fifty hopes and fears
Notice the elaborately designed contrast and remoteness of Browning's particulars as compared with the typical simplicity of Byron's. Two radically different schools of art!
IOI : xxvii.
"The above description may seem fantastical or
exaggerated to those who have never seen an Oriental or an Italian sky; yet it is but a literal and hardly sufficient delineation of an August evening (the eighteenth), as contemplated in one of many rides along the banks of the Brenta, near La Mira [Byron's note.
-La Mira, on the Brenta, is six or seven miles above the point where the river enters the lagoon opposite Venice.
The similar but more elaborate description of the sunset seen from the Lido by Shelley and Byron, beginning,
Meanwhile the sun paused ere it should alight,"
near the beginning of Shelley's compared with these stanzas. passage
Julian and Maddalo' should be
("Noon descends, and after noon
near the end of Shelley's 'Lines Written among the Euganean Hills,' where Byron's detail of the moon and her single star also appears. What are the features peculiar in each case to Shelley and to Byron in the spirit and technique of these allied passages?
4. Friuli's mountains are properly the Alps to the north-east of Venice and so not in line between the poet and the sun setting in the west. But probably Byron is describing the afterglow or reflection of the sunset in the northern and eastern sky.-What devices, denied to the art of painting, does the poet use in constructing his sunset picture?
102 XXX, 3. Laura's lover.
7. Alluding to his advocacy of the cause of Italian liberty in his Odes to Rienzi and others.
8. The tree is the laurel, the emblem of fame,-her name Laura; the play of words appears in Petrarch's own poetry.
103 XXXV, 9. Alfonso I of Este (d. 1534) was a patron of Ariosto. Alfonso II (d. 1597) was first patron and then tyrant to Tasso. See Byron's Lament of Tasso,' and Goethe's drama of 'Tasso.' Tasso was confined as a lunatic in a narrow cell and subjected to abuses for several years by Alfonso,-according to the legend because he had dared to love the Duke's sister, but
in reality rather because of his extravagant conduct and of his political intrigues with rival powers.
104 xxxviii, 6. The Cruscan quire [choir]. The Accademia della Crusca, established at Florence in 1582, which passed severe critical censure on Tasso's great poem of the 'Gerusalemme Liberata.'
7-9. · Perhaps the couplet in which Boileau depreciates Tasso may serve as well as any other specimen to justify the opinion given of the harmony of French verse-
A Malherbe, à Racan, préfère Théophile,
Et le clinquant du Tasse à tout l'or de Virgile.'
It must be remembered, in palliation, that Byron's censure on the "creaking lyre" of France was passed upon French verse of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries only.
105 xl. Dante and Ariosto are celebrated in this stanza,—— with an incidental compliment to Sir Walter Scott.
9. Ariosto's themes are announced in the opening lines of his 'Orlando Furioso':
"Le Donne, i Cavalier', l'arme, gli amori,
105: xli, 1. "Before the remains of Ariosto were removed [in 1759] from the Benedictine church to the library of Ferrara, his bust, which surmounted the tomb, was struck by lightning, and a crown of iron laurels melted away." [Hobhouse's note.
106 xlii. "The two stanzas xlii and xliii are, with the exception of a line or two, a translation of the famous sonnet of Filicaja :
'Italia, Italia, o tu, cui diè la sorte
Dono infelice di bellezza, ond' hai
Che in fronte scritti per gran doglia porte:
Scender d' armati, e del tuo sangue tinta
Bever l'onda del Po gallici armenti;
106 xliv. "The celebrated letter of Servius Sulpicius to Cicero, on the death of his daughter, describes as it en was, and now is, a path which I often traced in Greece, both by sea and land, in different journeys and voyages :--On my return from Asia, as I was sailing from Ægina towards Megara, I began to contemplate the prospect of the countries around me : Ægina was behind, Megara before me; Piræus on the right, Corinth on the left; all which towns, once famous and flourishing, now lie overturned and buried in their ruins. Upon this sight, I could not but think presently within myself, Alas! how do we poor mortals fret and vex ourselves if any of our friends happen to die or be killed, whose life is yet so short, when the carcasses of so many noble cities lie here exposed before me in one view.'--See Middleton's Cicero, 1823, vol. ii, p. 144." [Byron's note.
107: xlvi, 8. "It is Poggio, who, looking from the Capitoline hill upon ruined Rome, breaks forth into the exclamation, 'Ut nunc omni decore nudata, prostrata jaceat, instar gigantei cadaveris corrupti atque undique exesi.'"
108 xlix, I. The statue of Venus de' Medici, standing in the "Tribune" of the Uffizzi Gallery at Florence.
108: 1, 2. Drunk with beauty. "I went to the two galleries, from which one returns drunk with beauty." [Byron, in letter to Murray, Apr. 26, 1817.
109 li, 3-7. These lines are apparently a paraphrase of Lucretius, 'De Rerum Natura,' I, 33 ff.
Armipotens regit, in gremium qui saepe tuum se," etc.
"[Mavors, who often flings himself into thy lap quite vanquished by the never-healing wound of love; and then with upturned face and shapely neck thrown back feeds with love his greedy sight, gazing, goddess, open-mouthed on thee; and as backward he reclines, his breath stays hanging on thy lips" (Munro's Translation).
110: liv. ⚫ous nothing.
"The church of Santa Croce contains much illustriThe tombs of Macchiavelli, Michael Angelo, Galileo Galilei, and Alfieri, make it the Westminster Abbey of Italy." (Byron, in Letter to Murray, April 26, 1817.)
Dante was buried at Ravenna, which lies not far from the Adriatic.
2. Scipio Africanus the Elder spent his last years in voluntary exile from Rome, at Liternum on the coast of Campania. "Folk say that when he came to die he gave orders that he should be buried on the spot, and that there, and not at Rome, a monument should be raised over his sepulchre. His country had been ungrateful-no Roman funeral for him." (Livy, bk. xxxviii, ch. 53.)
7-9. Petrarch, though of Florentine parentage, was not born at Florence, his father being banished thence two years before the birth of his son. Petrarch was given the laurel crown at Rome in 1341. His grave at Arquà was rifled in 1630.
III: lviii. Boccaccio, born in 1313, perhaps at Certaldo (lying between Florence and Siena), died and was buried there in 1375. His tomb in the church of 'La Canonica' was removed by the clerics some time after 1783 and his bones scattered. Boccaccio had frequently satirized the monks and the abuses of the Church. IIIlix, 3-4. The bust of Brutus, because he had taken part in the murder of Julius Cæsar, was not permitted in the pageant of Tiberius Cæsar.
112: lx. "I also went to the Medici chapel [part of the Church of San Lorenzo at Florence]-fine frippery in great slabs of various expensive stones, to commemorate fifty rotten and forgotten carcasses. It is unfinished and will remain so." (Byron, Letter to Murray, April 26, 1817.)
II2: lxi. It is possible that Byron may mean by "Arno's dome" the Duomo or Cathedral at Florence with its works of art, as Mr. E. H. Coleridge infers; but the reference to "Art in gal. leries "makes it probable that "dome" is used for any large building, as in Canto I, st. xlv, and here means the Uffizi gallery. 112: lxii-lxiv. Thrasimene, where Hannibal entrapped and overcame the Roman army, B. C. 217. The incident of the earthquake is recorded by Livy, bk. xxii, ch. 5.
113: lxv, 8. "From the Gualandro two small brooks fall