was none of our own. Howbeit, Massena's retreat is a great comfort; and as we have not been in the habit of pursuing for some years past, no wonder we are a little awkward at first. No doubt we shall improve; or, if not, we have only to take to our old way of retrograding, and there we are at home."]

38.-Stanza xlii., line 1.
There shall they rot-Ambition's honour'd fools!
("There let them rot-while rhymers tell the fools

How honour decks the turf that wraps their clay ;
Liars avaunt!"-MS.)

89.-Stanza xliii., line 9. And shine in worthless lays, the theme of transient song. [This stanza is not in the original Ms. It was written at Newstead, in August 1811, shortly after the battle of Albuera, which took place on the 16th of May.)

40.-Stanza xlvi., line 5. Nor here War's clarion, but Love's rebeck sounds; [A kind of fiddle, with only two strings, played on by a bow, said to have been brought by the Moors into Spain. “The Spanish women," wrote Lord Byron in August 1809," are certainly fascinating, but their minds have only one idea, and the business of their lives is intrigue."]

41.-Stanza xlviii., line 5

No! as he speeds, he chants " Vivā el Rey!“ Vivă el Rey Fernando!" Long live King Ferdinand! is the chorus of most of the Spanish patriotic songs. They are chiefly in dispraise of the old King Charles, the Queen, and the Prince of Peace. I have heard many of them : some of the airs are beautiful. Godoy, the Principe de la Puz, of an ancient but decayed family, was born at Badajoz, on the frontiers of Portugal, and was originally in the ranks of the Spanish guards ; till his person attracted the queen's eyes, and raised him to the dukedom of Alcudia, &c. &c. It is to this man that the Spaniards universally impute the ruin of their country.

42.–Stanza l., line 3. Which tells you whom to shun and whom to greet: The red cockade, with “ Fernando Septimo," in the centre.

43.-Stanza li., line 9. The ball-piled pyramid, the ever-blazing match, All who have seen a battery will recollect the pyramidal form in which shot and shells are piled. The Sierra Morena was fortified in every defile through which I passed in my way to Seville.

44.-Stanza lvi., line 9. Foild by a woman's hand, before a batter'd wall! Such were the exploits of the Maid of Saragoza, who by her valour elevated herself to the highest rank of heroines. When the author was at Seville, she walked daily on the Prado, decorated with medals and orders, by command of the Junta. [At the time when she first attracted notice, by mounting a battery where her lover had fallen, and working a gun in his room, she was in her twenty-second year, exceedingly pretty, and in a soft feminine style of beauty.)

45.–Stanza lviii., line 2.
Denotes how soft that chin which bears his touch :
“Sigilla in mento impressa Amoris digitulo

Vestigio demonstrant mollitudinem."-AUL. Gel.

46.-Stanza lix., line 2.

Match me, ye harems of the land! where now This stanza was written in Turkey.

47.-Stanza lis., line 4.

Beauties that ev'n a cynic must avou ; [“ Beauties that need not fear a broken vow."—MS.)

48.-Stanza lix., line 7. With Spain's dark-glancing daughters-deign to knoro, [“ In my opinion the Spanish women are by no means inferior to the English in charms, and are certainly superior in fascination. Long black hair, dark languishing eyes, clear olive complexions, and forms more graceful in motion than can be conceived by an Englishman, used to the drowsy, listless air of his countrywomen, added to the most becoming dress, and, at the same time, the most decent in the worid, render a Spanish beauty irresistible.”—Lord Byron's Letters, Aug. 1809.)

49.-Stanza lx, line 1.

Oh, thou Parnassus ! tohom I now survey, These stanzas were written in Castri (Delphos), at the foot of Parnassus, now called Auzuga (Liakura), Dec. 1809.

50.-Stanza lxi., line 9.

In silent joy to think at last I look on Thee (“Upon Parnassus, going to the fountain of Delphi (Castri), in 1809, I saw a flight of twelve eagles (Hobhouse says they were vultures-at

least in conversation), and I seized the omen. On the day before, I composed the lines to Parnassus (in Childe Harold), and on beholding the birds, had a hope that Apollo had accepted my homage. I have at least had the name and fame of a poet, during the poetical period of life (from twenty to thirty);-whether it will last is another matter : but I have been a votary of the deity and the place, and am grateful for what he has done in my behalf, leaving the future in his hands, as I left the past."-B. Diary, 1821.]

51.-Stanza lxiii., line 8.

Yield me one leaf of Daphne's deathless plant, [" Some glorious thought to my petition grant.”—MS.)

52.-Stanza lxv., line 2. Her strength, her wealth, her site of ancient days ; Beville was the Hispalis of the Romans.

53.-Stanza lxv., line 7.

The fascination of thy magic gaze ? [" The lurking lures of thy enchanting gaze.”—MS.)

54.--Stanza lxvi., line 9.

A thousand altars rise, for ever blazing bright. {"Cadiz, sweet Cadiz! - it is the first spot in the creation. The beauty of its streets and mansions is only excelled by the loveliness of its inhabitants. It is a complete Cythera, full of the finest women in Spain; the Cadiz belles being the Lancashire witches of their land." - Lord Byron's Letters, 1809.]

55.--Stanza lxvii., line 9.
And love and prayer unite, or rule the hour by turns.

{"-monkish temples share
The hours misspent, and all in turns is love and prayer.”—MS.]

66.-Stanza lxx., line 5.

Ask ye, Bæotian shades! the reason why? This was written at Thebes, and consequently in the best situation for asking and answering such a question; not as the birthplace of Pindar, but as the capital of Bæotia, where the first riddle was propounded and solved.

57.-Stanza lxx., line 9. And consecrate the oath with draught, and dance till morn. (Lord Byron alludes to a ridiculous custom which formerly prevailed at the public-houses in Ilighgate, of administering a burlesque oath to all travellers of the middling rank who stopped there. The party was sworn on a pair of horns, fastened, “ nover to kiss the maid when he could kiss the mistress; never to eat brown bread when he could get white; never to drink small beer when he could get strong;" with many other injunctions of the like kind, to all which was added the saving clause, -" unless you like it best.")

58.-Stanza lxxvi., line 5. With well-timed croupe the nimble coursers veer ; "The croupe is a particular leap taught in the manège." -M8.]

59.–Stanza lxxviii., line 9. Wraps nis fierce eye-'tis past-he sinks upon the sand ! [So inveterate was, at one time, the rage of the people for this amusement, that even boys mimicked its features in their play. In the slaughter-house itself the professional bull-fighter gave public lessons; and such was the force of depraved custom, that ladies of the highest rank were not ashamed to appear amidst the filth and horror of the shambles. The Spaniards received this sport from the Moors, among whon it was celebrated with great pomp and splendour.]

60.-Stanza lxxix., line 7.
The corse is piled-sweet sight for vulgar eyes-
[" The trophy corse is reared-disgusting prize"-
Or, The corse is reared-sparkling the chariot flies.”—M8.]

61.-Stanza lxxx., line 9. For some slight cause of wrath, whence life's warm stream must flow. (“The Spaniards are as revengeful as ever. At Santa Otella I heard a young peasant threaten to stab a woman (an old one, to be sure, which mitigates the offence), and was told, on expressing some small surprise, that this ethic was by no means uncommon.”—M8.]

62.-Stanza Ixxxii., line 8.
Full from the fount of Joy's delicious springs

" Medio de fonte leporum
Surgit amari aliquid quod in ipsis fiori bus angat."-LUC.
(" Full from the heart of Joy's delicious springs

Some bitter bubbles up, and e'en on roses stings."'-MS.)

63.–Page 35, line 17.

What Exile from himself can flee?
["What exile from himself can flee?

To other zones, howe'er remote,
Still, still pursuing clings to me

The blight of life-the demon Thought."-MS.
This song was written January 25, 1810.]

64.–Stanza lxxxv., line 7.

A traitor only fell beneath the feud:
Alluding to the conduct and death of Solano, the governor of Cadiz, in
May, 1809.

65.-Stanza lxxxvi., line 9. War, soar is still the cry, " War even to the knife!“War to the knife." Palafox's answer to the French general at the siege of Saragoza.

66.-Stanza sci., line i.

And thou, my friend !--since unavailing woe
The Honourable John Wingfield, of the Guards, who died of a fever at
Coimbra (May 14, 1811). I had known him ten years, the better half of
his life, and the happiest part of mine. In the short space of one month,
I have lost her who gave me being, and most of those who had made
that being tolerable. To me the lines of Young are no fiction :-

" Insatiate archer! could not one suffice?
Thy shaft flew thrice, and thrice my peace was slain,

And thrice ere thrice yon moon had fill'd her hom."
I should have ventured a verse to the memory of the late Charles
Skinner Matthews, Fellow of Downing College, Cambridge, were he not
too much above all praise of mine. His powers of mind, shown in the
attainment of greater honours, against the ablest candidates, than those
of any graduate on record at Cambridge, have sufficiently established
his fame on the spot where it was acquired; while his softer qualities
live in the recollection of friends who loved him too well to envy his
superiority. [To an objection made by Mr. Dallas to this note, Lord
Byron replied: “ I was so sincere in my note on the late Charles Mat-
thews, and do feel myself so totally unable to do justice to his talents,
that the passage must stand for the very reason you bring against it.
To him, all the men I ever knew were pigmies. He was an intellectual
giant. It is true I loved Wingfield better; he was the earliest and the
dearest, and one of the few one could never repent of having loved : but
in ability-ah, you did not know Matthews!” Matthews was drowned
while bathing in the Cam, on the 2nd of August, 1811. The two stanzas
on Wingfield were added at Newstead. Lord Byron had previously
drawn his portrait in one of his school-boy poem's entitled “Childish

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsett »