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14 : xxxix, 8. The battle of Talavera, in which Wellington and the Spaniards won a doubtful victory over the French, began July 27, 1809, and lasted two days. Byron was not present, but visited the sput soon after.

15: xliii. The battle of Albuera, where the English and Spaniards defeated the French, was fought May 15, 1811. This stanza was added after Byron's return to England.

16 : xlvi. Byron's visit to Seville was at the end of July, 1809. Seville surrendered to the French January 31, 1810, after very little resistance.

17 : xlvii, 6. Fandango, a Spanish dance, here personified.

17 : xlviii, 5. Vivā el Rey, “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 (Godoy) the Prince of Peace." (Byron's note.—Manuel de Godoy (1767-1851), who received the title of Principe de la Paz, was the reputed paramour of the Queen, and raised by her from low estate, becoming prime minister of Spain during the period of the downfall of the national power and the greatest degradation of the state.

17: xlix. Description of the region of the plain of the Guadal. quivir and heights of Sierra Morena in the south of Spain. Invaded by the French in June, 1808.

7. The Dragon's Nest, the city of Jaen, recaptured from the French by the Spanish early in July, 1808.

18 : 1, 2–3. “The red cockade, with • Fernando Septimo' in the center” [Byron's note.

18 : li. Description of Wellington's fortifications.

18 : lii, 1. The deeds to come. In 1811 Wellington drove the French from Portugal.

18: lii, 6. The West, Spain, or Hesperia.

19: liv. Augustina, the Maid of Saragossa, who (according to the account of the day), when that city was besieged by the French and her lover killed at his gun, snatched the match from his hand and worked the gun in his place. Byron saw her at Seville. Cf. her story in Southey's • History of the Peninsular War'.

3. The anlace, a short knife or dagger. 20 ; lvi. The rhetorical structure of this stanza is noteworthy, Observe that to each of the first four lines answers in sense the corresponding line of the second quatrain.

20 : lx. "These stanzas were written in Castri (Delphos) at the foot of Parnassus, now called Alakupa (Liakura), December [16], 1809" [Byron's note.

Whom I now survey. The summit of Parnassus, it is said, is not visible from Delphos. So in reality Byron is describing the scene from memory.

23 : lxxvi, 5. Croupe, for croupade, a particular leap or curvet taught the horse.


The opening stanzas by a bold transition introduce at once the chief theme of the canto, Greece, her ancient glories and present ruin, especially as suggested by the fate of her noblest monument of art, the Parthenon. The poet then returns to the subject of his journey, beginning with a description of the voyage from Malta to Greece in a brig of war.

25: i. Athena is invoked. Her temple is the Parthenon cn the Acropolis at Athens, which was badly damaged by powder explosions in 1656 and 1687. At the time of Byron's visit “the dread sceptre and dominion dire” of the Turks was over Greece.

25 : iii. The point of view is changed and the poet imagines himself to be standing amid the ruins of the temple of Zeus, with the Acropolis (“this spot ") in full view.

26: V, 1-2. For example, one of the tumuli in the plain of Troy near the shores of the Hellespont, raised perhaps to the memory of Ajax or Achilles.

7 ff. Moralizations in the manner of Hamlet's over the skull of Yorick.

27: vii, 1-2. The reference is to Socrates, who, however, did not assert that "nothing can be known,” but merely that he was wiser than others in knowing that he knew nothing. Cf. Congreve, • The Old Bachelor,'1, i: “You read of but one wise man, and all he knew was, that he knew nothing.”

27 : viii, 3. • Acts’ xxiii, 8 : “For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection." Cf. • Acts' iv, 2, and Matthew' xxii, 23.

9. Zoroaster was born in Bactriana, Pythagoras in Samos. 29 : xxii, 1. Calpe, the ancient name of Gibraltar. 8. Mauritania, the ancient name of Morocco.

30 : xxv. Is this stanza Wordsworthian in spirit? In what respects is it unlike Wordsworth's manner of conceiving and ex. pressing Nature? In the next stanza, placed in careful rhetori. cal antithesis to this, the note and the plaint of the personal Byron recur. Cf. stanza xxxvii. See also Canto III, xciixcvi, and · Manfred,' Act II, scene ii.

31 : xxvii. Cf. Wordsworth's Prelude’ IV, 354-364. This stanza was an afterthought, and was first published in the seventh edition, 1814.

2. Mount Athos, on whose slopes are many monasteries of the Greek Church.

32: xxxviii. “Albania comprises parts of Macedonia, Illyria, Chaonia, and Epirus. Iskander is the Turkish word for Alexander" (Byron's note.

2. Beacon of the wise is a Shaksperian echo. Cf. •Troilus and Cressida' II, ii, 17 : “ Modest doubt is called The beacon of the wise."

3. George Castriota (1404-1467), called Scanderbeg, i.e., Iskander Bey, or Lord Alexander, who successfully defended his fatherland, Albania, against the attacks of the Turks.

32: xxxix, 1. The barren spot, Ithaca.

3. The mount. The white cliffs of Leucadia, whence Lesbian Sappho is said to have cast herself, from disappointed love.

9. Apparently, the only immortality is the subjective immortality given by verse.'

33 : xliii, 3. “Of Albania Gibbon remarks that a country within sight of Italy is less known than the interior of America'" (Byron's note.

34 : xlv. Ambracia's gulf. Arta, where the battle of Actium (31 B. C.) was fought. Here Antony, owing to the flight of Cleopatra's galleys during the engagement, was overcome by Augustus.

6. “Nicopolis [the city of victory], whose ruins are inost extensive, is at some distance from Actium ” [Byron's note. It was built by Augustus to commemorate Actium.

35: xlvii, 2. The primal city. The chief city, Janina.

4. Albania's chief. Ali Pasha, who subdued the country and extended his pashalik over the greater part of Greece. A severe and barbarous, but an able ruler, whose picturesque character greatly interested Byron.

35: xlviii. "The convent and village of Zitza are four hours' journey from Joannina or Yanina, the capital of the Pachalick. In the valley the river Kalamas (once the Acheron) flows, and, not far from Zitza forms a fine cataract. The situation is, perhaps, the finest in Greece "... [Byron's note.

35 : xlix, 6. caloyer, from the late Greek kalbynpos, “good old man,” the usual term for monks in Greece.

37: liji. The site of the oracle of Dodona, long unknown, was determined only in 1876. It is at Dramisus, south of Janina.

37: lv. Tomerit. “Anciently Mount Tomarus” [Byron's note.-Now Mount Olytsika, to the west of Janina. Lavs, perhaps a blunder for Aous (modern Viosa). “The finest river in the Levant” [Byron.

38 : lvi, 7. Santons. A kind of dervish or Mahometan monk.

38 : lviii, 5. Delhi. Turkish word for madmen ; hence a term for the battle-intoxicated Turkish warriors.

7. Nubian eunuch.

39 : lx, 1. The Ramazan, or Turkish Lent, or month of fasting. The fasting, however, is confined to the day-time.

40 : lxiii, 4. the Teian. Anacreon, of Teos. It is probable that Byron remembered Moore's version (of 1800). Wine conquers Age' is more often the burden of Anacreon's song, as of Hafiz's. But see Ode I:

“ I saw the smiling bard of pleasure,

The minstrel of the Teian measure ...
... His tresses wore a silvery dye,
But beauty sparkled in his eye;
Sparkled in his eyes of fire,

Through the mist of soft desire.”
And cf. Odes vii, xxxix, xlvii.

40 : lxiii, 5-9. A curious prevision! Three weeks after •Childe Harold' was published Ali committed his worst atrocity, causing the massacre of nearly seven hundred inhabitants of Gar. diki, in revenge for wrongs done his mother and sister nearly thirty years before. His own bloody death occurred in 1822, when he was treacherously assassinated by Mohammed Pasha.

41 : lxx, 1. Utraikey. A village on the gulf of Arta, near Actium.

41 : lxxi, 7. “Palikar, ... from madıkapı [trallý kapi), a general name for a soldier amongst the Greeks and Albanese who speak Romaic: it means, properly, a lad.'” (Byron's note.

42: The song • Tambourgi.' " These stanzas are partly taken from different Albanese songs, as far as I was able to make them out by the exposition of the Albanese in Romaic and Italian" [Byron's note.

42 : Song, 1. Tambourgi, Turkish for drummer ; from the French tambour.

42 : Song, 2. Camese, kilt or skirt : French chemise. So Spenser's Amazon is arrayed “All in a camis light of purple silk.”

(* Faerie Queene,' V, v, 2. 43: Song, 8. When Previsa fell. " It was taken by storm from the French ” [by Ali Pasha's forces, October, 1798]. [Byron's note.

43 : Song, 10. Ali's eldest son, Mukhtar, the Pasha of Berat, had been sent against the Russians, who, in 1809, invaded the trans-Danubian provinces of the Ottoman Empire (E. H. Cole. ridge).

Giaour. The Turkish term for infidel'; here meaning the Russians. Usually for the Christians in general, as in st. lxxvii. -his horse-tail. The insignia of a Pasha. 43 : Song, II. Selictar=sword-bearer.

44: lxxiii. Cf. Byron's song from · Don Juan,' - The Isles of Greece,” above, p. 263. See also · The Giaour,' the lines beginning,

“'Tis Greece, but living Greece no more,” where follows the same appeal to the memory of Thermopylæ.

44: lxxiv, 1-2. "Phyle, which commands a beautiful view of Athens, has still considerable remains : it was seized by Thrasybulus, previous to the expulsion of the Thirty (Tyrants from Athens).” [Byron's note.—From this spot Byron had his first view of Athens. .

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