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125 : xcix. The tomb of Caecilia Metella, on the Via Appia, "a circular structure, 65 feet in diameter," on a square pedestal. "In the thirteenth century the Gaetani converted the edifice into the tower of a stronghold, and furnished it with pinnacles." (Baedeker's ' Centra] Italy.')
126 : cii, 8. Hesperus, the star which leads the way to 'the silent land ' (Tozer).
9. consuming cheek. Cheek wasting with consumption. C£ 1 Manfred'II, iv:
'. There's a bloom upon her cheek;
126 : ciii, 9. She was the wife of Crassus, because of his wealth called Dives.
128 : cix. The golden roofs of Nero's Domus Aurea adjoining the Palatine, a palace "overlaid with plates of gold, picked out with gems and mother-of-pearl."
128 : cx, 2. A solitary column in the Forum, now named the Column of Phocas.
6. The Statue of St. Peter (the apostle) now surmounts the column of Trajan, displacing the statue of Trajan, which formerly held a globe supposed to contain his ashes; that of St. Paul surmounts the column of Aurelius.
129: cxi, 8. Alexander, excited with wine at a banquet, killed his friend Clitus.
129 : cxii, 1. The Capitoline Hill, where the triumphal processions ended.
129 : cxiii, 9. 'Orators who sold their services;' hence 'baser' than real prostitutes.
130 : cxiv. Rienzi, opposing the tyranny of the great nobles, was proclaimed Tribune in 1347, and was slain in 1354 during a revolt against his rule. See Bulwer-Lytton's 'Rienzi, The Last of the Tribunes.'
130: cxv. Egeria, the nymph who counselled Numa, the ancient Roman lawgiver, who was fabled to have been her lover. Her fountain and grotto were placed beyond the Sebastian gate in Byron's day. They are now thought to be near the Metronian gate.
133 : cxxiii, 7. Cf. 'Hosea' viii, 7: "For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind."
134 : cxxvii, 5. Cf. Wordsworth, 'Excursion,' bk. I:
"The vision, and the faculty divine." 6. Cf. Macbeth III, iv, 24-25:
But now I am cabin'd, cribb'd, confin'd, bound in
9. couch, to prepare the eye for removing a cataract.
135 : cxxxi, 1. this wreck. The Coliseum.
135 : cxxxi ff. Personal stanzas, alluding to the wrongs Byron thought he had suffered from his wife and her family, and the public who sympathized with them and turned against him.
136: cxxxiii, 8. for the sake—Are we to supply in thought, of my sister?
137 : cxxxv. Whatever reservation in other respects the reader may feel it necessary to make, he cannot but admire the astonishing rhetorical art and the fierce lyrical passion and pride of these lines.
138 : cxl-cxli. The famous statute of the 'Dying Gladiator' in the Museum of the Capitol at Rome; more probably a Dying Gaul.
139: cxlii, 5-6. "When one gladiator wounded another, he shouted, 'He has it,' 'Hoc habet,' or 'Habet.' The wounded combatant dropped his weapon, and, advancing to the edge of the arena, supplicated the spectators. If he had fought well, the people saved him, if otherwise, or as they happened to be inclined, they turned down their thumbs, and he was slain." [Hobhouse's note.
140: cxliv. Cf. 'Manfred' III, iv, 10 ff. (above, p. 207).
140 : cxlv. 1-2. "This is quoted [from Bede] in [Gibbon's] 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,' as a proof that the Coliseum was entire, when seen by the Anglo Saxon pilgrims at the end of the seventh, or the beginning of the eighth, century." [Byron's note.
The original is: "Quamdiu stabit Colyseus, stabit et Roma; quando cadet Colyseus, cadet Roma; quando cadet Roma, cadet et mundus."
141 : cxlviii-cli. The version of the legend from Festus is as follows: "It is said that iElius dedicated a temple to Pietas on the very spot where a woman dwelt of yore. Her father was shut up in prison, and she kept him alive by giving him the breast by stealth; and, as a reward for her deed, obtained forgiveness and freedom for him."
142 : cli. The 'fable' is that Hercules after his birth was put to Hera's (Juno's) breast, while she was asleep, that he might drink in divinity, but that awaking she pushed him away, and that the drops thus spilled fell upon the sky and became the Milky Way.
142: clii, 1. the Mole. The castle of St. Angelo; not really built in imitation of the pyramids, although like them in its mass and size.
143 : cliii, 1. the Dome. Of St. Peter's. 2. The temple of Diana at Ephesus.
7. The mosque of St. Sophia at Constantinople.
144: clvi, 1. but increasing. Elliptical. Supply, to read— "but it is increasing."
145 : clxi, 1. The statute of the Apollo Belvedere.
146 : clxii, 1-4. An incident of a French maiden's going mad for love of the statute of Apollo had been related and was utilized in a poem of 1812, by Milman, which Byron probably knew:
"Yet on that form in wild delirious trance
146: clxiii, 2. the fire which we endure: i.e. life, or the soul.
147: clxvii-clxxii. On the death, in childbirth, November 6, 1817, of the Princess Charlotte, only daughter of the Prince Regent (afterwards George IV), married to Prince Leopold of SaxeCoburg. Her death was felt as a national calamity. If the child had lived it might in time have ascended the English throne. Cf. Byron's Letter to Murray of December 3, 1817.
149 : clxxi, 7. "Mary died on the scaffold; Elizabeth of a broken heart; Charles V a hermit; Louis XIV a bankrupt in means and glory; Cromwell of anxiety; and, 'the greatest is behind,' Napoleon lives a prisoner. To these sovereigns a long but superfluous list might be added of names equally illustrious and unhappy." [Byron's note.
150 : clxxiv, 7. Tully reposed: at Tusculum.
9. Horace's Sabine farm, twenty miles to the north-east.
150 : clxxv, 8. Calpe's rock. Gibraltar: in 1811.
150 : clxxvi, 1. Symplegades; two small islands near the entrance to the Black Sea.
152 : clxxxi, 9. The fleet of the Armada (1588) was destroyed partly by tempests, partly by the English fleet.
'' The gale of wind which succeeded the battle of Trafalgar [October 21, 1805] destroyed the greater part, if not all, of the prizes—nineteen sail of t le line—taken on that memorable day." [Byron's note.
153: clxxxiv, 9. as I do here. As if written while sailing upon the sea.
154: clxxxvi, 7. Emblems of pilgrims. Cf. 'Hamlet' IV, v, 23:
"How should I your true love know
THE PRISONER OF CHILLON
Written, June 1816, at Ouchy near Lausanne in Switzerland, and published at Iondon, December 5th, 1816.
The Bonivard of the poem is essentially a creation of the imagination and not a historical figure. The poet himself admitted this fact in his notes: "When this poem was composed, I was not sufficiently aware of the history of Bonivard." The historical Bonivard (1493-1570), a lover of republican liberty and a religious reformer, because of his opposition to the rule of the House of Savoy was imprisoned by the Duke of Savoy at Chillon from 1530 to 1536, when, in the war of liberation of the cantons of Geneva and Vaud, the castle was captured by the republican forces and Bonivard and other prisoners were liberated. The circumstance of the imprisonment and death of the brothers is entirely of Byron's invention. In his own Memoirs Bonivard testifies that he was confined in a dungeon, "the bottom of which was lower than the lake on which Chillon was situated, where I remained four years [two had been spent in better quarters] and had such good leisure to promenade that I wore a path in the rock which was the floor of the place just as if it had been made with a hammer." Most unromantic of all the contradictions which history presents to the poem, Bonivard's interest in life after his release was so lively that he was four times married! He was, however, an idealist and a scholar. D'AubignG, in his 'History of the Reformation' compares him to Erasmus and says that Bonivard "was, like him, a lover of letters and of liberty more than the former. He was to Geneva the man of the Renaissance as Calvin was the man of the Reformation." The Bonivard of the poem, however, is really an idealized Byron—Byron at the best period of his career, when he was most open to the influences of Rousseau, Scott, Shelley, Wordsworth, and Coleridge (influences to which this poem bears witness), and imagined in circumstances to evoke the deepest tenderness, pathos, sympathy with liberty and with human suffering, and meditative melancholy, latent in the poet's nature.
Professor Kolbing has suggested that probably the chief source from which Byron drew his scanty knowledge of Bonivard was the following passage from Rousseau's 'Nouvelle Heloi'se,'a book which Byron and Shelley had been reading together during their journey around the lake: "The castle of Chillon, formerly a dwelling of the lords of Vevey, is situated in the lake on a rock which forms a little peninsula, and around which I have seen soundings taken more than a hundred and fifty fathoms deep, which amounts to nearly eight hundred feet, without reaching the bottom. Cellars and kitchens have been excavated in this rock below the level of the water, which is let in by valves when desired. Here was imprisoned for six years Francois Bonnivard, Prior of Saint-Victor, a man of rare merit, of unbending uprightness and fortitude, a friend of liberty, although a Savoyard, and tolerant, although a priest."
The situation and much in the tone of the narration of the poem suggest the story of Ugolino and his sons in Dante (Inferno, xxxii, 124-xxxiii, 78). According to Medwin Shelley remarked that "Byron had deeply studied this death of Ugolino, and per