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The Works of Lord Byron Volume III Part 24

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[co] _Commenced by Sire--renewed by Son_.--[MS.]

[cp]

_Attest it many a former age_ _While kings in dark oblivion hid_.--[MS.]

[cq] _There let the Muse direct thine eye_.--[MS.]

[cr] {93} _The hearts amid thy mountains bred_.--[MS.]

[64] Athens is the property of the Kislar Aga [kizlar-aghasi] (the slave of the Seraglio and guardian of the women), who appoints the Waywode. A pander and eunuch--these are not polite, yet true appellations--now _governs_ the _governor_ of Athens!

[Hobhouse maintains that this subordination of the waiwodes (or vaivodes = the Sclavic ?e?da [boebo/da]) (Turkish governors of Athens) to a higher Turkish official, was on the whole favourable to the liberties and well-being of the Athenians.--_Travels in Albania_, 1858, i. 246.]

[cs]

_Now to the neighbouring sh.o.r.es they waft_ _Their ancient and proverbial craft_.--[MS. erased.]

[ct] {94} _he silent slants the doubtful creek_.--[MS]

[65] [The reciter of the tale is a Turkish fisherman, who has been employed during the day in the gulf of aegina, and in the evening, apprehensive of the Mainote pirates who infest the coast of Attica, lands with his boat on the harbour of Port Leone, the ancient Piraeus. He becomes the eye-witness of nearly all the incidents in the story, and in one of them is a princ.i.p.al agent. It is to his feelings, and particularly to his religious prejudices, that we are indebted for some of the most forcible and splendid parts of the poem.--Note by George Agar Ellis, 1797-1833.]

[66] [In Dr. Clarke's Travels (Edward Daniel Clarke, 1769-1822, published _Travels in Europe, Asia, Africa_, 1810-24), this word, which means _infidel_, is always written according to its English p.r.o.nunciation, _Djour_. Byron adopted the Italian spelling usual among the Franks of the Levant.--_Note to Edition_ 1832.

The p.r.o.nunciation of the word depends on its origin. If it is a.s.sociated with the Arabic _jawr_, a "deviating" or "erring," the initial consonant would be soft, but if with the Persian _gawr_, or _guebre_, "a fire-worshipper," the word should be p.r.o.nounced _Gow-er_--as Gower Street has come to be p.r.o.nounced. It is to be remarked that to the present day the Nestorians of Urumiah are contemned as _Gy-ours_ (the _G_ hard), by their Mohammedan countrymen.--(From information kindly supplied by Mr. A. G. Ellis, of the Oriental Printed Books and MSS.

Department, British Museum.)]

[cu] {95} _Though scarcely marked_----.--[MS.]

[cv]

_With him my wonder as he flew_.--[MS.]

_With him my roused and wondering view_.--[MS. erased.]

[cw] {96} _For him who takes so fast a flight_.--[MS. erased.]

[67] [Compare--

"A moment now he slacked his speed, A moment breathed his panting steed."

Scott's _Lay of the Last Minstrel_, Canto I. stanza xxvii. lines 1, 2.]

[cx] _And looked along the olive wood_.--[MS.]

[68] "Tophaike," musket. The Bairam is announced by the cannon at sunset: the illumination of the mosques, and the firing of all kinds of small arms, loaded with _ball_, proclaim it during the night. [The Bairam, the Moslem Easter, a festival of three days, succeeded the Ramazan.]

For the illumination of the mosques during the fast of the Ramazan, see _Childe Harold_, Canto II. stanza lv. line 5, _Poetical Works_, 1899, ii. 134, note 2.

[cy] {97} _Of transient Anger's Darkening blush_.--[MS.]

[69] [For "hasty," all the editions till the twelfth read "_darkening_ blush." On the back of a copy of the eleventh, Lord Byron has written, "Why did not the printer attend to the solitary correction so repeatedly made? I have no copy of this, and desire to have none till my request is complied with." _Notes to Editions_ 1832, 1837.]

[cz]

_As doubting if to stay or fly_-- _Then turned it swiftly to his blade;_ _As loud his raven charger neighed_-- _That sound dispelled his waking dream_, _As sleepers start at owlet's scream_.--[MS.]

[70] Jerreed, or Djerrid [Jarid], a blunted Turkish javelin, which is darted from horseback with great force and precision. It is a favourite exercise of the Mussulmans; but I know not if it can be called a _manly_ one, since the most expert in the art are the Black Eunuchs of Constantinople. I think, next to these, a Mamlouk at Smyrna was the most skilful that came within my observation. [Lines 250, 251, together with the note, were inserted in the Third Edition.]

[da] {98} _'Twas but an instant, though so long_ _When thus dilated in my song_.

_'Twas but an instant_----.--[MS.]

[db]

_Such moment holds a thousand years_.

or, _Such moment proves the grief of years_.--[MS.]

[71] ["Lord Byron told Mr. Murray that he took this idea from one of the Arabian tales--that in which the Sultan puts his head into a b.u.t.t of water, and, though it remains there for only two or three minutes, he imagines that he lives many years during that time. The story had been quoted by Addison in the _Spectator_" [No. 94, June 18, 1711].--_Memoir of John Murray_, 1891, i. 219, note.]

[72] [Lines 271-276 were added in the Third Edition. The MS. proceeds with a direction (dated July 31, 1813) to the printer--"And alter

'A life of _woe_--an age of crime--'

to

'A life of _pain_--an age of crime.'

Alter also the lines

'On him who loves or hates or fears Such moment holds a thousand years,'

to

'O'er him who loves or hates or fears Such moment pours the grief of years.'"]

[dc] {99} _But neither fled nor fell alone_.--[MS.]

[73] The blast of the desert, fatal to everything living, and often alluded to in Eastern poetry.

[James Bruce, 1730-1794 (nicknamed "Abyssinian Bruce"), gives a remarkable description of the simoom: "I saw from the south-east a haze come, in colour like the purple part of the rainbow, but not so compressed or thick. It did not occupy twenty yards in breadth, and was about twelve feet high from the ground. It was a kind of blush upon the air, and it moved very rapidly.... We all lay flat on the ground ...

till it was blown over. The meteor, or purple haze, which I saw was, indeed, pa.s.sed, but the light air which still blew was of a heat to threaten suffocation." He goes on to say that he did not recover the effect of the sandblast on his chest for nearly two years (Brace's _Life and Travels_, ed. 1830, p. 470).--Note to Edition 1832.]

[dd] There are two MS. versions of lines 290-298: (A) a rough copy, and (B) a fair copy--

(A) _And wide the Spider's thin grey pall_ _Is curtained on the splendid wall_-- _The Bat hath built in his mother's bower_, _And in the fortress of his power_ _The Owl hath fixed her beacon tower_, _The wild dogs howl on the fountain's brim_ _With baffled thirst and famine grim_, _For the stream is shrunk from its marble bed_ _Where Desolation's dust is spread_.--[MS.]

B. ["August 5, 1813, in last of 3rd or first of 4th ed."]

_The lonely Spider's thin grey pall_ _Is curtained o'er the splendid wall_-- _The Bat builds in his mother's bower;_ _And in the fortress of his power_ _The Owl hath fixed her beacon-tower_, _The wild dog howls o'er the fountain's brink_, _But vainly lolls his tongue to drink_.--[MS.]

[74] {100} [Compare "The walls of Balclutha were desolated.... The stream of Clutha was removed from its place by the fall of the walls.

The fox looked out from the windows" (Ossian's _Balclutha_). "The dreary night-owl screams in the solitary retreat of his mouldering ivy-covered tower" (_Larnul, or the Song of Despair: Poems of Ossian_, discovered by the Baron de Harold, 1787, p. 172). Compare, too, the well-known lines, "The spider holds the veil in the palace of Caesar; the owl stands sentinel on the watch-tower of Afrasyab" (_A Grammar of the Persian Language_, by Sir W. Jones, 1809, p. 106).]

[de]

_The silver dew of coldness sprinkling_ _In drops fantastically twinkling_ _As from the spring the silver dew_ _In whirls fantastically flew_ _And dashed luxurions coolness round_ _The air--and verdure on the ground_.--[MS.]

[df] {101} _For thirsty Fox and Jackal gaunt_ _May vainly for its waters pant_.--[MS.]

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The Works of Lord Byron Volume III Part 24 summary

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