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NOTES TO CANTO 1.
Stanza i. line 6. The little village of Castri stands partly on the site of Delphi. Along the path of the mountain, from Chrysso, are the remains of sepulchres hewn in and from the rock. “One," said the guide, “of a king who broke his neck hunting." His majesty had certainly chosen the fittest spot for such an achievement.
A little above Castri is a cave, supposed the Pythian, of immense depth; the upper part of it is paved, and now a cow-house.
On the other side of Castri stands a Greek monastery; some way above which is the cleft in the rock, with a range of caverns difficult of ascent, and apparently leading to the interior of the mountain; probably to the Corycian Cavern mentioned by Pausanias. From this part descend the fountain and the "Dews of Castalie.”
Stanza xx. line 4. The Convent of “Our Lady of Punishment,” Nossa Señora de Pena *, on the summit of the rock. Below, at some
* Since the publication of this poem, I have been informed of the misapprehension of the term Nossa Señora de Pena. It was owing to the want of the tilde, or mark over the ñ, which alters the signification of the word: with it, Peña signifies a rock; without it, Pena has the sense I adopted. I do not think it necessary to alter the passage, as though the common acceptation affixed to it is "Our Lady of the Rock," I may well assume the other sense from the severities practised there.
distance, is the Cork Convent, where St. Honorius dug his den, over which is his epitaph. From the hills, the sea adds to the beauty of the view.
-Stanza xxi. line last. It is a well known fact, that in the year 1809 the assassinations in the streets of Lisbon and its vicinity were not confined by the Portuguese to their countrymen ; but that Englishmen were daily butchered: and so far from redress being obtained, we were requested not to interfere if we perceived any compatriot defending himself against his allies. I was once stopped in the way to the theatre at eight o'clock in the evening, when the streets were not more empty than they generally are at that hour, opposite to an open shop, and in a carriage with a friend ; had we not fortunately been armed, I have not the least doubt that we should have adorned a tale instead of telling one. The crime of assassination is not confined to Portugal: in Sicily and Malta we are knocked on the head at a handsome average nightly, and not a Sicilian or Maltese is ever punished !
Stanza xxiv. line 1. The Convention of Cintra was signed in the palace of the Marchese Marialva. The late exploits of Lord Wellington have effaced the follies of Cintra. He has, indeed, done wonders; he has perhaps changed the character of a nation, reconciled rival superstitions, and baffled an enemy who never retreated before his predecessors.
Stanza xxix. line 1. The extent of Mafra is prodigious; it contains a palace, convent, and most superb church. The six organs are the most beautiful I ever beheld, in point of decoration; we did not hear them, but were told that their tones were correspondent to their splendour. Mafra is termed the Escurial of Portugal
Stanza xxxiii. lines 8 and 9. As I found the Portuguese, so I have characterized them. That they are since improved, at least in courage, is evident.
Stanza xxxv. lines 3 and 4. Count Julian's daughter, the Helen of Spain. Pelagius preserved his independence in the fastnesses of the Asturias, and the descendants of his followers, after some centuries, completed their struggle by the conquest of Grenada.
Stanza xlviii. line 5.
« Vivā 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 Paz, 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.
Stanza l. lines 2 and 3.
The ball-piled pyramid, the ever-blaging match.
Stanza li. line last. 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.
Stanza lvi. line last. Such were the exploits of the Maid of Saragoza. When the author was at Seville she walked daily on the Prado, decorated with medals and orders, by command of the Junta.
Stanza lviii. lines 1 and 2. “ Sigilla in mento impressa Amoris digitulo
Vestigio demonstrant mollitudinem.” AUL, GEL.
Stanza Ix. line l.
These stanzas were written in Castri (Delphos), at the foot of Parnassus, now called Asaruga-Liakura.
Stanza Ixv. lines 1 and 2. Seville was the Hispalis of the Romans.
Stanza lxx. line 5.
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.
Stanza lxxxii. line last.
" Medio de fonte leporum Surgit amari aliquid quod in ipsis floribus angat."
Stanza lxxxv. line 7.
Alluding to the conduct and death of Solano, the Governor of Cadiz.
Stanza lxxxvi. line last,
« War to the knife." Palafox's answer to the French general at the siege of Saragoza.
Stanza xci. line 1.
The Honourable I*. W**. of the Guards, who died of a fever at Coimbra. 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 :
"s Insatiate archer ! could not one suffice ?
Thy shaft flew thrice, thrice my peace was slain,