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309. 810. Nihil quod tetegit, etc. Slightly misquoted from Johnson's epitaph on Goldsmith, in Westminster Abbey. "He touched nothing that he did not adorn." 817. The fragrant parterre. The fragrant garden.

828. Un étourdi. A fellow who talks explosively.

883. Mrs. Piozzi. Hester Lynch Piozzi (1741-1821). Mrs. Thrale, later Mrs. Piozzi, was one of the few women whom Johnson knew intimately. Sir John Hawkins (1719-1789). A close friend of Johnson's, and one of his executors. Boswell was jealous of him.

310. 975. Churchill. Charles Churchill (17311764); a satirist, and an ardent supporter of John Wilkes and his faction. 312. 1208. Bayle's Dictionary. The Dictionaire Historique et Critique of Pierre Bayle (1647-1706), a French philosopher and man of letters. 313. 1233. Prospects.

"Views," scenery. 1319. Canada is taken. Wolfe's victory over Montcalm, on the Plains of Abraham, had taken place in 1759.

314. 1369. His present Majesty. Johnson's pension came from George III, against whom the Pretender, James Stuart, son of the exiled James II, had in 1745 organized an armed rebellion of Highlanders and English Jacobites. Johnson had been for a time a favorer of the Stuarts, a sort of sentimental Jacobite, though he had always been loyal to the existing government.


1399. Victory at Culloden, etc.
Stuart, son of the pretender James, was
his father's personal representative in
England and Scotland during the second
Jacobite rebellion, "The Forty-five,'
which ended in 1746 at Culloden, where
the Duke of Cumberland overwhelmed
the Stuart forces.

315. 1455. A negation of all principle.


used to tell, with great humor, from my relation to him, the following little story of my early years, which was literally true: Boswell, in the year 1745, was a fine boy, wore a white cockade, and prayed for King James, till one of his uncles (General Cochran) gave him a shilling on condition that he should pray for King George, which he accordingly did. So you see (says Boswell) that Whigs of all ages are made the same way.'' (Boswell.)

1483. Hume. David Hume (1711-1776), philosopher, historian, and, according to the judgment of his contemporaries, a sceptic.

317. 1720. Those called Methodists. The name was first applied contemptuously to Wesley and his friends, when, as students at Oxford, they met together for prayer and worship. By 1763 the sect had become numerous.

317. 1755. Buchanan. George Buchanan (1506-1582), a Scotch scholar, historian, and poet, practically all of whose work was written in Latin.

318. 1759. Johnston. Arthur Johnston (15871641), a Scotch physician and author of a large amount of Latin verse, including a metrical version of the Psalms and the complimentary epigrams to which Boswell alludes.

1769. Formosam resonare, etc. Thou teachest the forest to resound (with the name of) lovely Amaryllis.

322. 2233. One of the most luminous minds. Burke. The quotation is from Goldsmith's Retaliation; see p. 286.

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326. Warren Hastings (1732-1818) was the first governor-general of India, being appointed in 1773 under the newly passed Regulating Act, and holding office till 1785. He was impeached by the House of Commons in 1786; his trial before the Lords began in 1788, and dragged on till 1795, when he was acquitted. Burke was charged with the prosecution, and although the verdict went against him, the ultimate result was a victory for Burke; for as a result of the disclosures made at the trial came a new and more equitable governmental policy for India. 15. Their Dewan. Financial agent. 328. 4. Our long, long labors. Burke concluded his charge on 19 February, 1788;

the peroration did not follow until 16 June, 1794. Burke had been interested in Indian affairs for fifteen years before the trial began. 328. 53. Moral earthquake. The French Revolution. At the time he was speaking, the Reign of Terror was at its height. 329. 106. The Parliament of Paris. The chief court of the old French monarchy, abolished by the Revolution.


The French Revolution, during the period 1789-1792, found many supporters in England. Wordsworth and Coleridge, Charles James Fox, and liberal clergymen among whom Priestly and Price were the most prominent, openly gloried in the deeds that were being done in the name of Liberty. From these enthusiasts Burke was separated by a wide gulf. He did not comprehend the need for change in the French social and economic systems; he saw only the overthrow of an established civilization by hungry peasants and doctrinaire philosophers, and with impassioned earnestness he protested. The Reflections appeared in November, 1790.

330. 43. The civil social man. As distinguished from man in his aboriginal "state of nature," before the existence of society. 332. 233. Liceat perire poetis. Poets have the right to die.

236. Ardentem frigidus, etc. In cold blood he leaped into glowing Ætna. Empedocles, a Sicilian philosopher, is said to have died thus. A slipper, cast out in an eruption, was proof of his act.

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345. A Pindaric Ode. Gray is adopting the ode form of the Greek poet Pindar. Professor Phelps's note explains the structure of the poem succinctly: " As Hales pointed out, this Ode is really divided into 3 stanzas, with 41 lines in each stanza. Again, each stanza is divided into 3 parts -strophe, antistrophe, and epode-the turn, counter-turn, and after-song, Greek theatrical names. The three strophes, antistrophes, and epodes are similar in construction; hence the architecture of the poem is curiously symmetrical, though one could easily read it without any perception of this fact." (Athenæum Press Edition, p. 149.)

1. Awake, Æolian lyre. Gray is invoking the Eolian harp of Pindar.

3, 4. From Helicon's harmonious springs, etc. The different streams of the world's poetry all have their source in the sacred fountain of the Muses on Mount Helicon. 9. Ceres' golden reign. Fields of grain, in the care of Ceres, goddess of the harvest. 15. Enchanting shell. The lyre, to which the first three sections of the poem are addressed. Hermes, according to the legend, made the first lyre from a tortoise shell.

17. On Thracia's hills the Lord of War.
Mars was supposed to spend much of his
time in Thrace.

21. The feathered king. Jove's eagle.
25. Thee. The lyre.

27. Idalia. A town in Cyprus, sacred to
Venus, or Cytherea (1. 28).

346. 36. Their Queen. Venus.

47. Justify the ways of Jove. An obvious echo of Milton's "Justify the ways of God to men."

48. Has he given in vain the heavenly Muse? Has poetry been of no value to mankind?

53. Hyperion. The sun.

66. Delphi's steep. Delphi's mountain, location of the famous oracle.

68. Ilissus. A river of Attica.

69. Mæander. A river of Asia Minor.

77. The sad Nine. The Muses.

77-82. Poetry left Greece for Rome, and from Rome sought England.

84. Nature's Darling. Shakespeare.

95. Nor second he, that rode sublime. Milton.


105. Two coursers of ethereal Dryden's favorite verse form was the iambic pentameter couplet. 347. 107. His hands. Dryden's.

112. What daring spirit? Gray himself. 115. The Theban Eagle. Gray's own note reads: "Pindar compares himself to that bird, and his enemies to ravens that croak and clamour in vain below, while it pursues its flight, regardless of their noise."

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34. Plinlimmon. A Welsh mountain.
35. Arvon's shore. The shores of
Caernarvonshire, opposite to the isle of
Anglesey." (Gray.)

49. The whole band of murdered bards
joins with the survivor in prophesying the
future of Edward's race.

348. 54. Severn. A Welsh river. 56. An agonizing king. "Edward the Second, cruelly butchered in Berkley Castle." (Gray.)

59. Who o'er thy country hangs. “Triumphs of Edward the Third in France." (Gray.)

63. Mighty Victor. Edward III.

65. No pitying heart. "Death of that king, abandoned by his children, and even robbed in his last moments by his courtiers and his mistress." (Gray.)

67. The sable warrior. Edward III's son, the Black Prince, who died before his father.


70. The rising morn. Magnificence of Richard the Second's reign." (Gray.) 77-82. "Richard the Second . . . was starved to death." (Gray.)

83-86. The wars of the Roses, between the houses of York and Lancaster, 14551485.

87. Towers of Julius. According to an old legend, Julius Cæsar is supposed to have begun the Tower of London. 89. His Consort's faith. "Margaret of Anjou (wife of Henry VI), a woman of heroic spirit, who struggled hard to save her husband and her crown." (Gray.) His father. Henry V.

90. The meek usurper. "Henry the Sixth very near being canonized. The line of Lancaster had no right of inheritance to the crown." (Gray.) 91, 2. The rose of snow, etc. "The

white and red roses, devices of York and Lancaster." (Gray.) 348. 93. The bristled Boar. "The silver boar

was the badge of Richard the Third." (Gray.) In infant gore. A reference to Richard's murder of the two young princes. 99. Half of thy heart. "Eleanor of Castile (wife of Edward I), died a few years after the conquest of Wales." (Gray.) 109. Long-lost Arthur. "It was the common belief of the Welsh nation, that King Arthur was still alive in Fairy-Land, and should return again to reign over Britain." (Gray.)

110. Ye genuine Kings.

"Both Merlin

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One of Gray's notes, the Preface to the poem as it originally appeared, makes the situation clear: "In the Eleventh Century Sigurd, Earl of the Orkney Islands, went with a fleet of ships and a considerable body of troops into Ireland, to the assistance of Sictryg with the Silken Beard, who was then making war on his father-in-law, Brian, King of Dublin: the Earl and all his forces were cut to pieces, and Sictryg was in danger of a total defeat; but the enemy had a greater loss by the death of Brian, their King, who fell in action. On Christmas day, (the day of the battle), a Native of Caithness in Scotland saw at a distance a number of persons on horseback riding full speed towards a hill, and seeming to enter into it. Curiosity led him to follow them, till looking through an opening in the rocks he saw twelve gigantic figures resembling women: they were all employed about a loom; and as they wove, they sung the following dreadful Song; which when they had finished, they tore the web into twelve pieces, and (each taking her portion) galloped six to the North and as many to the South." The "Fatal Sisters" are here represented as the goddesses of fate, and as the choosers of the slain," who Valkyrie, or select heroes destined to die in battle, and conduct them to Valhalla. 32. The youthful king. Sictryg.

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350. 1. We set out. Gray was making "the grand tour" with his college friend, Horace Walpole. His impressions of Alpine scenery may interestingly be compared with those of Addison, who wrote from Geneva, December 6, 1701, Wortley Montagu: "I am just now arrived at Geneva by a very troublesome journey over the Alps, where I have been for some days together shivering among the eternal snows. My head is still giddy with mountains and precipices, and you cannot imagine how much I am pleased with the sight of a plain, that is as agreeable to me at present as a shore was about a year ago after one tempest at Genoa." 351. 19. St. Bruno. The founder of the Carthusian order of monks. He located the home of the order in the mountains near Grenoble, 1084 A. D.

21. Dodsley. Robert Dodsley (17031764), English bookseller and publisher, best known for his Select Collection of Old Plays, which he edited and published in 1744.

352. 3. Sack and silver. The poet laureate
was usually given a money stipend and
an annual allowance of wine. Gray had
been informally offered the post at the
time he wrote this letter to Mason.
24. Rowe. Nicholas Rowe (1674-1718),
a dramatist.
26. Settle.
28. Eusden.

Elkanah Settle (1648-1723).
Lawrence Eusden (1688-

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365. 52. Anson's tear. Cowper based his poem on an account which he found in Anson's Voyage Around the World.



366. The selection is from the first of Burns's three poetical epistles to Lapraik, a Scottish poet whose work, in part at least, Burns admired.


367. 66. Black Bonnet. "The elder who ' officiated' at the collecting-plate, which stood at the entrance, was accustomed to wear a black bonnet." (Centenary Burns, i. 331.)

102 f. Moodie, Smith, Peebles, Miller, and Russell, were all parish ministers of considerable local importance ог notoriety.

368. 226. Člinkumbell. The beadle, or bell


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THE COTTER'S SATURDAY NIGHT 370. The editors of the Centenary Burns note (i. 362): "The piece as a whole is formed on English models. It is the most artificial and the most imitative of Burns's works. 'These English songs,' he wrote long afterwards (1794) to Thomson, gravel me to death. I have not that command of the language that I have of my native tongue. In fact, I think my ideas are more barren in English than in Scottish.' As it is, The Cotter's Saturday Night is supposed to paint an essentially Scottish phase of life; but the Scottish element in the diction,-to say nothing of the Scottish cast of the effect -is comparatively slight throughout, and in many stanzas is altogether wanting." Robert Aiken, to whom the poem is addressed, was an old friend of the Burns family who brought the poet some fame by reading his verses in public.

372. 111-113. Dundee's, Martyr's, Elgin.

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The names of tunes in the Scottish Presbyterian hymnal. 373. 138. Hope springs exulting," etc. Slightly misquoted from Pope's Windsor Forest.

166. "An honest man," etc. Slightly misquoted from Pope's Essay on Max, iv. 297

182. Wallace. William Wallace (c. 12701305), the Scottish patriot.


375. 102. Kirk Alloway seemed in a bleeze. The editors of the Centenary Burns note (i. 433): "Alloway Kirk was originally

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