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IN A GONDOLA
617. 22. The Three. Enemies of the man,
unidentified; one seems to be closely re
lated to the woman: cf. l. 107. 618. 127. Giudecca. One of the canals of
Venice. 619. 186-192. The pictures seem to be imagi
nary, though the artists are well known. Haste-thee-Luke. A nickname for Luca Giordano, a Neapolitan.
A GRAMMARIAN'S FUNERAL As My Last Duchess illustrates the artistic taste of the Renaissance period, and The Bishop Orders His Tomb the love of luxury, so this poem exemplifies the devotion to pure learning which characterized some of the Renaissance scholars. Grammarian should be taken in a rather wide sense; it is equivalent to philologist, one who loves learning. Certain of the Grammarian's disciples are carrying the body of their master for burial in one of the Italian hill towns. 26. 'Ware the beholders! An adjuration to the pall-bearers to make a good appearance before spectators: There people watching us-put your best foot forward!
Apollo was god of song and poetry, and patron of manly beauty; the implication is, therefore, that the Grammarian was not only a handsome man in his youth, but that, if he had chosen, he might have written lyric poetry: 45, 46. The world Bent on escaping. The masterpieces of classical literature which had for centuries lain mouldering in libraries.
50. Gowned. Put on the scholar's gown. 621. 129-131. Hoti, Oun, De.
ticles. Though to some these might have seemed subjects so minute as to be ridiculous, the Grammarian had said the last word on them.
620. 33, 34.
liness, inconsistency, pride, hypocrisy, ignorance of itself, love of art, of luxury,
and of good Latin." 621. 5. Gandolf. A fellow churchman of the
Bishop's, and a rival in matters ecclesias-
of the professional preacher.
roof, borne upon nine columns. 622. 29. Peach-blossom marble. Particularly
fine marble of a pinkish hue.
Running around the sarcophagus, beneath the slab of basalt. 58. Tripod, thyrsus. Both Pagan symbols: the former connected with the worship of Apollo, whose priestess at Delphi sat upon a tripod when receiving the divine inspiration; the latter the vinewreathed staff carried by the followers of Bacchus. 74. Brown. I. e., with age. 77. Tully's. Cicero's, whose Latin style is the model of good use and elegance. 79. Ulpian. A Roman jurist of the second century A. D., whose Latin has not the classic perfection of Cicero's. His. Gandolf's. 82. God made and eaten. I. e., in the sacrament of the mass. 87. Crook. Symbol of the Bishop's au
thority as shepherd of his people. 623. 95. Saint Praxed at his sermon on the
mount. The dying man's mind confuses
THE BISHOP ORDERS HIS TOMB
“ The Bishop embodies certain tendencies of the Renaissance. No one who studies that marvellous period, whether in its history, its literature, or its plastic art, can fail to be profoundly struck by the way in which Paganism and Christianity, philosophic scepticism and gross superstition, the antique and the modern, thusiastic love of the beautiful and vile immorality, were all mingled together without much, if any, consciousness of incompatibility or inconsistency.” (W. J. Alexander: Introduction to the Poetry of Robert Browning.) Ruskin says, in Modern Painters: “I know no other piece of modern English, prose or poetry, in which there is so much told, as in these lines, of the Renaissance spirit-its world
626. 241. Scudi. Plural of scudo, a coin
worth about a dollar; scudo means shield, and the coin bore on the obverse the
shield of the prince who issued it. 627. 263. Leonard. Leonardo da Vinci.
623. 108. Visor. A mask, like those worn by
ancient actors. Term. A bust terminat-
An animal which figures
Written in the autumn following Mrs.
ANDREA DEL SARTO
ABT VOGLER “ This poem was suggested by a portrait Abt (Abbé) Vogler (1749-1814), a Gerof Andrea and his wife, painted by him- man Catholic priest, and famous musiself and now hanging in the Pitti Gallery cian. He invented new form of the at Florence. Andrea is a painter who organ, called the orchestrion, upon which ranks high among the contemporaries of he gave performances all over Europe, Raphael and Michel Angelo, especially his improvisations being especially reby reason of his technical execution, markable. which was so perfect as to win for him 3. Solomon. According to Mohammedan the surname of “The Faultless Painter.' legends, Solomon, thanks to a ring on Early in life he enjoyed the favor of
which was engraved the name of God Francis I, at whose court he for a time
(1. 7), had control over the demons and resided; but having received a large sum genii of the underworld. of money from Francis for the purchase 628. 23. Rome's dome. The dome of St. of works of art in Italy, he, under the Peter's. influence of his wife, a beautiful but
“ The first-formed,” the unprincipled woman, embezzled it, ap- original, the model; the figures of those plying it to the erection of a house for
not yet born, to be born in a happier himself at Florence.” (W. J. Alexander: future, are lured by the power of the Introduction to the Poetry of Robert music to appear before their time. Browning.)
43-52. A comparison of the process of 15. Fiesole. A hill town near Florence.
composition three arts-painting, 26. Serpentining. Suggesting a certain poetry, music: in the first two the process sinuous, undulant type of beauty.
is subject to certain well understood laws; 35-40. The key-note of the poem.
with music, on the other hand, the result 624. 57. Cartoon. A preliminary sketch, or
appears to be produced by no tangible working design.
means, to be in subjection to no natural 82. Low-pulsed forthright craftsman's law. Hence the composer, in the freehand. Mechanically facile and accurate, dom of his creation, approaches God, who but uninspired.
creates by merely willing. 93. Morello.
A spur of the Apennines, 629. 91. Common chord. The chord produced north of Florence.
by the combination of any note with its 105. The Urbinate. Raphael, born in
third and fifth. Urbino, died 1520.
93. A ninth. An interval exceeding an 106. Vasari. Italian painter and writer octave by a tone (major), or by a semiof the 16th century, author of Lives of tone (minor). the Painters; he includes a life of Andrea, 96. C Major. The “natural” scale, to which Browning is indebted for ma- having neither sharps nor flats. The last terial in this poem.
six lines of the poem give symbolic ex626. 130. Agnolo. Michel Angelo.
pression to the idea that from his supernal 146. The Paris lords. Courtiers of visions the musician descends gradually Francis I, who would have reproached to the realities of every day. Andrea for his embezzlement. 150. Fontainebleau. A royal palace near Paris. 153. Humane. Francis a great
Ben Ezra was a distinguished Jewish patron of arts and letters, of the hu- scholar of the twelfth century, noted espemanities.
cially for his commentaries on the Old Tes155. Mouth's good mark that made the tament. The ideas expressed in the poem smile. Apparently means no more than were to some extent suggested to the poet smiling mouth.
by Ben Ezra's writings, but Browning de626. 210. Cue-owls. So-called from the sound velops them in his own way, and makes of their call; the Italian form is chiu.
the poem one of the best expressions of 220. Cousin. Lucrezia's gallant, who his philosophy of life. whistles for her to come to him.
17. Low kinds. The lower animals, living
RABBI BEN EZRA
but for the day, untroubled by doubt,
uninspired by hope. 629. 24. The awkward inversions are charac
teristic of Browning: does care irk, etc.?
does doubt fret, etc.? 630. 48. Its lone way. In Ben Ezra's commen
tary on the Psalms we find this sentence:
87. Leave the fire. If the fire leave. 631. 124, 125. Supply whom after I and they.
151. Potter's wheel. Cf. Isaiah, lxiv: 8: “We are the clay, and Thou our potter; and we are all the work of Thy hand.' The metaphor is effectively used by Fitzgerald ' in his translation of the Rubaiyát of Omar Khayyam. See page 643, 1. 325.ff.
EPILOGUE TO ASOLANDO 632. This is Browning's final cheery word on
the problem of life and death; it is the
his Rubáiyát (a plural form; the singular rubáiy means quatrain) in the twelfth century. Fitzgerald describes them, and his own verses, as follows:
The original Rubaiyát are independent Stanzas, consisting each of four Lines of equal, though varied, Prosody; sometimes all rhyming, but oftener (as here imitated) the third line a blank, sometimes as in the Greek Alcaic, where the penultimate line seems to lift and suspend the Wave that falls over in the last. As usual with such kind of Oriental Verse, the Rubaiyát follow one another according to Alphabetic Rhyme-a strange succession of Grave and Gay. Those here selected are strung into something of an Eclogue, with perhaps a less than equal proportion of the “ Drink and makemerry,” which (genuine or not) occurs over frequently in the Original. Either way, the Result is sad enough: saddest perhaps when most ostentatiously merry: more apt to move Sorrow than Anger toward the old Tent-maker, who, after vainiy endeavoring to unshackle his Steps from Destiny, and to catch some authentic Glimpse of Tomorrow, fell back upon Today (which has outlasted so many Tomorrows!) as the only Ground he got to stand upon, however momentarily slipping from under his Feet."
Fitzgerald's method was not so much one of literal translation as of combination and paraphrase; the first edition of 1859 contained 75 quatrains, the second 110, the third and fourth (here reprinted) 101. Most of the changes were in the nature of improvement; it is generally felt, however, that the first stanza was finest in its original form, where it ran as follows: “ Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of
Night Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to
ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING
SONNETS FROM THE PORTUGUESE
This title serves to veil the fact that the sonnets are addressed to Robert Browning, and express with perfect sincerity Mrs. Browning's feeling about the love and marriage of the two poets. For an account of their origin see the Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Smith, Elder & Co., 1898), vol. I., pp. 316-17.
THE CRY OF THE CHILDREN
633. Occasioned by an official report on the
employment of children in mines and factories. Mrs. Browning said of the rhythm: “The first stanza came into my head in a hurricane, and I was obliged to make the other stanzas like it.” Letters, I. 156.
RUBÁIYAT OF OMAR KHAYYAM 636. Omar Khayyam (Omar the Tent-Maker),
are based upon Fitzgerald's own.
transient light on the horizon about an
a Persian astronomer and poet, wrote
637. 17. Iram. An ancient Persian garden,
now sunk in the sands of Arabia.
44. Mahmud. The Sultan. 638. 99. Muezzin. The crier who calls the
faithful to prayer in Mohammedan
countries. 639. 122. Saturn. Lord of the seventh heaven.
127. Me and Thee. Some dividual existence or personality distinct from the whole.
131. Signs. Signs of the zodiac. 641. 225. My computations.
Omar was profound mathematician, and helped to reform the calendar.
237. Allah-breathing. Allah-worshipping. 642. 271. Lantern. Fitzgerald's note
pressed in the chapter here printed are Carlyle's own. At the same time he comments, in his own person, on the ideas propounded by the German, forestalling criticism, and occasionally explaining oracular utterances. The chapter on Natural Supernaturalism is really
the culmination of the whole work. 644. 6. The Clothes-Philosophy. The idea that all appearances
are merely the clothing of the Divine Idea which alone
has ultimate reality. 645. 34. Miracles. Carlyle objected to
science because it tended, so he thought,
merely reviewing Teufelsdröckh's book. 646. 153. Fortunatus. The hero of Thomas
Dekker's play Old Fortunatus, well known in popular legend, possessed such a hat. 100. Wahngasse of Weissnichtwo. The city in which Teufelsdröckh is supposed to live Carlyle calls “ Weissnichtwo”; “I know not where.” Wahngasse; dreamlane.
168. Groschen. Small German coin. 647. 264. Thaumaturgy. The art of perform
See Boswell's Life of Johnson, p. 308. 648. 397. Cimmerian Night. See note
describes a Magic-Lanthorn still used in India; the cylindrical Interior being painted with various Figures, and so lightly poised and ventilated as to revolve round the lighted Candle within." 277. The ball, etc. The reference is to the game of polo, of ancient Persian origin.
302. Dervish. A Mohammedan devotee. 643. 326. Ramazán. The Mohammedan
month of fasting, when no food is eaten
L'Allegro, 1. 10.
PAST AND PRESENT:
649. 60. Ezekiel. There is no reference to a
potter's wheel in Ezekiel. Carlyle has
644. This, the most influential of Carlyle's
works, appeared as a serial in Fraser's Magazine during the years 1833-4. It is an attack upon the materialistic selfsatisfaction of England; an attempt to show that the only ultimate reality is spirit, is God, and that everything material is merely clothing for the Divine Idea, visible manifestation of God. In form the book is somewhat grotesque. It purports to be a long review of a work on clothing, the magnum opus of Diogenes Teufelsdröckh, a German philos
Carlyle speaks through the mouth of Teufelsdröckh; the views ex
REWARD 661. 4. Brahmins, Antinomians, Spinning
Dervishes. Brahmins are members of the highest social order, or caste, among the Hindoos; Antinomians, a sect of heretics originating in Germany about 1535; Spinning Dervishes, Mohammedan fanatics whose chief claim to sanctity is based
on their ability to whirl round like human
tops. 661. 37. Shovel-hat. A particular sort of hat
worn by the English clergy. Talfourd-
mathematicians. 652. 106. Mayfair. A fashionable residence
district in London.
imposed high duties on grains
Downing street. 663. 261. Manes. The souls of the dead, con
sidered as gods of the lower world.
on L'Allegro, l. 150. 664. 313. Lath-and-plaster hats. A method of
advertising then practiced in London.
CROMWELL'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES: THE
BATTLE OF DUNBAR 656. The battle was fought September 3 (13),
1650. Cromwell's army was suffering from
known for his History of His Own Time. 666. 79. Monk. George Monk, first Duke of
Albermarle (1608-1670), Parliamentary
The lowest grade of commissioned officer in the British cavalry; the grade is now extinct.
RUSKIN MODERN PAINTERS: SUNRISE AND SUNSET From chapter 4, “ Of Truth of Clouds," (Part II, section 3, of entire work). Ruskin is arguing that Turner has been more true in his representations of nature than others with whom he is compared; the omitted portions, indicated in the text, are repetitions of the question
“Has Claude given this?” 667. 14. Atlantis. À mythical city lost be
neath the waves of the Atlantic. 668. 126. Who has best delivered this His
message? Ruskin's answer is, of course, Turner.
THE TWO BOYHOODS Part IX, chapter 9; the entire chapter is reprinted. 5. Giorgione. Italian painter (14771510), born at Castel-franco.