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NOTES TO THE GIAOUR.
Note 1, page 223, line 3. That tomb, which, gleaming o'er the cliff. A tomb above the rocks on the promontory, by some supposed the sepulchre of Themistocles.
Note 2, page 224, line 7.
Sultana of the nightingale. The attachment of the nightingale to the rose is a well-known Persian fable. If I mistake not, the “Bul. bul of a thousand tales” is one of his appellations.
Note 3, page 224, line 25.
Till the gay mariner's guitar. The guitar is the constant amusement of the Greek sailor by night: with a steady fair wind, and during a calm, it is accompanied always by the voice, and often by dancing.
Note 4, page 226, line 10.
Measure for Measure, Act III. 130. Sc. 2.
Note 5, page 226, line 18.
The first, last look by death reveal'd. I trust that few of my readers have ever had an opportunity of witnessing what is here attempted in description, but those who have will probably retain a painful remembrance of that singular beauty which pervades, with few exceptions, the features of the dead, a few hours, and but for a few hours, after “ the spirit is not there." It is to be remarked in cases of violent death by gun-shot wounds, the expression is always that of languor, whatever the natural energy of the sufferer's character ; but in death from a stab the countenance preserves its traits of feeling or ferocity, and the mind its bias, to the last.
Note 6, page 228, line 24. Slaves—nay, the bondsmen of a slave. Athens is the property of the Kislar Aga (the slave of the seraglio and guardian of the women,) who appoints the Waywode. A pandar and eunuch—these are not polite, yet true appellations--now governs the governor of Athens !
Note 7, page 230, line 11. 'Tis calmer than thy heart, goung Giaour. Infidel.
Note 8, page 231, line 18.
In echoes of the far tophaike. “ Tophaike," musquet.-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.
Note 9, page 232, line 14.
Swift as the hurld on high jerreed. Jerreed, or Djerrid, a blunted Turkish javelin, which is darted from horseback with great force and precision.
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.
Note 10, page 233, line 16.
He came, he went, like the Simoom. The blast of the desert, fatal to every thing living, and often alluded to in eastern poetry.
Note 11, page 235, line 22.
To bless the sacred « bread and salt.” To partake of food, to break bread and salt with your host, insures the safety of the guest : even though an enea my, his person from that moment is sacred.
Note 12, page 236, line 2. Since his turban was cleft by the infidel's sabre. I need hardly observe, that Charity and Hospitality are the first duties enjoined by Mahomet; and to say truth, very generally practised by his disciples. The first praise that can be bestowed on a chies, is a panegyric on his bounty ; the next, on his valour.
Note 13, page 236, line 6.
And silver-sheathed ataghan. The ataghan, a long dagger worn with” pistols in the belt, in a metal scabbard, generally of silver ; and, among the wealthier, gilt, or of gold.
Note 14, page 236, line 8.
An Emir by his garb of green. Green is the privileged colour of the prophet's numerous pretended descendants; with them, as here, faith (the family inheritance) is supposed to supersede the
necessity of good works : they are the worst of a very indifferent brood.
Note 15, page 236, line 9.
Ho! who art thou?-this low salam. Salam aleikoum! aleikoum salam! peace be with you; be with you peace the salutation reserved for the faithful :—to a Christian, “ Urlarula,” a good journey ; or saban hiresem, saban serula , good morn, good even; and sometimes, may your end be happy ;” are the usual salutes.
Note 16, page 237, line 16.
The insect-queen of eastern spring. The blue-winged butterfly of Kashmeer, the most rare and beautiful of the species.
Note 17, page 239, line 7.
Or live like Scorpion girt by fire. Alluding to the dubious suicide of the scorpion, so placed for experiment by gentle philosophers. Some maintain that the position of the sting, when turned towards the head, is merely a convulsive movement; but others have actually brought in the verdict “ Felo de se.” The scorpions are surely interested in a speedy decision of the question; as, if once fairly established as insect Catos, they will probably be allowed to live as long as they think proper, without being martyred for the sake of an hypothesis.
Note 18, page 239, line 22.
When Rhamasan's last sun was set. The cannon at sunset close the Rhamazan. note 8.