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NOTES TO CANTO X.
Note 1. Stanza xii.
Would scarcely join again the reformadoes.” “Reforiners” or rather “Reformed.” The Baron Bradwardine, in Waverley, is authority for the word.
Note 2. Stanza xv.
Than can be hid by altering his shirt.
Note 3. Stanza xvil.
The Dee, the Don, Balgounie's Brig's black wail, The brig of Don, near the “ auld toun” of Aberdeen, with its one arch and its black deep salmon stream below, is in my memory as yesterday. I still remember, though perhaps I may misquote, the awful proverb which made me pause to cross it, and yet lean over it with a childish delight, being an only son, at least by the mother's side. The saying, as recollected by me, was this, but I have never heard or seen it since I was nine years of age :
Brig of Balgoupie, black's your wa';
Note 4. Stanza xxxiv.
Thy praise, hypocrisy, A metaphor taken from the “forty-horse power” of a steam-engine. That inad wag, the Reverend S. S., sitting by a brother clergyman at dinner, observed afterwards that his dull neighbour had a twelve-parson power of conversation.
Note 5. Stanza xxxvi.
To strip the Saxons of their hydes, like tanners. “Hyde.”—I believe a byde of land to be a legitimate word, and as such subject to the tax of a quibble.
Note 6. Stanza xlix.
Was given to her favourite, and now bore his. The Empress went to the Crimea, accompanied by the Emperor Joseph, in the year-I forget which.
Note 7. Stanza lviii. Which gave her dukes the graceless name of “Biron.” In the Empress Anne's time, Biron her favourite assumed the name and arms of the “Birons” of France, which fainilies are yet extant with that of Engiand. There
are still the daughters of Courland of that name; one of them I remember seeing in England in the blessed year of the Allies—the Duchess of S.- to whom the English Duchess of St presented me as a name-sake.
Note 8. Stanza lxii.
Eleven thousand maidenheads of bone,
The greatest number flesh hath ever known. St. Ursula and her eleven thousand virgins were still extant in 1816, and may be so yet as niuch as ever.
Note 9. Stanza lxxxi.
And proved it—'t was no matter what he said :
Too subtle for the airiest human head;
who can believe it? I would shatter
Universe universal egotism,
World (be it what you will) that that 's no schism.
But which I doubt extremely—thou sole prism
(Not the most “ dainty Ariel"), and perplexes Our soarings with another sort of question :
And that which, after all, my spirit vexes
Without confusion of the sorts and sexes,
To the old text, still better ! lest it should
As several people think such hazards rude :
Space to dispute what no one ever could
Discussion, which is neither here nor there :
that what is, is—then this I call
I don't know what the reason is—the air,
(But that I never doubted, nor the devil); The next, the Virgin's mystical virginity;
The third, the usual origin of evil ;
On so incontrovertible a level,
And look'd down over Attica ; or he
Or seen Tombuctoo, or hath taken tea
Or sat amidst the bricks of Nineveh,
Sunset the time, the place the same declivity
Where London streets ferment in full activity ;
Except the creak of wheels, which on their pivot he
Walk'd on behind his carriage, o'er the summit,
Gave way to 't, since he could not overcome it.
Here peals the people's voice, nor can entomb it
X. “ Here are chaste wives, pure lives; here people pay
But what they please ; and if that things be dear, 'T is only that they love to throw away
Their cash, to show how much they have a-year. Here laws are all inviolate ; none lay
Traps for the traveller; every highway 's clear : Here--" he was interrupted by a knife,
In ambush laid, who had perceived him loiter
Had seized the lucky hour to reconnoitre, In which the heedless gentleman who gads
Upon the road, unless he prove a fighter, May find himself, within that isle of riches, Exposed to lose his life as well as breeches.
XII. Juan, who did not understand a word
Of English, save their shibboleth, “God damn!' And even that he had so rarely heard,
He sometimes thought ’t was only their “salain," Or “God be with you!”—and 't is not absurd
To think so; for, half English as I am
And, being somewhat choleric and sudden,
And fired it into one assailant's puddingWho fell, as rolls an ox o'er in his pasture,
And roar'd out, as he writhed his native in, Unto his nearest follower or henchman, - Oh Jack! I'm floor'd by that 'ere bloody Frenchman!”
And Juan's suite, late scatter'd at a distance,
As if his veins would pour out his existence,