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309. 810. Nihil quod tetegit, etc. Slightly 317. 1755. Buchanan. George Buchanan
misquoted from Johnson's epitaph on (1506-1582), a Scotch scholar, historian, Goldsmith, in Westminster Abbey. “He and poet, practically all of whose work was touched nothing that he did not adorn." written in Latin. 817. The fragrant parterre. The fra- | 318. 1759. Johnston. Arthur Johnston (1587grant garden.
1641), a Scotch physician and author of a 828. Un étourdi. A fellow who talks large amount of Latin verse, including a explosively.
metrical version of the Psalms and the 883. Mrs. Piozzi. Hester Lynch Piozzi complimentary epigrams to which Bos(1741-1821). Mrs. Thrale, later Mrs. well alludes. Piozzi, was one of the few women whom
1769. Formosam resonare, etc. Thou Johnson knew intimately. Sir John Haw
teachest the forest to resound (with the kins (1719-1789). A close friend of John
name of) lovely Amaryllis. son's, and one of his executors. Boswell 322. 2233. One of the most luminous minds. was jealous of him.
Burke. The quotation is from Gold975. Churchill. Charles Churchill (1731 smith's Retaliation; see p. 286. 1764); a satirist, and an ardent supporter of John Wilkes and his faction.
BURKE 1208. Bayle's Dictionary. The Diclionaire Historique et Critique of Pierre
TO THE ELECTORS OF BRISTOL Bayle (1647-1706), a French philosopher and man of letters.
23. I was put in nomination after the 313. 1233. Prospects. “Views,” scenery.
poll was opened. The election lasted 1319. Canada is taken. Wolfe's victory |
for nearly a month.
32 over Montcalm, on the Plains of Abra
40. The candidate. Four persons were ham, had taken place in 1759.
candidates, the two Whigs, Burke and 314. 1369. His present Majesty. Johnson's
Cruger, being elected. The defeated pension came from George III, against
Tory, Brickdale, is the person here rewhom the Pretender, James Stuart, son
ferred to. Brickdale tried unsuccessfully of the exiled James II, had in 1745 or
to have Burke's election annulled by the ganized an armed rebellion of High
courts. landers and English Jacobites. Johnson
98. I stood on the hustings.“ Hustings” had been for a time a favorer of the
meant both the actual platform from Stuarts, a sort of sentimental Jacobite,
which nominations were made, and the though he had always been loyal to the
entire election proceedings. “On the
hustings" is not very different from the existing government. 1399. Victory at Culloden, etc. Charles
American idiom“ on the stump."
324 Stuart, son of the pretender James, was
184. The former part. Brickdale had his father's personal representative in
formerly urged the qualifications of the England and Scotland during the second
electors whom, after his defeat, he sought
to have disfranchised. Jacobite rebellion, “ The Forty-five,” which ended in 1746 at Culloden, where
237. My colleague. Cruger had told the the Duke of Cumberland overwhelmed
electors that he would at all times vote the Stuart forces.
in accordance with their desires and in1455. A negation of all principle. “He
structions. Burke's statement of his used to tell, with great humor, from my
position on this question makes this adrelation to him, the following little story
dress to the electors one of the significant
documents in his history. of my early years, which was literally true: ‘Boswell, in the year 1745, was a fine boy, wore a white cockade, and
THE IMPEACHMENT OF HASTINGS prayed for King James, till one of his | 326. Warren Hastings (1732-1818) was the uncles (General Cochran) gave him a first governor-general of India, being apshilling on condition that he should pray pointed in 1773 under the newly passed for King George, which he accordingly Regulating Act, and holding office till did. So you see (says Boswell) that 1785. He was impeached by the House of Whigs of all ages are made the same Commons in 1786; his trial before the way.'” (Boswell.)
Lords began in 1788, and dragged on till 1483. Hume. David Hume (1711-1776), 1795, when he was acquitted. Burke philosopher, historian, and, according to was charged with the prosecution, and the judgment of his contemporaries, a although the verdict went against him, sceptic.
the ultimate result was a victory for 317. 1720. Those called Methodists. The Burke; for as a result of the disclosures
name was first applied contemptuously made at the trial came a new and more to Wesley and his friends, when, as stu
equitable governmental policy for India. dents at Oxford, they met together for 15. Their Dewan. Financial agent. prayer and worship. By 1763 the sect 328. 4. Our long, long labors. Burke conhad become numerous.
cluded 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.
SONG FROM CYMBELINE 339. See Cymbeline, IV. ii. Shakespeare's
spelling of the proper name is Guiderius.
ODE WRITTEN . . . IN THE YEAR 1746 The year 1745 saw the death of many English soldiers in battle, both in the war of the Austrian Succession, and in Scotland, during the second Jacobite rising.
ODE TO EVENING 1. If aught of oaten stop. If anything
played upon the shepherd's oat, or pipe. 340. 21. Folding-star. The star which marked
the time for putting sheep into the fold.
REFLECTIONS ON THE REVOLUTION IN FRANCE 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 distin
guished from man in his aboriginal “ state
of nature," before the existence of society. 332. 233. Liceat perire poetis. Poets have
the right to die.
THE PASSIONS 341. 75. Oak-crowned sisters. Wood nymphs.
Chaste-eyed queen. Diana.
ON A DISTANT PROSPECT OF ETON COLLEGE 342. The poem is characteristic of Gray's.
early work; conventional, and full of
334. 311. In vain for him, etc. Gray seems to
have had the following three lines in
THE CASTLE OF INDOLENCE 336. 35. A coil the grasshopper did keep.
"To keep a coil” is an Elizabethan expression meaning to make a noise.
ELEGY, WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCHYARD 344. 57. Some village Hampden, etc. Profes
sor Phelps points out, in his Athenæum
93. For thee. For the poet, Gray himself. 346. 119. Fair Science frowned not. “The
line means that Knowledge looked favorably upon him at his birth (a quasiastrological figure). ” (Phelps.)
THE GRAVE 337. It was in part, at least, from this poem
that Bryant drew the inspiration for his
Thanatopsis. 338. 34. Night's foul bird. The owl.
347. 121-123. Gray is here giving us an idea
of his own poetical aspirations.
THE PROGRESS OF POESY 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 Æolian 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
17. On Thracia's hills the Lord of War.
Venus, or Cytherea (1. 28). 346. 36. Their Queen. Venus.
47. Justify the ways of Jove. An obvious
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.”
THE BARD The poem as first printed was prefaced by this “ ADVERTISEMENT. The following Ode is founded on a Tradition current in Wales, that EDWARD THE FIRST, when he completed the conquest of that country, ordered all the Bards, that fell into his hands, to be put to death.” When the poem opens, the last survivor of the Bards is speaking. 8. Cambria. Wales. 10. The first Edward. Edward I invaded Wales in 1282. 13, 14. Glo'ster, Mortimer. , Chieftains in Edward's army. 27. Fatal day. The day on which the bards were executed. 28. Hoel, Llewellyn; 29, 31. Cadwallo, Urien. Welsh poets. 33. Modred. Gray uses the name of the Arthurian knight; no such Welsh poet is known. 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.
white and red roses, devices of York and 349. 37. They, whom once. The Norsemen. Lancaster.” (Gray.)
41. The Earl. Probably Sigurd. 348. 93. The bristled Boar. “The silver boar 44. A King. Brian.
was the badge of Richard the Third." | 360. 56. Younger King. See note on l. 32. (Gray.) In infant gore. A reference to Richard's murder of the two young princes.
SKETCH OF HIS OWN CHARACTER 99. Half of thy heart. “ Eleanor of Cas The poem was found in one of Gray's tile (wife of Edward I), died a few years pocket-books, and was not printed till after the conquest of Wales." (Gray.)
after his death. 109. Long-lost Arthur. “It was the com
6. Charles Townshend. Chancellor of mon belief of the Welsh nation, that the Exchequer, 1767. Squire. Dr. King Arthur was still alive in Fairy-Land, Samuel Squire, Bishop of St. David's. and should return again to reign over Britain.” (Gray.)
LETTERS 110. Ye genuine Kings. “Both Merlin 360. 1. We set out. Gray was making " the and Taliessin had prophesied, that the grand tour” with his college friend, Welsh should regain their sovereignty Horace Walpole. His impressions of over this island; which seemed to be Alpine scenery may interestingly be comaccomplished in the House of Tudor." pared with those of Addison, who wrote (Gray.)
from Geneva, December 6, 7701, to 115. A form divine. Queen Elizabeth.
Wortley Montagu: “I am just now ar349. 127. Truth severe, by fairy Fiction rived at Geneva by a very troublesome
drest. The allusion is to the allegorical journey over the Alps, where I have been nature of Spenser's Faerie Queene.
for some days together shivering among 128. In buskined measures. Shake the eternal snows. My head is still giddy speare's tragedies.
with mountains and precipices, and you 131. A voice. Milton.
cannot imagine how much I am pleased 133. Distant warblings. “The succes with the sight of a plain, that is as agreesion of Poets after Milton's time." able to me at present as a shore was about (Gray.)
a year ago after one tempest at Genoa.” 135. Impious man. Edward I.
361. 19. St. Bruno. The founder of the Car
thusian order of monks. He located the THE FATAL SISTERS
home of the order in the mountains near
Grenoble, 1084 A. D. One of Gray's notes, the Preface to the
21. Dodsley. Robert Dodsley (1703poem as it originally appeared, makes
1764), English bookseller and publisher, the situation clear: “In the Eleventh
best known for his Select Colleclion of Old Century Sigurd, Earl of the Orkney
Plays, which he edited and published in Islands, went with a fleet of ships and a
1744. considerable body of troops into Ireland, 362 3. Sack and silver. The poet laureate to the assistance of Sictryg with the Silken
was usually given a money stipend and Beard, who was then making war on his
an annual allowance of wine. Gray had father-in-law, Brian, King of Dublin:
been informally offered the post at the the Earl and all his forces were cut to
time he wrote this letter to Mason. pieces, and Sictryg was in danger of a
24. Rowe. Nicholas Rowe (1674-1718), total defeat; but the enemy had a greater
a dramatist. loss by the death of Brian, their King,
26. Settle. Elkanah Settle (1648-1723). who fell in action. On Christmas day,
28. Eusden. Lawrence Eusden (1688(the day of the battle), a Native of Caith
1730). ness in Scotland saw at a distance a number of persons on horseback riding
MACPHERSON full speed towards a hill, and seeming to
CATH-LODA enter into it. Curiosity led him to follow them, till looking through an opening in
362. Macpherson's “ Ossianic” poems are imthe rocks he saw twelve gigantic figures
portant because of the influence they resembling women: they were all em
exerted in the development of romanticism ployed about a loom; and as they wove,
during the eighteenth century. Some they sung the following dreadful Song;
ancient Celtic fragments are probably which when they had finished, they tore
embedded in them, but for the form and the web into twelve pieces, and (each
tone Macpherson alone is responsible. taking her portion) galloped six to the
The poems were published between 1760 North and as many to the South.”
and 1765. See Dr. Johnson's letter, The “ Fatal Sisters” are here represented page 294. as the goddesses of fate, and as the Valkyrie, or “ choosers of the slain," who
FERGUSSON select heroes destined to die in battle, 363. Burns was so conscious of his literary and conduct them to Valhalla.
debt to Fergusson that he erected a tomb32. The youthful king. Sictryg.
stone over Fergusson's grave.
THE DAFT DAYS 363. Certain of the Christmas holidays were
so called. 364. 48. Tullochgorum. A famous Scotch
tune and song.
THE CASTAWAY 365. 52. Anson's tear. Cowper based his poem
on an account which he found in Anson's Voyage Around the World.
CHATTERTON In reading Chatterton's poetry, one should pay as little attention as possible to the antiquated spelling. Pronounce the words as in modern English; Chatterton seems to have composed his verse in modern English, before translating it into the pseudo-Middle English dialect in which it appeared.
LINES TO JOHN LAPRAIK 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.
BRISTOWE TRAGEDIE 366. 141. Goddelyke Henrie. Henry VI,
whom the Lancastrians held to have been
illegally succeeded by Edward IV. 368. 276. Bataunt. The word is a participle
meaning hastening; Chatterton misuses it here, and thinks of it as some sort of a musical instrument.
COWPER ON THE LOSS OF THE ROYAL GEORGE 360. The English man-of-war Royal George
capsized and sank off Spithead, August 29, 1782, after having been heeled over intentionally in order to expose a leaky section of her bottom. Admiral Kempenfelt was at the time under orders to go to the relief of Gibraltar.
THE TASK 362. 300. To hear that ye were fallen at last.
The Task was published in 1785, four years before the capture of the Bastille by the revolutionists.
THE HOLY FAIR 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 ff. Moodie, Smith, Peebles, Miller, and Russell, were all parish ministers of considerable local importance or no
toriety. 368. 226. Člinkumbell. The beadle, or bellman.
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 Cotier'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.
The names of tunes in the Scottish Pres
byterian hymnal. 373. 138. Hope “springs exulting,” etc.
Slightly misquoted from Pope's Windsor
TAM O'SHANTER 375. 102. Kirk Alloway seemed in a bleeze.
The editors of the Centenary Burns note (i. 433): “ Alloway Kirk was originally
MY MOTHER'S PICTURE 364. 97. An incorrect quotation from Garth's
Dispensary, iii. 226.
SONNET TO MRS. UNWIN Cowper's most intimate friends were the Reverend Morley Unwin, and his wife Mary. Cowper began to live with them as a boarder in 1765; following Mr. Unwin's death in 1767 Cowper and Mrs. Unwin continued together till her death in December, 1796.
TO MARY Written to Mrs. Mary Unwin.