The Works of Lord Byron Volume III Part 37

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[Compare _Lalla Rookh_ ("Chandos Cla.s.sics," p. 373)--"The flashing of their swords' rich marquetry."]

[164] {187} It is to be observed, that every allusion to any thing or personage in the Old Testament, such as the Ark, or Cain, is equally the privilege of Mussulman and Jew: indeed, the former profess to be much better acquainted with the lives, true and fabulous, of the patriarchs, than is warranted by our own sacred writ; and not content with Adam, they have a biography of Pre-Adamites. Solomon is the monarch of all necromancy, and Moses a prophet inferior only to Christ and Mahomet.

Zuleika is the Persian name of Potiphar's wife; and her amour with Joseph const.i.tutes one of the finest poems in their language. It is, therefore, no violation of costume to put the names of Cain, or Noah, into the mouth of a Moslem.

[_a propos_ of this note "for the ignorant," Byron writes to Murray (November 13, 1813), "Do you suppose that no one but the Galileans are acquainted with Adam, and Eve, and Cain, and Noah?--_Zuleika_ is the Persian _poetical name_ for Potiphar's wife;" and, again, November 14, "I don't care one lump of sugar for my _poetry;_ but for my _costume_, and my correctness on these points ... I will combat l.u.s.tily."--_Letters_, 1898, ii. 282, 283.]

[165] {188} [Karajic (Vuk Stefanovic, born 1787), secretary to Kara George, published _Narodne Srpske Pjesme_, at Vienna, 1814, 1815. See, too, _Languages and Literature of the Slavic Nations_, by Talvi, New York, 1850, pp. 366-382; _Volkslieder der Serben_, von Talvi, Leipzig, 1835, ii. 245, etc., and _Chants Populaires des Servics_, Recueillis par Wuk Stephanowitsch, et Traduits d'apres Talvy, par Madame elise Voart, Paris, 1834, ii. 183, etc.]

[166] Paswan Oglou, the rebel of Widdin; who, for the last years of his life, set the whole power of the Porte at defiance.

[Pa.s.swan Oglou (1758-1807) [Pa.s.sewend's, or the Watchman's son, according to Hobhouse] was born and died at Widdin. He first came into notice in 1788, in alliance with certain disbanded Turkish levies, named _Krdschalies_. "It was their pride to ride along on stately horses, with trappings of gold and silver, and bearing costly arms. In their train were female slaves, Giuvendi, in male attire, who not only served to amuse them in their hours of ease with singing and dancing, but also followed them to battle (as Kaled followed Lara, see _Lara_, Canto II.

stanza xv., etc.), for the purpose of holding their horses when they fought." On one occasion he is reported to have addressed these "rebel hordes" much in the spirit of the "Corsair," "The booty be yours, and mine the glory." "After having for some time suffered a Pacha to be a.s.sociated with him, he at length expelled his superior, and demanded 'the three horse-tails' for himself." In 1798 the Porte despatched another army, but Pa.s.swan was completely victorious, and "at length the Porte resolved to make peace, and actually sent him the 'three horse-tails'" (i.e. made him commander-in-chief of the Janissaries at Widdin). (See _History of Servia_, by Leopold von Ranke, Bohn, 1853, pp.

68-71. See, too, _Voyage dans l'Empire Othoman_, par G. A. Olivier, an.

9 (1801), i. 108-125; and Madame Voart's "Abrege de l'histoire du royaume de Servie," prefixed to _Chants Populaires, etc._, Paris, 1834.)]


_And how that death made known to me_ _Hath made me what thou now shalt see._--[MS.]

[167] {189} "Horse-tail,"--the standard of a Pacha.

[gl] _With venom blacker than his soul_.--[MS.]

[168] Giaffir, Pacha of Argyro Castro, or Scutari, I am not sure which, was actually taken off by the Albanian Ali, in the manner described in the text. Ali Pacha, while I was in the country, married the daughter of his victim, some years after the event had taken place at a bath in Sophia or Adrianople. The poison was mixed in the cup of coffee, which is presented before the sherbet by the bath keeper, after dressing.

[gm] {190} _Nor, if his sullen spirit could,_ _Can I forgive a parent's blood_.--[MS.]

[gn] {191} _Yet I must be all truth to thee_.--[MS.]

[go] {192} _To Haroun's care in idlesse left,_ _In spirit bound, of fame bereft_.--[MS. erased.]

[gp] {193} _That slave who saw my spirit pining_ _Beneath Inaction's heavy yoke,_ _Compa.s.sionate his charge resigning_.--[MS.]


_Oh could my tongue to thee impart_ _That liberation of my heart_.--[MS. erased.]

[169] I must here shelter myself with the Psalmist--is it not David that makes the "Earth reel to and fro like a Drunkard"? If the Globe can be thus lively on seeing its Creator, a liberated captive can hardly feel less on a first view of his work.--[Note, MS. erased.]

[170] The Turkish notions of almost all islands are confined to the Archipelago, the sea alluded to.

[171] {194} Lambro Canzani, a Greek, famous for his efforts, in 1789-90, for the independence of his country. Abandoned by the Russians, he became a pirate, and the Archipelago was the scene of his enterprises.

He is said to be still alive at Petersburgh. He and Riga are the two most celebrated of the Greek revolutionists.

[For Lambros Katzones (Hobhouse, _Travels in Albania_, ii. 5, calls him Canziani), see Finlay's _Greece under Othoman ... Domination,_ 1856, pp.

330-334. Finlay dwells on his piracies rather than his patriotism.]

[172] {195} "Rayahs,"--all who pay the capitation tax, called the "Haratch."

["This tax was levied on the whole male unbelieving population," except children under ten, old men, Christian and Jewish priests.--Finlay, _Greece under Ottoman ... Domination_, 1856, p. 26. See, too, the _Qur'an_, cap. ix., "The Declaration of Immunity."]

[173] This first of voyages is one of the few with which the Mussulmans profess much acquaintance.

[174] The wandering life of the Arabs, Tartars, and Turkomans, will be found well detailed in any book of Eastern travels. That it possesses a charm peculiar to itself, cannot be denied. A young French renegado confessed to Chateaubriand, that he never found himself alone, galloping in the desert, without a sensation approaching to rapture which was indescribable.

[175] [Inns, caravanserais. From _saray_, a palace or inn.]

[176] [The remaining seventy lines of stanza xx. were not included in the original MS., but were sent to the publisher in successive instalments while the poem was pa.s.sing through the press.]

[177] [In the first draft of a supplementary fragment, line 883 ran thus--

/ _a fancied_ _"and tints tomorrow with_ { } _ray_."

_an airy_ /

A note was appended--

"Mr. M^y.^ Choose which of the 2 epithets 'fancied' or 'airy' may be best--or if neither will do--tell me and I will dream another--



The epithet ("prophetic") which stands in the text was inserted in a revise dated December 3, 1813. Two other versions were also sent, that Gifford might select that which was "best, or rather _not worst_"--

/ _gilds_ "_And_ { } _the hope of morning with its ray_."

_tints_ /

"_And gilds to-morrow's hope with heavenly ray_."

(_Letters_, 1898, ii. 282.)

On the same date, December 3rd, two additional lines were affixed to the quatrain (lines 886-889)--

_"Soft as the Mecca Muezzin's strains invite_ _Him who hath journeyed far to join the rite."_

And in a later revise, as "a last alteration"--

_"Blest as the call which from Medina's dome_ _Invites devotion to her Prophet's tomb."_

An erased version of this "last alteration" ran thus--

_"Blest as the Muezzin's strain from Mecca's dome_ _Which welcomes Faith to view her Prophet's tomb_."{A}

{A} [It is probable that Byron, who did not trouble himself to distinguish between "lie" and "lay," and who, as the MS. of _English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers_ (see line 732, _Poetical Works_, 1898, i.

355) reveals, p.r.o.nounced "pet.i.t maitre" _anglice_ in four syllables, regarded "dome" (_vide supra_) as a true and exact rhyme to "tomb," but, with his wonted compliance, was persuaded to make yet another alteration.] ]

[gr] {196} Of lines 886-889, two, if not three, variants were sent to the publisher--

(1) _Dear as the Melody of better days_ _That steals the trembling tear of speechless praise_-- _Sweet as his native song to Exile's ears_ _Shall sound each tone thy long-loved voice endears_.-- [December 2, 1813.]

(2) /_Dear_ /_better_ { } _as the melody of_ { } _days_ _Soft_/ _youthful_/ / _a silent_ _That steals_ { } _tear of speechless praise_-- _the trembling_/

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The Works of Lord Byron Volume III Part 37 summary

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