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igne Gallis interdicebatur” or “aqua et igni Gallos interdicebant.' Ban (i) properly means to proclaim, from the High Germ. bannan (see Brachet); then (ii) to outlaw or otherwise sentence by proclamation (as Gloucester proposes to have Edgar proclaimed in King Lear, II. i. 62); then (iii) generally to curse. For (i) see Robert of Gloucester, apud Richardson :
“ Or ys rounde table ys ban aboute he sende
That eche a Wytesonetyd to Carleon wende." Hence bandon = command, power; the early English lover says of his mistress Alysoun:
“I am in her bandoun." Hence abandon = to give up or resign to anyone's power. So bans or banns of marriage = proclamation, public announcement. For (ii) obs. the word bandit = one proclaimed, and banish &c. For (iii), Udal has “to ban and execrate himself,” Turberville "they banne the sunne, they curse the moone,” Shakspere “Fell banning hag”(i Hen. VI. V. iii. 42), “lunatic vans" opp. to “prayers” (K'irg Lear, II. iii. 19) &c. With the use here, which is of course a variety of (ii), comp. bans in tar. Lost, ix. 925.
I forbidden. What is the effect of for- here ?]
11. this, &c. There seems some carelessness of style here, such as often marks Byron's writings. This should be it, or line 12 should be omitted altogether. As the text stands, line 12 is pleonastic.
22. The indefinite or aoristic preterite might be better here, as in lines 19 and 25.
Seal is lineally connected with sign. The L in seal is from the dim, sigillun, It. sigillo.
25. dungeon is a various form of donjon, the Provençal dompnhon, which leads to the Lat, dominiorem (see Brachet). Diez however derives the word from Keltic dûn.
26. Probably wreck and frango (frag.) are of the same ultimate root. The w answers to the f.
27. [Explain of Gothic mould.]
“The dungeon of Bonnivard is airy and spacious, consisting of two aisles, almost like the crypt of a church.” (Murray's Handbook for Switzerland, &c.)
30. According to Murray's handbook, “it is lighted by several windows, through which the sun's light passes by reflection from the surface of the lake up to the roof, transmitting partly also the blue colour of the waters.”
166. 32. crevice and crevasse are cognate. The root is in the Lat. crepo (so arrive from ripa).
34. [What is the force of so?]
45. score, cognate with scar, scaur, shear, shore, sheer, means properly a notch or mark for keeping count.
53. Comp. Par. Lost, i. 61–64.
55. fetter'd. Fetters are strictly foot-shackles, Lat. pedicæ, foot-ers, which becomes fetters by assimilating vowel-sympathy. Hand-shackles, Lat. manicæ, were called strictly manacles; hand-cuffs is a sort of comic term; but both fetters and manacles are used in a quite general way; and so gives or gyves (as "with gyves upon his wrist” in Hood's Eugene Aram), which seems strictly to have denoted some foot-bond ; thus Tyndall apud Richardson: “He that hath his feete in fetters, gives or stockes must first be loosed or he can go, walke, or run to."
57. (What is meant here by the pure Elements of Earth ?]
63. So the voices of Arctic explorers. When Franklin, then Lieutenant, was heading an expedition from the Stations of the Hudson's Bay Company to the mouth of the Coppermine River to join Parry if possible, who had sailed from England in 1819, he with a few attendants
went on in advance of Dr Richardson and others. When the party was re-united, “the Doctor” says Franklin, “ particularly remarked the sepulchral tone of our voices, which he requested us to make more cheerful, if possible, not aware that his own partook of the same key." See Milner's Gallery of Geogr. i. 84.
187. 71. ought here has a past sense; and strictly, it is a preterite,= owed: but it is commonly used as a present; see note on went. Prothal. 1. 139; Durst, also strictly a pret., is used sometimes in a present, sometimes in a past sense.
[What would I ought to have done, mean?] 91. (What is meant by below here?)
95. [What is the force of had stood here? How would you explain this usage? Comp. the Latin usage, as in Hor. Od. II. xvii. 28.)
97. To pine must be connected with formed in l. 93.
101. forced it on. He speaks of his spirit as of a drooping soldier. 168. 107. Lake Leman. So Cæsar, Bell. Gall. i. 8. Elsewhere this lake is called Lausonius and Losannensis. Perhaps the root is that from which comes the Greek diurn, and also the English place-name Lymne, the Roman name of which (founded no doubt on some native name) was Portus Lemanis.
118. So in some of the Cornish mines the workers hear the sea beating about them.
121. sky = radically, something shading or covering, a cloud, &c. Probably sky, shade, oria are all from the same prime root.
122. the very rock hath rock'd. The subst, rock and the verb rock are of altogether different extraction. The root idea of the subst. is something broken, (rock and broken are in fact cognate); that of the verb movement. The word-play might better have been avoided. And so the play in the next line on the literal and the metaphorical--the physical and the moral--forces of shake and shock, which are really but various forms of one word.
131. [What is meant by the like here?] 169. 148. gnash. This word is no doubt an onomatop, expressing the sound made by striking or clashing the upper-jaw teeth against those of the lower jaw; here it seems to mean to break by violent bitings-by clashing the teeth fiercely and madly against the chain ; to crash with the teeth, to craunch furiously as one might say of a lion.
150. scorp, shape, ship, skif, okártw, Lat. cavo are all ultimately akin.
“What is good for a bootless bene?” (The A. S. form is ben, the Danish bon). Then = that which is prayed for, (so wish = object of one's wishes), and so = a favour, a deed of grace. 155. within my brain it wrought. See Christabel:
“ And to be wroth with one we love
Doth work like madness in the brain,"
“My dull brain
Was wrought with things forgotten—" Wrought would seem to be formed from wroked = worked (so briddes and birds, Kpadia and καρδία &c).
162. [How can the chain be called empty? Could you speak of an empty piece of string ?)
163. (What is the force of the possessive case here ?]
(What does held mean here?) 175. [What difference of meaning is there between he was withered and he wither'd ? 170. 189. those he left behind. There is much delicacy in this plural. By such a fanciful multiplying of the survivors the elder brother prevents self-intrusion; himself and his loneliness are, as it were, kept out of sight, and forgotten. There is a not unlike sensitiveness in the Scotch phrase "them that's awa" of some single lost one. The grief is softened by vagueness. So too the Greeks used the plural.
194. [What part of the sentence is eye?]
“What oestrum, what phrenetic mood
Makes you thus lavish of your blood ?" Harvey speaks of madmen as phreneticks.
171. 251. He is saved from that deadly torpor, described with such masterly power in the IXth stanza, by the song of a bird, just as the Ancient Mariner is delivered from a like stagnancy by the sight of the fishes disporting themselves. The sympathies of his nature are awakened once more. His heart softens. He lives again. 172. 294. Comp. Wordsworth's Daffodils :
"I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills." 173. 317. fell is a verb of “incomplete predication” here; so in "fell ill.”.
331. A thoroughly Wordsworthian line.
336. the blue Rhone. The Rhone does not become “blue” till it leaves the lake at Geneva. It enters it of the common colour of glacier streams. 340. Skimming. Comp. Virgil's use of rado, as Æn. v. 170:
“Ille inter navemque Gyæ Scopulosque Sonantes
Radit iter lævum interior—" 174. 351. Comp. Ancient Mar. 272—91. Wordsworth's Song at The Feast of Brougham Castle, 141—6.
378. Comp. Lovelace's famous lines “Stone walls do not a prison make,” &c.
I. 1795–1817. JOHN KEATS was born Oct. 29, 1795, in Moorfields, London. His father, employed in some large livery stables there, had married his master's daughter. Killed by a fall from a horse in 1804, he left his widow, who survived him six years, a moderate competency. John was sent to school at Enfield, when he learnt some little Latin and Classical Mythology, and was then apprenticed to a surgeon in Edmonton. In 1812, during his apprenticeship, a great æra was made in his life by the perusal of the Faerie Queene. Deep called unto deep; Keats felt that he too was a poet. In 1815 he came up to London “to walk the hospitals." At this time he made the acquaintance of Leigh Hunt and other notable men of the day. He began to form a dislike to his appointed profession. This arose partly from the extreme nervousness of his nature-he mistrusted his skill as an operator-partly no doubt from his growing devotion to his own proper art. 1817 he published a little volume of poems.
2. 1817–1821. This volume attracted little, or no general notice. But Keats had now made his election. He was fully conscious of the high requirements of the work he had chosen, and of his own imperfections. In 1818 was published Endymion. This poem, with all its many faults, gave unmistakeable signs of a genuine poetic power, and of aims and strivings of the loftiest order. It met with simply infamous treatment from the Quarterly Review, and Blackwood's Magazine, and other, minor serials. The author was told to “go back to his gallipots,” and that “a starved apothecary was better than a starved poet.” And this, in the face of an extremely touching preface, in which he had frankly acknowledged his many shortcomings. The story that these brutal reviews shortened Keat's life is happily without foundation. They were too coarse to wound him; he thoroughly despised them. He went on steadily toiling to satisfy somewhat better his own high ideal—in his own words, "fitting himself for verses fit to live.” And the progress he made was grand. In Hyperion a true master is apparent. But meanwhile, consumption, an hereditary disease, which in 1818 had laid low one of his brothers, began to undermine him. His delicate health was no doubt made worse by certain love troubles. He had become attached with all the vehemence of his nature to a lady at Hampstead. His passion was returned ; but his pecuniary position seemed at this time hopeless. What little money he had received from his mother was gone ; he had abandoned the medical profession ; his literary prospects were anything but bright. Moreover, he was much dissatisfied with his own poetic performances. All these things broke him down. As a last chance, it was arranged that he should winter in Italy. In September, 1820, he sailed for Naples, accompanied by his true friend Severn, a painter of rising fame. From Naples he went to Rome, only to die. There for some weeks he lay bed-ridden, more than “half in love with caseful Death,” not calling him
“Soft names in many a mused rhyme
To take into the air my quiet breath,” but calling him eagerly, often somewhat wildly. At last the call was answered. “Thank God, it has come,” he said, rejoicing at the near release from all his pains of body and mind. This was on the 27th of February, 1821. He was buried in the Protestant Cemetery; where some eighteen months afterwards Shelley too, his fervent elegist, was laid.
ω μέλεος ήβης σής, Ορέστα, και πότμου
θανάτου τ' αωρου. ζην έχρήν σ' ότ' ουκέτ' ει. Keats had not reached his poetic prime when he died. The work he has left behind him is marked by numerous signs of youthfulness. It is florid, luxuriant, often wild and wanton. He was only just beginning to learn the great duty of restraint, of pruning, of selection. Few geniuses have been more liberally endowed by nature; it is not perhaps too much to say that amongst the many great poets of this century Keats was pre-eminently, if not solely, the one of epical power; but he was only just learning how to manage his splendid property. To begin with, he was a very prodigal, a mere lavisher; he scattered his pearls and gems recklessly around him, and had no sense of any noble economy. His education was all along very imperfect. His school-training was inadequate. Leigh Hunt, his chief friend and counsellor when he came up to town, was not of sufficient culture and judgment to guide him. The critics, instead of trying to direct and promote his growth, simply mocked and abused him. Indeed England gave but a queer welcome to her brilliant son. What Keats above all things wanted was a wise education. Perhaps for no man that ever lived would the thorough study of “the Classics,” especially of Greek Literature, have been more beneficial. With Greek art, so far as he knew it, he deeply sympathised; see especially his Ode on a Grecian Urn, and the Sonnet on first looking into Chapman's Homer, but there is scarcely a poem in which this sympathy is not shown. There was in him the keenest sense and enjoyment of beauty; and this gave him a fellow-feeling with the great Greek masters. He recognised in them the most perfect representers of the beautiful, and this, so far as literature went, through translations. Happily he could know their plastic art better through the specimens treasured up in the British Museum, of which he was an earnest rapturous visitor. But it was only one side of Greek art that he saw. He saw its beauty; but
t see its purity, its self-restraint, its severe refinement. He did not learn from it that the fancy must not be merely indulged. A knowledge of Sophocles might have impressed this lesson upon hini. His one great delight in English Literature was a dangerous model for him. Spenser as a writer suffers from diffuseness, amd exuberance. No doubt years, had they been granted him, would have taught him repression and control. Certainly he was beginning to grow wiser in this respect. Hyperion is a hopeful advance upon Endymion. The flowers do not lie so tanglingly thick there; the pathway is not encumbered with them; one is not choked with sweet odours; one's eyes are not dazzled and blinded with a monstrous blaze of colours. Clearly, he was gathering a better understanding of his art. The Apollo, of whom he had sung so sweetly but so wildly, was revealing himself to him ; the Muses were becoming known in their serene, not showy beauty, draped gracefully, not in any garish colours.
But who would part with what he has left us, let the faults be what they may? No works of our literature are more truly poetical; none more completely carry one away into an ideal realm, where worldly noises come to the ear, if they reach it at all, subdued and dzadened ; none breathe out of them, and around them a more bewitching atmosphere. His song as one hears it is like that of the nightingale as he heard it:
“My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
One minute past and Lethe-wards had sunk.”.
Not without reason Shelley, apostrophizing Keats, calls the nightingale ‘thy spirit’ sister.