Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

2. The common law rose to the dignity of a science.-Common law means unwritten law, or written only in the decisions of judges. It is called common law, perhaps, because originally dependent on common custom. It came only by degrees to be a complete system, a

science.

3. Imperial jurisprudence means the Roman law, which was collected in a book by emperors, especially Justinian.

4. Cinque Ports.-This is a French term which means five ports. The five ports-Dover, Hastings, Hythe, Romney, and Sandwich-all on the south coast of England, furnished a large proportion of men and ships for the defence of this country. These ports were considered as the keys of the kingdom, and were under the control of a baron who was honoured with the title of Warden.

LESSON XIII.

1. Oh! once wofully reddened.-This has reference to the massacre of Glencoe, in the reign of William III.

2. Flora Macdonald, a name hallowed of yore.-Flora Macdonald materially assisted in the escape of Charles Edward Stuart, in 1746, for which act her name is respected by Scots.

LESSON XIV.

1. The finger of dawn.-A poetic figure of speech to represent daybreak. The ancients pictured a goddess, Aurora, who daily opened the gates of morn to let a flood of light into the world.

LESSON XV.

1. And quailed the herd.-That is, terrified the herd. The verb "quail" is usually intransitive. Here it is made transitive. 2. Gore-oozing, dripping with blood.

LESSON XVI.

1. The lift.-The word "lift," as used by the Scotch, means the arch of the sky over head.

LESSON XVIII.

1. In the meekness of the morning.-Softness, mildness, are meant here by the term meekness. It is used figuratively.

2. Loose snows in the van.-Running among the loose snows ahead, or in front, as though to test whether there were any pitfalls.

LESSON XX.

1. A bold pilot, &c.—Understand, "He would be a bold pilot, I trow (I am sure), who would follow us," &c.

2. And "Fear'st thou?" &c.-The words within inverted commas give the conversation of the lovers.

LESSON XXI.

1. To quench it,--that is, the intelligence mentioned above. Time had quenched her eyes in death, and then would have made a "tyrannic claim" to quench their memory. But the art of painting

"baffled" this claim.

2. Wretch even then.-Wretched even in his youth, when his hopes would ordinarily have been brightest.

3. Pastoral house.-The rectory of Berkhampstead, where the poet's father was the incumbent.

4. Confectionary plum.-Confectionary is here used as an adjective. 5. Cataracts and breaks.-The word "breaks" here refers to an interruption in the regular flow of a stream-a blockage of stones, &c. This mother's love is regular, and is compared with a smooth-flowing river that has no interruption. Some people have their kindness and love disturbed by exhibitions of temper; but his mother was of too serene a nature to show such signs of weakness.

6. Humour.-Temper. See Note 5.

LESSON XXII.

1. Could time, his flight reversed, &c.-Understand "his flight being reversed," &c.

2. Thy vesture's tissued flowers.-The design of flowers woven in the tissue or threads of her dress.

3. Into bonds again.-It would be a poor return to wish her back and imprisoned once more in the flesh.

4. Albion's coast.-Albion is an ancient name of England. It pro

bably means high, and was given because of the cliffs on the south coast. Albyn, applied to the Scottish Highlands, is apparently the same word, and both seem connected with "Alp," or Alps. The old notion that the Romans gave the name because of the white cliffs is totally wrong. Britain was called Albion before the Romans dreamed of coming here.

5. But me.-Object to drive, in the next line but one. Note the repetition of the object.

6. This mimic show of thee.-Show is here a noun, meaning a representation, or that which shows. Mimic expresses the vivid

ness of the likeness.

LESSON XXIII.

1. The decent church, &c.-The word "decent' clean, and prim. "Topped," crowned the summit.

here means neat,

2. When toil, remitting.-Remit means properly to send back, and so to give up. Here it is intransitive. Understand "in the intervals of toil."

3. The hollow-sounding bittern.—With a booming voice, as from some hollow instrument like a drum.

4. The swain responsive as the milkmaid sung.-The swain is a countryman, a rustic. Responsive, answering, singing snatches in answer to the milkmaid, or joining in the chorus.

5. She only left.-The construction here is what is called suspended or absolute. There is no principal verb to "she," but we may understand a participle thus: she only being left.

LESSON XXIV.

1. He chid their wanderings.-Chid is the past tense of chide, to reprove. In the Bible we find the form chode. Gen. xxxi. 36.

2. Learned to glow.—That is, his heart expanded and his face beamed with pleasure.

3. Ere charity began.-He pitied them first, and relieved them afterwards.

4. The service passed means when the service was finished. The construction is absolute. See Note 5 to Lesson XXIII.

LESSON XXV.

1. Occasions drew me early to this city.-Occasions here reasons. Drew me impelled me to come. The person supposed to be speaking

is a Hebrew who chanced to be present at Gaza when the incidents related took place. After the catastrophe he rushes to Manoah, the father of Samson, to whom and his assembled friends he relates what he saw. Judges xvi. 23.

2. The morning trumpets festival proclaimed.-Subject trumpets, predicate proclaimed, object festival. Through each high street, adverbial enlargement qualifying proclaimed.

3. Absent at that spectacle.-The more usual form of expression is absent from.

4. Of sort.─Of rank, class.

5. Obscurely stood.-So as to be partly hidden from view.

6. Clamoring their god with praise.-" Clamor" is here used as a transitive verb, and the object follows without a preposition. In prose we should expect "clamoring at or around their god," &c.

LESSON XXVI.

1. Vale of Chamouni.-This is a beautiful valley in the southwest of France, Mont Blanc with its glaciers being on one side, and the range called the Aiguilles Rouges (Red Needles) on the other. It is about sixteen miles long and one mile broad. There is a popular error that Mont Blanc is a Swiss mountain. In reality, one half of it is in Italy and the other half in France.

2. The Arvé and Arveiron.-The Arvé, more usually called Arve, is a river which has its rise in the Col-de-Balme; it joins the river Rhone about a mile below the town of Geneva. The Arveiron is a short stream which rises in the glacier of Bois, and joins the Arve at about the middle of the latter.

3. Thyself earth's rosy star.—This is an allusion to the rosy hue of the snow in the mountain districts at sunset, which is one of the most exquisite colours ever produced either by nature or art.

4. And you, ye five wild torrents.-These are five swift streams that descend rapidly from the heights around the valley.

5. Here let the billows stiffen and have rest!—A glacier is really a moving river of ice. But the motion is so very slow as to be quite imperceptible. Hence it looks like a great torrent suddenly frozen and stiff.

6. And in their perilous fall shall thunder, "God."-It is common for travellers, when among the ice and snow mountains, to hear the loud noise made by the fall of many tons of snow into the valleys, though they may not see them. The noise is very much like that of thunder. Coleridge gives the voice of these avalanches a meaning, and says they proclaim the name of God.

LESSON XXVII.

1. Lochiel.-Chief of the warlike clan of the Camerons. His loyalty to the Pretender Charles Edward was so strong that he fought for the Prince although he was conscious from the first that the cause was utterly hopeless.

2. Clans of Culloden.-Culloden is a wide heath in Scotland, three miles east of Inverness, on which the Duke of Cumberland gained a decisive victory over the Highlanders in their attempt to restore the Stuarts to the throne, in 1746. The Scots lost 2,500 men, while the English lost only about 200.

3. Proud Cumberland.--William, Duke of Cumberland, who defeated Charles the Pretender. See Note 2.

4. Glenullin.-A title of Lochiel.

5. Albyn, or Albin, is the Gaelic name given to the Highlands, and means hill-country. See Lesson XXII., Note 4.

LESSON XXIX.

1. Renouncing the gore-crimson'd spear.-That is, throwing aside the spear which had been stained crimson with gore or blood; in other words, he has given up the calling of a warrior.

2. May no marble bestow the splendour of woe.--' -The meaning is that he wished that no monument might be raised to his memory.

LESSON XXX.

1. Coliseum.-A large building or circus, at Rome, capable of holding 80,000 spectators of the fights with wild beasts. Sometimes, men fought with one another, from choice, to win public applause. Criminals were, in many cases, sent into the ring to fight with wild beasts, and were set free in the event of their conquering in the struggle.

2. Speak to ye.-"Speak to you" would be more usual and perhaps more correct.

3. Such were the bloody Circus' genial laws.-This is a satire, the word "genial" being intended to mean "cruel."

4. Listed spot.-A piece of ground enclosed for combat, as used in former times for tournaments.

5. Where his rude hut by the Danube lay.-The gladiator here imagined is a prisoner, whose home was on the banks of the Danube; and, as appears in the next line but one, he was a native of Dacia, then a Roman Province, in Hungary.

6. See Note 5.

7. Glut your ire.-That is, feed or satisfy your rage.

« AnteriorContinua »