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NOTES ON "THE VIEW."
This little Poem was written in the Autumn of the year 1818, during a tour through Switzerland and Italy.
P. 112, 1. 9.
Light as the young chamois.
The chamois is an animal remarkable for its activity in scouring along the craggy rocks, and in leaping over the precipices. It is a species of antelope, though Linnæus has classed it in the goat genus under the name of rupi capra or mountain goat.-Coxe's Travels in Switzerland, Vol. I., Letter 29, pages 342-44.
P. 113, 1. 15.
But, gloomy Calvin, how couldst thou prevail?
Calvin was born at Noyon, in Picardy, in the year 1509. He first studied the Civil Law: afterwards, retiring to Basil, he turned his thoughts to the study of Divinity, and published there his Institutions, which he dedicated to Francis I. He was made Professor of Divinity at Geneva, A. D. 1536. The year following he prevailed with the people to subscribe a confession of faith, and to renounce the Pope's authority; but, carrying the matter a little farther than was agreeable to the Government, he was obliged to retire from Geneva, upon which he set up a French church at Strasburgh, in Germany, and was himself the first minister of it. But the town of Geneva inviting him to return, he came back thither in September 1541. The first thing he did was to settle a form of discipline and consistorial jurisdiction, and he gained himself many enemies by his inflexible severity in maintaining the
rights and jurisdiction of his consistory. He was a person of great parts, indefatigable industry, and considerable learning. He died in the fifty-sixth year of his age, in 1594.-Boughton's Dictionary, article Calvinists.
P. 114, 1. 8.
What, though her thoughts were somewhat too refined ?
I allude to the works of Madame de Staël; but more particularly to the third volume of her "Allemagne," and to her philosophical works. Her last (Considérations sur les Principaux Evènemens de la Révolution Française) has no theoretical refinements whatever. Her language is sober and correct, though sufficiently energetic; and her ideas, if I may so express myself, quite English.
P. 115, 1. 6.
Had man no other duties.
"I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees its adversary; but slinks out of the race, where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat."-MILTON's Speech for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing.
P. 118, 1. 6.
What are its natives now, but imps from hell
Peopling a paradise?
This is the character an Italian gave me of his own countrymen. All are not such, however. Italy, trampled upon and degraded, still may possess many men of virtue and spirit; but, in the present state of things, what can they do towards ameliorating the condition of their countrymen? "The victim by turns, of selfish and sanguinary factions, of petty tyrants, and of foreign invaders, Italy has fallen, like a star from its place in heaven; she has seen her harvests trodden down by the horses of the stranger, and the blood of her children wasted in quarrels not their own: Conquering or conquered, in the indignant language of her poet, still alike a slave; a long retribution for the tyranny of Rome."-HALLAM's View of the State of Europe during the Middle Ages, vol. i. page 255.
P. 120, 1. 8, 9.
Be what ye were in ages past again,
The efforts which the Milanese made to resist the tyranny of Frederic Barbarossa, may rival the noblest exertions of the Spartans or the Athenians. See Sismondi, Histoire des Républiques Italiennes du Moyen Age, tome ii. passim.
P. 120, 1. 10.
And he who 'mid dark cypresses and urns:
UGO FOSCOLO. See his "Carme de' Sepolcri," and his "Lettere di Jacopo Ortis."
P. 125, 1. 2.
On Chimborazo's height to breathe keen air.
"Thus, on the shore of the South Sea, after the long rains of winter, when the transparency of the air has suddenly increased, we see Chimborazo appear like a cloud at the horizon; it detaches itself from the neighbouring summits, and towers over the whole chain of the Andes, like that majestic dome produced by the genius of Michael Angelo over the antique monuments which surround the Capitol.”— HUMBOLDT'S Researches, vol. i.
P. 125, 1. 31.
Far, far exceeds the mind's imagining.
P. 126, 1. 7.
Shall to the perfect beauty be allied.
"The first fair, and pulchritude itself."-ST. CYRIL.
P. 126, 1. 13.
That sun of suns, unmingled and alone.
P. 127, 1. 3.
A sun-beam is her spear-she strikes, and see.
Chatterton has given this all-piercing weapon to Power.
Αἶ τ ̓ ἐγὼ κατεύχομαι
Ἐπισσύτους βίου τύχας ὀνησίμους
Φαιδρὸν ἁλίου σέλας.
WHAT are Helvetia's woods, Ausonia's bowers,
That yet from violent hands the arm of justice shields.
And thou, Charissa, with thy smiling train
"Whatever is, is best ;" the blasts from hell
Of truth, that in our happy isle has well
No! in the gospel-light her sons rejoice :
That worship must be pure, where reason points the choice.
What mighty minds have here conjointly raised
An altar to their Maker; there up-piled