« PreviousContinue »
291. Philidor, a musician of note as well as a chess player, is the only one of these personages whose name is still remembered.
292. “Differs.” 293. A trappist monastery whose rules were extremely severe. 294. A branch of the Cistercian order reorganized by St. Bernard 295. "Gentleman.” 296. "Cocher de fiacre."
297. Cours-la-Reine, a fashionable promenade along the banks of the Seine, a favorite with Marie de Médicis, for whom it was named.
298. He was a musician.
308. i. e., that cannot be treated in some one of the serious forms of drama.
309. “Would not find."
314. Gil Blas, after divers more or less unhappy experiences as student, doctor's assistant, wit, etc., enters the service of the Archbishop of Grenada as his secretary.
316. Nephew of the archbishop who had obtained the position for Gil Blas.
317. The Athenians regarded the Boeotians as a stupid race lacking in refinement. The expression “Baotian ear” became proverbial to designate a person having no ear for rhythm or beauty in expression.
318. Cardinal Jiménès (1436-1517), archbishop of Toledo, Spain, and statesman, was past sixty when he entered upon his strenuous
319. “Se répétait."
321. Former teacher of Gil Blas, who had bequeathed him some valueless books.
322. Aristarchus, a famous Greek critic and grammarian who flourished about 150 B. C.
323. Marianne, having sprained her foot, has been compelled to take a cab to return to Mme. Dutour's, where she has a room.
324. “Cocher.” 325. “Stingy."
326. Oaths used chiefly by peasants, frequent in early French comedies.
327. “To compromise." 328. Cf. p. 175, note 326. 329. Cf. English proverb: "The better the day, the better the deed.” 330. “Direction marks."
331. He was separated from Julie and did not know whether he would ever see her again.
332. "Stretches of countryside.”
336. "La bécassine du lac de Genève n'est point l'oiseau qu'on appelle en France du même nom. Le chant plus vif et plus animé de la nôtre donne au lac, durant les nuits d'été, un air de vie et de fraicheur qui rend les rives encore plus charmantes.” (Note de Rousseau.)
337. "And such perfect trust, such sweet memories, and long companionship,” verses of Metastasio.
339. "On vendange fort tard dans le pays de Vaud parce que la principale récolte est en vins blancs et que la gelée leur est salutaire.” (Note de Rousseau.)
340. Greek surname of Bacchus.
343. During these Roman festivals, master and slaves often changed places.
344. “Scutching, hemp," i. e., breaking the fibres of hemp and separating them from the stalk ("chènevotte") in preparation for spinning.
346. In reality, the second. Rousseau has stated that he has not the text before him.
348. Many words that became obsolete during the XVII and XVIII Centuries came back into use when the interest in the Middle Ages was revived towards 1800.
349. La Fontaine wrote du Corbequ. 350. "Carelessly."
351. La Fontaine wrote se rapportait. Hence Rousseau's criticism was pointless.
352. The correct text is êtes.
353. “We are not interested in them.”. Rousseau excluded from early education general maxims, abstract advice, etc.
354. “Knoll," "bluff."
365. Isaac Newton (1646-1727), English scientist and discoverer of the laws of gravitation.
366. Goddess of shepherds and flocks.
369. German poet very popular in the XVIII Century, second only to Goethe (1747-1794).
370. Château some thirty miles from the port of St. Malo in Brittany where Chateaubriand passed part of his youth.
371. A nautical term meaning "the points of the compass.” Here the sense is "in all parts."
372. Lucile de Chateaubriand, later Mme. de Caud.
373. Cotton cloth from Siam with a design in wavy threads of different colors giving the impression of flames.
374. "Ratteen,” a sort of woolen stuff.
375. The years passed at Comburg in the company of a stern and taciturn father, a meek mother always sighing or praying and a sister as dreamy and melancholy as René himself, left an indelible impression on the boy's soul. Chateaubriand at Comburg was already suffering from the "mal de René."
376. The act of breaking the enchantment or spell. 377. “Mississippi."
378. Perhaps the Nelson River, flowing North from Lake Winnipeg, formerly Lake Bourbon, into Hudson Bay.
379. A floating, aquatic plant, sometimes called "tropical duckweed."
380. "Green wood-pecker.”
383. "Day fly,” an insect living in the water in its larval state and perishing a few hours after reaching the perfect winged form.
384. “Sweet gum tree," a variety of liquidambar. 385. A musical instrument.
386. (René is perhaps the most complete study in French literature of that type of melancholia known at the beginning of the XIX Century as “le mal du siècle," whose salient traits were morbid in
trospection, incurable ennui and the bitter pleasure that the victim derived from his own suffering, a disease of which various phases had already been seen in Werther, Ossian and Byron. The story is a vivid recollection, altered for literary purposes, of two years that Chateaubriand spent at Comburg with his sister Lucile in a sort of exaltation bordering on folly.) (Cf. Mémoires d'Outre-Tombe, lère partie, livre III.)
387. “Aurochs,” an extinct species of wild ox. 388. A Germanic tribe.
389. A Germanic god, regarded by the Western tribes as the author of their race. 390. “Mille Francos, mille Sarmatas semel occidimos; Mille, mille, mille, mille, mille Persas quærimus.”
(Note of Chateaubriand.) Probus, a Roman emperor (276-282), stopped the first German invasion on the banks of the Rhine.
391. Originally a hymn in praise of Apollo, refers also to the battle hymn and song of victory.
392. Song of the bards.
393. Chateaubriand quotes Tacitus as saying that the Germans placed their shields against their mouths in order to produce a deep sound like a subdued murmur.
394. War song.
395. Louis de Courcillon, abbé de Dangeau (1643-1723), academician and grammarian.
396. Richelet (1631-1698), grammarian, author of the first methodical dictionary of the French language and of numerous essays on grammar and versification.
397. Beauzée (1717-1789), a grammarian.
398. Symbols of the French court indicating the aristocratic character of the language.
399. i. e., for the forty members of the Académie Française.
400. Tristan l'Hermite (1601-1655), poet, whose tragedy Mariane enjoyed a great success in 1636.
401. "Confessing culprit."
402. Vaugelas (1585-1650), grammarian and one of the founders of the Academy. His Remarques sur la Langue française (1647) was long the authority in matters of language. Cf. Selection from “Remarques.”
403. Madame Charles, whom Lamartine celebrates as Elvire in Le Lac and Le Crucifix, died in December, 1817.
404. M. Lanson in his edition of the Premières Méditations contradicts Lamartine's own commentary and says the poem was written in 1818 and published with one or two others in an edition “à tirage limité” in 1819.
405. Le Lac de Bourget, near Aix-les-Bains, where Lamartine met Elvire in September, 1816. She was already consumptive and died fifteen months later.
406. Cato reread the dialogue of Plato on the immortality of the soul before he took his own life after his defeat at Thapsus (46 B. C.).
407. An Italian girl whom the poet knew at Naples in 1811. He gives an idealized account of their friendship in Les Confidences.
408. The poet's daughter Léopoldine was drowned with her husband, Charles Vacquerie, Sept. 4, 1843, near Villequier, only a few months after her marriage.
409. Les Châtiments, from which this poem and Ultima Verba are taken, express the poet's hatred for “Napoléon le Petit.” Louis Bonaparte, nephew of Napoléon, elected president of the Second Republic in 1848, succeeded in having himself re-elected for ten years in 1851 and became emperor under the name of Napoleon III on December 2, 1852. He had already (January, 1852) banished the members of the republican legislative assembly, among whom was Victor Hugo. Hugo never forgave Napoleon III for overthrowing the Second Republic, refused the amnesty offered by his government and remained in exile at Guernsey until the war of 1870 ended the Second Empire.
410. One of Napoleon's most famous marshals. He was executed by the Bourbons on Dec. 7, 1815.
411. Grouchy, ordered by Napoleon to pursue Blücher along the Meuse, maintained his position there, even when the cannonade of the battle of Waterloo reached his ears, while Blücher with the bulk of his troops marched to the aid of Wellington,
412. Triangular fur cap worn by the light cavalry of Napoleon's guard.
413. Town in East Prussia where Napoleon defeated the Germans and Russians, June 14, 1807.
414. The decisive battle of the Italian campaign in which the Austrians were defeated by Bonaparte and Massena, Jan. 14-15, 1797.
415. The crime of Napoleon I is the overthrow of the First Republic by the coup d'état of the 18th. Brumaire (Nov. 9, 1799), which established the Consulate with Napoleon as First Consul. Its expiation, as explained by Hugo in the conclusion of this poem, is the spectacle of the insignificant Napoleon III becoming emperor of France through the prestige attaching to his name.
416. Napoleon III.
417. Name given in the XIV Century to organized bandits, who in times of war were often employed as mercenaries.
418. A famous XVIII Century bandit.
419. Sulla, a Roman dictator (136-78 B. C.) whose proscriptions filled all Italy with terror.
422. Poetic license, enfant is regularly feminine when referring to a girl.
423. Enoch, eldest son of Cain.
424. Tubalcain, Jabel and Jubal were descendants of Cain in the sixth generation.