From Byron's Don Juan:

The Senhor Don Alfonso stood confused;
Antonia bustled round the ransack'd room,
And, turning up her nose, with looks abused
Her master and his myrmidons, of whom
Not one, except the attorney, was amused;
He, like Achates, faithful to the tomb,
So there were quarrels
, cared not for the cause,
Knowing they must be settled by the laws.

What is the meaning of the words in bold? I read about Achates, and probably he was faithful to some tomb in the Aeneid, but what is the meaning of so there were quarrels? I cannot understand it..

1 Answer 1


I think "like Achates, faithful to the tomb" means "like Achates, who was [Aeneas's] faithful friend forever". Just as Achates would join any fight Aeneas was in, so too the attorney would join any legal fight his clients were in. A paraphrase of the sentence might be: "Only the attorney was amused, because no matter what the dispute was about, it would be settled legally, and he would faithfully support his client's interests, just like Achates would fight for Aeneas no matter what."

  • Ah! So "to the tomb" means "to the last". Hence, "he was faithful to the last as long as there were any quarrels to take part in". Nice. Commented Jan 1, 2018 at 17:00

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