14

This is a very subtle piece of wordplay, so it makes for an excellent question. The meaning, believe it or not, is God, and your answer "damn". This is analysed in An Ingenious Jest in Byron's "Don Juan", a paper by John I. Ades in Papers on Language and Literature 24(4) (1988), p. 446. The Hebrew sacred name for God is YHVH, usually vocalized as "Yahweh" ...


5

I don't know how it originated, but the idea that cuckolds go to heaven is apparently an old English proverb/saying, not one that was invented by Byron. A Dictionary of Sexual Language and Imagery in Shakespearean and Stuart Literature, by Gordon Williams, gives a number of similar examples in the entry for "Cuckolds are Christians": Tilley has 'In rain ...


5

It may refer to the Common Law Tort of ‘criminal conversation’, where ‘conversation’ means ‘sexual intercourse’. Criminal proceedings could be brought by a spouse, usually the husband, against a third party seeking compensation for breach of fidelity. Wikipedia states: Suits for criminal conversation reached their height in late 18th and early 19th-...


4

This is too long for a comment, but I'd like to add to @Rand al'Thor's excellent answer a bit more about the use of "govern" in talking about grammar. Quoting from the online OED's (paywalled) definition of "govern": 13. transitive. Grammar. Of a word, esp. a verb or a preposition: to have (a word or a case) depending on it; to require (a certain case or ...


4

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 ...


4

'T is pleasant purchasing our fellow-creatures; And all are to be sold, ... Based on these lines, I think Byron is talking here about the variety of things that can be used to metaphorically "buy" people. I guess it is a matter of opinion whether the image of humanity as all being metaphorical slaves of some sort is particularly accurate, and it could be ...


4

For a discussion of what Byron is saying here, see R.P. Lessenich's Romantic Disillusionism and the Sceptical Tradition: It is in the service of such debauched monarchs and politicians, spoiled by luxury, located far from and virtually not even interested in the scene of action, that the soldiers risk their lives and vainly die in pursuit of immortality ...


4

The key to this passage is “like” meaning “to the same extent as”, but I will gloss the whole thing. When I give a numbered sense of a word, it’s from the Oxford English Dictionary. With the most regulated charms of feature, “Regulate” means “make regular or even in form” (sense 3), so this means that Dudù's looks were well-proportioned and symmetrical. ...


4

These lines are somewhat obscure, but maybe they can be understood in the context of the immediately following stanza: But soon they grow again and leave their nest.     ‘Oh!’ saith the Psalmist, ‘that I had a dove’s Pinions to flee away, and be at rest!’     And who that recollects young years and loves,— Though hoary now, and with a withering ...


4

My OED (1st edition) gives under sense 14 for "bottom" the following: Physical resources, 'staying power', power of endurance; said esp. of pugilists, wrestlers, race-horses, etc. It gives five citations of this sense, dating from 1774 through 1852, including one to this passage in DJ. Others: "Though the Savages held out and, as the phrase is, had ...


3

I don't agree that this is litotes, since there is no positive to be wrung from the negative constructions. Let's parse the passage a bit more deeply. First stanza summation: The grenadiers had landed ashore and immediately pushed their way past the defenses in an orderly fashion. Second stanza summation: The actions of the grenadiers were admirable, even ...


3

I think it means that Catherine's barouche, which bore her crest on her trip to the Crimea in 1787, was now Don Juan's and bore his crest. (The classical name of the Crimea was Tauris, which was visited by Iphigenia in a play by Euripides under somewhat different circumstances from Catherine's visit. To call Catherine a new Iphigenia seems absurd to me, ...


3

‘Catherine’ is empress Catherine II ‘the Great’ of Russia, and in the poem she has taken Don Juan as her lover and protégé, as she did Grigory Potemkin, Grigory Orlov, and others in reality. ‘It’ refers to the boudoir, but by metonymy ‘boudoir’ refers to Catherine herself. This is clear from ‘at threescore’: the empress was 61 years old in 1790. So Byron is ...


3

There’s a double meaning in this line. The stanza, considered on its own, describes various forms of persuasive argument, together with some satirical commentary. For example, line 4 (“For reason thinks all reasoning out of season”) seems paradoxical: how can ‘reason’ be opposed to ‘reasoning’? Byron is referring us to a particular philosophical sense of ...


3

The "needle" is a magnetic needle, and the "pole" one of the earth's poles. This is the image that immediately springs to mind upon hearing the words "needle" and "pole" together, and it fits with the metaphor. The writer is telling her lover that her heart gravitates towards him just as the compass needle towards the pole. The pole "stands" still, and the ...


2

A "settled wind" means the same as a steady wind: one whose direction has settled. (For some reason, the best sources I can find for this are translation sites.) This is as opposed to shifting winds - those whose direction keeps changing, making them hard to predict and to steer by. The important thing about wind is usually its direction, not its strength, ...


2

It's been a while since I've read Don Juan, but from what I can remember - Byron isn't talking about Julia apologizing here. This stanza happens in between Alfonso first showing up in Julia's bedroom under the impression that Juan is there, which he is. Alfonso finds nothing and leaves. The stanza in question happens after Antonia suggests putting Juan in ...


2

I think it's a reference to money lenders, who were (or were perceived to be) Jewish. Heirs of rich people would borrow money to support their life styles, money to be paid back (under the terms of a post-obit bond) when they inherited the family fortune. (Or so it works out in novels by Georgette Hayer, Bulwer-Lytton, Disraeli, etc.) The OED has a bunch ...


2

The verb "beg" goes with "I", and "security" is personified. Byron first quotes Campbell's poem "Gertrude of Wyoming", and then comments on the phrase "transport and security" from it. The words "entwined" and "transport" are both interpreted sexually - the poem suggests the idea of lovers, their bodies entwined, being transported by their uncontrollable ...


2

The last paragraph of the question understands the line correctly: according to the rumour, more of Julia’s uncles and aunts were illegitimate (‘heirs at love’) than legitimate (‘heirs at law’). The OED says: heir-at-law n. the person who succeeds another by right of blood in the enjoyment of his property This phrase was popularized by the comedy The ...


2

In plain English the line is saying "The boy's mite was like the widow's mite". This is most likely a reference to the story from the Christian Bible, specifically in the book of Mark, Chapter 12, Verse 41-44. He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow also ...


2

In that stanza he's talking about buying people, and that line doesn't make sense unless it's describing the totality of the person being purchased—lock, stock, and barrel, so to speak. So I'm pretty sure "from crowns to kicks" means something on the order of "from head to toe."


2

The quote is suggesting the woman died young but had a good life. such as had not staid long with her destiny Staid in Byron's day was used as the past participle of the verb to stay. Today we would use the word stayed. With this in mind the quote's meaning is easier to understand, particularly if it is split into two parts. Such as had not stayed ...


2

‘Nice’ has three senses in the OED that could work in this line: 3.b. Fastidious, fussy, difficult to please 4.a. Faint-hearted, timorous, cowardly, unmanly. Obsolete 10.b. Of the eye, ear, etc.: able to distinguish or discriminate to a high degree; sensitive, acute The last of these corresponds well with the “strange quick jar upon the ear” ...


2

Palisado is an obsolete form of palisade, which as a verb means: To equip with a palisade ... a palisade (noun) in this context being: A wall of wooden stakes, used as a defensive barrier. As a verb, "palisade" is usually transitive (has an object), but in context its meaning as an intransitive verb is clear: the object is implied without being ...


2

The sense of ‘still’ that works in this line is: still, adv. 3.a. With reference to action or condition: Without change, interruption, or cessation; continually, constantly; on every occasion, invariably; always. Obsolete exc. poetic. Oxford English Dictionory So Byron means that the monsoon wind quietly blows “her steady breath” without ...


2

The only way that I can make sense of this line is if Byron messed it up for the sake of the rhythm and the rhyme. If you imagine starting out with the phrase: the first never knows the cause of the second and then turning it around so that ‘cause’ is at the end of the line where it can rhyme with ‘applause’, then ‘the second’ gets replaced by ‘which’ ...


1

This is an instance of litotes. (Using "understatement to emphasize a point by stating a negative to further affirm a positive, often incorporating double negatives for effect", says the mother of all knowledge.) "By no means boded" = "did not augur well" = "looked bad". Because a third were killed, it seemed that victory was not not certain [here I'm doing ...


1

I'm tempted to say this belongs on ELU, but ... Almost. It's not clear what the husband thinks, but I'd say it's implied that he's blissfully ignorant. A more prosaic rendering would be “it's only [her] husband who doesn't know that she is a wh-re”.


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