Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/120

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86
[CANTO I.
CHILDE HAROLD’S PILGRIMAGE.

distance, is the Cork Convent, where St. Honorius dug his den, over which is his epitaph. From the hills, the sea adds to the beauty of the view.—[Note to First Edition.] Since the publication of this poem, I have been informed [by W. Scott, July 1, 1812] of the misapprehension of the term Nossa Señora de Pena. It was owing to the want of the tilde, or mark over the ñ, which alters the signification of the word: with it, Peña signifies a rock; without it, Pena has the sense I adopted. I do not think it necessary to alter the passage; as, though the common acceptation affixed to it is "Our Lady of the Rock," I may well assume the other sense from the severities practised there.—[Note to Second Edition.]


3.

Throughout this purple land, where Law secures not life.

Stanza xxi. line 9.

It is a well-known fact that in the year 1809, the assassinations in the streets of Lisbon and its vicinity were not confined by the Portuguese to their countrymen; but that Englishmen were daily butchered: and so far from redress being obtained, we were requested not to interfere if we perceived any compatriot defending himself against his allies. I was once stopped in the way to the theatre at eight o'clock in the evening, when the streets were not more empty than they generally are at that hour, opposite to an open shop, and in a carriage with a friend: had we not fortunately been armed, I have not the least doubt that we should have "adorned a tale" instead of telling one. The crime of assassination is not confined to Portugal; in Sicily and Malta we are knocked on the head at a handsome average nightly, and not a Sicilian or Maltese is ever punished!


4.

Behold the hall where chiefs were late convened!

Stanza xxiv. line 1.

The Convention of Cintra was signed in the palace of the Marchese Marialva. The late exploits of Lord Wellington have effaced the follies of Cintra. He has, indeed, done wonders; he has perhaps changed the character of a nation, reconciled rival superstitions, and baffled an enemy who never retreated before his predecessor.

["The armistice, the negotiations, the convention, the execution of its provisions, were commenced, conducted,