Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/520

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476
[CANTO IV.
CHILDE HAROLD’S PILGRIMAGE.

the walls. The Doge was one of the first to rush into the city. Then was completed, said the Venetians, the prophecy of the Erythræan sibyl:—"A gathering together of the powerful shall be made amidst the waves of the Adriatic, under a blind leader; they shall beset the goat—they shall profane Byzantium—they shall blacken her buildings—her spoils shall be dispersed; a new goat shall bleat until they have measured out and run over fifty-four feet nine inches and a half."[1] Dandolo died on the first day of June, 1205, having reigned thirteen years six months and five days, and was buried in the church of St. Sophia, at Constantinople. Strangely enough it must sound, that the name of the rebel apothecary who received the Doge's sword, and annihilated the ancient government, in 1796-7, was Dandolo.


6.

But is not Doria's menace come to pass?
Are they not bridled?

Stanza xiii. lines 3 and 4.

After the loss of the battle of Pola, and the taking of Chioza on the 16th of August, 1379, by the united armament of the Genoese and Francesco da Carrara, Signor of Padua, the Venetians were reduced to the utmost despair. An embassy was sent to the conquerors with a blank sheet of paper, praying them to prescribe what terms they pleased, and leave to Venice only her independence. The Prince of Padua was inclined to listen to these proposals; but the Genoese, who, after the victory at Pola, had shouted, "To Venice! to Venice! and long live St. George!" determined to annihilate their rival; and Peter Doria, their commander-in-chief, returned this answer to the suppliants: "On God's faith, gentlemen of Venice, ye shall have no peace from the Signor of Padua, nor from our commune of Genoa, until we have first put a rein upon those unbridled horses of yours, that are upon the porch of your evangelist St. Mark. When we have bridled them we shall keep you quiet. And this is the pleasure of us and of our commune. As for these, my brothers of Genoa, that you have brought with you to give up to us, I

  1. "Fiet potentium in aquis Adriaticis congregatio, cæco præduce, Hircum ambigent, Byzantium prophanabunt,ædificia denigrabunt, spolia dispergentur; Hircus novus balabit, usque dum liv. pedes, & ix. pollices, & semis, præmensurati discurrant."—Chronicon, ibid., xii. 329.