Chapter 60 – Conclusion

interregnum and annals

An interregnum is the time in between reigns.  Mention of an interregnum recalls book 1 of Livy’s History of Rome, when Livy describes a vacant throne after Romulus disappears.  Trollope writes of the interregnum in the garden when the squire and Hopkins have their argument about Hopkins’ taking manure without permission.  Trollope is being humorous here by comparing the king of Rome to the king of the garden.  Later in the sentence, Trollope refers to the event as terrible in the annals of Allington.  Annals, we know, are the records of events (see the commentary for Chapter 34 and Chapter 35).  Trollope’s use of “annals,” a common name for historical writing in Rome, gives the sentence a sense of Romanness.  [KD 2006]

Sources:  Livy, History of Rome 1.17.

Chapter 59 – John Eames Becomes a Man

his place was among the gods

John Eames thinks this about himself when he finds out that Amelia and Cradell are engaged.  Trollope is using this to express how happy John is that he is not engaged to Amelia, even though John is still sad about Lily’s rejection.  [KD 2006]


run away from the country as if London in May were more pleasant than the woods and fields

Trollope says that John leaves Guestwick as if London were better than the country.  Of course, we know that John is leaving because he is embarrassed about Lily’s rejection.  John would rather leave the pastoral setting than be reminded of Lily’s rejection.  See the commentary for Chapter 14.  [KD 2006]


a mutton meal is not envied by the gods

Trollope says eating mutton in a hotel lobby is not a banquet to be envied by gods.  This occurs when Johnny Eames is eating dinner after moving from Burton Crescent and after being refused by Lily Dale.  This is where we last see John in this novel.  Horace uses the phrase cenae deum (“banquets of the gods”) in Satire 2.6 to describe a highly desired but simple meal in the country.  [KD 2006]

Sources:  Horace, Satire 2.6.65.

Chapter 58 – The Fate of the Small House

You know the story of the boy who wouldn’t cry though the wolf was gnawing him underneath his frock

The earl refers to this story when he is telling Johnny not to let Lily Dale’s rejection affect him outwardly.  This allusion refers to a story in Plutarch’s Life of Lycurgus.  In the story, a little boy would rather be gnawed than admit he had stolen a fox.  The earl is saying that John must be like that boy and hide his pain.  [KD 2006]

Sources:  Plutarch, Life of Lycurgus 18.1.


By Jove

An exclamation identical to “By God,” as Jove was the chief Roman god, Jupiter.  Trollope uses “by Jove” when describing what another man in John Eames’ position might say after being rejected by someone like Lily Dale.  [KD 2006]


He would have been the hero of the hour and everybody would have sung for him his song of triumph

Johnny Eames thinks that if he had successfully engaged himself to Lily then “he would have been the hero of the hour.” The “songs of truimph” are reminiscent of Pindar’s Odes written for victorious athletes in ancient Greece.  [KD 2006]

Chapter 55 – Not Very Fie Fie After All

Love was necessary

Palliser comes to this realization during his apparent flirtation with Lady Dumbello.  The abstract concept of love is capitalized and referred to as an entity here, as in Classical personifications.  [EB 2006]


By Jove (appearing two times)

This exclamation is here used by Lord Dumbello, reacting to the letter from Lady Dumbello’s mother. The phrase, which makes use of the name of the king of the Roman gods, is found throughout Trollope’s novels.  [EB 2006]


she had triumphed

Lady Dumbello reclaims her husband’s trust by showing him her mother’s letter warning her about her relationship with Palliser.  The word “triumph” draws a parallel between this private social victory and the large celebrations of military success practiced in ancient Rome.  Further, Lady Dumbello receives a necklace that is compared to a “jewelled cuirass” from her husband after this incident, drawing a humorous parallel with the spoils of war claimed by victorious soldiers.  [EB 2006]


what Fortune did for him

Fortune is described here as an active entity shaping Palliser’s life, an image which resonates with the Roman personification of luck, Fortuna.  [EB 2006]

Chapter 54 – The Second Visit to the Guestwick Bridge

Lord De Guest…had offered himself up as a sacrifice at the shrine of a serious dinner-party, to say nothing of that easier lighter sacrifice which he had made in a pecuniary point of view in order that this thing might be done

This is an insight into the guilt John Eames feels regarding Lord De Guest’s efforts to bring him and Lily Dale together.  Trollope uses sacrificial language to refer to how Lord De Guest has put on a dinner-party at the expense of his enjoyment for the greater benefit of John Eames.  Lord De Guest’s “lighter sacrifice” is his financial promise to John Eames that if he is married, he will receive a sum from him.  At the expense of his comfort and finances, the earl hopes to achieve a greater good by enhancing John Eames’ life situation.  For other sacrificial imagery, see the commentary for Chapter 7 and Chapter 9.  [AM 2006]


with deep, rough gashes in the wood, cut out Lily’s name from the rail

This is the reversal of the pastoral imagery of Vergil’s Eclogue 10 in which the love-lorn Gallus carves the name of his loved one into the wood of a tree so as to immortalize his love.  By cutting out out Lily Dale’s inscribed name, John Eames signals the end of his pastoral dream of unrequited love and desire.  See the commentary for Chapter 52.  [AM 2006]

Chapter 53 – Loquitur Hopkins


A third-person singular present tense Latin verb meaning “he, she, or it speaks.” This chapter title is appropriate because it reveals the primary action of the chapter:  the gardener Hopkins begins to speak and makes known to the Dale women the truth of the squire’s devastated feelings concerning their plans to leave the Small House.  [AM 2006]

Chapter 52 – The First Visit to the Guestwick Bridge

he had wandered about the lanes of Guestwick as his only amusement, and had composed hundreds of rhymes in honor of Lily Dale

This image of John Eames invokes the bucolic images of love-lorn shepherds singing of their loves in the pastoral poetry of Vergil’s Eclogues and Theocritus’ Idylls.  [AM 2006]


There, rudely carved in the wood, was still the word LILY

John Eames’ carving of Lily’s name into the wood of the bridge recalls Vergil’s Eclogue 10 in which Gallus resolves to carve the name of his love on “tender trees.”  Trollope’s allusion to this poem further emphasizes John Eames’ pastoral love for Lily Dale.  Through this allusion, John Eames is being likened to the wandering shepherd who is consumed by thoughts of his love who is out of his reach.  [AM & RR 2006]

Sources:  Vergil, Eclogue 10.52-54

Chapter 51 – John Eames Does Things Which He Ought Not to Have Done

Sir Raffle Buffle as John’s new patron

Trollope states that John is annoyed with his “new patron” when Sir Raffle Buffle mentions John’s relationship with the earl.  Trollope is using this reference to explain that John is moving up in his office, especially as Raffle Buffle’s new secretary, even though John may not like Raffle Buffle that much.  [KD 2006]


John has one strong arrow in his quiver

After Cradell and Amelia Roper begin a flirtation, John realizes that he has one strong arrow to his defense if Amelia should choose to bring up his half-proposal to her.  This recalls Apollo, a god associated with archery.  Perhaps Trollope is suggesting to the reader that even hobbledehoys can have Apollo tendencies. See the commentary for Chapter 4.  [KD 2006]


Amelia Roper has two strings to her bow

Amelia, when thinking of her relationship to John, recalls that if it does not work she has another string, Cradell.  This imagery of strings and bows recalls the god of Love, Cupid, and his bow and arrow.  [KD 2006]

Chapter 48 – Nemesis


Nemesis was a Greek goddess of justice who personified the retribution exacted on those who disrupted the natural balance of the world by violating moral codes or by possessing an excess such as wealth or pride.  This is fitting as the title of this chapter since Alexandrina and Crosbie are both punished with their unhappy marriage for the excessive social ambitions which motivated their wedding.  Further, Nemesis is considered in some traditions to be the mother of Helen of Troy, which may relate to the references to the Iliad scattered throughout the novel.  [EB 2006]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.


No vengeance had overtaken him

This phrase describes the sense of distress those at Allington have about the fact that Crosbie has not been punished for his actions.  In reality, Crosbie is being punished through his unhappy new life, but none of the characters at Allington know of this.  In one of Horace’s odes the personification of vengeance, Poena, who is the Roman equivalent of the Greek Nemesis, is described as constantly pursuing (and catching up with) those who commit wrongs.  [EB 2006]

Sources:  Horace, Ode 3.2.31-32.


a black cloud upon his brow

The Greek god Zeus is often associated with storms, particularly when he is angry, since he wields the power of thunder.  Here this phrase is used to describe Crosbie’s obvious anger at his superiors for reprimanding him.  The image of the storm is a strong contrast to the earlier association between Crosbie and Apollo’s sun.  [EB 2006]

Trollope often invokes the image of a “clouded brow,” and that phrase may have Classical roots.  See commentary for Chapter 24 of Barchester Towers.  [RR 2011]

Chapter 47 – The New Private Secretary

glorious victory at the railway station

This phrase recalls the concept of glory and immortal fame won by warriors in battle in ancient epics such as the Iliad.  The application of this elevated Classical motif to the brief fight between Crosbie and Eames is a humorous exaggeration.  [EB 2006]


a certain amount of hero-worship

John Eames is subject to “worship” at Burton Crescent after his promotion.  In ancient Greece and Rome there were cults that worshipped heroes such as Heracles.  There is a humorous contrast between the quasi-divine status and superhuman deeds of Classical heroes and John Eames’ feat of becoming private secretary.  [EB 2006]


the goods which the gods provided him

Cradell has difficulty enjoying being with Amelia, who is described in these terms, because Mrs. Lupex watches him across the table.  This phrase recalls Paris’ statement about not casting aside the gifts of the gods in book 3 of the Iliad.  This reference heightens the parallels earlier drawn between Paris and Cradell and Helen and Lupex, but it becomes humorous since Cradell is no longer interested in his “Helen.”  Dryden’s poem “Alexander’s Feast” contains the lines “Lovely Thais sits beside thee, / Take the goods the gods provide thee.”  [EB & RR 2006]

Sources:  Homer, Iliad 3.65.
Dryden, “Alexander’s Feast” 105-106.


may all unkindness be drowned in the flowing bowl

Mr. Lupex toasts Eames and Cradell with this phrase, which recalls Classical customs of drinking from a communal bowl such as the Greek kratēr.  [EB 2006]

Chapter 46 – John Eames at His Office

By Jove

This common exclamation, used here by John Eames as he is reading the Earl De Guest’s letter, invokes the name of the Roman god that is the equivalent of the Greek Zeus.  The phrase recurs in dialogue throughout Trollope’s novels.  [EB 2006]


Elysium upon earth

This phrase describes the positive opinion that most people held of Eames’ future position of private secretary. The job is compared to the classical concept of Elysium, the beautiful fields where the fortunate lived in the Underworld.  Trollope also alludes to Elysium in Chapter 12, when Lady de Courcy uses the term to sarcastically describe Allington in a letter to Crosbie.  [EB 2006]


that Love should still be lord of all

This phrase refers to a line from Sir Walter Scott’s Lay of the Last Minstrel, which is itself an allusion to a well-known line in Vergil’s Eclogues:   “Love conquers all things.”  However, here “Love” actually refers to Mr. Love rather than the concept of love, making this a humorous parody of Classical and literary traditions.  [EB 2006]

Sources:  Sir Walter Scott, Lay of the Last Minstrel, 6.11.4.
Vergil, Eclogue 10.69.
Trollope, The Small House at Allington.  Ed. Julian Thompson.  London:  Penguin, 2005.  See Thompson’s note on p. 690.


giving up his Elysium

The earlier parallel between the job of private secretary and Elysium is picked back up as Trollope describes the resignation of the previous occupant of the job.  [EB 2006]


He’s been the country mouse and I’ve been the town mouse

Sir Raffle Buffle describes the differing lifestyles of himself and Lord De Guest with this phrase.  This line refers to a story in Horace’s Satires about a country mouse who entertains his friend from the city, and after following him back to the city realizes that he prefers life in the countryside.  [EB 2006]

Sources:  Horace, Satire 2.6.79-117.

Chapter 45 – Valentine’s Day in London

approving the better course but following the worse

Trollope sums up Crosbie’s failure by saying that “he had seen and approved the better course, but had chosen for himself to walk in that which was worse.”  Trollope’s turn of phrase recalls Medea’s internal monologue in book 7 of Ovid’s Metamorphoses.  While debating whether she should support her father or Jason, Medea says:  video meliora proboque, / deteriora sequor–“I see and approve better things, I follow worse ones.”  Although Medea knows that remaining true to her father and fatherland is the better path, she ultimately chooses to aid Jason and flee with him to Greece.  Similarly, Crosbie knows that remaining true to Lily Dale would have been better than marrying Lady Alexandrina.  Perhaps there is an element of foreshadowing here:  just as Jason eventually deserts Medea, Lady Alexandrina will leave Crosbie.  [RR 2006]

Sources:  Ovid, Metamorphoses 7.20-21.

Chapter 44 – Valentine’s Day at Allington


Juno was the Roman goddess of marriage and childbirth.  Juno was also the wife and sister of the Roman god Jupiter.  Lily Dale uses this word while describing Crosbie’s fiancé Lady Alexandrina de Courcy to convey how she believes her to be tall and handsome in appearance.  Lily’s use of this term perhaps invokes a sense of power and authority that Lady Alexandrina has over Lily much in the way Juno had precedence over Jupiter’s other consorts.  [AM 2006]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.

Chapter 43 – Fie, Fie!


This is a term applied to the affection and intimacy between Palliser and Lady Dumbello. The term “platonic” refers to the 5th/4th century Athenian philosopher.  A platonic relationship is one characterized by a purely spiritual nature, free from sensual desire. Trollope describes Lady Dumbello and Palliser’s relationship as “platonic,” signaling that their relationship in non-sexual.  See the commentary for Chapter 16 of Framley Parsonage. [AM 2006]

Sources:  OED.


ad valorem

A Latin phrase literally meaning “toward value.”  This is a name of a kind of tax Lady Dumbello and Palliser are discussing.  The fact that Lady Dumbello asks for an explanation of this relatively dry subject (when she usually does not talk to anyone at length) shows the special interest she takes in Palliser.  [AM & RR 2006]


ignis fatuus

A Latin phrase literally meaning “foolish fire” and referring to a will-o’-the wisp.  Trollope uses this Latin phrase to describe people’s undecided view of Palliser at this point in his career; he might become a leading and able politician, or he may prove to be misleadingly promising.  [AM & RR 2006]



Trollope uses this term to convey the ambiguous information contained in the newspapers.  The use of the term “oracles” suggests that revealed information is doubtful and uncertain in its interpretation. The ambiguous nature of revealed information recalls the misunderstood oracles in Herodotus’s History and in Sophocles’ tragedy Oedipus.  [AM 2006]

Sources:  Herodotus, History (especially book 1).
Sophocles, Oedipus.


Amaryllis in the shade

Amaryllis is a name found in the pastoral poetry of Vergil and Theocritus.  This phrase comes directly from Milton’s Lycidas, Milton’s homage to ancient pastoral poetry. Trollope uses this phrase to demonstrate how Palliser, in spite of his political promise and ambitions, thinks himself to be entitled to a moment of respite and happiness with Lady Dumbello.  [AM & RR 2006]

Sources:  Vergil, Eclogue 1.
Theocritus, Idyll 3.
Milton, “Lycidas” 68.


complimenting his possible future patron

Fothergill, a gentleman who manages the Duke of Omnium’s affairs, compliments Palliser on his speeches and predicts for Palliser his future political power.  By referring to Palliser as a “patron,” Trollope is not only recalling the Roman patron/client relationship but also asserting how Fothergill is socially below and subservient to Palliser.  [AM 2006]

Chapter 42 – Lily’s Bedside

Lily’s throne

As Lily gets better, Trollope refers to her as a queen bossing around the Small House’s occupants.  This is an interesting contrast to Lily as a wounded fawn in Chapter 31.  In Vergil’s Aeneid Dido goes from being the queen of Carthage to a wounded deer, while Lily goes from being a wounded fawn to the queen of the Small House.  Trollope refers to Lily as the queen of the Small House more extensively in Chapter 44.  For Lily as a wounded fawn, see the commentary for Chapter 31.  [KD 2006]

Chapter 40 – Preparations for the Wedding

contemptuous patronage

Lady de Courcy is said to give to Crosbie “contemptuous patronage.”  A patron is one who gives support to a person with a lower social standing.  Lady de Courcy gives Crosbie contemptuous patronage because she knows that he is going to be her son-in-law and thus she has him in her power.  Therefore she can be contempuous if she would like.  [KD 2006]


Crosbie used to shine on Lady de Courcy

Trollope states that Crosbie used to shine upon Lady de Courcy, but now that he is engaged he is no longer like the god Apollo.  Crosbie is losing the connection with Apollo first forged by Lily in Chapter 2.  [KD & RR 2006]


plebeian husband and noble parent

This phase occurs when Lady de Courcy and Alexandrina are discussing Alexandrina’s desire for clothes fit for herself as the earl’s daughter.  Trollope tells us that Lady de Courcy tries to explain to her daughter that the preparations for the wedding should be accommodated to the “plebeian” husband rather than the noble parent.  “Plebeian” is a Roman term for the common people, like Crosbie.  [KD 2006]

Chapter 39 – Dr. Crofts is Turned out

basked in the sunshine of his manliness

Lily is here described as enjoying Crosbie’s presence like the sunshine, which links him to Apollo through Apollo’s association with the sun.  This passage also describes Lily as having “tuned her ears to the tone of [Crosbie’s] voice,” recalling Apollo’s dominion over music.  See the commentary on Chapter 2 for the beginning of the Apollo/Crosbie identification.  [EB 2006]


slaughtered hecatombs

Trollope uses this phrase to refer to the prowess of gentlemen hunters.  It is a humorous exaggeration, since the word “hecatombs” literally refers to the ancient practice of sacrificing one hundred animals.  This phrase can also be found in Chapter 16 of The Warden and Chapter 23 of The Small House at Allington.  [EB 2006]

Sources:  OED.


certain halcyon days

This is how Bell describes memories of times when she felt that she loved Dr. Crofts.  The phrase “halcyon days” refers to the myth of Ceyx and Alcyone, told in Ovid’s Metamorphoses.  Alcyone warned her beloved husband Ceyx that she felt that he would be in danger if he went on a planned sea voyage.  He sailed despite her concern and was drowned in a storm.  Alcyone continued sacrificing to Juno for Ceyx’s safety so the goddess took pity on her and sent Morpheus to reveal her husband’s fate in a dream.  Alcyone found Ceyx’s body on the shore, and the gods turned them both into halcyon birds, kingfishers who mate during seven days in the winter known as “halcyon days” when the sea is perfectly calm.  Though the phrase is common in English, Trollope’s usage retains a reference to the original myth by relating it to the situation of these two potential lovers.  [EB 2006]

Sources:  Ovid, Metamorphoses 11.410-748.


she might sit and triumph–and thus triumphant she sat

Here Bell “triumphs” in the knowledge that Crofts loves her.  This word recalls the triumphal processions celebrating Roman military victories.  Bell, however, does not experience a public victory but rather enjoys a private, internal celebration.  [EB 2006]

The word order follows a chiastic pattern (a device found in ancient writing).  Similar elements are presented in the order AB..BA.  [RR 2011]

Chapter 35 – Vae Victis

Vae Victis

This is a Latin phrase literally meaning, “Woe to the vanquished ones.”  This phrase was recorded by the Roman historian Livy in his History of Rome. According to Livy, this statement was made by the chieftain of the Gauls after the defeat of the Romans at the Battle of Allia c. 387-390 BCE, which was said to be one of Rome’s greatest defeats.  This chapter title is appropriate in regard to both Mr. Crosbie’s misadventure with John Eames in the previous chapter and his marriage and integration into the De Courcy family. This phrase summarizes Crosbie’s situation in general, and through this Latin phrase Trollope is identifying Crosbie’s devastating situation with the Roman defeat.  By means of this title, Trollope projects some sympathy on to Crosbie because he has been defeated by himself and those to whom he has submitted.  [AM 2006]

Sources:  Livy, History of Rome 5.48.


hymeneal altar

“Hymeneal altar” is a phrase used to refer to the marriage ceremony.  In this context, the newspaper that documents Mr. Crosbie’s misadventure at Paddington Station uses the phrase to identify Mr. Crosbie as the man who is soon to be married to the daughter of the Earl de Courcy. This phrase stems from the name of the Greek god of marriage, Hymen.  [AM 2006]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.



Lady Amelia uses this Latinate word to explain how nicknames have not been used in the history of the de Courcy family.  Lady Amelia’s use of this word shows her elitist attitude regarding the De Courcy family name and its history and reputation.  See the commentary on Chapter 34.   [AM 2006]

Chapter 34 – The Combat


This word is from the Latin annales meaning “yearbooks.”  This was a standard term used by Roman historians to title their historical works.  Trollope seems to uses this Latinate word so that is sounds like John Eames’ fight with Crosbie is almost an historical event. Through the use of this word the episode of the fight becomes a little humorous by being elevated in this way.  [AM 2006]

Sources:  OCD.


Who can say that punishment–adequate punishment–had not overtaken him?

This reference to punishment implies Nemesis, the Greek goddess of retribution and punishment.  By implying Nemesis, Trollope is showing that Crosbie’s egregious act of jilting Lily Dale is finally being punished through means of the black eye and public humiliation that were brought about by John Eames.  See commentary on Nemesis and antecedentem scelestum in Chapter 37 of Framley Parsonage.  [AM 2006]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.

Chapter 33 – ‘The Time will Come’

client, John Eames

This is Trollope’s first explicit mention of John Eames as the client in patron/client relationship between John and the earl.  See the commentary for Chapter 22.  [KD 2006]


pastoral imagery and John Eames

Lady Julia and John talk of plans to engage John to Lily, and Trollope describes their enthusiasm as “beautifully fresh and green.”  This is more pastoral imagery related to John Eames and his love for Lily Dale.  See the commentary for Chapter 14.  [KD & RR 2006]

Chapter 32 – Pawkins’s in Jermyn Street

John and his patron

This is another reference to the earl as John’s patron, the earl.  See the commentary for Chapter 22.  [KD 2006]


drowsy god

The earl is said to fight with the drowsy god after dinner.  The drowsy god likely refers to the god personified by sleep, Hypnos. [KD 2006]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.


Dives and Lazarus

Trollope refers to this story in a comparison between the offices of John Eames and Adolphus Crosbie:  the Income-tax Office is as distant from the General Committee Office as Lazarus is from Dives.  The parable of Dives and Lazarus, found in Luke 16:19-31, is about a rich man (in Latin, Dives) and the poor man (Lazarus) who lived outside of the rich man’s house begging for a crumb of food.  In the afterlife, a chasm separates Dives (in hell) from Lazarus (in heaven).  [KD & RR 2006; rev. 2011]

Sources:  Luke 16:19-31.

Chapter 31 – The Wounded Fawn

Lily as a wounded fawn

In this chapter, Trollope refers to Lily as a wounded fawn after her engagement to Crosbie is called off.  This reference echoes a line in Vergil’s Aeneid in which Queen Dido, in love with Aeneas, is compared to an arrow-stricken doe.  This is an interesting comparison because, while Dido is eventually ruined by Aeneas, Lily recuperates and becomes like a queen herself.  See the commentary for Chapter 42.  [KD 2006]

Sources:  Vergil, Aeneid 4.69.


Lily’s bright light

Lily’s bright light remains shining. This reference occurs after Lily begins to recover.  It is significant because Crosbie-as-Apollo has been referred to in terms of light, and now Lily is.  [KD 2006]


dies non

Short for dies non juridicus.  Refers to a holiday or a day of no legal matters.  [KD 2006]

Sources:  OED.

Chapter 30 – ‘Is it from Him?’

as if no terrible thunderbolt had fallen among them

The Dales try to continue on with their daily routine as if the “thunderbolt” of the news that Lily and Crosbie’s engagement was ended had never been announced.  This is a reference to Zeus’ traditional control over the power of thunder in Classical myth, and is particularly relevant in the context of Trollope since The Jupiter, which is a Roman name for Zeus, is a popular newspaper in the world of his novels.  [EB 2006]


wolf into their flock

Bernard feels as though Crosbie was a “wolf” in the “flock” of the Dale family.  This phrase is a reference to Aesop’s fable about the wolf in sheep’s clothing, which carries the lesson that appearances can deceive. This is certainly the case with Crosbie, whose seemingly dashing nature hid his faithlessness.  [EB 2006]

Sources:  Link to the story of The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing at Laura Gibbs’ Aesop site.

Chapter 29 – John Eames Returns to Burton Crescent

Egyptia conjux

This Latin phrase, a variation of coniunx Aegyptia or “Egyptian spouse,” found in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, refers to Mark Antony’s affair with Cleopatra, queen of Egypt.  In the novel it is used to refer to the sight of Mrs. Lupex on Cradell’s arm, referencing various characters’ suspicions of an illicit relationship between them.  [EB 2006]

Sources:  Ovid, Metamorphoses 15.826.


the divine Aemelia

Cradell’s description sarcastically elevates Amelia to the level of a goddess.  There seems to be a parallel particularly between her and Hera, who was notorious for her anger, since Cradell is warning Eames of “trouble” with Amelia.  See the commentary for Chapter 4.  [EB 2006]


By Jove

This is a common exclamation, used here by Cradell, which refers to Jove, the Roman equivalent of the Greek god Zeus.  [EB 2006]

Chapter 28 – The Board

Why had his fate been so unkind to him?

In this reference to fate, Trollope personifies it, recalling Classical conceptions of Fate as an active but uncontrollable power directing human life.  Here, a distraught Crosbie blames the external force of fate for his difficult situation, suiting his character since he is unwilling to accept any fault himself in ending his engagement to Lily.  [EB 2006]


slips between the cups and lips

Trollope again refers to this famous, Classically inspired phrase about how nothing is certain until after it happens.  Here Butterwell uses the phrase to describe how it is better that Crosbie was surprised by his promotion.  This is ironic, since the phrase was previously used in Chapter 9 to describe Lily’s certainty of her marriage to Crosbie, which could have happened if Crosbie had known that his financial situation was about to change.  [EB 2006]


a turn in the wheel of fortune

The wheel of fortune is a symbol of the Roman goddess Fortuna, illustrating the unpredictability of luck.  Here Crosbie’s situation, which he caused by his own actions, is distinguished from a misfortune caused by chance events.  [EB 2006]

Sources:  Entry in Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.


A man will dine, even though his heart be breaking

This phrase, used to describe the way that Crosbie attends a dinner even though he is preoccupied with the circumstances of his engagement to Alexandrina and his promotion, could recall a well-known incident in the Iliad.  When Priam comes to Achilles to reclaim Hector’s body, Achilles encourages him to eat despite his grief, referring to the myth of Niobe, where the grieving mother ate even though she was mourning the deaths of her many children.  Crosbie’s situation is more ironic, since a good deal of his sorrow is brought on by his inability to know his own feelings about Lily and Alexandrina. [EB 2006]

Sources:  Homer, Iliad 24.600-620.

Chapter 26 – Lord de Courcy in the Bosom of His Family

many slips

See the commentary for Chapter 9. This proverb is used again in reference to matrimonial union with Mr. Crosbie and is said here by Lady Amelia in conversation with Lady Alexandrina. In this context, Lady Amelia warns her sister that she should get married as soon as possible for fear that something might disrupt the intended marriage.  This phrase is used earlier as a contrast to Lily’s assurance of Crosbie’s intent of marriage, but Lady Amelia uses this phrase as an admonition to her sister that anything might happen that could interrupt the course of things.  [AM 2006]



This is a Roman term used to refer to the power of the male head of a Roman household (usually the father or the grandfather) over his descendants and other family members. Trollope uses this term to refer to Lord De Courcy. However, Trollope’s use of the Roman term presents a sense of irony in relation to the Lord De Courcy because no one in the De Courcy family admires or respects him. Also, the countess is the family member who is largely in charge of family matters, not the lord.  [AM 2006]

Sources:  OCD.

Chapter 23 – Mr. Plantagenet Palliser


A censor was a Roman magistrate who made a register or census of the people in Rome and had some power to regulate public morality.  Here, Lady de Courcy is unwilling to adopt the role of censor in regard to Crosbie, since it might disrupt a possible engagement between Crosbie and her daughter.  [KD & RR 2006; rev. 2011]

Sources:  OED.



Lady Alexandrina proclaims to Crosbie that even Diana could not play billiards in her riding habit.  Diana is the Roman name for Artemis, the goddess of hunting, women, and childbirth.  Diana or Artemis is also the twin sister to Apollo.  Trollope is using this reference in two ways.  The more apparent one is that even the hunter-goddess with arrow-shooting skills could not play with a habit on.  Trollope could also be commenting on the relationship between Crosbie and Lady Alexandrina.  As we have seen, Crosbie was named Apollo by Lily Dale. (See the commentary for Chapter 2.)  Thus Trollope is implying that Crosbie and Lady Alexandrina are like brother and sister or, rather, two peas in a pod.  [KD 2006]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.


the die was cast

Iacta alea est. According to Suetonius, Caesar said this as he crossed the Rubicon into Italy, thus implicitly declaring war on his own country.  This allusion is made after Crosbie tells Lady Alexandrina that he is supposed to marry one woman (Lily) when he actually loves another (her).  Crosbie knows that his engagement to Lily Dale must be called off because the die has already been cast–with his words he has committed himself to Lady Alexandrina.  [KD 2006]

Sources:  Suetonius, Life of Julius Caesar 23.



See the commentary for Chapter 16 of The Warden.  In this reference, Trollope says that Plantagent Palliser’s uncle, the Duke of Omnium, would have preferred him to be a country gentlemen, a slaughterer of “hecatombs” of birds, rather than a politician.  [KD 2006]



Trollope refers to an old member of the government as “the old Nestor of the cabinet.”  Nestor was the elderly king of Pylos, and in Homer’s Iliad he was known for giving advice to Greek leaders.  Trollope uses a mythological reference here to add character to an anonymous person in the cabinet.  [KD 2006]


By Jove

An exclamation akin to “By god,” as Jove was the chief Roman god, Jupiter. The Honourable George says it here to his cousin, Mr. Gresham, when they discuss what Dumbello thinks about his wife’s relationship with Plantagenet Palliser.  [KD 2006]

Chapter 22 – Lord De Guest at Home

half-forgotten classicalities and the severe Falernian

While John and the earl are drinking, the earl urges John to tell him about his love.  The earl calls his port “severe Falernian,” recalling Horace’s Ode 1.27.  In joking with John, the earl dusts off a Classical phrase that he has partially remembered.  Later in the chapter Trollope continues to refer to the earl’s “Falernian.”  [RR 2006]

Though Trollope seems to poke gentle fun at the earl for his Latin allusion, the citation is apt:  in Ode 1.27 the speaker is trying to get the addressee to speak of his love.  [RR 2011]

Sources:  Horace, Ode 1.27.9-12.



This reference occurs after Johnny Eames returns home after saving the earl and dining with him at his house.  Trollope refers to the earl as Johnny’s patron.  This usage recalls the patron-client system that was prominent in ancient Rome. In this system, an affluent man would support his client in various ways and vice versa.  Trollope is using this reference to allude to the future of the two’s relationship where perhaps the earl will help Johnny financially and socially.  The patron-client comparison to the earl and Johnny occurs throughout the novel.  [KD 2006]

Chapter 21 – John Eames Encounters Two Adventures, and Displays Great Courage in Both

A man will talk of love out among the lilacs and roses….

Here Lily Dale tries to encourage Johnny Eames to come inside with her, since he is perhaps less likely to idealize his feelings for her in a more mundane setting.  Eames’ unrequited love is reminiscent of Classical pastoral poetry.  References to this poetic form help root Eames in a familiar tradition of lovelorn young men, making his fascination with Lily more recognizable, and making Johnny’s connection to this poetic form gently humorous.  [EB 2006]


rocks of adamant

Adamant is a legendary stone that was extremely hard and indestructible.  The name is derived from the Greek adamas meaning “invincible,” and throughout Classical literature it was used to refer to a variety of hard stones and metals.  Trollope refers to it when drawing a comparison between the bull that is turned away from pursuing Eames and Lord De Guest by brambles, and the way that humans will turn away from small obstacles but continue to “[break]…our hearts against rocks of adamant.”  The reference, and the comparison as a whole, has a humorous function here as the dramatic statement about human nature seems irrelevant in this anecdote about the bull.  [EB 2006]


sitting sternly to their long tasks

Mrs. Dale and Bell here help Lily prepare household items for her to take to her new home after marriage.  The Dales’ behavior parallels the ideal of the virtuous Roman woman who is dedicated to her household tasks.  This is exemplified by Livy’s story of Lucretia in Book 1 of History of Rome, who is considered the best of wives because she is working late in the night while other women feast with guests.  [EB 2006]

Sources:  Livy, History of Rome 1.57-59.


into the middle of his discourse

Here Eames rushes straight to the point of asking Lily about her impending marriage while trying to tell her how he feels.  This phrase is reminiscent of the Latin phrase used by Horace in his Ars Poeticain medias res, or “into the middle of things,” which often refers to the way that epics tend to begin in the middle of significant events in the plot and later explain them.  The use of this phrase draws a humorous contrast between the epic tradition and Eames’ unsuccessful attempts to articulate his feelings.  [EB 2006]

Sources:  Horace, Ars Poetica 145.


to carry off all the laurels of victory

This phrase describes the earl’s unwillingness to provoke the angry bull he is facing.  The laurel, previously mentioned in Chapter 2 and Chapter 9, was a plant associated with Apollo that was traditionally given to the winners in the Pythian games.  The inclusion of this phrase here is interesting since Eames proves himself deserving of “laurels” by assisting the earl, while “Apollo” Crosbie repeatedly shows his less worthy character.  [EB 2006]

Sources:  Entry in Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.

Chapter 20 – Dr. Crofts

another string to his bow

Lord De Guest makes this comment about Crosbie’s suspected dalliances at Courcy Castle while speaking with Dr. Crofts.  There are two possible Classical figures being alluded to with this phrase.  Cupid, the son of Venus, incited love in people by shooting them with his arrows.  Also, although Lord De Guest has not been privy to the Dales’ private joke of referring to Crosbie as “Apollo,” this comment subtly references their allusion, since Apollo was associated with archery.  These references may show how other characters perceive Crosbie to be a flashy “Apollo” that lacks real substance, or a “Cupid” that elicits multiple women’s affections.  [EB 2006]

Chapter 18 – Lily Dale’s First Love-Letter

Damon and Pythias

Damon and Pythias were legendary Greek figures from Syracuse whose friendship symbolized deep loyalty to one another.  When Pythias was condemned to death by Dionysius the Elder, he was released to make arrangements for his wife and children in preparation for his death, only because Damon stayed in his place and was ready to die if Pythias never returned.  Some time later Pythias did return, and amazed by this act of loyalty, Dionysius the Elder freed them both.  The countess uses this phrase in reference to how Mr. Crosbie must have stayed as long as he did at Allington because of his supposedly strong friendship with Bernard Dale.  The countess could be using this Classical reference in a slightly mocking sense.  [AM 2006]

Trollope himself had referred to Damon and Pythias in Chapter 2.  [RR 2011]

Sources:  Link to an English version of Valerius Maximus’ account of Damon and Pythias.

Chapter 17 – Courcy Castle

shillings and pence…pence and shillings

Use of a Latin rhetorical device found in Roman poetry called chiasmus, in which the order of similar elements in a sentence or line are repeated in reverse order, such as AB…BA.  [AM 2006]


paternal horses, paternal wines, maternal milliner

Latinate words are used for elevated speech with comic effect.  [AM 2006]



This is an allusion to Rumor in Book 4 of Vergil’s Aeneid.  According to Aeneid 4.174-175, “no evil is swifter” than Rumor or Fama, who “flourishes in movement and gains strength by going.”  Rumor in the Aeneid is the ill that spreads the word about the relationship between Dido and Aeneas.  Trollope uses this allusion to the Aeneid’s Rumor to convey how the news of the break-off of Lady Alexandrina’s engagement spread to others and became exaggerated in the process.  [AM & RR 2006]

Sources:  Vergil, Aeneid 4.174-175.


He believed himself to be a great man because with world fought for his wife’s presence….

This sentence may be alluding to the pride of Paris because the Trojan War was caused by his capture of and marriage to Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world.  In Homer’s Iliad 3.156-158, the old men on the wall of Troy see Helen and state that no one could blame the Greeks and Trojans for fighting over such a woman.  In our text, Lady Dumbello’s beauty has been taken great note of by the social circle at Courcy Castle.  In fact, it is her beauty that is greatly emphasized in any reference to her, just as beauty was Helen’s primary feature.  The “world fighting” for the presence of a beautiful lady may recall the Trojan War.  Reference to the pride of Paris at the struggle over Helen occurred in a previous chapter regarding Cradell’s internal joy that his close intimacy with Mr. Lupex’s wife had generated chaos in Burton Crescent.  See the commentary for Chapter 11.  [AM 2006]

Sources:  Homer, Iliad, 3.154-160.


By Jove

John De Courcy uses this interjection, referring to the king of the Roman gods, to stress his opinion that he would not have taken George De Courcy’s wife as his wife even if she had “ten times thirty thousand pounds.”  [AM 2006]

Chapter 16 – Mr. Crosbie Meets an Old Clergyman on His Way to Courcy Castle

Nolo decanari

Latin for “I am unwilling to be dean.”  Mr. Crosbie’s Latin phrase is analogous to the Latin phrase Nolo espiscopari (meaning “I am unwilling to be bishop”) which is the formal reply supposed to be returned upon the offer of a bishopric.  Mr. Crosbie uses this Latin analogy to show that he is educated and quick-witted. This contributes the image of Crosbie as one who is concerned with his image.  [AM 2006]


Chapter 14 – John Eames Takes a Walk

pastoral imagery and John Eames

“He wandered about through the old Manor woods….” Throughout the novel, Trollope places John in pastoral settings in the countryside of Guestwick and Allington.  It is possible that the poetic and love-ridden John is much like the poets in Theocritus’ Idylls or Vergil’s Eclogues. These poems are often in pastoral settings and the speakers often sing of unrequited love.  Therefore Trollope may have implicitly represented John as a pastoral poet.  [KD 2006]


tablets of his mind

When John writes a letter “on the tablets of his mind” to Amelia Roper, he falls asleep under the tree.  For the Classical association of this phrase, see the commentary for Chapter 2.  [KD 2006]

Chapter 12 – Lilian Dale Becomes a Butterfly

wood nymphs and water nymphs

The Countess De Courcy in her letter to Crosbie refers to the women of Allington as “nymphs.”  In Classical mythology nymphs were natural spirits who took the form of beautiful maidens.  Later in the letter the countess describes her daughters as nymphs of a less rustic variety.  Trollope has made implicit links between an idealized pastoral settings and rural Allington, and here a character extends the parallel through this direct, though sarcastic, allusion.  [EB & RR 2006]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.


your late Elysium

The Countess De Courcy’s letter also sarcastically makes a comparison between Allington and Elysium, the fields of constant happiness and beauty in the Underworld where the fortunate are able to spend the afterlife.  The allusion has a humorous function of foreshadowing as it quickly becomes clear that Crosbie’s courtship of Lily in Allington truly served as a refuge free of complications, in contrast to his future affairs at Courcy Castle.  [EB 2006]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.


Gatherum Castle

In Trollope’s novels, Gatherum is the name of the Duke of Omnium’s castle.  This is a play on the British slang phrase “omnium gatherum,” or “gathering of everyone/everything,” used to refer to a gathering of many kinds of people or things.  “Gatherum” is actually a faux Latin word, simply comprised of the English “gather” and the Latin ending –um.  [EB 2006]

Sources:  OED.


Alexandrina de Courcy

This name of one of Lady de Courcy’s daughters is a feminized, Anglicized version of the Greek name Alexandros.  This name may contain references to more than one Classical figure.  Alexandrina’s ambitious pursuit of Crosbie is reminiscent of the strong-willed Greek leader Alexander the Great.  Alexander is also another name used to refer to Paris, whose adulterous relationship with Helen causes the Trojan War.  Similarly, Alexandrina interferes with Crosbie and Lily’s engagement and causes trouble for them both.  [EB 2006]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.


Lady Julia De Guest

Julia, a feminine form of Julius, was a name for Roman women.  This name is particularly associated with the famous Julio-Claudian dynasty of the Roman Empire, reflecting Lady Julia’s status and pride in her position.  [EB 2006]

Chapter 11 – Social Life

Paris’ gratification at the ten years’ siege at Troy

This reference compares Cradell’s role in motivating his admirer Mrs. Lupex into quarrelling with Amelia Roper to Paris’ role as Helen’s lover in inciting the Trojan War.  The allusion is further strengthened by parallels between Helen’s husband, Menelaus, and Mr. Lupex, who feels that he is losing his wife’s affection to Cradell, who–like Paris–is a younger man.  Trollope here draws a humorous contrast between the relatively mundane event of the women’s argument and the epic war presented in works such as the Iliad.  [EB 2006]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.

Chapter 10 – Mrs. Lupex and Amelia Roper

decency and propriety

Decency and propriety are here described as entities which “flee” Mrs. Roper.  This is similar to many Classical personifications, particularly that of Aidos, or Propriety, found in Hesiod’s Works and Days, who is described as forsaking humanity at the end of the the current Age of Iron, a far more dramatic context than Mrs. Roper’s situation.  [EB 2006]

Sources:  Hesiod, Works and Days, 197-200.


Here he had strung together his rhymes….

John Eames is described as having composed poetry about his love for Lily Dale while walking through the woods near Guestwick Manor.  This parallels the situation of the archetypal pastoral youth who pines for his beloved in idyllic rural settings.  [EB 2006]

Chapter 09 – Mrs. Dale’s Little Party

calf-like victim caught for sacrifice and bound with ribbon at the altar

Greco-Roman sacrificial imagery is used again to convey the present and anxious state of mind of Mr. Crosbie.  In this section of the text, Crosbie has the “calf-like feeling” because in order for him to marry Lily Dale, he must give up his ambitions and the luxuries to which he had become accustomed.  Additionally, Crosbie feels like a sacrificial victim because by marrying Lily Dale, he is presenting himself as one who will loose his independence.  Even though giving up his own autonomy will make Lily Dale happy, Crosbie feels that it would be no benefit to him.  See the commentary for Chapter 7. [AM 2006]


slip between the cup and the lip

This is a proverbial phrase that implies that things can go wrong even if something appears to be sure to happen. The source of this quotation is Erasmus’ Adagia, a book of Classical proverbs. The mythical background of the proverb concerns Ancaeos, who was the helmsman of the Argo, and according to Robert Graves, the story is told in the scholia for Apollonius’ Argonautica.  Ancaeos was told by a slave that he would never taste the wine from his own vineyards.  When a bottle of it was sent to him, the same slave reminded him that “there’s many a slip between the cup and the lip.”  A messenger then arrived to inform Ancaeos that a boar was destroying his land.  Leaving the wine untasted, Ancaeos went out to face the boar and was killed.  This section of the text shows how Lily Dale is under the assumption that her love and matrimonial plans are in no danger of being thwarted. The Classical reference is used to contrast Lily’s idealism and naiveté with the fact that the most predictable things can go wrong and that nothing is sure unless it has already passed.  The allusion creates a parallel between Lily and Anacaeos. [AM & RR 2006]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.
The Meridian Handbook of Classical Mythology.
Robert Graves, The Greek Myths:  Complete Edition.  London:  Penguin, 1992.


Crosbie came forward and shone like an Apollo

It is the narrator who states that Crosbie shines like the sun god Apollo. Trollope uses this reference to Apollo in order to illustrate the confidence that Crosbie exudes within a crowd of people.  See the commentary for Chapter 2.  [AM 2006]


like the moon?–well; I fancy I like the sun better

This is Crosbie’s response to Lily’s question if he likes the moon.  This is a fitting assertion, given the fact that Crosbie has been identified with Apollo, who is associated with the sun.  [AM & RR 2006]



The laurels that surround Crosbie and Lily Dale on the lawn invoke the myth of Apollo and Daphne from Book 1 of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. In this story, Daphne becomes the laurel tree in order to prevent Apollo from having her as his lover.  The laurel then becomes associated with Apollo.  For more on laurels, see the commentary for Chapter 2.  [AM 2006]

Sources:  Ovid, Metamorphoses 1.452-567.



This word evokes the Underworld punishments of Tantulus, eternally thirsty and leaning toward water and also eternally hungry and stretching toward fruit.  In a broader sense, “tantalize” means to present something that is desired but kept out of reach.  This image of Tantulus and alluring but ungraspable desires is used to show how the curate who attends Mrs. Dale’s party feels tortured and perhaps envious of the activities and pleasures experienced by the other guests at the party which he cannot partake in or enjoy.  [AM 20006]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.


Greek Kalends

An expression used to refer to a time that will never come.  The humor of this phrase is derived from the fact that kalends was a Roman term which denoted the first day of the month in the Roman calendar, and the Greeks did not reckon time according to Roman kalends. Trollope uses this figure of speech when describing Mr. Crosbie’s unconscious desire “to postpone his marriage to some Greek kalends.”  This allusion is used to convey how Mr. Crosbie secretly wishes that the day of his marriage will never come.  [AM 2006]

Sources:  OED.

Chapter 07 – The Beginning of Troubles


The narrator refers to Crosbie as Apollo.  The narrator uses this name to denote Crosbie in order to show that Bernard, Bell, Lily, and Adolphus or “Apollo” are on a comfortable, even joking first name basis.  See the commentary on Chapter 2. [AM 2006]


a calf at the altar, ready for a knife, with blue ribbons round his horns and neck

This is a reference to animal sacrifices performed in antiquity. Crosbie feels that he is the sacrificial calf because it is so clear that he is engaged to be married; he feels more caught because he commited himself to be married without knowing if the squire was going to give Lily any money upon her marriage.  [AM 2006]

Sacrificial animals were sometimes decorated with ribbons for sacrificial processions in antiquity, but the color blue may have more Victorian than Classical resonance.  The OED notes that in the 19th century a blue ribbon marks a first prize; this sense develops out of the blue ribbon worn as a symbol of honor.  If the “blue ribbons” of this passage mark the Crosbie’s excellence, we have here the mixture of a Classical image (the sacrificial animal) and a contemporary one (the symbolism of blue ribbons).   [RR 2011]

Sources:  OED.



This word is referring to Hippocrates’ theory of the bodily humors which were four types of fluids thought to permeate the body and influence its health.  An imbalance in the humours was thought to affect personality.  Lily Dale asks her sister Bell why their mother should have to go to their uncle to please his humors.  The reference to Hippocrates’ humors conveys how Bell understands that the ill-ease of their uncle would be swayed into contentment by their mother’s influence.  [AM 2006]

Sources:  OCD.



Elysium, in Classical mythology, is the paradisiacal place where the blessed dead reside in the Underworld.  This allusion refers to what Mr. Crosbie’s life would not be like if he chose to marry Lily Dale with his small income.  Mr. Crosbie would have to give up his seemingly splendid life of London luxuries such as fashion and clubs in exchange for a domestic life in which he would live a humdrum existence in a small house full of babies and mouths to feed.  This idea of married life does not seem like a paradise to him.  [AM 2006]

Sources:  OED.
Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.


Apollo of Beaufort

The narrator uses Apollo to contrast Crosbie’s usual social smoothness with the lack of finesse with which Crosbie tries to explain that his marriage to Lily would be delayed due to his small income.  [AM 2006]

Chapter 06 – Beautiful Days

Crosbie as Apollo

In this chapter, Trollope describes Crosbie as Apollo.  He enumerates Crosbie’s characteristics that make him like Apollo:  “He was handsome, graceful, clever, self-confident, and always cheerful when [Lily] asked him to be cheerful.”  Later in the passage, Trollope proclaims that Bell had almost fallen for this new Apollo, after convincing herself that she did not love Dr. Crofts.  The identification of Crosbie with Apollo begins in Chapter 2.  [KD 2006]


No first shadow of Love’s wing thrown across the pure tablets of her bosom

Trollope in this reference is talking about Lily Dale.  This quotation means that Love or Cupid’s wing had not entered her heart.  The phrase “tablets of the mind” is found in Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound. Prometheus says this to Io just before he prophesizes to her about her future adventures.  Therefore the tablets of one’s mind is the place where one would keep important information.  Trollope changes the tablet’s of the mind to tablet’s of the heart for Lily Dale.  [KD 2006]

Sources:  Aeshylus, Prometheus Bound 788-789.


Apollo paying homage

In this reference, Trollope says that Apollo or Crosbie transferred his “distant homage” from the older Dale, Bell, to the younger, Lily.  [KD 2006]

There is some humor in the image of a god paying homage to a human.  [RR 2011]


the Dale girls know Crosbie is an Apollo

Lily Dale again compares Crosbie to Apollo.  [KD 2006]


warmed by a generous god

After Amelia and Mrs. Lupex make punch, Johnny Eames is warmed by the “generous god.”  This god is most likely Dionysus, the god of wine and intoxication.  He is also the god of ritual madness and the god who represented a transformed identity in theatre.  After Johnny is warmed, he declares his passion for Amelia Roper.  Trollope is showing John in a transformed state, altered by the god of impersonation.  [KD 2006]


a god or beast

After John Eames reveals his love to Lily, Trollope says that in that situation a man “shows himself either as a beast or as a god.”  We can assume that the gentle John shows himself as a god in a Classical sense.  [KD 2006]

Chapter 04 – Mrs. Roper’s Boarding-house

Apollos and hobbledehoys

Trollope devotes the first pages of Chapter 4 to a description of Apollos and hobbledehoys.  Apollo is the god of prophecy, divination, music, and the arts and also is referred to as the god of light.  Apollo is usually portrayed as the ideal of young male beauty.  Trollope describes Apollos as fruit that have had support in order to have ripened.  A hobbledehoy ripens at a slower pace.  Trollope describes John Eames as a man who is not constantly admired.  He contrasts John, a hobbledehoy, with Apollo, saying that hobbledehoys “do not come forth into the world as Apollos.”  Apollos, according to Trollope, also are better socially and have “much social intercourse.”  However, Trollope does acknowledge that John Eames has friends. Trollope is comparing John and Crosbie in this passage as the two suitors for Lily Dale.  See commentary for Chapter 2 for Crosbie as Apollo.  [KD 2006]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.


Apollo, hobbledehoys, and the Dale girls

This passage refers to the Dale sisters “who are not themselves unaccustomed to the grace of Apollo.”  Trollope points out that the Dale girls are dear friends of John Eames and that it is not unusual for pretty girls to befriend hobbledehoys.  Trollope, using the Classical technique of litotes, also states that the girls are used to the company of Apollos.  [KD 2006]


John may be like Apollo

Shortly after Trollope’s extended contrast of hobbledehoys and Apollos, the reader finds that John has been writing poetry about his love, Lily Dale.  Apollo is the god of music and arts, so perhaps Trollope is saying that Johnny Eames is a bit like Apollo after all.  [KD 2006]


Apollos in their splendid cars

In this allusion, John acknowledges to himself that there are Apollos to take girls such as Lily Dale away in splendid cars, or rather chariots.  [KD 2006]


Mr. and Mrs. Lupex

In Chapter 4 we are introduced to the Lupexes, whose name resembles the Latin word for wolf, lupis.  The feminine form of lupis, lupa, can also be used to describe a prostitute. Trollope is perhaps implying that the Lupexes are wolf-like and that Mrs. Lupex is not a respectable woman.  The association of wolfs and prostitutes hearkens back to myths about the founding of Rome, when Romulus and Remus supposedly were reared by a she-wolf or lupa.  Livy gives two explanations of the story of Romulus and Remus in his History of Rome.  He reported that an actual wolf could have nursed the infants or rather a man with an unchaste or lupa wife reared the brothers.  [KD 2006]

Sources:  Livy, History of Rome 1.4.


the divine Amelia Roper

Trollope describes Amelia as divine, which implies she is goddess-like.  Trollope is being funny here in that, as we later learn, Amelia is anything but goddess-like.  This notion is also fitting because she is able to control Johnny Eames much like gods control humans.  [KD 2006]

Chapter 03 – The Widow Dale of Allington

meo periculo

This Latin phrase means “at my own risk.”  The narrator uses it here to qualify his assertion of the “fact” of Mrs. Dale’s inherently lady-like nature in spite of the obscurity of her grandfather.  This aside seems to heighten the sense of class-based tension between Mrs. Dale and Christopher Dale.  [EB 2006]


this and that Apollo

Trollope here describes Mrs. Dale’s potential for attraction to an Apollo-like man, continuing in a general way the allusion originally made by Lily earlier.  [EB 2006]


Rhadamanthine moralists

This phrase refers to the Greek mythological figure Rhadamanthus.  He was the son of Zeus and Europa, and he became a ruler noted for his just nature.  After his death, he became one of the judges of the dead in Hades.  Rhadamanthus’ unbending sense of justice suits Trollope’s description of the social expectation that middle-aged women suddenly become harsh and joyless.  [EB 2006]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.


music of the gods

Lily’s voice is described as “sweet…as the music of the gods” to Mrs. Dale.  This refers to the perfect entertainments that the Classical gods were thought to enjoy at their home on Mt Olympus, as depicted–for instance–in the Iliad. [EB 2006]

Sources:  Homer, Iliad 1.601-604.


Phoebus Apollo

Lily revisits her earlier identification of Crosbie and Apollo from Chapter 2.  She references the god’s association with archery, here saying that she will replace the bow with a croquet mallet in her image of Crosbie as Apollo.  She continues the reference by mentioning how Crosbie’s short visit did “not [give] one time even to count his rays,” recalling the image of Apollo as the sun.  [EB 2006]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.


Apollo with a gun

Mrs. Dale continues Lily’s Apollo reference as she and Lily discuss Crosbie’s plans to return to Allington for hunting in the fall, saying that Lily will have to change her image of an Apollo with a mallet to one of an “Apollo with a gun.” [EB 2006]


Mr. Apollo Crosbie

Here Lily Dale compares Dr. Crofts to Crosbie, describing Crofts as a better man than “Apollo.”  See above.  [EB 2006]

Chapter 02 – The Two Pearls of Allington

Damon to any Pythias

Damon and Pythias are legendary friends whose story was recorded by Valerius Maximus in De Amicitiae Vinculo. Pythias was condemned to death by the ruler of Syracuse, Dionysius I, but was allowed to return to his home before the execution on the condition that his friend Damon would die in his place if he failed to return.  Damon was nearly executed since Pythias returned late.  When the ruler of the city saw their courageous loyalty to one another, he let them both live.  Here Trollope says that Bernard would not have shown the kind of extraordinary friendship exemplified by these figures to any average clerk, signifying Crosbie’s greater renown.  [EB 2006]

Sources:  Link to an English version of Valerius Maximus’ account of Damon and Pythias.



This reference is the first instance of a recurring parallel made between the Classical god Apollo and Adolphus Crosbie.  Apollo was the god of arts, music, prophecy, and healing, who was also associated with the sun and was typically portrayed as an idealized, beautiful young man.  Here Lily makes the comparison with irony, suggesting that Crosbie must think of himself as a glorious, Apollo-like figure.  These references continue, as Crosbie and Bernard Dale join the end of Lily’s conversation with Bell.  Later in the chapter Lily mentions that “Apollo can’t get through the hoops,” creating a humorous image of a god failing at a game of croquet.  Unfortunately, Lily later comes to truly admire Crosbie as an elevated Apollo.  [EB & RR 2006]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.


boundary of thick laurel hedge

The laurel was a plant often associated with Apollo.  This association can be traced to a myth recorded in Ovid’s Metamorphoses (1.452-1.566), in which the nymph Daphne changed into a laurel in order to escape Apollo’s advances, and the god then appropriated the laurel as his symbol. Its presence immediately after the extended introduction of the Apollo-Crosbie parallel may serve to heighten the effect of the allusion.  It may also serve as a subtle foreshadowing of the future romantic troubles that Crosbie will be involved in, since Apollo’s romantic interests often turned out badly for the females he pursued.  [EB 2006]

Sources:  Ovid, Metamorphoses 1.452-567.


remnants of the haymaking

In this scene, Lily, Bell, Bernard, and Crosbie all take a slight part in assisting with the haymaking, creating an idyllic image of rural life like those found in Classical bucolic poetry.  Theocritus’ tenth Idyll, for instance, takes place during harvesting.  The scene’s association with Crosbie is interesting and unusual, since in the rest of the novel it is usually John Eames who participates in moments reminiscent of pastoral love.  [EB & RR 2006]


tablets of his mind

Crosbie here takes note of Lily’s sarcastic comment about Lady Hartletop.  The image of mental “tablets” can be found in Aeschylus’ play Prometheus Bound, where Prometheus reveals Io’s future to her.  There is a humorous contrast between the minor social comment that Crosbie commits to memory and the dramatic events foretold in Aeschylus’ play.  [EB 2006]

Sources:  Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound 788-789.


quite after the manner of Apollo

Lily again refers to Crosbie as an “Apollo” in a somewhat derogatory fashion. See entry on Apollo earlier in the commentary for this chapter.  [EB 2006]

Chapter 01 – The Squire of Allington

Dale family scepter

Here Trollope describes the property and political status passed through the Dale family as the family’s “scepter.”  This may recall the scepter that represents Agamemnon’s power in the Iliad, which has been passed down from his forefathers.  [EB 2006]

Sources:  Homer, Iliad 2.100-108.


Vestal fire

In Roman religion, Vesta was a goddess of hearth and community, and her temples contained a fire that was never extinguished.  Here Trollope compares the steadfastly maintained family traditions of inheritance in the Dale family to this eternal flame.  The image is appropriate, given Vesta’s correspondence to domestic settings.  The heightened religious connotations of the reference also have an effect of humorous exaggeration.  [EB 2006]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.


to afford comfort, protection, patronage

The Romans established a system of patron-client relationships in which powerful men gave financial, social, and political support to those of lesser status.  This system has been replicated in many other societies, as depicted in Trollope’s description of Allington.  [EB 2006]


profane vulgar

One of Horace’s odes contains the sentiment odi profanum vulgus et arceo, or “I hate and avoid the common crowd.”  Here Trollope uses the Anglicized form of the Latin phrase profanum vulgus to describe the road used by the common inhabitants of Allington.  [EB & RR 2006]

Sources:  Horace, Ode 3.1.1.