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]