Chapter 53 – Conclusion


This word comes from ancient Greece and refers to a song of victory or a song which invoked victory.  It was also adapted into Latin as paean, and retained the same meaning as a hymn or chant of victory. It is used here to describe Archdeacon Grantly’s song of triumph over Mr. Slope, since he has won their battle over religious power in Barchester. This word is cited by the OED as occurring in English literature as early as 1589.  [MD 2005]

The word has a Classical flavor, which can be humorously juxtaposed with its Christian context here.  Perhaps it is slightly unseemly for Dr. Grantly to take “pagan” glee in his religious victory?  [RR 2011]

Sources:  OED.



This Greek word, adopted into English, is used here as an exclamation, condemning those people who might disagree with Eleanor Bold’s religious views and practices in her new station as the wife of Dean Arabin.  [MD 2005]

Chapter 51 – Mr. Slope Bids Farewell to the Palace and its Inhabitants

facile princeps

Mrs. Proudie is referred to as facile princeps.  It is a Latin phrase literally meaning “easily first.”  In the conflict between Ms. Proudie and Mr. Slope over Hiram’s Hospital, Mrs. Proudie came out the winner.  Princeps was one title used by the Roman emperors, including Augustus, who triumphed over Mark Antony in a civil war.  Perhaps this title is Mrs. Proudie’s reward for being victorious in the civil war she had just fought with Mr. Slope.  It could also show that she has proven herself to be her husband’s emperor.  The phrase gives Mrs. Proudie a prestigious stature that reinforces her presentation as a triumphant victor.  [TH 2005]


gods above and below

The divinites of Olympus and of the Underworld, celestial and chthonic.  [RR 2011]

Chapter 50 – The Archdeacon is Satisfied with the State of Affairs

nil admirari

Latin, “to be surprised at nothing.”  The archdeacon is asked by Mr. Harding whether he will be surprised at the coming revelation regarding Eleanor; Dr. Grantly, who still believes her to be in love with Mr. Slope, is surprised when it turns out that she is not, in fact, engaged to him.  Nil admirari is an attitude advocated by Horace as the best manner of remaining happy, by refusing to marvel at anything.  [JM 2005]

Sources: Horace, Epistles 1.6.1.