Chapter 84 – Conclusion


A word based on the Greek word for “ant” which came to be the name of the people who inhabited the kingdom of Phthia in southern Thessaly.  (According to mythology, they had originally been metamorphosed from ants into humans.)  The Myrmidons were also led by Achilles to fight in the Trojan War and were known as some of the fiercest of the Achaean fighters.  Trollope uses this term to refer to Mr. Musselboro in relation to his patron Mrs. Van Siever.  Referring to Mr. Musselboro as Mrs. Van Siever’s “myrmidon” describes Mr. Musselboro’s function as a worker, specifically Mrs. Van Siever’s worker. In this context, “myrmidon” can be meant to refer to Mr. Musselboro as worker ant. Myrmidon can also mean someone who is a faithful follower or attendant.  [AM & RR 2006]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.


Had I written an epic about clergymen

Trollope comments that he did not write an epic when he wrote the Barsetshire novels.  Trollope states that if he had been writing an epic, he would have taken St. Paul for a model, but instead he was inspired by the people of his times.  Trollope concludes that he did not write an epic because he used material from the real world involving not larger-than-life heroes but rather people, including clergy, with secular concerns and regular human foibles.  [AM & RR 2006; rev. 2011]

Chapter 82 – The Last Scene at Hogglestock


Fortune was the Roman goddess of luck or chance.  Trollope here refers to the luck Grace Crawley feels as she sees her lover and future husband, Major Grantly, mount his horse.  Fortune is personified for the purpose of showing how Grace feels that she has been given such a wonderful man for a husband as if a gift from the gods.  [AM 2006]

Chapter 80 – Miss Demolines Desires to Become a Finger-post

Any Leander

Leander and Hero were two lovers who lived on opposite sides of the Hellespont.  At night, Leander would swim across to Hero.  One night, the wind blew out the lamp that Hero would light in order to guide Leander, and Leander drowned.  In this allusion, John thinks that he will be more immortal than Leander if he proposes to Lily Dale one final time in ten years.  [KD 2006]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.


John Eames and Greek

After John is rejected by Lily Dale, he decides that he is going to throw himself into the study of Greek.  However, John soon gives up and decides that he best keep his appointment with Madalina Demolines because “a gentleman should always keep his word to a lady.”  Trollope uses John’s inability to do Greek to show that he is in fact not entirely a gentlemen.  Therefore it is ironic that he chooses to keep his appointment because he is a gentlemen.  [KD 2006]

Chapter 79 – Mr. Crawley Speaks of his Coat

Rome and Athens

When speaking to the dean, Mr. Crawley says that he has no ambition to climb Mont Blanc or the Matterhorn.  He goes further to say that although the thought of going to Rome and Athens (sites connected with the study of his beloved Classics) makes his mouth water a little, he still has no desire to go there.  Mr. Crawley states that going to Athens would “destroy more than it would build up” since his mental picture of Athens is so vivid.  [KD & RR 2006]


Like to like is true

Mr. Crawley is trying to explain to Mr. Arabin why he cannot associate comfortably with his former friend:  the difference in their economic standing makes them unfit for each other.  In asserting “like to like is true,” Mr. Crawley is paraphrasing a Latin proverb, similis simili gaudet (“like rejoices in like”).  [RR 2006]

Chapter 78 – The Arabins Return to Barchester

His prophecies were not fulfilled

Archdeacon Grantly talks about his father living for a long time after he was expected to die as a failing of the doctor’s “prophecies.”  This phrasing positions the doctor as an oracle, such as those consulted in the Classical era, except the doctor’s predictions are considered unreliable.  [EB 2006]


She is all the graces rolled into one

Mrs. Grantly describes her husband as having this high opinion of Grace Crawley.  The image of “all the graces” in one person recalls the portrait of Mrs. Dobbs Broughton portrayed as each of the three Graces.  This draws a contrast between Grace, who possesses true qualities of grace, and Mrs. Broughton, who assumes a superficial and contrived appearance of grace.  [EB 2006]

Chapter 77 – The Shattered Tree

How green it all looks and how lovely

John describes his potential future with Lily as “green,” recalling the imagery of Classical pastoral poetry that was used throughout The Small House at Allington to describe his love for Lily.  [EB 2006]


But it isn’t a tree.  It is only a fragment.

Lily responds to John’s proposal by saying that she cannot be like a tree that he puts on display for others.  Her image of the “shattered” tree offers a distorted version of the pastoral scenes which John draws on to describe his love.  This imagery suggests that John Eames’ pastoral romance with Lily has been definitively ended.  [EB 2006]

Chapter 76 – I Think he is Light of Heart

My old friend John

The narrator here speaks directly to the reader about John Eames, using this familiar tone to describe a character that he likes well.  This is reminiscent of book 14 of Homer’s Odyssey, in which the narrator refers to the swineherd Eumaeus as “you, Eumaeus.”  Though these two authors address the characters in somewhat different ways, both use the technique of assuming familiarity with a character in order to show a particular fondness for that character.  [EB 2006]

Sources:  Homer, Odyssey 14.55 and 165.

Chapter 75 – Madalina’s Heart is Bleeding


A Latin adjective meaning “holy” or “sacred.”  In this context, it is used as a noun denoting the personal office space of Mr. Bangles into which Madalina Demolines intrudes.  Referring to Mr. Bangles’ office as his “sanctum” and describing how Madalina “penetrates” the sanctum conveys Trollope’s point of view that Madalina is not a character of pure or good intentions.  Also, “sanctum” referring to Mr. Bangles’ office is humorous.  This is perhaps because the nature of Mr. Bangles’ business involves cheap wines; it is not a refined business, nor is he a legitimate money lender and therefore his office is humorously described as a “sanctum.”  [AM 2006]


Aeneas and quorum pars magna fui

The narrator states that Lady Madalina “told her tale somewhat after the manner of Aeneas.” This allusion to Aeneas refers to book 2 in Vergil’s Aeneid when Aeneas tells the story of his flight from Troy to Queen Dido.  In his narration, Aeneas speaks of how he played a large part in the events following the destruction of Troy.  In Aeneas’ method of storytelling, Aeneas emphasizes his own role.  Lady Madalina, telling John Eames of the events surrounding Dobbs Broughton, presents the story in a self-centered fashion in which she emphasizes how she was involved in the events of the affair.  The Latin quotation is from Vergil’s Aeneid and means, “of which I have been a large part.”  Trollope uses this Latin phrase sarcastically to convey the self-centeredness with which Lady Madalina conveys the story of Dobbs Broughton to John Eames.  The use of the Latin phrase also conveys the overly dramatic nature in which Lady Madalina recounts her role in the story.  In this way, Lady Madalina seems to cast herself into a type of epic, thus demonstrating a personality that is given to dramatics.  [AM 2006]

Sources:  Vergil, Aeneid 2.5-6.



Madalina uses this word to refer to Lily Dale, John Eames’ long-time lady-love.  She could be equating Lily Dale with the goddess Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty.  It would be appropriate to associate Lily Dale with Aphrodite because Lily Dale represents love and beauty to John Eames.  Madalina could also be using this word sarcastically, knowing that it would irritate John Eames.  [AM 2006]

Chapter 73 – There is Comfort at Plumstead

They say he’s not very good at talking English, but put him on in Greek and he never stops

This is Archdeacon Grantly’s comment about Mr. Crawley’s education. By stating this, Archdeacon Grantly does recognize the intellectual capacity of Mr. Crawley, but perhaps this is a way of saying how Crawley is an odd man.  [AM 2006]

Chapter 71 – Mr. Toogood at Silverbridge

Toilet sacrifices to the goddess of grace

Trollope states that Mr. Toogood is allowed into the drawing room of Mr. and Mrs. Walker even though he had made “no toilet sacrifices to the goddess of grace”–or, in other words, prepared his appearance especially for a social visit.  The Graces were three mythological goddesses who embodied grace and charm.  [KD & RR 2006]

Sources: Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.


There’s many a slip twixt the cup and the lip

Trollope uses this saying throughout his novels, especially (but  not exclusively) in regard to engagements.  It basically means that many things can happen to obstruct a seemingly sure thing.  Miss Prettyman reminds her sister that it is still possible that Major Grantly and Grace Crawley won’t get married. For the connection to Classics, see the commentary for Chapter 24 of Barchester Towers.  [KD 2006]

Chapter 70 – Mrs. Arabin is Caught


Literally meaning “higher.”  Trollope uses this phrase in saying that Lily Dale never did view John Eames in a “higher,” heroic light.  Johnny Eames later uses this phrase to urge himself on as he goes to find Mrs. Arabin abroad.  Sophie Gilmartin points out that Longfellow’s poem “Excelsior” was popular in the mid-19th century.  [KD & RR 2006]

Sources:  Trollope, The Last Chronicle of Barset.  Ed. Sophie Gilmartin.  London:  Penguin, 2002.  See note on p. 886.



After hearing that Mrs. Proudie is dead, Mrs. Arabin states that she will “never forget the harsh toned paean of low-church trumpets” as Mrs. Proudie entered the city.  A paean is a victory hymn.  Trollope’s use of “paean” signifies that Mrs. Proudie had control as soon as she entered Barchester and therefore she was victorious.  The word may also pair Mrs. Proudie’s low-church stance with ancient, “pagan” religion, imparting a derogatory shade to the former.  [KD & RR 2006]

Chapter 69 – Mr. Crawley’s Last Appearance in his own Pulpit

Be critical on Euripides

Mr. Crawley tells Jane not to criticize Thumble’s sermon, but rather to turn her criticisms to “profane” matters such as the works of Euripides.  Crawley suggests Euripides, traditionally considered the most controversial of the Greek tragedians, since he seemed to be irreverent towards the gods.  As in other incidents throughout the novel, Crawley’s active engagement with Classics shows that his mood is improving.  [EB 2006]

Chapter 68 – The Obstinacy of Mr. Crawley

The presiding genius at the palace

This phrase is used to describe the late Mrs. Proudie.  The genius was a spirit that ruled over a specific place, such as a home, in Roman religion.  Mrs. Proudie’s influence in the bishops’s house and in church politics makes this description of her as a powerful supernatural being fitting.  [EB 2006]


Now for Pindar

Mr. Crawley turns to Pindar with Jane after Mr. Robart’s visit, again demonstrating the way in which he turns to the Classics for comfort during his difficulties.  Pindar wrote odes to victorious athletes, and so his texts are a fitting choice for Crawley after he has successfully upheld his convictions about leaving his position while speaking to Mr. Robarts.  [EB 2006]

Chapter 67 – In Memoriam

In Memoriam

The title of this chapter is a Latin phrase meaning “to the memory [of],” often used in reference to the deceased.  [EB 2006]


He mixed up this information with so much medical Latin

Dr. Filgrave’s report about Mrs. Proudie’s heart condition is described as having little effect on Bishop Proudie since the doctor makes excessive use of confusing Latin terminology.  [EB 2006]


That lady’s patronage

Mrs. Quiverful is described as having been received her home from the “patronage” of Mrs. Proudie.  This recalls the Roman patron-client relationship, in which a citizen of higher status gave various favors and opportunities to a client of lower social status.  [EB 2006]


Halcyon days

This phrase, which is often used in English to refer to fondly remembered times in the past, is derived from the Classical myth about Ceyx and Alcyone found in Ovid’s Metamorphoses.  In the story, Alcyone warns her beloved husband Ceyx that she feels that he would be in danger if he goes on a planned sea voyage.  He sails despite her concern and is drowned in a storm.  Since Alcyone sacrificed to Juno for Ceyx’s safety, the goddess took pity on her and revealed her husband’s fate in a dream.  Alcyone finds his body on the shore, and the gods turn them both into birds, kingfishers who mate during seven days in the winter known as ‘”halcyon days” when the sea is perfectly calm.  [EB 2006]

Sources:  Ovid, Metamorphoses 11.410-748.


Your proverb of “De mortuis”

The full Latin phrase referenced by Archdeacon and Mrs. Grantly in their conversation is De mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est, meaning “About the dead nothing but good must be spoken.”  The phrase is attributed to Chilo by Diogenes Laertius.  [EB 2006]

Sources:  Entry in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations.


There was a broken column

Mrs. Proudie’s grave features this element that is taken from Classical architecture.  The fact that the column is broken suggests a feeling of grief and life interrupted rather than the usual connotations of austerity attached to Classical art and architecture.  [EB 2006]


Requiescat in Pace

This Latin phrase means “may s/he rest in peace” and is often found on tombstones.  [EB 2006]

Chapter 66 – Requiescat in Pace

Requiescat in Pace

A Latin phrase meaning, “May he/she/it rest in peace.”  This phrase was commonly engraved on tombstones.  This Latin phrase and title of the chapter is a foreshadowing of what is to come.  This phrase, on the surface, refers to the death of Mrs. Proudie. However, this phrase is perhaps appropriate for Bishop Proudie.  Through Mrs. Proudie’s death, it is the living Bishop Proudie who will be at peace.  [AM 2006]

Chapter 62 – Mr. Crawley’s Letter to the Dean

Let justice be done, though the heaven may fall

Again Mr. Crawley states to himself that he will resign from his office and that justice shall be done, though the heavens may fall.  A version of this phrase was used in Chapter 61.  See the commentary for Chapter 4 of The Warden.  [KD & RR 2006; rev. 2011]


Greek iambics

Mr. Crawley states to himself that the bishop (unlike himself) probably did not know the difference between an iamb and a trochee.  It appears that Mr. Crawley is using his knowledge of Greek to make himself feel better in his own eyes.  [KD 2006]


The Greek poem about the agonies of the blind giant

Mr. Crawley makes Jane read this story before he writes his letters to the bishop and dean.  The story, from the Odyssey, is about the Cyclops, Polyphemus, who was blinded by Odysseus while he and his men were attempting to escape Polyphemus’ cave.  This is an interesting link because Polyphemus was once a great giant who was utterly overcome.  Trollope, by mentioning Mr. Crawley’s interest in Polyphemus, implies that Mr. Crawley believes himself to be a tragic figure like Polyphemus.  [KD 2006]

Sources:  Homer, Odyssey 9.



Mr. Crawley considers the story of Polyphemus and declares that “Fate–Necessity, as the Greeks called her” is “the goddess that will not be shunned!”  The Fates were thought to determine the life of people in antiquity, and it appears that Mr. Crawley believes that the Fates are interfering with his life by causing the turmoil with the missing cheque.  [KD 2006]



A general under the Emperor Justinian in the 6th c. CE.  According to later legend, Belisarius was blinded at Justinian’s command and reduced to a beggar.  Trollope (and Crawley) would probably have known more about Belisarius from post-antique treatments of his life (in both painting and writing) than by actual ancient accounts.  [RR 2011]


Mr. Crawley takes up the passage himself

Mr. Crawley begins to read the passage of the Odyssey himself.  As we have seen, Mr. Crawley only reads Greek when he is in a good mood.  In this instance, he must be very content because he takes over the reading from Jane.  [KD 2006]


Nil conscire sibi, nulla pallescere culpa

This means “to be conscious of no guilt, to turn pale at no blame.”  This phrase is from Horace’s Epistles I.1.61.  Mr. Crawley in his letter to the dean says that the dean, if he were not abroad, would probably give him this advice.  [KD 2006]

Sources:  Horace, Epistle 1.1.61.


My hair stands on end with horror

In his letter to the dean, Mr. Crawley states that his hair stands on end in horror when he thinks of the possibility that he stole the cheque.  Here Trollope is playing on the literal meaning of the verb horresco, horrescere:  “to bristle” or “to have one’s hair stand on end.”  [KD 2006]

Sources:  OLD.


The dean as patron of Mr. Crawley’s living

In his letter to the dean, Mr. Crawley declares him his patron of the living.  This is a reference to the patron/client system which Trollope commonly invokes in his novels.  [KD 2006]

Chapter 65 – Miss Van Siever Makes her Choice

By Jove

A common Victorian expression of surprise, realization, or frustration.  “Jove” refers to Jupiter, the god who was head of the Roman pantheon.  Mr. Mussleboro says this to himself after Clara Van Siever turns down his marriage proposal and asks him not to try to persuade her.  Through saying this, he is expressing his frustration at not being able to persuade Clara into marrying him.  This phrase is also emphasizing Mr. Mussleboro’s realization that in his view both Clara and her mother are “Tartars” or shrews.  [AM 2006]



Fortune was the Roman goddess of chance or luck. Trollope uses this allusion to Fortune in order to show that Mr. Musselboro now understands that–luckily–he does not need to marry Clara in order to have access to Mrs. Van Siever’s money.  [AM & RR 2006]

Chapter 64 – The Tragedy in Hook Court

The three Graces

The narrator states that Dalrymple thought of the picture of the three Classical Graces before revealing to Mrs. Broughton the news of her husband’s suicide.  Dalrymple’s portrait of Mrs. Broughton as all three of the Graces led to an empty but involved flirtation between himself and Mrs. Broughton.  Dalrymple now uses the portrait as a symbol for his now-regretted relationship with her.  The portrait was first mentioned in Chapter 24.  [AM & RR 2006; rev. 2011]

Chapter 63 – Two Visitors to Hogglestock

Greek and Latin

Major Grantly asks Jane to excuse herself from the room so he can talk to Mr. and Mrs. Crawley.  Trollope states that even though Jane has only studied Greek and Latin she knew that Major Grantly was about to ask Mr. Crawley’s permission to marry Grace.  [KD 2006]


Nil conscire sibi

“To be conscious of no guilt.”  Mr. Crawley says this to himself after he realizes that Major Grantly is asking his permission to marry Grace.  The phrase is from Horace’s Epistles, and Crawley has used it earlier, in Chapter 62.  [KD 2006]

Sources:  Horace, Epistle 1.1.61.


Roman fortitude

Mr. Crawley tries (without success) to maintain a Roman fortitude when explaining to Major Grantly that Grace cannot marry him.  Forbearance under duress (without expression of emotion) is traditionally ascribed to the Roman character.  [KD & RR 2006; rev. 2011]

Chapter 61 – ‘It’s Dogged as Does It’

Meum and tuum

“Mine and yours.”  Mr. Crawley, after receiving the letter from Dr. Tempest about his hearing, states to himself that the ecclesiastical commission will consider him crazy because he did not know the difference between “meum and tuum” in regards to the cheque.  [KD 2006]


Terrible thoughts of the fate of Mr. Crawley’s family

After Mr. Crawley receives the letter about his meeting with the ecclesiastical commission, he takes a walk and sits in the rain.  Trollope mentions the “terrible thoughts” about Crawley’s family which at times had entered Crawley’s mind.  This likely refers to Mr. Crawley’s thoughts of Heracles killing his wife and children earlier in Chapter 41.  [KD 2006]


Greek iambics

Mr. Crawley is said to make Greek iambics as he walks along the lanes of the street.  An iambic is an unstressed and then stressed syllable.  This is a pun that links metric feet with Mr. Crawley’s actual feet.  [KD 2006]


Justice though the heaven should fall

While sitting in the rain, Mr., Crawley decides that he will resign and do justice though the heavens should fall.  The proverbial sentiment is used elsewhere by Trollope in Latin:  fiat justitia ruat coelum (or ruat coelum fiat justitia).  See the commentary for Chapter 4 of The Warden.  [KD & RR 2006; rev. 2011]

Chapter 59 – A Lady Presents her Compliments to Miss L.D.

The divinity of the imaginary Apollo had been dashed to the ground

Lily is described as losing her view of Crosbie as an “Apollo” after seeing him in Rotten Row. This continues the parallel that had been drawn in The Small House at Allington between Crosbie and this young, beautiful god of Classical myth.  [EB 2006]


The lover who had never been a god

Continuing the previous reference, this phrase describes how the loss of Crosbie as “Apollo” seems to elevate John Eames in Lily’s mind.  Crosbie had previously overshadowed Eames, who was not compared to a god such as Apollo.  [EB 2006]


Having something godlike in his favour

This continues the previous discussion of Crosbie and Eames’ relative merits as suitors.  Lily had previously chosen Crosbie for his “godlike” qualities, but now Eames and Crosbie seem more evenly matched.  [EB 2006]


Something of that Phoebus divinity

Phoebus is another name for the god Apollo.  This phrase continues the description of how Lily thinks that John Eames lacks the characteristics of “divinity.”  [EB 2006]


If not into divinity, at least into manliness

Continuing the prior references, this phrase describes how Lily appreciates John’s recently developed maturity, even if she does not recognize him as an “Apollo.” [EB 2006]


Her forgiveness had been asked, not by a god

Lily continues to reduce Crosbie from his previous status as an “Apollo” here.  She realizes that when Crosbie asked her forgiveness, she was being asked by “an ordinary human being” rather than “a god” such as Apollo.  [EB 2006]

Chapter 57 – A Double Pledge

A place where three roads meet

This phrase recalls the description (in Sophocles’ Oedipus) of the location where Oedipus unwittingly killed his own father.  At such a crossroads in the novel, Archdeacon Grantly sees the card advertising the sale at Cosby Lodge where his son, Major Grantly, lives. It is at this point in Archdeacon Grantly’s journey that he realizes that it is imperative that he speak harshly with Grace Crawley to ask her not to marry his son, for if she does, his son will suffer ruin.  This allusion to Sophocles’ play in the narrative may show how physical places mark turning points in the plot.  [AM 2006]

Archdeacon Grantly is hurt and angered by the sign for the sale at Cosby Lodge.  Through the sign, his son has “attacked” him at “a place where three roads meet”–but unlike Oedipus, Major Grantly’s attack does not prove fatal for his father.  [RR 2011]

Sources:  Sophocles, Oedipus 715-716, 729-730, 800-801.

Chapter 56 – The Archdeacon Goes to Framley

Presiding genius

Lady Lufton is described by the narrator as the “presiding genius” at Framley.  In Roman times, the genius was an honored household deity who was believed to protect the household and the members of the family. The Roman genius had a male association which was parallel to the paterfamilias (male head of household).  This Roman term applied to Lady Lufton conveys that she protects her household and her family members.  Perhaps this term is also likening Lady Lufton to a paterfamilias because it is she who protects the well-being of her house and her family.  [AM 2006]

Sources:  OCD.


He could not drop into Framley as though he had come from the clouds

This statement is referring to Archdeacon Grantly’s doubt about how to approach Grace Crawley at Framley and urge her not to marry his son.  This sentence may recall the device used in Greek theater called the deus ex machina or “god from the machine” by which an actor portraying a god was lowered onto the stage.  The deus ex machina was used in a play when earthly characters could not solve a conflict among themselves and a god needed to come from above to resolve the conflict and to restore harmony.  This sentence conveys that Archdeacon Grantly feels that he–unlike a god–cannot simply appear at Framley; the archdeacon also understands that his visit will not easily restore harmony in his household or bring him peace of mind.  [AM & RR 2006]


Ruat coelum, fiat justitia

A Latin proverbial statement meaning, “The world may fall, let justice be done.”  Trollope uses this Latin phrase in conjunction with his comments on the observation that people, when they speak in public gatherings, espouse certain ideals and convictions. However in smaller, more intimate groups what they say differs from the convictions that they stated in public. Trollope remarks that this Latin phrase is the sentiment spoken from an outside balcony to a group of people, conveying how people profess their external convictions and ideals when they are in larger settings.  See the commentary for Chapter 4 of The Warden.  [AM 2006]


Rem, si possis recte, si non, quocunque modo

This is a Latin phrase meaning, “If you are able to do a thing honestly, [do it honestly], but if not, [do it] in whatever way you can.”  The Latin phrase comes from Horace’s Epistles. This phrase continues Trollope’s discussion of how people’s public convictions differ from what they reveal when they are in small groups of people or among friends. This Latin phrase, as Trollope states, is whispered into an ear in a smoking-room. This shows how people in small settings with friends will diverge from their externally professed ideals and reveal to their friends their true and perhaps selfish ideas.  In making this generalization about the difference between publicly and privately articulated views, Trollope uses Latin phrases to emphasize the fact that this is a time-proven pattern of human behavior.  [AM & RR 2006]

Sources:  Horace, Epistle 1.1.66.

Chapter 55 – Framley Parsonage


A Latin verb meaning “I forbid”. This word comes from the power that the Roman tribune of the plebeians had to put a stop to other governmental actions. When Mr. Robarts is explaining why Grace Crawley is staying at Framley Parsonage, he senses Mr. Oriel’s disapproval of the situation but states that he did not feel it was necessary to “put a veto” on the visit.  [AM 2006]


You mean, she is a lady?

Mr. Robarts articulates the question that his colleague, Mr. Oriel, is struggling to ask about Grace Crawley.  Oriel explains that he knows Grace is a lady by birth, but Mr. Robarts suggests that Grace is also a lady by education, manners, and appearance.  Grace’s high level of education is mentioned by Mr. Robarts first in his list of Grace’s qualifications as a “lady.”  [RR 2011]

Chapter 54 – The Clerical Commission


Trollope states that Dr. Tempest is a prudent man and that archdeacon Grantly would have told the whole world of his quarrel with the bishop and Mrs. Proudie by singing a paean in the neighboring parishes.  A paean is a victory hymn usually sung in honor of Apollo.  However, as Trollope states, Dr. Tempest keeps the matter to himself rather than making it widespread.  [KD 2006]


His patrons, the Luftons

Trollope here mentions that the Luftons are Mark Robarts’ patrons; he is their client.  [KD 2006]


Support his friends and oppose his enemies

Trollope states that Mark Robarts is appointed to be on the clerical commission and that he “would be sure to support his friends and oppose his enemies.”  This phrase recalls the conception of justice–helping friends and harming enemies–articulated by Polemarchus in Plato’s Republic.  [KD & RR 2006]

Sources:  Plato, Republic 1, 332d.


Prima facie

Literally meaning “at first appearance,” this phrase means basically a first impression that is believed to be true.  [KD 2006]

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

Chapter 53 – Rotten Row

Onesiphorus Dunn

Onesiphorus in Greek literally means “benefit bearer.”  This use of Greek is apt because Onesiphorus in the novel is a great help to Lily Dale when she sees Crosbie for the first time after he slighted her in the Small House at Allington.  Onesiphorus also does many favors for Mrs. Throne.  [KD 2006]


Statue of Achilles

A statue of the Duke of Wellington as the Greek hero Achilles was erected in Hyde Park in 1822.  [RR 2006]

Sources:  Trollope, The Last Chronicle of Barset.  Ed. Sophie Gilmartin.  London:  Penguin, 2002.  See note on p. 882.


Looked and be looked at

When Siph Dunn meets Crosbie in Rotten Row he remarks that he rarely sees Crosbie about these days.  Crosbie responds that he has “something to do besides going to look or be looked at.”  Crosbie’s response reformulates a phrase from Ovid’s Ars Amatoria in which Ovid remarks that women go to the public spectacles in order to see and be seen.  Crosbie’s allusion implicitly casts men who go about to see and be seen in a feminine light.  Siph, who does not seem to appreciate the biting implication of Crosbie’s Classical allusion, does not mind asserting that he, as a man of leisure, can afford the time “to see and be seen.”  [RR]

Sources:  Ovid, Ars Amatoria 1.99.


Quarrels of lovers as a bad basis for the renewal of love

Fowler Pratt, Adolphus Crosbie’s friend, gives this advice to Crosbie in regard to his desire to reconnect with Lily Dale.  The phrase comes from Terence’s Andria when Simo and his friend are discussing his son’s fight with his lover.  Simo’s friend, Chremes, states that “the quarrels of lovers are the renewals of love” and that Simo should break the two up before they reconcile.  This is an interesting allusion because Pratt is changing the usual meaning of this phrase to tell Crosbie that his slighting of Lily Dale is irreversible.  See the commentary for Chapter 5 of Framley Parsonage.  [KD 2006]

Sources:  Terence, Andria 555.


He had been as it were a god to her

Lily Dale sees Crosbie while riding.  She realizes that time has punished Crosbie and that “he had lost the look of an Apollo.”  In The Small House at Allington, we see Lily call Crosbie an “Apollo” because of his good looks and charming nature.  Trollope tells us that Crosbie now is viewed in an “altered light”–which is a play on Trollope’s use of Apollo imagery for Crosbie.  Crosbie is in an “altered light” because he is literally altered from his appearance as the god of light, Apollo.  [KD 2006]


The fates

The Fates are the three goddess who spin, measure, and cut the thread of life.  The Fates are often associated with one’s predetermined destiny.  The Fates are mentioned in relation to Lily Dale, who here must go into dinner with Fowler Pratt, a friend of Crosbie.  [KD & RR 2006; rev. 2011]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.

Chapter 52 – Why Don’t you Have an ‘It’ for Yourself?

Gold to eat had gold been good for eating

This allusion occurs when Trollope is talking about Mrs. Thorne as a wealthy and generous woman.  In Ovid’s Metamorphoses, King Midas is granted his choice of reward when he restores Silenus to Bacchus:  being able to turn whatever he touches to gold.  However, Midas begins to regret this choice when he is unable to eat without everything he touches turning to gold.  This allusion refers to Mrs. Thorne and her generosity with money.  Trollope states that “she would have given gold to eat had gold been good for eating.”  [KD 2006]

Sources:  Ovid, Metamorphoses 11.100-145.


All the world was speaking well of John Eames

Lily writes to her mother that the whole world was speaking well of John Eames.  This statement recalls some lines from Terence’s Andria.  When asking about his son, Simo hears that omnes omnia / bona dicere or “all people say all good things.”  See the commentary for Chapter 1 of FramleyParsonage[KD 2006]

Sources:  Terence, Andria 96-97.

Chapter 51 – Mrs. Dobbs Broughton Piles her Faggots

Not an elysium

Mrs. Broughton is described as being aware that her marriage and material comfort have not created an “elysium” for her.  Elysium, in Classical mythology, is the beautiful realm of the Underworld in which the fortunate were able to spend a happy afterlife.  [EB 2006]


Something of an elysium might yet be created

The allusion to elysium continues as Mrs. Broughton is said to have once thought that her flirtation with Conway Dalrymple might have added something to her life that might make it an “elysium.”  [EB 2006]


Did very little towards providing the necessary elysium

Trollope continues the previous references, describing how Mrs. Broughton feels that her husband’s unromantic nature has contributed to her sense that her “elysium” is lacking.  [EB 2006]


The lists of Cupid

Conway is described as viewing the staged romance that Mrs. Broughton seeks as a “mock tournament.”  The reference to Cupid that is part of this description is fitting, since Cupid’s arrows caused love rather than physical wounds, just as this “tournament” employs “blunted swords and half-severed lances.”  [EB 2006]


Had not some god saved him

Conway Dalrymple is “saved” by Clara Van Siever’s interruption of his conversation with Mrs. Broughton; it is as if some god had sent Clara to them none too soon.  This is reminiscent of the situation in Horace’s Satires 1.9, in which the speaker is similarly saved from an irritating conversation by Apollo, who sends someone to interrupt.  [EB & RR 2006]

Sources:  Horace, Satire 1.9.74-78.

Chapter 50 – Lady Lufton’s Proposition

High-souled sufferer

“High-souled,” used here to describe Grace Crawley, is a literal rendering in English of the Latin parts of the word “magnanimous.”  In English this word now means “generous.”  Trollope here recalls the Classical (and archaic English) use of the word to mean “brave” or “courageous.”  [EB 2006]

Sources:  OED.


Aegis of first-rate county respectability

The aegis is a shield, or sometimes a type of garment, wielded by Zeus and often used by Athena.  The term has been borrowed into English to refer to a shield in a more figurative sense.  This is seen in the narrator’s description of Mrs. Robarts and Lady Lufton’s kindness to Grace Crawley.  Using the word “aegis” elevates the power of their aid.  [EB 2006]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.

Chapter 47 – Dr. Tempest at the Palace

By the writing of such letters, and by the making of speeches in the same strain, he had become Bishop of Barchester

This statement is made when Bishop Proudie is writing with courteous word choice and deep regret to Dr. Tempest to come over to the palace to discuss the proceedings against Mr. Crawley.  Bishop Proudie is capable of writing with great rhetorical merit, and this statement reveals that his rhetorical capabilities helped him rise to the seat of bishop.  This description of Bishop Proudie’s rhetoric echoes how Cicero, a Roman statesman, also ascended to power in the Rome by virtue of his rhetorical mastery of language.  This empowering parallel to Cicero contrasts with Bishop Proudie’s emasculating acquiescence to his overbearing wife, Mrs. Proudie.  This reference is meant to show readers that there is a powerful dimension to Bishop Proudie, that his wife does not control his rhetorical skills.  Like Cicero, Bishop Proudie’s power and capabilities lie in his words, written and spoken.  [AM 2006]


Full panoply of female armour

The idea of female clothing and adornment being equivalent to armor goes back at least to the Iliad. This phrase hearkens back to book 14 of Homer’s Iliad, where Hera adorns herself in order to seduce and distract Zeus so she can subvert his plans.  Hera’s toilette is presented as a parallel to male armoring scenes in the epic.  Trollope describes Mrs. Proudie and her daughters as “arrayed in a full panoply of female armor,” referring to their adornment and dress.  The intention behind Mrs. Proudie’s adornment parallels Hera’s.  This statement symbolizes that Mrs. Proudie, like Hera, intends on interfering with her husband’s affairs.  [AM & RR 2006]

Sources:  Homer, Iliad 14.166-186.


To risk his laurels

This statement is made when Dr. Tempest wishes to avoid Mrs. Proudie as he leaves the Bishop’s palace.  The “laurels” refer to Dr. Tempest’s prior victory in an argument he had with Mrs. Proudie, and by encountering her again on his departure from the palace he would risk another confrontation with her and thus lose his victorious upperhand.  The laurel in ancient Rome symbolized victory, and laurel wreaths were worn by victorious emperors and generals during commemorative ceremonies.  [AM 2006]



From the Latin verb studeo, studēre, meaning “to desire” or “to be eager for.”  Trollope uses “studied” to mean that Mrs. Proudie desired or was eager to promote the welfare of clergymen whose ideas were in line with her own.  [AM & RR 2006]

Chapter 45 – Lily Dale Goes to London

The Fate of L.D.

Upon arriving in London, Lily Dale begins contemplating her cousin Bernard’s marriage and her unmarried fate in life.  At this moment perhaps Lily is realizing that she does not want to be an Old Maid, even though she has sealed her own destiny by writing in her book “As arranged by Fate for L.D.”  In Classical mythology, the Fates are goddesses who determine when someone dies.  [KD 2006]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.


A jovial Mrs. Thorne

As the squire and Lily Dale enter the Thornes’ house in London, they are greeted by a “jovial voice on the stairs.”  The word “jovial” comes from the Latin name, Jove, king of the gods, and has come to describe someone who is good-natured and cheerful.  In the use of the word here, Trollope may be drawing on the common meaning of the word as well as on its etymological origin.  Not only is Mrs. Thorne merry, but she is also god-like in her social position due to her great wealth.  Mrs. Thorne’s jovial voice comes from above–as if from Olympian heights.  [KD & RR 2006]

Sources:  OED.

Chapter 43 – Mr. Crosbie Goes into the City

That his patron and his partner was half drunk

Musselboro notices that Broughton is drunk during Crosbie’s visit.  Trollope often mentions the Roman system of patron and client, but it is interesting that here Boughton is both partner and patron.  The patron and client system implies a hierarchy between the men, while a partnership implies equality.  [KD 2006]


Mr. Musselboro’s genius

Crosbie perceives that Musselboro is a man of power after Boughton returns drunk and makes a fool of himself.  He notices that Musselboro’s “genius” was on the rise in Hook Court.  A genius is a protective spirit associated with the Roman household.  Clearly Mr. Musselboro is the guardian at Hook Court.  [KD 2006]


Burton or Bangle, Bangle or Burton

Mr. Crosbie is supposed to ask Bangle and Burton to help him pay his debts.  A chiasmus is a Classical rhetorical and poetic arrangement of words.  A chiasmus’ word order is ABBA.  Trollope here uses a chiasmus in his repetition of Bangle and Burton’s names.  [KD 2006]


Presiding genius

Crosbie runs into Sir Raffle Buffle after his meeting at Hook Court.  Crosbie remembers Raffle Baffle as the former “presiding genius” at his office.  A genius is a protective or guardian spirit associated with the Roman household.  [KD 2006]

Chapter 42 – Mr. Toogood Travels Professionally

What does the Latin proverb say?  “No one of a sudden becomes most base”

Harding uses this quotation from Juvenal’s Satires to explain that he does not believe that Crawley, who seems to him to be a virtuous man, would suddenly steal money.  Trollope’s use of this phrase is interesting since Harding references its origin in Latin literature, whereas many of the characters in his novels often unwittingly quote or paraphrase Classical texts.  [EB 2006]

Sources:  Juvenal, Satire 2.83.

Chapter 41 – Grace Crawley at Home

Of all men most unfortunate

Crawley is described as feeling as though only a madness which would drive him to kill his family was lacking to make him the “most unfortunate” man.  This recalls the tragic fate of the hero Heracles, who killed his wife Megara and their children in a period of madness.  [EB 2006]

Sources:  Euripides, Heracles.


She was reading Greek to him

Grace immediately begins reading Greek to her father upon her return home to comfort him.  This scene demonstrates Grace’s extensive knowledge of Classical language and literature.  Crawley also begins to shout out passages from plays, suggesting that he is beginning to recover.  [EB 2006]


It’s the outside of them he cares for

Crawley discusses with Grace how Arabin’s books are gilded and beautiful in appearance, but that he “doubt[s] if he ever reads.”  The description of Arabin’s books are a sharp contrast to Crawley’s tattered and well-used books, indicating that Crawley has a true interest in the Classics, whereas Arabin uses Classical knowledge as a sign of status.  For Crawley’s books, see the commentary for Chapter 4.  [EB 2006]


And the Greek books were out again

Grace again reads to her father.  He comments that her sister Jane might soon surpass her in her understanding of Greek, which suggests both of the Crawley girls’ intellectual achievements.  [EB 2006]


The whole of “Antigone” by heart

Continuing the conversation above, Mr. Crawley comments that he once had memorized this entire play by the Greek author Sophocles, and says that his daughters should compete to see which of them can learn it first.  The use of this play is interesting, since Mr. Crawley is often reminiscent of the tormented, proud, and quick-to-anger protagonists of Sophocles’ plays.  [EB & RR 2006]


I cannot read Greek plays to him

Mrs. Crawley, who is unable to read Greek, praises Grace’s ability to comfort her father with Greek literature.  This demonstrates the importance of Classical learning to Mr. Crawley and his children.  [EB 2006]

Chapter 40 – Mr. Toogood’s Ideas about Society

Had conquered him by her charms, and he was now a slave

William Summerkin, the clerk who is engaged to Polly Toogood, is described with this phrase.  The practice of making conquered people become slaves was common in ancient Greece and Rome.  Summerkin is also described as anticipating “matrimonial sacrifice,” an image which recalls the parallels drawn in The Small House at Allington between the engaged Crosbie and a calf prepared for sacrifice.  See, for example, the commentary for Chapter 7 of The Small House at Allington.  [EB 2006]


The world has been heavy on him

This phrase, used by both Mr. Toogood and John Eames when discussing Mr. Crawley, may refer to the mythological figure Atlas, a Titan who was punished for rebelling against the gods by being made to hold up the sky for all eternity.  In some Roman and Hellenistic art he is portrayed as holding up the entire globe rather than the sky.  Crawley’s self-loathing nature makes him feel as if he, like Atlas, holds up the weight of the world alone.  [EB 2006]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.

Chapter 38 – Jael


In Greek mythology, the three Graces were goddesses of charm and beauty.  Conway Dalrymple painted a triple portrait of Mrs. Dobbs Broughton herself personifying all three Graces.  Conway’s depiction of Mrs. Broughton as each of the three Graces is a seemingly ironic notion, considering how Mrs. Broughton in her actual life does not embody charm or beauty, due to her pervasive melancholy and overblown Byronic aspirations.  [AM 2006]

Chapter 37 – Hook Court

d. per dozen

This “d” is used as a monetary abbreviation for the word “denarius” originally from Latin and denoting a particular silver coin.  This word has come to indicate a penny or pence.  [AM 2006]

Sources:  OED.


Augustus Musselboro

Augustus was the first of the Roman emperors.  His reign is characterized by a golden age of peace, prosperity, efficiency, and literary works.  On the surface, the name of the Augustus in this chapter conveys a sense of strength and ability.  However, perhaps Mr. Musselboro’s name is used to poke fun of the irony that his business is dependent upon the financial support of Mrs. Van Siever.  Mr. Musselboro does not in fact rule or control anything and is subject to the bidding of Mrs. Van Siever.  [AM 2006]

Sources:  OCD.



Mrs. Van Siever is Mr. Musselboro’s financial supporter and business partner.  This word recalls the patron/client relationships that were common in ancient Rome in which a wealthier person, the patron, would financially support another person, or client. The patron would fund the client’s artistic or mercantile endeavors and would receive social or financial benefits from the client’s accomplishments.  The client is, however, subject to the patron’s bidding.  In the plot of the novel, Mrs. Van Siever provides the financial support for Mr. Musselboro’s business with Dobbs Broughton. The dynamic of the relationship between Mrs. Van Siever, the patroness, and the client, Mr. Musselboro, shows how Mr. Musselboro is financially dependent on Mrs. Van Siever and is obligated to reveal to her information about the business.  [AM 2006]

Chapter 35 – Lily Dale Writes Two Words in her Book

Angel of light

As Johnny makes his walk through the gardens of Allington in search of Lily Dale, he thinks of Lily and her past relationship with Crosbie.  He remembers that when he was about to proclaim his love to Lily, she was already regarding Crosbie as an “angel of light.”  This reference to light maintains Trollope’s recurring association of Crosbie, Lily’s former suitor, with Apollo, the god of light.  [KD 2006]


Cutting names into bridges

John Eames tells Lady Julia before for he goes to see the Dales in Allington that he only has to stay ten minutes to say everything he wants to Lily.  After that, he can go and cut names into bridges.  This is reminisient of the pastoral imagery we have seen with John in Small House at Allington when Lady Julia found John Eames cutting Lily’s name into the bridge’s railing.  See the commentary for Chapter 52 of The Small House at Allington. [KD 2006]


Temple at Allington

After Lily rejects John Eames’ proposal again, she tells him that there will always be a “temple at Allington in which your worship is never forgotten.”  Although Lily cannot see John Eames as she saw “Apollo” Crosbie, she nevertheless maintains that she will cherish him.  Given the “homage” that she paid to Crosbie-as-Apollo, it is interesting that she now uses divine imagery in speaking of paying homage to John.  [KD & RR 2006]


John as a stricken deer

After Lily’s rejection, John declares to himself that he will live as though Lily were forgotten and will not go around as a stricken deer.  The stricken deer imagery is reminiscent of Dido in the Aeneid when she is struck by her love for Aeneas and likened to a wounded deer.  Trollope’s use of “stricken deer” is interesting here because the image was used for Lily Dale in the Small House at Allington after she was slighted by Crosbie. See commentary for The Small House at Allington Chapter 31.  [KD 2006]


If he knew himself he be constant to Lily

John tells himself that he will never mention Lily Dale to anyone nor ever speak to any other girl.  Trollope interrupts, saying that if John knew himself he would be constant.

“Know thyself” is a famous Greek proverb attributed to a number of different philosophers.  According to Pausanias, it was inscribed in the entry to the Temple of Apollo at Delphi.  As we know, Johnny does not “know himself”–as he is still involved with Madaline Demolines.  [KD 2006; rev. RR 2011]

Sources:  Pausanias, Guide to Greece 10.24.1.


Super-excellent port

As Lady Julia comforts John Eames, Trollope says that she opens  bottle of a super-excellent port.  Super as a Latin prefix literally means “over” or “above.”  [KD 2006]

Chapter 33 – The Plumstead Foxes

Stogpingum = Stoke Pinguium

The word “Pinguium” in the original name of this parish is a form of the Latin word pinguis, meaning “fat” or “fertile.”  The narrator comments that its current name, “Stogpingum,” is the result of “barbarous Saxon tongues [having] clipped it of its proper proportions.”  This phrase satirizes those who prefer the aesthetics of Latin to other languages.  [EB 2006]

Chapter 32 – Mr. Toogood

In forma pauperis

This Latin phrase means “in the form of a pauper,” and Crawley uses it to describe his inability to pay Toogood for his legal assistance.  [EB 2006]



The woman mentioned in the poem that Toogood quotes is a famous courtesan of ancient Greece, who was said to have traveled with Alexander the Great.  Toogood does not know this background information, and is only amused by his children picking up Dryden’s use of “Thais” and referring to their mother with this name.  Crawley, who does know of this historical figure, is shocked and questions Toogood’s character.  [EB & RR 2006; rev. 2011]

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


Use the goods the gods provide you

Toogood describes this as the best form of gratitude for the good fortune he has enjoyed.  This phrase hearkens back to a similar statement made by Paris in the Iliad, as well as to the poem by John Dryden that Toogood quotes.  [EB 2006]

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


By Jove

Toogood uses this common exclamation, which makes use of the name of the Roman god Jove, or Jupiter.  [EB 2006]


In forma pauperis

See the gloss for this phrase earlier in this chapter.


I know myself as no one else can no me, in spite of the wise man’s motto

Mr. Crawley says this in reference to his difficulty in remembering the events surrounding the alleged theft.  The “motto” he references is possibly a phrase found in Diogenes Laertius’ account of Thales, who supposedly said that “to know one’s self” is most difficult.  [EB & RR 2006]

Sources:  Entry in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations.

Chapter 31 – Showing how Major Grantly Returned to Guestwick

She has spirit enough for a goddess

Lily describes Grace to her mother with this phrase, which compares her generally to a goddess. This is fitting given the associations between Grace’s name and the three classical goddesses known as the Graces.  [EB 2006]


Major Grantly was fond of Greek

Since John has not heard a great deal about Grace’s beauty, he assumes here that Grantly must be attracted to her intellectual accomplishments.  Again, the Crawleys’ Classical knowledge becomes a central aspect of their characters.  [EB 2006]

Chapter 30 – Showing what Major Grantly did after his Walk

She had learned to read Greek

This detail of Grace’s education shows that for a woman of her time she is highly educated.  Her extensive education is contrasted with her family’s financial poverty.  This juxtaposition intensifies the question of whether Grace is a “lady,” worthy of betrothal to Major Grantly; she has the mark of a “lady” due to her fine education, but yet her family lives in poverty.  [AM 2006]

Chapter 28 – Showing how Major Grantly took a Walk

Major Grantly’s walk

This chapter recalls the Classical pastoral poetry of Vergil’s Eclogues and Theocritus’ Idylls in which an unrequited lover wanders through the fields and countryside singing of his love.  Major Grantly is similar to a pastoral lover as he walks the fields of Allington in anticipation of proposing marriage to Grace Crawley.  In The Small House at Allington the woods and fields of Allington were likened to pastoral locales.  [AM 2006]

Chapter 27 – A Hero at Home


A spectator is a person who watches a certain event.  “Spectator” comes from the Latin verb specto, spectare which means “to watch” and the related noun spectator, “watcher” or “onlooker.”  The name of the newspaper which John Eames and Major Grantly exchange is called Spectator. [KD 2006]

Chapter 26 – The Picture


Conway Dalrymple states that women like Lucretia and Charlotte Corday, women who have been violent or criminal, are more interesting in paintings than the Madonnas and the Saint Cecilias.  Livy tells the story of Lucretia in book 1 of his History of Rome. Lucretia was a Roman wife who killed herself after being raped by Sextus Tarquinius.  Conway is using this reference to criminal or violent women to get Clara to model Jael for him.  [KD 2006]

Sources:  Livy, History of Rome 1.57-59.


Still climbing trees in the Hesperides

One of Hercules’ twelve labors was to retrieve a golden apple from a tree guarded by a dragon in the Garden of the Hesperides.  This is alluded to in Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost when Biron says “For valour, is not a Love a Hercules, / Still climbing trees in the Hesperides?”  This allusion occurs when Mrs. Broughton tells Conway Dalrymple that he needs to woo Clara by “climbing the tree.”  Conway responds that he has already done his climbing, referring to the unspoken relationship between the Mrs. Broughton and himself.  [KD 2006]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.
Shakespeare, Love’s Labor’s Lost 4.3.359-360.

Chapter 24 – Mrs. Dobbs Broughton’s Dinner-Party

Three Graces in the picture

Conway Dalrymple paints a portrait of Mrs. Broughton as all three of the Graces, Classical goddesses of beauty who were associated with Aphrodite.  [EB 2006]

The artificiality of the association between Mrs. Dobbs Broughton and the Graces contrasts with the natural grace and graciousness of Grace Crawley.  [RR 2011]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.


That countess as a goddess with a helmet

This description of one of Conway Dalrymple’s paintings suggests that the countess was depicted as the goddess Athena, often portrayed wearing a helmet.  [EB 2011]


His Grace was surely of all Graces the least gracious

Conway refers to Mrs. Broughton with this phrase, playing on the name of the Graces that he painted her as, and the English word “gracious” that is related to the goddesses’ names.  [EB 2006]


Clara van Siever

Clara’s first name is the Latin world meaning “clear” or “bright.”  Clara tends to take a balanced, clear-minded perspective on the events of the novel, making this a suitable name.  [EB 2006]

Chapter 23 – Miss Lily Dale’s Resolution

The only human divinity now worthy of adoration

Lily is described as viewing her mother as a “human divinity.”  This is reminiscent of humans that became gods in Classical tradition, such as legendary heroes or the deified emperors of Rome.  This heightened reference illustrates the powerful bond between Lily and Mrs. Dale.  Lily’s adoration of Mrs. Dale contrasts with her previous worship of “Apollo” Crosbie.  [EB & RR 2006]

Chapter 22 – Major Grantly at Home

There shall be an elysium opened to you

Major Grantly’s father describes as an “elysium” the financial gains the Major will receive if he does not marry Grace Crawley.  This word refers to the realm of beautiful fields in the Underworld in Classical mythology where the fortunate dwelled.  Its usage here is somewhat ironic, since Major Grantly would rather marry Grace than gain the “elysium.”  [EB 2006]


The loveliness of the elysium

This continues the previous reference.  [EB 2006]

Chapter 21 – Mr. Robarts on his Embassy

Tablets of my heart

This is a version of the phrase “tablets of the mind” from line 790 of Aeschylus’ play Prometheus Bound.  In the play, Prometheus prophesizes Io’s future wanderings in order that she may remember her fate “in the tablets of her mind.”  However,  Mr. Crawley uses this phrase to say that he will keep in mind the trust and friendship of Mr. Robarts.  [AM 2006]

Trollope often uses the phrase “tablets of the mind.”  In Chapter 6 of The Small House at Allington he uses the variant “tablets of [Lily’s] bosom.”  [RR 2011]

Sources:  Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound 788-789.

Chapter 20 – What Mr. Walker Thought about it

Mens sana

Latin for “sound/healthy mind.”  Mr. Walker uses this Latin phrase in reference to Mr. Crawley’s questionable madness.  Mr. Walker says to Mr. Robarts that Mr. Crawley’s trial can be postponed if he is found to be not mentally sound.  Perhaps this Latin phrase euphemistically implies Mr. Crawley’s propensity for mentally unhealthy behavior without outright stating that he is mad.  Mr. Walker could be using this Latin euphemism and not bluntly stating that Mr. Crawley is mad because he regards Mr. Crawley as a gentleman and such a description is not appropriate for a gentleman.  The phrase is attributed to the Roman poet Juvenal who wrote the famous phrase mens sana in corpore sano or “a healthy mind in a healthy body.”  [AM 2006]

Sources:  Juvenal, Satire 10.356.

Chapter 17 – Mr. Crawley is Summoned to Barchester

Battle in the arena

Trollope states that the bishop would do anything to avoid battling his wife, Mrs. Proudie, in the arena.  The arena refers to gladiatorial games.  Trollope is being funny as he likens a domestic quarrel to a gladiatorial battle.  [KD 2006]


Conquered amazon

Amazons were a mythical race of female warriors who were often known for their skills in combat.  There are many stories about Greek heroes, such as Heracles and Achilles, fighting and conquering Amazons.  Trollope uses this allusion to explain that the bishop was able to triumph over his formidable wife in their dispute about Mr. Crawley’s position.  [KD 2006]


Thos. Barnum

Bishops usually signed their letters with the name of their diocese.  It is possible that Trollope invented “Barnum” as the Latin name for Barchester after the model of “Sarum” for Salisbury.  [KD 2006]

Sources:  Trollope, The Last Chronicle of Barset.  Ed. Sophie Gilmartin.  London:  Penguin, 2002.  See note on p. 868.


The story of Oedipus

The Crawley family often uses Mr. Crawley’s reading of Classics to determine that he is in a good mood.  Crawley and his daughter Jane are here reading Oedipus, written by Sophocles.  Therefore the reader can infer that Mr. Crawley is content with the fact that he must see the bishop and is ready for the upcoming confrontation.  [KD & RR 2006]

Chapter 16 – Down in Allington

Familiarity breeds contempt

A sentiment found in Latin as parit enim conversatio contemptum (in Apuleius) and as nimia familiaritas parit contemptum (in collections of Latin proverbs).  After Lily Dale and Grace decorate the church for Christmas, Lily Dale complains to Mrs. Boyce about decorating the church and long sermons.  Trollope then remarks that familiarity breeds contempt–Lily’s work with the church has led her to be less reverent when talking to or about the Boyces.  [KD & RR 2006; rev. 2011]

Sources:  Apuleius, De Deo Socratis 4.
John B. Wainewright, “Familiarity breeds Contempt,” Notes and Queries No. 203 10th series. (May 23, 1908):  407.


Some Apollos won’t wash

Lily Dale speaks of her uncle, the squire, as an Apollo, not on the outside, but on the inside.  She describes these inward Apollos as “so full of feeling, so soft- natured, so kind…”  She states that even though her uncle appears harsh on the outside he washes well.  This is an interesting reference because in The Small House at Allington Lily Dale deemed Mr. Crosbie to be an Apollo largely on the basis of his external appearance and behavior.  Trollope is reintroducing Lily Dale and also her views on Apollos.  It appears that Lily is not now as concerned with the outside as she is with the inside.  See the commentary for Chapter 2 of The Small House at Allington for the beginning of the Apollo/Crosbie identification.  [KD 2006]

Chapter 15 – Up In London

Gods upon earth

John Eames is described as being perceived as a “god” by his sister, since Trollope says that brothers like him, who are “generous [and] affectionate,” are like “gods” for their sisters who do not have “special god[s],” or suitors, of their own.  This comparison is interesting since Lily Dale is often described as being unable to associate the godlike qualities of an “Apollo” with John Eames in the way that she did with Crosbie.  [EB 2006]


Banished altogether from such holy ground

Here John Eames regards Lily’s mind as “holy ground,” in which thoughts of Crosbie should not intrude.  The phrase elevates Lily’s mind to a sanctified place like the sacred temples and shrines of Classical gods.  [EB 2006]

Chapter 14 – Major Grantly Consults a Friend

She talks Greek just as well as she does English

Mrs. Thorne praises Grace’s accomplished reputation with these words.  The extensive Classical learning of Mr. Crawley and his daughters is again presented as reflecting positively on their characters.  [EB 2006]

Chapter 13 – The Bishop’s Angel

Mr. Thumble as an angel

In this chapter, both Trollope and Mr. Crawley play with the etymology of “angel,” which is derived from the Greek word meaning messenger.  In an etymological sense, Mr. Thumble truly is the bishop’s angel in that he is the bishop’s messenger.  When Mr. Thumble thinks that Mr. Crawley is putting him down by punning on thumb/Thumble, Mr. Crawley assures Mr. Thumble that he thinks he is an angel.  Mr. Crawley is here drawing on the etymology of “angel,” but Mr. Thumble’s Greek is not up to the learned word-play, and Mr. Thumble is consequently bewildered by Mr. Crawley’s identification of him as an angel.  Mrs. Crawley seems to understand how her husband’s words were misunderstood, and she considers Mr. Thumble an “angel” in another sense:  to her Mr. Thumble is a god-send because his visit shakes Mr. Crawley out of his torpor.  [RR 2006]


To commence “The Seven Against Thebes”

This play by the ancient Greek author Aeschylus tells the story of Polynices, one of the two sons of Oedipus, who had agreed to rule Thebes with his brother by alternating the years of their reign.  Eteocles refused to give up the throne, causing Polynices to lead six other heroes to reclaim the city, but all were killed in the attempt except for Adrastus, the king of Argos.  It is particularly relevant that Crawley selects this story at this point in the novel, since he has just experienced “a certain manly delight in warfare against authority” when he stands up to Mr. Thumble.  [EB 2006]

Chapter 12 – Mr. Crawley Seeks for Sympathy

Leaf of hemlock

This refers to the poison Socrates drank when he was sentenced to death by the Athenian assembly for impiety and corrupting the youth of Athens.  By invoking the suicide of Socrates, Mr. Crawley presents himself as one who would stand by his ideals and would not take advantage of a chance to escape.  Through this Classical allusion Mr. Crawley compares himself with Socrates, one who is wrongly charged and one who voluntarily undergoes punishment for the sake of upholding his principles.  Perhaps Mr. Crawley over-dramatizes his predicament by making reference to the suicide of Socrates.  [AM 2006]



A Latin masculine noun meaning “shepherd” or “herdsman.”  In English, “pastor” refers to someone who is a minister or one who leads the congregation of a Christian church.  [AM 2006]

Trollope seems to expect that English “pastor” will call up the associations of the Latin noun when he writes here of Mr. Crawley being a “spiritual pastor” set “over” his parishioners.

Sources:  OED.

Chapter 11 – The Bishop Sends his Inhibition


The personified Rumor (Latin, Fama) in this chapter conveys the swiftness with which the news of Mr. Crawley’s being committed by the magistrates has spread through the county.  Trollope implies that it is always characteristic of Rumor that news and gossip should travel quickly and imperceptibly to ears that will inevitably be ready to hear unflattering news.  See the gloss on Rumor in the commentary for Chapter 17 of The Small House at Allington.  [AM 2006]


T. Barnum

This is perhaps the Latinized name for Barchester which Trollope invented.  Bishop Proudie signs his letter with the Latinized name for Barchester because bishops usually signed their letters with the Latin name of their diocese.  [AM 2006]

Sources:  Trollope, The Last Chronicle of Barset.  Ed. Sophie Gilmartin.  London:  Penguin, 2002.  See note on p. 868.

Chapter 09 – Grace Crawley Goes to Allington

The lictor and the fasces

Trollope states that if there had been a lictor and fasces at the trial of Mr. Crawley, then perhaps Miss Anne Prettyman, a teacher versed in Roman history, would have better understood the proceedings and outcome of the trial.  A lictor was an attendant who walked in front of a Roman magistrate, bearing the fasces on his left shoulder.  The fasces were a bundle of rods, usually tied by a red string.  Fasces symbolized the power of the Rome.  This reference is poking fun at Miss Anne because she does not know the procedures of the courts in her own land.  [KD 2006]

Sources:  OCD.


Miss Prettyman’s private sanctum

A sanctum, literally meaning “sacred thing,” is a holy or sacred place where a temple or church is built.  Miss Prettyman’s room is referred to as a sanctum into which one must be invited.  We see the sanctum when Grace Crawley goes to Miss Prettyman to discuss her father’s dilemma and to decide if she should go to Allington.  [KD 2006]

Calling Miss Prettyman’s room her sanctum perhaps contributes to the awe surrounding her, as discussed in the commentary for Chapter 6.  [RR 2011]

Sources:  OED.

Chapter 08 – Mr. Crawley is Taken to Silverbridge

Mr. Crawley and Greek

Trollope presents Mr. Crawley with his daughter reading Greek.  He is teaching his daughter to read Greek.  See the commentary for Chapter 4 for more on Greek and Mr. Crawley.  [KD 2006]



The Myrmidons were a race of men and women transformed from ants and created for a lonely Aeacus on the island of Aegina.  Male Myrmidons comprised Achilles’ fighting force at Troy.  The word “myrmidon” can also mean a follower or servant.  Trollope uses this reference in regard to Thompson’s assistant who must walk behind the carriage as the Crawleys are taken to Silverbridge.  [KD 2006]

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


By Jove

At Mr. Crawley’s hearing, Lord Lufton exclaims that he wishes he could drop the whole affair about the cheque.  Lufton’s exclamation references Jupiter, the Roman king of the gods.  [KD 2006]

Chapter 06 – Grace Crawley

She was therefore perhaps taken to be magnificent, partly because she was unknown

Since Annabella Prettyman is never seen out of the house, many people assume that she is more awe-inspiring than her sister.  This phrase recalls a line found in Tacitus’ Agricola, in which the British rebel Calgacus makes the comment omne ignotum pro magnifico est, meaning “everything unknown is taken for something marvelous.”  [EB 2006]

Sources:  Tacitus, Agricola 30.

Chapter 04 – The Clergyman’s House at Hogglestock


In Latin this word refers to the male head of a household, and it was borrowed into English with the same meaning in 1475.  [EB 2006]

Trollope describes how Crawley does not use his desk as it was intended–that is, as a private and secure repository for a head of household.  Instead, Crawley’s desk is left open and covered with texts.  Crawley’s use of the desk perhaps illustrates his general difference from expected norms.  Though he is very much respected in his house, he is not a traditional paterfamilias.  [RR 2011]

Sources:  OED.


Two odd volumes of Euripides…and there were Caesar’s “Commentaries”

This lengthy list of Classical literature describes the well-used books that cover Mr. Crawley’s desk.  Crawley’s love of Classical literature and language is a significant part of his character and is mentioned throughout the novel.  The fact that Crawley and his daughters are well-versed in Classics is constantly portrayed by Trollope as a credit to their characters.  Their education also establishes them as a family of gentle birth, despite their poverty.  The descriptions of Mr. Crawley’s extensive knowledge continue as Trollope notes that his copies of Classical literature appeared to have been given the “most frequent use.”  Crawley is also described as having translated English poetry into Greek.  [EB 2006]

Chapter 03 – The Archdeacon’s Threat

Second nature

Griselda’s “second nature” is the “cold magnificence” that permeates her every action while she is in the house of her family. It is almost natural that her presence exudes her elevated status and marks her distance from others who are not in her high social stratum.  For the Classical association of the phrase “habit is second nature,” see the commentary for Chapter 10 of Doctor Thorne.  [AM 2006]


She is simply the best educated girl whom it has ever been my lot to meet

Major Grantly here refers to the Classical education of Grace Crawley.  Major Grantly refutes his father’s assertion that Grace Crawley is unfit for marriage because she did not receive a lady’s education.  Though Grace comes from an impoverished family, her father did provide her with a knowledge of Latin, Greek, and Classical history and literature.  By both birth and education is Grace a lady and thus fit for matrimonial union with Major Grantly.  [AM & RR 2006]

Chapter 01 – How Did He Get It?

Festering wounds

The “festering wounds” of Mr. Crawley are caused by the letters he received from Bishop Proudie urging him to pay his debts to the butcher.  “Festering wounds” may recall the festering and incurable wound which the character Philoctetes in Sophocles’ Philoctetes has received and which has caused him to be deserted by his comrades on a deserted island.  Like Philoctetes, Mr. Crawley is socially isolated from his peers and suffers greatly from this isolation.  Perhaps there is a link between Philoctetes and Mr. Crawley because both characters believe that their suffering is unjust.  [AM 2006]


Jane…passed her life between her mother’s work table and her father’s Greek…for Mr. Crawley in his early days had been a ripe scholar

Mr. Crawley teaches his youngest daughter Jane to translate Greek and scan Greek iambic poetry.  The narrator remarks that Mr. Crawley is quite a scholar because he has the aptitude not only to read Greek literature and poetry himself but also to teach Greek to others.  In learning Greek Jane is more educated than most of the women of her time.  [AM 2006]