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

Excelsior

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.

 

Paean

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]