Chapter 48 – How they were all Married, had Two Children, and lived Happily ever after

leader of the chorus

In his concluding chapter, Trollope states, “I, as leader of the chorus, disdain to press you further…”  In Greek drama, the chorus could often represent the perspective of common people.  Although the chorus members most often spoke (or sang) in unison, there was a leader who would speak alone at times.  [JC 2005]


hymeneal altar

See the commentary on Chapter 42 of Barchester Towers.


Pope’s Horace

“As for feast of reason and for flow of soul, is it not a question whether any such flows and feasts are necessary between a man and his wife?”  The phrases “feast of reason” and “flow of soul” come from Alexander Pope’s Satires and Epistles of Horace Imitated; this is thus a second-hand classical reference, much like Trollope’s use of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar elsewhere in Framley Parsonage.  Notice the chiastic order of “feast, flow, flows, feasts.”  Chiasmus was a common Classical device for artful arrangement of words.  [JC & RR 2005]

Sources:  Pope, Satires and Epistles of Horace Imitated 2.1.

Chapter 47 – Nemesis

Poena, that just but Rhadamanthine goddess, whom we moderns ordinarily call Punishment, or Nemesis when we wish to speak of her goddess-ship, very seldom fails to catch a wicked man though she have sometimes a lame foot of her own

Poena is Latin for punishment.  Nemesis, whose name means “retribution” was a goddess of vengeance.  Rhadamanthus was the son of Zeus and Europa, and in death he ruled over part of the Underworld and served as a judge to the dead.  Because of Rhadamanthus’ reputation for strict judgment, a “Rhadamanthine” goddess would be one who acted harshly but justly.  For the reference to Nemesis and her lame foot, see the gloss in the commentary for Chapter 37.  [JM 2005]


Quod facit per alium, facit per se

“That which someone does through another, he does through himself.”  Trollope here misremembers the quotation, which should properly be Qui facit per alium, facit per se, “he who acts through another, acts through himself,” as stated in Sir Edward Coke’s Institutes of the LawsThe Jupiter has published an article reprimanding Mark Robarts for his unclerical behaviour and for his unearned high position; the article maintains that the former Prime Minister is ultimately responsible for Mark’s appointment, advocated by Mr. Harold Smith.  [JM & RR 2005]

Sources: Trollope, Framley Parsonage.  Eds. David Skilton and Peter Miles.  London:  Penguin, 2004.  See the note on page 573.



See earlier notes on Nemesis (in this chapter and in Chapter 37).  Nemesis here refers to Tom Towers, who published an article in The Jupiter reprimanding Mark Robarts because he received such a high position at such a young age and because he was irresponsible while holding the position.  The article advised him to turn the prebendal stall over to the government.  Robarts does so, but not in response to the article; he had already given up the stall before it was published.  Being mentioned in an article by Tom Towers is still of great concern; The Jupiter is very widely read, making Robarts’ disgrace very public.  [JM 2005]


pagan thunder

Mrs. Robarts has gotten over feeling ashamed at the article that appeared in The Jupiter regarding her husband.  Thus, the “sun” of neighborly warmth and friendship shines on her again, unobscured by the effects of the “pagan thunder.”  Jupiter was the Roman god of the heavens and thunder, and this is another instance of thunder-language being used in reference to the powerful newspaper.  [JM 2005]


supporter of the gods

See the commentary for Chapter 23.  Trollope uses the mythological story of a battle between the gods and the giants as an analogy for the political change going on in Britain.  [JM 2005]

Chapter 45 – Palace Blessings

rumour flies

A rumor circulates in Barchester saying that Lord Dumbello intends to jilt Miss Grantly.  Trollope says that he doesn’t know where the rumor came from, but he describes the general nature of rumors by saying, “We know how quickly rumour flies, making herself common through all the cities.”  This is a reference to a line from Vergil’s AeneidFama volat parvam subito vulgata per urbem. It means literally “rumor flies suddenly having been spread (or having been made common) through the small city.”  In the Aeneid the quotation describes how rumor spreads through the Tuscan city that horsemen are speeding to battle.  [TH 2005]

Sources:  Vergil, Aeneid 8.554


dripping water hollows the stone

See the commentary for Chapter 3 of Doctor Thorne.

Chapter 44 – The Philistines at the Parsonage

locus penitentiae

“There was yet within him the means of repentance, could a locus penitentiae have been supplied to him.”  This refers to Mr. Sowerby, who is judged harshly by Lord Lufton for the difficulties Sowerby has created for Lufton and Mark Robarts.  Literally a “place of penance.”  [JC 2005]

The OED defines the use of the word in legal contexts:  “an opportunity allowed by law to a person to recede from some engagement, so long as some particular step has not been taken.”  [RR 2011]

Sources:  OED.