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.

Chapter 43 – Is She not Insignificant?


The Amazons were a race of warrior women in Greek myth.  Ludovic here humorously refers to the type of woman his mother would have him marry as an Amazon; one mark against Lucy in Lady Lufton’s eyes is her small stature and less than imposing nature.  [JM 2005]

Chapter 42 – Touching Pitch

deus ex machina

This is a Latin phrase, translated from a Greek phrase, theos apo mekhanēs, which means “god from the machine.” It refers to a person in ancient Greek and Roman theater who would suddenly appear at a crucial moment in order to save someone from a detrimental situation.  Often, this would be a person who would be playing the part of a god and who would descend from above by means of a machine.  [MD 2005]

Chapter 40 – Internecine

cup and the lips

Mrs. Grantly has just begun to feel the triumph that her daughter’s match with Lord Dumbello will not be stopped–this contrasts with her worries in London that the “cup might…be dashed from her lips before it was tasted.”  The image of the cup being dashed from the lips comes from the Latin proverb (recorded by Erasmus):  Multa cadunt inter calicem supremaque labra which translates as “Many things fall between the cup and the last lips.”  For the mythological origin of the proverb, see the commentary for Chapter 24 of Barchester Towers.  [JC 2004]


epic poet

Trollope compares Griselda’s approach to designing her wedding dress and an epic poet’s approach to producing a great piece of literature.  Of all the brides-to-be in this novel, Griselda Grantly is the one for whom this is a most fitting comparison.  She has always been praised for her stunning beauty and concern for appearance, so it is not surprising that the process of choosing a wedding gown is of utmost importance to her.  [JC 2005]


invocation of a muse

“. . .as the poet, to whom I have already alluded, first invokes his muse, then brings his smaller events gradually out upon his stage, so did Miss Grantly with sacred fervour ask her mother’s aid. . .”  In this comparison, Griselda is still the poet, but now her mother is her helpful muse.  [JC 2005]


face like Acheron

“. . .Mrs. Proudie’s face was still as dark as Acheron when her enemy withdrew. . .”  Trollope describes Mrs. Proudie in this way just after Mrs. Proudie and Mrs. Grantly have had a battle of words in which Mrs. Grantly was the victor.  Acheron is the River of Woe in the Underworld.  [JC 2005]

Chapter 38 – Is there Cause or Just Impediment?


This is the Latin word for “rich” or “wealthy,” which Trollope uses here to refer to a specific rich man from a story in Luke 16.  This rich man lived a lavish life, well-furnished and well-fed, but neglected a starving beggar named Lazarus who lay in front of the gate to his house.  One day Lazarus died and was carried by angels into the arms of Abraham to thrive forever in heaven; the rich man also died and was sent to burn for all eternity.  The wealthy man pleaded with Abraham and Lazarus to bring him a drink, but Abraham replied that he had already lived well during his life on earth and that it was now Lazarus’ turn to reap the rewards of splendor.  The man then asked Abraham to send Lazarus as a risen prophet to warn his five relatives to change their extravagant lifestyles; however, Abraham told him that if they didn’t already believe Moses and the other prophets, then they would believe no one. The rich man in the Vulgate version of  Luke 16 is called Dives; for Trollope, he is used to personify the wealthy lifestyle which is practiced by people in London, rather than to denote any specific person. This Biblical reference occurs during a conversation between Miss Dunstable and Mary Gresham in which they are discussing the pros and cons of the London sphere, which is far different from the country experience of Boxall Hill at which they are staying.  Miss Dunstable comments that Mary enjoys the extravagances which she experiences while dining with rich individuals in London and that her uncle, Dr. Thorne, is unable to even enjoy these earthly pleasures which are offered in the city.  Trollope likens Dr. Thorne to the poor beggar Lazarus, who is humble and lives meekly while on Earth, but who will reap the rewards of the afterlife.  Miss Dunstable herself has been a regular resident of the city for many years, and Mary voices her opinion that Miss Dunstable acts like a different person whenever she is in the city as opposed to when she is in the country.  [MD 2005]

Sources:  Luke 16:19-31.


Magna est veritas

This is a Latin phrase which is translated as “Truth is great.” It was supposedly used by the bishop and is picked up from him by Miss Dunstable, who uses it more than once the novel.  When Bishop Proudie says it, the phrase presumably was meant to be taken seriously; however, when Miss Dunstable employs it she tends to make use of it in a joking manner, although she is none the less serious.  In this instance, Mary Gresham has made a slight suggestion to Miss Dunstable that she should in fact marry her uncle, Dr. Thorne.  This is Miss Dunstable’s reply to Mary, issued in the form of advice which playfully mocks the bishop, but which nevertheless urges her to continue her persuasive argument.  The phrase comes from the Vulgate version of 3 Esdras.  [MD & RR 2005]

Sources:  3 Esdras 4:41.  (Note: the Latin 3 Esdras is identified as 1 Esdras in English versions of the Bible.)



Trollope makes reference to Mentor from the Odyssey and switches the roles of the older and younger individuals.  Miss Dunstable is considerably older than Mrs. Mary Gresham and therefore she would traditionally be the one who would be mentoring, or giving advice to, the younger and less experienced person. However, Trollope derives a certain amount of humor from reversing the positions in this relationship, and we can also see this earlier, in Chapter 6, in an allusion involving Mentor and Mark Robarts.  [MD 2005]

Chapter 37 – Mr. Sowerby without Company

Never did the old fury between the gods and giants rage higher

When the giants find themselves incapable of accomplishing their objectives with the current House, they decide on a general election.  Trollope says that the gods and giants’ rage had never been higher than at that time.  The giants, being the group in power, accused the gods of blocking their agenda, while the gods claimed that the giants’ bills were imprudent.  This is a continuation of the giants and gods allusion especially developed in Chapter 23.  The main importance of this specific event is that the Duke of Omnium chooses a candidate other than Mr. Sowerby to run in the election.  In this allusion there is something else of significance.  The gods claim that the giants have “Boeotian fatuity.”  Boeotia was the region of Greece that included Thebes and several lesser cities.  Trollope refers here to the story of the giants Otus and Ephialtes.  Their mother was Iphimedeia who was the wife of Aloeus.  She fell in love with Poseidon and gave birth to the twin giants Otus and Ephialtes, (referred to as the Aloadae).  In the Odyssey, Odysseus encountered Iphimedeia in the Underworld and she recounted the tale of how the Aloadae threatened to pile mount Ossa on top of mount Olympus and then pile mount Pelion on top of Ossa in hopes of reaching the gods.  However, before they grew to manhood they were killed by Apollo.  Another account in Apollodorus and the Iliad states that they succeeded and placed Ares in a bronze jar for thirteen months until he was rescued by Hermes.  Apollodorus also adds that they wooed Hera and Artemis.  Because of their presumption Artemis used a trick to kill them in Naxos.  She turned into a deer and when the Aloedae hurled their spears at her they missed and struck each other instead.  Pausanias claims they founded Ascra in Boeotia.  He also claims to have seen their tomb at Anthedon, also in Boeotia.  The gods are probably trying to compare the giants with Otus and Ephialtes because of their lack of subtlety.  That the Aloadae would openly pile mountains on top of one another in order to reach the gods shows that despite their strength they lack intelligence.  For more information on the gods and giants motif see the glosses in Chapter 23.  [TH 2005]

Sources:  Homer, Odyssey 305-320.
Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology (which also provides references to the other authors).


myrmidons of the law

The Myrmidons were created when Aeacus, son of Zeus, was growing up on Aegina.  Zeus transformed the ants into people, and Aeacus’ son Peleus led them in a migration to Phthia.  Peleus’ son was Achilles.  He was a hero in the Trojan War and led an army of Myrmidons.  Trollope may call Sowerby’s creditors “myrmidons” because of their description in Book 16 of the Iliad:  Homer describes them as swarming wasps.  This image vividly shows how Sowerby will be pursued for his money owed.  [TH 2005]

Book 16 of the Iliad contains another image of the Myrmidons that may also be operative:  they ready themselves for battle like a pack of wolves.  It is worth noting, however, that the use of “myrmidons” for police and other officers of the law is not limited to Trollope–the OED provides instances of similar uses in English from the late 17th century on.  [RR 2011]

Sources:  Homer, Iliad 16.155-167 and 25-267.
Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.


harpies of the law

The very word “harpy” means “snatcher.”  The harpies were the daughters of Thaumas and Electra.  They were said by Hesiod to be winged beasts that could fly as swiftly as the winds and birds.  Later they are called “the hounds of Zeus.”  They are beasts known to swoop from the sky and steal people and things.  The most famous case is that of Phineus.  He was a Thracian King who was being attacked by the Harpies.  They would steal all of his food, leaving him hungry.  They were reputed to be rapacious and ferocious.  Here, much like the Myrmidons, they are used to describe the debt collectors pursuing Sowerby.  In this case it is the harpies’ role as thieves snatching whatever they could lay their hands upon that makes them an appropriate comparison with the creditors.  [TH 2005]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.


antecedentem scelestum

Mr. Sowerby is shown at home, wandering the empty rooms of his estate and pondering his life.  Trollope says that we might imagine men like Mr. Sowerby to spend most of their days happy.  However, Mr. Sowerby is frequently unhappy.  Trollope says, “The feeling that one is an antecedentem scelestum after whom a sure, though lame, Nemesis is hobbling, must sometimes disturb one’s slumbers.”  This is a reference to some lines from one of Horace’s odes:  raro antecedentem scelestum / deseruit pede Poena claudo.  The literal translation reads “Nemesis (or Punishment) with lame foot has rarely left the guilty man going on ahead.”  Mr. Sowerby is a guilty man (antecedentem scelestum) who has become eminent.  Nemesis (Roman Poena) is the goddess of retribution and punishment.  The hobbling Nemesis has finally caught up with Sowerby who is besieged by men trying to collect his debts.  [TH 2005]

Sources:  Horace, Ode 3.2.31-32.


cracked dryad

Trollope describes the garden at Chaldicotes as a dreary place.  Much as Mr. Sowerby’s life has fallen into disorder, so have his surroundings.  Trollope writes, “here and there a cracked dryad, tumbled from her pedestal and sprawling in the grass, gave a look of disorder to the whole place.”  The dryads in question are statues toppled from their pedestals.  Dryads are a variety of nymphs found in forests and associated with trees.  The fallen dryads are a symbol for how much the beauty of Chaldicotes has eroded due to Sowerby’s debts.  [TH 2005]


Dumbello as a patrician

Lord Dumbello is a marquis and one of the suitors of Griselda Grantly.  He is referred to as a patrician by Trollope.  The patricians were an elite social group in Rome.  Trollope says that as far as Mr. Sowerby is concerned Lord Dumbello or any other patrician could claim his seat in Parliament.  All Sowerby wants to do is disappear to a distant land and starve.  [TH 2005]

Chapter 35 – The Story of King Cophetua

vis inertiae

Latin, “force of inactivity.”  Lady Lufton disapproves of Lucy for being too passionate and active; she believes that beauty is to be found in restraint and reticence.  Perhaps Trollope uses Latin as a reminder of Griselda (Lady Lufton’s favorite prospect for her son’s marriage), who with her passivity and coldness is reminiscent of a Classical statue.  See the commentary for Chapter 11.  [JM 2005]

Chapter 31 – Salmon Fishing in Norway

by Jove

An exclamation uttered by Mr. Green Walker to Mr. Harold Smith.  This interjection was used commonly in Victorian England.  Jove is another name for Jupiter, the greatest of the Roman gods; his name was used as an interjection or part of one in Classical Latin, as well.  [JM 2005]

Sources:  OED.

Chapter 29 – Miss Dunstable at Home

gods and giants

Here Trollope uses the gods and giants motif to address the difference between the politics of men and women.  Miss Dunstable tells Sir George, “The men divide the world into gods and giants.  We women have our divisions also.  We are saints or sinners according to our party.  The worst of it is that we rat almost as often as you do.”  The gods and giants represent the political parties of Victorian England.  Miss Dunstable tells us that the society of women also divides itself into parties, after a fashion.  [TH 2005]


a small god speaking of the giants

The “small god” speaks of the possible dissolution of the house.  His election campaign will be expensive.  It is interesting that he is not mentioned by name but is described as belonging to the party of the gods and having an expensive constituency.  [TH 2005]

Chapter 28 – Dr. Thorne

gods and giants

The gods and giants were enemies in Greek mythology.  The giants fought (and lost) a war to gain possession of both the gods’ home, Mount Olympus, and the gods’ power.  See the commentary for Chapter 23. [JC & RR 2005]


king of the gods, chief of the giants

Lord Brock, the old Prime Minister, is the king of the gods, and Lord De Terrier, the new one, is the chief of the giants.  In Trollope’s overlay of the mythical struggle onto contemporary politics, the giants are successful in their bid for power.  [JC & RR 2005]

Chapter 26 – Impulsive

Greek irregular verbs

Grace Crawley is learning Classical material from her father, who is trying to give her as much of an education as he is able to, although Victorian women were usually not as well educated in these subjects as were men. Fanny Robarts feels sorry for Grace, seeing her forced to learn these subjects.  [MD 2005]

Chapter 25 – Non-Impulsive

gods and giants

Trollope continues to use the gods and giants when talking about rival political parties.  This theme was introduced in Chapter 18 and especially developed in Chapter 23.  [RR 2005]


supporters of the Titans, Pelion, Ossa, and Olympus

Trollope identifies the Titans with the giants.  In Classical mythology, both of these groups challenged the power of the Olympian gods, and they were consequently often conflated.  In this passage, Trollope expresses some sympathy for Dr. Grantly, who is a supporter of the Titans/giants but who is unable to help them directly in their efforts.  Trollope likens Grantly’s by-stander position to that of someone watching the giants in their task of piling Mount Pelion on Mount Ossa and thereby trying to storm Mount Olympus, the home of the Olympian gods.  In Book 11 of the Odyssey, the giants’ mountain-piling is recounted somewhat differently:  they aimed to pile Ossa on top of Olympus and then Pelion on top of Ossa, thereby reaching the heavens.  [RR 2005]

Sources:  Homer, Odyssey 11.305-320.


Porphyrion and Orion

Although Grantly is a supporter of the giants, he disagrees with their handling of the Bishop Bill; he is therefore said to be disappointed with both Porphyrion and Orion, two prominent giants.  For further descriptions of Porphyrion and Orion, see the commentary for Chapter 23.  [RR 2005]



Trollope calls a young member of the giants’ party a “monster-cub.”  The monsters of Hesiod’s Theogony posed multiple threats to Olympian order, so the monsters are an appropriate addition to Trollope’s pack of Titans and giants.  One particular monster, Typhoeus, has already been mentioned in Chapter 23.  [RR 2005]


sour grapes

After being disappointed in the matter of the Bishop Bill, Dr. Grantly intends to return with his wife to Barchester.  Trollope defends Dr. Grantly against those who would smugly assert that his resolution to return to the good life available for him at Plumstead is a matter of sour grapes.  Trollope suggests that there is some wisdom, in fact, in considering things beyond reach to be sour.  The story of the frustrated fox who decides that the enticing grapes which he cannot acquire must be sour is one of Aesop’s fables and is preserved in Latin by Phaedrus.  [RR 2005]

Sources:  Link to Phaedrus’ Latin version of the story plus an English translation at Laura Gibb’s Aesop site.


Revallenta Arabica

Usually spelled “Revalenta Arabica.”  This is the Latinate name of a lentil concoction marketed for invalids.  “Revalenta” is not authentic Latin but may suggest getting well (valent-) again (re-).  [RR 2005]

Source:  OED.

Chapter 24 – Magna est Veritas

Magna est Veritas

“Great is truth.”  A quotation from the Vulgate version of the apocryphal 3 Esdras.  Miss Dunstable repeats these words (which she says she has learned from the bishop) to Mrs. Harold Smith when she is trying to induce Mrs. Harold Smith to be open with her.  It also the title of the entire chapter.  [JC 2005]

Sources:  3 Esdras 4:41.  (Note: the Latin 3 Esdras is identified as 1 Esdras in English versions of the Bible.)


old blood

“[Mr. Sowerby] was proud of the old blood that flowed in his veins.”  It is interesting to note here that Trollope does not refer to Mr. Sowerby’s blood as ichor as he has done in other novels, when mentioning other established families such as the Thornes.  [JC 2005]


breakdown of the gods

Another reference to one of the political parties as gods.  [JC 2005]


if you go to your Latin, I’m lost

Mrs. Harold Smith says this to Miss Dunstable when she repeats the Latin phrase that she has learned from the bishop.  Following the educational standards of the day, Trollope’s women are not expected to have extensive knowledge of Classical languages; notice that Miss Dunstable explains that she has only recently picked up the Latin phrase magna est veritas from the bishop.  [JC & RR 2005]

Chapter 23 – The Triumph of the Giants

The Triumph of the Giants

Throughout most of this chapter, Trollope draws a complex comparison between the political change going on in Britain and the myth in which the giants, monstrous children of Gaia (the Earth), make an attack on the gods and their home, Mount Olympus.  Trollope makes no distinction between the giants and the Titans, who were also born from Gaia and also fought against the gods.  Confusion between these two stories is not particular to Trollope.  It is interesting to note that in none of the variations of the theme in antiquity do the giants actually win, but in Trollope’s political analogy the giants come out as the winners, at least for a time.  Typhoeus was, depending on the tradition, either the child of Hera alone or the child of Gaia and another monster.  He was more monstrous in form than many of the other giant beings who attacked the gods, with a hundred snake heads, fiery breath, wings, and a lower-half made of serpent’s coils.  He attacked Zeus, but lost.  Mimas was one of the giants who attacked the Olympian gods; he was killed with molten metal thrown by Hephaestus, the smith of the gods.  Porphyrion and his brother were the strongest of the giants; Zeus inspired Porphyrion with desire for Hera, and then destroyed him with lightening for attempting to rape her.  Rhoecus was a centaur who tried to rape Atalanta, who was endeavoring to remain a virgin; she shot and killed him.  Enceladus was a giant; the island of Sicily was thrown on top of him by Athena, and he was trapped under it eternally, causing earthquakes and volcanic activity with his tossing and turning.  [JM 2005]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.


Diana of the Petty Bag and Orion

Harold Smith, Lord of the Petty Bag, is being made to resign his office, along with the rest of the ministry; his job will be taken over by someone else.  Orion was a giant and a hunter; Diana was an Italian goddess of the hunt who was later identified with Artemis, likewise a divine huntress.  In some versions of Orion’s death, Diana killed him for attempting to best her in a contest.  Just as with the other giant-versus-god allusions in this chapter, Trollope’s outcome is the reverse of the Classical one: Diana is replaced by another hunter, like the gods are displaced by the giants, whereas the gods triumphed in the actual myths.  [JM 2005]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.


hundred-handed Gyas supposed to be of the utmost importance to the counsel of the Titans

Gyes or Gyes was one of three giant hundred-handed children of Gaia and Uranus.  [JM 2005]

The children of Gaia and Uranus are the Titans, as opposed to the Olympians (who are the children grandchildren of Gaia and Uranus).  [RR 2011]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.


bees round a sounding cymbal

Vergil discusses the behaviours and keeping of bees; the cymbals were used to attract bees.  [JM 2005]

Sources:  Vergil, Georgics 4.62-64.


every son of Tellus

Tellus was the Roman equivalent of the Greek Gaia, goddess of the earth.  The giants and Titans were children of Gaia.  [JM 2005]


piling Pelion on Ossa

Pelion and Ossa were two of the mountains the giants piled up in order to reach the heavens.  [JM 2005]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.


Briareus and Orion

Briareus was one of the three hundred-handed children of Gaia and Uranus.  For Orion, see note earlier in the commentary for this chapter.  [JM 2005]


Herculean toils

Hercules is the Roman name for the Greek hero Heracles.  Heracles was fathered by Zeus on a mortal woman and was persecuted throughout his life by the king of the gods’ wife, Hera.  Her most notable act against the hero was inflicting him with insanity, causing him to kill his own children; in repentance for this he served king Eurystheus for 12 years, performing 12 tasks that are sometimes referred to as the Herculean labors.  Here, the “gods” have suggested that the number of bishops in the Church should be increased, in order to share between them their “Herculean” labors.  [JM 2005]

Chapter 22 – Hogglestock Parsonage

Greek Delectus

This is the text which Grace Crawley is currently studying with her father, who is attempting to give her as much of a Classical education as he is able.  Lucy Robarts initially thought that these books belonged to Bob, Grace’s brother, and she is surprised to find out that Grace herself is the one studying this subject. In the Victorian period it was rare for a woman to receive an education in Greek.  [MD 2005]

In Latin, delectus means “choice,” and a Greek Delectus would contain a variety of sentences and passages from different authors.


ode of Horace

Horace was an ancient Roman poet who was famous for his carmina, or odes. In this reference, Grace Crawley is described as knowing one of these odes, which was taught to her by her father, and she is therefore thought to be an intelligent girl by Lucy Robarts, although Lucy says so in a playful tone.  [MD 2005]

Chapter 20 – Harold Smith in the Cabinet

music of the spheres

A concept based on the theories of the Greek mathematician Pythagoras.  According to Johannes Kepler, the motion of the stars and planets created a heavenly harmony.  [JC 2005]

Sources:  Encyclopedia Brittanica.


Olympian mansion

Trollope compares the Houses of Parliament to the dwelling-places of the gods thought to be on Mount Olympus.  [JC 2005]


Classical gods and Victorian politics

Themis was the goddess of justice and order, and also the mother of the three Fates.  She was a Titan, a daughter of Uranus and Gaia who ruled before Zeus (Jupiter) took over.  Ceres is more commonly known by her Greek name, Demeter.  She was the goddess of the harvest and a sister of Zeus (Jupiter).  Trollope probably uses her to represent the colonies because of all the riches that were “harvested” from them.  Pallas is more often called Pallas Athena or just Athena (Minerva to the Romans).  She was Zeus’ child, springing out of her father’s head in full armor and thereafter was “never seen without her lance and helmet” as Trollope says.  She was the goddess of war (the more strategical part of it) and wisdom.  She seems to appear more often in mythology than Ceres and Themis do, which is probably why Trollope mentions that they are not “heard with as rapt attention as powerful Pallas of the Foreign Office.”  It is also probably not a mistake that the goddess of war is associated with the Foreign Office, as it is with foreign countries that she will be making war.  Mars (in Greek, Ares) was the god of the chaos of war and had an affair with Venus (Aphrodite), the goddess of love and beauty who was the wife of Vulcan (Hephaestus), the blacksmith of the gods.  Saturn (Cronus) was Jupiter’s father, who ate his children in an effort to keep them from taking over.  Eventually his wife was able to save Jupiter, who grew up and took over as the leader of the gods.  Trollope compares him with “a relic of other days” which is what Saturn represents in reference to the Olympians.  Mercury (Hermes) was the messenger god who acts as a courier service for his fellow deities.  It is very appropriate that Trollope associates him with the Post Office.  Neptune (Poseidon) was another sibling of Jupiter’s.  He was the god of the sea, with the power to create violent sea-storms and earthquakes, and was also the god of horses.  Phoebus Apollo was the god of music, the arts, prophecy, and the sun (though he shares this position with Helios).  He is often depicted with his bow or lyre and is used as the standard example of male beauty.  Juno (Hera) was the ever-raging wife of Jupiter, who could not refrain from having liasons with nymphs and mortal women. Bacchus (Dionysus) was the god of wine and a son of Jupiter.  He was greatly associated with merriment as was Cupid (Eros), Venus’ son and a friend of Bacchus. Diana (Artemis) was Apollo’s twin sister, the goddess of the hunt.  She, like her brother, bears a bow and arrows; she remains chaste, preferring the company of a band of maiden nymphs.  It is probably her status as a staunch virgin (and thus as someone who is innocent) which makes her comparable to Harold Smith in his new position as Lord Petty Bag.  It is also a poke at Harold Smith to compare him to a goddess rather than a god.  Jove is another form of the name Jupiter, who is of course the king of the gods.  His weapon of choice is the thunderbolt, fashioned by Vulcan.  Trollope also gives his name to the influential London newspaper which is based on the actual London Times.  [JC 2005]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.


inside and outside Elysium

“. . .why should a Supplehouse out of Elysium be friendly to a Harold Smith within it?”  Elysium was a special region of the Underworld reserved for the blessed.  Here Elysium is clearly Government.  Supplehouse is jealous that Harold Smith has been chosen to fill the Petty Bag position, so he writes a disparaging article about him in The Jupiter.  [JC & RR 2005]


Medea’s cauldron

Medea was a witch who had in her bag of tricks (so to speak) a way of rejuvenating the old by cutting them up and boiling them in her cauldron.  This is a clever allusion for Supplehouse to use in his article against Harold Smith, however, because of the most famous incident involving Medea and her cauldron.  Her husband Jason was supposed to have been reigning in Iolus, where his aging uncle, Pelias had usurped his throne.  Medea convinced Pelias’ daughters that they should chop their father up and boil him in her cauldron to restore his youth, which they willingly did after witnessing the results on an old ram.  What they did not know was that Medea did not intend for the procedure to work in Pelias’ case, and he was not rejuvenated after his dismemberment.  Similarly, the Prime Minister had felt that bringing Harold Smith into Government would have a rejuvenating effect, but through The Jupiter’s influence, it instead puts an end to his term.  [JC 2005]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.
Ovid, Metamorphoses 7.297-349.


cold as ice

“Griselda. . .looked as cold as Diana when she froze Orion in the cave.”  Diana (Artemis) is the chaste goddess of hunting, and Orion was her one-time companion.  There are several versions of Orion’s death, but we have yet to find a Classical source that specifically mentions freezing and a cave.  Here Griselda gives Lord Lufton an icy treatment after they discuss Lucy Robarts.  The identification of Griselda with the committedly chaste (hence cold?) Diana may also emphasize the unsettlingly unflinching poise that is Griselda’s hallmark.  [JC & RR 2005]

Chapter 18 – The New Minister’s Patronage

the Greek of Chaldicotes and his gift

This is a reference to Mr. Sowerby, and it is based on a line from Vergil’s Aeneidtimeo Danaos et dona ferentis, or in English: “I fear Greeks even bearing gifts.”  This line is spoken by the Trojan Laocoon, who is trying to warn his companions that the huge wooden horse which has been left outside the gates by the Greeks is in fact a trap and not a gift as they believe.  In Framley Parsonage, Mr. Sowerby has written a letter to Mark in which he says that he can secure another church position for Mark that earns 600 pounds a year, and that Mark need only come up to London to receive this appointment.  Mark is naturally excited about this occurrence, but his wife Fanny is skeptical about the situation; she is the one who thinks of Sowerby as the Greek of Chaldicotes and does not fully trust his motives.  Mark believes that Lady Lufton will also not be happy with his acceptance of the position; in predicting Lady Lufton’s reaction, Trollope again makes reference to the Greek from Chaldicotes and his tricky gift.  In the Aeneid, the Greek horse does in fact turn out to be a trap, and with the use of it the Greeks end up capturing the city of Troy and defeating the Trojan army. In Framley Parsonage, the offer of the prebendary also turns out to be a sort of trap for Mark Robarts; with a view to this additional income, Sowerby convinces Mark to buy a horse from him for 130 pounds, but this is in addition to Sowerby’s bills for 900 pounds, to both of which Mark had already signed his name. Therefore, Laocoon is equal to Fanny Robarts in this allusion (both of them attempt to give a warning about something which turns out to be a trap), while the Greek wooden horse can be seen to be the prebendal stall from Barsetshire, urged by Sowerby.  [MD]

Sources:  Vergil, Aeneid 2.49.


keen discontent of political Juvenals

This is a reference to the ancient Roman poet Juvenal, who wrote his Satires in the second and third of the 2nd century CE.  These poems target aspects of Roman society and politics, and this criticism is what is being referenced here.  Trollope says that members of both political parties had criticized the Premier’s last appointment to the position of Lord Petty Bag (before Harold Smith) and thus, this phrase voices these people’s discontent.  [MD 2005]

Sources:  OCD.


He was a Juno whose form the wicked old Paris had utterly despised…

This Classical allusion is a reference to the beauty contest which was held between Juno, Venus, and Minerva, and of which Paris was the judge.  Here the allusion is used to represent the fortunes of politicians in the government and their struggles to gain influence.  Mr. Harold Smith and Mr. Supplehouse have been complaining about the way in which the government has been handling situations, but all of a sudden Mr. Smith is selected for a prestigious position in the government, the office of Lord Petty Bag.  Mr. Supplehouse is overlooked for the job, and he thus vents his anger at not being selected by writing vindictive columns about Mr. Harold Smith in The Jupiter newspaper. In this allusion, Mr. Harold Smith is depicted in the role of Venus, who was ultimately chosen by Paris as the most beautiful of the three goddesses in the contest.  Juno, who was scorned by the Trojan prince Paris, became infuriated with all the Trojan people for this lack of respect and thus aided the Greeks in their war with the Trojans; we can see her continuing anger throughout the pages of the Aeneid in the difficulties in which she places Aeneas and his fellow surviving Trojans.  Paris himself can be said to be the government, or Lord Brock specifically, who selected Mr. Harold Smith as the new Lord Petty Bag and thus picked him as the winner of the contest. This allusion is humorous because it equates Victorian politicians to squabbling goddesses in a beauty contest; Trollope’s use of gender reversal in Classical allusions is a frequent occurrence in his works.   [MD & RR 2005]


higher governmental gods

This is the first identification of the dominant political party with the Olympian gods.  In Chapter 20, the various governmental offices are more particularly identified with specific Classical deities.  In Chapter 23, Trollope portrays the change in government as a battle between the gods and giants, and he continues to use the god/giant motif throughout the rest of the novel.  [RR 2005]

Chapter 17 – Mrs. Proudie’s Conversazione


Griselda Grantly is described by Trollope as “reaping fresh fashionable laurels” at what Lady Lufton considers disagreeable houses in London.  The laurel plant is a plant sacred to Apollo, Dionysus, and Artemis.  Here Trollope makes reference to the crown of laurels originally worn by priestesses of Apollo.  The laurel became a symbol of victory in the Classical world when its wearing was extended to victors in the Pythian games.  In ancient Rome laurels were worn by military victors.  After the 14th century the laurel became associated with a successful poet or poet “laureate.”  Griselda Grantly can be said to have won symbolic laurels in that she has accumulated her honors by attending the most notable parties in London and by dancing with many notable gentlemen such as Lord Dumbello.  [TH 2005]

Sources:  Bell, Robert.  Dictionary of Classical Mythology.  Cambridge:  Cambridge UP, 2000.
Ferber, Michael.  Dictionary of Literary Symbols.  Santa Barbara:  ABC Clio, 1982.



Literally means “meat-carrier” in Latin.  [TH 2005]



Ganymede was a young Trojan prince who was selected by Zeus to be his cup-bearer on account of his attractiveness.  Zeus also rewarded him with immortality by placing him in the stars as the constellation Ganymede.  The later Greek and Roman accounts of Ganymede often emphasize the sexual aspect of his relationship with Zeus, while Renaissance versions prefer to dwell on the constellation that bears his name, considering it a symbol of the soul’s rise to heaven.  For Trollope, however, Ganymede in this sense is merely a young man who serves refreshments to guests at a party.  In Trollope’s lengthy rant about the practice of “handing around” food and drink at parties, Trollope claims that the servers fail to keep the party-goers in sherry.  He also describes the necktie of this particular Ganymede and “the whiteness of his unexceptionable gloves.”  Ganymede is most well known as a symbol of male beauty.  Trollope uses this description of the server being a Ganymede to speak more broadly about servers being hired by his contemporaries.  He criticizes the fact that they are all show without providing any actual service.  The parties are designed to restrict costs and advertise for the host.  The parties themselves are all resplendent dignity with very little food actually being served.  Mrs. Proudie is putting on a great fuss about her conversazione, but she is taking steps to prevent guests from eating too much of the food or drinking any substantial portion of the drink.  This is precisely what Trollope is protesting as a discourteous act of stinginess on the host’s part.  [TH 2005]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.


battling in the arena

Mrs. Proudie perceived an insult when Mrs. Grantly ironically commented that Griselda Grantly could not compare with the Proudie daughters.  Mrs. Proudie is described then as not wanting “to do battle on the present arena.”  Trollope refers to the gladiatorial games with his mention of arena combat.  However, the irony is that this is not a game or a military battle–it is a social call.  He is describing the sparring of two leading ladies in terms of gladiatorial combat.  He treats Mrs. Grantly and Proudie with a degree of satire.  [TH 2005]

Chapter 16 – Mrs. Podgen’s Baby

Platonic friendship

“Could it be possible that Mrs. Grantly had heard anything of that unfortunate Platonic friendship with Lucy Robarts?”  Lady Lufton is at this point worrying about her son’s chances with Griselda Grantly, which seem to be diminishing, and wonders if the closeness between Lord Lufton and Lucy Robarts might have something to do with it.  A Platonic friendship is one that involves no sexual/romantic feelings between the two persons involved.  It is named after the Greek philosopher, Plato, who advocates love that is strengthened by an intellectual relationship.  [JC 2005]

The ancients did not describe non-sexual/non-romantic relationships in this way, but the phrase is recorded in English in the 17th century.  [RR 2011]

Sources:  Plato, Symposium and Phaedrus.


clouded brow

“A slight cloud came across [Lord Lufton’s] brow as he saw this.”  A sign of displeasure.  In this case, Lord Lufton is unhappy to see that Lucy Robarts is snubbing him.  See the gloss in the commentary for Chapter 24 of Barchester Towers.  [JC 2005]

Chapter 15 – Lady Lufton’s Ambassador

carrying with them their humble household gods, and settled themselves in another country

In the Aeneid, Vergil tells the story of one of the surviving heroes of Troy, Aeneas, who escapes the destruction of that city, carrying with him his father, son, and the statues of the deities of his household and city.  He makes a very long and adventurous journey with the remainder of the Trojan people, trying to found a new city as he has been told he is destined to do, until he reaches the site of future Rome.  The Crawley family is being compared to Aeneas and his people; they move from their home to another place, assuming that they will be able to build a better life than they had previously.  [JM 2005]

Sources:  Vergil, Aeneid 2 (see the latter part of the book for an account of Aeneas’ exit from Troy with his family and the household gods).

Chapter 14 – Mr. Crawley of Hogglestock

immortal glory

This is a translation of a Greek phrase, aphthiton kleos, which refers to the undying glory sought by epic heros. In this context, it refers to the glory which can be won during hunting in the English countryside, instead of the fame which can be achieved during battle.  In this case Mark Robarts is said to have won “immortal glory” among his hunting companions for his performance during a hunt.  Lady Lufton very much disapproves of this behavior from a clergyman and is thus not pleased when she discovers this information.  [MD 2005]

Sources:  Homer, Iliad 9.413 (for an example of the use of the phrase).

Chapter 11 – Griselda Grantly

Griselda Grantly and Classical statuary

In describing Griselda Grantly, Trollope compares her to a Classical statue:  she is “statuesque in her loveliness,” has a forehead “perhaps too like marble” and other well-modeled features including a nose Grecian enough “to be considered as classical.”  Griselda’s demeanor itself reinforces such a comparison.  She shows “no animation,” but sits “still and graceful, composed and classical.”  Trollope’s Classical comparison leaves no doubt as to Griselda’s loveliness of form, but he does leave a reader wondering if such still, statuesque beauty is always to be desired.  In Chapter 11 of The Warden, Trollope discusses the way in which Eleanor Harding’s charm is unlike that of a “marble bust.”  [RR 2005]

Chapter 10 – Lucy Robarts

et vera incessu patuit Dea

This Latin phrase can be translated as “and the true Goddess was revealed with her step,” or in other words, she reveals that she is a goddess by the way in which she walks. This is a quotation from Vergil’s Aeneid and refers to the goddess Venus, who is disguised as a young Spartan huntress.  Aeneas meets her in a forest on the shores of North Africa, after landing with the remainder of his fleet near the city of Carthage.  Aeneas questions her about the surrounding area and she in turn questions him about his present situation.  It is not until she turns to leave and walk away that Aeneas truly recognizes the woman as his mother Venus in disguise, although he suspects that she is a goddess from the moment they initially meet.  In Framley Parsonage, Trollope uses this phrase to describe Blanche Robarts in contrast to Lucy Robarts.  Blanche is described as a beautiful woman and a goddess as far as her physical beauty is concerned; however, Lucy is illustrated as being much more intelligent than Blanche, even if she is not as physically endowed.  It is interesting that Vergil describes Venus as having a pretty neck and hair, while Trollope focuses on Blanche’s complexion, neck, and bust.  Perhaps this is a result of the physical attributes which each society found most attractive in women:  the ideals of ancient Roman society compared to the views of Trollope’s contemporary Victorian British culture.  [MD 2005]

Sources:  Vergil, Aeneid 1.405.


sine die

A Latin phrase which is translated as “without a day.”  It is used here to refer to the date on which the Robarts family (Mark, Fanny, and Lucy) will go over and eat dinner at Lady Lufton’s house.  Lucy is still feeling very upset about the loss of her father, who had occupied such a large portion of her social interactions and of her life, that she is having a hard time adjusting to life without him.  When Lady Lufton invites the Robarts’ to dine with her in an effort to acquaint herself with Lucy, Lucy postpones the engagement for an indefinite time period, or “without a day,” until she is emotionally able to handle such an encounter.  [MD 2005]

Chapter 08 – Gatherum Castle

the gentleman of the statue

“. . . that’s better than the hounds being mad about him, like the poor gentleman they’ve put into a statue.”  Miss Dunstable says this to Frank when they chat at Gatherum Castle.  She has asked how his father is doing, to which he replies that he is still “mad about the hounds,” prompting Miss Dunstable to make this comment.  She is referring to the myth of Actaeon, a hunter whom Artemis turned into a deer with the result that his dogs chased and killed him.  There are various reasons given for why Artemis was angry with the young man, but the most well-known is that he accidentally saw her bathing naked.  After killing him, his dogs were distraught at the fact that they couldn’t find their master, so the centaur Cheiron made a statue of him which was able to calm them.  [JC 2005]

The dogs’ attack on Actaeon was also a popular subject for post-antique art and statuary.  [RR 2011]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.
Ovid, Metamorphoses 3.131-252.


wheel of Fortune

“When a man has nailed fortune to his chariot-wheels he is apt to travel about in rather a proud fashion.”  Trollope says this of the Head of Affairs whose resignation the Gatherum Castle set is about to force.  The image here is a reversal of the traditional image of the goddess Fortuna with a wheel, which symbolizes her fickleness.  The Head of Affairs has had a series of lucky accidents which has caused him to think that he’s got control of Fortune.  Unfortunately, he is about to find that his luck will run out due to the fickleness of his colleagues.  [JC 2005]


throw in our shells

“Had we not better throw in our shells against him?”  Mr. Harold Smith says this in the discussion of the Head of Affairs’ fate.  The phrase “to throw in one’s shells” comes from a mistranslation of the Greek word ostrakon which did mean “oyster-shell,” but not in this context.  The word was also used for the shards of pottery the Athenians used to temporarily banish (or “ostracize”) a person from the polis.  When Athenians had an opportunity to vote for a person to be banished, they would do so by writing his name on a shard of pottery.  [JC 2005]


Juno’s despised charms

“. . .Mr. Supplehouse [was] mindful as Juno of his despised charms.”  This is said of Mr. Supplehouse, who is compared to Juno who was passed over for Venus in the Judgement of Paris.  Trollope has used allusions to the Judgement of Paris in Barchester Towers and brings them back in this novel.  He often uses the metaphor to describe men’s rivalries, which is a slight insult as they are being compared to goddesses rather than gods.  Trollope takes the Juno metaphor a little further in the next sentence when he remarks that “when Mr. Supplehouse declares himself an enemy, men know how much it means.”  The same is true of Juno, who often declared herself the enemy of her husband’s paramours to the great disadvantage of the ladies (and nymphs) who were usually unknowing or unwilling to participate in the affairs.  This is not to say, however, that she can’t be a bane to men as well.  Aeneas’ trip from Troy to Italy would have been much less difficult if he hadn’t been suffering Juno’s wrath during the journey.  [JC 2005]


Has not Greece as noble sons as him?

Though this looks like a Classical allusion, it actually seems to be inspired by a line from Byron’s Childe Harold:  “Sparta hath many a worthier son than he.”  [JC 2005]

Sources:  Byron, Childe Harold 4.10.5.
Trollope, Framley Parsonage.  Eds. David Skilton and Peter Miles.  London:  Penguin, 2004.  See the note on page 565.


vox populi vox Dei

“The voice of the people is the voice of God.”  This sentiment is expressed in a letter sent by Alcuin to Charlemagne (though Alcuin mentions it to argue against it).  Trollope quotes this as Mr. Supplehouse’s belief when he begins to think that “the public voice calls for him,” noting that one’s belief in the public’s wisdom grows when one thinks that the public wishes for one to be in power.  [JC 2005]

Sources:  Alcuin, Letter 132.


Et tu, Brute!

Another Julius Caesar reference; for an earlier reference, see commentary for Chapter 4.  Shakespeare gives this Latin phrase to Julius Caesar in the play, just after he has been betrayed by Brutus.  [JC 2005]

Sources:  Shakespeare, Julius Caesar 3.1.77.


all credit to the Jupiter

“All the credit was due to the Jupiter–in that, as in everything else.”  Here the power of The Jupiter is reaffirmed.  Because the press becomes a strong force in this novel, it is important that Trollope establish its power early on.  Thus The Jupiter is given the status that its name (the same as the Roman king of the gods) suggests.  [JC 2005]

Chapter 07 – Sunday Morning

Reverend Optimus Grey

Optimus:  Latin, “very good,” “best.”  A fitting first name for the Reverend Grey, given how highly Mrs. Proudie thinks of him.  Perhaps Trollope is humorously suggesting that he is the “best” at being grey.  [JM 2005]


she of the Argus eyes

Mrs. Proudie is likened to the watchful, hundred-eyed monster of Greek myth.  Argus was charged by Hera to watch over Io, whom Zeus had turned into a cow in order to hide the fact that he was committing adultery with her.  It was Argus’ job to ensure that this adultery ceased.  Mrs. Proudie is in this case watchful in that she has noticed the absence of one of the servants during family prayers.  [JM 2005]


What changeable creatures you men are!

Compare Aeneid 4.569:  varium et mutabile semper / femina.  “An always changing and fickle thing is woman.”  Trollope has elsewhere used Classical allusions to attribute qualities widely considered feminine to his male characters; this could be another such instance.  [JM 2005]

Sources:  Vergil, Aeneid 4.569-570.

Chapter 06 – Mr. Harold Smith’s Lecture


Mentor is a character from Homer’s Odyssey, who is an old friend of Odysseus.  Mentor first appears in book 2 when he delivers a speech in public.  However, most of the appearances of Mentor depict him as Athena in disguise, usually to give advice and help to Odysseus’ son, Telemachus. This depiction of Mentor seems to agree with the OED’s definition of the word ‘”mentor” as one who gives guidance and assistance to another person, usually to someone who has less experience and is of a younger age. In the Odyssey, Mentor is supposed to watch over Odysseus’ possessions, but his chief duty seems to be that of an advisor; when Athena assumes this role, she gives advice to Telemachus early in the story and then to Odysseus in the last chapters.  In Framley Parsonage, Trollope describes individuals around the age of fifty as acting playfully and jocosely, much like young children or carefree adolescents. They are poking fun at Mr. Harold Smith and the speech which he is about to deliver about the South Sea Islanders and their civilization.  Trollope says that people in this age group are able to have a good time whenever there aren’t any “Mentors” of a younger age (25-30) around to spoil their fun and make them straighten up.  It is said that Mark Robarts might have been such an individual, if he hadn’t fit in with the older members of the group as well as he did.  Trollope’s depiction of the mentor/mentored relationship switches the generational positions of the people in each role and presents them as being opposite. Instead of older people being in the serious, earnest, role of mentors, they are described as the ones who are being taught how to behave.  The younger clergymen are the ones who are shown as Mentors, being strict and disciplined, and not having any time for fun and games.  By switching these positions, Trollope creates a humorous situation; the older generation being quieted by younger individuals allows us to laugh at this ironic, yet improbable, situation.  [MD 2005]

Sources:  Homer, Odyssey, books 2 and 22.


born when Venus was in the ascendant

This seems to be an astrological reference to the planet Venus and its position in the sky when Mr. Slope was born.  Mrs. Proudie has just told a short tale about Mr. Slope and his pursuit of several different women at the same time (Eleanor Bold, now Eleanor Arabin, and Madeline Stanhope), although they are not mentioned specifically.  Mrs. Smith remarks that the planet Venus must have influenced Mr. Slope’s birth, since Venus was the Roman goddess of love and this man seems to get himself into quite a few romantic entanglements.  [MD 2005]


Latin and Eton

Trollope mentions that Mr. Green Walker has given a lecture about leading grammarians in the language of Latin and how their work was studied at Eton, a secondary school in England.  At this time, individuals who were considered to be educated were highly trained in the Classical Greek and Latin languages.  Trollope himself was a Classical pupil and was very familiar with the studies of Latin at schools like Eton. The fact that Mr. Green Walker gives a speech about this subject shows how well he knew it; since this was the launch of his political career, he would want to start off well by giving a speech on a topic with which he could not fail.  [MD 2005]



In his speech about the South Sea Islanders, Mr. Harold Smith refers to the godlike spirit of Genius who holds the earth in the palm of its hand.  Mr. Smith’s use of “Genius” connects the ancient Roman understanding of a genius as a presiding, protective spirit and the English understanding of “genius” as exceptionally inspired talent.  Mr. Smith’s Genius is wearing “translucent armor,” and this may represent the idea that we are unable to see this protective spirit or its actions.  [MD & RR 2005]


a pagan sentimentality

Mrs. Proudie objects to the “pagan sentimentality” of Mr. Harold Smith’s speech, which includes mention of non-Christian gods in the ancient mold.  Mrs. Proudie is a devout Christian, not open to other ideas, and she therefore feels the need to interrupt Harold Smith’s speech in order to promote her Christian doctrine.  [MD & RR 2005]

Chapter 05 – Amantium Irae Amoris Integratio

Amantium Irae Amoris Integratio

Like the title of Chapter 1, this is also a quotation from Terence’s Andria.  It means, “lovers’ quarrels are love’s renewal.”  In Terence’s play, the words are spoken by Chremes.  Simo comes to Chremes, saying that a quarrel has arisen between Glycerium and Pamphilus, and Simo is hopeful that it will put an end to their relationship.  That is when Chremes cautions that “lovers’ quarrels are love’s renewal.”  In this chapter, Mrs. Robarts and Lady Lufton have a fight over the behavior of Mark Robarts while he is away.  Mrs. Robarts stands up for her husband against the criticism levied against him by Lady Lufton.  This act creates a division between them.  Later, Lady Lufton comes to see Mrs. Robarts and apologizes to her.  In the end their relationship seems no worse for the fight.  In a sense their friendship was renewed by the quarrel that arose between them.  [TH 2005]

Sources:  Terence, Andria 555. Link to Riley’s translation of the Andria at Perseus.


corrupter of youth

This was the charge against Socrates, and it is here being used as a descriptor for the Duke of Omnium.  It could be said of both of these men that they instructed the many young men around them in a particular school of philosophy.  However, while the philosophy of Socrates was one that sought out the truth concerning moral character in opposition to the sophistical views circulating at the time, the Duke of Omnium is responsible for drawing prominent youth into a decadent and worldly culture that both advances them politically and bankrupts them morally.  This, at least, is the perspective found at Framley Court, and it is this culture that Mark Robarts seeks to ingratiate himself into by the company of Mr. Sowerby in order to advance his own position.  [TH 2005]

Chapter 04 – A Matter of Conscience

ambition is a great vice

“And ambition is a great vice–as Mark Antony told us a long time ago…”  This is a reference to the Mark Antony of Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar.  In that play, Mark Antony gives a speech in which he berates Brutus for being ambitious, which was a trait that Brutus himself had accused Julius Caesar of having.  This is of course, not a Classical source, but a very English one that hearkens back to ancient Rome.  [JC 2005]

Sources:  Shakespeare, Julius Caesar 3.2.


chaplain pro tem

When Mrs. Proudie first meets Mark Robarts, she likes him and thinks that he could make a nice honorary chaplain “pro tem” (= pro tempore) which means “for a time.”  Americans will recognize pro tem as the title given to the person in the United States Senate who presides when the president of the Senate is absent.  [JC 2005]

Chapter 01 – Omnes Omnia Bona Dicere

Omnes omnia bona dicere

The title of this chapter can be literally translated as “all people to say all good things.”  This is a quotation from Terence’s Andria, a Roman comedy.  The plot of Terence’s play revolves around a father, Simo, who wants his son to marry his neighbor’s daughter.  Unfortunately his son, Pamphilus, promises to marry another woman–Glycerium–after impregnating her.  Simo becomes concerned that Pamphilus might have entered into a relationship with yet a different woman named Chrysis.  While discussing the matter with his most trusted freedman, Simo describes how, despite his worries, his son seemed to behave well and have a fine reputation.  In the translation by Henry Thomas Riley, Simo says “this pleased me, and everybody with one voice began to say all kinds of flattering things and to extol my good fortune, in having a son endowed with such a disposition.”  When Trollope entitles this chapter “Omnes Omnia Bona Dicere,” he is saying that people are saying good things about Mark Robarts.  However, in his associations with Mr. Sowerby Mark falls shy of the praise lavished on him, much as Pamphilus fell short of the praise lavished on him.  This reference to the Andria foreshadows Mark’s signing of Mr. Sowerby’s bill, an act which fails to meet with the high expectations for a young clergyman.  [TH 2005]

Sources:  Terence, Andria 96-97.  Link to Riley’s translation of the Andria at Perseus.



Hyperion was a Titan and the son of both Uranus and Gaia.  He was the father of Helios, Selene, and Eos (sun, moon, and dawn respectively).  Hyperion is often confused with the sun in classical sources.  For that reason, Trollope may intend to say that Mark is an Apollo, another god associated with the sun.  The use of a classical name to describe Mark elevates him in our eyes.  The association of Mark Robarts with the sun reinforces the image of him as a man rising in the world.  [TH 2005]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.


a tergo

A Latin phrase meaning “from behind.”  [TH 2005]