in Last Chronicle of Barset

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]