in Last Chronicle of Barset

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.