in Warden

Chapter 16 – A Long Day in London

Paternoster Row

The name of a real street in London, on which is located the fictitious publishing shop which published Mr. Harding’s Church Music.  This name consists of two Latin words, pater and noster, and refers to the Christian prayer the “Our Father,” or Pater Noster in Latin.  The ecclesiastical echo of the street’s name befits both Mr. Harding’s profession and his publication.  [MD 2005; rev. RR 2014]


he hoped better things

Perhaps hearkening to one of several popular Latin phrases such as spero meliora and sperans meliora, literally meaning “I hope better things” and “hoping better things.”  [MD 2005]



The patronage which the bishop of Barchester has given to Mr. Harding is the wardenship of the hospital, some 800 pounds a year. The bishop is referred to as the patron in this instance, and therefore Mr. Harding is shown to be the client in the relationship.  The patron-client relationship dates back to the Roman Empire; in it, a dominant, upper-class and powerful citizen would give monetary and physical support to an unspecified number of clients, who would in turn offer their services, votes, and any other requested support to their patron.  It was a mutually beneficial relationship, and Trollope is showing how the modern bureaucratic structure of the church has imitated the Roman patron-client relationship.  [MD 2005]


per annum

This Latin phrase means literally “through the year” or “by year,” thus “yearly,” and is used here to describe amounts of money received annually.  [MD 2005]



This word originally referred to the sacrifice of 100 animals, usually oxen, by the ancient Greeks.  It is used in this instance to refer to lobsters, which are being stored in the tavern in which Mr. Harding is eating at the time, and it surely refers to their future fate of being cooked. A hecatomb in ancient culture would probably have involved the burning of parts or entire bodies of animals; however, these lobsters would have been boiled, not burnt.  This allusion is probably meant to be humorous because it shows the reader that this is just a shop with a lot of food in it and that there are not going to be any actual sacrifices performed.  [MD 2005]