in Last Chronicle of Barset

Chapter 16 – Down in Allington

Familiarity breeds contempt

A sentiment found in Latin as parit enim conversatio contemptum (in Apuleius) and as nimia familiaritas parit contemptum (in collections of Latin proverbs).  After Lily Dale and Grace decorate the church for Christmas, Lily Dale complains to Mrs. Boyce about decorating the church and long sermons.  Trollope then remarks that familiarity breeds contempt–Lily’s work with the church has led her to be less reverent when talking to or about the Boyces.  [KD & RR 2006; rev. 2011]

Sources:  Apuleius, De Deo Socratis 4.
John B. Wainewright, “Familiarity breeds Contempt,” Notes and Queries No. 203 10th series. (May 23, 1908):  407.


Some Apollos won’t wash

Lily Dale speaks of her uncle, the squire, as an Apollo, not on the outside, but on the inside.  She describes these inward Apollos as “so full of feeling, so soft- natured, so kind…”  She states that even though her uncle appears harsh on the outside he washes well.  This is an interesting reference because in The Small House at Allington Lily Dale deemed Mr. Crosbie to be an Apollo largely on the basis of his external appearance and behavior.  Trollope is reintroducing Lily Dale and also her views on Apollos.  It appears that Lily is not now as concerned with the outside as she is with the inside.  See the commentary for Chapter 2 of The Small House at Allington for the beginning of the Apollo/Crosbie identification.  [KD 2006]