in Last Chronicle of Barset

Chapter 35 – Lily Dale Writes Two Words in her Book

Angel of light

As Johnny makes his walk through the gardens of Allington in search of Lily Dale, he thinks of Lily and her past relationship with Crosbie.  He remembers that when he was about to proclaim his love to Lily, she was already regarding Crosbie as an “angel of light.”  This reference to light maintains Trollope’s recurring association of Crosbie, Lily’s former suitor, with Apollo, the god of light.  [KD 2006]


Cutting names into bridges

John Eames tells Lady Julia before for he goes to see the Dales in Allington that he only has to stay ten minutes to say everything he wants to Lily.  After that, he can go and cut names into bridges.  This is reminisient of the pastoral imagery we have seen with John in Small House at Allington when Lady Julia found John Eames cutting Lily’s name into the bridge’s railing.  See the commentary for Chapter 52 of The Small House at Allington. [KD 2006]


Temple at Allington

After Lily rejects John Eames’ proposal again, she tells him that there will always be a “temple at Allington in which your worship is never forgotten.”  Although Lily cannot see John Eames as she saw “Apollo” Crosbie, she nevertheless maintains that she will cherish him.  Given the “homage” that she paid to Crosbie-as-Apollo, it is interesting that she now uses divine imagery in speaking of paying homage to John.  [KD & RR 2006]


John as a stricken deer

After Lily’s rejection, John declares to himself that he will live as though Lily were forgotten and will not go around as a stricken deer.  The stricken deer imagery is reminiscent of Dido in the Aeneid when she is struck by her love for Aeneas and likened to a wounded deer.  Trollope’s use of “stricken deer” is interesting here because the image was used for Lily Dale in the Small House at Allington after she was slighted by Crosbie. See commentary for The Small House at Allington Chapter 31.  [KD 2006]


If he knew himself he be constant to Lily

John tells himself that he will never mention Lily Dale to anyone nor ever speak to any other girl.  Trollope interrupts, saying that if John knew himself he would be constant.

“Know thyself” is a famous Greek proverb attributed to a number of different philosophers.  According to Pausanias, it was inscribed in the entry to the Temple of Apollo at Delphi.  As we know, Johnny does not “know himself”–as he is still involved with Madaline Demolines.  [KD 2006; rev. RR 2011]

Sources:  Pausanias, Guide to Greece 10.24.1.


Super-excellent port

As Lady Julia comforts John Eames, Trollope says that she opens  bottle of a super-excellent port.  Super as a Latin prefix literally means “over” or “above.”  [KD 2006]