in Claverings

Chapter 42 – Restitution

chambers in the Adelphi

The conversation between Harry and Theodore Burton seems, on the surface, to be simply about their workplace at the Adelphi, from which Harry has been absent recently.  However, in this case, “Adelphi” refers not only literally to the building in which their office is housed, but also to their status as future family members.  The Greek word adelphoi means “brothers,” which is what Harry and Theodore will be if Harry marries Florence Burton.  Harry has only just been reconciled to Florence earlier in the evening, after she tried to end their engagement.  By asking Harry about his return to work, Theodore is, on another level, inquiring after how soon Harry is going to resume his familial position and duties as his future brother-in-law’s employee.  See commentary on the Adelphi in Chapter 7.  [SH 2012]


peculiar fold

Harry realizes that he should frequent the “sheepfold” of Theodore Burton’s house until he sets up “a small peculiar fold” with Florence.  Because “peculiar” contains the Latin pecu-, meaning “flock” or “herd,” Trollope’s phrase “peculiar fold” doubly expresses the image of Harry’s family-to-be as a little flock of its own.  [RR 2013]

Source:  OED.


dog in the manger

Trollope refers to one of Aesop’s fables here.  In the fable, a dog asleep in a manger is awakened by cows coming into the barn after a long day of work.  Even though the cows are tired and hungry, and even though the dog cannot eat hay, the dog will not let the cows anywhere near the hay in the manger.  Julia knows that since she cannot enjoy Ongar Park herself, she should not behave as the dog and keep it away from someone who could enjoy it.  Since her late husband’s relatives have expressed interest in the park, Julia makes the financially difficult but unselfish choice to give the park to Lord Ongar’s family for no charge.  [SH 2012]

Source:  Entry on the fable on Laura Gibbs’s Aesopica website.