in Framley Parsonage

Chapter 47 – Nemesis

Poena, that just but Rhadamanthine goddess, whom we moderns ordinarily call Punishment, or Nemesis when we wish to speak of her goddess-ship, very seldom fails to catch a wicked man though she have sometimes a lame foot of her own

Poena is Latin for punishment.  Nemesis, whose name means “retribution” was a goddess of vengeance.  Rhadamanthus was the son of Zeus and Europa, and in death he ruled over part of the Underworld and served as a judge to the dead.  Because of Rhadamanthus’ reputation for strict judgment, a “Rhadamanthine” goddess would be one who acted harshly but justly.  For the reference to Nemesis and her lame foot, see the gloss in the commentary for Chapter 37.  [JM 2005]


Quod facit per alium, facit per se

“That which someone does through another, he does through himself.”  Trollope here misremembers the quotation, which should properly be Qui facit per alium, facit per se, “he who acts through another, acts through himself,” as stated in Sir Edward Coke’s Institutes of the LawsThe Jupiter has published an article reprimanding Mark Robarts for his unclerical behaviour and for his unearned high position; the article maintains that the former Prime Minister is ultimately responsible for Mark’s appointment, advocated by Mr. Harold Smith.  [JM & RR 2005]

Sources: Trollope, Framley Parsonage.  Eds. David Skilton and Peter Miles.  London:  Penguin, 2004.  See the note on page 573.



See earlier notes on Nemesis (in this chapter and in Chapter 37).  Nemesis here refers to Tom Towers, who published an article in The Jupiter reprimanding Mark Robarts because he received such a high position at such a young age and because he was irresponsible while holding the position.  The article advised him to turn the prebendal stall over to the government.  Robarts does so, but not in response to the article; he had already given up the stall before it was published.  Being mentioned in an article by Tom Towers is still of great concern; The Jupiter is very widely read, making Robarts’ disgrace very public.  [JM 2005]


pagan thunder

Mrs. Robarts has gotten over feeling ashamed at the article that appeared in The Jupiter regarding her husband.  Thus, the “sun” of neighborly warmth and friendship shines on her again, unobscured by the effects of the “pagan thunder.”  Jupiter was the Roman god of the heavens and thunder, and this is another instance of thunder-language being used in reference to the powerful newspaper.  [JM 2005]


supporter of the gods

See the commentary for Chapter 23.  Trollope uses the mythological story of a battle between the gods and the giants as an analogy for the political change going on in Britain.  [JM 2005]