in Last Chronicle of Barset

Chapter 53 – Rotten Row

Onesiphorus Dunn

Onesiphorus in Greek literally means “benefit bearer.”  This use of Greek is apt because Onesiphorus in the novel is a great help to Lily Dale when she sees Crosbie for the first time after he slighted her in the Small House at Allington.  Onesiphorus also does many favors for Mrs. Throne.  [KD 2006]


Statue of Achilles

A statue of the Duke of Wellington as the Greek hero Achilles was erected in Hyde Park in 1822.  [RR 2006]

Sources:  Trollope, The Last Chronicle of Barset.  Ed. Sophie Gilmartin.  London:  Penguin, 2002.  See note on p. 882.


Looked and be looked at

When Siph Dunn meets Crosbie in Rotten Row he remarks that he rarely sees Crosbie about these days.  Crosbie responds that he has “something to do besides going to look or be looked at.”  Crosbie’s response reformulates a phrase from Ovid’s Ars Amatoria in which Ovid remarks that women go to the public spectacles in order to see and be seen.  Crosbie’s allusion implicitly casts men who go about to see and be seen in a feminine light.  Siph, who does not seem to appreciate the biting implication of Crosbie’s Classical allusion, does not mind asserting that he, as a man of leisure, can afford the time “to see and be seen.”  [RR]

Sources:  Ovid, Ars Amatoria 1.99.


Quarrels of lovers as a bad basis for the renewal of love

Fowler Pratt, Adolphus Crosbie’s friend, gives this advice to Crosbie in regard to his desire to reconnect with Lily Dale.  The phrase comes from Terence’s Andria when Simo and his friend are discussing his son’s fight with his lover.  Simo’s friend, Chremes, states that “the quarrels of lovers are the renewals of love” and that Simo should break the two up before they reconcile.  This is an interesting allusion because Pratt is changing the usual meaning of this phrase to tell Crosbie that his slighting of Lily Dale is irreversible.  See the commentary for Chapter 5 of Framley Parsonage.  [KD 2006]

Sources:  Terence, Andria 555.


He had been as it were a god to her

Lily Dale sees Crosbie while riding.  She realizes that time has punished Crosbie and that “he had lost the look of an Apollo.”  In The Small House at Allington, we see Lily call Crosbie an “Apollo” because of his good looks and charming nature.  Trollope tells us that Crosbie now is viewed in an “altered light”–which is a play on Trollope’s use of Apollo imagery for Crosbie.  Crosbie is in an “altered light” because he is literally altered from his appearance as the god of light, Apollo.  [KD 2006]


The fates

The Fates are the three goddess who spin, measure, and cut the thread of life.  The Fates are often associated with one’s predetermined destiny.  The Fates are mentioned in relation to Lily Dale, who here must go into dinner with Fowler Pratt, a friend of Crosbie.  [KD & RR 2006; rev. 2011]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.