in Small House at Allington

Chapter 58 – The Fate of the Small House

You know the story of the boy who wouldn’t cry though the wolf was gnawing him underneath his frock

The earl refers to this story when he is telling Johnny not to let Lily Dale’s rejection affect him outwardly.  This allusion refers to a story in Plutarch’s Life of Lycurgus.  In the story, a little boy would rather be gnawed than admit he had stolen a fox.  The earl is saying that John must be like that boy and hide his pain.  [KD 2006]

Sources:  Plutarch, Life of Lycurgus 18.1.


By Jove

An exclamation identical to “By God,” as Jove was the chief Roman god, Jupiter.  Trollope uses “by Jove” when describing what another man in John Eames’ position might say after being rejected by someone like Lily Dale.  [KD 2006]


He would have been the hero of the hour and everybody would have sung for him his song of triumph

Johnny Eames thinks that if he had successfully engaged himself to Lily then “he would have been the hero of the hour.” The “songs of truimph” are reminiscent of Pindar’s Odes written for victorious athletes in ancient Greece.  [KD 2006]