his place was among the gods
John Eames thinks this about himself when he finds out that Amelia and Cradell are engaged. Trollope is using this to express how happy John is that he is not engaged to Amelia, even though John is still sad about Lily’s rejection. [KD 2006]
run away from the country as if London in May were more pleasant than the woods and fields
Trollope says that John leaves Guestwick as if London were better than the country. Of course, we know that John is leaving because he is embarrassed about Lily’s rejection. John would rather leave the pastoral setting than be reminded of Lily’s rejection. See the commentary for Chapter 14. [KD 2006]
a mutton meal is not envied by the gods
Trollope says eating mutton in a hotel lobby is not a banquet to be envied by gods. This occurs when Johnny Eames is eating dinner after moving from Burton Crescent and after being refused by Lily Dale. This is where we last see John in this novel. Horace uses the phrase cenae deum (“banquets of the gods”) in Satire 2.6 to describe a highly desired but simple meal in the country. [KD 2006]
Sources: Horace, Satire 2.6.65.