in American Senator

Chapter 64 – The Will

speaking in a somewhat dictatorial voice

Captain Glomax, when speaking on the matter of the kennels, is said to talk in a “dictatorial voice.”  It appears that the Classical understanding of “dictator” is at work:  a man given sole governmental control.  The hunting men do not typically mind it when Glomax speaks authoritatively about hunting matters because they have hired him as the master.  However, now that they are off the field and are awaiting news of the Mortons, Mr. Runciman tries to shift the topic of discussion when Mr. Masters enters The Bush.  [KS & RR 2012]


sinews of war

Reginald’s acquisition of Bragton is being discussed and many of the men are upset because Reginald is not a man who enjoys hunting.  They are concerned about the idea of a British gentleman who does not hunt.  The question “Where are the sinews of war to come from?” arises as they fear that Britain will lose some of its strength if all the gentlemen behave like Reginald.  This phrase is reminiscent of Cicero’s nervos belli, which is often translated as “the sinews of war.” [KS 2012]

Source:  Cicero, Philippics 5.5.


household gods

When Reginald discovers that he will acquire the Bragton property, he realizes that he will have to move “his books, his pipes, and other household gods” out of Hoppet Hall and into Bragton.  The mention of “household gods” recalls the Lares and Penates, domestic divinities honored by the Romans in their homes and often represented by statues.  Although Reginald doesn’t literally have “household gods” to relocate, he will need to move the things that make him feel at home.  [KS & RR 2012]

Source:  LS.