Literally meaning “higher.” Trollope uses this phrase in saying that Lily Dale never did view John Eames in a “higher,” heroic light. Johnny Eames later uses this phrase to urge himself on as he goes to find Mrs. Arabin abroad. Sophie Gilmartin points out that Longfellow’s poem “Excelsior” was popular in the mid-19th century. [KD & RR 2006]
Sources: Trollope, The Last Chronicle of Barset. Ed. Sophie Gilmartin. London: Penguin, 2002. See note on p. 886.
After hearing that Mrs. Proudie is dead, Mrs. Arabin states that she will “never forget the harsh toned paean of low-church trumpets” as Mrs. Proudie entered the city. A paean is a victory hymn. Trollope’s use of “paean” signifies that Mrs. Proudie had control as soon as she entered Barchester and therefore she was victorious. The word may also pair Mrs. Proudie’s low-church stance with ancient, “pagan” religion, imparting a derogatory shade to the former. [KD & RR 2006]