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Aceldama. "The field of blood" or "The Potter's field", mentioned in St. Matthew, Chapter 27, Verse 8, as being bought for a burial place for strangers with "the thirty pieces of silver" taken by Judas Iscariot for betraying Christ; and in Acts, Chapter 1, Verse 19, as the scene of the suicide of Judas.
Angelican, Fra. Giovanni Angelico da Fiesole was born in 1387 and died at Rome in 1455. A celebrated Italian painter of religious subjects, his most important works are the frescoes at Orvieto (1447) and the decoration of the Chapel of the Saint-Sacrement in the Vatican.
Aquinas, Thomas. Born 1225 or 1227 in Italy and died there 1274. A famous Italian Theologian and scholastic philosopher, surnamed "Doctor Angelicus", "Father of Moral Philosophy" and (by his companions at School) the "Dumb Ox". He entered the Dominician Order; his chief work being the "Summa Theologiae ".
Beadle of Burlington. See under Burlington, Beadle of
Bishop of Sodor and Man. See under Sodor and Man, Bishop of
Bismarck, Otto Eduard Leopold, Prinz Von, Duke of Lauenburg. Born 1 April, 1815 at Schönhausen in the Kurmark, Prussia. Died 30 July, 1898 at Friedrichsruh. A famous Prussian Statesman, and founder of German Unity with Prussia. In 1871 he became the first Chancellor of the German Empire. In 1890 "the old pilot" was dropped, to use a figure of speech made memorable by one of Tenniel's "Punch" cartoons; he was dismissed by the young Emperor William II in circumstances reflecting little credit on either of them. Bismarck was a bitter foe to England.
Botticellian. Alessandro Filipepi Botticelli. Born Florence 1447, died there 1510. A famous Italian painter. He was a profound student of Dante, whose Divine Comedy he illustrated. His range of subjects was immense. It extended from great scriptural compositions to events in classic history, including allegorical and classic subjects. All these he treated in a form which was the natural outcome of the Renaissance, but with a verve, naiveté, and pathos peculiar to himself.
Boucicault, Dion. Born at Dublin 1822, died in New York 1890. An Anglo-American dramatist, manager and actor. Hence "the pathos of Paddy, as rendered by Boucicault" in Colonel Calverley's song, "If you want a receipt for that popular mystery". His plays include "London Assurance", "The Shanghraun", etc.
Burlington, Beadle of. The Beadle, formerly on duty at the Burlington Arcade, a covered pathway, with shops on either side, leading from Piccadilly to Burlington Gardens, opened on 20 March, 1819. The Arcade originally belonged to Lord Chesham, a Cavendish, descended from the fourth son of the first Earl of Burlington, and was built from designs by Ware in 1815; it was "famous", as Leigh Hunt said, "for small shops and tall beadles". The present Duke of Devonshire, also a Cavendish, bears the title Earl of Burlington.
The iron gates which formerly stood at both ends and were removed some years ago, bore the Baron's coronet (of Lord Chesham) with the canting, or punning, motto of the Cavendish's, "Cavendo tutus"-"secure by caution"-embodying the first six letters of the family name. This coronet can still be seen in the pediment of the archway at both ends.
The Beadle used to wear a cocked hat, like the Beadle in the Royal Exchange, in the City.
However, the above is thought by some to refer to Erasmus F. Beadle of Burlington, New Jersey, who introduced the "dime novel", the American equivalent to our former "penny dreadful". He died in 1861.
Caesar, Caius Julius. Born 12 July, 100 B.C., died 15 March, 44 B.C. The Triumvir and founder of the Roman Empire. Grand nephew of Caius Julius Caesar, the Dictator, his adoptive father. Originally named, like his true father, Caius Octavius, he entered the Julian family after the Dictator's death.
In 60 B.C. Pompey, Crassus and Caesar formed the First Triumvirate; then Caesar set out to conquer Gaul. In 55 B.C. he paid a short visit to Britain, but returned the following year and made a number of tribes in the southern part of the island submit to him.
Cupid. The Roman God of Love as Eros is the Greek God of Love. Cupid, the son of Venus, the Goddess of Beauty, is represented in art as a naked winged boy, armed with a bow and quiver full of arrows.
A celebrated English novelist and political writer. The son of a butcher named Foe. On January 10, 1703, when Queen Anne had been 10 months on the Throne, the "London Gazette" announced a reward of £50 for Defoe's discovery because his writings were considered to be full of "scandal and sedition", though in reality he had brought off a hoax so well that both friends and enemies had been taken in by it.
He, a Dissenter by birth and conviction, had preached fire and faggot as the "Shortest way with the Dissenters". Dissenters and others were taken in, but when they discovered their mistake they were as angry as people always are in such circumstances. Defoe was caught, tried, pilloried, fined and imprisoned. However his fines were eventually paid and he was set free from Newgate about the beginning of November 1703.
Some of his best-known novels include: "Robinson Crusoe" published in 1719; "Journal of the Plague Year"; and one of the greatest achievements in journalism ever accomplished--"The Review"--eight unique volumes of which are now in the British Museum. In the Review Defoe was constant in his opposition to the High Church, to the Jacobites, and to France; while the true passion of his life was his country's prosperity in trade.
He was one of the most prolific and eminent of "scribblers" that English literature can show.
Della Cruscan. A member of the Della Cruscan Academy; a school of affected and sentimental English poets, most of whom lived in Florence about 1785, of which a prominent member, Robert Merry, was elected a member of the Florentine Academy and adopted the pseudonym, "Della Crusca".
Roderick wished to marry his cousin Ellen, daughter of the outlawed Douglas, but the latter refused his permission.
The downfall of the DougIases of the House of Angus occurred during the reign of King James V. The Earl of Angus had married the Queen Dowager, and kept the young King in a state of tutelage, which approached very near to captivity. However the King escaped to Stirling from his palace at Falkland and, with the assistance of friendly nobles, summoned the Earl to appear; he refused. Consequently he and his kin and friends were outlawed.
The Douglas and a few friends lived, with Ellen, on an island in Loch Katrine in the Trossachs which belonged to Roderick. Eventually they left "Ellen's Isle"--as it is known to this day--so as not to compromise Roderick for sheltering outlaws, and went to live in a cave in Mount Benvenue where the King, disguised as a huntsman (FitzJames) saw Ellen and gave her a ring. FitzJames, surprised by Roderick, fought and defeated him and had him carried to Stirling where he died of his wounds.
The Douglas, who had previously gone to Stirling, to give his life for his friends, was reprieved by Ellen's ring and restored to favour, while Ellen eventually married her favourite, Graham, Roderick's rival.
On April 2, 1836, he married Catherine, eldest daughter of Hogarth, his colleague on the "Morning Chronicle", and had ten children.
In March 1856 he bought Gadshill Place and, after separating from his wife two years later, he died there on 9 June, 1870 and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
Among his many well-known novels are "The Pickwick Papers"; "Oliver Twist"; "A Tale of Two Cities", etc. etc.
A leader of Society in Paris and London he became the greatest of the English dandies, and was the finest advertisement his tailors could have. Apparently they paid him for wearing his clothes and presents of money were usually found in the pockets of new coats that were delivered to him. "Once," runs a story, "this little attention was omitted, whereupon D'Orsay sent back a coat with this message 'The lining of the pockets has been forgotten .......'"
D'Orsay was noted for his intimacy with Marguerite, Countess of Blessington, (1789-1849).
On December 1, 1827 he married in Naples Lady Harriet Gardiner, then barely fifteen, younger daughter of Lord Blessington by his first wife. Misery and separation were its only consequences and she soon left him, but Lady Blessington who was then a widow took up her abode with him. For a time they lived at her house, 10 St. James's Square, but finding it too expensive they moved to Seamore Place which became the resort of a brilliant literary and fashionable Society.
Lady Blessington, famous for her wit and beauty, had first experienced an unhappy marriage with a Captain Farmer, from whom she separated, and had then become the mistress of Captain Jenkins of the 11th Light Dragoons.
In 1818--four months after Captain Farmer had died from wounds received in a drunken brawl--she married Charles Gardiner, 2nd Viscount Mountjoy and 1st Earl of Blessington and their house, at 10 St. James's Square, became the great rival of Holland House; and "although both were the resort of wit, only one was the headquarters of solid respectability". The Earl died in 1829.
D'Orsay was an inveterate gambler, playing for enormously high stakes both at Crockford's and at the Cocoa Tree; at the latter he is said to have won £35,000 in two nights' play, but his expenses were far larger than his winnings, and in 1836 he and his mistress moved again, to Gore House, Kensington.
In 1849 the crash came; the contents of the house were sold and Marguerite followed D'Orsay to Paris, where he had already fled.
She died within two months; and three years later, in 1852, he died also and was buried in the same tomb.
Early English. Language. The terms Old English, Early English, are indefinitely applied in popular use, the first to any obsolete form of the language, the latter either to early Middle English or to the earlier portion of the Modern English period.
Early English. Architecture. The first of the pointed or Gothic styles used in England as from 1170 to about 1260; it succeeded the Norman and gradually merged into the Decorated.
The Elysian Fields were according to some poets in the Fortunate Islands on the coast of Africa. Homer placed them on the western margin of the earth; Virgil in Italy; Lucian near the moon, while, if we are to believe Plutarch, they were in the centre of the earth.
Empyrean. In ancient and mediaeval cosmology the highest heaven or heavenly sphere is supposed to be composed of a kind of sublimated fire. Dante and Milton, the latter of whom wrote "the empryean rung with hallelujahs" use the term for the uppermost Paradise, the heaven which is the immediate seat of God.
Eros. The Greek God of Love--as Cupid is the Roman God of Love. Eros, the son of Chronos or Saturn was regarded by later writers as being the child and companion of Aphrodite. His well-known statue stands in Piccadilly Circus, London.
In the centre of the Circus is the Shaftesbury Memorial, by Sir Alfred Gilbert, Sculptor, (1854-1934), a pyramidal bronze fountain surmounted by a winged figure of an archer with his bow (Eros) unveiled in 1893 in memory of the philanthropic Earl of Shaftesbury (1801-85) who devoted the best part of his life to movements for the amelioration of the poor.
Fra Angelican. See Angelican, Fra.
Francesca da Rimini. An Italian lady of the 13th century. Was the daughter of Guido Vecchio da Polenta, lord of Ravenna, and was given in marriage to Giovanni Sciancato (John the lame, or hipshot), eldest son of Malatesta Vecchio, lord or tyrant of Rimini.
Giovanni was a man of extraordinary courage--but deformed, whereas his younger brother Paolo, who became Francesca's lover, possessed all those graces which her husband lacked. She and Paolo, being surprised in adultery, were both put to death by the enraged husband about the year 1288 and were buried in the same grave.
This pathetic love story has been immortalized by Dante in a famous episode in "The Inferno", Canto V.
Guido Novello, the true and generous friend with whom Dante resided at Ravenna, was the son of Francesca's brother, Ostagio da Polenta.
Garnet, Sir. See under Wolseley.
Pictures were received by invitation only. In 1877 the Aesthetic Agitation held an exhibition of paintings there in order to strike a blow at the deadly domination of the Royal Academy, and give modern artists a chance of being "hung". The exhibitions have been discontinued.
In 221 B.C. Hannibal became Viceroy in Spain.
One of his greatest achievements took place in 218 B.C. when he led an army of 90,000 infantry (largely Spanish) and 12,000 cavalry (largely Numidian) through Southern France and across the Alps, which were then deemed almost inaccessible, into Northern Italy, probably by the Little St. Bernard Pass.
It took him nine days to reach the top, but despite the fact that he lost three-quarters of his forces on the way he overwhelmed Roman armies 40,000 strong on the Trebbia.
After his victory at Cannae, circa 216 B.C., he would have had them at his mercy in all probability had he at once advanced on Rome.
His great object was to destroy the power of Rome, but he was eventually defeated by Scipio at the battle of Zama, and afterwards poisoned himself while in exile.
The only connection between the animal and the instrument appears to be due to the erroneous idea that the strings are made from the cat's entrails; "catgut" probably being a corruption of "kitgut" as "kit" was the old word for a small fiddle. But catgut comes from the intestines of sheep and, to a much lesser extent, the intestines of pigs and cattle--never from a cat.
"For Art stopped short in the cultivated Court of the Empress Josephine. . ." The Court was composed of soldiers (including those of fortune) revolutionaries etc., and was therefore very far from cultured.
His father was a bandmaster, and the boy was thus familiar with instruments and music from his cradle. In 1842 he began his "annual series of concerts" at the English Opera House, which continued season after season till 1859.
He was a most energetic conductor, and at the end of a number he sank back exhausted into his gorgeous velvet chair.
However, he was dogged by ill-luck, one enterprise after another failed, and he was finally compelled in 1859 to go to Paris where he was arrested for debt, imprisoned, liberated, and eventually placed in a lunatic asylum where he died the following year.
He was always popular "because with much obvious Charlatanism what Jullien aimed at was good, and what he aimed at he did thoroughly well. He was a public amuser, but he was also a public reformer".
Macaulay, Thomas Babington. Lord Macaulay (1800-1859), historian. He was, with all his precocity, a simple and merry child, and often rambled on Clapham Common discovering the Alps and Mount Sinai in its ridges and hillocks.
The following story is told about Macaulay. One day when he was about nine years old his mother was entertaining the Vicar to tea. Suddenly the young Macaulay came into the room crying, "Curséd be Sally, for it is written 'Curséd be he that removeth his neighbour's boundary'."
It transpired that Macaulay had a small piece of the garden in which he was allowed to do what he liked. It was marked out by a line of old shells. A new servant girl, called Sally, who did not know this, went out to work in the garden and saw, as she thought, an untidy lot of old shells and cleared them away.
Hence the anger of young Macaulay.
Amongst his many works his "History of England" is probably one of the best known.
Madame Louise young girls. See Louise, Madame.
Madame Tussaud. See Tussaud, Madame.
Manfred. A dramatic poem by Lord Byron, (1788-1824) published in 1817. Manfred, in Byron's words, is "a kind of magician who suffers from a half-unexplained remorse". He lives alone in a castle in the Alps.
He is frequently referred to as "the devil", but it is well understood, in Faust, that he was only a devil.
Micawber, Mr. Wilkins. One of the principal characters in Dickens's "David Copperfield". He is remarkable for his rapid alterations and elevation of spirits, his "temporary embarrassments of a pecuniary nature", and his constant persuasion that "something will turn up".
His wife, as far as the elasticity of her spirits goes, is quite his equal. Her devotion to "the parent of her children and the father of her twins" induces her frequent well-known exclamation, "I never will desert Mr. Micawber".
The couple appear to have been suggested more or less by Dickens's father and mother.
Narcissus. In Greek mythology was a beautiful youth, son of the river god Cephisus and the nymph Liriope, born at Thespis in Boeotia, who was untouched by any emotion of love, so that the nymph Echo pined away and died because he was unresponsive to her advances.
He was punished by Nemesis for his lack of feeling by being made to fall in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water. His fruitless efforts to approach this beautiful object so provoked him that he grew desperate and, according to Ovid (Met. 3.341) he died of this unrequited passion and was changed into the flower called Poets' Narcissus; another version is that he killed himself for grief and from his blood sprang the flower which still bears his name.
In the Spring of 1784 he sailed for the West Indies and whilst on this station he married Frances Nisbet, widow of Dr. J. Nisbet, of the island of Nevis; they had no children. In 1801 they separated as a consequence of Nelson's infatuated attachment to Lady Hamilton.
Emma was first the mistress, then the wife of Sir William Hamilton, English Ambassador at Naples.
Never was a commander more beloved than Nelson. He governed men by their reason and their affections; they knew that he was incapable of caprice or tyranny; and they obeyed him with alacrity and joy, because he possessed their confidence as well as their love.
Nelson had a spectacular career in the Navy, culminating in the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October, 1805.
In the heat of the victorious action over the French, a ball fired from the mizen-top of the "Redoutable" struck the epaulette on his left shoulder and passed through his backbone. He died in great pain three and a quarter hours after he had received his wound, murmuring again and again "Thank God, I have done my duty".
His body, preserved in spirits, was brought home in the "Victory", and after lying in state in the Painted Hall at Greenwich was taken to London for a public funeral.
Nelson was buried on 9 January, 1806 in the crypt of St. Paul's Cathedral.
Paddington Pollaky. See Pollaky.
Paget, Sir James. Born at Yarmouth in 1814, died in London 1899. An English physician. He became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, and was elected President. He was appointed Sergeant-Surgeon to Queen Victoria and to King Edward VII as Prince of Wales.
Pan--god of shepherds and huntsmen and of all the inhabitants of the country, had two small horns on his head, his complexion was ruddy, nose flat, shaggy beard, and his legs, thighs, tail and feet were those of a goat. He was the son of Hermes.
The worship of Pan was well established, especially in Arcadia, where he gave oracles on Mount Lycaeus. His festival, called by the Greeks Lycaea, was brought to Italy by Evander and was well-known at Rome by the name of Lupercalia.
Pan is depicted playing on the pan-pipe made from the reeds into which the nymph Syrinx was changed when he pursued her.
Peak-hunting Peveril. "Peveril of the Peak". A historical novel by Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), published in 1823. The scene is laid near the Peak of Derbyshire and elsewhere in England during the reign of Charles II.
Aristotle, who became tutor to Alexander the Great, was a disciple of Plato (q.v.) who considered him his best scholar.
The Peripatetics derived their name from the place where they were taught, called Peripaton, in the Lyceum at Athens, or because they received the philosopher's lectures as they walked about with him.
The Peripatetics acknowledged the dignity of human nature and placed their "summum bonum" not in the pleasures of passive sensation but in the due exercise of the moral and intellectual faculties.
The Peripatetic school of philosophy has had very great influence even in modern times and especially during the Middle Ages.
Platonic love--a spiritual comradeship or love, in which there is no element of sexual desire, especially between persons of the opposite sex. So called after Plato (429-348 B.C.), who is usually reckoned the greatest thinker of all time in what passes for the province of philosophy.
Pollaky, Paddington, was a well-known detective in the 1870's, not only in England but also abroad. On his retirement he went to live at Brighton and, being a keen chess player, he was often seen in the public chess room at the Royal Pavilion, that remarkable palace built by George IV when Prince Regent.
Paddington Pollaky died during the First World War of 1914-1918.
He gave his first show at Bartholomew Fair in 1796. On some occasions twenty-one performances a day are said to have been given; proving successful he went on tour, and at the various Fairs he changed his tragedies every day.
Although he had a comfortable cottage in Horsemonger Lane, Southwark, he preferred to live in his caravan, and was only removed from the latter three days before he died.
Rimini. See Francesca da Rimini.
Roderick Dhu. See Dhu, Roderick.
Sacheverell, Dr. Henry. Born Marlborough, 1672, died London, 1724. An English clergyman and Tory politician, became preacher at St. Saviour's Southwark. For two sermons criticizing the Whig Ministry he was suspended for three years. One of the two "non-resistance" sermons was preached at St. Paul's in November, 1709. However he was reinstated by the Tory Ministry in 1713.
Sodor and Man, Bishop of. The "style of the Bishop of Sodor and Man" refers to Horatio Powys (1805-77), third son of Thomas Powys, 2nd Baron Lilford. He was Bishop of Sodor and Man from 1854 until his death, and from time to time made successful endeavours to uphold the rights of the See which involved him in much litigation.
In the early eighteen seventies the Bishop apparently became unpopular, and when violently attacked he retorted in kind; damages were given against him in an action for libel, but he succeeded on appeal on a point of privilege.
Sodor and Man was a medieval diocese, comprising the Hebrides, (Sodor, from the Scandinavian name) and the Isle of Man. The diocese now consists of the Isle of Man. The Bishop has a seat in the House of Lords, but no vote.
Stranger, The. A translation of the German dramatist Kotzebue's "Misanthropy & Repentance". Said to be translated by Benjamin Thompson but more probably adapted by Sheridan, who also adapted Kotzebue's "Pizarro".
Among his principal works are "In Memoriam" (1850); "Maud" (1855); "Idylls of the King" (1859-85) etc. In 1863 he wrote "Welcome to Alexandra", the beautiful Danish princess, on the occasion of her marriage to the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII).
Tennyson lived at "Farringford" near Freshwater in the Isle of Wight. The Tennyson memorial beacon stands upon the summit of High Down above Freshwater. In 1868 he built "Aldworth" at Blackdown, near Haslemere; the house stands at the end of Tennyson's Lane where the counties of Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire adjoin.
Tennyson was buried in Westminster Abbey on 12 October, 1892.
Thomas Aquinas. See Aquinas, Thomas.
Tupper, Martin Farquhar, (1810-89). An English poet. He was called to the Bar in 1835, but soon abandoned law for literature. His chief work, found in every drawing room at the time was "Proverbial Philosophy".
Victor Emmanuel II, (1820-78). King of Sardinia. He served with distinction during 1848-49 and became King in 1848 on the abdication of his father, Charles Albert. He assumed the title of "King of Italy" in 1861. The complete union of Italy was effected by the occupation of Rome in 1870.
Waterford. "A smack of Lord Waterford, reckless and rollicky"--Marquis of Waterford (1814-66) known as the "mad marquis", as he was always up to mad pranks. He was the father of (1) Lord William Beresford (fighting Bill): (2) Lord Charles (H.M.S. Condor fame); the gallant handling of his ship at the bombardment of Alexandria drew from the Commander-in-Chief the famous signal, "Well done Condor"; Lord Charles went up the Nile with Lord Wolseley to relieve General Gordon: (3) Lord Marcus (of racing fame) an Official Starter. He was Manager of the thoroughbred stud and race horses to H.M. King Edward VII, 1890-1910, and to H.M. King George V, 1910-22.
Wolseley , Sir Garnet Joseph, (1833-1913). A distinguished British General. He served in the Burmese and Crimean Wars; the Indian Mutiny, China and Egypt. He was Commander in Chief of the British Army (1895-1900) in succession to the old Duke of Cambridge, and was called "Our only General" till Lord Roberts became famous.
He wrote the "Soldiers' Pocket Book" and other military books; and also "Marley Castle", a novel. Sir Garnet rose to the rank of Field Marshal and was created a Viscount.
Page Updated 21 August, 2011