Murder Must Advertise

The page numbers are from the U.S. Perennial Library paperback edition of “Murder Must Advertise” copyright 1933 by Dorothy Leigh Sayers Fleming, 1961 by Lloyds Bank Ltd., Executor of the Estate of Dorothy L. Sayers.

Chapter 1

1 ~ Dairyfields guard-book

Example of a fictional guardbook page, from Ken Burnett's blog.

Example of a fictional guardbook page, from Ken Burnett’s blog.

An album used by advertising agencies to keep track of tearsheets (published examples of previous ads appearing in newspapers and magazines), notes and other information. Dairyfields is a fictional client.

A guard-book can also be an album or a scrapbook containing miscellaneous documents from various sources and eras. Oxford’s Bodleian Library lists its collection of guard-books at its Web site.

2 ~ lend an air of verisimilitude to an otherwise

From Gilbert & Sullivan’s comic opera, “The Mikado.” The rest of the line is “bald and unconvincing narrative.”
(Contributed by Karla Denovo)

2 ~ Cross between Ralph Lynn and Bertie Wooster

Ralph (pronounced “Rafe”) Lynn (1882-1962) was an actor-comedian who specialized in aristocrats.

2 ~ Death, where is thy sting?

From 1 Corinthians 15:55: “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”

2 ~ A bob? Here’s half-a-crown

In England’s old currency, a bob equals a shilling, while half-a-crown equals two shillings and 6 pence (as 12 pence equals a shilling, a crown equals five shillings, of course).

3 ~ smoking gaspers


3 ~ Has anybody got two shillings for a florin?

A florin is a coin equal to two shillings. It was circulated from 1849 to 1967. With a pound in 1933 (the year MMA was published) was worth about £47, at one-tenth of a pound a florin was worth in purchasing power about £4 and 14 shillings today.

5 ~ Bredon went to Balliol
And sat at the feet of Gamaliel
And just as he ought
He cared for nought,
And his language was sesquipedalial

Gamaliel: A Pharisee and respected doctor of Law. Paul mentions him in Acts 22:3 as being brought up at his feet “and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers.” In Acts 5:34, Gamaliel successfully advises his fellow-members of the Sanhedrin not to execute Peter and the Apostles who preached despite a ban on their activities.

5 ~ two double-faults running

5 ~ hail you all, impale you all, jail you all

6 ~ Gentlemen prefer blondes, but personally I find them both equally seraphic

“Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” is a novel by Anita Loos published in 1925 and made into a 1953 movie starring Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell. Seraphic is one of the six-winged angels who stand in the presence of God.

7 ~ Derby sweep (Irish derby, that is)

7 ~ like summer-time on Bredon
A quote from “A Shropshire Lad” by A.E. Housman:

XXI. Bredon Hill

In summertime on Bredon
The bells they sound so clear;
Round both the shires they ring them
In steeples far and near,
A happy noise to hear.

Here of a Sunday morning
My love and I would lie,
And see the coloured counties,
And hear the larks so high
About us in the sky.

The bells would ring to call her
In valleys miles away:
‘Come to church, good people;
Good people, come and pray.’
But here my love would stay.

And I would turn and answer
Among the springing thyme,
‘Oh, peal upon our wedding,
And we will hear the chime,
And come to church in time.’

But when the snows at Christmas
On Bredon top were strown,
My love rose up so early
And stole out unbeknown
And went to church alone.

They tolled the one bell only,
Groom there was none to see,
The mourners followed after,
And so to church went she,
And would not wait for me.
The bells they sound on Bredon,

And still the steeples hum.
‘Come all to church, good people,’ —
Oh, noisy bells, be dumb;
I hear you, I will come.

8 ~ Elliot-Fisher typewriter

9 ~ Tallboy
Dorothy Sayers denied that there was any connection between Tallboy and Talboys, the name of Lord Peter’s home he shared with his wife, Harriet Vane, in the short story “Talboys.”

9 ~ a public place within the meaning of the act

11 ~ Green Pastures … it suggests Negroes to me … keep Psalm 23 out of it
“Green Pastures”: a play by Marc Connolly based on the stories by white humorist Roark Bradford. In “Ol’ Man Adam and his Chillun,” on which the Pulitzer Prize-winning play is based, an elderly black Sunday school teacher recasts the Bible stories in words his congregation could understand. “De Lawd” is a Southern black Baptist preacher, heaven a bayou of big cigars and eternal fish fries, Moses a “conjure man” and Noah a ferryboat skipper.
Psalm 23:
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

16 ~ Black holes of Calcutta
A notorious incident in British-India history. In the traditional story, in 1756, the Nawab of Bengal, Sirai-ud-daulah, attempting to drive the British out of India, attacked Fort William in Calcutta and captured 146 soldiers of the British East India Company. On his orders, the soldiers were crammed into a small cell and left them overnight. The next morning, the guards found 123 of the 146 had died. This enraged the British public, and the East India Company sent a relief force, which deposed the Nawab and put his uncle in place. Said uncle rewarded the British commander of the force and gave the Company the right to tax Mughal lands and lead Mughal troops. The rest, as they say, is history.
But did the Black Hole really happen that way? The Straight Dope site considers the evidence and, as is usual in history, found the answer to be yes and no.

17 ~ What we want in this country is a Mussolini to organize trade conditions
Benito Mussolini, the Fascist ruler of Italy.

18 ~ DEATH BREDON, 12A, Great Ormond Street, W.C. 1

Wimsey is using Inspector Parker’s address in the Bloomsbury District.

Chapter 2

The slightly modified line is from “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens, in which Sydney Carton, about to give his life at the guillotine for his friend, delivers this stirring speech:

“I see Barsad, and Cly, Defarge, The Vengeance, the Juryman, the Judge, long ranks of the new oppressors who have risen on the destruction of the old, perishing by this retributive instrument, before it shall cease out of its present use. I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss, and, in their struggles to be truly free, in their triumphs and defeats, through long years to come, I see the evil of this time and of the previous time of which this is the natural birth, gradually making
expiation for itself and wearing out.
“I see the lives for which I lay down my life, peaceful, useful, prosperous and happy, in that England which I shall see no more. I see Her with a child upon her bosom, who bears my name. I see her father, aged and bent, but otherwise restored, and faithful to all men in his healing office, and at peace. I see the good old man, so long their friend, in ten years’ time enriching them with all he has, and passing tranquilly to his reward.
“I see that I hold a sanctuary in their hearts, and in the hearts of their descendants, generations hence. I see her, an old woman, weeping for me on the anniversary of this day. I see her and her husband, their course done, lying side by side in their last earthly bed, and I know that each was not more honoured and held sacred in the other’s soul, than I was in the souls of both.
“I see that child who lay upon her bosom and who bore my name, a man winning his way up in that path of life which once was mine. I see him winning it so well, that my name is made illustrious there by the light of his. I see the blots I threw upon it, faded away. I see him, fore-most of just judges and honoured men, bringing a boy of my name, with a forehead that I know and golden hair, to this place– then fair to look upon, with not a trace of this day’s disfigurement –and I hear him tell the child my
story, with a tender and a faltering voice.
“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”

To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, a man would have to have a heart of stone to laugh at Sydney Carton.

24 ~ Whether it’s Chelsea buns or jam roll

Chelsea bun: a pastry filled with fruit and rolled up into a coil

Chapter 3

32 ~ cricket advertisements … “Lumme, what a Lob!” … “Yah! that’s a Yorker!” … “Gosh! it’s a Googly”

These headlines play off common terms used in cricket. A lob is a pitch; a Yorker a pitch that hits the ground directly under the batsman’s bat; and a Googly a curve ball that moves sharply toward the batter. This Web site contains more information on cricket terms.

32 ~ De mortuis

The full quote hinted here is “De mortuis nihil nisi bene,” or “Of the dead, say nothing but good.”

33 ~ nostalgie de la banlieue … de la boue

Literally, “nostalgia for the suburbs … for the mud.” Miss Meteyard is engaging in a bit of clever wordplay. “Nostalgie de la boue” appears in the Oxford English Dictionary as “A longing for sexual or social degradation; a desire to regress to more primitive social conditions or behaviour than those to which a person is accustomed.” In other words, if Dian de Momerie had “nostalgie de la boue,” she’d be picking up a farm hand or a common laborer. Instead, her la boue was la banlieue, so she picked Victor Dean, a suburban, middle-class male.

(Contributed by Ilke Cochrane)

Nostalgie de la boue first appeared, according to the Virtual Linguist website, in “Le Mariage d’Olympe,” by French playwright Emile Augier.

(Contributed by Dahra Latham)

34 ~ Brewer here

Ingleby is looking for a reference book, “Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase & Fable,” a most excellent compilation of names, classical catchphrases, proper names, biblical allusions and folklore. First published in 1870, its 16th edition was published in 1999.

34 ~ chrononhotonthologos … aldiborontophoscophornio

“The Tragedy of Chrononhotonthologos” is a burlesque of contemporary drama written by Henry Carey (c. 1690-1743). Chrononhotonthologos is king of Queerummania, while Aldiborontophoscophornio is the name of another character in the play. The play was so popular in its day that its title character became a synonym for a furious, violent, demanding and self-centered person. It is a measure of Brewer’s wide-ranging learning that you can still find the words in the current edition.

34 ~ Torquemada

The Grand Inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition, but in this context, it is the pseudonym of Edward Powys Mathers who created 670 crosswords for the Observer newspaper between 1926 and 1939. Drawing on his background as a scholar and linguist, Mathers’ crosswords were notorious for their difficult and obscure clues, and accomplishing one was the sign of a learned gentleman (or lady). The example, below, was plucked from a Web site that, unfortunately, did not offer the solution.

1 and 13. It isn’t caused by underwriting (10, 5)
10. Crime of Don Alhambra del Bolero (7)
14. and 16 across The too enthusiastic should beware of 1 across and 13 (9)
17. Particle (6)
18. ‘Chicken-skin, delicate, white, Painted by — Vanloo’ (5)
19. The saint of sick schoolboys (3)
20. rev. ‘I took thee to curse mine enemies,’I said,’and, behold, thou hast
blessed them’ (5)
23. Letters of 36 (3)
24. The reformation of a pawnbroker (5)
26 and 27. Of resting bodies (6)
29. rev. Distinct ‘haves’ in Spenser (3)
31. and 30 I guard the interests of a magazine (8)
32. Grows whiter when turned into a leaf (5)
33. Found in 32 (6)
36. Letters of 23 (3)
39. rev Foreign incubus (5)
41 and 37. Lord Moggeridge’s passion (5)
42. rev A belt is (5)
43. Hopped (5)
1. Have you got me? You must be dense (10)
2. I creep and am enough to make a cat smile (8)
3. Napier’s blunder (6)
4. One below two below (8)
5. Die-hards have no use for me (9)
6. and 7 ‘A man of lowly station,/A miserable, grov’ling — /Besought her
approbation’ (4)
6. and 8 Towards the east of Scotland (6)
9. Art which Kenneth Grahame’s dragon had to recapture (11)
11. Instrument obtained from damping jute (7)
12. ‘I don’t know where Dinn may be,’ said this kind of a reptile (4)
15 and 16. Letters of 6 and 7 (4)
21. A bat is (6)
22. One of several places in Montparnasse which will provide you with real
tie (7)
25. ‘So it is, if thou knew’st our purposes.’ ‘I see a — that sees them’
26. Shaft (6)
28. Hamlet, where rude producers of sleep (5)
35 and 34. Meeting (6)
38 and 40. Stevenson let this get by him (4)

35 ~ pukka

A Hindi word for first class or genuine. The word can be used by itself, or attached to nouns as a modifier, such as pukka sahib for a true gentleman.

36 ~ Vintage B: extra-sec

extra-sec: french term meaning extra dry

38 ~ Bright Young People

The nickname coined by the press in the 1920s for a group of people known for their parties, their stunts and their wit. Take the Studio 54 in the 1970s, the jet-set of the 1950s, or Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, and you have an idea of what the Bright Young People were up to. They drank and danced, they caroused, they went on scavenger hunts and pogoed up the Mall; they were up for anything and everything. They were the Guinness sisters, Babe Jungman, Tom Driberg, Loelia Ponsonby and Lady Eleanor Smith, and their chronicler was Evelyn Waugh, whose “Vile Bodies,” published in 1930, became a best-seller, and Waugh the fashionable voice of his generation.

38 ~ Nothing in life became him like the leaving it?

Quote from Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” Act I, Scene 4, after Macbeth killed the king.

38 ~ For he must be somebody’s son.

39 ~ Who dragged whom, how many times, at the wheels of what, round the walls of where?

She is thinking of Achilles, the Greek warrior. During the Trojan War, he challenged Hector, a prince of Troy, to a battle. He defeated Hector and dragged his body three times around the city’s walls.

40 ~ were turned off at a time

turned off: a form of execution by hanging used before the development of the scaffold and trap door. In this method, the noosed victim stands on a ladder, a horse or a cart and was “turned off” and left to dangle until he died of strangulation.

Chapter 4

42 ~ Harlequin

Harlequin-costumeA clownish character from the Italian Commedia dell’arte, a form of theater in 16th century Italy. Commedia dell’arte (a close translation would be “comedy of craft”) is a type of performance that uses the stock roles of servant, master and lovers and standard characters (wearing costumes that identify them) such as Harlequin, Pierrot, Scaramouche to tell stories. The plays use conventional plots, combined with songs, dances and improvisations.

47 ~ I should think it would be rather like a muchness. Lewis Carroll, you know.

Quoted from chapter 7 of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” During the Mad Hatter’s tea party, the Dormouse fell asleep in the midst of telling a story about three sisters who were learning to draw things that began with the letter M:

“The Dormouse had closed its eyes by this time, and was going off into a doze, but, on being pinched by the Hatter, it woke up again with a little shriek, and went on: ” – that begins with an M, such as mousetraps, and the moon, and memory, and muchness – you know you say things are `much of a muchness` – did you ever see such a thing as a drawing of a muchness?”

48 ~ I got the bombardon twice.

48 ~ ‘Earth hath not anything to show more fair.’

Quote from Wordsworth’s “Upon Westminster Bridge”

Earth has not anything to show more fair:Dull would he be of soul who could pass by A sight so touching in its majesty:This City now doth like a garment wear The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie Open unto the fields, and to the sky;All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.Never did sun more beautifully steep In his first splendour valley, rock, or hill;Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!The river glideth at his own sweet will:Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;And all that mighty heart is lying still!

53 ~ Edgar Wallace

One of genre fiction’s more prolific writers, Wallace (1875-1932) wrote 175 novels, 24 plays and as a journalist numerous stories. He was so prolific that the story went around that people who telephoned his home and told that he is writing a novel would replay, “I’ll wait.” He is credited as the co-creator of King Kong.

61 ~ pants and singlets

Singlet: an undershirt or athletic shirt, so called for having only a single layer of cloth. The pants are underpants, presumably long shorts.

62 ~ shove ha’penny

A tabletop variation of shuffleboard played in pubs

62 ~ bran-tub

A game where children would plunge their hands into a tub of sawdust in find a prize

62 ~ His costume — that of a member of the Vehmgericht, with its black cassock and black, eyeleted hood covering the whole head and shoulders — was easily slipped on over his every-day suit.

Vehmgericht: A judicial court that arose in the Holy Roman Empire in the late 12th century and lasted until the 19th century. Everything about it was secret, from its membership to its proceedings. Accusations were made anonymously, and failure to appear at trial was punished by death.

64 ~ amorino

amorino: Italian for Cupid, the god of love

Chapter 5

69 ~ “Who saw him die?” “I, said the fly.”

Quote from the anonymous children’s poem “Cock Robin”

Who killed Cock Robin?
I, said the Sparrow,
with my bow and arrow,
I killed Cock Robin.

Who saw him die?
I, said the Fly,
with my little eye,
I saw him die.

Who caught his blood?
I, said the Fish,
with my little dish,
I caught his blood.

Who’ll make the shroud?
I, said the Beetle,
with my thread and needle,
I’ll make the shroud.

Who’ll dig his grave?
I, said the Owl,
with my pick and shovel,
I’ll dig his grave.

Who’ll be the parson?
I, said the Rook,
with my little book,
I’ll be the parson.

Who’ll be the clerk?
I, said the Lark,
if it’s not in the dark,
I’ll be the clerk.

Who’ll carry the link?
I, said the Linnet,
I’ll fetch it in a minute,
I’ll carry the link.

Who’ll be chief mourner?
I, said the Dove,
I mourn for my love,
I’ll be chief mourner.

Who’ll carry the coffin?
I, said the Kite,
if it’s not through the night,
I’ll carry the coffin.

Who’ll bear the pall?
We, said the Wren,
both the cock and the hen,
We’ll bear the pall.

Who’ll sing a psalm?
I, said the Thrush,
as she sat on a bush,
I’ll sing a psalm.

Who’ll toll the bell?
I said the Bull,
because I can pull,
I’ll toll the bell.

All the birds of the air
fell a-sighing and a-sobbing,
when they heard the bell toll
for poor Cock Robin.

71 ~ P.J.’s at 8.30 ack emma

ack emma: A.M.

72 ~ safe as houses

There were a number of phrases in use in England: safe as Coutt’s (the private bank where the Royal Family stashes its shekiels, very safe indeed!), as a mouse in cheese, as a bank. The origins of the “safe as houses” phrase lies in money. According to Hotten’s “A Slang Dictionary,” it first appeared in 1859, after investments in railways led to heated speculation, which led to a “bubble,” which burst, and which led investors to return to real estate as the investment of choice.

72 ~ locum tenens
A place-holder, specifically, a physician or cleric who fills in temporarily for a counterpart.

76 ~ ‘I did it, in the cause of purity.’

78 ~ myrmidons
A faithful follower. Derived from Greek mythology, they were the people led by Achilles into the Trojan War.

81 ~ Macbeth hath murdered sleep
Quote from Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” Act II, Scene 2:

Methought I heard a voice cry ‘Sleep no more!Macbeth does murder sleep’, the innocent sleep,Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleeve of care,The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath,Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,Chief nourisher in life’s feast,–

Chapter 6

85 ~ Like the old joke, eh? ‘O take a pill! O take a pill! O take a pilgrim home!’

85 ~ with right of free warren

A person with a right of free warren was allowed to take animals within a certain area, such as partridges, woodcocks, foxes, badgers, martins.

88 ~ glancing at the Greenwich-controlled electric clock-face on the wall

At Greenwich is the Royal Observatory, charged since 1675 with providing the correct time. The reason behind this is rather complicated, involving a chain of events that began with the invention of longitude and the need for sailors to have accurate timepieces in order to locate where they are on the globe. Charles II established the observatory at Greenwich to provide this time, and it has become the standard around the world since.

The Royal Observatory Web site contains much more information about Greenwich time.

89 ~ latest “Sexton Blake”

A popular and long-running fictional detective that ran in newspapers and various magazines. Blake was a combination of Sherlock Holmes and the Nancy Drew. Like Holmes, Blake was a brilliant solver of mysteries, and like Nancy, was written by a stable of writers. Unlike Holmes, Blake has no personality to speak of, and was merely a conduit for a series of ripping yarns that involved secret gangs with mysterious names, fisticuffs, obscure poisons, in short, all the stuff that Wodehouse satirized, and which finally pushed its way into worldwide popular culture when Blake was recreated as James Bond.
The Thrilling Detective Web site carries a complete history of the Sexton Blake saga.

92 ~ “The Clue of the Crimson Star,” sir. About Sexton Blake; he’s a detective, you know, sir. It’s a top-hole yarn.

96 ~ assumed his gibus

A collapsible silk opera hat, patented in 1837 by Parisian hatmaker Antoine Gibus

Chapter 7

97 ~ Mr. Parker accepted disappointment as philosophically as the gentleman in Browning’s poem, who went to the trouble and expense of taking music lessons just in case his lady-love might demand a song with lute obbligato.

The reference is from Robert Browning’s “One Way of Love”:

All June I bound the rose in sheaves.Now, rose by rose, I strip the leaves And strow them where Pauline may pass.She will not turn aside?Alas! Let them lie. Suppose they die?The chance was they might take her eye.How many a month I strove to suit These stubborn fingers to the lute!To-day I venture all I know.She will not hear my music? So!Break the string; fold music’s wing:Suppose Pauline had bade me sing!My whole life long I learn’d to love.This hour my utmost art I prove And speak my passionùheaven or hell?She will not give me heaven? ‘T is well!Lose who mayùI still can say,Those who win heaven, bless’d are they!

98 ~ L.C.C. regulation

London County Council, the city’s governing body.

100 ~ bulls of Bashan

Quoted from Psalm 22:12: “Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.”

106 ~ Phillips Oppenheim, with a touch of Ethel M. Dell and Elinor Glynn

Three contemporary writers. E. Phillips Oppenheim (1866-1946) was a prolific writer who specialized in thrillers but also wrote romances, comedies and parables. Self-promoted as the “prince of storytellers,” he wrote more than 100 novels.

Ethel M. Dell (1881-1939) wrote romance novels that were highly popular as well as highly parodied, especially by P.G. Wodehouse in the form of Rosie M. Banks, who Bertie Wooster referred to as the writer of “the world’s worst tripe.”

elinor_glyn_IT_clara_bowElinor Glynn (1864-1943) wrote romances that were considered risque in her time. She popularized the concept of having “It,” meaning that one was attractive to both women and men, and declared that movie star Clara Bow had “It.” (Critic Dorothy Parker lambasted a male character in one of Glynn’s novels, cracking “It, hell, he had Those.”

106 ~ He grinned with a wry mouth and went out to keep his date with the one young woman who showed no signs of yielding to him

Harriet Vane, of course. This oblique reference is the only mention of her in the entire novel.

Chapter 9

137 ~ Tom, Tom the piper’s son
Learned to play when he was young,
And the only tune that he could play
Was: “Over the hills and far away —

Over the hills and a great way off
The wind is blowing my top-knot off


Tom, he was a piper’s son,
He learned to play when he was young,
But all the tunes that he could play
Was, ‘Over the hills and far away’.
Over the hills and a great way off.
The wind shall blow my top-knot off.

Tom with his pipe made such a noise,
That he pleased both the girls and boys;
They all danced while he did play,
‘Over the hills and far away’.
Over the hills and a great way off,
The wind shall blow my top-knot off.

Tom with his pipe did play with such skill
That those who heard him could never keep still;
As soon as he played they began for to dance,
Even pigs on their hind legs
would after him prance.
Over the hills and a great way off,
The wind shall blow my top-knot off.

As Dolly was milking her cow one day,
Tom took his pipe and began for to play;
So Doll and the cow danced ‘The Cheshire Round’,
Till the pail was broken and the milk ran on the ground.
Over the hills and a great way off,
The wind shall blow my top-knot off.

He met old Dame Trot with a basket of eggs,
He used his pipe and she used her legs;
She danced about till the eggs were all broke,
She began for to fret, but he laughed at the joke.
Over the hills and a great way off,
The wind shall blow my top-knot off.

The Nursery Rhyme “Tom he was a piper’s son” is a poem about the son of a Scottish Bagpiper. The origins date back to a Celtic legend featuring Dryads (or tree spirits). Legend goes that the Bagpiper’s son, Tom, played his own pipes whilst he was minding the sheep. He played the same melody over and over again and the Dryads came out to dance to his tune. Villagers tried to watch the Dryads but they could never be seen.

137 ~ The terror induced by forests and darkness was called by the Ancients, Panic fear, or the fear of the great god Pan.

This essay by Michael Quinion confirms this point.

138 ~ He is plunged in the arms of Morpheus

A reference to the god of dreams in Greek mythology.

138 ~ We needs must love the highest when we see it.

Quoted from the Guinevere section of Tennyson’s “Idylls of the King”:

Not Lancelot, nor another. Is there none
Will tell the King I love him though so late?
Now ‘ere he goes to the great Battle? none:
Myself must tell him in that purer life,
But now it were too daring. Ah my God,
What might I not have made of thy fair world,
Had I but loved thy highest creature here?
It was my duty to have loved the highest:
It surely was my profit had I known:
It would have been my pleasure had I seen.
We needs must love the highest when we see it,
Not Lancelot, nor another.’

139 ~ Circe

Circe in Greek mythology was an enchantress. She turned Ulysses’ crew into animals in Homer’s “Odyssey.”

141 ~ Rabelaisian, no doubt

144 ~ like the bailiff’s daughter of Islington

Quoted from the folk song of the same name:

There was a youth, and a well belov’d youth,
And he was a esquire’s son,
He loved the bailiff’s daughter dear,
That lived in Islington.

She was coy, and she would not believe
That he did love her so,
No, nor at any time she would
Any countenance to him show.

But when his friends did understand,
His fond and foolish mind,
They sent him up to fair London,
An apprentice for to bind.

And when he had been seven long years,
And his love he had not seen,
Many a tear have I shed for her sake,
When she little thought of me.

All the maids of Islington
Went forth to sport and play;
All but the bailiff’s daughter dear;
She secretly stole away.

She put off her gown of gray,
And put on her puggish attire;
She’s up to fair London gone,
Her true-love to require.

As she went along the road,
The weather being hot and dry,
There was she aware of her true-love,
At length come riding by.

She stept to him, as red as any rose,
And took him by the bridle ring;
“I pray you, kind sir, give me one penny,
To ease my weary limb.”

“I prithee, sweetheart, canst thou tell me
Where that thou wast born?”
“At Islington, kind sir,” said she,
“where I have had many a scorn.”

“I prithee, sweetheart, canst thou tell me
Whether thou dost know
The bailiff’s daughter of Islington?”
“She’s dead, sir, long ago.”

“Then will I sell my goodly steed,
My saddle and my bow;
I will into some far country,
Where no man doth me know.”

“O stay, O stay, thou goodly youth!
She’s alive, she is not dead;
Here she standeth by thy side,
And is ready to be thy bride.”

Chapter 10

153 ~ Ah! you must be paying super-tax

Super-tax: A second tax on certain types of income that has already been taxed.

156 ~ And I’ve heard that there’s a decentish sort of place at Winchester, if you’re not too particular

Winchester: An example of British understatement. Winchester College was founded by in 1382 by William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester. He also founded New College, at Oxford and the two colleges are still closely connected. Former students include Earl Grey, Lord Sidmouth, Thomas Arnold, Edward Grey and Herbert Fisher.

158 ~ white suede shoes with crocodile vamps

vamp: the part of a shoe upper or boot upper covering especially the forepart of the foot and sometimes also extending forward over the toe or backward to the back seam of the upper.

158 ~ once carried his bat out for 52 against Sopo

160 ~ I’m rapidly qualifying to be called a Veteran

161 ~ hole-and-corner fashioneither clandestine or underhanded

162 ~ You’re not Jack Hobbs, you know

Jack Hobbs (1882-1963) was a notable cricketer.

163 ~ sardonic Gallios

Chapter 11

177 ~ I will turn them out like one John Smith

179 ~ Family is family, though indicated by the border compony (or gobony if you prefer that form of the word) or by the bend or baton sinister

Lord Peter is talking about heraldry, the coats of arms originally used to identify knights on the field of battle, and now use to describe aristocratic families and those who aspire to rise in the hierarchy. “Compony/gobony” refers to a panel of alternating colors. It can appear around the edge of the shield, or as a bar slashing across it on the diagonal. “Sinister” is derived from the French word for lefthanded. During Medieval times, writing with the left hand was considered a mark of the devil (and the word became applied to someone who was evil). In heraldry, a “bend sinister” means the bar runs from the upper-left corner of the shield to the lower-right corner (from the point of the view of the person looking at it). The bend sinister is also considered to be a mark of bastardy, hence Lord Peter’s comment about Bredon that “it’s not every puppy that appears in the kennel-book.”

183 ~ Nun gehn wir wo der Tudelsack, der Tudel, tudel, tudel, tudel, tudelsack

Lord Peter was quoting a duet from Bach’s Peasant Cantata, in which two villagers gossip about the new Lord of the Manor, flirt, gossip, complain about taxes, and then head off to the tavern!”

Chapter 13

201 ~ ask Uncle Ugly

208 ~ I know a man’s a man for a’ that and all the rest of it

Quoted from Robert Burns’ song:

Is there for honest poverty
That hings his heed and a’ that
The coward slave we pass him by
We dare be poor for a’ that
For a’ that and a’ that
Our toils obscure and a’ that
The rank is but the guinea’s stamp
The mands the gowd for a’ that

What tho’ on hamely fare we dine
Wear hoddin-gray and a’ that
Gie fools their silks and knaves their wine
A mands a man for a’ that
For a’ that and a’ that
Their tinsel show and a’ that
The honest man tho’ e’er sae poor
Is king o’ men for a’ that

Ye see yon birkie ca’d a lord
Wha struts and stares and a’ that
Tho’ hundreds worship at his word
He’s but a coof for a’ that
For a’ that and a’ that
His riband, star and a’ that
The man o’ independent mind
He looks and laughs at a’ that

A prince can mak a belted knight
A marquis, duke and a’ that
But an honest mands aboon his might
Guid faith he mauna fa’ that
For a’ that and a’ that
Their dignities and a’ that
The pith o’ sense and pride o’ worth
Are higher rank than a’ that

Then let us pray that come it may
As come it will and a’ that
That sense and worth o’er a’ the earth
Shall bear the gree and a’ that
For a’ that and a’ that
It’s coming yet for a’ that
That man to man the warld o’er
Shall brothers be for a’ that
For a’ that and a’ that
It’s coming yet for a’ that
That man to man the warld o’er
Shall brothers be for a’ that

212 ~ to dispose of that skeleton to an anatomist

214 ~ ‘Like Niobe, all Tears’ … ‘Tears, Idle Tears’ … ‘Like Summer Tempest came her Tears’ … ‘Bassanio and Antonio: ‘I know not Why I am so Sad’

A reference to Hamlet, Act I, Scene 2:

Hamlet: O! that this too too solid flesh would melt,
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew;
Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d
His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! O God! O God!
How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world.
Fie on ‘t! O fie! ‘tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on; and yet, within a month,
Let me not think on ‘t: Frailty, thy name is woman!
A little month; or ere those shoes were old
With which she follow’d my poor father’s body,
Like Niobe, all tears; why she, even she,ù
O God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn’d longer,ùmarried with mine uncle,
My father’s brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules: within a month,
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married. O! most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets.
It is not nor it cannot come to good;
But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue!

But who is Niobe? She was the queen of Thebes. The mother of 14 children, she made the mistake of bragging about them and mocked Leto, the daughter of the titans Coeus and Phoebe, for having only two children. Unfortunately for Niobe, Leto’s children were Apollo, god of nature, and Artemis, the goddess of the wild. Leto ordered her children to slay Niobe’s children, and they did. Niobe fled to Mt. Siplyon in Asia Minor, where she turned to stone. From the rock flowed a stream of endless tears, now called the Achelous.

Tears, Idle Tears

A poem by Tennyson.

Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,
Tears from the depth of some divine despair
Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,
In looking on the happy Autumn-fields,
And thinking of the days that are no more.

Fresh as the first beam glittering on a sail,
That brings our friends up from the underworld,
Sad as the last which reddens over one
That sinks with all we love below the verge;
So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more.

Ah, sad and strange as in dark summer dawns
The earliest pipe of half-awakened birds
To dying ears, when unto dying eyes
The casement slowly grows a glimmering square;
So sad, so strange, the days that are no more.

Dear as remembered kisses after death,
And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feigned
On lips that are for others; deep as love,
Deep as first love, and wild with all regret;
O Death in Life, the days that are no more.

Like Summer tempest

From “The Princess” by Tennyson which begins

Home they brought her warrier dead;
She nor swoon’d nor utter’d cry.
All her maidens, watching, said,
‘She must weep or she will die.’

Then they praised him, soft and low,
Call’d him worthy to be loved,
Truest friend and noblest foe;
Yet she neither spoke nor moved.

Stole a maiden from her place,
Lightly to the warrier stept,
Took the face-cloth from the face;
Yet she neither moved nor wept.

Rose a nurse of ninety years,
Set his child upon her knee û
Like summer tempest came her tears û
‘Sweet my child, I live for thee.’

I know not why I am so sad

From the opening of Merchant of Venice, Act I, Scene 1:

ANTONIO: In sooth, I know not why I am so sad;
It wearies me; you say it wearies you;
But how I caught it, found it, or came by it,
What stuff ’tis made of, whereof it is born,
I am to learn;
And such a want-wit sadness makes of me
That I have much ado to know myself.

Chapter 14

216 ~ seduced by the unfortunate example of that incomparable vulgari-sateur, Charles Dickens — abominably calls a mutual friend.

Chapter 15

226 ~ Everybody suspects an eager desire to curry favour, but rudeness, for some reason, is always accepted as a guarantee of good faith. The only man who ever managed to see through rudeness was St. Augustine, and I don’t suppose Milligan reads the Confessions.

Probably a reference to this passage from Book V of the “Confessions”:

Of Thyself therefore had I now learned, that neither ought any thing to seem to be spoken truly, because eloquently; nor therefore falsely, because the utterance of the lips is inharmonious; nor, again, therefore true, because rudely delivered; nor therefore false, because the language is rich; but that wisdom and folly are as wholesome and unwholesome food; and adorned or unadorned phrases as courtly or country vessels; either kind of meats may be served up in either kind of dishes.

227 ~ credo quia impossible

A Latin phrase: “I believe it because it is impossible”

227 ~ ‘Napoleon of crime’

What Sherlock Holmes called his mightiest enemy, Dr. Moriarity.

228 ~ Fear not him that killeth, but him that hath power to cast into hell

Quoted from Luke 12:5: “But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.”

229 ~ calcine its clods and set its prisoners free

Quoted from Robert Browning’s “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came.” Calcine means to turn into powder by burning or roasting.

No! penury, inertness and grimace,In some strange sort, were the land’s portion.”See Or shut your eyes,” said Nature peevishly,”It nothing skills: I cannot help my case:’Tis the Last Judgment’s fire must cure this place,Calcine its clods and set my prisoners free.”

234 ~ like the Spanish Fleet, he was not yet in sight

237 ~ an H.T.&V. Latch-key

242 ~ markedly dolichocephalic

dolichocephalic: an unusually long head

Chapter 16

252 ~ Had we but world enough and time

Quoted from Andrew Marvell’s, “To His Coy Mistress”

Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, Lady, were no crime
We would sit down and think which way
To walk and pass our long love’s day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side
Shouldst rubies find:
I by the tide Of Humber would complain.
I would Love you ten years before the Flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, Lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.
But at my back I always hear
Time’s winged chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song: then worms shall try
That long preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust:
The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapt power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

Chapter 17

260 ~ “–And Kissed Again with Tears”

Quoted from Tennyson’s “The Princess”:
As through the land at eve we went,
And plucked the ripened ears,
We fell out, my wife and I,
O we fell out I know not why,
And kissed again with tears.
And blessings on the falling out
That all the more endears,
When we fall out with those we love
And kiss again with tears!
For when we came where lies the child
We lost in other years,
There above the little grave,
O there above the little grave,
We kissed again with tears.

262 ~ What’s Hecuba’s bank-balance to you, or yours to Hecuba?

Quoted from “Hamlet”, Act 2, Scene 2:
O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!
Is it not monstrous that this player here,
But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,
Could force his soul so to his own conceit
That from her working all his visage wanned,
Tears in his eyes, distraction in his aspect,
A broken voice, and his whole function suiting
With forms to his conceit And all for nothing,
For Hecuba!
What’s Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
That he should weep for her What would he do
Had he the motive and the cue for passion
That I have He would drown the stage with tears
And cleave the general ear with horrid speech,
Make mad the guilty and appal the free,
Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeed
The very faculties of eyes and ears.
Yet I,
A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak
Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant for my cause,
And can say nothing. No, not for a king,
Upon whose property and most dear life
A damned defeat was made. Am I a coward
Who calls me villain breaks my pate across
Plucks off my beard and blows it in my face
Tweaks me by the nose gives me the lie i’ the throat
As deep as to the lungs Who does me this
Ha, ‘swounds, I should take it, for it cannot be
But I am pigeon-livered and lack gall
To make oppression bitter, or ere this
I should ha’ fatted all the region kites
With this slave’s offal. Bloody, bawdy villain!
Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!
O, vengeance!
Why, what an ass am I! This is most brave,
That I, the son of a dear father murdered,
Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,
Must like a whore unpack my heart with words
And fall a-cursing like a very drab,
A stallion! Fie upon’t, foh! About, my brains.
Hum —
I have heard that guilty creatures sitting at a play
Have by the very cunning of the scene
Been struck so to the soul that presently
They have proclaimed their malefactions.
For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak
With most miraculous organ. I’ll have these players
Play something like the murder of my father
Before mine uncle. I’ll observe his looks.
I’ll tent him to the quick. If ‘a do blench,
I know my course. The spirit that I have seen
May be a devil, and the devil hath power
T’ assume a pleasing shape, yea, and perhaps
Out of my weakness and my melancholy,
As he is very potent with such spirits,
Abuses me to damn me. I’ll have grounds
More relative than this. The play’s the thing
Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.

262 ~ You agree with — whenever you beat your child, be sure that you do it in anger

263 ~ Bread-and-skilly

skilly: thin porridge or gruel

268 ~ Blackfriars subway

268 ~ Cleopatra’s Needle

268 ~ “not the first nor the second that presents itself, he thought, with a fleeting recollection of Professor Moriarty. … air-guns

Chapter 18

278 ~ bread and circuses

279 ~ braces

280 ~ The innings opened briskly. Mr. Barrow, who was rather a showy bat, though temperamental, took the bowling at the factory end of the pitch and cheered the spirits of his side by producing a couple of twos in the first over. Mr. Garrett, canny and cautious, stonewalled perseveringly through five balls of the following over and then cut the leather through the slips for a useful three. A single off the next ball brought the bowling back to Mr. Barrow, who, having started favourably, exhibited a happy superiority complex and settled down to make runs. Mr. Tallboy breathed a sigh of relief. Mr. Barrow, confident and successful, could always be relied upon for some good work; Mr. Barrow, put off his stroke by a narrowly missed catch, or the sun in his eyes, or a figure crossing the screens, was apt to become defeatist and unreliable. The score mounted blithely to thirty. At this point, Brotherhood’s captain, seeing that the batsmen had taken the measure of the bowling, took off the man at the factory end and substituted a short, pugnacious-looking person with a scowl, at the sight of whom Mr. Tallboy quaked again.

282 ~ and was bowled as clean as a whistle

282 ~ middle and off

282 ~ requested that a screen might be shifted

283 ~ leg before … l.b.w.

284 ~ caught at cover-point

284 ~ “Quack, quack,” said Mr. Bredon

284 ~ bowled leg-breaks

284 ~ no antics of crease-patting or taking middle

285 ~ to a full-pitch

285 ~ caught at mid-on

287 ~ abode, like Dan, in his breaches

289 ~ opening up wrathful shoulders

293 ~ He smote it as Saul smote the Philistines

Chapter 19

296 ~ You might ride in the Row and fall off

297 ~ It’ll be the biggest advertising stunt since the Mustard Club

297 ~ Cenotaph

298 ~ in the middle of Trafalgar Square

300 ~ chevalier d’industrie

302 ~ “Sigh no more, Ladies” … “Oh, Dry those Tears” … “Weeping Late and Weeping Early” … “If You have Tears” … “O Say, What are You Weeping For?” … “A Poor Soul Sat Sighing” … “I Weep, I know not Why” … “In Silence and in Tears” … “In that Deep Midnight of the Mind” (Byron) … “O Say, What arae You Weeping For?” … “Stale, Flat and Unprofitable”

304 ~ Mister Ramsey MacDonald

Chapter 20

307 ~ Hound of Heaven had got him, so to say, cornered, my lord

(c) 1995-2016 by Bill Peschel