a number of books on my shelves. Theological
works that seem to have been written out of dyspepsia
abusing him in some of the journals of his
calling. Holmes was ruthlessly attacked for his position on puerperal
fever. "Though Dr. Hodge had stayed within the limits of
civilized controversy in attacking Holmes, Dr. Meigs had gone
farther, pouring ridicule on Holmes for the amusement of the
medical students." (Dowling, p.96, Oliver Wendell Holmes
in Paris, 2006)
we have carved it or shut up our jack-knives.
Have either become distinguished or stopped caring to become
the famous chieftain, Lochiel. Donald Cameron
of Lochiel (1700 1748), was an influential Highland Clan
Chief known for his magnanimous and gallant nature. He became
known to both friends and foes as the "Gentle Lochiel",
a name that carried into the romantic myths which would grow
up around the Jacobite Rising.
the Duke of Wellington. Arthur Wellesley is
often referred to as the "Duke of Wellington", even
after his death, though there have been subsequent Dukes of Wellington.
Tennyson's "Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington"
attests to his stature at the time of his death.
human Jargonelles. People who are at their
best early in life. Jargonelle: "An early ripening variety
of pear." (OED)
Winter-Nelis. People who are at their best
late in life. Winter-Nelis: A great fruit in an unattractive
package. Ripens late (after falling off tree).
astringent. i.e., sour. "Having power
to draw together or contract the soft organic tissues."
Milton was a Saint-Germain with a graft of
the roseate Early Catherine. Saint-Germain pears ripen late,
while Early Catherine pears ripen early. Milton showed signs
of greatness with his early poems, then spent the middle portion
of his life working and writing politically, and finally established
himself as one of the greatest English poets late in his life
after going blind.
Chaucer was an Easter-Beurre. Easter-Beurre
pears must be stored away for a length of time, and house-ripened.
Chaucer's work was not fully appreciated until after his death.
Serious scholarly work on his legacy did not begin until the
as housewives try eggs. The housewives do
a test to see if the egg contains life or not. The Autocrat is
testing the Divinity Student to see if how intelligent he is.
smartly. "Severely; curtly; sharply (in respect of treatment,
language, etc.)." (OED)
polyphloesboean ocean. "That roars loudly; noisy, boisterous."
gill. "A measure for liquids, containing one fourth of a
standard pint." (OED)
Sir Isaac. Sir Isaac Newton
the child and the pebbles, you know? Newton stated, "I do
not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem
to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting
myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier
shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all
undiscovered before me." The pebble or shell represents
Newton's knowledge and theories, while the ocean represents the
vast unknown universe.
holds by invisible threads. i.e., gravity.
corollaries. "A proposition appended
to another which has been demonstrated, and following immediately
from it without new proof; an immediate inference, deduction."
he took it as a pickerel takes the bait. Chain
Pickerel are very rapid aggressive hunters. It is not unusual
for pickerel to leap out of the water at flying insects, or even
at dangling fishing lures. The Autocrat is saying that the Divinity
Student was very eager to think about what he had said.
in the fourth story. i.e., the Divinity Student
lives in the highest, and therefore cheapest, rooms for rent:
for example, a garret.
Dr. Johnson. Samuel Johnson
Bulwer. Edward Bulwer-Lytton. His name lives on in the annual
Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, in which contestants think-up
terrible openings for imaginary novels, inspired by the first
line of his novel Paul Clifford.
the "Rambler." The most famous of
Johnson's periodical essay series. The Autocrat says that Bulwer
pointed out Johnson's use of Ciceronian triads. Saying that each
piece could be seen as three different essays.
piano-forte players and singers. Pianoforte:
"A musical embellishment consisting of alternation between
soft and loud music." (OED)
My Lady in "Marriage a la Mode."
Marriage à-la-mode is a series of six pictures painted
by William Hogarth between 1743 and 1745 depicting a pointed
skewering of upper class 18th century society. This moralistic
warning shows the disastrous results of an ill-considered marriage
for money and satirizes patronage and aesthetics.
Hogarth. William Hogarth (1697 1764)
was an English painter, printmaker, pictorial satirist, social
critic, and editorial cartoonist. His work ranged from realistic
portraiture to comic strip-like series of pictures called "modern
moral subjects." The Autocrat is saying that people in his
time still have superfluous values, just as the people that Hogarth
a drop of water, imprisoned in a crystal.
The Autocrat is saying that humans have free will but it is constrained
by the laws of the universe. The drop of water is able to move
around in what space is available inside of the crystal, but
not outside of it.
angular female in oxydated bombazine. Angular:
"having the joints and bony protuberances prominent, through
deficiency of roundness and plumpness in the fleshy parts."
(OED) Oxydated: i.e., faded. Bombazine: "A twilled or corded
dress-material, composed of silk and worsted; In black the material
is much used in mourning." (OED) The Landlady's relative
who is poor and wearing a faded black dress.
Movement of adhesion. Parliamentary term:
joining forces with the speaker who has proposed a measure.
Chamber of Deputies. Parliament of France.
Historically, France's "Chamber of Deputies" was the
lower house of the French Parliament during the Autocrat's time.
vellum-papered 32mo. Vellum paper: Is mammal
skin prepared for writing or printing on, to produce single pages,
scrolls, codices or books. 32mo: a size of paper cut from standard
uncut free sheets, corresponding to such a sheet folded into
thirty-two leaves, yielding sixty-four pages when printed on
Naufragium or "Shipwreck". One of
Erasmus' colloquies. Shakespeare's, The Tempest, is said to parallel
this work in some ways.
Saint Christopher. Saint Christopher is known
by Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians as a martyr. He was
said to have carried Jesus as a child across a river safely.
wax taper. A tall and slender candle made
tallow candle. Tallow once was widely used
to make moulded candles before more convenient wax varieties
became available, and for some time after because they continued
to be a cheaper alternative. The sailer says he will give Saint
Christopher a "wax taper as big as himself." This would
have been a very expensive endeavor. However he later says "catch
me giving him so much as tallow candle." Not only is he
using the Saint for his own means, but would also insult him
by giving a cheap tallow candle.
the Paternoster. Our Father
organization, education, condition. Organization: How people
are organized together influences their free will. Education:
How much a person is educated influences their free will. Condition:
The condition of social and economic status influence their free
will. All three factors are constraints on free will, alluding
back to the water imprisoned in crystal.
the prayer of Agur. Agur prayed "8: Make
me absolutely honest and don't let me be too poor or too rich.
Give me just what I need. 9: If I have too much to eat, I might
forget about you; if I don't have enough, I might steal and disgrace
your name." (Proverbs 30:8-9)
the Christian fathers. Pastors and theologians
of the Church from the end of the Apostolic period until the
beginning of the Medieval period. In Calvin's Bondage and Liberation
of the Will, he quotes the Scripture together with the early
church fathers to refute the Roman Catholic view of grace and
quarto "Conicilium Tridentium."
The Council of Trent. The Council issued condemnations on what
it defined as Protestant heresies at the time of the Reformation
and defined Church teachings in the areas of Scripture and Tradition,
Original Sin, Justification, Sacraments, the Eucharist in Holy
Mass and the veneration of saints. It issued numerous reform
decrees. By specifying Catholic doctrine on salvation, the sacraments,
and the Biblical canon, the Council was answering Protestant
harlequin. "A buffoon in general; a fantastic
Mr. Blake play Jesse Rural. William Rufus Blake excelled in the
portrayal of old men. One of his best characters was that of
Jesse Rural in "Old Heads and Young Hearts.
somersets. "Somersaults" (OED)
Sydney Smith. Sydney Smith (1771 1845) was an English
writer and Anglican cleric known for his humor and wit. Openly
mocked American writing and culture. Helped found the Edinburgh
Review in 1802.
the Duties of Royalty. A sermon that Smith
gave and was attacked by the Quarterly for?
The "Quarterly." The Quarterly Review. Initially, it
was set up primarily to counter the influence on public opinion
of the Edinburgh Review. In an 1817 article, John Wilson Croker
famously attacked John Keats in a review of Endymion. Smith was
also attacked and wrote a letter to John Allen,"I thought
it right, once for all, to make a profession of my faith; and
by that, to exempt myself ever after from the necessity of noticing
such attacks as have been made upon me in the Quarterly Review.
I meant to do it bluntly and shortly; if I have done it with
levity, I am a clumsy and an unlucky fellow."
"so savage and tartarly." "Who
killed John Keats?/ I, says the Quarterly/ So savage & Tartarly/
'Twas one of my feats -" (Letter from Byron to John Murray,
31 July 1821) The Quarterly Reviw also attacked Sidney Smith
for his Sermon on the "Duties of Royalty."
"diner-out of the first water."
"First water" means "highest quality" and
is a term which originates from the gemstone trade.
toady of a court, sneaking behind the anonymous.
Contributors to English quarterlies were anonymous.
Bob Logic. Possibly a character in farce?
Definite source not found.
poor Liston. After several dismal failures in tragic parts, he
discovered accidentally that his forte was comedy, especially
in the personation of old men and country boys, in which he displayed
a fund of drollery and broad humor. He was best known for his
role as Paul Pry. The Autocrat is saying that once an actor is
well known for comedy he cannot act in a serious role successfully.
Paul Pry's umbrella. Paul Pry is a farcical
play in which Paul Pry leaves behind an umbrella everywhere he
goes in order to have an excuse to return and eavesdrop.
Aristophanes or Shakespeare. i.e., as writers
who taught her to play with it? i.e., her Creator taught her.
Sir Thomas Browne. "Religio Medici-- a physician's
religion'-- of Sir Thomas Browne, the great seventeenth-century
author of Hydriotaphia and other meditational writings, who along
with Samuel Johnson counts as one of the primary influences on
Holme's thought and writing." (Dowling, p.127, Oliver Wendell
Holmes in Paris, 2006)
"EVERY MAN TRULY LIVES, SO LONG AS HE
ACTS HIS NATURE, OR SOME WAY MAKES GOOD THE FACULTIES OF HIMSELF."
Sir Thomas Browne, Religio Medici,1642, Part II, Sect. 12
[missing section: formatting problem]
Buckwheat was a common grain to make cakes from in North America.
The autocrat inferred the woman a poor relative of the landlady
because of the economical black bombazine, and her coming to
the defense of the landlady's choice to buy average quality goods
in order to save money. The former implied that the dress the
woman wore was of low quality fabric and the latter was a joke
he made repelling boarders
Boarders Joke He used the word "boarder" as
a pun, referring to both those "attackers" that would
criticize the economical choices the landlady made who also happened
to be the landlady's "boarders", or residents.
Green state -
Meerschaum pipes- A pipe made out of "Meerschaum",
or A soft white, grey, or yellowish mineral resembling a hardened
clay, which consists of orthorhombic hydrated magnesium trisilicate.
Also called sepiolite. (OED def. 1)
Sea-foam German translation for
Cloud compelling deities It's a joke referring to deities
of Nicotine whom supply "divine inspiration" and those
that smoke desire this affect; therefore they are compelled to
Poor affair item of little worth
Aphrodite Referred to the Greek Goddess of beauty. She
was born when Uranus' testicles were cut off and went into the
sea-foam, or clay from which she was shaped. Hence she was made
similarly to the Meerschaum pipes.
Pallida Mors Latin for the "pale death", hence
the pipe before use comes as a dull grey or white.
"central shrine" the bowl where the tobacco
Great Vegetable Refers to the cash crop tobacco that had
allowed the colonies first become established in the Americas
Drachm - fig. A small quantity; a very little. (OED def. 3) meaning
a small bundle of tobacco
Calumet - A tobacco-pipe with a bowl of clay or stone, and a
long reed stem carved and ornamented with feathers. It is used
among the American Indians as a symbol of peace or friendship.
To accept the calumet is to welcome terms of peace offered, to
refuse it is to reject them. (OED)
Pict A joke from Sir Richard Blackmore's epic Prince Arthur:
"from a naked pict had won" Richard Blackmore was a
physician who in his epic said that his grandfather had won a
garment from a naked Pict. You can see the joke and contradiction.
Tobacco-stopper - a contrivance for pressing down the tobacco
in the bowl of a pipe while smoking (OED)
Boxwood Triton a Triton, or "the proper name for
a sea-deity" (OED), shaped tobacco-stopper made of boxwood
"much used by turners, wood-engravers, and in the manufacture
of mathematical and musical instruments" (OED def. 1)
Raphael "Triumph of Galatea" Famous fresco painting
by the Italian painter Raphael representing the Greek mythological
tale of the sea nymph Galatea. A "triton", or a being
that was part-man part-fish, can be seen in the left side of
Shagreen case A case that held the tobacco-stopper made
of "shagreen", or A species of untanned leather with
a rough granular surface, prepared from the skin of the horse,
ass, etc., or of the shark, seal, etc., and frequently dyed green.
(OED def. 1)
Sir Walter Raleigh the autocrat assumed the tobacco-stopper
had been made since the time of Sir Walter Raleigh who was an
English explorer who attempted to settle colonies in the New
World (east coast of the U.S.). He was known for popularizing
tobacco, which not many people indulged in beforehand. Therefore
the autocrat assumed it was made since his time, because it became
a much more common item.
Perishable smoking contrivance A cigar. Said to be perishable
because it caused "(a material thing) to rot or decay; to
cause to deteriorate, esp. as the result of exposure to weather
or injurious conditions" (OED), the injurious condition
referring to the unhealthy aspects of cigar smoke.
Ground-swell Bay of Biscay an analogy of the terrible
weather at the bay on the Western coast of France was being compared
to the mental agitation caused from inhaling cigar smoke (Wikipedia)
Nursling infant Hercules Hercules was a demi-god of Greek
mythology. So even as an infant his suction ability would have
been profound. Hence, the autocrat is making a joke that it required
enormous effort to pull smoke from a cigar.
Old silenus To relish in the cigars flavor the autocrat
says you must have the same sense of taste, or palate, as Silenus.
Silenus in Greek mythology was the companion and tutor of the
wine-god Dionysian. He was often known to be drunk. From this
excessive drinking, he grew a leathery, or tough palate, that
would make the flavors of a cigar more enjoyable as it was already
used to bitterness of wine.
Nicotian Regimen addiction to smoking
Dearly for a high price
Amati - Amati is the name of a family of Italian violin-makers,
who flourished at Cremona from about 1550 to 1740. Andrea Amati
was the first maker of violins whose instruments still survive
today. The sixteenth-century violin was played primarily by professionals.
Stradivarius - According to their reputation, the quality of
their sound has defied attempts to explain or equal it, though
this belief is disputed. These were violins made by the Stradivari
family in the 17th and 18th centuries. Christopher Joyce (2012).
"Double-Blind Violin Test: Can You Pick The Strad?"
Maestros masters, the professionals that would play the
Fingers stiffened meaning they got arthritis
Virtuoso - One who has a special interest in, or taste for, the
fine arts; a student or collector of antiquities, natural curiosities
or rarities, etc.; a connoisseur; freq., one who carries on such
pursuits in a dilettante or trifling manner. (OED). He was "cold"
because he had for the sake of having the violin and had no actual
passion for the music.
Improvident artists artists that failed to pay their debts
and subsequently put into prison
Convents the violin found its way into a religious convent
to accompany liturgies and hymns
Orgies the violin went back to parties and occasions of
drunken revelry with musicians that were hired to play at them.
Hue - tone
violin's century the autocrat explained that it took a
century for the violin to settle all its pieces together and
have the wood dry from the sap, until it can reach the peak of
its potential. He said the same
Garden-bed in Cremona he is comparing the violins to an
organic whole, similar to that of tree. A tree that slowly grows
and develops; that gradually over time reaches the state that
it was meant to flourish as. Cremona was a city in which violin
making was a common trade; that was the origin of the Amati,
Guarneri, and Stradivari families.
Tyrolese fiddle a fiddle made by Pedro Klauss of Tyrol
made it in 1760
Old poet who Neaera cheated- Horace
Horace's Ode "twas night: among the lesser stars
/ the conscious moon was beaming. / Beaneath the cloudless sky
we sat, / Of blissful wedlock dreaming" (The Odes of Horace:
Complete in English rhyme and blank verse page 241)
Pactolian The imaginary magazine which pays the autocrat
for poetic verses. (OED) Of or relating to the river Pactolus
(now Sart Çay , in modern Turkey), formerly renowned for
the gold which its sands contained. In later use: (chiefly fig.)
golden; (of payment, funds, etc.) lavish, copious.
Papyrus (OED) - 3. A material made from the papyrus plant,
used originally by the ancient Egyptians and later by the Greeks,
Romans, etc., chiefly formed into sheets for writing and painting
on. Also used for making rope, sandals, etc.
Horatius Flaccus This was the Latin name of Horace, to
which he would have identified himself. Horace was a Roman lyric
poet. His Odes and Satires have exerted a major influence on
a person John
secretaries of lyceums By "secretaries" the
autocrat meant, "A secret chamber or repository. Also fig."
(OED). In OWH's time he, and other intellectuals travelled around
the country visiting communities giving them private lectures
for a fee. So, the autocrat expressed his discontent that his
audience did not fully appreciate his metaphors, which he gave
to them for free, that he normally stored away for those lectures.
complimentary autocrats reference to the compilation of
metaphors (the meerschaum, violin,
pecuniary important to know that the autocrat was paid
for those lectures.
devalise - robbed
Excusez "excuse me'
Sergent-de-ville's Sergeant of the town, or the town's
Big red V the sergeant slapped the mans shoulder after
he told him to reveal them. He did this to see if a "V"
would show up because scarred skin would remain red longer than
the skin around it. This "V" revealed that this man
had been branded a Voleur, or thief, in the prison at Marsaille,
a city in France.
"What if he has something like this" the scene
with the thief occurred in several French works. For example,
with Jean Valjean in Vicotr Hugo's Les Miserables. The "he"
referred to a French author whome the Autocrat is accused of
having stolen the story.
"kerridge" the New England pronunciation for
liberal shepherds This is a reference to Hamlet during
the description of Ophelia's death. Here "liberal"
meant accustomed to using coarser language that is used at court,
and he used a shepherd to portray a character of any unrefined
Carriage with a pole referred to the pole at the front
of the carriage that connects the horses to the body of the vehicle.
In comparison with a simple rustics cart that might be miscalled
Retired unostentatiously Here the autocrat makes a joke
about his coach driver John, who had deserted from the British
Army. He retired from the army without trying to draw attention
to himself which is why it was unostentatiously.
Many of her Her Majesty's modest servants a continuation
to the joke of unostentatious retirement. Here the autocrat referred
the fact that many sailors in Queen of England's navy deserted
and took refuge in America. This is why he described them as
modest. Once again they would not try to draw attention to himself.
Grateful country Here the autocrat was making a joke about
the British army. He described here that British officers attempted
to discover the identity of deserted soldiers through conditioning
reactions. He would try to get them to attempt to react to orders
in which they would adjust the shoulder-strap of the musket.
He then would bring back the deserter to their country and force
them back into the armed forces.
Danish pirates refers to Viking invasions of Britain after
the Roman withdrawal from the island.
Tartars (OED def. 3a.) A person supposed to resemble a
Tartar in disposition; a rough and violent or irritable and intractable
person. A common idiom was "catch a Tartar" which meant
to grapple with an unexpectedly formidable opponent.
Apollo and Marsyas Here along with the Bartholinus reference,
the autocrat is depicting that the Tartar Saxons skinned the
Danish Pirates. In Greek Mythology, Marsyas the satyr challenged
Apollo, god of music, to a contest to which the winner to could
what they liked to the defeated. Apollo won and ended up skinning
the satyr alive.
Bartholinus referred to the Danish anatomist Thomas Bartholini.
He was well known for his discoveries regarding the lymphatic
system and in his book, there are many pictures of humans as
they would look with layers removed from their body.
"the one essential and perfectly fitting garment"
the autocrat here is referring to skin
Christiana's A reference two the second part of Bunyan's
Pilgrim's Progress. Both Mercy and Christiana are led around
a house by the Interpreter and comes to a room with a spider
on the wall. "Then the water stood in CHRISTIANA'S eyes,
for she was a woman quick of apprehension" but she knew
the spider represented sin, while Mercy did not at first understand
this. "This made MERCY blush, and the boys to cover their
faces; for they all began now to understand the riddle."
Christiana represented the landlady being sensitive to the subject
of marriage because she was widowed. The schoolmistress, compared
with mercy begins to unravel the riddle of the autocrats feelings
towards her. (Second stage)
Hamlet's remark to Horatio Hamlet said to Horatio "I
pray thee, do not mock me, fellow student. I think it was to
see my mother's wedding. (Act I Scene 2, Line 176). He said this
in response to John when the young man implied his skepticism.
Ziska drum-head Here the autocrat is making a reference
to Jan Zizka, a general and Hussite leader. He led many military
campaigns and it was said that his dying wish was for his skin
to be used to make a drum so that he could continue to lead his
men even after death.***
Cutis humana human skin
Scandinavian Filibuster Scandinavian referred to Viking.
Filibuster (OED-Def. 1.) Freebooter: Originally:
a privateer. Later more generally: a piratical adventurer, a
pirate; any person who goes about in search of plunder."
Pane of plate glass this referred to front window of the
autocrat's imaginary other self "the professor" office.
This represented the office that OWH had when he was still a
practicing physician. Here a young man punched his hand through
the window and could not help but be cut and leave behind some
"very minute but entirely satisfactory documents",
"cup which cheers and likewise inebriates" joke
referring to John Cowper's The Task in a line that went "And
while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn / Throws up a steamy
column, and the cups, / That cheer but not inebriate" (Line
37-39) referring to tea. Teas "cheer", meaning enliven
the person who drinks it with caffeine, but they it doesn't inebriate.
Here it's a joke that alcohol that the young man drank both enlivened
him and made him drunk.
Cupid Not recognizing the statue of Cupid with its wings
and bow and arrow marked the visitor as an uneducated individual
in the classics. Along with calling it a "statoo" showed
overlapping ignorance to proper speech as well as their lack
of intellectual knowledge.
Machiavellian astuteness Machiavelli, the Italian who
founded modern day political science, was known for "sneakiness
in political strategy"
Ex pede Herculem Latin saying "to take the measure
of a statue of Hercules while having only the foot to go by"
which continued Holmes' theme in this section that small details
inform people of the larger whole.
Dos pou sto "place to stand"
Georges Cuvier's megatherium French naturalist and zoologist
was able to, just from discovering a tooth, was able to recreate
what this megatherium, or elephant-sized sloths, looked like.
Agassiz Louis Agassiz was a friend of Holmes and was fellow
member of the intellectual Saturday Club. He was a Swiss paleontologist/geologist
and was known for being able to draw a portrait of undiscovered
fish by just seeing one scale. Going alone the same theme of
small details describing wholes.
Giotto Italian painter and architect, was revealed to
the pope's notice and got a commission because of his "O".
While the pope's representative was collecting samples, Giotto
with his free hand drew a perfect "O". For this feat
he was discovered and awarded the commission. http://100swallows.wordpress.com/2007/09/14/giottos-o/
"moi" at the beginning of the Canterbury Tales,
each character said they're going to tell the story. Prioress,
the head of a female convent speaks perfect French but had really
learned it in English. The Prioress gave away this fact in the
way she pronounced the word "moi" for "me"
Haow The divinity student is asking if someone who has
intellectual merit, but still used slang, could still arrive
Sydney Smith Was an English wit, writer, and an Anglican
cleric. ***Could not find origin of his phrase.
False quantity Latin poems are written in meters of "long"
and "short" syllabus not "stressed"
or "unstressed" as in English and educated Englishmen
knew their "quantities," or whether any given syllabus
was long or short. Not to know this marked you as uneducated.
"for good and sufficient reasons" the autocrat
is referring to lack of education that some of the political
men of his day had. Men such as Andrew Jackson and Zachary Taylor.
General Jackson and Taylor They were known as "backwoods"
presidents. Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United
States, and Zachary Taylor, the twelfth president, were not intellectual
men. They paved the path to the presidency with the glory of
their military exploits, rather than their moral or philosophical
outlooks. Jackson was actually an ardent supporter of slavery
and treated the Native Americans whom he deprived of their land,
less than moral.
Priscian A Latin grammarian who wrote the Institutiones
grammaticae or the "Grammatical Foundations". A few
scars to his head implied that the candidates running for political
office break the rules of grammar. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/477161/Priscian
Stereotyped - 1. trans. To cast a stereotype plate from (a forme
of type); to prepare (literary matter) for printing by means
of stereotypes (OED)
Captatores Verborum "those who catch at tiny mistakes
in goods writers to try to increase their own reputations. It
literally meant "word-catchers". The imagery is borrow
from Pope's Epistle to Arbuthnot.***
Silk and broadcloth the educated classes, as shown by
their customary wear. The equivalent of comparing the modern
day "white-collar" and "blue-collar" workers.
Scaraboeus Grammaticus Latin for the "Grammar Beetle";
an insect that lives on garbage or refuse. In this case, the
scraps of the literary world.
Coleopterous horny shelled
Lepine watches Watches made by Jean-Antoine Lepine. He
was a Frenchman and was responsible for many innovations to the
innovations. One such innovation was that he designed a pocket
watch that was thinner. David Christianson, Masterpieces of Chronometry
(2002): p. 53. Lépine and the modern watch
"broad fan of insect-angels butterflies
"golden disks" dandelion and buttercup
"old lying Incubus" the old lying incubus refers
to the ancient error that oppressed and distorted human nature.
Incubus means "A person or thing that weighs upon and oppresses
like a nightmare" (OED)
"Dr. Johnson was disappointed" WCD look this
Hydrostatic paradox of controversy. That despite the greater
capacity that one might have intellectually, when the substance
of the argument, or "controversy", is the same, so
are the results. This has to do with his analogy being "hydrostatic,"
which means "Relating to the equilibrium of liquids, and
the pressure exerted by liquids at rest; belonging to hydrostatics"
(OED). The pressure exerted by both parties would be equal, despite
actual merit, or size in capacity to hold that liquid or argument.
Tongs, shovel, bellows
Latitude and longitude the range and scope of one's literature
Isothermal lines- This was a metaphor regarding the common usages
of phrases for praise or critique of literary works. Isothermal
lines means that the temperature is the same within those lines;
that meant that all these praises or criticisms will fall along
that same line of temperature, regardless of "warm"
or "cold" climate.
Oysters Oysters were a delicacy and in this case were
being used to bribe literary critics to write good reviews for
Major Proposition The autocrat here is saying that a person
would give the person he is trying bribe with this feast of Oysters
with "Oysters au natural" for a Major Proposition,
or big favor, as opposed "scalloped" oysters for a
more minor stretch of the truth or smaller piece.
"spread" the autocrat means a "spread"
of food on a linen table cloth, and opposed to an article reviewing
a literary work.
"critical line" The line of work reviewing literature
palatable to make it taste better
Coarse rasp a file
Penny papers the autocrat referred to the tabloid-style
newspapers produced in the United States during the mid 19th
century. Penny press papers were revolutionary by making the
news accessible to working and middle class citizens for a reasonable
price because they only cost one cent. (Source: B. Kovarik. Revolutions
in Communication: Media History from Gutenberg to the Digital
Age. (The Continuum International Publishing Group, 2011
Sumatra a large island in Western Indonesia (OED)
Stamford Family Actually referred to Sir Thomas Stamford
Raffle, a British statesman that was best known for founding
Singapore. This family was responsible for the establishment
of English interests in Asia. -Sir Thomas Stammford Raffles:
A History of Java; Black, Parbury, and Allen for the Hon. East
India Company 1817; reprinted in the Cambridge Library Collection,
South-Sea Scheme - the financial plan with the South Sea Company,
a British joint-stock company, which had taken over the national
debt in return for a monopoly of trade with the South Seas. During
its expansion it caused a severe speculation in their stocks
and many invested. In 1720, the
Notes and Queries It was an English magazine
"celebrated bubbles" This was a joke made by
the autocrat about the South-Sea Scheme. It both referred to
the bubbles of the ocean which were "thin globular (or hemispherical)
vesicle of water or other liquid, filled with air or gas; applied
alike to those produced by the agitation of a quantity of the
liquid, or the uprising of gas to the surface, and to those artificially
made by blowing through a tube" (OED def. 1) and "fig.
Anything fragile, unsubstantial, empty, or worthless; a deceptive
show. From 17th c. onwards often applied to delusive c