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11. 2, 3. to come at me, to reach me, i.e. my case.
1. 4. would make a figure, aims at winning a high position for himself. See note on p. 7, 1. 33.
11. 15, 6. in the utmost ...
him, immeasurably his inferiors in
1. 18. humourists, strange-natured, eccentric, fellows. 1. 19. gallantries, love adventures.
11. 21, 2. should be... life, ought to be considered an old man. careful of his person, careful to live a life which should not prematurely age him, careful of a youthful appearance so far as it may be preserved by a life of moderation.
1. 23. a very easy fortune, such a sufficiency of wealth as prevents any anxiety on that score.
11. 24, 5. traces in his brain, marks of senility in his understanding. well turned, well formed, of a good figure.
1. 28. habits, fashions of dress.
11. 28, 9. He can smile... easily, i.e. he is not so taken up with himself as not to be able to meet men with ready courtesy.
1. 30. mode, fashion.
1. 33. whose frailty... petticoat, what frail lady of celebrity brought a particular kind of petticoat into fashion; petticoat, the skirt underneath the lower part of the dress.
P. 10, 1. 3. smitten, sc. with love.
1. 4. was taken with him, fell in love with him.
1. 6. a blow of a fan, a tap of the fan as a mark of favourable notice; the fan played a more important part in the gallantries of those days than it does now; see the Essay on The Exercise of the Fan.
1. 7. Lord such-a-one, some lord whose name is not mentioned. 11. 10, 1. cheated me... affair, craftily won the lady to whom I was a suitor.
11. 11, 2. used... than, treated me worse than. made advances to, courted, made love to.
11. 13, 4. us of... turn, us who are of a graver disposition. 11. 21, 2. adds to every man... himself, puts every man into a better humour with himself and all about him.
1. 26. preferments !n his function, professional advancement, clerical offices, appointments.
11. 27, 8. a chamber-counsellor, one whose practice consists in giving legal opinions upon matters in dispute, or needing settlement, without having to go into court to conduct cases; such counsellors are chiefly conveyancers, equity lawyers, etc.
1. 30. advances, brings into repute.
11. 32, 3. fall on ... topic, take up, discourse upon, some question of religion.
11. 35, 6. conceives ... infirmities, finds in the decay of his physical powers an assurance that he will shortly exchange that decay for life eternal.
PUBLIC CREDIT, A VISION. No. 3.
P. II, 1. 7. or rather speculations, or rather, I should say, when engaged in my speculations upon the world around me.
1. 8. the bank, the Bank of England. "The conception of the Bank originated with Paterson, a Scotchman, in 1691. Its small business was first transacted in the Mercer's Hall, then in the Grocer's Hall, and in 1734 was moved to the buildings which form the back of the present court towards Threadneedle Street. The modern buildings, covering nearly three acres, were designed in 1788 by Sir John Soane The taxes are received, the interest of the national debt paid, and the business of the Exchequer transacted at the Bank" (Hare, Walks in London, i. 293).
1. 10. corporation, company.
11. 11 2,. in that just... economy, in the precise and orderly management of the bank's transactions.
11. 16, 7. with an eye principles, with a view to the interests of particular persons rather than those of the community at large, and to the principles by which one party in the state is governed rather than to the principles of the nation as a whole.
11. 19, 20. a kind... dream, not a dream in which everything is fitful and inconsequent, but one of which the phases were regular and governed by method.
1. 21. allegory, a description of one thing under the image of another; Gr. åλλŋyopeîv, to speak so as to imply something else.
1. 22. Methoughts, in methinks, used impersonally, me is the dative case of the pronoun, and thinks is from the impersonal verb thyncan, to seem, distinct from thencan, to think. This not being understood, methoughts was coined as a past tense.
1. 25. a throne of gold, she being the sovereign of wealth.
1. 29. Magna Charta, or Great Charter, signed by John at Runnymede, June, 1215, dealing with the rights of the Church, the feudal dues of the barons, the administration of justice, and a variety of other points.
11. 29, 30. Act of Uniformity, there were three Acts of Uniformity, passed respectively in 1549, 1558, 1662, all prescribing the
use in the Church of England of the Book of Common Prayer, founded upon the old Catholic Missal and Breviary, and revised from time to time. Act of Toleration, passed in 1689, and allowing freedom of worship to Protestant Nonconformists.
P. 12, 1. 1. Act of Settlement, passed in 1701 to settle the succession to the throne in a Protestant line, the Electress Sophia of Hanover being recognized as the successor of Anne to the exclusion of Catholic descendants of James the First.
11. 5, 6. set... value upon, attached an infinite importance to. 1. 11. infinitely timorous, since the slightest thing, the smallest change in public affairs, or the rumour of such change, is enough to affect public credit.
1. 13. vapours, fanciful notions which exhibited themselves in outward pallor, etc.
1. 15. startled, took fright; we now say was startled,' or 'started'; here her being accused of vapours by one who was none of her well-wishers" points to the injury to public credit frequently brought about by those to whose interest it is that there should be rapid fluctuations of it, so that they may buy stock when it is low and sell it again when high.
1. 16. valetudinarian, a sickly person; Lat. valetudo, health, whether good or bad, but especially bad health.
11. 19-24. she would... vigour, i.e. public credit would suddenly collapse upon any disastrous public event; the funds suddenly falling to a very low price but rising again with equal rapidity upon any fortunate occurrence. distemper, ailment; a word now obsolete in this sense. habit, condition of body.
P. 13, 1. 1. virtue, efficacy; so we speak of the 'virtue' of plants.
1. 2. a Lydian king, Gyges, first King of Lydia in Asia Minor. 1. 7. alarmed, ordinarily used of persons only, and here because the hall is already personified.
1. 10. dissociable, dissimilar, unequal.
1. 15. Genius, spirit, angel; in old days men were believed to be accompanied through life by two angels, one good and one evil, who were always striving for the mastery over him. Here Cromwell is probably meant. a young man, James Stuart, 'The Pretender' as he was called, born June 10th, 1688.
1. 18. brandished... Settlement, since by that Act he was debarred as a Catholic from succeeding to the throne.
1. 19. a sponge, according to Ferguson, in order to wipe out the national debt; but more probably to wipe out the writing of the Act of Settlement hung up in the hall.
1. 21. the Rehearsal, a satirical drama by the Duke of Buckingham, and others, written to ridicule Dryden and the 'heroic plays of the time, though originally Davenant was intended for the chief hero; produced in 1671. The passage here meant is in Act v., where Bayes (i.e. Dryden) is made to say in reference to the representation of an eclipse on the stage, Well, Sir; what do I but make the Earth, Sun, and Moon come out upon the Stage, and dance the Hey [a dance borrowed from the French]: hum? And, of necessity, by the very nature of this dance [in which there were many rounds and windings], the Earth must be sometimes between the Sun and the Moon, and the Moon between the Earth and the Sun; and there you have both your Eclipses.'
1. 25. to distraction, so as to lose her wits.
P. 14, ll. 1, 2. that I now found... money, i.e. a large proportion of mercantile transactions being based not upon the amount of money actually in the hands of the speculator but upon that which he could raise upon credit.
1. 6. Eolus, the son of Hippotes, ruler of the Eolian island to whom Zeus gave dominion over the winds, which he might soothe or excite at his pleasure; Homer, Odyssey, x. 1 et seqq.
1. 8. heaps of paper, the bank notes which the Bank of England is allowed to issue for current use. At present the Bank is allowed to issue such Notes to the amount of £16,000,000; but for every Note issued beyond that maximum an equivalent amount of gold or bullion must be paid into its coffers.
11. 8, 9. piles ... sticks, the Exchequer tallies,' or notched sticks, by which accounts were kept, one tally being kept in the Exchequer, the other given to the creditor in lieu of an obligation for money lent to the Government. Bath faggots, bundles of split wood for lighting a fire; first used at Bath.
11. 16, 7. a person
seen, "The Elector of Hanover, afterwards George I." (Ferguson).
1. 20. transported, carried beyond, or out of, myself.
1. 22. fain, gladly; properly an adjective. closed, brought to a conclusion, completed.
POPULAR SUPERSTITIONS. No. 7.
P. 15, ll. 5, 6. which I should ... for, which would have caused me pain.
1. 7. but, after, than after; this use of but, so common in former days, seems to be passing away.
11. 9, 10. you may now see night, when a small portion of the wick of a candle becomes partially detached, or any small
foreign substance finds its way into the wick, and flames up separately from the main flame, it is supposed to indicate the visit of a stranger.
1. 12. go into join-hand, the previous stage in learning to write being the formation of single letters unconnected with each other.
1. 14. Childermas-day, an anniversary of the Church of England, held on the 28th of December, in commemoration of the children of Bethlehem slain by Herod; also called Innocents'-Day; the termination -mas is the word mass, (1) the celebration of the Eucharist, (2) a church festival, and is frequent in composition, e.g. Christ-mas, Candle-mas, Hallow-mas, etc. In Childer-mas we have an old Northern plural; the original form of the word, cild, "formed its plural by strengthening the base by means of the letter r, and adding n, as cild-r-n. In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries we find cild-r-n converted into (1) child-r-e and (2) child-r-e-n. In the fourteenth century we find in the Northern dialects childer = children, where the -re has become -er" (Morris, Outl. 96, § 80). Hence the good lady of the house considered that it would be a bad omen to begin anything new on a day which celebrated the massacre of the children.
1. 17. to lose... week, sc. as she was doing in the case of her child's lessons.
1. 18. to reach her, to hand her as she could not reach the saltcellar.
1. 19. such a trepidation, caused by anxiety not to do anything that might be thought ill-omened.
1. 20. hurry of obedience, anxious haste to meet her wishes.
1. 21. startled, see note on p. 12, 1. 15.
11. 21, 2. fell towards her, which was supposed to foreshadow some calamity. blank, pale; F. blanc, white.
1. 23. concern, anxiety, gloomy looks.
1. 27. misfortunes... single, a common proverb found in many forms, e.g. "It never rains but it pours. Cp. Haml. iv. 5. 79, "When sorrows come, they come not single spies, But in battalions." The good lady, determined to see omens in everything, puts on an air of resignation, and as it were comforts herself with this acknowledgment of the inevitable.
11. 27, 8. acted... table, played but a secondary part to his wife as they sat at meals.
1. 30. to fall in with, to acquiesce in, meet with sympathy. yoke-fellow, wife, to whom he is by marriage tied; often used of any close companionship, e.g. H. V. ii. 3. 56, "yoke-fellows in arms"; Lear, iii. 6. 39," thou, his yoke-fellow of equity.'