Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

they will be left all alone in possession of this unenviable distinction. The phrase to leave in the lurch' was derived from its use in an old game called 'lurch.' "The game," says Skeat, "is mentioned in Cotgrave. -F. lourche, 'the game called Lurche, or, a Lurch in game; il demoura lourche, he was left in the lurch'.. He also gives 'Ourche, the game at tables called lurch.' This suggests that lourche stands for l'ourche, the initial / being merely the definite article. A lurch is a term especially used when one person gains every point before another makes one; hence a plausible derivation may be obtained by supposing that ourche meant the pool in which the stakes were put. The lover's stakes remained in the lurch, or he was left in the lurch, when he did not gain a single piece from the pool, which all went to others. If this be so, the sense of ourche is easily obtained; it meant the 'pool,' i.e. the vase or jar into which the stakes were cast... The etymology is then obvious, viz., from Lat. urceus, a pitcher, vase. But this is a guess."

1. 20. come too late, it having been abandoned by those whom they fancy they are imitating.

1. 25. turns upon, has to do with, is concerned with.

The

1. 30. height of their head-dresses, see Essay No. 98. 1. 31. upon... circuit, going the circuit with the judges. country for the administration of justice is divided into certain circuits to be made periodically by the judges when holding

assizes.

SIR ROGER AT THE ASSIZES. No. 122.

P. 63, 1. 7. those approbations, that self-approval; we scarcely use the word in the plural now.

1. 15. the returns of affection, evidences of affection paid in return.

1. 19. He would needs, he was determined, had made up his mind. The phrase implies the idea that the act was one which he made necessary to himself though there was really no obligation upon him; needs, the old genitive used adverbially.

1. 21. plain men, unpretending countrymen, as opposed to the fine gentlemen of the town: rid, a form of the past tense no longer in use.

1. 26. he is just... game act, this refers to the old game laws by which persons were not allowed to obtain a license unless duly qualified by birth or estate. The ordinary qualification was ownership of lands of the minimum yearly value of £100, and Sir Roger has just spoken of the person in question as being a yeoman of about a hundred pounds a year.'

66

P. 64, 1. 2. shoots flying, kills his birds while on the wing, not while sitting on the ground or on a tree, which would be a most unsportsman-like act.

1. 3. petty-jury, the jury which sits in court to give a verdict on the cases tried, as opposed to the grand jury which decides before trial whether a true bill has been found against the accused and whether they shall be sent for trial or not.

[ocr errors]

1. 5. taking the law... body, going to law with everybody on the slightest provocation. The name Touchy" indicates his touchiness, his readiness to take offence at anything: one, a single person.

11. 6, 7. quarter-sessions, see note, p. 6, 1. 29.

1. 8. the widow, see p. 6, 1. 7.

1. 13. cast... cast, has won and lost so many law-suits.

11. 14, 5. the old... tree, going to the assizes to fight out his old suit in which a willow tree is the bone of contention.

11. 25, 6. upon... trot, as he was riding at full trot ;'round, often used, as here, merely with an intensive force; so we say, 'a round rebuke,' 'a good round sum,' etc., the idea of thoroughness being due to the completeness of a circle.

1. 32. The court was sat, the court had assembled, the various officers having taken their seats. The difference between 'was' and 'had' in such sentences is that the former indicates a state, the latter the activity necessary to cause that state.

1. 35-P. 65, 1. 1. who, for his reputation... circuit, in order to maintain his reputation as a man of importance and credit with the Judge, made a point of whispering in his ear as if he had something of importance to communicate, though in reality his remark was merely about the weather.

11. 12, 3. was up, was on his legs and about to speak.

1. 13. was so little... purpose, had so little in it that was pertinent to the matter in hand.

1. 16. to give... eye, to make him appear to me as a man of importance.

1. 22. his courage, that, the courage of him who, etc.

1. 32. sign post, here the sign was Sir Roger's head.

P. 66, 1. 1. made him, we should now say 'paid him.'

1. 6. be at the charge of it, bear the expense of its being altered.

1. 8. aggravation, i.e. making the features larger and fiercer. 1. 9. the Saracen's Head, this sign, a very common one, was a relic from the Crusades, and may still be seen, as in the Lamb and Saracen's Head in Westminster.

1. 16. discovering, showing.

11. 16, 7. upon ... face, when this monstrous face was displayed before us.

1. 23. conjuring, earnestly desiring; literally solemnly imploring, from Lat. conjurare, to swear together, to combine by oath. 11. 24, 5. composed my countenance, put on a serious look.

1. 26. That much... sides, wittily reproducing Sir Roger's own words when deciding between Will Wimble and Tom Touchy.

DIFFERENCE OF TEMPERS IN THE SEXES. No. 128.

P. 67, 1. 10. bias, inclination; the term is taken from the game of bowls, in which the 'bias' is a weight inserted in the bowl to make it take an indirect path when bowled.

1. 11. draw too much, incline them too much in this direction or the other.

1. 15. savage philosophy, rough affectation of gravity and philosophical temperament.

1. 16. a thoughtless gallantry, an empty-headed levity and freedom of manner.

1. 24. tempered, mixed, blended.

1. 25. wants, lacks.

1. 31. covering her eggs, sitting upon her eggs to hatch them. P. 68, 1. 13. common, belonging to both.

11. 14, 5. as if... reciprocal, as though each at times had not to act the part more properly belonging to the other.

1. 25. carries them, wins the day, prevails with them, captivates their fancy.

1. 28. flutter, boisterous mirth.

1. 31. self-love... object, the love of herself turned upon an object resembling her in character.

P. 69, 1. 1. the sex, the fair sex, women; a complimentary way of speaking of them.

1. 2. joins them, sc. in marriage. their own thoughts, the thoughts of the husbands.

1. 4. inflame, fan them into further blazes, more extravagant outbursts.

11. 15, 6. accomplish themselves, perfect themselves.

1. 16. sublime perfections, said ironically.

1. 18. her gallant, the admirer who was always paying court to her.

1. 20. Faustina, daughter of Faustina, the profligate wife of Antoninus Pius, and herself of an equally abandoned character; she was married to M. Aurelius in A.D. 145 and died in Syria in 175 lively, apt, pertinent.

[ocr errors]

11. 21, 2. Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor, A.D. 161-180, commonly called the philosopher,' renowned for his victories over the Germans, in consequence of which he assumed the title of Germanicus, and still more for his devotion to philosophy and literature.

1. 23, 24. prettier gentleman, finer fellow.

1. 25. Commodus, L. Aurelius, son of Marcus Aurelius and Emperor 180-192. Notwithstanding the great care which his father had bestowed upon his education, he turned out one of the most sanguinary and licentious tyrants that ever disgraced a throne. In the combats in the arena in which he took part, he made sure of an easy victory by allowing his opponent no more dangerous a weapon than a foil of lead.

1. 29. the fighting of prizes, the contending for prizes in gladiatorial combats, in which he sought to win popular applause.

1. 36. hankering after, eagerly longing for.

P. 70, 1. 2. over-run with affectation, wholly given up to assuming graces that do not naturally belong to her.

1. 4. your, used colloquially, but put into her mouth with a sarcastic emphasis. Those summer days of which you people talk so much, but which to me are so tedious.

1. 5. purling, running with a gentle murmur.

1. 8. essenced fops, scented dandies: taudry courtiers, men of fashion decked out in gaudy finery; taudry, or 'tawdry,' is a corruption of St. Awdry, which again is a corruption of St. Etheldrida; and tawdry goods were such as were sold at St. Awdry's fair, held on St. Awdry's day, October 17th.

1. 13. a clown, a boor, an uneducated, ill-mannered fellow.

1. 13, 14. no better... be, scarcely to be regarded as a woman of virtue.

1. 15. Aristus and Aspasia, merely fanciful names given to imaginary persons; Aristus is the Gk. ápɩotos, best, noblest, and Aspasia was the name of the accomplished mistress of Pericles. 1. 23. complacency, good humour.

SIR ROGER AND THE GIPSIES. No. 130.

6

P. 71, 1. 1. gipsies, or more properly gypsies,' a nomad race whose original home was in India, though the earlier supposition was that they were Egyptians, whence the word, which is merely a corruption of the M.E. Egypcien, an Egyptian.

1. 2. exert ... peace, exercise the powers which as justice of the peace he possessed of arresting them.

ll. 3, 4. his clerk, without whose advice he did not like to act. The clerk of a justice of the peace being trained to the law was, like the clerk to the magistrates in the present day, the person on whose advice his superior acted in all cases in which a legal difficulty presented itself.

11. 5, 6. fearing... it, sc. by the depredations of their fellow gypsies in case any legal steps should be taken against them. 1. 10. to have it, to find it out and carry it off.

1. 11. ten to one, i.e. long odds.

66

1. 15. so agog, in a state of such eagerness. 'Gog signifies eagerness, desire; and is so used by Beaumont and Fletcher; you have put me into such a gog of going, I would not stay for all the world'; Wit Without Money, iii. 1. To set agog' is to put in eagerness, to make one eager or anxious to do a thing' (Skeat, Ety. Dict.).

[ocr errors]

...

1. 18. crosses their hands, with a piece of silver which thereby becomes their property.

11. 25, 6. Sweethearts... upon, i.e. by promising lovers to the men and maidens they lure money out of them.

1. 28. jades, properly tired horses, then applied contemptuously to women; here used in a good-humoured way. sluts, properly slovenly women, but here again used in a good-humoured way.

1. 34. communicated... them, held out our hands for them to examine. A Cassandra, a prophetess; Cassandra was a daughter of Priam and Hecuba on whom Apollo conferred the gift of prophecy.

1. 35. crew, company, gang; generally, except of the crew of a vessel, used, as here, in a contemptuous sense: my lines, the lines running across the palm of the hand.

1. 36. in a corner, where I could have her to myself.

[ocr errors]

P. 72, 1. 3. exposing his palm, holding out his hand with the palm of it turned upwards; Gk. Taláμn. "The sense of flathand' is the more original, the tree being named from its flat spreading leaves which bear some resemblance to the hand spread

« VorigeDoorgaan »