Benford's G&S Lexicon Entries for Trial By Jury

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Act

Job

The OED (228) has as one definition: “A transaction in which duty or the public interest is sacrificed for the sake of private … advantage.” Another definition is “any unfair arrangement” (115). For our purposes: a deceitful action or dirty trick.

Nob [my being made a nob]

One dictionary (250) defines this as “A person of wealth or social distinction.” Some believe the word is derived from nabob, which originally meant an oriental chief or viceroy, but later came to mean a person of great wealth, especially one who had acquired that wealth in India. Others (115, 181, 320), however, maintain that it is short for nobility. Prestige (245) interprets it as slang for a person of social distinction.

’Twixt [’Twixt rich and poor]

Short for betwixt, meaning between.

Lower [Though the tempest lower]

Pronunciation: Rhymes with flower

To threaten or look sullen.

Posies

A posie is defined as a flower, nosegay (bunch of fragrant flowers), or a bouquet.

Passing fair [Though thy beauty rare shame the blushing roses ––They are passing fair!]

An archaic meaning of passing is surpassingly. Thus, although the flowers are surpassingly beautiful, Angelina is even more so (181, 263, 274). Brewer (56) opines that the expression comes from the Dutch word passen, to admire. See entry for “Passing” in Ruddigore.

Vernal [O’er the season vernal]

Vernal refers to springtime. The phrase refers to youth.

Substantial damages [Come, substantial damages!]

Ledbetter (184) says that exemplary damages (i.e., high enough to serve as a warning to others) could arise only in matters of breach of promise and then only when aggravated by seduction. Goodman, however, says he cannot confirm this; he believes it simply means heavy compensation (143).

My lud!

“My lord,” or “m’lud” are standard forms of address to a judge in a British court of law (184).

Supercilious [wear a supercilious smile]

A smile that is at once haughty, contemptuous, proud, disdainful, and indifferent. Really packed with insolence! Shipley (266) thinks the word is derived from the Latin cilium, eyelash. (When speaking disdainfully you tend to lift the eyebrow.) See also HMS Pinafore.

Camberwell [Camberwell became a bower]

A rather prosaic working-class residential suburb of London, on the south –– and therefore unfashionable –– side of the Thames (251). Ledbetter (184) says it was in earlier times a pleasant residential area, the birthplace of Robert Browning, and locale where Mendelssohn once stayed. It later became industrialized and heavily populated.

Bower

This could mean either a shelter of leafy branches, a summer house, or an arbor.

Peckham [Peckham an Arcadian Vale]

The twin of Camberwell. See above. Oliver Goldsmith once taught there in a boy’s school (184). Until about 1850 Camberwell and Peckham were villages separated from London by open fields (142).

Arcadian Vale

Arcadia was a mountainous part of Sparta, famous in song and story for its contented, simple-living people and admiring sheep. Vale means valley.

Otto [Breathing concentrated otto!]

Derived from attar of roses, i.e., perfume made from rose petals. Knight (178) says some 250 pounds of roses are needed to make a single ounce of attar.

Watteau [An existence à la Watteau]

Idyllic pastoral setting, as in the paintings of Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684-1721).

Trousseau [For the maid had bought her trousseau]

Pronunciation: TRUE-so

A bride’s collection of clothing, linen, and the like, suitable for her new status as a married woman (from the French word for bundle). That’s not the kind of bundle Angelina is looking for now.

Perjured [Oh, perjured lover]

One who has told a lie. In this case, it means one who has been untrue to his oath of fidelity (15).

Cologne [water from far Cologne]

Cologne water: Eau de Cologne. Cologne is a major German city on the Rhine. The toilet “water” in question is made by adding aromatic oils to alcohol. It was first produced commercially in Cologne, and no fewer than three companies there claim to being the originator. Ledbetter (184) says Cologne water is now made in France by descendants of its creator. By tradition Cologne water is dabbed on the face or waved under the nose of any lady who has fainted. For an exhaustive treatise on its composition, see The Encyclopedia Americana (105) or Bradley (48).

Submission [with all submission]

Due respect.

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