Benford's G&S Lexicon Entries for Patience

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Enter part of a term; e.g., "gill" for Gillow's.

Act I


Nelson's flagship at Trafalgar, and still preserved as a museum ship at Portsmouth. To G&S fans she is best known as the prototype for H.M.S. Pinafore. Gilbert and Sullivan visited the Victory in 1878 and Gilbert made sketches of the rigging and deck arrangements for his forthcoming nautical opera.

Bismarck [Genius of Bismarck]

Otto von Bismarck (1815-98): the creator and first chancellor of the newly united German Empire (1871). Before the "Iron Chancellor's" time, the German people were divided among what Winston Churchill described as "pumpernickel principalities."

Fielding [The humour of Fielding -- which sounds contradictory]

Nearly all writers on the subject propose that this refers to Henry Fielding (1707-54), a London magistrate, playwright, and novelist, best known for his novel Tom Jones. Since his literary works contain a considerable measure of wit, why did Gilbert imply there was something contradictory about Fielding's humor? Dunn (100), Hardwick (149) and Prestige (245) opine that Gilbert was making a pun on the term "fielding" as used in the game of cricket, and which is not considered much fun. (It is roughly equivalent to playing in the outfield in baseball.) Turnbull, for his part, thinks Gilbert simply wanted a word to rhyme with Victory (294).

Paget [Coolness of Paget about to trepan]

Sir James Paget (1814-99), a British surgeon and pathologist who taught at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London (77).


To cut a circular plug out of someone's skull, preferably not your own.

Jullien [the eminent musico]

Virtually everyone who has essayed to define the colonel's catalog (100, 147, 149, 177, 273, 281, 286, 299) agrees that this refers to Louis Antoine Jullien (1812-60), an eccentric and flamboyant conductor whose parents loaded him down with 41 names. Born in France, he emigrated to England to escape his creditors. There he organized an orchestra and produced many promenade concerts, a concept that he originated. Berlioz (38) refers to Jullien's "incontestable and uncontested character of madness." His portly form and gorgeous waistcoats were often the butt of Punch cartoons. We also learn that "he would conduct Beethoven symphonies with a jewelled baton, and wearing a new pair of white gloves presented to him on a silver salver" (93). He finally returned to France but was thrown into debtors' prison, where he soon died, insane. In his 1890 book Songs of a Savoyard (130), Gilbert substituted this line: "The grace of Mozart, that unparalleled musico." Stedman (274) doesn't like the change. She says Jullien's flashy, shallow character more closely reflects that of the dragoons. Nevertheless, it would make sense to use his revised lines in modern performances because Mozart's name is known to everyone, while old Whatsisname's is not. But, while you are at it, make it read "The grace of a Mozart, unparalleled musico" so it will scan.


One definition in the OED (229) is a musician, and that is probably what Gilbert meant.

Macaulay [Wit of Macaulay, who wrote of Queen Anne]

Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-59), distinguished English writer and statesman. Although his writings were formidable, he did manage to turn some neat, witty phrases. Here, for example are lines from a letter to a Mr. Ellis dated September 3, 1850: "Dear Ellis, Here I am lodged most delightfully… I wish that I may not, like Will Honeycomb, forget the sin and sea-coal of London for innocence and haycocks. To be sure, innocence and haycocks do not always go together" (292). The reference to Queen Anne is either Gilbert's little joke or a dead giveaway that he never finished reading Macaulay's great history. At the very start of his monumental series The History of England (192), Macaulay stated that his aim was "to write the history of England from the accession of King James the Second down to a time within the memory of men still living." That would certainly have included Queen Anne, who died nearly a century before Macaulay was born. But, by the time Macaulay had worked his way up to Queen Anne's reign, old age had slowed him down and he simply lacked the energy and will to go on (292).

Queen Anne

Queen Anne, the last of the Stuarts, reigned from 1702 (succeeding William and Mary) until her death in 1714. England and Scotland were united to constitute Great Britain during her time on the throne. She bore seventeen children, but only one survived infancy -- and he died at the age of ten. She is described as having few talents (250). Whether she deserved it or not, Anne seems to have developed a colorful image. Just in going through Brewer (54), we discover these revealing titillations: (i) Her nickname was Brandy Nan; (ii) To form "Queen Anne's fan," place a thumb on your nose and wiggle your upward-pointing fingers; and (iii) A favorite Jacobite toast during Anne's reign was to the "little gentleman in velvet," referring to the mole that raised the molehill that tripped King William's horse and led to William's injury and eventual death. Despite all this, she was "identified with cultural stirrings that were later fadishly acclaimed" (118). During her reign decorative arts came to full flower, and Queen Anne style furniture was characterized by well-proportioned, elegant lines and attractive veneers (121), so Bunthorne is at least partially justified in claiming that "the reign of good Queen Anne was Culture's palmiest day."

Paddy [The pathos of Paddy, as rendered by Boucicault]

This probably embodies the typical poor Irishman portrayed in Boucicault's plays. It might also refer to Boucicault's roles in his own plays. See next entry.


Pronunciation: BOO-si-ko

Dion Boucicault was an Irish playwright and actor who was well known in Gilbert's day. Traveling in both the United Kingdom and America, he wrote or adapted about 400 farces, comedies, and melodramas -- in some of which he acted with great success. Several of his plays had Irish settings (105). His play The Colleen Bawn was one of Queen Victoria's favorites, and history records that she attended no fewer than three performances. Two days after the queen attended the third performance, her mother died, and within a year so did Prince Albert. Throughout the rest of her life she consented to having a few entertainments staged within the palace, but she never again made a public appearance in a theater (258).

Bishop of Sodor and Man [Style of the Bishop of Sodor and Man]

Sodor is an ancient name for the Hebrides (islands off the west coast of Scotland). The Isle of Man is much farther south, in the Irish Sea. The most likely candidate for the Colonel's intent would appear to be Rowley Hill, D.D. (1836-87), who was made Bishop of Sodor and Man in 1877. The Dictionary of National Biography (93) says that "He discharged his duties with great zeal and success."

D'Orsay [The dash of a D'Orsay]

Count Alfred Guillaume Gabriel D'Orsay (1801-52) was a French dandy who married into the English nobility and became the center of a fashionable artistic and literary circle in London. He was "long arbiter elegantarium of English society and was considered an accomplished artist and sculptor." In 1849 he fled to Paris to escape his creditors (77). Walmisley (299) divulges many juicy details about D'Orsay's private life that would bring the blush of shame to the cheek of modesty.


Fraudulence. Aurora (15) argues that D'Orsay was irresponsible and unrealistic, but not the quack that the colonel implies.


Charles Dickens (1812-70): Eminent English novelist, author of Oliver Twist, A Tale of Two Cities, and A Christmas Carol, among other famous works. Gilbert adapted Great Expectations for the stage, and looked upon Dickens as one of his favorite authors (240). See also Ruddigore and Utopia, Limited.


William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-63): Another English novelist, who was nearly as popular as Dickens in his day. He was the author of many satirical journal sketches and such famous novels as Vanity Fair (287). One of his books was The History of Samuel Titmarsh and the Great Hoggarty Diamond. I dare say you never heard of it.

Victor Emmanuel

Presumably refers to Victor Emmanuel II (1820-78), King of Sardinia, who united Italy in 1861 after decades of war with Austria and the troops of Pope Pius IX. He became the first king of Italy and was widely admired.


Pronunciation: Rhymes with several

Sir Geoffrey Peveril was the hero of Sir Walter Scott's historic novel Peveril of the Peak (262), in which the action takes place in the Peak Region of Derbyshire and on the Isle of Man. The remains of Peveril Castle still stand.

Thomas Aquinas

An Italian religious leader, scholastic philosopher, theologian, and writer of the thirteenth century; one of the great pillars of the Roman Catholic faith and founder of the Dominican Friars. He lived from ca. 1225 to 1274, and was canonized in 1323.

Doctor Sacheverell

Pronunciation: suh-SHEV-erell

Henry Sacheverell (ca. 1674-1724) was an Anglican clergyman who became the center of a religious dispute with political overtones during the reign of Queen Anne. He was charged with seditious libel and adjudged guilty. He was, however, given a light sentence: a three-year suspension from preaching. His troubles were triggered by a seditious sermon that earned the distinction of being burned by the common hangman (54, 55).