Benford's G&S Lexicon Entries for Patience

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

Act II

Vivisected [Or vivisected her last new doll]

To vivisect is to cut up a living animal for experimental purposes. Dolls aren't really living animals, but the sentiment is well meant.

Earl

In England a nobleman ranking below a marquis and above a viscount.

Carriage [a first-class earl who keeps his carriage]

This noble fellow had no need for livery stables since he maintained his own carriage and stable of horses. Nineteenth century literature is full of allusions to keeping a carriage (45, 287, 293). The implication is usually one of "having arrived," perhaps flaunting an ostentatious life style. Keep in mind that maintaining even one carriage also required keeping one or more horses, a footman or two, a groom, a barn with stables, and plenty of fodder -- no easy thing for a city dweller. Hilton (155) mentions that burlesque queen Nellie Farren was once fined thirty shillings for keeping a carriage, a male servant, and armorial bearings without licenses for any of them. See also The Gondoliers.

Squirt [A great big squirt]

A syringe (229).

Cayenne-peppered

Teasing Tom sprinkled his sisters' beds with red pepper to cause sneezing. Tush.

Cobbler's wax

Wax that shoemakers put on shoe-sewing thread to make it easier to use. It helps prevent knotting and lets the thread slide through the holes easier. It also strengthens the thread and increases its durability.

Halfpennies

Pronunciation: HAY-p'nees

Large coins (one inch diameter) of little value, ideally suited to Tom's iniquities (314).

Corps de bally

Pronunciation: CORE-de-BALLY

The non-featured dancers in a ballet troupe. In those times actresses and dancers were looked down upon by proper Victorians. As one example, Becky, in Vanity Fair (287), is held in low esteem because her mother was a dancer at the opera.

Cloying [This is simply cloying]

Sickeningly sweet.

Drove them home

When a nail is hammered in so that the top of its head is flush with the surface of the board, it is said to be "driven home."

Peripatetic

In Act I, "peripatetic" refers to Bunthorne's philosophies. As used here, however, it refers to the magnet's walking away from the love offered by all those admiring articles of iron or steel.

Mote [Blind to his every mote]

Flaw.

Soliloquize

To talk to oneself.

Damozels

Damsels, dames, maidens, maids, girls, gals, etc., etc., etc., each lovelier than the other.

Spiced [too highly spiced]

The opposite of bland; in this case perhaps skating on the thin edge of respectability, e.g., that "writhing maid, lithe-limbed, quivering on amaranthine asphodel."

Insipidity

Being deficient in taste, spirit, life, and animation. That is, dull, flat, and vapid; not at all like this book.

Your cut is too canonical

Canonical pertains to the vestments worn by a clergyman officiating at a cathedral service. Remember that Gilbert at one time meant his rivals to be curates rather than poets. The same goes for sanctified (272). Cut may refer to Grosvenor's hair style, the shape of his suit, or figuratively the "cut of his jib," i.e., his general appearance. More broadly, it could refer to Grosvenor's personality, which Bunthorne finds too bland. (See "placidity emetical" below.)

Beau ideal

A real or imaginary person who is an ideal of perfection, almost like the present reader.

Morbid

Pertaining to an unhealthy mental state.

Heretical

Contrary to orthodox opinions or beliefs.

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