Benford's G&S Lexicon Entries for Thespis

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

Act II

Maxims [running over with celestial maxims]

Accepted principles or proverbs.


Free. From the Latin gratia, a favor.

Tichborne trial

Pronunciation: TITCH-born

The longest trial in the history of English courts, at least until 1871. Concerned with sorting out the rightful heir to the Tichborne estates, the trial lasted 188 days. (Trial by Jury takes less than an hour.) Goodman (142) says both Gilbert and Sullivan attended the case as spectators.

Usual attributes [As Time, with the usual attributes]

Equipped with a big hour glass and scythe.

Sticks [That’s where my experiment sticks]

Meets with insuperable difficulties.

Mytilene [the associated wine merchants of Mytilene]

Pronunciation: mit-eh-LEEN-ee

Also known as Mitylene, also Lesbos. Historic island of the Aegean archipelago, famous for wine and dissolute manners. “An abode of pleasure and licentiousness” (187). Mitylene is now the principal city of the island of Lesbos (66).

Ginger beer [They only grow ginger beer]

A bubbly drink made by fermenting ginger, cream of tartar, sugar, etc. (75). Goodman (142) describes it as “a very fine soft drink.” See similar terms in The Grand Duke and The Zoo.


Pronunciation: series

The Roman goddess of agriculture, equivalent to the Greek Demeter.

Clearance [make a clearance]

Go away!

Arrant [arrant folly]

Notorious, or thorough.

[Final note on mastery of terms]

[Note: A comprehensive mastery of these terms will give you an automatic diploma in classical studies at any truly liberal arts college. Tell the admissions officer we said so.]