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Adapted from the book "Tit-Willow or Notes and Jottings on Gilbert and Sullivan Operas" by Guy H. and Claude A. Walmisley (Privately Printed, Undated)
Affidavit. A statement in writing sworn or deposed to before a magistrate or other proper officer such as a Commissioner for Oaths. The form of evidence generally used in Chancery proceedings. In "Iolanthe" the Lord Chancellor speaks of "an affidavit from a thunderstorm" meeting with all the attention it deserves.
Athenaeum. A famous academy or university situated on the Capitoline Hill at Rome, and founded by Hadrian about A.D. 133. So called in honour of Athene, a civic goddess, wise in the industries of peace and the arts of war. As now used the name usually denotes a literary or scientific institution.
Becalmed in the doldrums . See "Doldrums".
Bowline. A rope passing from about the middle of the perpendicular edge on the weather side of the square sail to the starboard bow, for the purpose of keeping the edges of the sail steady when sailing close to the wind.
Chaps. (See "Lantern chaps").
Crichton, James. Styled the Admirable Crichton. Born in Scotland 1560; killed in Mantua, Italy, 1582. A great scholar, celebrated for his extraordinary accomplishments in languages, sciences and arts. He spoke 12 languages and disputed with Professors. He was stabbed to death in a midnight street brawl when only twenty two years of age.
Dead-eye. "Turning-in a dead-eye". A round, laterally flattened wooden block, pierced with three holes through which a lanyard is reeved; used for extending the shrouds. The word dead-eye was originally written; "Dead-men's eyes", probably from the resemblance they bore to a skull.
Doldrums. Becalmed in the doldrums — difficulties; low spirits etc. Probably derived from dull (with a sense of doleful), and a facetious suffix, as in tantrums. Hence applied by sailors to a region where ships are likely to be becalmed, especially that part of the ocean near the equator noted for calms, squalls, and baffling winds, between the N.E. and S.E. trade winds.
Ducking Stool. "He'd duck them in his lake". A sort of chair at the end of an oscillating plank, in which disorderly women, scolds, and dishonest tradesmen were tied and ducked, or plunged, in water as a punishment.
Horace, Q. Flaccus Horatius (65-68 B.C.). The famous Roman satirist and poet, born at Venusia. He learnt philosophy at Athens after receiving lessons from the best masters at Rome, and later became a personal friend of the Emperor Augustus. (See, Lalage Mistress, "Princess Ida". Notes).
Hornpipe. An old Welsh musical instrument consisting of a wooden pipe with holes in it, and a horn at each end, one to collect the wind blown in to it, the other to carry off the sounds as modulated by the performer. It is the title also of an English air and dance much used by sailors and named after this instrument.
Lothario. A gay libertine. The principal male character in Rowe's play, "The Fair Penitent" (1703). His name has become a synonym for a fashionable and unscrupulous rake. "Is this that haughty, gallant, gay Lothario?" ("The Fair Penitent". V. 1).
Morris, William (1834-1896). Poet and Artist. He was a prolific writer and worker; one of his most famous poems being his epic,"Sigurd the Volsung" and "The Fall of The Nibelung" (1876). He also had interests in decorating and printing etc.
Old Bailey. The Central Criminal Court ("The Old Bailey") was built on the site of the famous Newgate Prison and on that of the Sessions House next to it and was completed and opened in 1907. The origin of the name Old Bailey is obscure. One possible explanation is that it was the bailey (Latin, ballium) or open space within the wall — or the wall itself — which anciently defended the City on the west. But some historians have thought that it derived from Bail Hill, an eminence on which the City Bailiff held his court.
Newgate jail had acquired an evil reputation as early as the 14th century for harsh treatment, torture and general grimness, a reputation which worsened as the prison grew in extent. It was demolished in 1902.
Ovid. P. Ovidius Naso, the celebrated Roman poet was born at Sulmo on 20 March, about 43 B.C., and died in the 7th or 8th year of his banishment in his 59th year, A.D. 17. (For more extensive details of his life See "Princess Ida", Notes, and "Iolanthe", Notes).
Phyllis. A pretty rustic maid mentioned in Virgil's "Eclogues". Phyllis, in Greek legend was a Thracian Princess betrothed to Demophoon, son of Theseus. On his failure to return from Athens to marry her at the time set, Phyllis, thinking herself deserted, hanged herself.
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