Tuesday, 18 March 2008

L ~ is for Luciaphils




"Labourer is worthy of his hire, the"  ~  Lucia and Daisy Quantock were discussing the practical arrangements to be made concering the Guru during the early part of his stay in Riseholme as Lucia  commenced her successful effort to annex him and run him as her August stunt.

Lucia remarked, "Then there is the question of what we shall pay him. Dear Daisy tells me he scarcely knows what money is, but I, for one, could never dream of profiting by his wisdom if I was to pay nothing for it. The labourer is worthy of his hire, and so I suppose the teacher is."

This quotation comes from Luke 10.7 in the King James Bible:" And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house. "    
    
 "La ci darem"  ~  during a positively voluptuous week in Tilling, both "Mallards" and "Grebe" had been inordinately gay with many lunches followed by bridge at one and then tea with more bridge at the other.  It all made for a brilliant winter season with other members of the circle following suit in lavish hospitality - which Georgie admitted "beat Riseholme all to fits."   

After calisthenics classes at "Grebe," Lucia  played soothing piano music as her students rested afterwards in her drawing room; she encouraged Major Benjy to learn his notes on the piano, for she would willingly teach him. She persuaded Susan to take up singing again, and played "La ci darem" for her , while Susan sang in a thin shrill voice, and Mr Wyse said  'Brava!'  How I wish Amelia was here.'

The beautiful duet "La ci darem" is performed in Act I Scene 2 of "Don Giovanni" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, premiered in October 1787.  Don Giovanni and Zerlina are alone and he begins his "seductive arts"..    
   
Là ci darem la mano,
Là mi dirai di sì;
vedi, non è lontano,
Patiam, ben mio, da qui.   
    
Which roughly translates as:   
   
There we will join hands (in Marriage);
There you will say yes (or 'I do') to me,
See, it's not far from here,
Let's depart from here, my darling.  
    
It is not divulged to the reader whether Susan Wyse performed this charming song to Algernon before their marriage, afterwards or at all - or indeed vice versa.        
    
Ladder of lessors and lessees  ~  each summer in the holiday season in Tilling many houses were  let. Amongst residents of the town "interest in the business was vivid,  for if Miss Mapp succeeded in letting Mallards, she had promised to take Diva's house, Wasters, for two months at eight guineas a week (the house being smaller) and Diva would take Irene's house Taormina (smaller still) at five guineas a week, and Irene would take a four-roomed labourer's cottage (unnamed) just outside the town at two guineas a week, and the labourer, who, with his family would be harvesting in August and hop-picking in September, would live in some sort of shanty and pay no rent at all. Thus from top to bottom of this ladder of lessors and lessees they all scored,  for they all received more than they paid, and all would enjoy the benefit of a change without the worry and expense of travel and hotels. Each of these ladies would wake in the morning in an unfamiliar room, would sit in unaccustomed chairs, read each other's books (and possibly letters), look at each other's pictures, imbibe all the stimulus of new surroundings, wiithout the wrench of leaving Tillingat all. No true Tillingite was ever really happy away from her town;  foreigners were very queer untrustworthy people, and if you did not like the food it was impossible to engage another cook for an hotel of which you were not the proprietor. Annually in the summer this sort of ladder of house letting was set up in Tillling and was justly popular. But it all depended on a successful letting of Mallards, for if Elizabeth Mapp did not let Mallards, she would not take Diva's Wasters nor Diva Irene's Taormina."      
     
Ladies' hairdressers and toilet saloon ~ amongst its many facilities, Tilling boasted what was referred to as a "hair-dressing and toilet establishment", "saloon" or "shop". The concern was unnamed and of unspecified location, but seems to have been relatively close to Twistevants in the High Street. It was patronised by many of the elite of the town, including Elizabeth Mapp-Flint, Diva Plaistow, Evie Bartlett and Susan Wyse. See Maquillage.

Lady Macbeth  ~ see Macbeth, Lady.     
      
"Land of Hope and Glory"  ~   Luciaphils enjoyed Lucia's exploits during the house party over the weekend at the country home of Adele Brixton, "What richness of future reminiscence - was Mr Greatorex playing Stravinski to her, before no audience but herself and Adele, who didn't really count,  for the only tune she liked was 'Land of Hope and Glory'...Great was Lucia!"  
    
With music written by Edward Elgar and lyrics by Fred's brother, poet and essayist,  Arthur C Benson, the ultra-patriotic anthem of imperialism, "Land of Hope and Glory" was first performed by Clara Butt in June 1902. The music is the trio theme from Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance March No1" and it is thought that the words were fitted to the melody at the suggestion of Edward VII.  It is the last section of Benson's "Coronation Ode" that is employed in the song.   
     
Language~ Lucia and Georgie affected fluent Italian by peppering their conversation with easy phrases in la bella lingua. Many, including Elizabeth Mapp, were particularly doubtful as to their linguistic competence, but despite several near-misses they were never really found-out. On occasion it proved necessary to resort to subterfuge, such as seclusion during feigned illness, trips away, claimed difficulty with particular Neapolitan dialects and even use of a letter written by someone with appropriate competence in Italian to avoid detection.

Following her honeymoon in Monte Carlo, Elizabeth Mapp-Flint commenced her own version of the gambit using short phrases or the odd word in conversational French - de temps en temps.

Another linguistic habit of Lucia and Georgie involved use of saccharine baby talk, particularly when me was vewy sowwy about something. Fortunately this tended to be enjoyed in private rather than in wider adult society. Again, the practice did not meet with the approval of Miss Mapp who was wont to satirise it on occasion, as when loudly suggesting to Georgie that he should ring her belly pelly.

Common usage in Tilling included the punning farewell  Au reservoir! See Easy Italian, Easy French and Baby talk

Last Rose of Summer, The ~ going about her shopping in the High Street, Miss Mapp gave a penny to a ragged individual with a lugubrious baritone voice, who was singing, "The Last Rose of Summer" and said "Thank you for the sweet music." The song was based on an 1805 poem of the same name by Irish poet Thomas Moore, who was a friend of Byron and Shelley. Sir John Stevenson set the poem to its widely known melody and this was published in "Irish Melodies" (1807-1834).

Laudanum ~ On The Green in Riseholme, Mrs Weston related that Piggy Antrobus had wanted a drop of laudanum from the chemist and had to say what it was for and even then had to sign a paper. Very unpleasant,  I call it, to be obliged to let a chemist know that your mother has a toothache.. But there it is, tell him or go away without any laudanum...I should have said "Oh, Mr Doubleday, I want to make laudanum tartlets; we are all so fond of laudanum tartlets."     
      
A potent narcotic, Laudanum, or Tincture of Opium, contains approximately 10% powdered opium by weight (equivalent to 1% morphine) and is principally used as an analgesic and cough suppressant. Often a constituent of patent medecines, it was sold without prescription until the early 20th century. Prominent literary users included Byron, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, Dickens and Poe - and, it appears, Mrs Antrobus. See Mr Doubleday.   
   
Lauresinus  ~  Mrs Weston was describing to Mrs Antrobus when she saw Olga Bracely in Riseholme, excatly as if she had been told to describe sometrhing in the witness box.   She reported that she "had come to the corner of Church Lane, and though I turned my head around sharp, like that, as we turned inot it, so as to catch the last of her, she hadn't  more than stepped off the grass on to the road, before the lauresinus at the corner of Colonel Boucher's garden -no the vicar's garden - hid her from me."  
  
It transpired that Mis Bracely was lunching at the nearby  home of Georgie Pillson.  
 
A lauresinus or laurestinus is a Mediteranean caprifoliaceous shrub, Viburnum tinus, with glossy evergreen leaves and white or pink fragrant flowers.  
  
Lawrence of Arabia ~ when a boy on a bicycle flew past them in the street in Tilling at great speed towards the High Street, Lucia admitted that,"Really I feel more envious than indignant. It must be exhilarating. Such speed. What Lawrence of Arabia always loved. I feel very much inclined to learn bicycling."   
      
Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence CB DSO (1888 - 1935), known as T.E. Lawrence, was a British Army officer famous for his liaison role in the Arab Revolt against Ottoman rule between 1916 and 1918. In addition to his wartime heroics, Lawrence was a brilliant and famous writer whose works included the Seven Pillars of Wisdom (1922). He was well known as a keen motor cyclist and lover of speed and was killed in a motor cycle accident four years before the publication of  "Trouble for Lucia."    
  
League of Nations ~ an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919-1920. When Inspector Morrison called at Ye Olde Tea Shoppe to obtain Lucia's signature upon a summons, Lucia attempted to conceal her playing cards and pretended to be discussing international relations in an unwavering Oxford voice: " Indeed as you say Major Mapp -Flint, the League of Nations has collapsed like a card -house- I should say a ruin -Yes, Inspector, did you want me?" See Geneva .    
    
Lear, Edward ~ when composing a possible inscription for a tablet to be affixed upon the newly recovered kitchen table from "Grebe" on which Lucia and Miss Mapp had been washed out to sea on Boxing Day, Georgie considered various phrases including "In memory of Emmeline Lucas and Elizabeth Mapp. They went to sea" - but it sounded like a nursery rhyme by Edward Lear, or it might suggest to future generations that they were sailors. Georgie was referring to Edward Lear (1812-1888) an English artist, illustrator, author and poet renowned for his literary nonsense in poetry, prose and limericks. His most famous and loved nonsense verse to which Georgie referred was published in 1867 and began

"The owl and the pussycat went to sea
In a beautiful pea green boat"     
   
- as did Lucia and Elizabeth on a stout kitchen table.

Lectures ~ Lucia failed to set up a series of Mayoral cultural lectures at the Literary Institute featuring external speakers. Desmond McCarthy declined to talk about the less known novelists of the time of William IV and Noel Coward could not speak on the technique of the modern stage on any of the five nights offered. Lucia was surprised that they did not welcome the opportunity to get more widely known.

Instead, Lucia arranged for the lectures to be given by locals throughout April and May. Lucia gave the inaugural lecture on Shakespearean drama on 15 April and illustrated the simplicity of the Shakespearean stage in the sleepwalking scene from Macbeth with only an up-turned torch. The Padre was invited to speak on Free Will or the Origin of Evil, Irene on the technique of fresco painting, Diva on mass catering and Major Benjy on tiger shooting. There was also a musical evening. Lucia thought she should invite Elizabeth Mapp to contribute, but didn't know on what subject she had any ideas of the slightest value.

Distinguished experts such as Mr Gielgud, Sir Henry Wood, Messrs Lyons and the Bishop were unfortunately unable to attend and it ultimately proved necessary to distribute a good many complimentary tickets to boost attendances.

Lee, Sir Sidney ~ in conversation with Georgie, Lucia commented that "I don't suppose anyone alive has been more immersed than I in the spacious days of Elizabeth , or more devoted to Shakesperian tradition and environment - perhaps I ought to except Sir Sidney Lee, isnt it?" The object of Lucia's untypical self-effacement was Sir Sidney Lee (1859-1926) the English biographer, critic and Editor of the Dictionary of National Biography who was knighted in 1911. He wrote some 800 articles for the Dictionary, many on Elizabethan artists and statesmen, and was famed as biographer of Shakespeare, Queen Victoria and Edward VII. In the light of this, Lucia's modesty is perhaps well-founded, if not entirely sincere.  
   
Leg, Susan (Miss) ~ Rudolf da Vinci, world-wide lady romantic novelist and summer tenant of Elizabeth Mapp-Flint at Grebe (whilst the Mapp-Flints leased the Vicarage and the Bartletts holidayed in Scotland). Considered to be a funny, little round red thing and rather "swanky" since she brought her butler, footman and Daimler
.
Although her readers normally expected an aristocratic setting for her romances, she intended to use her stay to research this little centre of English provincial life in view of a future book.    
   
Miss Leg never took a holiday and finely observed "I shall not rest till the shadows of life's eventide close round me"

On her arrival, Elizabeth determined to run Miss Leg socially, but found her a demanding, expensive and opinionated guest. Lucia thwarted Elizabeth's attempts to show off to Miss Leg by countermanding her instructions to put the civic plate of Tilling on display for her inspection or to invite Miss Leg to sign the civic visitor's book as a distinguished guest in the borough.

Miss Leg's mind was soon poisoned against Lucia by Elizabeth and the process promptly reversed when Lucia annexed her and ran her herself for a time, when the delights of the civic plate and visitors book were made available and Lucia called her Susannah. Having read "Kind Hearts and Coronets," Lucia longed to be immortalised in a novel centred on life in Tilling and, of course, herself.    
      
The character of Susan Leg/Rudolf da Vinci also appears in Benson's "Secret Lives" (1932) set in Brompton Square. The professional and personal resemblance between  Miss Leg and popular novelist Marie Corelli who died in 1924 was uncannily precise; a study in delusion and obtuseness.  See "Kind Hearts and Coronets,"  Antonio Caporelli,  Emmeline Lucas and Elizabeth Mapp.

Leipzig ~ remarking to her husband Pepino on the cultured joys of Riseholme following her trip to London, Lucia was commenting upon her pre-prandial plans. I still have time for an hour's reading, so that when you come to tell me lunch is ready, you will find that I have been wandering through Venetian churches, or sitting in that little dark room at Weimar, or was it Leipzig?

Derived from the Slavic "Lipsk," meaning "settlement where the linden (lime) trees stand,"  Leipzig in the state of Saxony is about 100 miles south of Berlin at the southern end of the North German Plain at the confluence of the rivers Weisse Elster, Pleisse and Parthe. As well as a historic trading city, Leipzig was a major German centre of learning and culture, notably in music and publishing. On balance, it seems Lucia was more likely to have been notionally sitting in that dark little room in Goethe's Weimar in the hour before her macaroni au gratin at "The Hurst", but the only thing of which we can be certain is the luncheon menu that day.    
     
Lending library  ~ in addition to facilities such as a Church, Town Hall  and Literary Institute, Tilling also boasted a Lending  library.  Georgie visited the library on the morning he and Lucia ventured into the centre of Tilling on their bicycles for the first time," Georgie went to the lending library,  and found the book that Lucia wanted had come, but he preferred to have it sent to "Mallards": hands, after all, were meant to take hold of the handles...."         
       
Le Touquet  ~   Olga Bracely had taken a villa at Le Touquet and invited Georgie Pillson and Poppy, Duchess of Sheffield to join her.  It was convenient to cross by ferry from Seaport, near to Tilling.   
  
Reputed to be the most elegant holiday resort in northern France with many luxury hotels favoured by wealthy Parisians, Le Touquet-Paris-Plage is commonly known as Le Touquet. The resort was founded in 1876 by Hippolyte de Villemessant, owner of "Le Figaro" when imaginative and innovative development began. The area was favoured by wealthy British incomers from the turn of the century and in the 1920s Le Touquet was a chic weekend destination for celebrities such as Noel Coward. It is understandable that it should be favoured by the celebrated Olga Bracely and her smart set.   
   
L from L ~ when Daisy Quantock and Georgie Pillson undertook a session on the planchette, Daisy's spirit guide Abfou wrote " L from L". Georgie interpreted this to mean "Letter from Lucia" since he had received correspondence from her that very morning. When Georgie mentioned it to Lucia on seeing her in London, she was very sceptical and replied witheringly, "It might just as well mean ' Lozenges from Leamington'" -which was perhaps appropriate since Lucia was originally a Warwickshire Smythe.

Lib Lib ~ pet name ascribed to Elizabeth Mapp by Lucia in retaliation for "Lulu" - see Lulu.      
     
Lies  ~  Miss Mapp was genuinely non-plussed by the approach adopted by Amelia, Contessa di Faraglione to the truth.  "This was a sort of scheming that had never entered into Miss Mapp's life, and she saw with pain how shallow she had been all these years.  Often and often she had,  when inquisitive questions were put to her, answered them without any strict subservience to truth, but never had she thought of confusing issues like this. If she told Diva a lie, Diva probably guessed it was a lie, and acted accordingly, but she never thought of making it practically impossible to tell whether it was a lie or not. She had no more idea when she walked back along the High Steet with the Contessa swinging her basket by her side, whether that lady was going to tea with Major Benjy today or tomorrow or when, than she knew whether the crab was going to eat the beefsteak."       

"Lifts of London" ~ according to Lucia, this is what Marcia Whitby called Pepino and Lucia owing to their tendency always to pick up friends in their motor car.

Limpsfield, Toby, Lord Limpsfield ~ aristocratic member of Lucia's social circle during her London season. Lucia clung to him at parties since he seemed to know everybody and raked in introductions.   
    
"Lingua Toscana in bocca Romana"  ~  when Georgie Pillson met with Lucia and Philip Lucas at breakfast-time the morning after they had attended Olga Bracely's dinner party in honour of  the composer, Cortese, Lucia adopted aggressive tactics.

She roundly criticised the evening, the new opera "Lucretia", the Italian spoken and Cortese personally, exclaiming, " And Mr Cortese! His appearance ! He is like a huge hairdresser. His touch on the piano: if you can imagine a wild bull butting at the keys,  you will have some idea of it, And above all his Italian!  I gathered that he was  Neopolitan , and we all know what Neopolitan dialect is like. Tuscans and Romans, who between them I believe - 'lingua Toscana in bocca Romana,' remember, know how to speak their own tongue,  find Neopolitans totally unintelligible. For myself, and I speak for 'mio sposo' as well, I do not want to understand what Romans do not understand. 'La bella lingua' is sufficient for me."

Georgie typically replied adroitly '"I hear that Olga could understand him quite well,' betraying his complete knowledge of all that had happened."

The phrase Lucia employed,  Lingua Toscana in bocca Romana  (the language of Tuscany as pronounced by a native of Rome) refers to the elegant ideal for spoken standard Italian. As ever, however Lucia was only seeking by sophistry to conceal her utter lack of fluency and did not fool the knowing Georgie one iota.  
   
Listening-in ~ the wireless was relatively late in coming to Riseholme. It was installed at Old Place when acquired by Olga Bracely. Although Lucia countenanced the telephone she had expressed herself very strongly on the subject of listening-in. She had unfortunate experience of it herself, for whilst on a visit to London her hostess had switched it on and the company was regaled with a vivid lecture on pyorrhea by a hospital nurse. Lucia reversed her opinion on listening-in -as she did upon bridge, crosswords and modern music -upon deciding to go to London for the season after the sad demise of of Auntie Amy.   See pyorrhea.

Little kindly remarks ~when Miss Mapp passed Lucia's four indoor servants and Cadman coming into Tilling to attend the whist drive at the Institute, she wished them a merry Christmas and hoped that they would all win. Little kindly remarks like that always pleased servants , thought Elizabeth; they showed a human sympathy with their pleasures, and cost nothing; so much better than Christmas boxes.

Little Slam ~ conductor of a correspondence class in bridge advertised in the publication "Cosy Corner" which Mrs Poppit proposed to join. For the sum of two guineas, payable in advance, Little Slam engaged to make first class bridge players of anyone with normal intelligence.

Liz ~ name by which Major Benjy was wont even in company, to call his new bride, Elizabeth. See "Girlie".

Lobgesang ~ the luxurious fare served at luncheon - or "breakfast", as he quaintly put it - by Algernon Wyse featuring quails and figs from the Faraglione estate in Capri was greedily devoured by his guests accompanied by a "general Lobgesang" or Hymn of Praise. Miss Mapp joined in with the lavish praise, but was tempted to inquire whether the ice had not been brought from the South Pole by some Antarctic expedition. "Lobgesang" appears most famously as the title of Symphony Number 2 in Bb of Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy of 1840. See Mendelssohn.

Lobster a La Riseholme ~ a particularly delicious lobster dish served at dinner or luncheon parties by Lucia and much enjoyed by her guests. Elizabeth Mapp was particularly keen to ascertain the recipe and tried unsuccessfully  to bribe Lucia's cook for a copy with half a crown.

She also tried to work it out by tasting, appraising the subtle flavours in the manner of a wine taster. She identified the main ingredient plus cheese, shrimps and cream. There were so many different things she felt like Adam giving names to the innumerable procession of different animals.

When Lucia had on several occasions declined to give her the old family recipe for the dish, Elizabeth Mapp ventured uninvited into the kitchen at Grebe whilst the staff were out and covertly copied the recipe.   
    
Lucia tended to use the dish for special reasons and on special occasions - as when she required a buffer to break the shock of Foljambe's engagement for Georgie. On that occasion Benson refers to the dish as Stewed lobster, but subsequently makes it clear that the divine Lobster a la Riseholme was served.

Similalry, Lucia served the dish at a luncheon party to celebrate her recovery form feigned influenza and the fact that Tilling, instead of mourning her approaching departure,was privileged to retain her, as Elizabeth had said, for ever and ever.

Coincidentally, at this very moment the sea defences opposite Grebe gave way and Miss Mapp and by now Lucia escaped the deluge by climbing onto an upturned kitchen table and were blown out to sea. After several months on an Italian trawler, both ladies were returned safely to dry land after being feared drowned.

At a luncheon held to celebrate her betrothal to Major Flint following her return from sea, Miss Mapp dared to put Lobster a la Riseholme on the menu. When Lucia tasted the dish all assembled guests held their breath until her response. With a look not of reproach but only comprehension and unfathomable contempt Lucia asked: Are you sure you copied the recipe out quite correctly, Elizabetha mia? You must pop into my kitchen some afternoon when you are going for your walk - never mind if I am in or not - and look at it again. And if my cook is out too, you will find the recipe in a book on the kitchen shelf. But you know that, don't you?        
      
All Tilling (save for Quaint Irene) was bidden to the "Mallards House-warming" lunch in mid-April. Lobster a la Riseholme was handed round, and a meditative silence followed in its wake, for who could help dwelling for a moment on the memory of how Elizabeth unable to obtain the recipe by honourable means, stole it from Lucia's kitchen?  She took a mouthful and then, according to plan, hid the rest under her fork and fish knife.  But her mouth began to water  for this irresistible delicacy, and she surreptitiously  gobbled up the rest, and with a wistful smile looked around the desecrated room.   
     
Lobster a la Riseholme a la Mapp ~ When Lucia ignored her repeated requests for the recipe for her famed Lobster a la Riseholme, Elizabeth Mapp made an attempt at it herself, but the result was not encouraging. She had told Diva Plaistow and the Padre that she had "guessed it" and when bidden to lunch and partake of it, they had both anticipated a great treat. But Elizabeth had clearly guessed wrong, for Lobster a la Riseholme a la Mapp had been found to consist of something resembling India rubber (so tough that the teeth positively bounced away from them on contact) swimming in dubious pink gruel. Both of them left a great deal on their plates, concealed as far as possible under their knives and forks, though their hostess continued manfully to chew until her jaw-muscles gave out.

London Season, Lucia's ~ Lucia crammed a great deal of activity into her few weeks based at 25, Brompton Square as graphically described by Hermione in Five 'o Clock Chit-Chat in the Evening Gazette. She had been seen here, there and everywhere in London: chatting in the Park with friends, sitting with friends in her box at the opera, shopping in Bond Street, watching polo at Hurlingham and even in a punt at Henley. She had been entertaining in her own house too: dinner parties and musical soirees. Embittered Daisy Quantock had added all the engagements up, hoping to prove that she had spent more evenings than there had been evenings to spend, but to her great regret they came out exactly right. 

London Tansport "C" ~ following her scandalously successful dealings in Siriami, Burma Corporation and Southern Prefs, Lucia purchased shares in London Transport "C" at the suggestion of her broker, Mammoncash, who thought that in a year's time there should be considerable capital appreciation. And so it transpired.  
  
"Loneliness" ~  whilst waiting at home in Riseholme for his wife Lucia to return from a visit to London, Philip Lucas had been meditating upon one of his little prose poems cast in the loose rhythms of Walt Whitman on the subject of "Loneliness". Written during Lucia's absence in London, it began:

"The spavined storm clouds limp down the ruinous sky,
 While I sit alone.
 Thick through the acid air the dumb leaves fly...."      

 He had not been getting on very well with it and was glad to hear the click of the garden gate which showed that his loneliness was over for the present. See Walt Whitman, Poems and Philip Lucas.

"Long unlovely streets" ~  about to set off from Riseholme to 25 Brompton Square, Lucia said, "Let me give you 'ickle violet, Georgie , to remind you of poor Lucia tramping about in long unlovely streets, as Tennyson said."  
     
This is a quotation from In Memoriam AHH written by Poet Laureate, Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809 -1892) to commemorate his best friend Arthur Hallam, poet and student at Trinity College Cambridge who was engaged to Tennyson's sister but died from a brain haemorrhage before they could marry:    
   
Dark house, by which once more I stand
Here in the long unlovely street,
Doors, where my heart was used to beat
So quickly, waiting for a hand,
A hand that can be clasp'd no more—

Behold me, for I cannot sleep,
And like a guilty thing I creep
At earliest morning to the door.    
    
See Tennyson,  "Maud", "And may there be no sadness of farewell, when I embark" and "It may be better to have loved and lost." 
   
Lord Middlesex ~ Friend of Babs Shyton implicated in the celebrated Shyton divorce case followed avidly by Lucia and the rest of society. Famously known by Bab's pet-name for him of Woof dog    
     
"Lost to Sight" ~ title of Elizabeth Mapp's talk on her adventures at sea to be given at Mallards at the same time as Lucia's talk on the same subject A Modern Odyssey at the Institute in Tilling. No-one attended Miss Mapp's lecture and so she did not deliver it. Instead, after a pleasant chat on the loneliness of loneliness and affinities, Miss Mapp and Major Flint became engaged to be married.

Lot's wife  ~  After the perceived failure of the weekend shared with her smart new friends from London at  "The Hurst," Lucia gave herself an encouraging pep-talk.  She knew already that there would be hard work in front of her before she got to where she wanted to get, and she whisked off like a disturbing fly which impeded concentration, the slight disappointment which her weekend had brought.  If you meant to progress, you must never look back (the awful example of Lot's wife!)  and never unless you are certain it is absolutely useless, kick down a ladder which has brought you anywhere.  

In the book  Genesis, Lot's wife turned into a pillar of salt for failing to obey the instructions of the angels of deliverance when fleeing from Sodom - not that Riseholme often had occasion to be compared to Sodom, especially on half-day closing.   
     
Louis XVI  ~  treasured objects inherited years ago and kept by Georgie Pillson in a glass-topped case and cleaned regularly and personally only by him. They included a gold Louis XVI snuff box, miniature by Karl Huth, silver toy porringer of the time of Queen Anne, a piece of Bow china and an enamelled cigarette- case by Faberge. It was generally understood that he had inherited them (though the inheritance had passed to him through the medium of curiosity shops) and there were several pieces of considerable value among them.   
       
Louis XVI  (1754 - 1793) was Bourbon King of France and Navarre from 1774 until 1791 and then designated King of the French until his deposition and execution during the French Revolution.  Georgie's gold snuff box can be dated between 1774 and 1793.    
     
"Love-in-a-mist"  ~  "Miss Mapp was so impenetrably wrapped in thought as she worked among her sweet flowers that afternoon, that she merely stared at a 'love-in-a-mist,' which she had absently rooted up instead of a piece of groundsel, without any bleeding of the heart for one of her sweet flowers."    
     
Native to southern Europe, north Africa and south-west Asia, but adventive to the northern Europe and easily grown in cottage gardens since Elizabethan times,  Nigella damascena, ragged lady or love-in-a-mist is an anuual garden flower belonging to the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae.  Flowering in early summer in blue, white, pink or pale purple,  its name comes from its flower being nestled in a ring of lacy brachts.  The most common variety, Miss Jekyll has blue flowers.  
 
 "Love's lilies lonely" ~ see "Yawning York!"

Lucas Cup ~ trophy to be awarded to the winners of the members' foursomes, donated to Riseholme Golf Club by Pepino upon Lucia's appointment as President of the Club

Lucia ~ see Emmeline Lucas and Mrs Emmeline Pillson

Lucia's greatnesses ~ one of Lucia's many greatnesses "lay in the fact that when she found anybody out in some act of atrocious meanness, she never indulged in any idle threats of revenge: it was sufficient that she knew, and would take appropriate steps on the earliest occasion."

Luciaphils ~ Luciaphilism first emerged during a little colloquy in Adele Brixton's box during the interval after the first Act of rather gloomy play by Tchekov. Lady Brixton applied inductive reasoning to various of Lucia's actions since her debut in society that season. She cleverly concluded that when Lucia had curtsied to the telephone for effect, it had been Pepino that rang her up. She confessed that she had not been so interested in anything for years.

After a short period of watching her manoeuvre about London society with formidable effectiveness, a group of Luciaphils or fans emerged amongst Lucia's new friends and acquaintances. Goodwill towards Lucia was a sine qua non of membership - which excluded Aggie Sandeman for eligibility.

Adele Brixton, Tony Limpsfield, Sophy Alingsby, Olga Bracely and Marcia Whitby were avid members and shared the pleasure of watching Lucia's astonishing career together with it's social climbing and her entirely pretended affair with Stephen Merriall.

Latterly, Marcia Whitby came to take a more severe line about her, rather than feeling the entranced pleasure of the true Luciaphil at Lucia's successes and failures, her schemes, ambitions and attainments.   See Tchekov.  
  
Lucas, Amy, Aunt ~ see Amy, Aunt, Lucas

Lucas, Philip ~ husband of Emmeline Lucas - hence her name Lucia. He was known by the affectionate Italianate diminutive of Pepino (or Peppino). He was formerly a Barrister and amassed a fortune at the Bar. He enjoyed astronomy and poetry, sharing many of Lucia's cultural interests, but lacked her energy and single-minded zeal. Blessed with a very firm grasp of the obvious.

He had no objection to his wife's friendship with Georgie Pillson, whom he too trusted implicitly and considered a friend.

Pepino wrote prose poems on topics such as Loneliness in the style of Walt Whitman. His poems which included "Flotsam", "Jetsam"  and a severely limited edition of  "Fugitive Lyrics" and "Pensieri Persi" were privately published at his own expense by Ye Sign of Ye Daffodille. Enjoyed the odd day's fishing in the happy stream at the rear of "The Hurst" that flowed into the Avon.

Pepino indulged Lucia over her exhausting season in London, but was not as nimble as his wife: the incense at Sophy Alingsby's made him sneeze and the primitive tunes on the spinet made him snore. At brilliant gatherings he did not always grasp who people were with the necessary speed and had been known to grasp the hand of an eminent author and tell him how much he admired his fine picture at the Academy.   
    
When allowed home to Riseholme for the weekend, whilst Lucia remained in London, Pepino was apparently entrusted with the delicate task of reconnoitring the newly-established Museum, with a view, no doubt, to reporting back in detail to his life's partner, who shockingly had not been involved in the establishment of the new village facility.   
    
He chose to undertake this scrutiny during church service on Sunday morning but, feeling unwell, Mrs Antrobus had come out during the Psalms and had observed him.  She had come quite close up to him before he perceived her, and then with only the curtest word of greeting, just as if she was the Museum committee, he had walked away so fast that she could not but conclude that he wished to be alone. It was odd and scarcely honourable, that he should have looked in the window like that, and clearly it was for that purpose that he had absented himself from church, thinking that he would be unobserved.

Daisy Quantock had not the slightest doubt that he was spying for Lucia, and had been told merely to collect information and to say nothing, for though he knew that Georgie was on the Committee, he had carefully kept off the subject of the Museum during both their tete-a-tete dinners.    

Though bewildered and buffeted by the high gale of social activity, Pepino was hugely proud of his wife's triumphant summer campaign in society. He was however at  his happiest sitting in the garden at " The Hurst" in very old clothes, smoking a pipe away from those rather hectic people who talked quite incessantly.  He thoroughly enjoying the complete absence of anything to do - apart perhaps from contemplating his next prose poem or a sonnet on, say, "Tranquility."

For their part, Lucia's smart London friends seemed to consider Pepino largely irrelevant. Tony Limpsfield for example, said dismissively,"Simply nothing to say about him. He has trousers and a hat, and a  telescope on the roof at Riseholme,  and when you talk to him he remembers what the leading article in 'The Times' said that morning." 

From Pepino's perspective, although officially he loved the metropolitan bustle, after a severe bout of pneumonia, he was relieved to abandon Brompton Square, before London life became too wearing. For  few days he had been dangerously ill, but recovered and convalesced in familiar surroundings in Riseholme.

Pepino and Lucia had been a most devoted couple for over twenty-five years and her grief at this loss was heart-felt; Lucia missed him constantly and keenly and entered into a long and uncompromising mourning. Though she did not make a luxury out of the tokens of grief, she perhaps made, ever so slightly, a stunt out of them.     
     
Lucas, Emmeline ~ see Emmeline Lucas.    
     
Lucifer, son of the morning  ~  Major Flint and Captain Puffin were playing a round of golf, singularly ill-tempered, even by their own irritable standards.  Major Flint drove, skying his ball to a prodigious height. But it had to come to earth some time , and it fell like Lucifer, son of the morning, in the middle of the same bunker.   
     
With the King James version so deeply ingrained, Benson is yet again quoting from the Bible - Isaiah 14:12 "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!"

The words in question fall in the midst of a prophesy against Babylon and have been the subject of much scholastic commentary, some to the effect that the coupling of Lucifer (light-bearer) with the epithet "son of the morning" signifies a bright star, sometimes called a morning star.   
    
In this passage, the epithet has been regarded by some scholars as a symbolical representation of the king of Babylon in his splendour and  in his fall, but on this day on a seaside links in Sussex,  the main and indeed only point at issue seems to be that the golf ball went very high into the air indeed.  Perhaps sometimes a simile is just a simile.

Lucretia ~ sometimes Lucrezia, a new opera by Italian composer Signor Cortese written for and premiered in America by prima donna, Olga Bracely. It enjoyed the hugest success in America, Australia, Berlin, Paris and London. The opera featured scenes such as the fete of Lucretia's infamous father Pope Alexander VI, her marriage in the Sistine Chapel to the duke of Biseglia and his murder in Lucretia's presence by the hired bravos of His Holiness and her brother. Georgie was particularly moved when Lucretia, swathed in black followed her husband's bier and sang the lament "Amore misterioso, celeste, profondo".

Georgie Pillson stayed with Olga Bracely at Brompton Square before attending the first London performance. The first night was also attended by Lucia and members of society including Elsie Garroby-Ashton, Lord Shrivenham, Giaconda, the Italian Ambasadress, Toby Limpsfield and many others. Georgie told Daisy Quantock that the performance would be broadcasted on the listening-in - although he would be listening to the original.

Lucia's view of the work progressed from an initial pained discomfort with its modernity to an almost proprietorial tendency to sing its praises publicly and recount in detail her part in its birth. However often Lucia heard the opera she remained incapable of recognising The Prayer from Lucretia. On one memorable occasion she confused it with Les feux magiques, by Berlioz.

Signor Cortese gave the original manuscript of Lucretia to Olga Blakely, who generously donated it to Riseholme Museum, where it was proudly displayed. Fortunately, the Committee had voted to remove the manuscript of Lucretia from the museum at the end of the summer season before it became damp and mildewed - fortunately before the building and its entire contents were destroyed by fire. It was held in safe keeping by Daisy Quantock, although Georgie Pillson had wanted it himself and Mrs Boucher would have been happier if it was at the bank.

When Olga Bracely returned from the world tour that followed the US debut of the opera, it was given a gala performance in London on 20th May.

Lucretia or Lucrezia Borgia ~ See Borgia, Lucretia or Lucrezia.

Lucullan lunches and dinners ~ when Georgie was standing for election to the local council against Elizabeth Mapp-Flint, at the express behest of Lucia, she sought to reward her spouse for the distasteful exertions involved by relaxing the Spartan commissariat which had prevailed at "Mallards House" since her mayoralty began - which she herself disliked - involving unappealing dishes such as neck of muton and marmalade pudding.

Accordingly, Lucia served more sumptuous fare as might have found approval with famous Roman general and consul, Lucius Licinius Lucullus (c.118 - 57 BC), closely asociated with Sulla Felix and main conqueror of the eastern kingdoms during the Third Mithridatic War. For reasons which need not detain us, Lucius Aelius Tubero reportedly labelled him "Xerxes in a toga" and his foe Pompey, "Xerxes in a dress." A trifle rashly perhaps, he brought sweet sherry and the apricot to Rome. His reknowned banqueting led the word "lucullan" to convey "lavish" or "gourmet" and the naming of - of all things - a cultivar of Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris) "Lucullus."

Lucy ~ Quaint Irene Cole's six foot maid who, but for her sex, might have been in the Guards. Modelled for her mistress as Eve.

Lulu ~ pet name, a detestable abbreviation, ascribed to Lucia - to her dismay - by Elizabeth Mapp

Luton, Elizabeth ~ see Elizabeth Luton

Luton, Henry (sometimes Tommy) ~ worked for Mrs Weston as garden boy. Aged thirteen years. Particularly adept at pushing her wheelchair around the Green in Riseholme at a rather considerable speed. The son of old Mrs Luton, who kept the fish shop. When she died (just over a year before the events described in "Queen Lucia") Mrs Weston began to get her fish from Brinton - since she did not fancy the look of the new person who took on the business - and Henry went to live with his aunt. That was his father's sister, not his mother's, for Mrs Luton never had a sister, and no brothers, either. Sang carols at Christmas time

Lyall, Miss ~ Lady Ambermere's oppressed companion - often referred to as "poor thin Miss Lyall". A miserable spinster of age so obvious as to be called uncertain. She had a melancholy wistful little face; her head was inclined with a backward slope on her neck and her mouth was invariably open showing long front teeth, so that she looked rather like a roast hare sent up to table with its head on.

Apart from devoting herself body and mind to her patroness, her duties included reading the paper aloud, setting Lady Ambermere's patterns for needlework, carrying her mistresses' lapdog Pug under her arm and washing him once a week, accompanying Lady Ambermere to church and never having fire in her bedroom.

Effaced herself on the front seat next to the chauffeur when riding in Lady Ambermere's motor. Drove a small pony hip-bath attended by a stable boy from the Hall.

Always responded "Oh, Mr Pillson!" to Georgie's invariably innocent jokes and thought him remarkably pleasant.

"Lysistrata" ~ play by Aristophanes. See Aristophanes.

No comments: