Tuesday, 18 March 2008

S ~ is for Siriami

SP ~ Stinkpot see Babs Shyton   
"Sad narcotic exercise"  ~  when the kitchen table upon which Lucia and Miss Mapp had been swept out to sea was recovered, Georgie had it placed in the back yard of "Mallards Cottage". "Georgie, very tired and haggard with these arrangements, had a little rest on his sofa, when he had seen the table safely bestowed."   After a succulent and nutricious dinner, "he moved to his sitting room and took up his needle -work, that 'sad narcotic exercise', and looked his loss in the face"    
Here on the face of it, Fred seems again to be referring to and not entirely accurately quoting from, "In Memoriam A.H.H" written by Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)  between 1833 and 1850 in honour of Arthur Henry Hallam (1811-1833):   
I sometimes hold it half a sin
To put in words the grief I feel:
For words, like Nature, half reveal
And half conceal the Soul within.

But, for the unquiet heart and brain,
A use in measured language lies;
The sad mechanic exercise,
Like dull narcotics, numbing pain.

In words, like weeds, I'll wrap me o'er,
Like coarsest clothes against the cold;
But that large grief which these enfold
Is given outline and no more.     
The reference to a poem of mourning seems apt in the context of the putative tragic loss at sea of Lucia and Fred's quotation seems to merge elements of two ajacent lines to make a jokey reference to needlepoint, so Tennyson's original   "The sad mechanic exercise, /Like dull narcotics, numbing pain" becomes "sad narcotic exercise."      
Saint Cecilia ~ see Parry and Infelicities.  
Saint Francis ~ Georgie Pillson had gone to Daisy Quantock in her garden to request her to ask the Indian guru to teach him. For a moment, Daisy did not reply but cocked her head sideways towards a pear tree, where a thrush sang. It fluted a couple of repeated phrases and was silent.  A tad melodramatically and arguably with some delusions, if not of grandeur, then of sanctity, Mrs Quantock gave a gasp and smile to the pear tree and said "Thank you little brother."

Turning to Georgie, she said "That comes out of St Francis, but Yoga embraces all that is true in every religion."   
Born Giovanni Francesco di Bernadone, the widely venerated Saint Francis of Assisi (1181 or 1182 - 1226) was an Italian friar, preacher and the founder of the male Franciscan Order,  female Order of St Clare and lay Third Order of Saint Francis. He received the stigmata in 1224. Pronounced a saint in 1228, St Francis is the patron  saint of animals and the environment.  Ceremonies blessing animals are held each year on his feast day of 4 October.   
Saint Stephen  ~  when Elizabeth Mapp arrived intentionally last at Susan Poppit's bridge party, hoping to show off what had been her kingfisher blue tea gown, dyed to a dramatic crimson lake, she was mortified to find Diva Plaistow had also dyed her identical gown the exact same colour. On seeing this Miss Mapp hesitated a moment wondering if she could without screaming or scratching, seem aware of Diva's presence. Then she soared, lambent as flame, saying, "Diva darling!" and bent and kissed her, even as St. Stephen in the moment of martyrdom prayed for those who stoned him. Flesh and blood could not manage more....   
According to The Acts of the Apostles, the proto-martyr of Christianity, Saint Stephen was tried for blasphemy by the Sanhedrin in about 34-35BC. Found guilty, he was condemned and stoned by an infuriated mob, reportedly encouraged by Saul of Tarsus, later to be the Apostle, Saint Paul. Full of grace and fortitude, the first martyr prayed to the Lord to receive his spirit and not to lay this sin against the people who stoned him.  Miss Mapp's behaviour towards Diva Plaistow that evening may have demonstrated commendable self-restraint but not an iota of genuine forgiveness for the wrong perceived to have been done to her as regards the clashing frocks.     
Salamis  ~  more than a year after the sad passing of her husband Pepino, Lucia remarked to Georgie Pillson that ,"I am beginning to feel alive again." She asserted that just for the present "'I'm off' the age of Elizabeth, partly poor Daisy's fault,  no doubt," and that "there were other ages, Georgie, the age of Pericles, for instance. Fancy sitting at Socrates's feet or Plato's, and hearing them while the sun set over Salamis or Pentelicus. I must rub up my Greek, Georgie."   
The largest Greek island in the Saronic Gulf, Salamis lies about one nautical mile off Piraeus and 8 or so miles from Athens.  In 480Bc a great battle was fought in the straits between the mainland and Salamis between an alliance of Greek city states and the Persian empire in which the Greeks scored a decisive victory.The Battles of Salamis and Plataea marked the turning point in the Greco-Persian wars following which the Greek poleis took the offensive. Since this facilitated the development of Greek civilisation and its influence on the West, the Battle of Salamis was a significant landmark in the history of European civilisation.  See Pentelicus, Pericles, Socrates  and Plato. 

 "Sally in our Alley" ~ towards the end of Olga Bracely's dinner party at her newly acquired residence in Riseholme, "Old Place" at which she had cannily shepherded her neighbours Jane Weston and Jacob Boucher towards matrimony, Olga said she would sing, unless anybody minded, and called upon Georgie to accompany her. She stood just behind him, leaning over him sometimes with  her hand on his shoulder, and sang those ruthless simple English songs appropriate to the matter in hand. She sang "I attempt from Love's sickness to fly," Sally in our Alley" and "Come live with me."   
The "Sally in our Alley" mentioned appears to have been the original 1725 song of Henry Carey (1693 - 1743), "Sally in our Alley," which had long been a traditional English country dance. Since "Queen Lucia" was published in 1920, it does not appear that Fred was referring to "Sally in our Alley" the romantic Ealing comedy film directed by Maurice Elvey which made a star of Gracie Fields, which included what became her signature song. The film was not released until 1931 - but its title and theme clearly referred back to Carey's original song, which begins:   
"Of all the girls that are so smart
There's none like pretty Sally;
She is the darling of my heart
And she lives in our alley."      
See "I attempt from Love's sickness to fly," and "Come live with me."     
Salome ~ at a dinner party at "Mallards House" the evening had been made somewhat tense by much canvassing on behalf of prospective Mayoresses of Tilling. During the evening, Susan Wyse had been wearing her re-stitched and stuffed budgerigar formerly known (and eternally to be known) as "Blue Birdie" as a notable decorative centrepiece on her ample bosom.

Unfortunately, during dessert the budgerigar dropped into the middle of Susan's plate which had been bountifully supplied with raspberry souffle.The raspberry juice stained it red, as if Blue Birdie had been sat on again and Foljambe very tactfully handed a plate to Susan on which she deposited it. At the conclusion of the evening , the Royce conveyed the Wyses to Porpoise Street, just around the corner, with Susan, faintly suggesting Salome, holding the plate with the bloodstained handkerchief containing the budgerigar.

Daughter of Herodias, Salome (in Hebrew, peace) (AD14 - 62) is known in the New Testament, from Mark 6:17-29 and Matthew 14:3-11 as an icon of female seductiveness who requested the death of John the Baptist. Although Salome is depicted gorily in several plays and paintings with the severed head of John the Baptist, sometimes on a salver, the parallels with Susan Wyse and her budgerigar on a dessert plate could not really be described as complete in every material aspect.

Samian ware ~ Items of Samian ware were displayed in Riseholme's, short-lived but lucrative museum. Later, in Tilling when Lucia had concluded that her excavations in the garden of "Mallards House" were unlikely to yield much of interest, she hastily arranged for the various trenches to be filled in and stamped firmly down. Instead she unearthed (more excavation) a basket of dubious treasures from a cupboard below the stairs and found in her repository of broken objects suitable for a jumble sale a broken bowl and saucer (patera) of red stamped pottery. Her intensive study of roman remains in Britain easily enabled her to recognize them as being Samian ware, not uncommonly found on sites of Roman settlements in this island. Thoughtfully she dusted them and carried them out to the garden room. They were pretty , they looked attractive casually but prominently disposed on top of the piano. Georgie must be reminded how much he had admired them when they were found...

Produced mainly in Gaul and Germania, Samian ware (terra sigillata) was a kind of bright glossy red Roman pottery. Similar to the earlier Arretine ware, it was initially made during the first century AD, ceasing around the mid third century. To meet demand, attempts were made to produce Samian ware in Colchester, Northampton and interestingly, Sussex (the home of our dear Tilling), but, due to inferior clays and possibly, incompetent potters, these British ventures apparently soon failed. The name may be derived from the Latin verb, samiare to polish and seems to have nothing to do with the island of Samos, although it may have once been thought to have originated there. See Riseholme museum.

Samite ~ just after Lucia had negotiated terms for her summer lease of "Mallards", she noted from the street that there was thrust out of Miss Mapp's garden room a hand that waved a white handkerchief. This is followed by the simple comment "It might have been samite". Samite was an heavy fabric of silk, often woven with gold or silver threads, used in the Middle Ages for clothing. The reference appears to be Benson's way of reflecting Miss Mapp's pleasure in the very advantageous terms obtained from her tenant, compounded by her stout refusal to pay correspondingly more for her own lease from Diva Plaistow.

Samuel ~ Together with Elijah, the Witch of Endor and Saul, the stained glass in a south window in Tilling church featured Samuel in a black dressing gown which made sombre stains on the fawn coloured suit of Georgie practising the pedal part on the organ below. Samuel is regarded by some authorities as at the cusp between two eras; he was the last of the Hebrew Judges and the first of the major prophets inside Israel. According to the Books of Samuel in the Hebrew Bible, he anointed Saul and David, the first two kings of Israel. See Elijah, Witch of Endor and Saul. 
Sandeman, Agnes or Aggie ~ cousin of Lucia and a member of Lucia's circle during the early part of her London season. Presented Lucia at Court. Also a cousin of Adele Brixton. Taken by Pepino, at Lucia's request, in her place to the first night of Henry VIII, freeing Lucia to do a socially advantageous favour by making up the table at a chic dinner party held by Marcia Whitby. Aggie was very useful to Lucia when first she came up to London. She knew quantities of solid people,and if her parties lacked brilliance they were highly respectable. Aggie was well aware that Lucia had used her in this way and vexed when not invited to the more fashionable occasions such as Lucia's party for Alf Watson, the boxer and flautist. Aggie's vexation excluded her from being a Luciaphil.     See Scotland. 
Sand, George  ~  After a  morning in the viewing gallery at the Divorce Court enjoying the notorious Shyton divorce case, Lucia returned to 25 Brompton Square to entertain Adele Brixton to lunch.  Lucia chatted animatedly about the case and sided wholly with Babs Shyton and Lord Middlesex, affectionately known as "Woof-dog".  Lucia suggested that it was "a pure and beautiful affection between Babs and Woof-dog, such as any woman, even if she was happily married might be proud to enjoy. There can be no doubt of Lord Middlesex's devotion to her, and really - I hope this does not shock you- what their relations were concerns nobody but them. George Sands and Chopin, you know. Nelson and Lady Hamilton."

Best known by her pseudonym George Sand, French novelist and memoirist Amantine/Amandine Lucille Aurore Dupin (1804-1876) married Baron Casimir Dudevant in 1822 and bore two children, Maurice and Solange. She left her husband in 1831 and conducted affairs of varying duration with Jules Sandeau, Prosper Merimee, Alfred de Musset,  Louis-Chrystosome Michel, Pierre-Francois Bocage, Felicien Mallefille and, most famously, Frederic Chopin. Her winter of 1838-1839 with Chopin and her children at the abandoned Carthusian monastery of Valldemossa was described in her "Un Hiver a Majorque" published in 1855. The relationship ended two years before Chopin's death penniless at the place Vendome in Paris in 1848.  In legend bohemian, cross-dressing Sand is regarded as a bold and brilliant woman, liberated lover and romantic icon, celebrated for the remark: "There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved." In reality perhaps she came as close to her myth as Babs Shyton and Lord Middlesex came to the idealised view expounded by Lucia.  See Babs Shyton, Woof-dog, Frederic Chopin, Lady Hamilton and Lord Nelson.

Sapphira ~ when reviewing Lucia's luncheon party at which lobster a la Riseholme had been served, Georgie commented upon Elizabeth Mapp's false rapture at Lucia's stopping in Tilling, remarking, "She must have an awful blister on her tongue." Sighing, Lucia replied, "Sapphira must look to her laurels, poor thing."      
When Diva Plaistow was quizzing the Padre about whether Elizabeth Mapp had suggested that she herself was responsible for the possibly "jealous quarrel" between Major Flint and Captain Puffin that had led to the challenge of a duel, "the Padre behave like a man and lied like Ananias.' Most emphatically she did not,' he said." 

According to the Acts of the Apostles, Sapphira and her husband Ananias were members of the early Christian Church in Jerusalem. Christians at that time held their possessions in common. Barnabas, a church member, sold a plot of land and donated the proceeds. Ananias and Sapphira also sold their land, but kept part of the proceeds, although Ananias claimed he had given away the whole amount. Peter pointed out that Ananias had withheld the money and lied about it to himself and God. Ananias died immediately. Three hours later, Sapphira told the same lie and also died. Miss Mapp and the Padre, it appears, survived their respective brushes with mendacity. See Ananias

Sarah ~ Major Flint's parlourmaid in Tilling.

Sardine tartlets ~ savoury tea-time dish served by Diva Plaistow at Ye Olde Tea House in Tilling - a favourite with her customers.

More than once the subject of a creditably accurate still-life painted by Mrs Plaistow and exhibited in Tilling.      
Sargent, Mr. ~ the valuable contents of 25, Brompton Square included a full length portrait of Pepino's late and not really very lamented Aunt Amy by Sargent. It was quite an early portrait and showed Aunt Amy in her seed pearls.  One assumes Amy Lucas sat for Mr Sargent before being confined into a private asylum, which naturally was always referred to by the family as "a nursing home."   
When Elizabeth Mapp painted with water colours she intended boldly following the method which Mr Sargent practised with such satisfactory results, namely of painting not what she knew was there but what her eye beheld. Accordingly Miss Mapp's impressionistic sketch of the river might have been considered "Sargentesque".   
Her model appears to have been the American painter John Singer Sargent (1856 -1925) who produced about 900 oils and 2,000 watercolours in his career. He was famed for both portraits and watercolour landscapes of locations around the world, particularly Europe, the Middle East and his native USA. Like Benson, he never married.      
Saturday till Monday ~ contemporary term for le weekend - as when Mrs Boucher commented that perhaps Lucia might bring down some of her smart friends for a Saturday till Monday.     
Saul ~ Along with Elijah, the witch of Endor and Samuel, the stained glass in a south window of Tilling Church featured Saul in a purple cloak, which, as the May sunshine streamed through, made sombre stains on the fawn-coloured suit worn by Georgie below as he sat at the organ practising the pedal part. According to the Hebrew Bible, anointed by the prophet Samuel and reigning from Gibeah, Saul (c. 1079- 1007BC) was the first king of a united kingdom of Israel from c.1047BC until his death. Saul committed suicide during a battle with the Philistines at Mount Gilboah, during which three of his sons were killed. He was succeeded eventually by David. See Elijah, Witch of Endor and Samuel.

Scalloped ~ whilst Philip Lucas was to sleep overnight in London following the death of his beloved Aunt Amy, Lucia invited Georgie to keep her company that evening over an informal dinner: just something to eat, you know: the house is so upset. Don't dress.   
Georgie was delighted to accept the invitation, though he had ordered oysters. But they could be scalloped for tomorrow.

Scalloping is usually achieved by baking in a casserole with milk, cream  or a sauce and often with bread crumbs. Scalloped oysters crop up surprisingly often in literature - as in Jane Austen's "Emma" or "The Age of Innocence " by Edith Wharton.    See Aunt Amy.

Scarlatti ~ one rainy evening after Lucia had become Mayor, she and Georgie spent a grim time walking the streets of Tilling looking at lighting and thinking about zoning. Returning rather damp, Georgie suggested they play a Scarlatti duet. Lucia absently responded "Ah, divino Scarlattino!" but it appears that on this occasion Scarlattino was insufficiently divino for Lucia to be diverted from "zoning," so Georgie went to bed.  The adjective Lucia usually applied to Scarlatti was "dainty," just as Beethoven was normally "noble" and Bach generally  "glorious."    
It seems likely that Georgie had in mind the Italian baroque composer Guiseppe Domenico Scarlatti (1685 - 1757) who spent much of his life in the service of the Portuguese and Spanish royal families. He was a harpsichord virtuoso and best known for the 555 or so sonatas he composed. His father was Alessandro Scarlatti (1660 -1725) who was famed for operas and chamber cantatas and considered the founder of the Neapolitan school of opera.         
Scarves  ~  in Tilling one frosty Monday morning,  Miss Mapp went out to do her shopping with round her neck a long woollen scarf to mark the end of summer. Whilst Mrs Poppit still wore her ostentatatious heavy sables, "brisk walking and large woollen scarves saved others from feeling the cold and being unable to move, and this morning the High Street was dazzling with the shifting play of bright colours... There was quite a group of scarves at the corner:  Irene was there ..with an immense orange scarf bordered with pink.  Diva was there, wound up in so delicious a combination of rose madder and Cambridge blue...and Evie was there in vivid green with a purple border."     
Schubert  ~  on the Monday after her disappointing weekend at "The Hurst" with her fashionable new friends from London, Lucia was struggling to re-build bridges with Georgie Pillson. After telling of their ouija session, Georgie continued, "Well, the weedj lasted so long that I had only just time to get home to dress for dinner and go back to Olga's."  Asked by Lucia who was there, he replied "Colonel and Mrs Boucher, that's all. And after dinner Olga sang too divinely. I played her accompaniments. A lot of Schubert songs."

Prolific Austrian composer Franz Peter Schubert (1797-1828) wrote 600 or so Lieder, 9 symphonies, operas and liturgical, chamber and piano music. Admired as a leading force of the early romantic era,  his lieder combined lyrics, often by Schiller or Goethe, and melody uniquely. His best known songs include "Heidenroslein", "Der Erlkonig", "Gretchen am Spinnrade" and "Nur  wer die Sehnsucht kennt, weiss was ich leide."  See Schumann.

Schumann  ~  Georgie was describing to Lucia his weekend (during which she had been entertaining her friends from London to the exclusion of her neighbours in Riseholme,) "Well, the weedj lasted so long that I had only just time to get home to dress for dinner and go back to Olga's." Asked by Lucia who was there, he replied "Colonel and Mrs Boucher, that's all. And after dinner Olga sang too divinely. I played her accompaniments. A lot of Schubert songs."    
Bitterly jealous, Lucia replied with extraordinary acidity, "Dear old Schubert songs! Such sweet old fashioned things.'Wedmung,' I suppose."

Georgie was nettled by her tone, though he guessed what she was suffering, and replied, "No, that's by Schumann."

Lucia knew he was right, but had to uphold her own unfortunate mistake and continued, "Schubert, I think. Not that it matters."     

German Romantic composer, aesthete and music critic, Robert Alexander Schumann (1810-1856) wrote four symphonies, an opera and numerous piano, orchestral, choral  and chamber works, as well as many lieder. Written in 1840, as his wedding present to his bride Clara Wieck, his "Widmung" ("Dedication") opens his song-cycle "Myrthen" (Myrtles), the blossoms  traditionally associated with marriage festivals. The work employed the poems of Friedrich Ruckert. In Widmung, Schumann confessed all of the things that his bride was to him (ranging from peace to rapture  to his heavenrevealing the profound depth of his engagement as a poet-musician.  This was not the first time that Georgie had seen Lucia confuse one immortal composer for another, nor would it be the last. See Schubert.

Schwarm ~ during Lucia's summer's lease in Tilling, Quaint Irene Coles had developed a violent schwarm for her and was apt to call her "Angel!" The noun "schwarmerie" connotes a sentimental enthusiasm or even a crush, as apparently experienced by some schoolgirls for their lacrosse mistresses. This was reflected in yearning remarks such as," You can do everything. You play like an angel, and you can knock out Mapp with your little finger, and you can skip and play bridge, and you've got such a lovely nature that you don't bear Mapp the slightest grudge for her foul plots. You are adorable!" On another occasion: "Lucia, you're too adorable. Nothing defeats you."      
Although Benson does not use the term "schwarm" to describe it, Georgie Pillson's rapturously romantic and wholly sincere adoration of operatic diva and all-round good egg, Olga Bracely amounted to that rare phenomenon, a wholly platonic crush. It could also accurately be described as a schwarm in its purest sense.          
Scrub ~ lowest echelon of Riseholme's dress code - as though for a picnic. At dinner, Scrub entailed morning clothes.

Schwartz, Hezekiah ~ Princess Popoffski's secretary and co-conspirator in her nefarious activities which often seemed to involve him lurking beneath tables and pressing switches.

Scotch attorney ~ one of Lucia's many strengths was her straightforward willingness to learn from past misjudgements. Lucia would never forget to her dying day the advent in Riseholme of what she had disdainfully considered a mean little Scotch attorney in whom Daisy had discovered a wonderful mentality. One wonders if this might be a joke by Benson about Ramsay McDonald?

Lucia refused to extend her queenly hospitality to him or to recognise his existence in any way during the fortnight he stayed with Daisy.

Lucia was naturally very much annoyed to find him in a prominent position in the government not many years later. Indeed, she had snubbed him so markedly on his first appearance in Riseholme that he refused on subsequent visits to come to her house at all, though he visited Mrs Quantock several times more and told her all sorts of political secrets (so she said) which she would not divulge for anything in the world. Learning from her experience, Lucia resolved there must never be a repetition of so fatal an error.     
Scotland ~ during her weekend at the country home of Adele Brixton in Essex, Lucia had (somewhat patronisingly, if not downright disloyally) been extolling the virtues of her peasant existence in Riseholme: "but it's true, I do adore it. No balls, no parties, and such dear Arcadians. You couldn't believe in them without seeing them. Life at its very simplest, dears."   
Marcia Whitby replied," It can't be simpler than Scotland. In Scotland you kill birds and fish all day, and eat them at night. That's all."      
Aggie Sandeman remarked, "There's Adele going to America,  and there's Marcia going to Scotland -what  a foul spot, Marcia come to Marienbad instead with me"
Scottish dialect ~ patois adopted by Birmingham-born vicar of Tilling, Kenneth Bartlett for reasons never entirely clear. It prompted utterance of phrases such as "Eh, 'tis a bonnie wee drappie of port whatever, Mistress Plaistow", "I dinna ken that yer far wrang in jaloosing that Mistress Mapp might have a wee bitty word to say about it a', 'gin she had the mind" and "Hoots! I'm not mindin' the bit pochmantie" . In this very Caledonian mindset, his spouse,the mouse -like Evie, was his wee wifie, money baubees and playing cards, the cartes. This dialect occasionally alternated with Irish and old English.

Scriggle ~ verb of Miss Map's own invention, highly popular, connoting squeezing and wriggling, as when Miss Mapp scriggled through the sketchers outside Mallards - perhaps more appealing when undertaken by a person of less mature years (and indeed, less bulk.)       
Later, when Mrs Mapp-Flint, Elizabeth used her very own bespoke verb to describe the effort required to squeeze through the throng of onlookers to view the satirical portait by Quaint Irene Coles exhibited to great acclaim at the Royal Academy Exhibition and guarantee being recognised. "Such a crowd. We had to scriggle in." It seems some scriggling may have been required on each of the Mapp-Flint's three visits - though at lunch time there were fewer people.

Scroby Windham ~ see Old Mr Toppington.    
Secluded glade  ~ whilst "Mallards" in Tilling boasted its giardino segreto, or secret garden, in which Lucia could exercise in private, away from prying eyes (unless being spied upon  from the tower of the Norman Church),  there was also a secluded glade in the garden of "The Hurst" in Riseholme. There, after sending for "An Ideal System of Callisthenics  for Those no Longer Young," "she exposed as much of herself as was proper to the invigorating action of the sun, when there was any, and to long bouts of skipping, and kicked, and jerked, and swayed her trunk, gracefully and vigorously in  in accordance with the instructions laid down."     See Giardino segreto.     
Second act of The Meistersinger ~ see Meistersinger, the second act.      
Secret garden ~ see Giardino segreto.

"See how the floor of heaven is thick inlaid"  ~ Lucia and Pepino had returned from London to Riseholme under the pretext that their doctor had ordered complete rest - but actually to avoid the ignominy of being seen not to have been invited to Marcia Whitby's chic ball. Lucia spent the first evening with Georgie catching up and rebuilding bridges which had collapsed under the torrential flood of her recent social climbing in the capital (to the extent that one can catch up and rebuild simultaneously.) After doing a quantity of things,  including the inevitable slow movement "Moonlight Sonata" and subsequent sigh, Lucia let him out and walked with him to the garden gate. There were quantities of stars, and as usual she quoted "See how the floor of heaven is thick inlaid..." and said she must ring him up in the morning after a good night's rest.    
Though wheeled out by Lucia on every starry, starry night above Riseholme, the line in question was undoubtedly apt, though misquoted to the extent that the word "See" is incorrectly substituted for "Look." The line, as actually written,  was spoken by Lorenzo in Act V, Scene i of Shakespeare's  "The Merchant of Venice": 
"How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
Here we will sit, and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears: soft stillness, and the night,
Become the touches of sweet harmony.
Sit, Jessica. Look how the floor of heaven
Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold."  
Seignorial manner ~ when Lucia decided to offer accommodation to the Mapp-Flints when their holiday let was flooded - or rather to instruct Grosvenor to telephone in the most cordial terms - she adopted the seignorial manner suitable to the donor of organs and operating theatres. Originating in French, the terms implies the largesse of a feudal lord - or on this side of the Channel perhaps behaving like the Lord of the Manor - or even Lady Bountiful.     
Severn bore ~ when Georgie and Lucia were lunching with Olga Bracely at the Ritz on the day following her Gala performance of "Lucretia" at Covent Garden, the party was joined late by Poppy, Duchess of Sheffield. Just as Poppy had become conscious of Georgie and fixed her barbophilic eye upon his beard, Signor Cortese, the conductor and composer of "Lucretia" entered. He plunged into the restaurant and came, "like a bore up the River Severn, to Olga's table, loudly lamenting in Italian that he had not been able to come to lunch."      
Forming beyond Sharpness and seen as far upstream as Maisemore, the Severn Bore is a tidal bore seen on the tidal reaches of the River Severn in England. The largest bores occur in the spring but can be seen throughout the year. Unlike a self reinforcing solitary wave or soliton, the Severn Bore is a shock wave formed (apparently) because the wave is travelling faster than the wave speed in the water above the Bore. The largest recorded Bore reached 9.2 feet. It probably should not be confused with a Mexican wave.    
Shadows of life's eventide  ~  The Mapp-flints had let "Grebe" to  Miss Susan Legg who was well known asthe "world-wide novelist" Rudolph da Vinci  for the holiday months. In a press interview MIss Legg stated that she never took a holiday." observing"I shall not rest till the shadows of life's eventideclose round me."     
Here Fred seems to be enjoying satirising the sentimental platitudes that might be regarded as typical of his favourite figure of fun and target, the novelist Marie Corelli. The rather sanctimonious remark might echo Luke 24:29, "Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent" which is alluded to in the Hymn "Abide with Me" by Scottish Anglican, Henry Francis Lyte, most often sung (at funerals and the Cup Final) to William Henry Monk's tune "Eventide." Lyte wrote the poem in 1847 and set it to music while he lay dying from tuberculosis; he survived only a further three weeks after its completion.

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
Earth's joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.     
Shakespeare Folios  ~    when Lucia announced that she had discovered the remains of a Roman temple beneath the garden of "Mallards House," her friends in Tilling were fascinated. Elizabeth Mapp called upon Diva Plaistow and was typically cynical and disbelieving saying, "I'm thinking of digging up two or three old apple trees at Grebe which can't have borne fruit for the last hundred years and telling everybody that I've found the Ark of the Covenant or some Shakespeare Folios among their roots. Nobody shall see them of course..."    
The earliest texts of the plays of William Shakespeare were published in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in  the larger, tall volume foilo format or roughly half-sized, book or quarto format. Eighteen of the thirty-six plays in the First Folio were printed in seoparate and individual editions before 1623. The First Folio compiled by Heminges and Condell was reprinted three times in the seventeenth century. The Second Foio appeared in 1632, the Third in 1663 and the Fourth in 1685.  None ever appear to have been discovered beneath the apple trees at "Grebe" ouside Tilling.      
Shaw, Bernard or George Bernard ~ in conversation with Georgie, Lucia opined, "I have always maintained that Aristophanes is the most modern of writers, Bernard Shaw in fact, but with far more wit, more Attic salt." The Irish writer, playwright and journalist George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950) thus dismissed wrote more than 60 plays addressing a range of stark social themes, often with a vein of comedy.  
Apparently GBS was also favoured by Elizabeth Mapp, who, when cutting out her poppies in the corn remembered some sweet verses she had once read by Bernard Shaw or Clement Shorter or somebody like that about a garden of sleep somewhere in Norfolk...The verses in question were by neither Shaw nor Clement Shorter, but appear to be "The Garden of Sleep" by Clement Scott, where the area in Norfolk around Cromer is synonimous with what he calls "Poppy-land", just like Miss Mapp's poppies in the corn.

A Fabian Shaw campaigned on a wide range of social issues including equal rights, welfare and lifestyle. He won both the Nobel Prize for Literature and an Oscar (for "Pygmalion"). See Aristophanes, Clement Shorter and  "The Garden of Sleep."    
Sheba, Queen of  ~  see Queen of Sheba.  
Sheffield, Poppy, Duchess of ~ guest with Georgie and Lucia in Olga Bracely's box for the revival of Lucretia. According to Olga, adores beards, hates music and hears it only as a mortification of the flesh,  quite gaga, but so harmless.  Accordingly, Poppy was terribly taken up with Georgie : the sight of beards refreshed her in some psychic manner.

Habitually late and ate only dressed crab and drank oceans of black coffee. Poppy Sheffield was a cousin of the English wife of the Italian composer Signor Cortese.

The liking of the Duchess for men with beards, extended particularly to Georgie with his neat Vandyck. When Lucia proposed herself as the Mayor of Tilling, it led the Duchess to think she might expect Georgie and extended an invitation to to dine and stay overnight at Sheffield Castle. On arrival, Lucia found no other guests and that the Duchess was unwell - and rather disappointed to learn that the Mayor of Tilling was a woman. Taking what advantage she could of the situation, Lucia asked for a guided tour of the Castle with the Duchess and took a great many photographs before departing and returning to Tilling after a brief supper at the Ambermere Arms in Riseholme.

Lucia arranged for her photographs to be quickly processed and displayed in an open album on her piano to enable her to boast about staying with the Duchess of Sheffield. Her white lies rebounded on her however when Mrs Mapp-Flint and the other residents of Tilling gossiped about her absence at Sheffield Castle that night whilst Georgie and Olga were innocently alone back at Mallards House - until Lucia's late return.

Things went from bad to worse from Lucia's perspective when, during Georgie's absence at Le Touquet with Olga Bracely, Poppy Sheffield unexpectedly proposed herself to stay overnight on her way to join Olga's party in Le Touquet, when her ferry from nearby Seaport was delayed.

After a quiet evening a deux, dining on dressed crab, Poppy left at 7.30 next morning. Unfortunately for Lucia, no-one at Tilling - even the devoted and normally loyal Irene Coles - believed her assertion that she had entertained the Duchess alone that evening. Lucia's anguish over her social ostracism, which she faced alone whilst Geogie lingered with Olga in Le Touquet, led to an uncharacteristic outburst against le tout Tilling after church that Sunday.

It was only when Georgie returned from Le Touquet - very much shaken by Poppy's repeated and very forward advances towards him - that Lucia was able to put the record straight. The Duchess again suddenly proposed herself for dinner and an overnight stay and Lucia was able to assemble all her dear friends for dinner at Mallards House at short notice and prove in the flesh that the Duchess was and had been her house guest - much to the chagrin of Elizabeth Mapp-Flint.

By virtue of his locked bedroom door and Lucia's stewardship, Georgie was quite safe from Poppy's advances during her short stay.

Sheffield Bottom ~ village near to which Sheffield Castle was located.  There is a Sheffield Bottom near Reading in Berkshire which boast a swing bridge over the Kennet and Avon Canal. See Poppy, Duchess of Sheffield.

Shelley, Percy Bysshe  ~  see Infidel poet

Shikarri ~ when giving his much-anticipated lecture on tiger hunting at Tilling's Literary Institute as part of the series of improving lectures established by the Mayor, Lucia Pillson, Major Benjy described himself as a plain old campaigner who had seen a good deal of shikarri in his time, and read them a series of exciting adventures.     
Later when entertaining Miss Leg, the novelist Rudolph da Vinci, who was their summer tenant for "Grebe" to dinner at the Parsonage, Major Benjy commented that his tiger hunting adventures were now an old story and admitted, "My shikarri days are over."      
The word "shikarri" appears to be derived from Hindi shikari and means a big game hunter or guide for big game hunting - hence its relevance to tiger hunting in India, where "shikarri happens." See Benjamin Flint.

Shingles, shingle and shingled ~ Georgie suffered from the ailment, shingles after moving to Tilling and causing him to go into seclusion . It brought a painful rash on his face and neck making it impossible to shave. As a result Georgie grew a beard which, on Lucia's urging, he retained neatly trimmed and dyed auburn in a distinguished Van Dyk goatee. Also, coincidentally, "shingle" was the solution to a clue in Miss Mapp's newspaper crossword - Number 3 Down: A disease, often seen on the sea shore.    
When Georgie had recovered from his attack, Elizabeth Mapp-Flint remarked typically, "You must be very careful of these treacherous spring days, Mr Georgie. Shingles are terribly liable to return, and the second attack is always much worse than the first. People often lose their eyesight altogether.
Georgie responded simply, "That's encouraging."    
Before Lucia's departure from The Hurst to 25 Brompton Square, Georgie and Olga had both privately predicted that Lucia would be shingled following her arrival. Sure enough, on seeing Lucia in London for the first time at the opera house, Georgie Pillson noted her extraordinarily short skirt and shingled hair and round her neck three short rows of seed pearls. Upon her return to Riseholme one weekend, a shingled Lucia met Lady Ambermere who said, with the singular directness for which she was famous, "Ah Mrs Lucas! For the moment I did not recognise you with your hair like that. It is a fashion that does not commend itself to me." Mrs Boucher damned Lucia's shingle with particularly faint praise," Of course everybody has the right to have their hair shingled, whatever their age, and there's no law to prevent you." Even Abfou, Daisy Quantock's Egyptian spirit guide, found time to be really rude - via the planchette - about Lucia's shingled hair - in addition to calling her a snob and saying that she was too grand now for her old friends.     

"Shining sands" ~ when the Padre was playing golf with Major Flint after Lucia and Miss Mapp had been swept out to sea, it was "a glorious day". The tide was low and an immense stretch of "shining sands" as in Charles Kingsley's poem was spread in front of him. He then spotted the immense kitchen table which had borne the ladies out to sea, now upturned on the beach. The "shining sands" featured in the poem "The Three Fishers" in which the final stanza read,   
"Three corpses lay out on the shining sands
In the morning gleam as the tide went down,
And the women are weeping and wringing their hands
For those who will never come home to the town;
For men must work, and women must weep,
And the sooner its over, the sooner to sleep;
And good-bye to the bar and its moaning.    
Shirley poppies  ~   Without being the least effeminate Algernon Wyse looked rather like a modern Troubadour. He had a velveteen coat on, a soft, fluffy, mushy tie which looked as if made if Shirley poppies, very neat knickerbockers, brown stockings with blobs, like the fruit of plane trees, dependant from elaborate 'tops', and shoes with a cascade of leather frilling covering the laces.     

Derived from the European wild field poppy (Papaver rhoeas),  the ornamental cultivar, the Shirley Poppy was created from 1880 by Reverend William Wilks, vicar of the parish of Shirley. It is a delightfully scented, easily grown annual in shades of yellow, pink , orange and red with 2-3" flowers in single and double forms. Its petals have been described as looking like "crinkled silk" hence Benson's apt description of Algernon Wyse's neck-wear.

Shorter, Clement ~ when Elizabeth Mapp was cutting out her poppies in the corn from curtains to adorn an outfit in competition with Diva Plaistow's chintz roses,  she remembered some sweet verses she had once read by Bernard Shaw or Clement Shorter or somebody like that about a garden of sleep somewhere in Norfolk...   
Anyone unfamiliar with the period about which Benson was writing and its literary hinterland, might hastily take the reference to Clement Shorter at face value and assume it related to Clement King Shorter  (1857-1926), the journalist and literary critic. An important influence on the pictorial press, he edited "The Illustrated London News" and, in 1893, founded and edited "The Sketch."  In 1900 he established "The Sphere," which he edited until his death.  He also set up "The Tatler."   As well as being a journalist, author and critic,  he collected manuscripts, books and other material relating to his favourite authors - notably the Bronte sisters, an interest he shared with Benson, the author of a noted biography of Charlotte Bronte.  
Despite Shorter's fame as editor and controversial weekly columnist under the by-line "A Literary Letter," he was not known as  poet. His first wife was Dora Sigerson (1866-1918), whom he married in 1896. An Irish poet, who was a major figure in the Irish literary revival,  Dora employed the pseudonym Mrs Clement Shorter or Dora Sigerson Shorter  and it seems likely that it is to her that Benson is referring.    
Her output was prolific and included narrative poems.  She published many collections of poetry, including:  Verses (1893),  The fairy changeling and other poems (1898) Ballads and Poems (1899), The Collected Poems (1907), The Troubadour and Other Poems  (1910)  Madge Linsey  (1913),  Love of Ireland  (1916)  The sad years (1918) and The Tricolour: Poems of the Revolution  (1922.)  We do not know which part of Mrs Shorter's output, if any, which appealed particularly to Elizabeth Mapp,  but given her generally conservative political persuasion (when compared to Lucia), it appears unlikely to have been been anything from her last volume, published after her death, which contained elegies for the executed 1916 leaders.

Regardless of the likelihood or otherwise of Miss Mapp being an aficionado of the poetry of Mrs Clement Shorter, or indeed Shaw, the sweet verses in question were by neither of them, but appear to be "The Garden of Sleep" by Clement Scott, in which the area in Norfolk around Cromer is synonimous with what he calls "Poppy-land", just like Miss Mapp's circumcised poppies in the corn.    See George Bernard Shaw and the "The Garden of Sleep."        
"Shot like a streamer of the northern morn"  ~   Major Benjy and Captain Puffin had been engaged in yet another trying game of golf in a drenching storm and the Major was very lame.  There had been various disagreeable incidents such as when the Major's driver, slippery from the rain, had flown out of the Major's hands on the twelfth tee, and had 'shot like a streamer of the northern morn', and landed in a pool of brackish water left by an unusually high tide. The ball had gone into another  pool nearer the tee.     

The words in question are quoted by Benson from the poem "Mort D'Arthur" by  Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892):

Then quickly rose Sir Bedivere, and ran,   
And, leaping down the ridges lightly, plunged
Among the bulrush-beds, and clutched the sword,
And strongly wheeled and threw it. The great brand
Made lightnings in the splendour of the moon,
And flashing round and round, and whirled in an arch,
Shot like a streamer of the northern morn,
Seen where the moving isles of winter shock
By night, with noises of the northern sea.
So flashed and fell the brand Excalibur:
But ere he dipped the surface, rose and arm
Clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful,
And caught him by the hilt, and brandished him
Three times, and drew him under in the mere.
And lightly went the other to the King.    
Based on Sir Thomas Malory's "Morte d'Arthur", the first draft was written in 1834 and published in "Poems" (1842). It was incorporated in the "Idylls of the King" (1870).  See samite.   
Shuttleworth, Charlie/Georgie ~ amiable husband of prima donna, Olga Bracely. On being surprised with the acquisition of Old Place in Risehome, generously gave it to his wife. Sadly, passed away leaving Olga a widow between the premiere of Lucretia and Olga's return to perform in London following her world tour. 
Shylock  ~ even though Lucia had  announced that, on doctor's orders, she had retreated to Riseholme for several days of complete rest, she was thrilled to receive a belated invitation to Marcia Whitby's ball in London. She wholly failed to recognise that the Duchess of Whitby had only issued her invitation knowing Lucia had returned to the country and never imagining that she would drop everything and attend.

Utterly gone was Lucia's need for complete rest; she had never been so full of raw, blatant, savage vitality. Hastening to prepare, she said to the butler, rather in the style of Shylock, "My maid, my chauffeur. I want my maid and my chauffeur. Let him have his dinner quickly - no he can get his dinner at Brompton Square. Tell him to come round at once."     

Shylock is the Jewish money lender in Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" who lends money to his Christian rival Antonio on the security of a pound of Antonio's flesh.  The conflict is amplified by elopement of Shylock's daughter Jessica with  Lorenzo, Antonio's friend, and her subsequent conversion. The phrase repeating the possessive "my" may echo Scene viii in Act II where Salerio and Solanio gossip on the street in Venice about Jessica and Lorenzo's elopement and Bassanio's departure for Belmont to woo Portia. Solanio mocks Shylock mercilessly by imitating his supposed response  "My daughter! O my ducats! O my daughter ! Fled with a Christian! Oh my Christian ducats."  Salerio adds that all the boys in Venice now follow Shylock imitating his anguished refrain, demanding "Justice, the law, my ducats and my daughter!"     
Shyton, Babs ~ see Babs Shyton

Shyton, Colonel ("Stinkpot", "SP") ~ husband of Babs Shyton, a party in the Shyton Divorce, a cause celebre during Lucia's season in London. It was understood that sometimes he would lie in bed all day, get up in the evening, have breakfast at 8pm, lunch a little after midnight and dine heavily at 8.30 in the morning. Lucia considered he must have been an impossible person with whom to live and that with a husband like that any woman would want a Woof-dog to look after her.     
Sibyl  ~ when visiting medium Princess Popffski had left Riseholme to return to London, Daisy Quantock wandered upstairs to what had been the room of the Princess in a "frenzy of content" over her visit, which had led to a fever pitch of enthusiasm for spiritualism and inexplicable psychic phenomena and, in passing, Daisy's "utter defeat of Lucia."  Entering her guest room,  Daisy noted "the bed where the Sibyl had slept" and was then mortified to discover the paraphernalia such as fine muslin and false eyebrows, used in the medium's fraudulent performances.  
In antiquity, the Greek term "Sibyls" referred to oracular seeresses of the Near East and Mediterranean. There were many Sibyls, often defined by location: Cumaean,  Cimmerian, Delphic, Erythraean, Hellespontic, Libyan, Persian and Tiburtine. Had she not subsequently been found out to be a fraud, Princess Popoffski might have been described as the Sibyl of Charing Cross Road.   See Princess Popoffski and Daisy Quantock.     
When Riseholme was immersed in a wave of psychical experiments and ouija and planchette were all the rage, the sheet of paper upon which the automatic writing was directed through Daisy Quantock by her Egyptian spirit guide, Abfou, was described as a "Sibylline sheet". On one such sheet Abfou had advocated the establishment of the Riseholme Museum (not "mouse"). Mrs Quantock had generously offered to place the document on display in the Museum but the general feeling of the committee, while thanking her for her munificence was that it would not be tactful to display it, since the same Sibylline sheet contained sarcastic remarks about Lucia.   
Siegfried ~ role played by Pepino in tableaux in support of Lucia's Brunnhilde.  
Sigismund, Tancred ~ fashionable avant-garde London post-Cubist portrait painter, commissioned to paint Lucia since he was, "All the rage in London just now. Everyone is crazy to be painted by him." Lucia was first invited to meet him at Sophy Alingsby's: Breakfast about half-past twelve. Vegetarian with cocktails. Sophy later described Lucia's portrait as a masterpiece of adagio. His portrait of Lucia looked like a chessboard with some arms and legs and eyes sticking out of it.  Whilst suggesting to Lady Ambermere "Striking is it not?" Lucia added "Dear Benjy Sigismund insisted on painting me . Such  a lot of sittings."  It is unclear whether this confusion over his Christian name, which is otherwise recorded as "Tancred"  is intentional - like Lucia's confusion over the caricaturist  Herbert/Robert Alton or an infelicity. In any event, Lady Ambermere was not impressed and remarked with her usual icy hauteur "I do not see any resemblance. It appears to me to resemble nothing."
Lucia decided to sell the portrait when disposing of 25 Brompton Square, since she determined that the post-Cubists were not making much of a mark.

Simkinson ~ Daisy Quantock's gardener, for three afternoons a week. Dismissed on suspicion of doing his crossword puzzle during working hours and later reinstated with much effort required to undo Mrs Quantock's handiwork in the interim, including confusing the phlox with broccoli and pruning a favourite mulberry tree - nearly to death

Simpson, Mrs ~ no, not that one -Lucia's personal secretary engaged to type correspondence and manage Lucia's diary after her appointment as Mayor of Tilling. Not an unduly onerous position.

Sindaca mia or Cara sindaca ~ when at her most effusive Lucia used this term to Elizabeth Mapp-Flint, adding patronisingly "That means Mayoress, dear."   
Singleton, Archie ~ brother of Babs Shyton. Weekend house-guest of Adele Brixton. See Brixton, Adele  
Siriami ~ West African gold mining shares bought speculatively by Lucia and later by several Tillingites, including the Mapp-Flints and, in a minuscule way, by Diva Plaistow.           
Sisters  ~  when  Miss Mapp and Diva Plaistow first appeared in public wearing identical tea gowns of kingfisher blue, Major Benjy less than tactfully remarked to Miss Mapp's chagrin," Never saw such stunning gowns, eh, Padre? Dear me, they are very much alike too, aren't they?  Pair of exquisite sisters."    
Later when the ladies repeated the mistake in identical crimson lake tea gowns, history repeated itself when Algernon Wyse commented, "But what a delightful idea of yours and Mrs Plaistow's to dress alike in such lovely gowns. Quite like sisters." 
Captain Puffin followed this by saying, "What a charming surprise you and Mrs Plaistow have given us, Miss Mapp in appearing again in the same beautiful dresses. Quite like - "    
Whilst on the subject of female siblings, Georgie Pillson was brother to Hermione and  Ursula and Algernon Wyse to Amelia, formerly a Wyse of Whitchurch, but now Contessa di Faraglione.  Piggie and Goosie Antrobus who specialised in capering about the Green in Riseholme were sisters.  Adele Brixton was the sister of Colonel Cresswell, who purchased Georgie Pillson's house in Riseholme. The best-known brothers in Tilling were undoubtedly, Georgie and Per of the Gas Works and Town Surveyor's Department - gas and drains - and much else.     
Slam, Little ~ see Little Slam.       
 Slaughter of the innocents  ~ at the very beginning of "Lucia in London," Daisy Quantock and Georgie Pillson are busy in the gardens of their neighbouring homes in Riseholme. Daisy had dispensed with the services of her gardener, who previously had worked on three afternoons each week.  Daisy meant to do her gardening  herself this year, and was confident that a profusion of beautiful flowers and plethora of delicious vegetables would be the result. At the end of her garden path was a barrow of rich manure, which she proposed, when she had finished the slaughter of the innocents, to dig in the depopulated beds.   
Daisy was a gardener of the ruthless type, and went for any small green thing that incautiously showed a timid spike above the earth, suspecting it of being a weed. Thus "the innocents" in question comprised the flora  in Daisy's garden, wrongly suspected of being weeds and thus consigned to instant oblivion.   
The Slaughter or Massacre of the Innocents  is in Matthew 2:16-18 is the biblical narrative of the infanticide and indeed gendericide  by Herod the Great, the King of the Jews appointed by Rome. To avoid the loss of his throne to a newly-born king of the Jews anounced to him by  the Magi, Herod ordered the execution of all young male children in the vicinity of Bethlehem. This was considered to be the fulfilment of prophesy by Jeremiah in the Old Testamant.     
Sloane Street  ~ upon her return to Riseholme from a visit to London, Lucia received a  long letter from her neighbour Daisy Quantock reporting on the recent advent of her Guru.  When considering this information,  Lucia paused and remembered that Mrs Quantock had experienced a similar leading when first she took up Christian Science. That day it was  leading from the sight of a new church off Sloane Street; Mrs Quantock had entered (she scarcely knew why), and had found herself in a Testimony Meeting, where witness after witness had declared the miraculous healings they had experienced.  
Sloane Street runs north to south from Knightsbridge to Sloane Square, crossing Pont Streeet, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London. It took its name from Sir Hans Sloane, who bought land in the area in1712. It is a long established, fashionable shopping street.    
 Slug ~ at the very beginning of “Lucia in London,” Daisy Quantock was weeding energetically in her garden, whilst  next door Georgie Pillson was rolling “his strip of lawn, on which during the summer he often played croquet on a small scale.  Occasionally they shouted remarks to each other, but as they got more and more out of breath with their exertions, the remarks got fewer.  Mrs Quantock’s last question had been, “What do you do with slugs, Georgie?’ and Georgie had panted out, ‘Pretend you don’t see them.’”      
This entry had been made to enable Georgie’s bon mot to be enjoyed, rather than to enlighten the reader about the charming subject of “the slug.” Whilst we are here, however, it might as well be noted that “slug” is a common name applied to an apparently shell-less gastropod mollusc (in contrast to “snail” which applies to gastropods with a coiled shell large enough to accommodate the retracted soft parts of the animal.)  
Slums  ~  although the ancient town of Tilling was famed for its myriad quaintnesses that attracted many visitors each year by train, motor car and charabanc, it could not be denied that it possessed some properties that might accurately be described as "slums."  "Slum Clearence" was reserved its own Mayoral black Japanned metal box along with other worthy topics such as the "Museum" and "Burial Board."   
Notably in the region of the railway station, some of its housing stock was not in prime condition. A good many of these slums were owned by Harold Twistevant, local greengrocer, businessman and Town Councillor.     
The improvement or replacement of the slums was a major plank in Lucia's election campaign and the reduction of municipal expenditure and retention of these ancient and picturesque cottages was a key theme in Elizabeth Mapp-Flint's manifesto.     
At about the time Lucia was co-opted onto the Town Council, Mr Twistevant had occasion to look morose, since a report of the Town Surveyor about his slum dwellings had been received and this dire document advised that eight of his houses should be condemned as insanitary and pulled down.         
Smiles  ~   Miss Mapp came upon her friends in the High Street in Tilling  laughing at her expense regarding the possibility that the soi disant duel between Major Benjy and Captain Puffin had been over her favours.  "All that busy conversation which her appearance had interrupted, all those smiles which her presence had seemed to render broader and more hilarious, certainly concerned her....There were smiles and smiles, respectful smiles, sympathetic smiles, envious and admiring smiles, but there were also smiles of hilarious and mocking incredulity.  She concluded that she had to deal with the latter variety."       
Smoking ~  smoking in Riseholme and Tilling was popular, but not universal.  The men such as Georgie Pillson and Philip Lucas smoked cigarettes, apparently as a matter of course, as did Major Flint, including when playing golf.  Old sea-dog, Captain Puffin smoked a pipe.    
There is the odd issue of continuity or infelicity over the issue. For example, in "Queen Lucia,"  Philip Lucas conjectures that a small oblong box with hard corners carried by Georgie Pillson must be "cigarettes for Hermy and Ursy, since Georgie never smoked," yet in the same book after Georgie has played Debussy's "Poisson's d'Or," Lucia  exclaims, "Give Georgie a cigarette Peppino! I am sure he deserves one after all those accidentals. " Subsequently in "Trouble for Lucia" whilst suffering a sleepless night, Georgie agonised over his feelings for Olga Bracely and reviewed Life,"It was impossible to get to sleep, and wheeling out of bed, he lit a cigarette and paced up and down in his room." Perhaps he had taken up the pernicious habit in the interim?      
In "Mapp and Lucia" it is mentioned that Georgie "never smoked in the morning," although "the situation seemed to call for a cigarette" when considering how to avoid being detected as incompetent in la bella lingua by the visiting Contessa de Faraglione. On that occasion, "the unusual tobaccco had stimulated his perceptive powers."  It appears that the "unusual" quality of the tobacco on that occasion arose due to the rarity of its consumption at that hour, rather than any exotic character in the blend itself: there is no evidence of the smoking of exotic substances in either Riseholme or Tilling.     
For ladies there was no set rule, although smoking appears to have been more common amongst the younger generation.  Bohemian Olga Bracely, smoked often in private and in public, as did Georgie's  sisters Hermione and Ursula Pillson, who rejoiced in uninterruptedly contaminating the atmosphere with their "fags," as they called them.   
Lucia, on the other hand, was almost priggish in her opposition to smoking. When offered a cigarette by Olga she gave a little scream of dismay, "A cigarette for me! That would be a very odd thing. You see I never smoke. Never!"  

A was her wont, artist Quaint Irene Coles in Tilling expressed herself more assertively and enjoyed smoking a pipe and did not care who saw her do so. Irene also smoked cigarettes and, on one occasion, was seen in the street to remove her cigarette from her mouth and do something in the gutter which is usually associated with the floor of third class smoking carriages.     
During the Sunday afternoon of his weekend staying at nearby Ardingly Park the Prince of Wales was reported to have spent an hour or more rambling about the town. He was actually seen to sit down on the steps of "Mallards" and smoke a cigarette - though, after a personal search, Miss Mapp could find no cigarette-end or other relic of his visit.   
Another distinguished aristocratic visitor to Tilling, Amelia, Contessa di Faraglione (Faradiddleony to Miss Mapp and Mrs Plaistow), smoked a series of cigarettes after dinner at Starling Cottage, whilst playing a complicated sort of Patience to while away the time until her brother Algeron Wyse and the other gentlemen rejoined the ladies.

During her first visit to Tilling, after dinner at "Mallards HouseOlga Bracely lit a cigarette long before dinner was over, and though Elizabeth had once called that 'a disgusting foreign habit' she lit one, too.     
In real life, it appears that as an adult Fred smoked twenty or thirty cigarettes a day. He was  known in the Benson family for his furtive and surreptitious smoking.  His mother would occasionally enjoy a quiet smoke with sons Hugh or Fred after dinner, when the disapproving Lucy Tait was not present.

Smythe ~ Lucia was by birth one of the Warwickshire Smythes - as confirmed by Hermione in his Five o 'clock Chit-Chat evening newspaper column, shortly after Lucia's arrival at 25 Brompton Square.                     
Snapdragon  ~   Before the bridge party at "Mallards" at which Elizabeth Mapp intended to share with the world for the first time her new tea gown in kingfisher blue,  Once again here she felt that luck waited on merit,  for though when she dressed that evening she found she had not anticipated that artificial light would cast a somewhat pale (though not ghastly) reflection from the vibrant blue on to her features, similar in effect to (but not so marked as) the light that shines on the faces of those who lean over the burning brandy and raisins of "snapdragon," this interesting pallor seemed very aptly to bear witness to all that she had gone through."      
In this instance "snapdragon" refers  not specifically to a garden plant of the genus Antirrhinium or glass-makers' tongs, but a parlour game in which raisins or grapes are snapped from burning brandy and eaten, at the risk of being burnt.    
The game was popular from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries and played in the winter, especially on Christmas Eve. Snap-dragon was played particularly in Britain, Canada and the US. The term occurs in Shakespeare's "Love's Labours lost" (1594) and "Henry IV, Part 2" (1598), John Dryden's "The Duke of Guise" (1683) and is illustrated by JohnTenniel in "Through the Looking Glass" (1871). It is referenced as a Christmas parlour game in Dickens' "The Pickwick Papers" (1836) and in Trollope's "Orley Farm" (1861)      
Snobbery  ~ the general consensus appears to be that Lucia was a snob. Even Lucia's greatest admirer, Quaint Irene Coles remarked to her, "Darling, why are you such a snob?"   Abfou, Daisy Quantock's Egyptian spirit guide said so repeatedly. Marcia, Duchess of Whitby exclaimed to Adele Brixton, "She's a snob!"  as if this was a tremendous discovery.

Adele Brixton replied with typical perceptiveness, "So am I : so are you: so are we all. We all run after distinguished people like Alf and Marcelle. The difference between you and Lucia is entirely in her favour, for you pretend you're not a snob and she is perfectly frank and open about it. Besides, what is a duchess like you for, except to give pleasure to snobs? That's your work in the world, darling: that's why you were sent here.  Don't shirk it, or when you are old you will suffer agonies of remorse. And your'e a snob too. You like having seven - or was it seventy? - Royals at your dance."   
The abhorrence of snobbery and immunity from any taint of it was a fine characteristic of  public social life in Tilling, but it did not prevent the whole town taking a very active interest in the impending passage through their midst of the Prince of Wales on his way to spend the weekend at Ardingly Park.   See Marcia Whitby, Adele Brixton, Alf Watson and Marcelle Periscope.   
Snowdrops ~ a favourite flower of Elizabeth Mapp which appeared in the garden of Mallards as a balmy foretaste of spring each year. Miss Mapp was was wont to call them "My sweet snowdrops" and arrange a few of them in a small glass vase in her garden room.

One morning, following the passing of Captain Puffin, Miss Mapp sewed a few snowdrops together with cotton to make a button-hole for Major Benjy on his way to play golf. The romantic and proprietorial significance of this gesture was not lost on the assembled group of Diva, Irene and the Bartletts and elicited the knowing comment from the Padre of "Snowdrops, i'fegs".

By contrast, Lucia always detested snowdrops: they hung their heads and were feeble; they typified for her slack though amiable inefficiency.

Socrates ~ Lucia told Georgie that if she might choose a day in all the history of the world to live through, it would be a day in the golden age of Athens starting with a talk with Socrates in the morning. Socrates (c. 469BC -399BC) was a classical Greek philosopher who was one of the founders of Western philosophy, especially in ethics and the Socratic method or elenchus (a pedagogic tool using questions to elicit individual answers and encourage insight into the underlying issue.) Plato's dialogues can be considered to be the most comprehensive surviving accounts of Socrates. He is also glimpsed through the writings of his students Plato, Xenophon and Aristophanes. See Aristophanes and Plato.

"Solemn gladness"  ~  When Lucia returned to “The Hurst” in Riseholme after an improving visit to London, she was anxious to hear all the news and “”Have a good gossip” with Georgie Pillson, particularly the advent of the Guru. When asked, Georgie’s face beamed with a solemn gladness at the word, like a drunkard’s when brandy is mentioned. Lucia and Georgie were indeed addicted to gossip,which was a way of life in Riseholme.   
One’s first thought might well be that the phrase came from the King James Bible, such as Numbers 10:10 “Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God.”  
Alternatively, Isaiah 30.29 occurs: “Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the LORD, to the mighty One of Israel.”  
The specific words were included in a Christmas letter from Lucy Larcom of 627, Tremont Street, Boston to John Whittier of 25 December 1881. “To me, He is the one Divine Friend in whom human friendships can alone be real and permanent, because He draws us into sympathy with what is best, with what is eternal, the love of goodness, the consciousness of God in us and around us, and the solemn gladness of a human life into which God has entered, and where He still is.”

As ever with Benson however, we have to look no further than Alfred, Lord Tennyson and “In Memoriam” as the most likely origin of the quotation:


When Lazarus left his charnel-cave,
And home to Mary’s house return’d,
Was this demanded–if he yearn’d
To hear her weeping by his grave?
‘Where wert thou, brother, those four days?’
There lives no record of reply,
Which telling what it is to die
Had surely added praise to praise.
From every house the neighbours met,
The streets were fill’d with joyful sound,
A solemn gladness even crown’d
The purple brows of Olivet.
Behold a man raised up by Christ!
The rest remaineth unreveal’d;
He told it not; or something seal’d
The lips of that Evangelist.  
"Songs without Words"  ~  see Mendelssohn.     
"Souls Awakening, The"  ~  when after the "loss" of Miss Mapp at sea, Major Benjy had prematurely and presumptiously moved into "Mallards" and arranged a sale of rather shabby artefacts from his old home, there was much disapproval from Elizabeth's friends in Tilling. Diva remarked, " Oh, and here's the notice of his sale. Old English furniture - yes, that may mean two things , and I know which of them it is. 'Monarch of the Glen' and a photograph of the 'Soul's Awakening'. Rubbish! Fine tiger skins! The skins may be alright but they're bald!"    
A sentimental portrait of the artist's thirteen year old great niece, Annie Kathleen Rendle, "The Soul's Awakening " was painted by James Sant (1820-1916) and exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in 1888.  Like "The Monarch of the Glen"  it was massively popular and widely reproduced in engravings and prints.     
Southern Railway Preferred, Southern Prefs ~ shares bought by Lucia with the proceeds of sale of her holding in Siriami. Later sold at a scandalous profit.     
South Kensington  ~ upon her return to Riseholme from a trip to London, Lucia reported to her husband Peppino that she had been "Terrifically busy about nothing. All this fortnight. I have had scarcely a moment to myself. Lunches, dinners, parties of all kinds: I could not go to half the gatherings I was bidden to. Dear South Kensington!"   
South Kensington, postcode SW7, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London comprises about 2.4 square miles, south west of Charing Cross. The district includes the Albertopolis, Natural History, Science and Victoria and Albert Museums and Baden Powell House. Notable residents in the time of Benson included Sir Henry Beerbohm Tree, Sir J.M.Barrie and Beatrix Potter, Virginia Woolf and Sir Francis Galton.   
"So very little longer"  ~ After spending the morning in Court observing the Shyton Divorce Case Lucia had returned to 25 Brompton Square to entertain Lady Adele Brixton to luncheon, after which she summoned Stephen Merriall  to join them. On his arrival, Lucia was pouring tea and remarked, "Bring up your chair. Let me see, no sugar isn't it? How you scolded me when I put sugar into your tea by mistake the other day!" She held Stephen's hand for as long as anybody might, or as Browning says, 'so very little longer,' and Adele saw a look of faint surprise on his face.  It was not alarm, it was not rapture, it was just surprise. 

The perceptive Luciaphil,  Adele Brixton took in the situation instantly. It was a stunt, a play, and a glory -by which Lucia intended to convey the impression that she and Stephen were lovers, whereas in reality Lucia had "no more idea of keeping a lover than of keeping a chimpanzee."   
The words in question comprise the final line of  "The Lost Mistress" by Robert Browning (1812-1889)   

All's over, then: does truth sound bitter
As one at first believes?
Hark, 'tis the sparrows' good-night twitter
About your cottage eaves!

And the leaf-buds on the vine are woolly,
I noticed that, to-day;
One day more bursts them open fully
- You know the red turns gray.

To-morrow we meet the same then, dearest?
May I take your hand in mine?
Mere friends are we,- well, friends the merest
Keep much that I resign:

For each glance of the eye so bright and black.
Though I keep with heart's endeavour,
Your voice, when you wish the snowdrops back,
Though it stay in my soul for ever!

Yet I will but say what mere friends say,
Or only a thought stronger;
I will hold your hand but as long as all may,
Or so very little longer!

See  Hermione, Adele Brixton, Babs Shyton, Lord Middlesex and Robert Browning.  
Spanish Quartet ~ celebrated classical string quartet engaged by Olga Bracely to play at her party at "Old Place" and embarrassingly confused by Lucia with the lamentably poor Brinton Quartet.    
Spar ~  despite working six or eight hours a day since dismissing her gardener Simkinson, Daisy Quantock had not found time to touch a stone of her proposed rockery, "and the fragments lying like a moraine on the path by the potting shed still rendered any approach to the latter a mountaineering feat. They consisted of fragments of medieval masonry, from the site of the ancient abbey, finials and crockets and pieces of mullioned windows which had been turned up when a new siding of the railway had been made and everyone almost had got some, with the exception of Mrs Boucher, who called them rubbish. Then there were some fossils, ammonites and spar and curious flints with holes in them and bits of talc...."    
Derived from the Middle Low German, Spar and related to the Old English, Spaerstan, Spar is any of various minerals, such as feldspar or calcite that are light coloured, microcrystalline, transparent to translucent, and easily cleavable.  
Spartan ~ when Georgie stood against Elizabeth Mapp-Flint for election to the town council at his wife's behest, Lucia took the opportunity to reward him for the distasteful exertions involved, by relaxing the Spartan regime of self denial and second-rate food she had introduced since the beginning of her mayoralty to set an example and substituted Lucullan lunches and dinners.

An admiration of Sparta - however short-lived - is called laconophilia. Sparta or Lacedaemon was a prominent city state in ancient Greece on the banks of the River Eurotas in Laconia in the south-eastern Peloponnese. Its unique social system focused completely on military training and excellence and Sparta became synonymous with a strictly disciplined and austere (if not downright uncomfortable) way of life and, at best, questionable childcare. See Lucullan lunches and dinners.     
Spectacles ~ Risking detection only by the bulge they made in his pocket - which had puzzled Philip Lucas, but which he took no further -  Georgie Pillson preferred to keep secret the fact that he used spectacles. His glasses were of the wire-rimmed variety, which he could whisk off in a moment. When no-one was near however he stealthily adjusted them on his small straight nose.  
Spencer and Son ~ plumber established in Tilling since 1820 which undertook all kinds of work connected with plumbing and drains. Lucia mistook some of its earthenware drainage goods for Roman remains during her abortive excavations in the garden of Mallards House - misjudging the letters "SP" on a fragment to be the beginning of "SPQR" rather than the name of the plumbers.

Spice Islands ~ during her final seance invoking the spirit of her dear departed budgerigar, Blue Birdie, Susan Wyse explained whilst waving a heated shovel of burning incense before an ebony (possibly ebonite) shrine with white satin curtains concealing what was within, "Blue Birdie came form the Spice Islands."

Most commonly, the Spice Islands is taken to refer to the Maluku Islands, but often also to the Banda Islands, which once were the only source of mace and nutmeg. Grenada, it appears, is commonly called the Island of Spice, but probably should not be confused with the Spice Islands. It seems likely then that Blue Birdie was a Malukan.

Spirit of Bolshevism ~ see Bolshevism, spirit of             
"Splendour falls on castle walls, The"  ~  Lucia submitted a sketch to the annual Art Exhibition in Tilling of the courtyard of Sheffield Castle, the home of the barbophilic Duchess Poppy, which she had briefly visited  - and weeded for the purposes of Art. She called it "From Memory," though it was really from her photograph and without specifying the Catle, she added the motto, "The splendour falls on Castle Walls". 
This quoation is taken from the poem "The Princess: The splendour Falls on Castle Walls " by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)   
The splendour falls on castle walls

And snowy summits old in story:
The long light shakes across the lakes,
And the wild cataract leaps in glory.
Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.
O hark, O hear! how thin and clear,
And thinner, clearer, farther going!
O sweet and far from cliff and scar
The horns of Elfland faintly blowing!
Blow, let us hear the purple glens replying:
Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.
O love, they die in yon rich sky,
They faint on hill or field or river:
Our echoes roll from soul to soul,
And grow for ever and for ever.
Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
And answer, echoes, answer, dying, dying, dying.

Spoonerisms  ~  Isabel Poppit  "collected malaprops and wrote them out in a note-book. If you reversed the note-book and began at the other end you would find the collection of spoonerisms, which were very amusing too."    
Named after the Warden of New College , Oxford, Reverend William Archibald Spooner (1844-1930), a spoonerism is an error of speech or deliberate play on words in which corresponding vowels, consonants or morphemes are transposed. Although some quotations attributed to him are apocryphal, Spooner was prone to this mistake and admits to mentioning the hymn  "The Kinquering Congs  Their Titles Take."  Other examples include "Three cheers for the queer old dean" and  "The Lord is a shoving leopard".   
Also known as a "marrowsky," after the Polish count with the same impediment.   See Isabel Poppit.       
Sporting challenges  ~ when inebriated during one of their late night drinking sessions in Tilling, the gaseous mood of Major Benjy and Captain Puffin, athletic, amatory or otherwise (the amatory ones were the worst) usually only faded slowly. After discussing their marvellous physical condition with regard to their ages, Major Flint would suggest putting a sporting challenge in "The Times."   
This would run along the lines," Retired Major in his Majesty's Forces, aged 54, challenges any gentleman of 50 years or more to a shooting match in the morning, followed by half a dozen rounds with four-ounze gloves, a game of golf, eighteen holes, and a billiards match of 200 up."   
Alternatively, "Retired Captain, aged 50, who'll take on all comers of 42  or over,at a steeple chase, round of golf,  billiards match, hopping match, gymnastic competition, swinging Indian clubs -" No objection, gentlemen? Then carried, mem.con."          
St. Lucecilia ~ nickname unkindly ascribed to Lucia during the address of the Bishop in the service of dedication of Lucia's organ in Tilling church. The barb was prompted by a very charming allusion by the Bishop to the patroness of organs, St Cecilia, immediately followed by a reference to the donor, "your distinguished citizen-ess" - almost as if Lucia and that sainted musician were one.

"Stained the white radiance of eternity"  ~  The Padre, Kenneth Bartlett's, sermon was quite uncompromising. "There was summer and winter, by Divine ordinance, but there was nothing said about summer-time or winter-time. There was but one time, and even as Life only stained the white radiance of eternity, as the gifted but, alas! infidel poet remarked, so, too, did Time."

Here we have one of the apparently few parallels between E.F.Benson and Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones. Both have felt it apt to quote from "Adonais" - an elegy on the death of John Keats, author of Endymion, Hyperion etc - by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Benson quotes the line in Chapter 7 of "Miss Mapp" whilst Mr Jagger did so on 3 July 1969 in Hyde Park at a memorial concert following the death of guitarist, Brian Jones:

Peace, peace! he is not dead, he doth not sleep
He hath awakened from the dream of life
'Tis we, who lost in stormy visions, keep
With phantoms an unprofitable strife,
And in mad trance, strike with our spirit's knife
Invulnerable nothings. — We decay
Like corpses in a charnel; fear and grief
Convulse us and consume us day by day,
And cold hopes swarm like worms within our living clay.
The One remains, the many change and pass;
Heaven's light forever shines, Earth's shadows fly;
Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass,
Stains the white radiance of Eternity,
Until Death tramples it to fragments. — Die,
If thou wouldst be with that which thou dost seek!
Follow where all is fled! — Rome's azure sky,
Flowers, ruins, statues, music, words, are weak
The glory they transfuse with fitting truth to speak.   
A pastoral elegy in the tradition of John Milton's "Lycidas," the poem was probably modelled on Virgil's 10th Eclogue in praise of Cornelius Gallus. Comprising 495 lines in 55 Spencerian stanzas, it was composed in 1821 following the death of Keats.  See Infidel poet and British Summertime.   
"Stale and unprofitable"  ~  after spending some time contemplating what had transpired to bring about Major Flint's challenge to Captain Puffin to a duel,  Miss Mapp walked across to the bow window of the garden room from which she had conducted so many exciting and successful investigations. But today the view seemed as stale and unprofitable as the world appeared to Hamlet, even though Mrs Poppit at that moment went waddling down the street and disappeared round the corner, where the dentist and Mr Wyse lived.    
As was so often the case, Benson is quoting from Shakespeare, namely, "Hamlet" Act 1, Scene ii :   
O, that this too too solid flesh would melt,  
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew! 
Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,
Seem to me all the uses of this world!    
Stanley ~ when planning her "A modern Odyssey" dealing with her adventures on the Gallagher Bank, Lucia proposed to make some allusion to Nansen, Stanley and Amundsen who have all written long books about their travels, and say that I do not dream of comparing my adventures to theirs, a short verbal recital of the strange things that happened to me will suffice. Sir Henry Morton Stanley (1841 - 1904) was a Welsh journalist and explorer famed for his exploration of Africa and, presumably, for his search for David Livingstone.

Star Chamber ~ when receiving the novelist, Susan Leg in the garden room at "Mallards House," Lucia remarked "I'm told that they call it the Star Chamber." Lucia had of course just invented that name herself. Waving her hand at piles of departmental tin boxes, she said lightly, "Secrets of municipal business. The Cabal, you know: Arlington, Bolingbroke..."

The Star Chamber took its name from the chamber built in the reign of Edward II for meetings of the King's council. According to some "all the roofe therof was decked with images of starres gilted." It became a court of Law that sat at the Royal Palace of Westminster until 1641, made up of Privy Councillors as well as common law judges and supplemented the activities of common law and equity courts and often heard cases of political libel and treason. It met in secret with no indictments no right of appeal, juries or witnesses and over time evolved into a political weapon and became a symbol of misuse of power by the Crown and courts. It does not seem that Lucia's garden room earned quite the same level of notoriety in Tilling, even from harsher critics such as Elizabeth Mapp-Flint.   
"Stars in their courses"  ~  having retired to Riseholme under the pretext of a need to rest, under doctor's orders, because she wished to avoid it being known that she had not been invited to Marcia Whitby's eye-wateringly chic ball,  Lucia dropped everything and rushed back to London on receiving a very misjudged last-minute invitation.   
During her frantic car journey a tyre burst. This was remedied using the extra wheel, but after another ten miles, there came a further puncture as now in the north-east the smouldering glow of London reddened the toneless hue of the summer night. As the explosion occurred, Lucia had occasion to wonder - was it those disgusting stars in their courses that were fighting against her? - and the car drew up by the side of the empty road.  

This illustrates the depth of Benson's reading and his capacity and inclination to think in terms of quotations from cultural references in virtually every situation. In this case, it appears natural for him to quote from Judges 5:20 in the King James Bible," They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera."  
Sisera was the commander of the Cacaanite army of king Jabin of Hazor. With 900 iron chariots, he oppressed the Israelites for 20 years from Harosoheth Haggoyim, a fortified base. Persuaded by the prophetess, Deborah,  Barak to faced Sisera in battle and defeated him at Mount Tabor on the plain of  Esdraelon. It appears his army was swept away by the river Kishon. Afterwards, things went from bad to worse for Sisera, who fled to the settlement of Heber the Kenite  in the plain of Zaanaim.  There he was received by Heber's wife, Jael who, after extending hospitality, covered him with a rug and  drove a tent peg through his temple with a mallet with such force that it reputedly pinned his head to the ground.

The quotation has come to be synonymous with being led to unfortunate outcomes by what was written in the stars. Elsewhere, Benson refers to Nemesis.  Unlike Sisera however, the double delay caused Lucia only a minor headache and she reached her goal of Whitby House shortly after midnight -  just in time to curtsy seven times to the eminent royal personages going down from the ballroom to supper.  See Nemesis.

Stationers ~ a stationers dealing in all sorts of stationery, including railway timetables was situated in the High Street in Tilling. It stocked Christmas cards and also had a lending library. With the headlines of news displayed outside, the stationers was a favourite place of observation, for you appeared to be quite taken up by the topics of the day, and kept an oblique eye on the object of your scrutiny. See Xmas cards.   
Steinway  ~ Lucia frequently played the piano, reserving an hour for practice every day, absorbing herself in glorious Bach, or dainty Scarlatti or noble Beethoven. The latter perhaps was her favourite composer, the Master to whom she was devoted and whose picture hung above her Steinway Grand.  
Steinway & Sons, also known as Steinway is known for making pianos of high quality and for its influential inventions in piano development. It was founded in 1853 by German immigrant Henry Engelhard Steinway in Varick Street in Manhattan and later in Astoria in the Queens district and Hamburg in Germany. The consistently high quality and tone of the Steinway piano led to its frequent use on the concert stage and by Lucia in both Riseholme and Tilling. No less important, the company still holds the Royal Warrant by appointment to Her Majesty the Queen.   
Stephen Merriall ~ see Hermione.

Steps ~ in another example of her unstinting munificence towards Tilling, Lucia used part of the profits of eight thousand pounds made in share dealing (on the advice of her excellent broker Mammoncash) to relay from top to bottom the flight of steps from the Norman church down to the road below and to put up a most elegant hand rail.

A very modest stone tablet recorded in quite small letters the name of the person to whom Tilling owed this important restoration. That person had also carefully chosen the lettering and composed the modest inscription upon the tablet. See Almond trees.

Stratton, Mr ~ Landlord of the Ambermere Arms, a licensee and dealer in antiques catering for the American tourist trade. Sold Old Place to Olga Braceley. See Old Place

Starling Cottage ~ Elizabethan home in Porpoise Street in Tilling of Algernon Wyse and, after his marriage, Susan Wyse. The door was of old oak, without a handle, but with a bobbin in the strictest style. There was a thickly patinated green bronze chain hanging close by the bell pull. The bell was deafening.

Inside, oak beams crossed the ceilings and made a criss-cross on the walls. There was a large open fireplace of grey dutch bricks and on each side of the grate an inglenook with a section of another oak beam to sit down upon.

The windows were latticed with antique levers for their control.

There was a refectory table, a spice chest and some pewter mugs, a bible box and a coffin stool.

Elsewhere were displayed family photographs in silver frames of Count Cecco Fariglione and his Contessa, Amelia, the king of Italy and a purple morocco box in which reposed the riband and cross of a Member of the Order of the British Empire.

There was also a cabinet of china in one corner with a malachite vase above it, an occasional table with a marble mosaic top , a satinwood piano, draped with a piece of embroidery, a palm tree and a green velvet sofa, over the end of which lay the heavy sable coat of Susan Wyse.

Stertorous  ~ marked or accompanied by heavy snoring or breathing in this way.  See Pug.     
Stevenson, Mr.  ~  on the late-evening that Elizabeth Mapp at last worked out that Major Flint and Captain Puffin were spending alternate bibulous evenings together in their respective homes, rather than working late and alone on diaries or Roman roads, she popped out into the street under the pretext of posting a letter (actually a blank envelope) to observe more closely. Unfortunately Miss Mapp mistimed this as Major Flint left his friend's house at that moment and saw "veiled and indistinct in the mist, the female figure in the road way. Undying coquetry, as Mr Stevenson so finely remarked, awoke for the topic preceding the worm cast had been 'the sex.'"   
The most celebrated works of Scottish novelist, poet, essayist and travel writer, Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson (1850-1894)  included "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde", "Kidnapped" and "Treasure Island." His final, unfinished work on "Weir of Hermiston" was cut short by Stevenson's death from a cerebral haemorrhage. See "Undying coquetry awoke."

Stocks ~  Riseholme boasted a pair of authentic stocks.  Philip Lucas had purchased them from a neighbouring iconoclastic village, where they were on the point of being broken up, and after having them repaired, had presented them to the village green, and chosen their site close to the ducking pond.

When the Riseholme Museum was founded, the stocks which had hitherto stood at the edge of the pond on the village green were donated for display - by special vote of the Parish Council, without reference to the generous donors, who were otherwise engaged at 25 Brompton Square in London. Georgie could not bring himself to tell Lucia that the stocks had already been moved from the village green to the tithe barn, for he seemed to remember that Lucia and Pepino had presented them to the Parish Council. Now the Parish Council had presented them to the Museum, but that was a reason the more why the Parish Council and not he should face the donors.        

Storm at Sea ~ dramatic tone-poem by Falberg played, to the accompaniment of a thunder storm, upon the dedication of the organ in Tilling church by the Bishop following its rebuilding and improvement funded by a donation from Lucia - after Lucia herself had movingly performed a transcription of the Moonlight Sonata - with Georgie on the pedals.

Stravinski ~ Igor Fyodorovich Stravinski (1882 to 1971), Russian composer, pianist and conductor. Lucia began to practice the piano works of Stravinski only when contemplating participating in the London season after the death of her husband Pepino's Aunt Amy. Before this she never would listen to anything modern. See Greatorex, Eric and Dalrymple, Diva.     
Stunts  ~  if Lucia's frequent motto was "How you all work me", her oft-used technique or modus operandi in maintaining her influence in (or even, rule over) Riseholme and Tilling - her means of providing "bread and circuses" to her subjects - could be said to be the arrangement of a series of what can only be called "stunts." Amongst her many talents, Lucia excelled in the management of the expectations and perception of friends and neighbours, her "public."      
This manipulation of appearances extended even to her sad widowhood and lengthy mourning, following the death of her devoted spouse, Pepino. This was demonstrated movingly by her faltering "stuntishly" on the threshhold of Ye Sign of Ye Daffodille on the Green in Riseholme, when surprised by sight of a thin volume of  her late husband's severely limited edition of "Pensieri Persi."  Though she had not made a luxury out of tokens of grief, she had perhaps made ever so slightly, a stunt of them.   
On a less mournful note, Lucia's periodic stunts included "running" the guru in Riseholme and establishing herself as a teacher of Yoga, openly conducting a faux affair with Stephen Merriall,  being summonsed for speeding upon the highways and bicycling generally and establishing herself so publicly as a leading investor and financial expert, in the mould of her heroine Dame Catherine Winterglass.  The driven Emmeline Lucas/Pillson had the capacity to prevail and attract attention in many of the fields in which she dabbled and enjoyed many, many successful stunts. See August stunt.

Sturgis, Mr. ~ present at the fete in aid of Tilling Hospital hosted by Lucia in the garden of Mallards during her initial summer letting - much to the chagrin of Elizabeth Mapp. Greeted by Miss Mapp with a cordial "How de do" followed by a less than sincere "Delighted you could come to entertain the old folks for us."

This followed mention of the dreadful old wretches from the workhouse being served tea by Irene and the Padre's curate and so Mr Sturgis might well have been the curate. See Curate.            
Stymie  ~  long-suffering Georgie Pillson's boisterous sisters Hermy and Ursy were staying with him in Riseholme.  They "ran down the steps into the garden where he sat, still yelling with laughter, and Georgie's imagination went no further than  to suppose that one of them had laid a stymie for the other  at their golf, or driven  a ball out of bounds, or done some other of those things that appeared to make the game so diverting to them."

In fact, they were thrilled to have recognised that the Guru, the Om - of high caste and extraordinary sanctity - the Brahmin from Benares - the Great Teacher - was in fact one of the cooks from the Calcutta Restaurant in Bedford Street where they often had lunch. Apparently, he made "the most delicious curries. Especially when he's a little tipsy."  
In golf, a stymie is a situation on the green when an opponent's ball is blocking the line bewtween the hole and the ball to be played: an obstructing ball may now be lifted and replaced by a marker. The term has come to mean an obstruction or impediment.  
Subletting ~ annual practice in Tilling whereby houses were let to visitors during the lucrative summer high season. As larger houses such as Mallards were let at the top of the tree, lettings percolated down through the hierarchy with Wasters and Taormina being let and so on down to the bottom of the chain.

Local Estate Agents, Woolgar and Pipstow acted in many lettings, but disputes often arose over commission due when an owner allegedly found a suitable tenant by their own efforts - as when Miss Mapp let Mallards to Lucia following her own advertisement in the Times. See Equality, Fraternity, Nosality.      
Submerged tenths  ~ see Inverted fifths and submerged tenths.          
Sunday-evening smile  ~   when entertaining Georgie, Major Benjy and Diva Plaistow to dinner at "Mallards" during her summer lease, it emerged that Elizabeth Mapp had excluded garden produce from the letting. Whilst "the indignant Diva poured out her tale of Elizabeth's iniquities in a turgid flood," Lucia "smiled that indulgent Sunday-evening smile which meant she was thinking hard on week-day subjects. When it also became apparent that Elizabeth charged fifteen rather than twelve guineas a week rent, Lucia "maintained her attitude of high nobilty, but this information added a little more pickling..... " 
Suntrap ~ house in Curfew Street in Tilling let to Lady Deal for occupation by Miss Mackintosh her elderly governess and Susie, her old nurse. See Lady Deal and Miss Mackintosh.

Sursum corda ~ when Lucia was undergoing her greatest tribulations, as everyone in Tilling doubted her acquaintance with Poppy Duchess of Sheffield, she said to herself, "I have lost a great deal of prestige, but that shall not upset me. I shall recover it all. In a fortnight's time, if not less, I shall be unable to believe that I could ever have felt so abject, and behaved so weakly. Sursum corda!"

The Sursum Corda is Latin for "Lift up your hearts." It is the opening dialogue to the Preface of the Eucharistic Prayer or Anaphora. In lay terms, Lucia could be regarded as telling herself to "Buck up."

Susan Wyse ~ lately the wife of Algernon Wyse. Formerly Susan Poppit, flashy and condescending mother of sun-loving Isabel. Was a comparatively new inhabitant of Tilling, having settled there only two or three years before and Tilling had not yet ceased to regard her as a suspicious character. Suspicion smouldered, though it blazed no longer.  Was certainly rich, complaining that the super tax was a grievous burden on "our little incomes" and kept an irritable butler and an extravagant motor car.  Holidayed in Switzerland in the winter and Scotland "for the shooting season". Accordingly, Miss Mapp considered such habits were not the outcome of chaste and instinctive simplicity and suspected her of being a profiteer as well as being a social climber. She also remarked, "Susan was always secretive". Miss Mapp's antipathy however never prevented her from partaking of the Poppit's (and subsequently the Wyse's) lavish hospitality to the fullest extent possible and eventually reluctantly accepting the inevitable when Susan secured Algernon Wyse and with it a guaranteed place at the top table of Tilling society.

Before her marriage Susan resided at "Ye Smalle House," just round the corner  from "Mallards," beyond the cottage of Miss Mapp's gardener and opposite the west end of the church. 

A genteel lady of Juno-esque proportions, once less kindly referred to as "immense bulk." When with Algernon Wyse on the night of their first observed moonlight kiss on the lawn, they were described," Down the middle of the garden came the two truants, Susan in her sables and Mr Wyse close beside her with his coat-collar turned up.  Her ample form with the small round head on the top looked like a short-funnelled locomotive engine, and he like the driver on the footplate."           
 Her outspoken sister-in-law, Amelia, Contessa di Faraglione dismissively called her "fat Susan."  Considered by some, notably Elizabeth Mapp a snob, flashy, condescending and rather de trop. Proud recipient of the MBE. Wore the insignia of her Order as frequently as was seemly. At her investiture by the King, the Queen had charmingly and memorably remarked, "So pleased."

Wearer of a heavy sable coat (whatever the weather) and a stuffed budgerigar - Blue Birdie - of varying hue. Travelled in her large Rolls Royce however short the journey - even, or some might say particularly, around the narrow and congested lanes of Tilling.

On the demise of Blue Birdie became somewhat overwrought.  Susan was much changed: she looked dotty. There was an ecstatic look in her eye and a demented psychical smile on her mouth.  She wore a wreath in her hair, a loose white gown, and reminded Lucia of an immense operatic Ophelia. Susan commenced a series of seances - wearing an imposingly voluminous white shift - with automatic writing until convinced by Lucia that the late Blue Birdie had passed fully through to the other side.

When cycling became all the rage in Tilling, sportingly rode a stylish new tricycle. With no sense of irony, after a long wait at the corner of Porpoise Street, where a standing motor left only eight or nine feet of the roadway clear, Susan emerged majestically into the high Street, complaining to the Mayor , "Those large motors ought not to be allowed in our narrow streets."

Susie, Susan ~ former childhood nurse of Lady Florence Deal who occupied Suntrap in Curfew Street in Tilling with former governess, Miss Mackintosh.     
Suttee  ~  Daisy Quantock was about to visit Lucia to discuss the impending pageant in Riseholme and Lucia incorrectly assumed that she was about to offer her the leading role of Queen Elizabeth, which would give her an opportunity to make this fete the occasion of her emerging from her hermetic widowhood.  The idea recommended itself to Lucia, for before the date fixed for it, she would have been  a widow for over a year, and she reflected that her dear Pepino would never have wished her to make a permanent suttee of herself....    
Based on the Sanskrit sati (good woman or chaste wife) or derived from the goddess Sati  (or Dakshayani), suttee is the Indian custom of a widow burning herself soon after her husband's death, either on his funeral pyre or by some other means of immolation, which was the ideal of  certain Brahmin or royal castes.  The practice is referred to in the epic "Mahabharata" and mentioned by the Greek author Diodorus Siculus. It was outlawed in India by the British in 1829 and became rare in India - and even more infrequent in Riseholme in Worcestershire.         
"Sweeter than honey and the honeycomb"  ~  in "The Male Impersonator"  Miss Mapp had explained to Diva Plastow her (mistaken) opinion of the identity of the new tenant of "Suntrap" in Tilling.     
"Diva had the vague notion that Elizabeth had got her information in some clandestine manner and had muddled it. For all her clear-headedness and force Elizabeth did sometimes make an muddle and it would be sweeter than honey and the honeycomb to catch her out. "      
As so often with Benson, the quotation here is from the King James Bible,  Psalms 19:10:  "More to be desired [are they] than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb."  
"Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end  my song"  ~  Lucia's letter to Georgie Pillson detailed her busy social round in London, including tea with her Member of Parliament, Mr Garroby-Ashton on the terrace of the House of Commons. Lucia recounted "a pleasant little chat with the Prime Minister, who came over and sat at our table for ever so long," continuing, " How I wanted you to be there and make a sketch of the Thames: just the sort of view you do so beautifully! Wonderful river, and I repeated to myself, 'Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song."

This is a quotation from "Prothalamion" by Edmund Spenser (1552 -1599) which begins:
CALME was the day, and through the trembling ayre
Sweete-breathing Zephyrus did softly play
A gentle spirit, that lightly did delay
Hot Titans beames, which then did glyster fayre;
When I, (whom sullein care,
Through discontent of my long fruitlesse stay
In Princes Court, and expectation vayne
Of idle hopes, which still doe fly away,
Like empty shaddowes, did afflict my brayne,)
Walkt forth to ease my payne
Along the shoare of silver streaming Themmes;
Whose rutty Bancke, the which his River hemmes,
Was paynted all with variable flowers,
And all the meades adornd with daintie gemmes
Fit to decke maydens bowres,
And crowne their Paramours
Against the Brydale day, which is not long:    
Sweete Themmes! runne softly, till I end my Song.

The lines are echoed in The Fire Sermon in  "The Waste Land"  by T.S.Eliot, whose publication in 1922 pre-dated that of "Lucia in London" in 1927.    
The wind crosses the brown land, unheard. The nymphs are departed.
Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.     
Swimming  ~  when Lucia was reviewing options open to her before deciding to take up finance after the example of Dame Catherine Winterglass, possibilities considered and dismissed included aviation, physical drill and novel writing. Then there was a woman who, though it was winter, was in training to swim the Channel, but Lucia hated sea bathing and could not swim. Certainly women were making a stir in the world but none of their achievements seemed suited to the ambitions of a middle-aged widow.      
Sword and shield of Art ~ see Art,  sword and shield of

Sybaritic  ~  Lucia was a sincere and fervent admirer of Dame Catherine Winterglass and tried very effectively to emulate her role model's successful speculation on the Stock Market and to put a good part of her profits to charitable purposes for the benefit of her newly adopted home of Tilling. She thought of her as "this woman who, starting with a total capital of a paltry five hundred pounds, had for years lived in Sybaritic luxury and done no end of good as well..."     
The wealth of the ancient city of Sybaris in Magna Graecia was so great in the sixth century BC that its inhabitants, the Sybarites, became synonymous with opulent luxury, pleasure seeking and gratification and gave rise to the adjective used by Benson here.  According to one implausible legend, to amuse themselves Sybarite cavalrymen trained their horses to dance to pipe music. The attacking invading army from Crotonia assailed the Sybarite cavalry with pipe music and passed easily through their dancing horses to victory.  History does not record whether the Sybarites were compensated for this defeat in battle by victory in the dressage to music or kur.   
Symbols  ~  Quaint Irene Coles' portrait of Lucia represented her  in full Mayoral robes and chain and a three-cornered hat playing the paiano in the garden-room. Depratmental boxes were piled in the background, a pack of cards and a paintbox lay on the lid of the piano and her bicycle leaned against it. Irene remarked, "Symbols beloved, indicating your marvellous many-sidedness. I know you don't ride your bicycle in the garden room, nor play cards on your piano, nor wear your robes when you're at your music, but I group your completeness round you."     
Sympathy ~  social rituals were observed with sensitivity and decorum in Riseholme, particularly as between friends, Lucia and Georgie.  When Georgie called upon Lucia for the first time following news of the tragic passing (at the age of 83) of Pepino's beloved Aunt Amy, the greeting proceeded thus. Georgie held her hand a little longer than was usual , and gave it extra pressure for the conveyance of sympathy. Lucia, to acknowledge that,  pressed a little more, and Georgie tightened his grip again to show that he understood, until their respective finger nails grew white with the conveyance and reception of sympathy. It was rather agonising , because a bit of skin on his little finger had got  caught between two of the rings on his third finger, and he was glad when they quite understood each other.  
Symposium ~ see Plato's Symposium.


Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Salomon,
what a fascinating glossary!
Trying to ignore the change to summertime today, March 28th 2010, (as those dear inhabitants in Tilling or Riseholme also did - and here I beg you to help me out: where do I find the quotation concerning summertime?? - Please do send your answer via Contact www.brigittahuegel.de - I'm a member of the e.f.benson-society and LOVE Lucia!) I nevertheless have lost an hour today...so I have to read your glossary late at night. I'm looking foreward to that treat! Tank you Britta

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Salomon,
Thank you for you Glossary: I have enjoyed it immensely. With regard to your entry on SAMITE, which is quite correct, you might also wish to consider my interpretation. Fred is hinting at yet another poetic quotation, this time from Tennyson's Morte d' Arthur. It could be either of the following.

1) In those old days, one summer noon, an arm
Rose up from out the bosom of the lake,
Clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful,
Holding the sword—and how I row'd across
And took it, and have worn it, like a king

2)So flash'd and fell the brand Excalibur:
But ere he dipt the surface, rose an arm
Clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful,
And caught him by the hilt, and brandish'd him
Three times, and drew him under in the mere.

Personally I favour the second one. I have a mental picture of Mapp's arm emerging from the window like that of the Lady of the Lake and brandishing her handkerchief thrice. It has always seemed to me a particularly Fred sort of reference but I leave it to your own good judgment whether you choose to accept it.

With Thanks again for you most excellent Glossary,
I am
David Curtin