MBE ~ Member of the Order of the British Empire awarded to and proudly worn by Mrs Susan Wyse, pinned to her ample bosom. Not to be erroneously referred to as "Order of the Member of the British Empire." This may result in correction and rebuke.
Macbeth, Lady ~ when Lucia had been visiting London and Daisy Quantock had met her Guru and brought him to Riseholme, quite suddenly as by some demoniac possession, a desire that had only intermittantly been in Mrs Quantock's consciousness took full possession of her; a red revolutionnary insurgence hoisted its banners.
Mrs Quantock began to question why, with this stupendous novelty in the shape of a Guru, shouldn't she lead and direct Riseholme instead of Lucia.. She had long wondered why darling Lucia should be queen of Riseholme, and had, by momentary illumination, seen herself, thus equipped, as more capable of exercising supremacy. After all, everybody in Riseholme knew Lucia's old tunes by now, and were in their secret consciousness quite aware that she did not play the second and third movements of the Moonlight Sonata simply because they 'went faster,' however much she might cloak the omission by saying that they resembled eleven 'o clock in the morning or three 'o clock in the afternoon. And Mrs Quantock had often suspected that she did not read one quarter of the books she talked about, and that she got up subjects in the Encyclopaedia in order to make a brave show that covered essential ignorance. Certainly she spent a good deal of money over entertaining, but Robert had lately made twenty times what darling Lucia spent annually over Roumanian oils. As for her acting, had she not completely forgotten her words as Lady Macbeth in the middle of the sleep walking scene?
Lucia was fond of "Macbeth" by William Shakespeare (c.1603-1607) and later performed the sleepwalking scene to illustrate her lecture on techniques of the Shakespearean stage at the Literary Institute in Tilling. It appears that she also "gave her sleepwalking scene" earlier, for the benefit of her fortunate neighbours in Riseholme and, if Mrs Quantock is to be believed, forgot her lines.
As the wife of Macbeth, the play's protagonist, Lady Macbeth goads her husband to regicide and subsequently suffers extreme guilt, which leads to her sleepwalking scene in Act 5 which includes the line, "Out, damned spot!" We are not informed which words Lucia forgot or whether they included this line.
Macedoine ~ after a bridge paty in Tilling attended by Amelia, the Contessa di Faraglione, the "general macedoine of sables, au reservoirs, and thanks for such a nice evening took place in the hall."
From the French, literally Macedonian, alluding to the mixture of nationalities in Macedonia, the term has come to mean a mixture or medley. We take it that the reference is made to the bulky set of sables belonging to Susan Poppit, worn to most occasions, whatever the clemency of the weather.
Mackintosh, Miss ~ Lady Florence Deal's aged former governess who occupied Suntrap in Curfew Street in Tilling when leased for her by her former charge. Described as kind and nice, rather lame, much wrinkled and with a good deal of moustache. Embarrassingly mistaken by Elizabeth Mapp for a previous Lady Deal, also known as Helena Herman the male impersonator. See Lady Deal and Suntrap.
Madly cast away ~ when Lucia was trying to persuade Georgie of his resemblance to her picture of the bearded Gelasius, she remarked upon the improvement brought about by the facial hair stating, "it's in your power to be a living Vandyck masterpiece, and you're hesitating whether you shall madly cast away, as the hymn says, that wonderful chance. "
Here Lucia is quoting from the hymn Conquering Kings Their Titles Take (Victis sibi cognomina, anon. circa 1736)
1. Conquering kings their titles take
From the lands they captive make:
Jesu, thine was given thee
For a world thou madest free.
2. Not another name is given
Power possessing under heaven,
Strong to call dead souls to rise
And exalt them to the skies.
3. That which Christ so hardly wrought,
That which he so dearly bought,
That salvation, mortals, say,
Will ye madly cast away?
4. Rather gladly for that name
Bear the Cross, endure the shame;
Joyfully for him to die
Is not death but victory.
5. Jesu, if thou condescend
To be called the sinner's Friend,
Ours the joy and glory be
Thus to make our boast of thee.
6. Glory to the Father be,
Glory, Virgin-born, to thee,
Glory to the Holy Ghost,
Every from the heavenly host. Amen.
Magic casement ~ when Lucia came back to Tilling from the feteful week at Riseholme..she sat.."next morning after breakfast at the window of the garden-room in Miss Mapp's house. It was a magic casement to anyone who was interested in life, as Lucia certainly was, and there was a tide in the affairs of Tilling which miust be taken at the flood. Each chatelaine of "Mallards" and later "Mallards House" found the window of the garden-room magical, since it gave a superb view all all that transpired in and about the key by-ways of Tilling.
Mah-jong ~ After dinner during Lucia's weekend at the country house of Adele Brixton, "Bridge and Mah-Jong followed, and rich and allusive conversation and the sense , so dear to Lucia, of being in the very centre of everything that was distnguished."
Originating in China, Mah-Jong is a game of skill, strategy and calculation with a degree of chance, commonly played by four players. It is played with 136 tiles based on Chinese characters and symbols. Usually each player begins with 13 tiles. In 1920 Joseph Park Babcock published his red book, the "Rules of Mah-Jongg," which simplified the game and helped popularize it in America during the mah-jong fad there in the 1920s. When this fad dissipated many of his simplifications were abandoned.
Maidstone ~ Algernon Wyse always proudly declared himself to be "one of the Wyses of Whitchurch." When Miss Mapp once said, satirically, that she "was one of the Mapps of Maidstone, he had merely bowed and said:'A very old family I believe.' "
Thirty-two miles to the south-east of London, with the river Medway running through its centre, linking it to Rochester and the Thames estuary, Maidstone is the county town of Kent, the garden of England. See Whitchurch
Mallards ~ A plain, pleasant Queen Anne house looking on to a cobbled street with a fine central position in Tilling, inherited from her Aunt Caroline by Miss Elizabeth Mapp. Described by Estate Agent, Mr Woolgar of Messrs.Woolgar and Pipstow as "the best house in Tilling" and by Miss Mapp in her advertisement in "The Times" as having seven bedrooms, four sitting rooms, h & c and an old world garden. Its entrancing airy garden room gave a view over the surrounding streets. With its secret cupboard artfully concealed behind an array of false books, it was regularly used to host bridge parties.
The highly attractive property enjoyed a pretty and bountiful high-walled garden of three quarters of an acre at most including a hedged secret garden or giardino segreto, the interior of which was only visible from the very top of the tower of the nearby church.
After being let in high season for several years as was the common practice in Tilling, "Mallards" was tenanted one memorable summer by Mrs Emmeline Lucas, or Lucia, from Riseholme in the Midlands, who was much taken with its many fine qualities.
After relocating to "Grebe," just outside the town, Lucia offered to purchase "Mallards" from Elizabeth Mapp-Flint, who was somewhat financially embarrassed at the time. Lucia required vacant possession and recognised that the house wanted a thorough doing up from top to bottom. She noted mice, mildewed wallpaper and dingy paint and suspected dry rot and drains in need of overhaul. She did not dream of asking Elizabeth to put it in order and offered to take over the freehold of "Mallards" in return for that of "Grebe" and a cheque for two thousand pounds, for that is what Luca understood Elizabeth had sunk in her reckless speculations in Siriami shares. Lucia considered it, "A Providential privilege to be able to give Elizabeth a hand out of this trouble" - and achieve exactly what she had set her heart on long before.
Elizabeth Mapp-Flint of course saw the offer quite differently and carped about Lucia's "wicked insincerity." After much too-ing and fro-ing in which Lucia's original offer was accepted when an increase to two thousand guineas had been made, the deal was done. The frightful discrepancy in the premium was adjusted by Lucia offering - more than equitably so she thought, and more than meanly thought the other contracting party - to split the difference and the double move was instantly begun.
Much repair and decoration was carried out under the new ownership. "Mallards House," as renamed, continued to be the centre of social life for Tilling society.
With typical sourness, Elizabeth Mapp-Flint commented, "And 'House' is new. In my day and Aunt Caroline's before me, 'Mallards' was grand enough. It will be "Mallards Palace" before she's finished with it."
There is no record that Lucia ever changed the name of "Mallards House" to "Mallards Palace" as her friend and Mayoress had predicted.
Mallards Cottage ~ the cottage owned by Isabel Poppit let (for four guineas a week) and subsequently sold to Georgie Pillson on his relocation to Tilling from Riseholme
Mammoncash ~ Lucia's stockbroker
Manoeuvres of Mapp ~ when Lucia was renting "Mallards" for the summer, she encountered various difficulties from the actions of Elizabeth Mapp, such as her entering the house uninivited and monopolising the services of Coplen, the gardener, whose wages Lucia paid and on whom Lucia felt she should have first call.
Lucia needed to advise Georgie Pillson of the impending marriage of his irreplaceable parlour- maid Foljambe to her chauffeur Cadman and wondered, "had she better tell him instantly....or hear his news first, and outline the recent manoeuvres of Mapp. These exciting topics might prove tonic, something to fall back on afterwards. Whereas if she stabbed him straight away, they would be of no service as restoratives."
Lucia therefore reported,"Things are beginning to move Georgie. Night marches, Georgie, manoeuvres, Elizabeth of course. I'm sure I was right, she wants to run me, and if she can't (if!) she'll try to fight me. I can see glimpses of hatred and malice in her".
When Georgie asked if she would fight Elizabeth, Lucia replied "Nothing of the kind, my dear. What do you take me for? Every now and then, when necessary, I shall just give her two or three hard slaps. I gave her one this morning: I did indeed. Not a very hard one, but it stung."
Mapp, Elizabeth ~ see Elizabeth Mapp
Mapp-Flint ~ Elizabeth Mapp married Major Benjamin Flint after she returned to Tilling following her safe deliverance from the kitchen table which was swept out to sea by a flood. Since the groom only had an Army Pension and the blushing bride was a woman of substance in every sense of the word and the owner of "Mallards," it was only proper that she should hyphenate her surname with his. The more satirical spirits of Tilling thought she would have preferred to retain her surname like Foljambe and famous actresses.
Maquillage ~ the mature ladies of Tilling were once rudely alluded to by Diva Plaistow as "old hags." They had always accepted the use of powder on the face on hot day, when prominent features were apt to turn crimson, or on very cold ones when prominent features were apt to turn mauve, but had never really ventured to embellish themselves with rouge and lipstick and arched eyebrows. A revolution in such matters followed the advent of the beautifully maquillee prima donna, Olga Bracely, who impressed them considerably; following her fashionable lead, the ladies took much greater care with their appearance.
Consequently, Evie Bartlett appeared with blood-red finger nails (all save one, which had been overlooked and appeared frost-bitten).
Elizabeth Mapp-Flint rouged her cheeks which looked like the petals of wild roses. Unfortunately, she had not the nerve to incarnadine her mouth, which in contrast appeared to be afflicted with the cyanosis which precedes death. Elizabeth considered that the rose-mantled cheeks she now saw in her looking glass made her feel (not only appear) ten years younger.
Diva Plaistow, on the other hand, was terrified of the aspect of blooming youth and wiped the rouge off at the last moment, but retained a Cupid's bow of a vermilion mouth and two twin arched eyebrows in charcoal. As a result, she seemed permanently surprised - but in a high-bred manner.
Susan Wyse had her grey hair waived, so that it resembled corrugated tin roofing and felt it made her look like a French marquise
Upon her return from London after being lionised over her Painting of the Year, Quaint Irene Coles was amazed at the facial transformation of the ladies of Tilling and satirised their efforts by appearing in the High Street with the tip of her nose covered in green billiard-chalk. See Ladies' hairdressers and toilet saloon.
Marble, Mr ~ Tilling stonemason (such was his appropriate name) who, on Georgie's instructions and at his expense, carved the cenotaph in memory of Lucia and Mapp following their perceived loss at sea
Marble Arch ~ famous landmark in the West End of London where, according to Daisy Quantock, the guru reputedly levitated.
Marconi installations ~ Susan Poppit had returned to "Ye Smalle House" from London where she had been invested by the King with her Order of MBE. She was greeted by guests at the bridge tea hosted in her absence by her daughter, Isabel. Conversation naturally turned to who intended to greet the Prince of Wales when he passed through Tilling on his way to weekend at Ardingly Park. Mrs Poppit remarked, fingering her order, "after my reception today at the Palace, nothing can be more likely than that His Majesty might mention - quite casually, of course - to the Prince that he had just given a decoration to Mrs Poppit of Tilling. And it would make me feel very awkward to think that that had happened, and I was not somewhere about to make my curtsy."
This was quite awful: it was as bad as , if not worse than, the historically disastrous remark about super-tax, and a general rigidity, as of some partial seizure, froze Mrs Poppit's guests, rendering them, like incomplete Marconi installations, capable of receiving but not transmitting.
Known as the father of long-distance radio transmission, Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937) also developed Marconi's law and a radio telegraph system. He shared the 1910 Nobel Prize in Physics with Karl Ferdinand Braun in recognition of their contributions to the development of wireless telegraphy. An oustandingly successful entrepreneur and business man, Marconi founded the Marconi Company and was able to commercialize radio and its associated equipment. In both Riseholme and Tilling listening in on the wireless was increasingly commonplace. Wirelesses generally only received transmissions and it seems that the Marconi installations referred to here may have been the radio stations established in strategic locations, such as Poldhu in Cornwall in 1900 to 1933 for trans-Atlantic messages, and Dover and Newhaven in Kent for ship-to-shore communication.
Margate ~ destination of the day trip organised by Lucia for all her Girl Guides from Tilling
Margherita ~ when Georgie detailed to Lucia what had transpired at the seance conducted by Princess Popoffski at the home of Daisy Quantock in Riseholme, Lucia was very sceptical - partly because she was irritated that she had not been invited.
The following deliciously ironic exchange ensued...Georgie explained ," And then, while we were sitting there, the Princess went into a trance. She said there was a beautiful spirit present, who blessed us all. She called Mrs Quantock Margherita, which as you may know is the Italian for Daisy -
'Thank you for explaining, Georgino,' she said.
There was no mistaking the irony of that, and Georgie thought he would be ironical too.
'I didn't know if you knew,' he said,' I thought it might be Neopolitan dialect.'
Pray go on said Lucia, breathing through her nose."
Georgie, of course was correct, "Margherita" is Italian for "Daisy"!
Marie Lowenstein ~ real name of fraudulent medium, Princess Popoffski, engaged by Daisy Quantock
Marius among the ruins of Carthage ~ Lucia's weekend at "The Hurst " for her fashionable new intimes from London had not gone well. She was effectively ignored by her old friends from Riseholme and unable to show off her acquaintance with Olga Bracely or Princess Isabel. Lucia's guests went off by the early train on Monday morning and she was left "like Marius among the ruins of Carthage."
This visualisation of Marius was familiar from both classical historians, such as Plutarch, and from various works of art. In one neo-classical painting by John Vanderlyn of 1807, Marius sits in the foreground staring out from the ruins of Carthage in a masterful depiction of dejection. Another particularly striking and "ferociously romantic" image of Marius meditating on the ruins of Carthage is captured by Pierre-Nolasque Bergeret.
Celebrated Roman general and statesman, Gaius Marius (157- 86BC) was uncle by marriage to Julius Caesar, head of the popular party and bitter rival of Sulla. He conquered the Teutons and Cimbri in Gaul and having obtained command of the war against Mithridates, made a triumphal entry into Rome. Sulla marched against the city and Marius was ultimately exiled, finding his way to Carthage where the Roman praetor ordered him off, to which he responded to the messenger, "Go tell the praetor you saw Caius Marius sitting a fugitive in the ruins of Carthage". In this way Marius compares his fate to that of Carthage, a once powerful city, now a deserted ruin. Thereupon he returned to Rome and, with Cinna, took a terrible revenge on Sulla's faction and his enemies generally in what seems to have amounted to a reign of terror. Marius was then elected consul for the seventh time, but lived for only a further three months. He died before Sulla returned to Rome and there was any more unpleasantness. Although Lucia was saddened by the relative failure of her weekend house party, she did not contemplate retributions in Risholme on the scale of those set in train by Marius on his return to Rome.
Marrow jam, Vegetable ~ The terms of her summer lease of Diva Plaistow's "Wasters", gave Elizabeth Mapp the benefit of garden produce and she used the opportunity to make all sorts of jams and preserves, including a greenish vegetable marrow jam. Miss Mapp gave some pots to Diva Plaistow and when sampling it on buttered toast found it to be fermented and inedible.
Mars ~ one night in Riseholme as the clock struck eleven , as usual on warm nights, Georgie opened the glass door into his garden, and drew in a breath of the night air. The sky was thickly peppered with pretty stars, which Georgie after his busy, interesting day, enjoyed looking at, though, if he had the arrangement of them, he would certainly have put them in more definite patterns. Among them was a very red planet, and Georgie, with recollections of his classical education, easily remembered that Mars, the god of War, was symbolized in the heavens by a red star. Could that mean anything to peaceful Riseholme? Were internal warfare, revolutionary movements, possible in so serene a realm?
Named after the Roman god of war, Mars is the fourth planet from the sun and second smallest in the solar system. Iron oxide on its surface gives it a reddish hue and accounts for its description as "the red planet. "Easily seen from Earth with the naked eye, Mars has a thin atmosphere and surface features, such as impact craters, like the Moon and valleys, deserts and polar ice caps like the Earth. Its rotational period and tilt produce seasons. It has two moons, Deimos and Phobos.
Marshall ~ domestic servant of Lucia and Pepino in Riseholme.
Martha ~ Miss Mapp had met the Padre whilst about her marketing and he remarked to her, " Ha! I perceive you are on the errands of the guid wife Martha. " And he pointed to the basket.
Described in the Gospels of Luke (10:38-40) and John (11: 17-27), Martha of Bethany near Jerusalem was sister of Mary and witness to the resurrection by Jesus of her brother Lazarus. Assuming the Padre was referring to the same Martha, Benson may have been pointing subtly to his somewhat chauvinistic attitude to women. The domesticated Martha reportedly complained to Jesus that her sister Mary had not helped her to prepare the meal and had preferred instead to listen quietly to the teachings of their guest. Jesus pointed out to Martha the importance of not being preoccupied with every-day cares. From what little we see of the Padre's attitude upon domestic issues, and the submissive role of his wife, Evie, it is not entirely clear whether he would have given Martha the same advice.
Mary ~ Mrs Weston's cook in Riseholme
Mary ~ servant of Elizabeth Mapp in Tilling. Sat with her mistress and Withers when cutting out cornflowers to sew onto Miss Mapp's outfit in competition with the decoration with chintz roses planned by Diva Plaistow. Given that mobility of labour was considerably lower in the 1930's than today, it seems unlikely that Miss Mapp had engaged Mrs Weston of Riseholme's cook of the same name.
Mary, Queen of Scots ~ role which Lucia could be persuaded to play in tableaux to moving effect. Also known as Mary Stuart and Mary 1 of Scotland, Mary Queen of Scots (1542 - 1587) was the daughter of James V of Scotland who was queen regnant of Scotland (1542 -1567) and queen consort of France (1559 -1560). Widowed on the death of French King Francis, Mary returned to Scotland and married Lord Darnley who was found dead apparently by strangling, following an explosion after which she married the 4th Earl of Bothwell. After an uprising and imprisonment, Mary abdicated in favour of her infant son of one year, James VI. Fleeing to England, Mary was held under house arrest in various locations until tried and executed for treason for alleged involvement in plots to assassinate Elizabeth I. With her dramatic life and tragic end, Mary was deemed more than suitable to be played by Lucia in various tableaux.
Mary, William and ~ see William and Mary.
Mashies ~ In Riseholme, Lucia took up golf, following the lead of Daisy Quantock and soon overtook her in expertise. "When Lucia came near the green, she gave a smart dig with her mashie, and, when this remarkable shot came off, though she certainly hit the ground, the ball went beautifully, whereas when Daisy hit the ground the ball didn't go at all."
Later, in Tilling, the newly-wed Mapp-Flints were a temperamental couple. There had been a coolness that morning for Benjy had come down very late to breakfast, and had ordered fresh tea and bacon with a grumpy air. Elizabeth would punish him by being unaware of him, but decided it would never do because gossipy Diva would tell everybody they had had a quarrel. Accordingly Elizabeth called out, "Quick Benjy-boy, or you'll miss the tram. Play beautifully darling. All those lovely mashies."
The term mashie was perhaps derived from the French massue, club and ultimately the Latin mateola, mallet. It referred to a golf club used for approach shots, corresponding to a modern No 5 or 6 iron. The traditional set of irons was invented by Archibald Barrie and was used from 1903 until the 1940's or so - and, one would guess, by Major Benjy and the Padre on the links outside Tilling. The irons were : Cleek: 2 Iron, Mid Mashie: 3 Iron, Mashie Iron: 4 Iron, Mashie: 5 Iron, Spade Mashie: 6 Iron, Mashie Niblick: 7 Iron, Pitching Niblick: 8 Iron, Niblick: 9 Iron and the Jigger: Very low lofted iron, shortened shaft. The standardized numbered set introduced by the Spalding Sporting Goods Co in the early 1930s, gradually replaced the traditional and more interestingly named set of irons.
"Maud" ~ when Lucia was starting to recover from the death of her husband Pepino after a lengthy mourning, she remarked "Georgie, I am beginning to feel alive again. Do you remember what wonderful Alfred says in 'Maud'? 'My life has crept so long on a broken wing'. That's what my life has been doing, but now I'm not going to creep any more." Lucia was referring to the narrative poem "Maud" by Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892). Maud and Other Poems was Tennyson's first collection on becoming poet laureate in 1850, published in 1855. Apparently the poem was Tennyson's favourite, but not universally applauded by contemporary critics. See "And may there be no sadness of farewell, when I embark" ,"Long unlovely streets" and "It may be better to have loved and lost..."
Maugham, Somerset ~ when Lucia was explaining to Georgie her shrewd motives in the surprising appointment of Elizabeth Mapp-Flint as her Mayoress, she explained, "It is far better to have her on a lead, bound to me by ties of gratitude than skulking about like a pariah dog, snapping at me. True, she may not be capable of gratitude, but I always prefer to look for the best in people, like Somerset Maugham in his delightful stories."
There may be a degree of irony in Lucia's remark since the characters in the short stories of William Somerset Maugham (1874 -1965) certainly covered the broad spectrum of human character and not just its sunnier aspects. As well as short stories Somerset Maugham was an enormously popular and prolific novelist and playwright and commercially successful, being reputedly the highest paid author during the 1930s.
Somerset Maugham took a share in the Villa Cercola in Capri, he and Benson paying for the lease, but never staying there at the same time. Another friend, John Ellingham Brooks lived there from their joint generosity all year round. Benson's biographer, Brian Masters remarks that "when Maugham took up with women and threatened to introduce one to Capri, Brooks went into a fantastic tizzy, wailing ' I don't know what I shall do if Maugham brings a wife to the Cercola. I don't think Benson will like it either.'" It appears that, with typical circumspection, Fred never ventured to make public his own views on the issue.
Maya ~ term used by Daisy Quantock, a relic of the days when she had studied Yoga. It meant "illusion"; thus it was important to concentrate (otherwise the deep breathing did no good at all), or rather to attain a complete blankness of mind and exclude from it all mundane interests -which were Maya.
Mayoral Banquet ~ the Mayoral Banquet took place in the evening following the installation of Lucia as Mayor of Tilling. Unfortunately, neither the Lord Lieutenant, nor the Bishop, nor the Member of Parliament were able to attend, but they sent charming letters of regret which Lucia read before her Chaplain, the Padre, said Grace.
Lucia wore her Mayoral chain of office round her neck and her chain of inherited seed pearls in her hair. Georgie, as arranged, sat alone on the other side of the table directly opposite her -which was very disadvantageous for the receipt of food and wine.
Georgie wore on the lapel of his coat a fine green and white enamel star, which had long lain amongst his bibelots, and which looked like a foreign order.
At the far end of the room was a gallery from which the ladies, as if in purdah, were allowed to look on. Elizabeth sat in the front row and waggled her hand at the Mayor whenever Lucia looked in her direction, in order to encourage her. Once when a waiter was standing just behind Lucia , Elizabeth felt sure that she had caught her eye and kissed her hand to her. The waiter promptly responded, and the Mayoress, blushing prettily ceased to signal.
There were flowery speeches made and healths drunk, and afterwards a musical entertainment.
The Mayor created a precedent by contributing to this herself and giving (as the Hampshire Argus recorded in its next issue) an exquisite rendering on the piano of the slow movement of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. It produced a somewhat pensive effect and she went back to her presiding place again amid respectful applause and a shrill, solitary cry of "Encore" from Elizabeth.
The spirit of her guests revived under the spell of lighter melodies, and at the end "Auld Lang Syne" was sung with crossed hands by all the company, with the exception of Georgie , who had no neighbours.
Lucia swept regal curtsies to right and to left, and a loop of seed pearls in her air got loose and oscillated in front of her face.
The Mayor and her Prince consort then drove back to "Mallards." Lucia said "in the days of horse-drawn vehicles , I am sure they would have taken my horses out of the shafts and pulled us up home. But impossible with a motor."
Georgie yawned and said wearily "They might have taken out the carburetter."
Mayor of Tilling ~ Lucia was entrusted with the duty of upholding the dignity and honour of the high office of Mayor of Tilling, the supreme Municipal Office of the ancient town, on 9th. November.
Mayoress of Tilling ~ on Lucia's appointment as Mayor-elect of Tilling something approaching a feeding frenzy developed amongst her circle in the town as to who should be her Mayoress. Although by then her husband, Georgie was debarred from the office by his sex.
Offers to fill the role were received from Diva Plaistow, Susan Wyse, Evie Bartlett and Elizabeth Mapp-Flint by both oral and written application accompanied by direct and indirect lobbying and unusual displays of erudition in civic matters over the dinner table.
At an early point Lucia decided to bestow the honour upon Elizabeth Mapp-Flint primarily because she would have been infinitely more tiresome if she was not appointed. Lucia later admitted: "The only object of my making her Mayoress was to dope her malignant propensities"
To add piquancy to the process, Lucia made no direct approach and only asked Elizabeth to become her Mayoress when Elizabeth had forced herself to visit her to importune her for the role.
Naturally Elizabeth displayed no gratitude for her appointment and tried to let it be known that she had been begged to help Lucia shoulder the burdens of an office beyond her capabilities. On hearing of this Lucia remarked "Poor thing. Like all habitual liars, she deceives herself more often than she deceives others." See Pythian Oracle.
Mayoring Day ~ Mayoring Day duly arrived on 9th. November and Lucia formally elected by the Town Council, assumed her scarlet robes. She swept them a beautiful curtsy and said she was their servant. She made a touching allusion to her dear friend the Mayoress, whose loyal and loving support would alone render her immense responsibilities a joy to shoulder, and Elizabeth, wreathed in smiles, dabbed her handkerchief on the exact piece of her face where tears, had there been any, would have bedewed it.
The Mayor then entertained a large party to Lunch at the Kings Arms Hotel, preceding them in state while church bells rang, dogs barked , cameras clicked and the sun gleamed on the massive maces borne before her. There were cheers for Luca led by the late Mayor and cheers for the Mayoress led by her present husband.
McCarthy, Desmond ~ when planning her syllabus for a series of improving lectures to be held in Tilling's Literary Institute, Lucia invited Mr Desmond McCarthy to talk about the less known novelists of the time of William IV, but he declined. Lucia was surprised that both he and Mr Noel Coward did not welcome the opportunity to become more widely known.
Plymouth born and Eton and Cambridge educated, Sir Desmond McCarthy (1877 -1952) began in 1917 as drama critic of the "New Statesman", becoming its literary editor in 1920. In 1928 he was the first editor of "Life and Letters" and was associated with "New Quarterly" and "Eye Witness." Doyen of critics for a time, he was famously literary critic for the "Sunday Times" and published several volumes of collected criticism. Although he once dismissively remarked that Benson's novels "seldom made heavy calls" upon his intellect, he devoted a programme on the BBC to a favourable review of Benson's biography of Charlotte Bronte. Fred, in his turn, considered that platitudes flopped about in McCarthy's sentences, "the only remarkable quality of which is that once read they are never remembered." See Noel Coward, John Gielgud and Sir Henry Wood.
McConnell ~ Editor of the Hampshire Argus. Initially threatened with a thrashing from Major Benjamin Flint after the publication of a less-than-becoming snap of his wife balancing on one leg and apparently gesturing beguilingly, taken by Quaint Irene Coles. However, after hospitably being offered and accepting many drinks, the Major completely forgot the slight, became a firm friend of the Editor and invited him for a convivial lunch.
Medusa ~ Lucia was irritated so that her face became a flint when Georgie told her that Miss Mapp had insultingly put his gift of his own painting of the Landgate in the sixpenny tray at her jumble sale at "Wasters." Lucia exclaimed, "I never heard of such a thing, Georgie. The monstrous woman!"
Frightened by this medusa countenance, Georgie suggested that, "It may have got there by mistake" to which Lucia replied "Rubbish Georgie!"
Daughter of Phorcys and Ceto, Medusa was a snake-haired Gorgon, the mortal sister of Sthenno and Euryale. Her looks were, to say the least, distinctive, and she reputedly turned into stone anyone who gazed into her eyes. She was beheaded by Perseus who used her head as a weapon, until he gave it to Athena to place on her shield.
Meistersinger, the second act of The ~ when Quaint Irene Coles mounted a demonstration in the High Street with sundry urchins eating buns and her giant maid Lucy, dinner bells were rung and banners carried urging the electors of Tilling to vote for Mrs Lucas , "the friend of the Poor" and spurning her opponent, "Down with Mrs Mapp-Flint, the foe of the Poor."
Naturally, shoppers and shop keepers, post office clerks, errand boys, cooks and housemaids and private citizens had all come running out into the street at the sound of the cheers and groans and dinner bells, windows had been thrown open, and heads leaned out of them, goggle -eyed and open mouthed. Everyone cackled and chattered: it was like the second act of the Meistersinger.
"Die Meistersinger von Nurnburg" is an opera in three acts written and composed by Wilhelm Richard Wagner (1813 - 1883), first performed in 1868. In the second act the town clerk Beckmesser decided to enter the St John's feast day song contest to win the hand in marriage of Eva, the daughter of the town goldsmith, Veit Pogner, but unwittingly causes a riot. There are some parallels between the devotion of Beckmesser and Miss Coles to Eva and Lucia respectively and the resultant chaos. See Wilhelm Richard Wagner.
Memorial stone ~ beautiful white marble memorial stone, erected just outside the south transept in the church yard at Tilling at his own expense by Georgie Pillson following the perceived loss of Miss Mapp and Lucia, when washed out to sea on an upturned kitchen table after the sea defences gave way and Grebe was flooded. Georgie mentioned his intention to Major Flint who did not offer to share the cost and simply responded "Capital idea" and took some whisky and soda.
On her safe return via an Italian fishing trawler on the Gallagher Bank, Lucia was taken aback by the memorial, but deeply touched. Its final line read implausibly: "In death they were not divided." Rather than being moved, Miss Mapp was merely irritated since, through oversight and lack of space, the stone mason had incised her name in much smaller letters than that of Lucia.
The cenotaph was much admired and a full-page reproduction of it appeared in the Parish Magazine for April. Though Tilling said nothing about the relative size of the inscribed names, it was felt that the error was productive of a very suitable effect, if a symbolic meaning was interpreted into it. Georgie was considered to have behaved very handsomely in this and so many other matters, particularly when compared to Major Flint.
Melchizedeck ~ otherwise Melchizedec or Melchizedek (from Hebrew, literally righteousness is my king). During Lucia's excavations for Roman remains in the garden following her acquisition of "Mallards House" a coin was discovered. The most minute scrutiny could not reveal any sort of image or superscription on its corroded surface: it might have been from the age of Melchizedeck or Hadrian or Queen Victoria. In the Old Testament, Melchizedeck was mentioned as the King of Salem in the time of Abram (Genesis 14:18-20). He is also referred to in Psalm 110:4 where the victorious ruler is declared "priest forever after the order of Melchizedeck". He is mentioned in the Roman Canon, the first Eucharistic Prayer of the Roman rite and is commemorated as one of the Holy forefathers in the Calendar of Saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church on 26th. July.
Mendelssohn ~ Diva Plaistow and Elizabeth Mapp had thoroughly enjoyed a spectacular contretemps in public view in the High Street in Tilling, when Diva's maid Janet had promenaded about in an outfit covered with appliqued chintz roses as an intentional satire, engineered by her mistress, of Miss Mapp's recent "new" garment festooned with cut-out chintz poppies.
As soon as the battle was over, both protagonists set about the melancholy task of counting the corpses - and seeking a way out of their self-imposed impasse. Naturally any permanent quarrel was not contemplated by either of them, for if quarrels were permanent inTilling, nobody would be on speaking terms any more with anyone else in a day or two, and (hardly less disastrous) there could be no fresh quarrels with anybody, since you could not quarrel without words. There might be songs without words, as Mendelssohn had proved, but not rows without words. Elizabeth and Diva set about determining a formula by wuhch this deadly antagonism could be bridged without delay and engineered a rapprochement remarkably quickly and efficiently.
German pianist, organist, conductor and composer, Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy - generally known as Felix Mendelssohn - (1809-1847) composed "Songs without Words " (Lieder ohne Worte), a series of short lyrical piano pieces. The eight volumes of Songs without Words each consisting of six lieder were written at various times and published separately (two, posthumously). As well as music for the piano, Mendelssohn's oeuvres include symphonies, concerti, oratorios and chamber music and he is one of the most popular composers of the Romantic era. See Lobgesang.
Menseful ~ Lucia was discussing with the Padre her somewhat grandiose ideas for the service of dedication of "her" refurbished organ in Tilling Church by the Bishop, after being escorted by the Mayor and Corporation in procession. Lucia suggested that "of course my organ would accompany the psalm and the anthem, but as I seem to see it, officially incognito. After that the Bishop's address: so sweet of him to suggest that."
To this the Padre replied, "Very menseful of him."
Originating from the Scots, "menseful" in this context means gracious or generous.
Meriton, Mr. ~ reporter from the Hastings Chronicle. Excessively effusive in his accounts of Lucia's complete cultural, political, charitable and social pre-eminence as the chatelaine of Mallards House - to the chagrin of many in Tilling, particularly Elizabeth Mapp.
Mermaid's tail ~ at the stout and fortress-like front door of The Hurst in Riseholme, the home of Mr and Mrs Philip Lucas, there was a heavy iron bell-pull which, with forceful use contrived to swing a huge and immensely noisy bronze bell in the servant's passage. To avoid the cacophony and inconvenience of vibrations causing whitewash to fall from the ceiling into dishes on their way to the dining room, Lucia arranged for the installation at the back of the mermaid's tail a little bone button, coloured black and practically invisible and the conversion of the device into an electric bell-push. In this way visitors could make their advent known without violent exertion, the mermaid lost no visible whit of her Elizabethan virginity and the spirit of Shakespeare wandering in his - or rather Lucia's - garden would not notice any anachronism.
Merriall, Mr Stephen ~ see Hermione.
Messuage ~ turning over some council papers, Lucia exclaimed "Eureka! Here it is! No, that's about slums, but also very interesting...What's a 'messuage'?"
Somewhat bored, Georgie replied "Probably a misprint for 'message'. Or 'massage.'"
"Messuage" is a legal term equating to a dwelling-house, often including its curtilage, outbuildings and garden.
"Methinks thou art forsworn!" ~ during a particularly heated game of bridge at "Ye Small House" on the afternoon that Susan Poppit had been invested with her MBE by the King, Miss Mapp knew she had committed the cardinal sin of revoking. At the same time three was a certain calmness about the Padre, which but too clearly indicated that he was quite content to wait for the inevitable disclosure. This came with the last trick, and though Miss Mapp made one forlorn attempt to thrust the horrible little clubby underneath the other cards and gather them up, the Padre pounced on it.
"What ho, fair lady! he said, now completely restored. "Methinks thou art forsworn! Let me have a keek at the last trick but three! Verily I wis that thou didst trump ye club aforetime. I said so; there it is. Eh, that's bonnny for us partner!"
The adjective "forsworn" means perjured or having falsely forsworn oneself. The term crops up quite often in literature and, although there is no conclusive reason to say so, one suspects that in selecting the words "thou art forsworn" Benson may have been quoting from Shakespeare's exquisite sonnet CLII:
In loving thee thou know'st I am forsworn,
But thou art twice forsworn, to me love swearing;
In act thy bed-vow broke, and new faith torn,
In vowing new hate after new love bearing:
But why of two oaths' breach do I accuse thee,
When I break twenty? I am perjur'd most;
For all my vows are oaths but to misuse thee,
And all my honest faith in thee is lost:
For I have sworn deep oaths of thy deep kindness,
Oaths of thy love, thy truth, thy constancy;
And, to enlighten thee, gave eyes to blindness,
Or made them swear against the thing they see;
For I have sworn thee fair; more perjur'd I,
To swear against the truth so foul a lie!
Metier ~ means a calling, business or that in which one is specially skilled. Georgie Pillson was bored by Lucia's pretensions as Mayor of Tilling with her continuous talk of her "mayoral duties and responsibilities, and tedious schemes for educational lectures and lighting of the streets. True, the old pellucid spring gushed our sometimes : who for instance, but she could have made Tilling bicycle-crazy, or have convinced Susan that Blue Birdie had gone to a higher sphere? That was her real metier, to render the trivilaities of life intense for others. But how her schemes for the good of Tilling bored him!"
Midian, Hosts of ~ see Hosts of Midian.
"Midsummer Night's Dream" ~ all the bedrooms in the achingly Elizabethan home of Lucia and Philip Lucas in Riseholme, "The Hurst" were named after plays by William Shakespeare, such as Lucia's bedroom "Midsummer Nights Dream" and guest rooms "Othello" and "Hamlet," about which Lucia in particular was terribly keen. See "The Hurst."
Mignonette ~ The bridge in the garden of "Ye Small House" on the afternoon of the day that Susan Poppit had been invested with her Order of MBE by the King in London had been marked by violent animosity amongst players pronounced even by the standards (or lack of them) of Tilling. It would have been a capital mistake to suppose that the players weer not all enjoying themselves immensely. Emotion is the salt of life , and here was no end of salt.
What made the concluding stages of this contest more exciting was that an evening breeze suddenly arising just as a deal was ended, made the cards rise in the air like a covey of partridges. They were recaptured, and all hands were found to be complete with the exception of Miss Mapp's, which had a card missing. This, an ace of hearts, was discovered by the Padre, face upwards, in a bed of mignonette, and he was vehement in claiming a fresh deal, on the grounds that the card was exposed. Miss Mapp could not speak at all in answer to this preposterous claim: she could only smile at him, and proceed to declare trumps as if nothing had happened...
Mignonette also grew in the garden of Daisy Quantock in Riseholme, "Daisy bowled out of the dining room and came with such speed down the steps that she nearly fell into the cirular bed where the broccoli had been (The mignonette there was poorish.)
Mignonette (Reseda of the family Resedaceae) is a genus of fragrant herbaceous plant used as the birthday flower for 30th January. The garden annual (Reseda odorata) bears racemes of fragrant whitish flowers amongst which a single playing card might so easily be lost in the fading light of a late summer afternoon in Sussex, especially if those seeking it had imbibed sufficient quantities of delicious but heady redcurrant fool. See redcurrant fool.
Milliner ~ Lucia mentioned that there was that good little milliner in the High Street. It appears that this establishment was separate from Miss Greele's dressmakers, which was also locate in the high Street. See Miss Greele.
Milton, John ~ When Lucia was discussing with the Padre the service of dedication for the organ, rebuilt at her expense, she suggested there be included "some anthem in praise of music. I had thought of that last chorus in Parry's setting of Milton's Ode on St Cecilia's Day, 'Blest Pair of Sirens.'"
One of the pre-eminent writers in the English language and a thinker of world import, John Milton (1608 - 1674) was an English poet and author best known for his epic poem "Paradise Lost". A puritan, Milton was a scholar, man of letters and polemicist who dealt with many contemporary issues. See Parry and Infelicities
Miss Milliner Michael-Angelo ~ nickname unkindly given to Georgie by Major Benjamin satirising his fastidious dress sense and artistic talents and disposition. He also called Georgie Miss Mapp's "dressmaker".
Modern Odyssey, A ~ Lucia's talk on her adventures when swept out to sea held one Friday afternoon at the Institute in Tilling. The Padre took the chair and the audience was packed, largely drawn by the offer of a sumptuous and free tea. After tea had been served during the interval, all the audience ebbed away, save for a hard core of only Irene, Georgie, the Wyses and Bartletts to listen to the second half.
Subsequently Lucia asked all the inmates of the workhouse who were not bedridden or deaf to tea at Grebe to hear an abridged form of what she had read at the Institute. An hour was considered enough since some would find the excitement and strain of the intellectual effort too much. This treat took place on exactly on the same day as Miss Mapp had planned to deliver her talk to them.
Molyneux ~ Operatic diva, Olga Bracely was visiting Lucia and Georgie Pillson at "Mallards House." Various friends had gathered for dinner to meet her. "A step was heard outside and Olga appeared in the doorway. A white gown, high at the neck, reeking of Molyneux and simplicity. A scarlet girdle, and pearls as before...."
Embodying the refined style of the idle slim, who were never too rich or too thin, Edward Henry Molyneux (1891-1974) was a leading fashion designer of the inter-war years, who dressed European Royalty, such as Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, actresses Greta Garbo, Gertrude Lawrence and Vivien Leigh and society figures such as Syrie Maugham. Friend of Noel Coward, his followers included Christian Dior and Pierre Balmain. He was the obvious couturier of choice for the chic and celebrated Olga Bracely.
"Monarch of the Glen" ~ 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!"
Painted in oil-on-canvas in 1851 by Royal Academician and favourite of Queen Victoria, Sir Edwin Landseer, "The Monarch of the Glen" was commissioned as part of three panels to hang in the Palace of Westminster. It depicted a stag in a Scottish landscape. After a dispute over the £150 commission, the painting was sold privately and ultimately came to be owned by Pears Soap, who used it in advertising and later by distillers, John Dewar and Sons and Glenfiddich. Prints from engravings were suffiently widely distributed for the picture to become a cliche, Vladimir Tretchikoff's "Green Lady" of its day.
Mondaine ~ Pepino's cold had prevented him from accompanying Lucia to Adele Brixton's party. Were she honest Lucia would have been forced to admit that she did not regret his absence greatly. Moreover she knew Pepino' presence somehow hampered her style: she could not be the brilliant mondaine,when his patient but proud eye was on her, with quite the dash that was hers when he was not there.
A mondaine is a worldling: a worldly woman absorbed in the pomps and vanities of the fashionable world.
Montagus (sometimes Montagues) and Capulets ~ the local election campaigns by Lucia and Elizabeth Mapp-Flint were frantic and energetic, although sadly resulting in equal last place in the poll, each with only thirty nine votes: in fact the feuds of the Montagus and Capulets were but a faint historical foreshadowing of this municipal contest. In "Romeo and Juliet" the Montagus and Capulets were worn enemies in Verona, although Shakespeare never explained the reason for the feud. Romeo, a Montagu fell in love with Juliet , a Capulet and, after much tooing and froing, lose their lives as a direct result of the feud. Tilling did not seem to learn from Verona's tragic and gory lesson.
Montgomery, Mr Robert ~ when Georgie was consulting Lucia regarding the response to be given to Lady Ambermere's outrageous demand for £50 to compensate her for the loss of Queen Charlotte's mittens in the conflagration which had sadly consumed the Riseholme Museum, to which they had been loaned, Lucia turned over the leaves of her newspaper. She referred to details of a sale at Pemberton's Auction Rooms in Knightsbridge the previous day at which various items had been sold, including the autograph of Crippen, riding gaiters once owned by King George IV and a mother of pearl brooch belonging to the wife of the poet Mr Robert Montgomery.
Son of Robert Gomery and Elizabeth Medows Boyce, popular poet Robert Montgomery (1807-1855) first founded an unsuccessful weekly newspaper in Bath called "The Inspector." In 1828 he published "The Omni-present Deity " which captured popular sentiment and ran into more than eight editions in its first year and 28 by 1858. A satire entitled The Puffiad" followed in 1830 and "Satan" or "Intellect without God." Montgomery's work was subjected to vicious and derisory criticism, leading him to contemplate action for libel. After going to Lincoln College, Oxford and graduating he took holy orders and ultimately moved to the parish of St Pancras as minister of Percy Chapel. He married Rachel Catherine Andrews Mc Kenzie and they had one child, Jessie Anne Douglas in 1851. Robert died in Brighton in 1855 and his widow in Exeter in 1882. Some fifty years later, it appears her mother of pearl brooch ended up in a sale room in Knightsbridge. The reader is not advised how this transpired or the sum realised. See Pemberton's Auction Rooms, Carlyle, Crippen, Queen Charlotte, Queen Charlotte's mittens, Riseholme Museum and Lady Ambermere.
"Monumentum oere perennius" ~ Approaching her fiftieth birthday and apparently affected by her near-death experience when lost at sea on the kitchen table from "Grebe", Lucia complained to herself that the Recording Angel would have next to nothing in his book about me this year. I've been vegetating. Molto cattiva!...I must do something more monumental ('monumentum oere perennius,' isn't it?) in this coming year. I know I have the capacity for high ambition . What I don't know is what to be ambitious about....
Here Lucia was again quoting from "The Odes" of Quintus Horatius Horace (65-8BC), the leading Latin lyric poet:
Exegi monumentum aere perennius
I have made a monument more lasting than bronze
Book III, Ode xxx, line 1
"Moonlight Sonata" ~ Beethoven piece in C sharp minor, the slow movement of which - with its exquisite pathos - was a particular favourite of Lucia and which she described as another key to Beethoven's soul. Lucia was very often persuaded to perform the work - on some civic and church occasions and all musical evenings at Riseholme and latterly in Tilling.
Lucia could never bring herself to believe that the two succeeding movements were on the same astounding level as the first - besides, they went very much faster. Lucia did attempt to take these succeeding movements seriously in hand - but without ever remotely mastering them. Some with Bolshevic tendencies took the view that after all, everyone in Riseholme knew Lucia's old tunes by now and were in their secret consciousnesses quite aware that she did not play the second and third movements simply because thety 'went faster', however much she might cloak the omission by saying that they resembled eleven 'o clock in the morning or three 'o clock in the afternoon.
The Moonlight Sonata (especially the first movement) had an almost sacred significance in Riseholme and later in Tilling. It was Lucia's tune, much as God Save the King was the King's tune.
When looking for means to heal the schisms that had developed in Riseholme, Olga Bracely suggested that Georgie Pillson give to Lucia a portrait playing the "The Moonlight Sonata", which as was his custom, he obeyed. With its title "The Moonlight Sonata" printed in gilt letters on its frame, it hung beside her piano in place of the print of Beethoven. Lucia, though she continued to say that it made her far, far too young could not but consider that Georgie had caught her expression exactly....
A transcription for organ was played by Lucia on the dedication by the Bishop of her organ in Tilling church, restored and wonderfully improved at her considerable expense - with Georgie on the pedals.
On one memorable evening Lucia was persuaded to attend to a rendition of the piece on the "listening-in" machine newly installed by Olga Bracely at Old Place. After listening patiently Lucia critiqued the performance and compared it unfavourably with that by Cortot who took it a little more slowly and a little more legato. She was even persuaded to demonstrate the nuances of Cortot's superior interpretation on the piano. Later when alone, Olga confirmed to Georgie "By the way, of course it was Cortot who was playing 'Moonlight Sonata' faster than Cortot plays it".
Lucia created a precedent by contributing to the musical entertainment which concluded the Mayoral banquet which celebrated her installation. As the Hampshire Argus recorded, Lucia gave an exquisite rendering on the piano of the slow movement of Beethoven's, Moonlight Sonata. It produced a somewhat pensive effect and she went back to her presiding place again amid respectful applause and a shrill and very solitary cry of "Encore!" from Elizabeth Mapp-Flint.
After one particularly moving rendition, Major Benjy said he was devoted to Chopin.
Moraine ~ 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 fragmments 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...."
A moraine is any glacially-formed accumulation of unconsolidated debris, such as soil and rock, found in currently or formerly glaciated regions. It seems that the moraine evident on the path by the potting shed in Daisy Quantock's garden in Riseholme was man-made rather than glacially deposited.
Morning parliament ~ informal practice in Riseholme to stroll upon the Green near to the ducking pond and latterly opposite Old Place at mid-morning and perchance meet and exchange news with friends and neighbours. Regular participants included Mrs Weston, Colonel Boucher, Daisy Quantock, Georgie, Lucia and Mrs Antrobus - whilst, ignoring their advancing years, her daughters Piggie and Goosie gambolled and frolicked nearby with remarkable energy.
Morning room ~ small apartment opening out of the hall at Mallards and used chiefly for the bestowal of hats, cloaks and umbrellas.
Morrison, Inspector ~ senior officer with the constabulary in Tilling. Required from time to time to request Lucia to sign summonses as a magistrate. Innocently caused anxiety to the players by requesting Lucia to sign one such document whilst she enjoyed a rubber or two of bridge for the usual stakes at Diva Plaistow's tea-rooms when his visit was mistaken for a raid.
Moses ~ Daisy Quantock thrillingly noted that the rooms of her medium Princess Popoffski at her flat, in a quiet side-street off Charing Cross Road, were dimly lit by oil lamps that stood in front of shrines containing images of the great spiritual guides from Moses down to Madame Blavatsky.
Revered in Judaism, Christianity, Islam and other faiths, Moses is cited in the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an as a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed. According to the Book of Exodus - and with sincere and universal apologies for the necessary brevity - his mother hid him when the Pharoah ordered that all newborn Hebrew boys be killed and he was adopted as a foundling by the Egyptian royal family. After killing an Egyptian slave master, Moses fled to Midian where he encountered the God of Israel in a burning bush. Sent by God to Egypt, to request the release of the Israelites, ten plagues intervened and Moses then led the Exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt across the Red Sea and ultimately to Mount Sinai where he received the Ten Commandments. The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years and Moses died within sight of the Promised Land. See Madame Blavatski, Daisy Quantock and Princess Popoffski.
Sir Andrew Moss ~ President of the Divorce Court sitting in the celebrated Shyton divorce case. He had dined with Lucia on the previous evening and given her an admission card to the court.
Moujik ~ when nominated Mayor of Tilling, Lucia's pretensions grew apace. Lucia felt her "finger must be on its pulse" like Catherine the Great who "always had her finger on the pulse of her people: That I maintain was the real source of her greatness. She used to disguise herself, you remember, a peasant woman - moujik, isn't it? - and let herself out of of the back door of the Winter Palce, and sat in the bars and cafes or wherever they drink vodka and tea - samovars - and hear what the common people were saying, astonishing her Ministers with her knowledge."
The Russian peasant male was colloquially known as krestyanin and the female krestyanka. Some arrogate this meaning to muzhik, which is a man rather than a peasant. The female equivalent is baba. In common usage hoever moujik has come to mean a Russian peasant, especially prior to 1917.
Mozart ~ second in Lucia's pantheon of musical greats only to "noble Beethoven" was "that heavenly Mozart" - the treble part of whose pieces transcribed for piano duet she so enjoyed playing with Georgie Pillson.
So enduringly and universally popular and recognised as to render any further explanation otiose, the prolific and influential genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) composed over 600 works in symphonic, concertante, chamber, operatic and choral music.
"Much have I travelled in the realms of gold" ~ Mottoes were in great evidence in the ultra-Shakespearean garden of “The Hurst” in Riseholme, but were not confined to the words of the Bard of Avon. They ranged from "Tempus fugit" on the sundial to “Bide a wee,” bewilderingly on an enticing resting place. The rustic seat in the pleached alley of laburnums had carved on its back, “Much have I travelled in the realms of gold” so that meditating on Keats, you could bide a wee with a clear conscience.
This quotation, as might be expected from a noted classicist such as Benson, was taken from “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer,” a sonnet written by John Keats in October 1816 after he had spent the night reading George Chapman’s 1616 translation of Homers Iliad and Odyssey:
Much have I traveled in the realms of gold
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne;
Yet never did I breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He stared at the Pacific—and all his men
Looked at each other with a wild surmise—
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.
Fred and Keats appear to differ on the spelling of “traveled”
Mulberry tree ~ at the beginning of "Lucia in London," Daisy Quantock dispenses with the services of her part-time gardener, Mr Simknison over her disapproval of the time spent by him on crossword puzzles in his potting shed. Daisy's efforts in her garden were not successful and they included an unwise attempt to prune the roots of her mulberry tree, which very nearly brought about its demise.
We are not informed which of the ten to sixteen species of the deciduous trees of the family Moraceae, commonly known as mulberries, grew in the garden of Daisy Quantock in Riseholme. Mulberries are swift-growing when young, but later slow down and rarely exceed 33 to 49 feet tall. Its alternately arranged leaves are simple, often lobed and serated on the margin and its multiple fruits are white, green or pale yellow when immature, pink and then red when ripening and dark purple or black when ripe. Like so many of us in later life, it has a spreading habit and becomes crooked or knarled with time.
Mussolini ~ Lucia created considerable dismay amongst her circle in Tilling, who much enjoyed playing bridge for modest stakes, by declining to gamble - as she put it. The Padre remarked vehemently , "I winna play for nowt" whilst his normally mouse-like spouse Evie declared with startling petulance, "That I won't submit to. I won't, I won't. She may be Mayor but she isn't Mussolini."
Amongst the founders of Italian fascism, Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini (1883 -1945) became Italian Prime Minister in 1922 and Il Duce by 1925. His fascism was nationalist, corporatist, progressive, expansionist and anti-communist, reflected by repression and a cult of personality, massive public works programmes and expansion abroad, as in Abyssinia. Hitler's very junior partner in the Axis, he came to an unfortunate end upside-down, not unlike Lucia's failed policy of playing bridge just for fun.
Misogynistic ~ Captain Puffin and Major Beny were looking forward to lunch at the Poppits next day. Puffin remarked "'Wish there was a chance of more redcurrant fool. That was a decent tipple, all but the redcurrants. If I had all the old brandy that was served for my ration in one glass, and all the champagne in another, I should have been quite content.'
Captain Puffin was a great cynic in his own misogynistic way.
'Camouflage for the fair sex,' he said 'A woman will lick up half a bottle of brandy if its called plum pudding, and ask for more, whereas if you offered her a small brandy-and-soda, she would think you were insulting her.'"
Misogyny is the hatred or dislike of women or girls, the male equivalent of which is misandry. Puffin was undenaibly cynical but perhaps rather more a realist than mysogenist. A case can be made that Major Benjy was fond of women with frequent remarks such as "Bless them, the funny little fairies" and thus the antonym of misogynist, a philogynist. Some might consider that he ultimately came to pay a terrible price for this inclination.