NOTES ON ISSUE 2: ALLUSIONS
he became of the
A playful allusion to 1 Corinthians 15:47: "The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven."
"Because those two were one.
Because they were never asunder."
This passage echoes the wording of the marriage ceremony of the Book of Common Prayer: "Those whom God hath joined together let no man put asunder."
with the Coriolanian style of
nose and the dense black eyebrows which had captivated Sparsit
Mrs. Sparsit's "Coriolanian nose" is an allusion to Shakespeare's tragedy Coriolanus. The eponymous hero of the play is an arrogant Roman general with a strong disdain for the multitudes; the allusion underscores Mrs. Sparsit's snobbery.
Princes and lords may flourish or
A breath can make them, as a breath has made.
Dickens takes this quotation from Oliver Goldsmith's 1770 poem The Deserted Village, in which Goldsmith mourns the decline of a small country village. The poem blames the growth of trade and mercantilism for the village's depopulation. Although the quotation is overtly meant as a description of Bounderby's rise in the world as a self-made man, the themes of the poem from which it is taken—which condemns the very sort of business in which Bounderby made his name—add irony to the passage.