NOTES ON ISSUE 9: HISTORICAL GLOSSARY
PART 1 OF 2
little mean excise-rod
An excise rod was a measuring stick used by officials in order to determine the excise tax to charge, either during the manufacturing process or before sale.
the World, with its best glass in
The "glass in its eye" is a reference to a monocle, which may have been a sign of worldliness or pretension.
an impromptu wrestle with my friend
Bounderby in the Lancashire manner
The Lancashire style was a particularly rough-and-tumble type of wrestling. To win, a competitor had to hold down his opponent’s shoulders for two seconds. It was considered the most vicious of the various English manners of wrestling, and it gave rise to such maneuvers as the half nelson and full nelson.
thirteen or fourteen stone
A stone is a standard British measurement of 14 pounds: thus, between 182 and 196 pounds.
his hotel in St. James's Street
A fashionable area in London's West End, running between
Pall Mall and Piccadilly and near a number of gentleman's clubs.
Venus, who had risen out of the mud instead of the sea
Venus, the goddess of love in Roman mythology (called
Aphrodite in Greek mythology), is said to have been born from