Stephen Jarvis: Death and Mr Pickwick

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37700000001The Adventures of Peter Pickle

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1 (59)
nas·tur·tium n. a South American trailing plant with round leaves and bright orange, yellow, or red edible flowers that is widely grown as an ornamental.  Tropaeolum majus, family Tropaeolaceae. Old English, from Latin, apparently from naris 'nose' + torquere 'to twist'.
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di·vid·er n. 1 a person or thing that divides a whole into parts. an issue on which opinions are divided: the big divider was still nuclear weapons. (also room divider) a screen or piece of furniture that divides a room into two parts. 2 (dividers) a measuring compass, esp. one with a screw for making fine adjustments.
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swerve v. change or cause to change direction abruptly: [intrans.] a car swerved around a corner | [trans.] he swerved the truck, narrowly missing a teenager on a skateboard. ¦ n. an abrupt change of direction: do not make sudden swerves, particularly around parked vehicles. swerv·er n. Old English sweorfan 'depart, leave, turn aside', of Germanic origin; related to Middle Dutch swerven 'to stray'.
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whelp n. a puppy. - a cub. - a boy or young man (often as a disparaging form of address). - (whelps) a set of projections on the barrel of a capstan or windlass, designed to reduce the slippage of a rope. ¦ v. [trans.] (of a female dog) give birth to (a puppy): Copper whelped seven puppies | [intrans.] a bitch due to whelp. in whelp (of a female dog) pregnant. Old English hwelp (noun), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch welp and German Welf.
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sen·try n. (pl. -tries) a soldier stationed to keep guard or to control access to a place. stand sentry keep guard or control access to a place. early 17th cent.: perhaps from obsolete centrinel, variant of SENTINEL.
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pro·sce·ni·um n. (pl. -ni·ums or -ni·a ) the part of a theater stage in front of the curtain. - short for PROSCENIUM ARCH. - the stage of an ancient theater. early 17th cent.: via Latin from Greek , from pro 'before' + 'stage'.
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98 1759: 20150613@ numb adj. deprived of the power of sensation: my feet were numb with cold | FIGURATIVE the tragic events left us shocked and numb. ¦ v. [trans.] deprive of feeling or responsiveness: the cold had numbed her senses. cause (a sensation) to be felt less intensely; deaden: vodka might numb the pain in my hand. numb·ing adj. numb·ly adv. numb·ness n. late Middle English nome(n)past participle of obsolete nim 'take'.
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squint v. 1 [intrans.] look at someone or something with one or both eyes partly closed in an attempt to see more clearly or as a reaction to strong light: the bright sun made them squint. [trans.] partly close (one's eyes) for such reasons. 2 [intrans.] have eyes that look in different directions: Melanie did not squint. (of a person's eye) have a deviation in the direction of its gaze: her left eye squinted slightly. ¦ n. 1 [in sing.] a permanent deviation in the direction of the gaze of one eye: I had a bad squint. 2 [in sing.] INFORMAL a quick or casual look: let me have a squint. 3 an oblique opening through a wall in a church permitting a view of the altar from an aisle or side chapel. squint·er n. squint·y adj. [often in combination] squinty-eyed. mid 16th cent. (in the sense 'squinting', as in SQUINT-EYED): shortening of ASQUINT.
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leer v. [intrans.] look or gaze in an unpleasant, malicious, or lascivious way: bystanders were leering at the nude painting | [as adj.] (leering) every leering eye in the room was on her. ¦ n. an unpleasant, malicious, or lascivious look. leer·ing·ly adv. mid 16th cent. (in the general sense 'look sideways or askance'): perhaps from obsolete leer 'cheek', from Old English , as though the sense were 'to glance over one's cheek'.
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hob·ble·de·hoy INFORMAL, DATED n. a clumsy or awkward youth. ¦ adj. awkward or clumsy: his hobbledehoy hands. mid 16th cent.: of unknown origin.
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‘That’s what they say, sir,’ said the landlady’s voice, ‘but do you know the mistake he made?’ ‘No.’ ‘It’s a farthing to know, sir.’ ‘Very well. What was it?’ ‘He planted them to feed silkworms.’ Cough. ‘But he planted the wrong mulberry, pink not white. And no silkworm would ever touch those. You can’t fool a silkworm, sir.’ Cough.
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‘I think it would. People would like to see all sides of life in London. What if they could see the city in the safety of their own homes? No pickpockets, no violence, no dirt. So yes, they would buy.’ ‘The whole of London?’ said George.
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‘A one-mile radius of Piccadilly forms a complete cyclopedia of the world,’ said Egan. ‘The world that matters, at least. Life, gentlemen, life. People want to see it.’
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When Seymour went to the booking office at the White Horse Cellar, on a cold morning in the autumn, to reserve an inside place to the village of Pickwick, he discovered the coaching company was indeed operated by one Moses Pickwick.
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‘I am, sir. Proud of all three.’
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‘Well, I am very pleased to meet you, Mr Pickwick.’
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On the History of the Pickwick Family of Pickwick with an Appendix on Matters Arising from Agricultural Concerns at Swainswick.
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There were passing references at the start of the document to a thirteenth-century Wiltshire man with the surname de Pikewike, who may or may not have had some connection to a Pykewyke in a Devon Assizes roll of roughly the same period. There was some speculation, too, as to whether the surname Pickwick was derived from the French piquez-vite, or ‘spur fast’, which led to the hypothesis that the Pickwick family’s connection with horses and coaching was congenital.
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‘What is that?’ she said. ‘A cat?’ ‘I don’t think so.’ ‘Best ignore it.’ ‘Please go and investigate. Do.’ The driver returned with the bundled child. By the time the gentleman returned from the tree, his wife held the child to her bosom – the shock on the gentleman’s face was almost old-spinsterish. ‘We can’t just leave the poor thing here,’ she said. ‘Why? It has survived so far.’ His wife gave him a look. They took the boy to their opulent home,
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‘The child will be considered a foundling. But nothing official can be done without a name.’
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quill, ‘There is precedent for the name Moses – foundlings, you know.’
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Thus it was that the Parish Register for 29 January 1694 recorded the presence in this world of the first Moses Pickwick, ‘so called because found at Pickwick’.
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When the boy grew he still accompanied her to taprooms, for she had become fond of little Moses, for no other reason, she said, than that he came from nowhere with nothing and such a babby needed looking after, and she was the one to do it.
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Wick Court. He was named Pickwick because he had been picked up at Wick.
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Not long afterwards, Ann became a Pickwick herself, and in due course, eleven fresh Pickwicks entered the world, all with Old Testament names, who in turn produced forty more.
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cupboard of false horse tails,
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Moses Pickwick. No driver was employed upon a Pickwick vehicle unless he had had one accident,
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Moses married late, when he was forty-seven, despite warnings. ‘Be happy with the way you are, Moses,’ said a customer supping in the White Hart’s taproom. ‘Get married, and you’ll be a coach with the wheels off.’
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For the Pickwick family coaching business would not exist without Bath, and – so the story went – Bath began with Swainswick.
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The True Legend of Prince Bladud
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in Athens, Bladud became a changed man. No longer did he show the slightest interest in the hunt; instead, he embraced his new Greek life wholeheartedly. He sought all that Greece could teach, and he immersed himself in Plato, Zeno, Epicurus and Pythagoras. He loved especially the stories of the gods and heroes, and would listen intently to the tales of Athena and Apollo.
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All this held Bladud in Athens. For eleven years he stayed and studied the arts of the shamans, ignoring his father’s many entreaties to return. For what was a small earthly kingdom on the western fringes to the vast empire of shamanic knowledge?
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So, leper that he was, Bladud, eldest son of Lud-Hudibras, eighth King of Britain, concealed himself in a hooded cloak and found passage on a ship, though it took great persuasion in gold for the mariner to take a diseased man as freight. For freight he was – kept in a hold, away from all others on the vessel.
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A bearded amateur historian, who occasionally drank in the Hare and Hounds, had been listening to Moses’ account. ‘I’ve heard that the story of Bladud is pure invention,’ he said. ‘The pigs were not even in the earliest known version.’ ‘You insult me, sir,’ said Moses Pickwick. ‘You insult the people of Bath.’
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How Mr Inbelicate urged me to study the Quixote! He wanted me to explore everything from the hero’s rank of hidalgo, to the comedy of the phrase ‘de la Mancha’. He suggested that I might trace the forerunners of the Don and Sancho, specifically a farmer called Bartolo and his squire Bandurrio, and then back, back, back in history to the earliest manifestation in literature of a man and his comic servant.
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I also note in passing Sancho’s fondness for proverbs. For there is something in the Iberian soil – or, more likely, the wine – which makes a Spanish tongue produce proverbs with ease, and which also makes a Spanish ear receptive to a proverbial expression.
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Sancho Panza derived some of his extraordinary popularity, as though he were a living book of proverbs. His first is: ‘Let the dead go to the grave, while the living continue to eat.’
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Georg Schmid noticed an exceptionally pretty barmaid.
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The toe of his boot made a twitch in the direction of the inn,
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very respectable customers of the prostitutes, who sought a moment’s levity after a heavy session with a whore.
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‘I am. But the figures are too bare. And too similar. There needs to be more to interest the viewer. I think I know what to do.’ Seymour sketched a cherub leaning lazily against a circular brick furnace while reading a newspaper. It was not merely the pose, nor even the newspaper prop, which caught the eye. He drew the cherub as bald, and added circular spectacles. ‘Now that,’ he said, ‘will do it.’
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‘HAVE YOU SEEN the second movie in the Alien franchise?’ said Mr Inbelicate as he returned
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An unstoppable flow of drawings by Robert Seymour was the boast and the pride of Thomas McLean’s
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Now the scheme became even grander in Seymour’s mind: perhaps other authors might be included, as well as Shakespeare. He brought down a volume of Byron. Over the next weeks and months, he produced 260 complicated lithographic pictures, and this in addition to work for McLean, and many other commissions.
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Pleasant memories of the village returned, inseparable from the desire to produce works of art, and involved the Hare and Hounds, and that peculiar publican and coaching proprietor, Moses Pickwick.
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IN A DESK drawer in Moses Pickwick’s office at the White Hart lay a curious green ledger in which the overall profit-and-loss account for the inn was kept.
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Whatever their exact income, the Pickwicks were well-to-do. Their three hundred horses proved it. If they should need to make an exact calculation, they could always hire a clerk. The account-book’s pages proved accommodating to all types of material.
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There was one meal he served that was prized by his guests above all others: Quin’s Siamese Soup.
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To taste the famous soup was worth enduring an entire evening of Quin’s anecdotes.
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Quin nodded a bow to all sides of the table, before resuming his tale.
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back, “I will meek you pee.”
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The whole table of a dozen guests concurred. The soup was extraordinary, mouthwatering – never had their palates been so stimulated.
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‘You must tell us the secret,’ said the merchant. ‘We will not tell a soul. You did promise.’ ‘Well,’ said Quin, leaning forward, ‘it is composed of sage, onions, spices, ham and wine, all boiled up in a copper pot with water and other ingredients.’
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‘So,’ said Moses Pickwick, ‘James Quin kept the secret of his Siamese Soup, and he took it to his grave. But I have it on good authority that its true basis is the sauce whose recipe is preserved in my ledger.’
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‘It’s the effect on old England that concerns me,’ said a third, who had a peculiar habit of shining his pipe bowl with grease from the pores of his nose, as though it would help preserve the clay. ‘Ancient
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There were flashes of violence and disruption in the next few hours, but by two o’clock in the morning the city was quiet again. At that point,
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can be shouted out on street corners, persuading the weak-minded to buy them simply because the slogans are shouted – for these works there should be no liberty. People that can read can be enraged by what they read.’
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Wetherell’s clown pockets were stuffed with fish – for the stink of scandal. The demand for the issue was huge.
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piece of angling lore, Scripty – “Wind from the east, fish bite the least; wind from the north, go not forth.”
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– ‘Because, you never know,’ he said with a grin, ‘Satan’s hellhounds may be up for the chase.’
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A horse may jump high, but no fence is as high as a debtors’ prison wall.
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man. ‘A name is a most valuable asset, as Mr Pitman knew.’
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300 5411: 20150710@ hgx:notorious Putney puntites!’
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‘Serious! The Putney puntite just wants to pass a few hours away from his normal business. They are rarely experts.’
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There came a reprise of the first verse, which was the signal for a final, universal swallowing. Then all shook hands and slapped backs and adjourned to their beds in the Grosvenor.
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Then he went on about how every bullet faced made a man more attractive to women, and the result was hundreds of dead beaus spread all over the battlefield – or cartloads of ’em, when they picked ’em up.
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He may have been prodded by the name of Mr Peter Pickle. He may have pondered the theme of travelling, of using coaches , and of drinking in inns as horses were changed. He may have thought of Egan’s work, and its mention of the village with the art gallery nearby. Whatever the direct inspiration, Seymour abruptly opened his eyes, and sought his wife. He found her in the kitchen. ‘I have the name of my main character,’ he said. ‘That’s nice. And what is that?’ ‘I am going to call him Mr Pickwick.’
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I TURN BACK through the pages I have already written, and have pleasure in quoting myself: ‘For there is no Don Quixote without his squire Sancho Panza , and Seymour in his painting of Sancho surely knew this. And perhaps even then, as a young man at work on this canvas, portraying the thin knight and a fat squire – I say, perhaps even then – his mind wondered playfully about reversing fat and thin . What if, he might have asked, what if there were a fat knight and a thin squire?’ - Finally Quixote and Pickwick!!
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I can imagine the enthusiasm of Seymour, that he can barely keep still in his seat, impelled by the idea of a new Quixote. He, Seymour, could travel all over England himself, sketching the places the fat man visits. The fat character was on a mission to observe – to see more, the pun that the artist had always been.
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If Mr Pickwick founded the club, then it could legitimately be called the Pickwick Club, a club founded by a great toper and trencherman. He remembered Edward Barnard’s talk of Putney puntites – men who moored their punts by Putney Bridge, supposedly to catch fish, but in reality to eat, drink and smoke. No serious angler would moor near Putney Bridge. That was perfect!
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383 6897: 20150719@ hgx:mission to observe the world!
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His new aim is to see more of life. Knowing nothing of the world except small fish would make him the gullible sort I seek.’
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culminated in his great scientific thesis, Speculations on the Source of the Hampstead Ponds, with some Observations on the Theory of Tittlebats.
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“A woman is the one horse I can’t put a bridle on.” The look she gave me was like she had drunk poison herself! I haven’t seen her since.’
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Occasionally you would find a female sporting enthusiast, but it was rare. The affaire d’honneur is one of the few links that could exist between sport and women.
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‘Forty-two?’ he said. This would be something to tell his club! Never had he encountered a horse of so many years!
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A doctor in the military . Such a woman would be right for him. Here, thought the doctor to himself, as he eyed the old woman’s jewels, was his pension!
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The horse galloped on, faster still with his load considerably lightened, until the chaise’s wheel crashed into a tree. The wheel came off, and only this brought the horse to a halt. It whinnied, and from the positions of the Pickwickians strewn at various points along the road, it sounded suspiciously like a laugh.
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A triangular spittoon on the floor was the last detail, pointing like an arrowhead towards the most important element in the picture, the bald and bespectacled Mr Pickwick. He would work on a finished version of the drawing another time, but for now he was satisfied. This would be the opening scene, Mr Pickwick Addresses the Club.
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‘Read the evidence, madam! Shipwrecks, fires, poverty – all caused by drink! Avoid the bottle! Shun the inn! And you, sir – one in two suicides! Four out of five crimes, madam! You, sir – two-thirds of all cases of insanity! All down to alcohol!’
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IT IS APPROPRIATE to mention here a foible of Mr Inbelicate’s. I have said that he urged me to study Don Quixote. He also had an enduring fascination with a story by Jorge Luis Borges, ‘Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote’, which concerns a man who reproduces, word for word, a fragment of that great work of literature – not as an exercise in copying but as a creative act of supreme audacity, with the author having never read the original
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At the top of this prospectus was announced the title of the work in full: The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club containing a faithful record of the Perambulations , Perils, Travels, Adventures and Sporting Transactions of the Corresponding Members.
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‘All I believe ,’ said Boz, ‘is the obvious truth – that pictures can put themselves between the author and his reader. That pictures can corrupt an author’s vision of the world.’
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‘I see,’ said Chapman. ‘He burnt everything connected with Pickwick, did he?’‘Everything he could immediately lay his hands on, at least.’‘I see he said he had no malicious enemies.’
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When Chapman left, Edward Holmes returned to John Mead in the parlour. ‘You do know,’ said Holmes, ‘that there must not be a felo de se verdict at the inquest?’‘I am afraid I do not know what that means.’‘It means that no Christian burial would be allowed. It would be a verdict of self-murder. But the consequences for those living would not merely be shame and humiliation. A verdict of felo de se would deprive Jane of all rights to inherit. The Crown would take everything from her.’
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All this would come later. For now, The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club had to survive in the marketplace.
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597 10769: 20150806@ hgx:I’d go so far as to say there is nothin’ like London mud in the world.!!
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The surgeon would read Pickwick in a cab on his way to the hospital; the omnibus driver would read Pickwick while the horses were changed; the blacksmith would read Pickwick while waiting for metal in a furnace; the cook would read Pickwick when she was stirring the soup; the mother would read Pickwick when the child was at her breast.
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The gullible fool had become the child, the uncorrupted babe, the innocent kitten, reborn in an old man’s body. Who would not want to wrap protective arms around this pure soul? Who would not want Mr Pickwick to thrive, to remain innocent, despite the world’s tainting seeds?
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605 10917: 20150806@ hgx:And it would always be asked: what will Sam Weller do next month?
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repeated Sam’s sayings with a special professional pride.
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‘I don’t remember Sam saying that.’‘’ E didn’t say it. I say it. I’ve been tryin’ to come up with some of my own.’‘Give us another then.’ He thought a moment. ‘Can’t you be ’appy with just the one – as the surgeon said when ’e sawed off the boy’s right leg.’
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quill: sulka
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(pl. phalanges /f? lan(d) i z/) [ANATOMY] a bone of the finger or toe. mid 16th century (denoting a body of Macedonian infantry): via Latin from Greek.
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Let others heed Horace’s advice in Ars Poetica to keep a book nine years in the study before presenting it to the world, to remove the folly of hastily composed writing.
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which contained a twopenny book of songs from an entertainment called The Village Coquettes, to be performed at the St James’s Theatre, along with a free pass to the opening night. When he saw the libretto was by Boz, he sent the package to the magazine’s drama critic. At that opening night, the rumour spread among the rows and boxes that Boz himself was in the audience. The desire to see the mysterious man responsible for Pickwick was so profound that, as soon as the cast had taken the audience’s applause, a shout began –‘Boz! Boz! Boz!’
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gush v. [no obj.] 1 [with adverbial of direction] (of a liquid) flow out of something in a rapid and plentiful stream: water gushed out of the washing machine. - [with obj. and adverbial of direction] discharge (liquid) in this way: the tanker began to gush oil from its damaged hull. 2 speak or write effusively or with exaggerated enthusiasm: everyone came up to me and gushed about how lucky I was. ¦ n. 1 a rapid and plentiful stream or burst of something: a gush of blood. 2 [mass noun] effusiveness or exaggerated enthusiasm. late Middle English: probably imitative. - vouhotus
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Yet a work such as Pickwick could not be overly solemn for too long. Mr Pickwick’s travels had come to a halt in prison – and it was in Mr Pickwick’s nature that he must roll onwards, once more, like the coach service with which he shared his name.
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‘This is disgraceful,’ said Mathematics. ‘I agree entirely,’ said Latin. ‘As it is, the boys are only interested in Pickwick, and talking like Sam Weller . They count the days until the next part appears.’
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it said: ‘by Charles Dickens’.
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But I say: there is only one Sam Weller. And I say to everyone here – as Mr Pickwick said to his followers –“Let us celebrate this happy meeting with a convivial glass.”’ The proposal was received with loud and universal approbation.
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Dickens: ‘I confess, I am proud of Pickwick. The way it has made its way in the world is extraordinary. And it is my hope – it is my firm belief – that Pickwick will survive long into the future, long after I am gone.
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And I declare to you now that if each of a month’s slips were a year in my life – I say, if I were to live one hundred years – and if I were to write three novels in each, I should never be so proud of any of them as I am of Pickwick.’ (Calls of ‘Hear, hear.’) ‘Gentlemen, I thank you all.’
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AFTER WE HAD discussed the possible significance of the tale of the baron, Mr Inbelicate said: ‘There was something else which happened in 1838.’ He passed over another of his missiles in paper form.
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‘Seymour,’ said Dickens. ‘I did not know him , really. But an artist of talent. I greatly admired his work.’
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‘Seymour,’ said Dickens. ‘I did not know him , really. But an artist of talent. I greatly admired his work.’
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‘My view is that even Shakespeare had sources. There were chroniclers he worked from – we wouldn’t have had King Lear without Geoffrey of Monmouth. This in no sense detracts from the greatness of Shakespeare’s work.’
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Seymour is dead. He left us in the lurch. Everything that is great about Pickwick is by Dickens. You have my support.’‘And Mr Hall?’‘I shall speak to him. If I know William, he will not object. He’d had his fill of Robert Seymour.’
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frontispiece / fr nt spi s/ n. 1 an illustration facing the title page of a book. 2 [ARCHITECTURE] the principal face of a building. - a decorated entrance. - a pediment over a door or window. late 16th century (in sense 2): from French frontispice or late Latin frontispicium ‘facade’, from Latin frons, front- ‘front’ + specere ‘to look’. The change in the ending (early in the word's history) was by association with PIECE.
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‘This is wrong,’ she said. ‘There was no Nimrod Club. It was the Pickwick Club, right from the start. So how can there have been a change from Nimrod to Pickwick?
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‘A fat man, in tights and gaiters, bald, with glasses.’‘What if Mr Pickwick were a thin man?’‘But he isn’t.’‘Suppose he were.’‘The thought is impossible. I would even say – it is abhorrent.’‘I want you to entertain the possibility.’ He ‘The entire Pickwick Papers would be different. All the eating and drinking and conviviality wouldn’t occur with a thin man. You would expect him to dine on dry crusts and cold water. You wouldn’t want to be in his company. Where would the fun be?’
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felo de se verdict. Father was a religious man, and knew what felo de se meant – denial of a Christian burial.
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668 12063: 20150821@ hgx:The great author may not have pulled the trigger. My father did that himself. But I will always see Dickens as the cause of our family’s tragedy.
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my solitude drives me mad!’
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Jarvis seems to be really deep in Dickens, story, style and details...
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you would see chests of tea, at a price of four shillings and eightpence a pound, composed of souchong and peckho, promoted as ‘The Best Black Tea Ever Sent to England’. It was called Pickwick Mixture – taking its name from a tea-taster in Macao, because of his resemblance to Mr Pickwick, both physically and mentally.
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crate n. 1 a slatted wooden case used for transporting goods: a crate of bananas. - a square rigid container divided into small units, used for transporting or storing bottles: a milk crate. 2 INFORMAL an old and dilapidated vehicle. ¦ v. [with obj.] pack (something) in a crate for transportation.
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710 12818: 20150829@ ajk:Whitehead=Jarvis?
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happy to write book reviews, and I commented, ‘Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body,’ and Dr Neild, who happened to be leaning at another desk on some business or other, caught me before I left and said: ‘Are you an admirer of Steele?’
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and my only protection is my poverty.
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‘Hope is mockery,’ I spat out. ‘The present is intolerable. And the one virtue of the past is that it is true.’
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It was not even possible to locate the precise plot in which Whitehead had been laid to rest.
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The Pickwick Club was sensible; but the Nimrod Club made no sense to me at all. Furthermore, my mother never spoke about a Nimrod Club. The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club was my father’s title, not The Notorious Notes of the Nimrod Club.
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want their true value. I am not leaving until you give it to me!’‘Men who go to auctions pay what they pay. There is no true value. In all likelihood, the bidders were afraid of losing face and so could not help themselves, and the price went higher and higher. Who can know how an auction room will behave? Not I.
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It was one of Mr Inbelicate’s traits that, occasionally, he would do impersonations of the men who had played parts in these events. Though Mr Inbelicate bore no resemblance to Dickens whatsoever, he spoke as though he were the author himself, throwing Browne aside, after many years of collaboration: ‘His drawings are stiff.
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masterwork, The Pickwick Concordance, the key to the book of books,
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Pickwick is approximately three hundred thousand words long. Even ignoring conjunctions, definite and indefinite articles and the like, there are some one hundred thousand significant words.
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‘When the young man of today reads about Mr Pickwick’s brandy-and-ale-soaked adventures he wants to buy himself a pewter mug and sit before a roaring open fire at some wayside tavern and drink himself into insensibility. He thinks it very smart to be an itinerant rumhound like Mr Pickwick and his companions Snodgrass, Tupman and Winkle, and that intoxicated beast Sam Weller.
144 (785)
Open auditions were taking place for the role of Mr Pickwick in a film of The Pickwick Papers. The studio was one moving mass of fat men, two hundred would-be Mr Pickwicks, each with a number pinned to his chest, each believing the part was his. I was not so fat in those days – otherwise I would have applied myself.
145 (786)
Not considered box-office. So it is now undeniable: the age of Pickwick is coming to an end. Today’s date, 19 August 1934, will stay in my mind as much as 31 March 1836, when the first number was published, and the age of Pickwick began.
146 (794)
WHEN I HAD finished reading Mr Inbelicate’s narrative, he was asleep. Over the next few weeks , his condition deteriorated . There were far fewer raps with the Dr Syntax cane. Often, he asked me to sit at his bedside as I worked. Once, in a gentle voice he said: ‘It would please me if you did the section about the events at Widcombe Hill. I would like to know that part has been done.’
147 (796)
IT IS THE lie of novels to pretend that life has a plot. The truth of life is in Pickwick: that one thing just follows another. We may strive to find pattern and meaning in The Pickwick Papers, and sometimes we find it, but never do we succeed to our complete satisfaction; thus, we read the book again from the first page to the last, in our search for the meaningful whole.
148 (797)
Pickwick is, I would imagine, the most illustrated work in the entire history of English literature. And when I consider the whole of Dickens’s work – has any great writer ever been in such debt to artists? Even if Dickens had cut out every single picture, he could not change the images in readers’ heads. Mr Pickwick will always look like Robert Seymour’s Mr Pickwick.

Sanasto Vocabulary Словарь (Code: w)

1 bloated,bloat·ed adj (20)
(of part of the body) swollen with fluid or gas: he had a bloated, unshaven face. - FIGURATIVE excessive in size or amount: the company trimmed its bloated labor force. - FIGURATIVE (of a person) excessively wealthy and pampered: the bloated captains of industry.
2 poof 1 (also pouf) exclam (22)
1 used to convey the suddenness with which someone or something disappears: once you've used it, poofit's gone. 2 used to express contemptuous dismissal: “Oh, poof!” said Will. “You say that every year.” early 19th cent.: symbolic.
3 stooped adj (27)
(of a person) having the head and shoulders habitually bent forward: a thin, stooped figure. (of the shoulders or another part of the body) habitually bent forward: the man was slight, with stooped shoulders.
4 ew·er n (30)
a large jug with a wide mouth, formerly used for carrying water for someone to wash in. late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French ewer, variant of Old French aiguiere, based on Latin aquarius 'of water', from aqua 'water'.
5 o·gle v (40)
[trans.] stare at in a lecherous manner: he was ogling her breasts | [intrans.] men who had turned up to ogle. ¦ n. a lecherous look. o·gler n. late 17th cent.: probably from Low German or Dutch; compare with Low German oegeln, frequentative of oegen 'look at'.
6 foi·ble n (47)
1 a minor weakness or eccentricity in someone's character: they have to tolerate each other's little foibles. See note at FAULT. 2 [FENCING] the weaker part of a sword blade, from the middle to the point. Compare with FORTE1 . late 16th cent. (as an adjective in the sense 'feeble'): from obsolete French, in Old French fieble (see FEEBLE). Both noun senses also formerly occurred as senses of the word feeble and all date from the 17th cent.
7 pin·a·fore n (49)
a sleeveless apronlike garment worn over a child’s dress. - a collarless sleeveless dress, tied or buttoned in the back and typically worn as a jumper, over a blouse or sweater. - BRIT. a woman's loose sleeveless garment, typically full length and worn over clothes to keep them clean. late 18th cent.: from PIN + AFORE (because the term originally denoted an apron with a bib pinned on the front of a dress).
8 cal·i·co n (53)
(pl. -coes or-cos) printed cotton fabric: [as adj.] a calico dress. BRIT. a type of cotton cloth, typically plain white or unbleached. ¦ adj. (of an animal, typically a cat) multicolored or mottled. mid 16th cent. (originally also calicut): alteration of CALICUT, where the fabric originated.
9 shears (also a pair of shears) plural n (56)
a cutting instrument in which two blades move past each other, like scissors but typically larger: garden shears. Old English (plural) 'scissors, cutting instrument', of Germanic origin; related to Dutch schaar and German Schere, also to SHEAR.
10 pe·o·ny n (59)
a herbaceous or shrubby plant of north temperate regions, which has long been cultivated for its showy flowers.  Genus Paeonia, family Paeoniaceae. Old English peonie, via Latin from Greek , from , the name of the physician of the gods.
11 bel·lows plural n (61)
[also treated as sing.] 1 a device with a bag that emits a stream of air when squeezed: - (also pair of bellows) a kind with two handles used for blowing air at a fire. - a kind used in a harmonium or small organ. 2 an object or device with concertinaed sides to allow it to expand and contract, such as a tube joining a lens to a camera body. Middle English: probably representing Old English belga, plural of belig (see BELLY), used as a shortened form of earlier 'blowing bag'.
12 cow·slip n (64)
1 a European primula with clusters of drooping fragrant yellow flowers in spring, growing on dry grassy banks and in pasture.  Primula veris, family Primulaceae. 2 any of a number of herbaceous plants, in particular:   - another term for MARSH MARIGOLD. - (also Virginia bluebell) a North American plant with blue flowers (Mertensia virginica, family Boraginaceae). Old English , from 'cow' + slipa, slyppe 'slime', i.e., cow slobber or dung.
13 brim n (73)
the projecting edge around the bottom of a hat: a soft hat with a turned-up brim. See note at BORDER. the upper edge or lip of a cup, bowl, or other container: tankards frothing to the brim. ¦ v. (brimmed, brim·ming) [often as adj.] (brimming) fill or be full to the point of overflowing: [intrans.] a brimming cup; | [trans.] seawater brimmed the riverbanks. - fill something so completely as almost to spill out of it: large tears brimmed in her eyes. - FIGURATIVE be possessed by or full of feelings or thoughts: he is brimming with ideas. brimmed adj. [in combination]: a wide-brimmed hat. brim·less adj. Middle English (denoting the edge of the sea or other body of water): perhaps related to German Bräme 'trimming'.
14 stag n (75)
1 a male deer. - [usu. as adj.] a social gathering attended by men only: a stag event. - a person who attends a social gathering unaccompanied by a partner. 2 BRIT. [STOCK MARKET] a person who applies for shares in a new issue with a view to selling at once for a profit. ¦ adv. without a partner at a social gathering: a lot of boys went stag. Middle English (as a noun): related to Old Norse steggr 'male bird', Icelandic steggi 'tomcat'.
15 hol·ler INFORMAL v (77)
[intrans.] (of a person) give a loud shout or cry: he hollers when he wants feeding | [with direct speech] “I can't get down,” she hollered. ¦ n. a loud cry or shout. (also field holler) a melodic cry with abrupt or swooping changes of pitch, used originally by black slaves at work in the fields and later contributing to the development of the blues. late 17th cent. (as a verb): variant of the rare verb hollo; related to HALLOO.
16 heif·er n (78)
a young female cow that has not borne a calf. Old English heahfore, of unknown origin.
17 gam·mon 1 n (79)
ham that has been cured or smoked like bacon. the bottom piece of a side of bacon, including a hind leg. late 15th cent. (denoting the haunch of a pig): from Old Northern French gambon, from gambe 'leg'.
18 walked in the swinging-leg manner (92)
19 barn·storm v (96)
[intrans.] tour rural districts giving theatrical performances, originally often in barns. - [trans.] make a rapid tour of (an area), typically as part of a political campaign. - travel around giving exhibitions of flying and performing aeronautical stunts: [as n.] (barnstorming) barnstorming had become a popular occupation among many trained pilots. barn·storm·er n.
20 ea·sel n (109)
a self-supporting wooden frame for holding an artist's work while it is being painted or drawn. a similar frame for displaying charts, promotional materials, announcements, etc. late 16th cent.: from Dutch ezel 'ass'. The word “horse” is used in English in a similar way to denote a supporting frame.
21 hogs·head (abbr (110)
: hhd) n. a large cask. - a measure of capacity for wine, equal to 63 gallons (238.7 liters). - a measure of capacity for beer, equal to 64 gallons (245.5 liters). Middle English: from HOG + HEAD; the reason for the term is unknown.
22 bump n (117)
1 a light blow or a jolting collision: a nasty bump on the head. - the dull sound of such a blow or collision. - [AERONAUTICS] a rising air current causing an irregularity in an aircraft's motion. 2 a protuberance on a level surface: bumps in the road. - a swelling on the skin, esp. one caused by illness or injury. - DATED or HUMOROUS a prominence on a person's skull, formerly thought to indicate a particular mental faculty; such a faculty: he was making the most of his bump of direction. 3 a loosely woven fleeced cotton fabric used in upholstery and as lining material. ¦ v. 1 [intrans.] knock or run into someone or something, typically with a jolt: I almost bumped into him | [trans.] she bumped the girl with her hip. - (bump into) meet by chance: we might just bump into each other. - [trans.] hurt or damage (something) by striking or knocking it against something else: she bumped her head on the sink. - [trans.] cause to collide with something: she went through the door, bumping the bag against it. 2 [intrans.] move or travel with much jolting and jarring: the car bumped along the rutted track. [trans.] push (something) jerkily in a specified direction: she had to bump the wheelchair down the steps. 3 [trans.] refuse (a passenger) a reserved place on an airline flight, typically because of deliberate overbooking. cause to move from a job or position, typically in favor of someone else; displace: she was bumped for a youthful model. ?  bump someone off INFORMAL murder someone.
23 dregs n (119)
the remnants of a liquid left in a container, together with any sediment or grounds: coffee dregs. FIGURATIVE the most worthless part or parts of something: the dregs of society. dreg·gy adj. Middle English: probably of Scandinavian origin and related to Swedish drägg (plural).
24 breech·es plural n (126)
short trousers fastened just below the knee, now chiefly worn for riding a horse or as part of ceremonial dress. INFORMAL trousers. too big for one's breeches see BIG. Middle English: plural of BREECH.
25 gaunt·let 1 n (130)
a stout glove with a long loose wrist. - HISTORICAL an armored glove, as worn by a medieval knight. - the part of a glove covering the wrist. take up (or throw down) the gauntlet accept (or issue) a challenge. from the medieval custom of issuing a challenge by throwing one's gauntlet to the ground; whoever picked it up was deemed to have accepted the challenge. late Middle English: from Old French gantelet, diminutive of gant 'glove', of Germanic origin.
26 smirk v (131)
[intrans.] smile in an irritatingly smug, conceited, or silly way: Dr. Ali smirked in triumph. See note at SMILE. ¦ n. a smug, conceited, or silly smile: Gloria pursed her mouth in a self-satisfied smirk. smirk·er n. smirk·i·ly adv. smirk·ing·ly adv. smirk·y adj. Old English sme(a)rcian, from a base shared by SMILE. The early sense was 'to smile'; it later gained a notion of smugness or silliness.
27 sash 1 n (139)
a long strip or loop of cloth worn over one shoulder or around the waist, esp. as part of a uniform or official dress. sashed adj. sash·less adj. late 16th cent. (earlier as shash, denoting fine fabric twisted around the head as a turban): from Arabic 'muslin, turban'.
28 belch v (143)
1 [intrans.] emit gas noisily from the stomach through the mouth. 2 [trans.] (often belch out/forth/into) (esp. of a chimney) send (smoke or flames) out or up: a factory chimney belches out smoke. [intrans.] (often belch from) (of smoke or flames) pour out from a chimney or other opening: flames belch from the wreckage. ¦ n. an act of belching: he gave a loud belch. Old English belcettan, probably imitative.
29 wal·low v (156)
[intrans.] 1 (chiefly of large mammals) roll about or lie relaxed in mud or water, esp. to keep cool, avoid biting insects, or spread scent: watering places where buffalo liked to wallow. (of a boat or aircraft) roll from side to side: the small jet wallowed in the sky. 2 (wallow in) (of a person) indulge in an unrestrained way in (something that creates a pleasurable sensation): I was wallowing in the luxury of the hotel; he had been wallowing in self-pity. ¦ n. 1 an act of wallowing: a wallow in nostalgia. 2 an area of mud or shallow water where mammals go to wallow, typically developing into a depression in the ground over long use. wal·low·er n. Old English walwian 'to roll around', of Germanic origin, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin volvere 'to roll'.
30 kin·dling n (166)
1 easily combustible small sticks or twigs used for starting a fire. 2 (in neurology) a process by which a seizure or other brain event is both initiated and its recurrence made more likely.
31 sal·low 1 adj (168)
(-low·er, -low·est) (of a person's face or complexion) of an unhealthy yellow or pale brown color. ¦ v. [trans.] RARE make sallow. sal·low·ish adj. sal·low·ness n. Old English salo 'dusky', of Germanic origin; related to Old Norse 'yellow', from a base meaning 'dirty'.
32 gar·net n (169)
a precious stone consisting of a deep red vitreous silicate mineral. [MINERALOGY] any of a class of silicate minerals including this, which belong to the cubic system and have the general chemical formula A3B2(SiO4)3 (A and B being respectively divalent and trivalent metals). Middle English: probably via Middle Dutch from Old French grenat, from medieval Latin granatus, perhaps from granatum (see POMEGRANATE), because the garnet is similar in color to the pulp of the fruit.
33 gawp v (175)
[intrans.] INFORMAL stare openly in a stupid or rude manner: what are you gawping at? gawp·er n. late 17th cent.: perhaps an alteration of GAPE.
34 gull 1 n (178)
a long-winged, web-footed seabird with a raucous call, typically having white plumage with a gray or black mantle.  Family Laridae: several genera, in particular Larus, and numerous species. late Middle English: of Celtic origin; related to Welsh gwylan and Breton gwelan.
35 prow n (181)
the portion of a ship’s bow above water. the pointed or projecting front part of something such as a car or building. mid 16th cent.: from Old French proue, from Provençal proa, probably via Latin from Greek , from a base meaning 'in front'.
36 bag·gy adj (184)
(-gi·er, -gi·est) (of clothing) loose and hanging in folds: baggy pants. (of eyes) with folds of puffy skin below them: his eyes were baggy with the fatigue of overwork. ¦ n. (baggies) INFORMAL loose and wide-legged pants, shorts, or swim trunks. bag·gi·ly adv. bag·gi·ness n.
37 gaud·y 1 adj (185)
(gaud·i·er, gaud·i·est) extravagantly bright or showy, typically so as to be tasteless: silver bows and gaudy ribbons. gaud·i·ly adv. gaud·i·ness n. late 15th cent.: probably from GAUD + -Y1
38 ran·sack v (225)
[trans.] go hurriedly through (a place) stealing things and causing damage: burglars ransacked her home. search through (a place or receptacle) to find something, esp. in such a way as to cause disorder and damage: Hollywood ransacks the New York stage for actors. ran·sack·er n. Middle English: from Old Norse rannsaka, from rann 'house' + a second element related to 'seek'.
39 swig INFORMAL v (226)
(swigged , swig·ging) [trans.] drink in large gulps: Dave swigged the wine in five gulps | [intrans.] old men swigged from bottles of plum brandy. ¦ n. a large draft of drink: he took a swig of tea. swig·ger n. mid 16th cent. (as a noun in the obsolete sense 'liquor'): of unknown origin.
40 slate n (227)
1 a fine-grained gray, green, or bluish metamorphic rock easily split into smooth, flat pieces. a flat piece of such rock used as roofing material. 2 a flat piece of slate used for writing on, typically framed in wood, formerly used in schools. - a list of candidates for election to a post or office, typically a group sharing a set of political views: another slate of candidates will be picked for the state convention. - a range of something offered: the company has revealed details of a $60 million slate of film productions. - a board showing the identifying details of a take of a motion picture, which is held in front of the camera at its beginning and end. 3 [usu. as adj.] a bluish-gray color: suits of slate gray. ¦ v. [trans.] 1 cover (something, esp. a roof) with slates. 2 BRIT., INFORMAL criticize severely: his work was slated by the critics. 3 (usu. be slated) schedule; plan: renovations are slated for late June | [trans.] the former brickyard is slated to be renovated. (usu. be slated) nominate (someone) as a candidate for an office or post: I understand that I am being slated for promotion. 4 identify (a movie take) using a slate. wipe the slate clean see WIPE. slat·y adj. Middle English sclate, sklate, shortening of Old French esclate, feminine, synonymous with esclat 'piece broken off' (see SLAT). Sense 3 of the verb arose from the practice of noting a name on a writing slate.
41 spit·tle n (238)
saliva, esp. as ejected from the mouth. spit·tly adj. late 15th cent.: alteration of dialect spattle, by association with SPIT1 .
42 jape n (246)
a practical joke: the childish jape of depositing a stink bomb in her locker. ¦ v. [intrans.] say or do something in jest or mockery. jap·er·y n. Middle English: apparently combining the form of Old French japer 'to yelp, yap' with the sense of Old French gaber 'to mock'.
43 mince v (253)
[trans.] 1 [often as adj.] (minced) cut up or grind (food, esp. meat) into very small pieces, typically in a machine with revolving blades: minced beef. 2 [intrans.] walk with an affected delicacy or fastidiousness, typically with short quick steps: there were plenty of secretaries mincing about. ¦ n. something minced, esp. mincemeat: put the mince on a dish. a quantity of something minced: a mince of garlic. not mince words (or one's words) speak candidly and directly, esp. when criticizing someone or something: a gruff surgeon who does not mince words. minc·er n. minc·ing adj. (in sense 2) minc·ing·ly adv. (in sense 2). late Middle English: from Old French mincier, based on Latin minutia 'smallness'.
44 tas·sel n (255)
a tuft of loosely hanging threads, cords, or other material knotted at one end and attached for decoration to home furnishings, clothing, or other items. the tufted head of some plants, esp. a flowerhead with prominent stamens at the top of a cornstalk. ¦ v. (-seled, -sel·ing; BRIT. -selled, -sel·ling) 1 [trans.] [usu. as adj.] (tasseled) provide with a tassel or tassels: a tasseled tablecloth. 2 [intrans.] (of corn or other plants) form tassels. Middle English (also denoting a clasp for a cloak): from Old French tassel 'clasp', of unknown origin.
45 “COCKNEY”,’ said Mr Inbelicate (256)
‘It now refers to working-class people of a particular district in the East End of London
46 prussic acid (261)
47 spit·toon n (266)
a metal or earthenware pot typically having a funnel-shaped top, used for spitting into.
48 gul·li·ble adj (267)
easily persuaded to believe something; credulous: an attempt to persuade a gullible public to spend their money. gul·li·bil·i·ty n. gul·li·bly adv. early 19th cent.: from GULL2 + -IBLE.   callow, credulous, gullible, ingenuous, naive, trusting, unsophisticated Some people will believe anything. Those who are truly gullible are the easiest to deceive, which is why they so often make fools of themselves. Those who are merely credulous might be a little too quick to believe something, but they usually aren't stupid enough to act on it. Trusting suggests the same willingness to believe (a trusting child), but it isn't necessarily a bad way to be (a person so trusting he completely disarmed his enemies). No one likes to be called naive because it implies a lack of street smarts (she's so naive she'd accept a ride from a stranger), but when applied to things other than people, it can describe a simplicity and absence of artificiality that is quite charming (the naive style in which nineteenth-century American portraits were often painted). Most people would rather be thought of as ingenuous, meaning straightforward and sincere (an ingenuous confession of the truth), because it implies the simplicity of a child without the negative overtones. Callow, however, comes down a little more heavily on the side of immaturity and almost always goes hand-in-hand with youth. Whether young or old, someone who is unsophisticated lacks experience in worldly and cultural matters.
49 teth·er n (277)
a rope or chain with which an animal is tied to restrict its movement. ¦ v. [trans.] tie (an animal) with a rope or chain so as to restrict its movement: the horse had been tethered to a post. the end of one's tether see END. late Middle English: from Old Norse tjóthr, from a Germanic base meaning 'fasten'.
50 stick·le·back n (277)
a small fish with sharp spines along its back, able to live in both salt and fresh water and found in both Eurasia and North America.  Family Gasterosteidae: several genera and species, including the common and widespread three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). late Middle English: from Old English sticel 'thorn, sting' + bæc 'back'. stick·ler n. 1 a person who insists on a certain quality or type of behavior: a
51 beau n (281)
(pl. beaux or beaus) DATED 1 a boyfriend or male admirer. 2 a rich, fashionable young man; a dandy. late 17th cent. (sense 2): from French, literally 'handsome', from Latin bellus.
52 de·bauch·er·y n (283)
excessive indulgence in sensual pleasures.
53 lick·spit·tle n (284)
a person who behaves obsequiously to those in power.
54 af·fi·da·vit n (314)
[LAW] a written statement confirmed by oath or affirmation, for use as evidence in court. mid 16th cent.: from medieval Latin, literally 'he has stated on oath', from affidare.
55 co·nun·drum n (319)
(pl. -drums) a confusing and difficult problem or question: one of the most difficult conundrums for the experts. a question asked for amusement, typically one with a pun in its answer; a riddle. See note at RIDDLE. late 16th cent.: of unknown origin, but first recorded in a work by Thomas Nashe, as a term of abuse for a crank or pedant, later coming to denote a whim or fancy, also a pun. Current senses date from the late 17th cent.
56 bludg·eon n (340)
a thick stick with a heavy end, used as a weapon: FIGURATIVE a rhetorical bludgeon in the war against liberalism. ¦ v. [trans.] beat (someone) repeatedly with a bludgeon or other heavy object. - force or bully (someone) to do something: she was determined not to be bludgeoned into submission. - (bludgeon one's way) make one's way by brute force. mid 18th cent.: of unknown origin.
57 gash n (342)
1 a long deep slash, cut, or wound: a bad gash in one leg became infected. a cleft made as if by a slashing cut: the blast ripped a 25-foot gash in the hull. 2 VULGAR SLANG the vulva. OFFENSIVE women collectively regarded in sexual terms. ¦ v. [trans.] make a gash in; cut deeply: the jagged edges gashed their fingers. Middle English garse, from Old French garcer 'to chap, crack', perhaps based on Greek kharassein 'sharpen, scratch, engrave'. The current spelling is recorded from the mid 16th cent.
58 jest·er n (349)
HISTORICAL a professional joker or “fool” at a medieval court, typically wearing a cap with bells on it and carrying a mock scepter. a person who habitually plays the fool.
59 quill (356)
60 loathed! (361)
61 shrug: v (373)
(shrugs, shrugging, shrugged) [with obj.] raise (one's shoulders) slightly and momentarily to express doubt, ignorance, or indifference: Jimmy looked enquiringly at Pete, who shrugged his shoulders | [no obj.] he just shrugged and didn't look interested. - (shrug something off) dismiss something as unimportant: the managing director shrugged off the criticism.
62 twaddle (379)
63 stickleback n (382)
a small fish with sharp spines along its back, able to live in both salt and fresh water and found in both Eurasia and North America. Family Gasterosteidae: several genera and species, including the common and widespread three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). late Middle English: from Old English sticel ‘thorn, sting’ + bæc ‘back’.
64 coot: n (384)
1 (pl. same) an aquatic bird of the rail family, with blackish plumage, lobed feet, and a bill that extends back on to the forehead as a horny shield. Genus Fulica, family Rallidae: several species, in particular the widespread F. atra, which has a white bill and frontal shield. 2 (usually old coot) INFORMAL a stupid or eccentric person, typically an old man. Middle English: probably of Dutch or Low German origin and related to Dutch koet.
65 taut adj (389)
stretched or pulled tight; not slack: the fabric stays taut without adhesive. - (especially of muscles or nerves) tense; not relaxed. - (of writing, music, etc.) concise and controlled: a taut text of only a hundred and twenty pages. - (of a ship) having a disciplined and efficient crew. tauten v. tautly adv. tautness n. Middle English tought ‘distended’, perhaps originally a variant of TOUGH. - kireällä
66 binge INFORMAL n (389)
a period of excessive indulgence in an activity, especially drinking alcohol: he went on a binge and was in no shape to drive | [as modifier] binge drinking. ¦ v. (binges, bingeing or US also binging, binged) [no obj.] indulge in an activity, especially eating, to excess: she binged on ice cream. binger n. mid 19th century: from English dialect binge ‘to soak a wooden vessel’.
67 gullible adj (389)
easily persuaded to believe something; credulous: an attempt to persuade a gullible public to spend their money. gullibility n. gullibly adv. early 19th century: from GULL2 + -IBLE. Gullibility is a failure of social intelligence in which a person is easily tricked or manipulated into an ill-advised course of action. It is closely related to credulity, which is the tendency to believe unlikely propositions that are unsupported by evidence.[1][2] Classes of people especially vulnerable to exploitation due to gullibility include children, the elderly, and the developmentally disabled.[2]
68 hemlock n (393)
1 a highly poisonous European plant of the parsley family, with a purple-spotted stem, fern-like leaves, small white flowers, and an unpleasant smell. Conium maculatum, family Umbelliferae. - [mass noun] a sedative or poisonous potion obtained from the hemlock. 2 (also hemlock fir or spruce) a coniferous North American tree with dark green foliage which is said to smell like hemlock when crushed, grown chiefly for timber. Genus Tsuga, family Pinaceae: several species. Old English hymlice, hemlic, of unknown origin.
69 banter n (394)
[mass noun] the playful and friendly exchange of teasing remarks: there was much good-natured banter. ¦ v. [no obj.] exchange remarks in a good-humoured teasing way: the men bantered with the waitresses | (as adj. bantering) a bantering tone. banterer n. banteringly adv. late 17th century: of unknown origin. - pilailu
70 being especially roseate at the nose (399)
71 aslant adv (401)
at an angle or in a sloping direction: some of the paintings hung aslant. ¦ prep. across (something) at an angle.
72 Lothario /l? ?e r ? - ?a -/ n (409)
(pl. Lotharios) a man who behaves selfishly and irresponsibly in his sexual relationships with women. from a character in Rowe's Fair Penitent (1703).
73 cloak n (410)
1 a sleeveless outdoor overgarment that hangs loosely from the shoulders. - something serving to hide or disguise something: preparations had taken place under a cloak of secrecy. 2 (cloaks) BRITISH a cloakroom. ¦ v. [with obj.] dress in a cloak: they sat cloaked and hooded. - hide, cover, or disguise (something): she cloaked her embarrassment by rushing into speech. Middle English: from Old French cloke, dialect variant of cloche ‘bell, cloak’ (from its bell shape), from medieval Latin clocca ‘bell’. Compare with clock1.
74 gaiter n (413)
(usually gaiters) a protective covering of cloth or leather for the ankle and lower leg. - chiefly US a shoe or overshoe extending to the ankle or above. - a flexible covering for the base of a gear lever or other mechanical part. gaitered adj. early 18th century: from French guêtre, probably of Germanic origin and related to WRIST. -säärystimet
75 caper1 v (420)
[no obj., with adverbial of direction] skip or dance about in a lively or playful way: children were capering about the room. ¦ n. 1 a playful skipping movement: she did a little caper or dance. 2 INFORMAL an illicit or ridiculous activity or escapade: I'm too old for this kind of caper. - a light-hearted, far-fetched film, especially about crime: a cop caper about intergalactic drug dealers. ? cut a caper make a playful skipping movement. caperer n. late 16th century: abbreviation of CAPRIOLE. -Kapris
76 shroud n (425)
1 a length of cloth or an enveloping garment in which a dead person is wrapped for burial: he was buried in a linen shroud. - FIGURATIVE a thing that envelops or obscures something: a shroud of mist | they operate behind a shroud of secrecy. - TECHNICAL a protective casing or cover. 2 (shrouds) a set of ropes forming part of the standing rigging of a sailing boat and supporting the mast or topmast. - (also shroud line) each of the lines joining the canopy of a parachute to the harness. ¦ v. [with obj.] wrap or dress (a body) in a shroud for burial. - FIGURATIVE cover or envelop so as to conceal from view: mountains shrouded by cloud | the mystery which shrouds the origins of the universe. late Old English scrud ‘garment, clothing’, of Germanic origin, from a base meaning ‘cut’; related to SHRED. An early sense of the verb (Middle English) was ‘cover so as to protect’. - suojus
77 composing (425)
78 squalid adj (434)
(of a place) extremely dirty and unpleasant, especially as a result of poverty or neglect: the squalid, overcrowded prison. - showing or involving a contemptible lack of moral standards: a squalid attempt to save themselves from electoral embarrassment. squalidly adv. squalidness n. late 16th century: from Latin squalidus, from squalere ‘be rough or dirty’.
79 letterpress n (453)
[mass noun] 1 printing from a hard raised image under pressure, using viscous ink. 2 BRITISH printed text as opposed to illustrations.
80 emolument / m lj m(?)nt e-/ n (465)
(usually emoluments) FORMAL a salary, fee, or profit from employment or office: the directors' emoluments. late Middle English: from Latin emolumentum, originally probably ‘payment to a miller for grinding corn’, from emolere ‘grind up’, from e- (variant of ex-) ‘out, thoroughly’ + molere ‘grind’.
81 obsequious /?b si kw ?s/ adj (468)
obedient or attentive to an excessive or servile degree: they were served by obsequious waiters. obsequiously adv. obsequiousness n. late 15th century (not depreciatory in sense in early use): from Latin obsequiosus, from obsequium ‘compliance’, from obsequi ‘follow, comply with’.
82 gargle v (469)
[no obj.] wash one's mouth and throat with a liquid that is kept in motion by breathing through it with a gurgling sound: he gargled with alcohol for toothache. ¦ n. an act or the sound of gargling: a swig and gargle of mouthwash. - [usually in sing.] a liquid used for gargling. - British INFORMAL an alcoholic drink. early 16th century: from French gargouiller ‘gurgle, bubble’, from gargouille ‘throat’ (see GARGOYLE).
83 baize /be z/ n (470)
[mass noun] a coarse felt-like woollen material that is typically green, used for covering billiard and card tables and for aprons. late 16th century: from French baies, feminine plural of bai ‘chestnut-coloured’ (see bay4), treated as a singular noun. The name is presumably from the original colour of the cloth, although several colours are recorded.
84 pun1 n (476)
a joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word or the fact that there are words which sound alike but have different meanings. ¦ v. (puns, punning, punned) [no obj.] (often as adj. punning) make a pun. punningly adv. punster n. mid 17th century: perhaps an abbreviation of obsolete pundigrion, as a fanciful alteration of PUNCTILIO.
85 scurf n (480)
[mass noun] flakes on the surface of the skin that form as fresh skin develops below, occurring especially as dandruff. - a flaky deposit on a plant resulting from a fungal infection. scurfy adj. late Old English sceorf, from the base of sceorfan ‘gnaw’, sceorfian ‘cut to shreds’.
86 racket1 (also racquet) n (483)
a bat with a round or oval frame strung with catgut, nylon, etc., used especially in tennis, badminton, and squash: a squash racket. - chiefly NORTH AMERICAN a snowshoe resembling a racket. early 16th century: from French raquette (see RACKETS).
87 chum1 INFORMAL n (483)
1 a close friend. 2 used as a friendly or familiar form of address between men or boys: it's your own fault, chum. ¦ v. (chums, chumming, chummed) [no obj.] form a friendship with someone: his sister chummed up with Sally. - [with obj.] SCOTTISH accompany (someone) somewhere: I'll chum you down the road. late 17th century (originally Oxford University slang, denoting a room-mate): probably short for chamber-fellow. Compare with COMRADE and CRONY.
88 foible / f b(?)l/ n (495)
1 a minor weakness or eccentricity in someone's character: they have to tolerate each other's little foibles. 2 [FENCING] the part of a sword blade from the middle to the point. Compare with forte1. late 16th century (as an adjective in the sense ‘feeble’): from obsolete French, in Old French fieble (see FEEBLE). Both noun senses also formerly occurred as senses of the word feeble and all date from the 17th cent.
89 coat-collar-raising day (497)
90 cosmogony /k z m ?ni/ n (503)
(pl. cosmogonies) [mass noun] the branch of science that deals with the origin of the universe, especially the solar system. - [count noun] a theory regarding the origin of the universe: in their cosmogony, the world was thought to be a square, flat surface. cosmogonic /-m? n k/ adj. cosmogonical /-m? n k(?)l/ adj. cosmogonist n. late 17th century: from Greek kosmogonia, from kosmos ‘order or world’ + -gonia ‘-begetting’.
91 flense /flens/ (also flench /flen(t) /) v (508)
[with obj.] slice the skin or fat from (a carcass, especially that of a whale). - strip (skin or fat) from a carcass: the skin had been flensed off. flenser n. early 19th century: from Danish flensa.
92 stone: 4 (pl (513)
same) BRITISH a unit of weight equal to 14 lb (6.35 kg): I weighed 10 stone.
93 He rammed down with the ramrod:ramrod n (534)
1 a rod for ramming down the charge of a muzzle-loading firearm. - used in similes and metaphors to describe an erect or rigid posture: he held himself ramrod straight. 2 NORTH AMERICAN a foreman or manager, especially one who is a strict disciplinarian. ¦ v. (ramrods, ramrodding, ramrodded) [with obj.] (ramrod something through) chiefly NORTH AMERICAN force a proposed measure to be accepted or completed quickly: they ramrodded through legislation voiding the court injunctions.
94 tithe /t / n (546)
one tenth of annual produce or earnings, formerly taken as a tax for the support of the Church and clergy. - (in certain religious denominations) a tenth of an individual's income pledged to the Church. - [in sing.] ARCHAIC a tenth of a specified thing: he hadn't said a tithe of the prayers he knew. ¦ v. [with obj.] pay or give as a tithe: he tithes 10 per cent of his income to the Church. - HISTORICAL subject to a tax of one tenth of income or produce. tithable adj. Old English teotha (adjective in the ordinal sense ‘tenth’, used in a specialized sense as a noun), teothian (verb).
95 Etching: is traditionally the process of using strong acid or mordant to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in intaglio (relief) in the metal (547)
[1] In modern manufacturing, other chemicals may be used on other types of material. As a method of printmaking, it is, along with engraving, the most important technique for old master prints, and remains in wide use today.
96 burin / bj ?r n/ n (567)
a hand-held steel tool used for engraving in metal or wood. - [ARCHAEOLOGY] a flint tool with a chisel point. mid 17th century: from French; perhaps related to Old High German bora ‘boring tool’.
97 pimples - näppylöitä (576)
98 riotous laughter (585)
:riehakas nauru
99 profligate (585)
100 cockade /k ke d/ n (587)
a rosette or knot of ribbons worn in a hat as a badge of office, or as part of a livery. cockaded adj. mid 17th century: from French cocarde, originally in bonnet à la coquarde, from the feminine of obsolete coquard ‘saucy’.cockade /k ke d/ n. a rosette or knot of ribbons worn in a hat as a badge of office, or as part of a livery. cockaded adj. mid 17th century: from French cocarde, originally in bonnet à la coquarde, from the feminine of obsolete coquard ‘saucy’. - ruusu laissa
101 tankard: tankard n (589)
a tall beer mug, typically made of silver or pewter, with a handle and sometimes a hinged lid. - the contents of or an amount held by a tankard: I've downed a tankard of ale. Middle English (denoting a large tub for carrying liquid): perhaps related to Dutch tanckaert.
102 gaiters (603)
: säärystimet
103 prank (608)
104 wassail / w se l w s(?)l wa-/ ARCHAIC n (611)
[mass noun] spiced ale or mulled wine drunk during celebrations for Twelfth Night and Christmas Eve. - lively and noisy festivities involving the drinking of plentiful amounts of alcohol; revelry. ¦ v. [no obj.] 1 drink plentiful amounts of alcohol and enjoy oneself with others in a noisy, lively way. - [with obj.] HISTORICAL (in SW England) drink to (fruit trees, typically apple trees) in a custom intended to ensure a fruitful crop. 2 go from house to house at Christmas singing carols: here we go a-wassailing. wassailer n. Middle English wæs hæil ‘be in (good) health!’: from Old Norse ves heill (compare with hail2). The drinking formula wassail (and the reply drinkhail ‘drink good health’) were probably introduced by Danish-speaking inhabitants of England, and then spread, so that by the 12th century the usage was considered by the Normans to be characteristic of Englishmen.
105 splutter v (620)
[no obj.] make a series of short explosive spitting or choking sounds: she coughed and spluttered, tears coursing down her face. - [reporting v.] say something rapidly, indistinctly, and with a spitting sound, as a result of anger, embarrassment, or another strong emotion: [with obj.] he began to splutter excuses | [with direct speech] ‘How dare you?’ she spluttered. - [with obj.] spit (something) out from one's mouth noisily and in small splashes: spluttering brackish water, he struggled to regain his feet. ¦ n. a short explosive spitting or choking noise. splutterer n. spluttering adj. splutteringly adv. late 17th century: imitative; compare with SPUTTER. - siinä
106 wager n (621)
& v. more formal term for BET. Middle English (also in the sense ‘solemn pledge’): from Anglo-Norman French wageure, from wager ‘to wage’. - veto
107 despicable /d sp k?b(?)l desp k-/ adj (624)
deserving hatred and contempt: a despicable crime. despicably adv. mid 16th century: from late Latin despicabilis, from despicari ‘look down on’. - halveksittava
108 emolument / m lj m(?)nt e-/ n (629)
(usually emoluments) FORMAL a salary, fee, or profit from employment or office: the directors' emoluments. late Middle English: from Latin emolumentum, originally probably ‘payment to a miller for grinding corn’, from emolere ‘grind up’, from e- (variant of ex-) ‘out, thoroughly’ + molere ‘grind’. -maksu?
109 japan n (637)
[mass noun] a hard, dark, enamel-like varnish containing asphalt, used to give a black gloss to metal objects. - a kind of varnish in which pigments are ground, typically used to imitate lacquer on wood. - articles made in a Japanese style, especially when decorated with lacquer or enamel-like varnish. ¦ v. (japans, japanning, japanned) [with obj.] cover (something) with a hard black varnish: (as adj. japanned) a japanned tin tray. late 17th century: from JAPAN.
110 if need be (648)
111 exacerbate / zas?be t ek sas-/ v (654)
[with obj.] make (a problem, bad situation, or negative feeling) worse: rising inflation was exacerbated by the collapse of oil prices. exacerbation n. mid 17th century: from Latin exacerbat- ‘made harsh’, from the verb exacerbare, from ex- (expressing inducement of a state) + acerbus ‘harsh, bitter’. The noun exacerbation (late Middle English) originally meant ‘provocation to anger’.
112 satchel n (659)
a bag carried on the shoulder by a long strap and closed by a flap, used especially for school books. Middle English: from Old French sachel, from Latin saccellus ‘small bag’.
113 Shortshanks was illustrating Longshanks (664)
So, in the crib I was sometimes called Tinyshanks.
114 hovel n (667)
1 a small squalid or simply constructed dwelling. - ARCHAIC an open shed or outhouse, used for sheltering cattle or storing grain or tools. 2 HISTORICAL a conical building enclosing a kiln. late Middle English: of unknown origin.
115 mallard n (669)
(pl. same or mallards) the commonest duck of the northern hemisphere, the male having a dark green head and white collar. Anas platyrhynchos, family Anatidae. Middle English: from Old French, ‘wild drake’, from masle ‘male’.
116 hustings n (671)
(pl. same) a meeting at which candidates in an election address potential voters. - (the hustings) the campaigning associated with an election: I was out on the hustings, talking to people. late Old English husting ‘deliberative assembly, council’, from Old Norse hústhing ‘household assembly held by a leader’, from hús ‘house’ + thing ‘assembly, parliament’; hustings was applied in Middle English to the highest court of the City of London, presided over by the Recorder of London. Subsequently it denoted the platform in Guildhall where the Lord Mayor and aldermen presided, and (early 18th century) a temporary platform on which parliamentary candidates were nominated; hence the sense ‘electoral proceedings’.
117 purr v (678)
[no obj.] (of a cat) make a low continuous vibratory sound expressing contentment. - [no obj., with adverbial of direction] (of a vehicle or engine) move smoothly while making a similar sound: a sleek blue BMW purred past him. - speak in a low, soft voice, especially when expressing contentment or acting seductively: [with direct speech] ‘Would you like a coffee?’ she purred. ¦ n. a purring sound. early 17th century: imitative.
118 swathe1 /swe / (chiefly NORTH AMERICAN also swath /swe sw ?/) n (679)
(pl. swathes /swe z/ or swaths /swe z sw ?s/) 1 a row or line of grass, corn, or other crop as it falls or lies when mown or reaped. - a strip left clear by the passage of a mowing machine or scythe: the combine had cut a deep swathe around the border of the fields. 2 a broad strip or area of something: vast swathes of countryside | FIGURATIVE a significant swathe of popular opinion.
119 letterpress n (684)
[mass noun] 1 printing from a hard raised image under pressure, using viscous ink. 2 BRITISH printed text as opposed to illustrations.
120 harridan / har d(?)n/ n (690)
a strict, bossy, or belligerent old woman: a bullying old harridan. late 17th century (originally slang): perhaps from French haridelle ‘old horse’.
121 vatloads (692)
122 retch v (697)
[no obj.] make the sound and movement of vomiting. - [with obj.] vomit. ¦ n. a movement or sound of vomiting. mid 19th century: variant of dialect reach, from a Germanic base meaning ‘spittle’.
123 hitch v (698)
1 [with obj., and adverbial of direction] move (something) into a different position with a jerk: she hitched up her skirt and ran. 2 [no obj.] INFORMAL travel by hitch-hiking: they hitched to Birmingham. - [with obj.] obtain (a lift) by hitch-hiking. 3 [with obj.] fasten or tether: he returned to where he had hitched his horse. - harness (a draught animal or team): Thomas hitched the pony to his cart. ¦ n. 1 a temporary difficulty or problem: everything went without a hitch. 2 a knot of a particular kind, typically one used for fastening a rope to something else. - NORTH AMERICAN a device for attaching one thing to another, especially the tow bar of a motor vehicle. 3 INFORMAL an act of hitch-hiking. 4 NORTH AMERICAN INFORMAL a period of service: his 12-year hitch in the navy.
124 shown in the frontispiece of a twopenny (700)
125 frayed,frayed adj (708)
(of a fabric, rope, or cord) unravelled or worn at the edge: the frayed collar of her old coat. - FIGURATIVE (of a person's nerves or temper) showing the effects of strain: an effort to soothe frayed nerves.
126 unkempt / n kem(p)t/ adj (709)
(especially of a person) having an untidy or dishevelled appearance: they were unwashed and unkempt. unkemptly adv. unkemptness n. late Middle English: from UN-1 ‘not’ + kempt ‘combed’ (past participle of archaic kemb, related to COMB).
127 thickset adj (713)
(of a person or animal) heavily or solidly built; stocky.
128 matey (715)
129 longbow n (715)
a large bow drawn by hand and shooting a long feathered arrow. It was the chief weapon of English armies from the 14th century until the introduction of firearms.
130 titillate / t t le t/ v (716)
[with obj.] arouse (someone) to interest or mild excitement, especially through sexually suggestive images or words: the press are paid to titillate the public. - ARCHAIC lightly touch; tickle. titillation n. early 17th century (earlier (Middle English) as titillation): from Latin titillat- ‘tickled’, from the verb titillare.
131 nimble adj (725)
(nimbler, nimblest) quick and light in movement or action; agile: with a deft motion of her nimble fingers. - (of the mind) able to think and understand quickly. Old English n mel ‘quick to seize or comprehend’, related to niman ‘take’, of Germanic origin. The -b- was added for ease of pronunciation.
132 Yet Dickens had the gall to say (732)
133 cog1 n (735)
a wheel or bar with a series of projections on its edge, which transfers motion by engaging with projections on another wheel or bar: FIGURATIVE she was only a very small cog in a big machine. - each of such a series of projections. cogged adj. Middle English: probably of Scandinavian origin and related to Swedish kugge and Norwegian kug.
134 maypole n (737)
a painted pole, decorated with flowers, round which people traditionally dance on May Day holding long ribbons attached to the top.
135 lacerating lacerate / las?re t/ v (740)
[with obj.] tear or deeply cut (something, especially flesh or skin): the point had lacerated his neck | (as adj. lacerated) his badly lacerated hands and knees. late Middle English: from Latin lacerat- ‘mangled’, from the verb lacerare, from lacer ‘mangled, torn’.
136 hoax n (742)
a humorous or malicious deception: the evidence had been planted as part of an elaborate hoax | [as modifier] a hoax 999 call. ¦ v. [with obj.] trick or deceive (someone). late 18th century (as a verb): probably a contraction of HOCUS.
137 hobble v (742)
1 [no obj., with adverbial of direction] walk in an awkward way, typically because of pain from an injury: he was hobbling around on crutches. - [with obj.] cause (a person or animal) to limp: Johnson was still hobbled slightly by an ankle injury. 2 [with obj.] tie or strap together (the legs of a horse or other animal) to prevent it from straying. [ variant of HOPPLE.] - restrict the activity or development of: the economy was hobbled by rising oil prices. ¦ n. 1 [in sing.] an awkward way of walking, typically due to pain from an injury: he finished the match almost reduced to a hobble. 2 a rope or strap used for hobbling a horse or other animal.
138 swarry (754)
139 raucous / r k?s/ adj (773)
making or constituting a disturbingly harsh and loud noise: raucous youths. raucously adv. raucousness n. mid 18th century: from Latin raucus ‘hoarse’ + -OUS.
140 chatter v (800)
[no obj.] talk informally about unimportant matters: she was chattering about her holiday. - (of a bird, monkey, or machine) make a series of short, quick high-pitched sounds. - (of a person's teeth) click repeatedly together from cold or fear. ¦ n. [mass noun] informal talk: he was full of inconsequential but amusing chatter. - a series of short, quick high-pitched sounds: the starlings' constant chatter.
141 denizen / den z(?)n/ n (801)
FORMAL or HUMOROUS a person, animal, or plant that lives or is found in a particular place: denizens of field and forest. - British HISTORICAL a foreigner allowed certain rights in their adopted country. denizenship n. late Middle English deynseyn, via Anglo-Norman French from Old French deinz ‘within’ (from Latin de ‘from’ + intus ‘within’) + -ein (from Latin -aneus ‘-aneous’). The change in the form of the word was due to association with CITIZEN.

Yhteenvedot Reviews Резюме (Code: ###)

Stephen Jarvis: Death and Mr Pickwick
1,14497,802,lit,eng,20150723,20150904,4,Stephen Jarvis: Death and Mr Pickwick
20150723-20150904, 802 pages, 4* SalesInfo o eng

eng Jarvis-Pickwick

Against all odds, this is a remarkable book. Why against all odds? Who ever has the guts to undertake writing of a parody of the great Dickens? A parody? What else could you expect with such a direct reference to the name of the great masterpiece? The Death of Pickwick. On the other hand, it could mean whatever.

And it really takes, not only pages, not tens of pages, but hundreds of pages, at least it did that in my case, to get convinced that this book really concerns the Pickwick of Dickens.

At first I was very disappointed with a futile formal feature: no division of a brickstone of a book into chapters, no headings. Such an unfriendly act towards reader! I have firmly decided to stop reading the famous South-American masters, not following the elementary use of punctuation. For me, headings in books are friendly handshakings of the writer. Reading on, I gradually lost my anger, understanding the fragmentary structure of the story. Hundreds of headings would be needed, many identical. This is not the appropriate line of critics in this case.

What, then, is? I do not know. In my case, the next irritating thing in reading this book was, what I already mentioned: uncertainty of whether this really concerned the great Pickwick of Dickens. Only after having read exactly 381 pages of the book did I become convinced. Having read almost 700 pages I have made a remark: 'Jarvis seems to be really deep in Dickens, story, style and details...' That also is my final unconditional verdict. No parody, that was clear from the beginning. But a history, an inquiry, a story of the birth, life and finally, as the title promises, the death of Pickwick. All described with great dedication and proliferation.

But before I came that far I had pains of understanding and following. According to my statistics of English language Kindle ebooks I look up an average of two words per hundred pages in dictionary, in this book I looked up 141 words, that is 18 words per 100 pages. It means that Jarvis uses an exceptionally rich vocabulary, to the benefit of language lover like myself.

Still another extra pain was, perhaps my own stumbling to a name and the person behind it: Mr Imbelicate. He comes up not far from beginning and pops up several times, finally even dies. But throughout the whole book, it is unclear to me, what is the time coordinate of this man: Is he a contemporary of Pickwick, or the author of the original story, or of the author of this book. Mr Imbelicate introduces Don Quixote as a story comparable or even model? for unending horsedbag travelling of the four Pickwick Gentlemen, Mr Pickwick and his companions Snodgrass, Tupman and Winkle, (and 'that intoxicated beast Sam Weller', as the real linguistic virtuoso, the servant of Mr Pickwick is called). Then I was completely shocked by the mention of Mr Imbelicate in a sentence: 'HAVE YOU SEEN the second movie in the Alien franchise?’ said Mr Inbelicate as he returned.' Mr Imbelicate, a timeless connoisseur of Pickwick and likewise as a movie watcher, that is, a citizen of the twentieth century. I am and remmain confused.

At an early stage I decided: four stars, mainly because of the author constantly pulling the reader's leg in various ways, but towards the end of the book my attitude softened because of the heavy points presented above. In the end, five stars would be more appropriate, no doubt, but four will do, as my vengeance for the legwork of the great author.


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Jarvis-Pickwick-ajk.txt o MyeBooks o 20150723-20150904, 802 pages, 4* SalesInfo o eng

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