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Patrick McCarthy <[log in to unmask]>
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Charles Dickens Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 12 Sep 1993 21:05:27 -0700
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Fellow Dickensians!

    We have us six queries on Chapter 11 of _Martin
Chuzzlewit_ from Nancy Metz <[log in to unmask]>.

    They are collected here and sent to our list for
anyone interested.  Responses and suggestions should be
sent to Nancy directly, with a cc to me in the event the
information is of general interest to our subscribers.  Cheers!

Patrick McCarthy <[log in to unmask]

                 Chapter 11 of _Martin Chuzzlewit

1) Dickens alludes to Thomas Campbell's "Lochiel's Warning":

        Tis the sunset of life gives mystical lore,
        And coming events cast their shadows before.

Somewhere in his letters Dickens uses the last quoted line as a
joking reference to one of Kate's pregnancies.  I can't lay my
hands on the reference and wondered if any readers out there on
the internet could help me.  Thanks.

2) Jonas apologizes to Charity for the poor service at dinner by
allusion to "Bachelor's Hall."  The sense is clear from context,
but I am wondering where the phrase came from.  The three con-
temporary slang dictionaries I have checked haven't identified
the phrase.

Dickens refers to a situation where "one poison will sometimes
neutralize another, when wholesome remedies will not avail."  The
context suggests that the reader would easily be able to think of
examples, but I haven't turned up any in my readings of The Lan-
cet.  Can any one help?

Dickens refers to "a dancing step,extremely difficult in its
nature, and only to be achieved in a moment of ecstacy, which is
commonly called The Frog's Hornpipe."  I am aware that hornpipes
were popularly connected with nautical life and that theatrical
versions were popular in the 1840s between the acts of plays.
I'm assuming that what is being described is the dance in which
the performer crosses and throws out his legs from a squatting
position.  Can anyone confirm my hunches or lead me to a more
authoritative identification of the specifically referred to as
"The Frog's Hornpipe"?

Card tricks are referred to as "peddling schemes."  Does anyone
know where this term comes from?

I came across the following puzzling allusion:

"Mr. Bailey . . . put his head into the room as the young ladies
were kneeling before their trunks, packing up, and treated them
to an imitation of the voice of a young dog, in trying circum-
stances, when that animal is supposed by persons of lively fancy,
to relieve his feelings by calling for pen and ink."

Does anyone recognize the reference?