you aren’t going to be selfish This is an accusation Maisie frequently made to Dick in their childhood days.
fountains … broken up the same words are used in Chapter XIII of the Standard Version page 219 line 31.
faultsome an invented word.
gooder another invented word, an example of their remembered speech as young children.
Lord ha’ mercy on me, this is none of I This is a variant from the nursery rhyme “The Little Woman and the Pedlar” of which the earliest known version dates back to c 1775. (See the Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes No. 535) Kipling also quotes it in Something of Myself (p. 78, line 25) and in “The Last of the Stories” (p. 311 lines 7-9).
charivari a hubbub, or medley of sounds.
Have you fixed your flint to go? this refers to flint-lock small arms of the late 17th century. Flint adjustment was required to ensure proper discharge of a weapon. Here the expression means ‘Have you made arrangements to go?’ (See also page 224 line 19 of the Standard Version of the text.)
half-screwed half drunk.
specials Special war correspondents.
Ave Imperator! te morituri, salutant ‘Hail, Emperor, we who are about to die salute you !” The traditional greeting of gladiators in ancient Rome, to the Emperor, before the fight.
The Battle Hymn of the Republic By Julia Ward Howe (1819-1911), a rousing chorus, sung to the same tune as “John Brown’s Body”. The verse that is cut short continues in pious vein:
In the beauty of the lilies, Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on…
©Geoffrey Annis 2007 All rights reserved