abject
low or despicable
adjuring
solemnly requesting or entreating
agog
eager
agrarian
relating to land or its cultivation
akimbo
with hands on the hips and elbows turned outwards
arrant
blatant
astrakhan
a fur with a curled pile originally made with the skins of young lambs from Astrakhan (Russia), or a wool fabric made to imitate this.
barrows
two-wheeled handcarts from which 'barrow boys' and 'costermongers' can sell their produce
basket-chair
a chair made of wicker work
bath-chairs
wheelchairs for invalids or disabled people (often written Bath chair)
betrothal
engagement to be married
bloweth where it listeth
this is a biblical phrase (John 3:8). In modern English: 'blows whichever way it chooses'
boards
the stage of a theatre
bogy
a variety of bogey - a mischievous or evil spirit, or anything designed to frighten
boots
someone employed in a hotel to carry out tasks like carrying luggage and cleaning shoes
cameo
a piece of hard stone, such as onyx, carved in relief against a different coloured background - often in the form of a brooch
camphor
a crystalline substance obtained from the camphor tree - previously used in the making of insect repellants such as moth balls
capricious
unpredictable
chastity
purity (in particular, abstaining from extra-marital sex)
chivalrous
embracing the code of values of medieval knights
cock-a-doodle-dum
this does not appear in the O.E.D., although cock-a-doodle-doo is listed as the name for a cockrel or the sound he makes. The use in the text suggests that 'cock-a-doodle-dum' probably means 'nonsense'
coffers
financial resources
colonnade
a row of columns
consummated
brought to completion
corded
made of a textile which is ribbed or twilled
counterpane
a bedspread or coverlet (used figuratively in the text)
epic
a long poem which celebrates heroic figures from history or myth e.g. the Iliad
eschewing
avoiding
faggot
a bundle of sticks or twigs bound together for use as fuel
farrago
a confused group; a hotchpotch
fetish
something irrationally revered
figure of speech
an expression that uses language in a non-literal way, as in a metaphor
foliated
made of thin, leaf-like, or petal-like, sections
folios
books in which the pages are the size of a sheet of paper folded once
gramophone
an old-fashioned term for a record-player
halcyon
peaceful, undisturbed
hammock
a piece of canvas or netting, which can be suspended between two fixture points, and used as a bed
hortatory
intended to urge or encourage
incandescent
glowing with heat
in default
in the absence of something
ingot
an oblong piece of cast metal, either gold, silver, or steel
jonquille
A plant of the genus Narcissus, sometimes known as the 'rush-leaved daffodil'
jowl
skin hanging loosely from the chin or neck area
magnates
wealthy, influential, people
metaphysical
may mean abstract and theoretical, or connected with the philosophy of 'being' and 'knowing', or several other meanings. Not entirely clear how it is used in the text
nugget
a small but valuable lump
nuptials
a wedding
pagoda
a Hindu or Buddhist religious building, often a tower with multiple tiers
parish register
a book containing records of christenings, marriages, and deaths, within a particular parish, kept at the parish church
Parma violets
violets with a powerful scent, often crystallised and used in food decoration
patent leather
leather with a glossy surface, nearly always black in colour
patriarchy
a society ruled by men
pedagogue
teacher
perambulator
a baby's pram
pernicious anaemia
a deficiency of red blood cells caused by a lack of vitamin B12 or folic acid
peroration
the concluding part of a speech which sums up the whole
pin money
a small amount of money available (usually to a women) for buying extras or inessentials.
plane tree
a tree of the genus Platanus, with maple-like leaves, and a tendency to grow tall
plebeian
lowly
plume (myself)
admire (myself)
quadrangle
an open, square, or rectangular, area,which is completely (or almost completely) enclosed by the walls of surrounding buildings
quartos
books in which the pages are the size of a sheet of paper folded twice
quickening
giving life or vigour to
quires
24 or 25 sheets of paper
relativity
a theory in the field of physics, put forward by Albert Einstein
ribbon
one might assume from the text that this is an alternative word for a 'headline' - but 'ribbon' does not appear with that meaning in the O.E.D. Presumably, then, 'ribbon' here carries its usual meaning of 'a long narrow strip'
rootled
grubbed or poked about
sacrilege
the violation of, or misuse of, something that is considered sacred
sedulous
diligent or active (use in text not entirely clear)
shilling
a British pre-decimalisation coin - equivalent to 5 pence in present-day coinage
suet
the hard, white, fat situated around animals' kidneys used to make pastry
switchback railway
a railway with many steep ascents and descents, where the force of the descent powers the ascent (often found in fairgrounds)
tapioca
the hard (when uncooked) grains made from the starchy roots of the cassava plant
tithes
the tenth part of any agricultural produce, or monetary income, which was paid as tax, often to a religious institution or social superior
trinity
a group of three
truncated
having a part cut off
unhanding
releasing or letting go (it is not quite clear how a woman could 'unhand herself' as in the text)
verger
an official who takes care of the inside of a church, and acts as an attendant there
weir
a dam built across a river or canal to raise the water level or regulate the flow
wool-stapler
a merchant who buys wool from the producer and sells it on to the manufacturer