A glee is a part song arranged for three or more voices, usually sung unaccompanied. Glees were generally intended for male voices, although they sometimes included a soprano part that might be sung by women. They were particularly popular between the mid 18th and the mid 19th centuries.
Unusually, here the suggestion is that the glee is to be sung to piano accompaniment, and by female voices.
Arcturus, also known as alpha Boötis, is the brightest star in the constellation Boötes (the Herdsman). Viewed from Earth, it is the brightest star in the Northern Hemisphere and the fourth brighest star in the sky.
Cassiopeia, situated opposite the Big Dipper, is a distinctive W-shaped constellation of the northern hemisphere.
Weymouth is an English seaside town on the Dorset coast. It became a popular tourist attraction during the late 18th century when King George III (1738-1820) spent some summers there at Gloucester Lodge, the home of his brother, the Duke of Gloucester.
The interpretation of this remark depends to a large extent on the exact period in which the events of Mansfield Park are set. Various commentators have suggested different dates, ranging from 1803-6 to 1810-1813. Those who favour the later date have suggested Tom Bertram may be referring to the Anglo-American War (1812-1815).
Originating in the game of bowls, the term rubber also came to be used in cricket and tennis, and in card games such as whist, bridge, and cribbage. In these contexts, it has three different meanings. Firstly, it may refer to a series of 3 or 5 matches or games; secondly, it may refer to the winning of two games in such a series; thirdly, it may refer to the third game in a series which constitutes the tie-breaker.
Here, the reference is to a rubber of whist which was an extremely popular card game in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The half crown was a British coin in circulation between 1549 and 1970.
Lovers' Vows (1798) was an English adaptation by Elizabeth Inchbald of the 1780 German play Das Kind der Liebe (literally, Child of Love) by August Von Kotzebue.
It was a great success when performed in London in 1798, and it was subsequently staged in various other towns and cities, including Bristol, Newcastle and Bath. Although popular, the play caused controversy as it dealt with issues of pre-marital sex and illegitimacy.
The character Count Cassel is a dandy who is rejected as a suitor by the character Amelia, who is in love with Anhalt, a poor clergyman.
My Grandmother was a musical farce by Prince Hoare (1755-1834), first published in 1794.
As noted in the text, it was suitable to be used as an after-piece, which was a term given to a short piece, or farce, performed after the main play.
Shylock is the Jewish moneylender in William Shakespeare's play, The Merchant of Venice.
Richard III is the title protagonist of another Shakespeare play.
Like the play on which Lovers' Vows was based, German plays presumably had a certain reputation, possibly a risqué one?
An archaic meaning of trick is to decorate or adorn in an extravagant way.
A figure-dance is one which consists of several distinct divisions, or figures.
A hornpipe is a lively dance (associated with sailors and often performed by one person only) as well as the name given to the music for such a dance. A hornpipe is also a type of musical instrument, although it is the dance that is being referred to here.
Gaius Julius Caesar (100BC-44BC) was a Roman general and political leader who was assassinated by a group of Roman senators led by Marcus Junius Brutus. The murder is portrayed in William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, believed to have been written in 1599.
To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?
Norval is a character in the play Douglas, a tragedy by John Home, performed for the first time in Edinburgh in 1756.
Douglas is a tragedy by John Home (see bookmark p.118).
The Gamester is a play by James Shirley which deals with the issue of gambling. It was first performed in 1633, and first published in 1637. It is also the title of a play by Edward Moore (1712-1757) which also deals with gambling, and it is likely that it is Moore's play, rather than Shirley's, which is referred to here.
The Wheel of Fortune (1795) is a play by Richard Cumberland (1732-1811).
Heir at Law (1808) is the title of a play by George Colman the Younger (1762-1836).
All the plays referred to are comedies.