Page 155. " I took up some sweetmeats "

Sweetmeats in a 17th century still life painting
Public DomainSweetmeats in a 17th century still life painting - Credit: wikimedia commons

Sweetmeats were sweet confections (candy). These would have come in the form of sugared fruit and nuts, little honey cakes, or sweets made of almonds, honey and spices.

Page 175. " Oh, rumour travels with winged sandals, like Mercury, does it not? "
GNU Free Documentation LicenseMercury - Credit: Otter/wikimedia commons

 Mercury (Greek: Hermes) was the Roman messenger god, as well as god of trade, travellers and commerce. Mercury was very speedy, wearing winged sandals and a winged petasos (a type of hat).


In Greek and Roman mythology, rumour did have a personification, called Pheme (Greek) and Fama (Roman). She was winged and carried a trumpet, and would spread good or bad news first as a whisper, getting louder and louder until she shouted loud enough for all to hear. Virgil described her as having multiple tongues, eyes and ears.