Page 279. " might very well be supposed to have escaped out of Bedlam "
The Interior of Bedlam (Bethlem Royal Hospital), from A Rake's Progress
Public DomainThe Interior of Bedlam (Bethlem Royal Hospital), from A Rake's Progress - Credit: William Hogarth, 1763

The Bethlem Royal Hospital in London specialises in the treatment of mental illness.  While it has changed locations and varied its name over the centuries, it has existed as a facility for the mentally ill since the 1300s, and is the world's oldest such institution.  The word bedlam, meaning uproar and confusion, derives from one variation of the hospital's name.

Bethlem originated in 1247 as a priory of the Order of the Star of Bethlehem. Its first site was in Bishopsgate, where Liverpool Street Station now stands.  In 1337 became a hospital. It admitted its first mentally ill patients in 1357, but did not become a dedicated psychiatric hospital until later.

For the first few hundred years, treatment amounted to little more than confinement.  Dangerous patients were manacled and chained, and conditions were appalling and inhumane. 

Things began to improve from 1700, when the hospital began referring to ‘patients’ rather than inmates.  From 1725, patients were separated into ‘curable’ and ‘incurable’ wards – suggesting that efforts at treatment were actually being made.    

Page 281. " Drew Priam's curtains in the dead of night "
La consternation de la famille Priam
Public DomainLa consternation de la famille Priam - Credit: Étienne-Barthélémy Garnier, musée des Beaux-Arts d'Angoulême, France

Priam was king of Troy during the Trojan War.  His son Paris (one of 50 sons and many daughters) caused the Trojan War, while his daughter Cassandra predicted it.  Priam was killed during the Sack of Troy. 

The quote is from Shakespeare’s King Henry IV, Part II (Act I. Scene 1):

Such a man, so faint, so spiritless,

So dull, so dead in look, so woe-begone,

Drew Priam’s curtain in the dead of night,

And would have told him, half his Troy was burn'd.

Page 282. " as whilom did Hercules that of Hylas "

Hylas and the Nymphs
Public DomainHylas and the Nymphs - Credit: John William Waterhouse 1896
In classical mythology, Hylas was a youth who served as a companion of Hercules.  Roman sources state that Hylas was the son of Hercules and the nymph Melite.  He gained his beauty from his divine mother and his military prowess from his demigod father. 

While Hercules and Hylas were travelling together, Hylas was abducted by water nymphs of the spring of Pegae.  Heracles was distraught, and searched for Hylas for a great length of time. Hylas, however, had fallen in love with the nymphs, and was never found.

Page 283. " no Salique Law governs here "
Clovis, King of the Franks, dictating the Salic Law
Public DomainClovis, King of the Franks, dictating the Salic Law - Credit: Chronicles of St Denis, 14th Century

Salique or Salic law is a code of laws was the major body of Frankish law governing the Franks of Frankia during the Old Frankish Period, during the early Middle Ages.  It is a direct ancestor of the systems of law in many parts of Europe today.

The original edition of the code was commissioned by the first king of all the Franks, Clovis (c. 466–511).  Clovis originally ruled only the Salian Franks, before his unification of Frankia.  Salic law precluded females from inheritance.  Only a male relative, however distant he might be, can inherit the throne or fief.  Similarly, the inheritance of land is exclusive to the male sex.

Page 284. " Anacreon, though his mouth is supposed to have been a beehive "

The Poet Anacreon with his Muses
Public DomainThe Poet Anacreon with his Muses - Credit: Norbert Schroedl, 1890
Anacreon was a Greek lyric poet notable for his drinking songs and hymns. Later Greeks included him in the canonical list of nine lyric poets.  His poetry was composed to be sung or recited to the accompaniment of music, usually the lyre.  It touched on universal themes of love, infatuation, disappointment, revelry, parties, festivals, and the observations of everyday people and life.

In ancient writings, bees symbolized eloquence , speech, and intelligence.  Bees are said to have settled on the mouth of the child, Plato, ‘announcing the sweetness of his enchanting soul’ (Pliny) and also settled also on the lips of Saint Ambrose, the patron-saint of beekeepers.

Page 284. " for, like Hudibras, he wore but one spur "

Hudibras is an English mock heroic narrative poem written by Samuel Butler in the 17th century.  The quote refers to the following verse:

Western-style cowboy spurs
Public DomainWestern-style cowboy spurs - Credit: Cowboy Wisdom
His draggling tail hung in the dirt,

Which on his rider he would flirt

Still as his tender side he pricked

With armed heel, or with unarmed, kicked:

For Hudibras wore but one spur,

As wisely knowing could he stir

To active trot one side of's horse,

The other would not hang an arse.

Page 289. " Dacier and Bossu among the French "
André Dacier
Public DomainAndré Dacier - Credit: Gaillard, Ferdinand

André Dacier (1651-1722) was a French classical scholar and editor of texts.  His most important works were his editions of Pompeius Festus and Verrius Flaccus, and his translations of Horace, Aristotle, Sophocles, Hippocrates and Plutarch. 

René Le Bossu (1631-1680) was a French critic.  He wrote Parallèle des principes de la physique d'Aristote et de celle de René Descartes (1674), and Traité du poème épique (on epic poetry). 

Page 290. " as Martial says, Aliter non fit, avite, liber. No book can be otherwise composed "

Marcus Valerius Martialis, known as Martial (40 AD – c.102 AD) was a Latin poet from Hispania (the Iberian Peninsula), best known for his twelve books of Epigrams published in Rome between 86 and 103 AD.  His short, witty poems satirise city life and the scandalous activities of his acquaintances, and romanticise his provincial upbringing. They provide a colourful insight into Roman daily life at the time. He wrote a total of 1,561 poems, and is considered to be the creator of the modern epigram.

An example, poking fun at the medical profession:

"I felt a little ill and called Dr. Symmachus.

Well, you came, Symmachus, but you brought 100 medical students with you.

One hundred ice-cold hands poked and jabbed me.

I didn't have a fever, Symmachus, when I called you –but now I do.”

Page 294. " she was no other than Madam Jenny Cameron herself "

Flora Macdonald, another Jacobite heroine
Public DomainFlora Macdonald, another Jacobite heroine - Credit: Allan Ramsay, 1713-1784
Jenny Cameron was a hero of Scotland’s Jacobite Risings in 1745. She was noted for her beauty, charm and genteel manners.  Her legend is remembered in the Scottish ballad, Bonnie Jeanie Cameron.

There is confusion as to her identity, and her story may be an amalgam of the lives of three different people – Jeanie Cameron who raised troops for the Jacobites, Jenny Cameron, mistress of Charles Stuart, and Jenny Cameron, a milliner from Edinburgh. 

The main source of information about Jeanie Cameron is A Complete History of the Rebellion: From Its First Rise in 1745 to Its Total Suppression at the Glorious Battle of Culloden in April, 1746 by James Ray, published in 1752, although some of the details of her life may have been invented in an attempt to discredit her and other supporters of the Stuart cause. Ray claims that Jeanie was born in 1695, and had lived a life of sexual scandal. At the time of the Rebellion, she raised 250 men and joined the Jacobite cause, personally presenting her troops to the Prince and staying with him until the defeat at Stirling Castle.  This would have made her rather old to be the Prince’s consort however. 

Page 297. " at her return from the Pump "

Since Roman times, Bath’s hot mineral springs have pumped a quarter of a million gallons of spring water a day at a steady 49°c. The original Pump Room was erected in 1706. In 1708, Thomas Harrison built the Bath Assembly House, for which the public paid fees to dance and gamble. Visitors promenaded up and down the Pump Room, drinking the waters from 8am to 3pm, catching up on gossip, seeing and being seen, while an orchestra played in a semi-circular gallery above their heads.

During the mid-18th to early 19thcentury, Bath’s population exploded from 2,000 to 38,000, becoming the eighth largest city in England by 1801. The Pump Room was enlarged in 1751, a new portico added in 1786, and a new frontage constructed in 1791. The number of visitors continued to swell, however, and in 1796 an entirely new room was built, 85 feet long, 46 feet wide, and 34 feet high. 

Engraving of the Pump Room and exterior of the baths in Bath
Public DomainEngraving of the Pump Room and exterior of the baths in Bath - Credit: Wright, G. N. (1864) The Historic Guide to Bath R. E. Peach, Bath