Adapted from the book "Tit-Willow or Notes and Jottings on Gilbert and Sullivan Operas" by Guy H. and Claude A. Walmisley (Privately Printed, Undated)
Anchor, Her anchor's a-trip. The anchor just hove clear of the ground.
Bach, Johann Sebastian (1685-1750). Son of Johann Ambrosius Bach, born at Eisenach. A very famous composer of organ music and a brilliant organist.
Beethoven, Ludwig von. Born at Bonn, probably December 16, 1770. Died at Vienna 26 March, 1827. A world famous composer; he became quite deaf towards the end of his life.
Con fuoco. (Italian) music. With fire; impetuously.
Fugue. A musical movement in which a definite number of parts or voices combine in stating or developing a single theme, the interest being cumulative.
Full Court, The. i.e. All the judges of the Court sitting together to hear the case. For further details see The Introduction to "Trial by jury".
Gambado. A fantastic movement, as in dancing.
Gioco. (Italian). Play or sport.
Happy Dispatch. In Japan the nobles and military enjoy the privilege of exercising the Happy Dispatch upon themselves.
The now abolished custom of Hari-Kari, or the voluntary taking of one's life to avoid disgrace, and blot out entirely or partially the stain on an honourable name, is a curious custom that has come down from old times.
The ancient heroes stabbed themselves, in the abdomen, as calmly as they did their enemies; and all their families must perish with them, unless there is a special writ of the Emperor.
The women as well as men knew how to use the short sword worn always at the side of the Samurai, his last and easy escape from shame.
Samurai was the name given to the military class among the Japanese.
Count-Heihachiro-Togo, a Japanese Admiral, born at Kagoshina in 1847, died 1907, is supposed to have exercised Hari-Kari upon himself. He served against China (1894), and as commander-in-chief of the Japanese navy completely defeated Russia at sea in the war of 1904-5.
Helm, Her helm's a-lee. The helm of a ship is a-lee when put over to the lee side. The opposite of a -weather.
Judge Ordinary. Judge of Divorce and Matrimonial Clauses. Strictly the title was non-existent at the date of the opera. For further details see The Introduction to "Trial by jury".
Lucius Junius Brutus. Lucius Junius was called Brutus (the Dullard) because he feigned stupidity to avoid the jealousy of his uncle, the great Tarquinius Superbus, King of the Romans. Enraged at the excesses of the Tarquins, Lucius Junius was instrumental in bringing about the expulsion of Tarquinius Superbus from Rome in B.C. 510 after he had been King for twenty-five years.
Lucius Junius Brutus was one of Rome's first pair of Consuls and when his sons Titus and Tiberius, with others, were caught plotting for the return of King Tarquin they were brought up for judgement before their father, who though sadly torn between his love for them and his sense of duty, ordered the lictors to put all the traitors to death, and his sons first.
It is of King Tarquin and Lucius Junius Brutus that the two following and well-known stories are told.
(1) When Sextus, Tarquin's youngest son, was in doubt how to subdue the Gabii, he secretly sent a messenger to the King for his advice. Tarquin gave no verbal or written reply to the messenger but walked up and down his garden slashing off the heads of all the tallest poppies with his stick. The messenger, mystified, returned to Sextus and reported what had happened. Sextus, rightly interpreting the King's action, in one way and another brought about the ruin or death of all the most important men of the Gabii and so was enabled to deliver up the city to King Tarquin.
(2) When Tarquin sent two of his sons, Titus and Aruns and his nephew Lucius Junius Brutus on a mission to the Oracle at Delphi, the young men, for their own amusement, asked which of the three of them would attain chief power at Rome. The Oracle replied "He, who shall first kiss his mother".
On hearing this, Brutus pretended to trip up, fell and kissed the earth, as being the mother of everything mortal. How he later became one of the first pair of Consuls at Rome, after the expulsion of the Tarquins, is explained above.
Madame Tussaud. See under Tussaud.
Madrigal. A form of secular composition for two or more voices, practised originally in North Italy in the 14th century. A madrigal set to music poems of high standing, as a contrast to the then prevailing type of story called Frottola, in which the poems were frivolous and sometimes vulgar.
A madrigal is a short amatory poem, part-song for several voices, without instrumental accompaniment.
Mass. Is employed as a musical term for the setting of the unvarying portion of the Liturgy, called the Ordinary. For the unvarying portions little music besides the original Gregorian chant has ever been provided.
Miya sama, miya sama
On n'm-ma no maye ni
Pira-Pira suru no wa
Nan gia na
Toko tonyare tonyare na.
Prince, 0 Prince!
What is it
In front of your horse?
These words are sung by the chorus as the procession enters, heralding the approach of the Mikado. Both words and music were based on a Japanese song written in 1868 and popular in Japan for some time thereafter. The next verse, which is not used in the opera, continues as follows:
Don't you know that that
Is a royal brocade flag
Signifying our resolve
To defeat our enemies?
Monday Pops. The famous "Popular Concerts", or Saturday and Monday "Pops", provided for forty years (1858-98) in winter and spring London's chief opportunity of hearing chamber music under the direction of Mr. Chappell of Bond Street.
Actually the Monday Popular Concerts began in 1858 experimentally and in 1859 definitely, whilst the Saturday Popular Concerts did not begin until 1865.
They took place at St. James's Hall, Regent Street, which was opened in 1858 and closed in 1905, and was, for nearly half a century, London's principal concert hall.
Many of the leading performers in Europe, such as Madame Schumann (1819-1896) and Dr. Joachim (1831-1907) were to be heard there in the works of Beethoven and other classic masters from Bach to Grieg.
Madame Clara Schumann, wife of the famous composer Robert Schumann, was one of the most accomplished artists amongst pianists of her time. Dr. Joseph Joachim, born in what is now Czechoslovakia, visited England at the age of 13 where to the end of his life he remained of all violinists the greatest public favourite and ranks as one of the leading solo violinists and one of the finest quartet leaders that the world has ever known.
Nisi prius nuisance. In Gilbert's day the words "nisi prius" practically meant "legal".
"At the present day the judge who goes on circuit sits under three commissions: (1) The Commission of General Gaol delivery, in virtue of which he clears the gaol of all persons awaiting trial; (2) The Commission of Oyer and Terminer, in virtue of which he tried those criminal cases in which the grand jury have found a true bill; (3) The Commission of Assize, which is a survival of the old Commission empowering the judge to take the verdict of that special sort of jury called an Assize, which was summoned for trial of certain issues (vide supra), and to which, by Stat West II c 30 was annexed the power to hear other cases "at Nisi Prius". Before the "Nisi Prius" writ was invented, if the plaintiff had an action in Oxfordshire, he had to come up to London to try it, and bring his witnesses, the sheriff of the county being directed by a writ of "venire facias" to bring up an Oxfordshire jury; after the Statute empowered the judges of Assize to try other issues in the counties, the writ was altered, and the sheriff was directed to bring up twelve lawful men from Oxford to try the Oxfordshire case in London, unless before the date specified the justices tried the cause in Oxford and spared everybody the trouble of coming to London".
Grand juries were abolished (except in the counties of London and Middlesex) by the Administration of justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1933. In these two counties they were abolished by the Criminal justice Act 1948.
0 ni! bikkuri shakkuri to! Oh! surprise and wonder! sung by the chorus to interrupt Katisha when trying to disclose Nanki-Poo's identity.
Parliamentary trains. Originally meant trains required to be run by every Company under Railway Regulation Act 1844 (Section 6), by which companies were required to run at least one train each way every weekday from one end to the other of each line providing for conveyance of 3rd class passengers at parliamentary fare (not exceeding 1d. per mile) at a speed of not less than 12 miles an hour and stopping at each station.
The section also provided that the carriages were to be provided with seats and were to be covered in. This section was repealed by the Cheap Train's Act 1883 which required companies to provide a sufficient number of workmen's trains at cheap fares.
At the date of the opera the expression would mean any slow uncomfortable train at cheap fares. Until comparatively recently 3rd class tickets at parliamentary fare (not exceeding 1d. per mile) were issued as "Parliamentary Ticket" and the expression was then familiar to the public.
Protoplasmal primordial atomic globule. Protoplasm is the name given in modern biology to a substance composing, wholly or in part, all living cells, tissues, or organisms of any kind, and hence is regarded as the primary living substance, the physical and material basis of life, while Primordial refers to something existing at (or from) the very beginning.By using the above expression Pooh-Bah, in his pride, boasts that he can trace his ancestry to the beginning of time.
Rum below. A meaningless burden in ancient songs, especially sea songs. It can also refer to a thrust or a push, which is probably the meaning intended here.
Snickersnee. A long knife.
Spohr, Louis (1784-1859). Was born at Brunswick and died at Cassel in Germany. A great violinist and composer, he was also considered one of the best conductors of his time.
Spot that is always barred. An allusion to the spot-stroke in English Billiards whereby the red ball is pocketed in a top corner pocket from off its own spot so as to leave the cue ball in position for any easy losing hazard in either top corner pocket.
Kentfield and Roberts all played this stroke with success but Peall especially concentrated on this stroke and on 5 and 6 November, 1890, made a break of 3,304 comprising runs of 93, 3, 150, 123, 172, 120 and 400 spot strokes.
This stroke was eventually barred out of professional matches at the end of the 19th century and the "spot-barred" game became consequently the rule for all players; nowadays the red ball is placed on the centre spot after being pocketed twice consecutively in a top corner pocket from its own spot.
Toco. A flogging or thrashing. Slang English. But in this case it probably means bread and scrape.
Tussaud, Madame Marie (1760-1850). Was Founder of the Waxwork exhibition known by her name.
Born posthumously at Berne she was adopted in 1766 by her maternal uncle, Johann W. C. Kurtz or Creutz (later Curtius), taken to Paris in 1770 and taught wax-modelling.
In 1780 he started a "Cabinet de Cire" in the Palais Royal, while in 1783 the business was extended by the creation of a "Caverne des Grands Voleurs", the nucleus of the "Chamber of Horrors".
Curtius proved his patriotism on 14 July, 1789 by taking part in the storming of the Bastille, but three brothers and two uncles of Marie Tussaud were in the Swiss Guard, and all perished bravely in defending the Tuileries on 10 August, 1792.
Curtius and his niece were called upon to model the lifeless heads of a number of victims of the Terror.
After the death, probably by poisoning, of her uncle in 1794, Marie married M. Tussaud, the son of a well-to-do wine grower from Macon. In 1800 she separated from him and, in 1802, brought her cero-plastic museum to England.
She started at the Lyceum in the Strand; thence she moved to Blackheath; Baker Street; and finally to the present site in Marylebone Road--burnt down in 1925 and rebuilt 1927-1928.
Most of the figures of well-known leaders of the French Revolution are said to be taken from life--Marat, Carrier, Fouquier-Tinville and Hebert; but Robespierre was "taken immediately after his execution by order of the General Assembly".
Other interesting relics include the blood-stained shirt in which Henry IV of France was assassinated; the knife and lunette of one of the early guillotines; Napoleon's travelling carriage, built at Brussels for the 1812 Moscow campaign etc.
Madame Tussaud died at Baker Street on 16 April, 1850, aged 90.
Tam. From an African name on the Gold Coast. It largely replaces the potato as a staple food in tropical climates. The edible starchy root of various plants, and in this case probably means Eastern bread whereas toco, already alluded to, means Western bread.
"You forget that Japanese girls do not arrive at years of discretion until they are fifty."
A joke, as in the East women attain maturity earlier than in England. The Japanese girl leaves School to become a wife at sixteen, a mother at eighteen, and an old woman at thirty.
Updated 10 June 2004