Chapter 35: 349-361
A gossip or busybody; an ever-curious questioner; newsmonger
...rather, a great disorderly Tangle of Lines,
A tangle of lines in need of singling up. See entry from ATD.
Edward Gibbon (April 27, 1737 – January 16, 1794) was an English historian and Member of Parliament. His most important work, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, was published in six volumes between 1776 and 1788. The History is known principally for the quality and irony of its prose, its use of primary sources, and its open denigration of organised religion, though the extent of this is disputed by some critics. From WIKI
Bernard Mandeville, or Bernard de Mandeville (15 November 1670, Rotterdam – 21 January 1733, Hackney), was a philosopher, political economist and satirist. Born in the Netherlands, he lived most of his life in England and used English for most of his published works. He became famous (or infamous) for The Fable of the Bees. From WIKI
Captain John Smith
Captain John Smith (c. January 1580 – June 21, 1631) Admiral of New England was an English soldier, explorer, and author. He is remembered for his role in establishing the first permanent English settlement in North America at Jamestown, Virginia, and his brief association with the Virginia Indian girl Pocahontas during an altercation with the Powhatan Confederacy and her father, Chief Powhatan. He was a leader of the Virginia Colony (based at Jamestown) between September 1608 and August 1609, and led an exploration along the rivers of Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay. His books and maps may have been as important as his deeds, as they encouraged more Englishmen and women to follow the trail he had blazed and colonize the New World. He gave the name New England to that region, and encouraged people with the comment, "Here every man may be master and owner of his owne labour and land...If he have nothing but his hands, he may...by industrie quickly grow rich." His message attracted millions of people in the next four centuries. From WIKI
Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von Münchhausen (11 May 1720 – 22 February 1797) (often spelled Munchausen in English) was a German baron born in Bodenwerder, who in his youth was sent to serve as page to Anthony Ulrich II of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, and later joined the Russian military. He served until 1750, in particular taking part in two campaigns against the Ottoman Turks. Returning home, Münchhausen supposedly told a number of outrageous tall tales about his adventures. He died in his birthplace of Bodenwerder. According to the stories, as retold by others, the Baron's astounding feats included riding cannonballs, travelling to the Moon, and escaping from a swamp by pulling himself up by his own hair (or bootstraps, depending on who tells the story). From WIKI
Herodotus of Halicarnassus (Greek: Ἡρόδοτος Ἁλικαρνᾱσσεύς Hēródotos Halikarnāsseús) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC (c. 484 BC – c. 425 BC) and is regarded as the "Father of History" in Western culture. He was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a well-constructed and vivid narrative. He is almost exclusively known for writing The Histories, a record of his "inquiries" (or ἱστορίαι, a word that passed into Latin and took on its modern meaning of history) into the origins of the Greco-Persian Wars which occurred in 490 and 480-479 BC—especially since he includes a narrative account of that period, which would otherwise be poorly documented; and many long digressions concerning the various places and peoples he encountered during wide-ranging travels around the lands of the Mediterranean and Black Sea. Although some of his stories were not completely accurate, he claimed that he was reporting only what had been told to him. From WIKI
certain Egyptian Deity
Aesop (also spelled Æsop or Esop, from the Greek Αἴσωπος—Aisōpos) (620-560 BC), known only for the genre of fables ascribed to him, was by tradition a slave (δούλος) who was a contemporary of Croesus and Peisistratus in the mid-sixth century BC in ancient Greece. The various collections that go under the rubric "Aesop's Fables" are still taught as moral lessons and used as subjects for various entertainments, especially children's plays and cartoons. Most of what are known as Aesopic fables is a compilation of tales from various sources, many of which originated with authors who lived long before Aesop. From WIKI
'Novel'... Britain's Bedlam ... French Salpêtriére
Two early mental asylums, both quite horrific. The suggestion, of course, is that readers of novels like Mason & Dixon will drive themselves crazy by indulging in such fantasies (also, see page 321 - R.C. entry)
The Bethlem Royal Hospital of London is a psychiatric hospital in Beckenham, south east London. Although no longer in its original location and buildings, it is recognised as the world's first and oldest institution to specialise in the mentally ill. It has been variously known as St. Mary Bethlehem, Bethlem Hospital, Bethlehem Hospital and Bedlam. The word bedlam, meaning uproar and confusion, is derived from its name. Although the hospital is now at the forefront of humane psychiatric treatment, for much of its history it was notorious for cruelty and inhumane treatment – the epitome of what the term "madhouse" connotes to the modern reader. From WIKI
The Salpêtrière was originally a gunpowder factory ("salpêtre" being a constituent of gunpowder), but was converted to a dumping ground for the poor of Paris. It served as a prison for prostitutes, and a holding place for the mentally disabled, criminally insane, epileptics, and the poor; it was also notable for its famous population of rats. From WIKIDr. Johnson
See page 74.
Invisible Snake Trick
Is there really something called the Invisible Snake Trick, or is this pure joshing (à la Get Smart: "the old Invisible Snake Trick, eh?")? Curiously, Aunt Euphrenia, hoisting an oboe, follows this witty braggadocio by playing “a sinuous Air full of exotick sharps and flats” – perhaps this “sinuous Air” is, itself, the Invisible Snake. And the Trick? Note that once she starts playing, “The Company redeploy themselves in the direction of Comfort” – it’s as if she’s charmed her challengers into wandering away from her and the dispute.
Note that the novel frequently mentions invisible forces.
Octoraro Creek is the last significant tributary of the Susquehanna River. The Octoraro rises as an East and West Branch in Pennsylvania. The East Branch forms the southern half of the border between Lancaster and Chester counties until it crosses the Mason-Dixon line. The creek winds through northwestern Cecil County, Maryland before joining the Susquehanna. From WIKI
The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also sometimes known as the American War of Independence, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen united former British colonies in North America, and concluded in a global war between several European great powers. The war was the culmination of the political American Revolution, whereby the colonists rejected the right of the Parliament of Great Britain to govern them without representation, claiming that this violated the Rights of Englishmen. From WIKI
"a chair or windowed cabin suitable for a single occupant, also carried by at least two porters in front and behind, using wooden rails that pass through brackets on the sides of the chair" -- Wikipedia
Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle or simply "Santa", is the legendary and mythical figure who, in many Western cultures, brings gifts to the homes of the good children during the late evening and overnight hours of Christmas Eve, December 24 or on his Feast Day, December 6 (Saint Nicholas Day). The legend may have part of its basis in hagiographical tales concerning the historical figure of gift giver Saint Nicholas... WIKI
Saint Nicholas (Greek: Άγιος Νικόλαος , Agios Nikolaos, "victory of the people") (270 - 6 December 346) is the common name for Nicholas of Myra, a saint and Bishop of Myra (in Lycia, part of modern-day Turkey). Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nicholas the Wonderworker. He had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, and thus became the model for Santa Claus, whose English name comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas. His reputation evolved among the faithful, as is common for early Christian saints. In 1087, his relics were furtively translated to Bari, in southern Italy; for this reason, he is also known as Nicholas of Bari. From WIKI
I was back in America
The Section from here until page 392 takes place from January 11, 1765 to January 17, 1765.
mesopotamian Mysticks of Kutztown or Bethlehem
Kutztown is a borough in Berks County, Pennsylvania, 18 miles (29 km) west southwest of Allentown and 17 miles (27 km) northeast of Reading. George (Coots) Kutz purchased 130 acres (0.53 km2) of land that became on Kutztown on June 16, 1755 from Peter Wentz, who owned much of what is now Maxatawny Township. Kutz first laid out his plans for the town in 1779. The first lots in the new town of Cootstown (later renamed Kutztown) were purchased in 1785 by Adam Dietrich and Henry Schweier. From WIKI
Bethlehem is a city in Lehigh and Northampton Counties in the Lehigh Valley region of eastern Pennsylvania, in the United States. On Christmas Eve in 1741, David Nitschmann and Count Nicolaus von Zinzendorf, leading a small group of Moravians, founded the city of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania along the banks of the Monocacy Creek by the Lehigh River... Bethlehem became the headquarters of the Northern Province of the Moravian Church in North America after the Unity Synod of 1848. From WIKI
"The Stamp Act Crisis"
It's strange to note that the Stamp Act wasn't passed until March 22, 1765. The Rev is setting the mood of the times but this is really only the dissatisfaction waiting for a trigger.
See page 395.
Small notes, used as reminders for something (usually money) owed to someone
Business then, in this Province, Wagering included, was conducted overwhelmingly by way of Credit, - the Flow of Cash was not as important as Character, Duty, a complex structure of debt in which Favors, Forgiveness, Ignominy were much more likely than any repayment in Specie.
Business here works much like Emerson's watch; see page 317.
a Conveyance, wherein the inside is quite noticeably larger than the outside
I wonder if this a reference to Dr. Who: "The TARDIS is a time machine and spacecraft in the British science fiction television programme Doctor Who. The name is an acronym of Time And Relative Dimension(s) In Space. A product of Time Lord technology, a properly maintained and piloted TARDIS can transport its occupants to any point in time and space. The interior of a TARDIS is much larger than its exterior, which can blend in with its surroundings through the ship's chameleon circuit" (Wikipedia). See also p. 412
Note to, the OED definition of tardis, which includes usage samples dating back to 1969:
- Etymology: [< TARDIS (acronym < Time And Relative Dimensions In Space), the name in the science-fiction BBC television series Doctor Who (first broadcast in 1963) of a time machine outwardly resembling a police telephone box, yet inwardly much larger.]
- Definition: In allusive use. Something resembling or likened to Doctor Who's TARDIS; spec.: (a) a thing which has a larger capacity than its outward appearance suggests; a building, etc., that is larger on the inside than it appears from the outside; (b) a thing seemingly from another time (past or future).
Note, too, that this is one in a series of supposed "paradoxes" that Reverend Wicks Cherrycoke presents to his audience, including the Möbius smoke ring (ch. 34, p. 345). This same joke (?) is presented again regarding a cabin (ch. 41, p. 412). Watch to see the audiences' reaction to these paradoxes. Are they growing progressively more tolerant of Wick's tall-tales?
This passage also makes me think of the book itself: An entity defined in three dimensions that contains within it many more objects, characters, events and intersecting ideas than would physically fit between its two covers, "some bearing loads, others merely decorative, still others serving as Cam-Surfaces guiding the motions of other Parts.--" I especially enjoy that "this fact cannot be appreciated until one is inside." In other words, you'll never truly appreciate the Byzantine genius of TRP until you 'get inside' one of his books.
This idea of a book or structure that is larger on the inside than it appears from the outside is also explored thoroughly in Mark Danielewski's novel House of Leaves WIKIgame of All-Fours
Science vs. Luck.
All-Fours, All-Fools, is an English tavern trick-taking card game dating from about the middle of the 17th century, and may have been adapted by the English from another typically low-class Dutch game. It was introduced to the United States in the 18th century and soon became the most popular game by the 1800s. It is considered the game responsible for attaching the name Jack in 1864 to what was formerly just a knave. The name derives from the fact that one card may count all fours: If the eldest hand holds the Jack, the dealer having neither trump, Ten, Ace, nor a court-card, then the Jack will be both High, Low, Jack, and Game in the hand of non-dealer. This combination gave name to the game of All-Fours. From WIKI
The other side of the Allegheny river
A little confusion is possible here. The prefix -cis means on the nearer side to the speaker of the given object. If, however, Pynchon has based the phrase upon that used for the Thames in London, cispontine, it would refer to the northern side, which, in this case would be the other side.
cap of white Lawn
White lawn is a fabric. It can still be purchased by the yard.
introduce himself in a mucilaginous voice
mucilaginous - I think the meaning here is "slimy" with the Reverend Wicks Cherrycoke implying that Mr. Edgewise is a slime ball, hitting on these young, defenseless ladies--right in front of his wife, the cad... Is Wicks' portrayal of Mr. Edgewise tainted his gambling losses to Edgewise? Wicks' contrasting portraits of a sinful Edgewise vs. a saintly pair of Redzingers provides some humor in this chapter.
In Central and South Germany for "Not" - "Nicht" in High German, see regional distribution here. In other words, when she subsequently uses this, it is such: "You are one of these? The English Church, no?"
Syncretism consists of the attempt to reconcile disparate or contrary beliefs, often while melding practices of various schools of thought. The term may refer to attempts to merge and analogise several originally discrete traditions, especially in the theology and mythology of religion, and thus assert an underlying unity allowing for an inclusive approach to other faiths. From WIKI
Kabbalah (Hebrew: קַבָּלָה, lit. "receiving") is a discipline and school of thought concerned with the mystical aspect of Judaism. It is a set of esoteric teachings that is meant to explain the relationship between an infinite, eternal and essentially unknowable Creator with the finite and mortal universe of His creation. In solving this paradox, Kabbalah seeks to define the nature of the universe and the human being, the nature and purpose of existence, and various other ontological questions. It also presents methods to aid understanding of these concepts and to thereby attain spiritual realization. From WIKI
followers of Pietism, "a movement within Lutheranism, lasting from the late-17th century to the mid-18th century. It proved to be very influential throughout Protestantism and Anabaptism, inspiring not only Anglican priest John Wesley to begin the Methodist movement, but also Alexander Mack to begin the Brethren movement. The Pietist movement combined the Lutheran emphasis on Biblical doctrine with the Reformed, and especially Puritan, emphasis on individual piety, and a vigorous Christian life" -- Wikipedia
being between preferments
I believe that preferments, here, refers to claims (to, for example, a monetary payment or land holding). See also, interprebendary later on this page.
Preferment- advancement or promotion (esp in the church)
“Not in the dictionary, prebendary is described as someone who receives a stipend from a cathedral or collegiate church in England. Perhaps Wicks used this word because he was receiving stipends from more than one church” – Toby Levy’s Mason & Dixon Three Pages a Day
Note that "inter" could also mean "between" (rather than "among" or "in the midst of"), in which case this term would suggest that Wicks is inbetween payments.
What does this mean: "... after promising a Certain Deity that I would refrain" [from using the term "interprebendary"]? Looking into this, but it may simply be about the $$$, in other words, when tied in with his comment about Herodotus on pg. 350 ("in his refusal to utter the name of a certain Egyptian Diety"), is it possible that Wicks promised God he wouldnt use that word because it framed his need for monetary payment (business-like), esp. to someone outside the establishment or of the flock? In other words, as if the Church were buying his allegiance, or faith?
Pot calling the kettle black?
Frau Luise Redzinger, of Coniwingo
Her surname is no doubt derived from the Celestial Seasonings herbal tea, Red Zinger. The connection is strengthened by her husband's experience with an overexposure to dried aromatic herbs.
Conowingo is a small community in western Cecil County, Maryland, USA. Conowingo is a Susquehannock word for "at the rapids". Conowingo was originally located on the eastern bank of the Susquehanna River at the confluence of the Conowingo Creek with the river. Conowingo was at the rapids that were the first navigation obstacle on the Susquehanna upstream of the Chesapeake Bay, the location of an early stretch of canal. It was also the site of the Conowingo Bridge. From WIKI
Checking out the neighbors' putz--Moravian/Pennsylvanian Dutch Nativity scenes, often quite elaborate. Described well by the East Hills Moravian Church.
A term that Wicks uses for the road(s) leading to Philadelphia
Jehu son of Nimshi
Reference to 2 Kings 9:20, wherein Jehu--a king of Israel--drives a chariot to battle with fury: "So the watchman reported, saying, 'He went up to them and is not coming back; and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi, for he drives furiously!'" A couple of on-line dictionaries categorize this as a colloquial phrase.
A bine is a climbing plant which climbs by its shoots growing in a helix around a support. It is distinct from a vine, which climbs using tendrils or suckers. From WIKI
Certain herbal essences in massive influxion... have long been known and commented upon, as occasions of God-revealing
Wicks here is most likely referring to the effects of ethylene (as found out later): Ethylene acts physiologically as a hormone in plants. It exists as a gas and acts at trace levels throughout the life of the plant by stimulating or regulating the ripening of fruit, the opening of flowers, and the abscission (or shedding) of leaves... In mild doses, ethylene produces states of euphoria, associated with stimulus to the pleasure centers of the human brain. From WIKI - Also, see page 311 re: Delphic Vapors. In addition hops contain dimethylvinyl carbinol which is said to, in humans, possess sedative and hypnotic effects similar to ethanol, through ingestion or inhalation. It was previously used in medicine for this purpose. WIKI
Count Alessandro di Cagliostro (2 June 1743 – 26 August 1795) was the alias for the occultist Giuseppe Balsamo (also called Joseph Balsamo), an Italian adventurer. Cagliostro himself stated during the trial following the Affair of the Diamond Necklace to have been born of Christians of noble birth, but abandoned as an orphan upon the island of Malta. He claimed to have travelled as a child to Medina, Mecca, and Cairo, and upon return to Malta to have been initiated into the Sovereign Military Order of the Knights of Malta, with whom he studied alchemy, the Kabbalah and magic, but this may be nothing more than the typical mystical background asserted by many impostors and charlatans throughout history—Goethe classifies this as "silly fairy-tales". From WIKI
Comte de St.-Germain
The Count of St. Germain (fl. 1710–1784) has been variously described as a courtier, adventurer, charlatan, inventor, alchemist, pianist, violinist and amateur composer, but is best known as a recurring figure in the stories of several strands of occultism – particularly those connected to Theosophy and the White Eagle Lodge, where he is also referred to as the Master Rakoczi or the Master R and as one of the Masters of the Ancient Wisdom, is credited with near god-like powers and longevity. Some sources write that his name is not familial, but was invented by him as a French version of the Latin Sanctus Germanus, meaning "Holy Brother." From WIKI
Johann Adam Weishaupt (February 6, 1748 in Ingolstadt – November 18, 1830 in Gotha) was a German philosopher and founder of the Order of Illuminati, a secret society with origins in Bavaria. From WIKI
See page 350.
Illuminati (plural of Latin illuminatus, "enlightened") is a name that refers to several groups, both historical and modern, and both real and fictitious. Historically, it refers specifically to the Bavarian Illuminati, an Enlightenment-era secret society founded on May 1, 1776 by Jesuit-taught Adam Weishaupt (d. 1830), who was the first lay professor of canon law at the University of Ingolstadt. The movement was made up of freethinkers, as an offshoot of the Enlightenment. Writers at the time, such as Seth Payson, believed the movement represented a conspiracy to infiltrate and overthrow the governments of European states. From WIKI
In 1765 Jacques de Livron Joachim de la Tour de la Casa Martinez de Pasqually established the Ordre des Chevelier Maçons Élus Cohen de L’Univers (Order of Knight-Masons Elect Priests of the Universe), which functioned as a regular Masonic obedience in France. This order had three sets of degrees: the first were analogous to the symbolic degrees of conventional Freemasonry. The second were generally Masonic, though hinting at Pasqually's own secret doctrine. The third set were blatantly magical: for example by using exorcisms against evil in the world generally and in the individual specifically. In the highest degree, the Reaux-Croix, the initiate was taught to use Theurgy to contact spiritual realms beyond the physical. De Pasqually put forth the philosophy underlying the work of the Elus Cohens in his only book, Treatise on the Reintegration of Human Beings which first uses the analogy of the Garden of Eden, and refers to Christ as "The Repairer". The ultimate aim of the Elus Cohen was to attain - whilst living - the Beatific Vision, through a series of magical invocations and complex theurgic operations. From WIKI
Cock Lane Ghost
See page 183.
aus dem Kipp
from the Tilt
I am going to guess that this means he is "armed for battle" with his new religion, though I guess it could also mean he could be under the effects of the hops again? Or a bit of both
anywhere two or more Germans may be gathered together
Reference to Matthew 18:20
Tales of the Pit
Funny phrase; is it a reference to something specific outside the text?
This is most likely a major reach, but just following up one someone's earlier thoughts (also see pg.361) in relation to this Carriage Ride in reference to Dr. Who/TARDIS. See this LINK.
Quit-rent is a form of tax or land tax imposed on freehold or leased land by a higher landowning authority, usually government or its assigns. Under feudal law, the payment of quit rent freed the tenant of a holding from the obligation to perform such other services as were obligatory under feudal tenure. In post-feudal times, quit rents have continued to be imposed by some governments, usually attached to land grants as a form of land tax. The quit rent system was used frequently by colonial governments in the British empire. Many land grants in colonial America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries carried quit rent. Quit rents went on to be used in British colonies in Asia and elsewhere in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. From WIKI
See page 321.
Get Rich or Die Tryin'
Purveyor of Delusion
Wicks' opinion of Mr. Edgewise, over the span of this carriage ride, just keeps spiraling downward.
Spruce beer is a beverage flavored with the buds, needles, or essence of spruce trees. Spruce beer can refer to either alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages. A number of flavors are associated with spruce-flavored beverages, ranging from floral, citrusy, and fruity to cola-like flavors to resinous and piney. This diversity in flavor likely comes from the choice of spruce species, the season in which the needles are harvested, and the manner of preparation. Spruce beer, despite its name, is - like Ginger beer and Root beer - not a type of beer. From WIKI
shall this Machine come abruptly to a Stop...only the Machine, fading as we stand, and a Prairie of desperate Immensity....
The passage recalls the closing scene of Vineland, in which Prairie Wheeler is lying on a meadow, waiting for Brock Vond to find her. He doesn't come though.
Again (following up on comments from page 354 (& 359), above), I wonder, too, if there is some sly reference ("only the machine, fading as we stand") to Dr. Who, in which the time machine/spacecraft TARDIS "can blend in with its surroundings through the ship's chameleon circuit" (Wikipedia).
Also, perhaps this is a bit of a presage in regard to the Locomotives of the future, which would facilitate the development of the Midwest (prairies of immensity) and beyond...