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There were indeed some devices that held rushlights vertically. In A Handbook for East-Bourne and Seaford, and the Neighbourhood (1885), G. F. Chambers provides the following figure: He writes: Figs. 3 and 4 represent relics of bygone ages, still occasionally seen in Sussex. ... The rude iron frame has a still under-spring, which keeps the rush in an (...


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tl;dr It's a literal translation of the French idiomatic construction hommes en nous, which would typically be translated, simply, men. In French it implies a congregate body, so fellow members would also be a sensible, if not literal, translation. There is a certain sense of mutuality and group identity: amongst ourselves is part of the implication. The ...


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I think the suggestion is that in their letters the bachelors declare that her writing has given them gooseflesh/goose bumps: A rough, pimply condition of the skin, resembling that of a plucked goose, produced by cold, fear, etc. [per OED] A recent study into brain differences in people who get the 'chills' from music may be interesting in this regard. ...


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Browning alludes here to the biblical account of the raising of Lazarus in John 11. But the details don’t come from John, in whose account Lazarus’s tomb is closed with a stone (11:38), not a locked door; Jesus calls Lazarus forth (11:43) instead of anointing him with “chrism” (consecrated oil); and there is no mention of Lazarus’s eyes or tongue. There are, ...


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Browning is alluding here to the philosophy of Emanuel Swedenborg, a mystical Christian philosopher, who propounded the doctrine of correspondence: Moreover, there is no one thing existing in the created world, which has not correspondence with the things existing in the spiritual world, and which does not thereby, in its manner and measure, represent ...


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The bachelors are described as having written “from college”, suggesting that “plucked” is being used with an eye to this sense: pluck, v. 8.a. transitive. Originally in Oxford University: to reject (a candidate) as not reaching the required standard in an examination (now historical). Later in extended use: to reject (a candidate for any examination, for ...


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First, the “still ray”. The theory that sight works by rays that are emitted from the eye was held by some ancient philosophers, for example: For [the gods] caused the pure fire within us, which is akin to that of day, to flow through the eyes in a smooth and dense stream; and they compressed the whole substance, and especially the center, of the eyes, so ...


1

Let’s take the trees first. The “under-natures” are the undersides of the leaves, which are “turned up” (made visible) by the wind, and since the undersides are paler than the upper surfaces of the leaves, this makes the whole tree appear paler, “blanching” it. The leaves “tremble” (vibrate) in the air currents, and the whole tree “dilates” (spreads out, ...


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