My Particular Friend footnotes: The Affair of the Reluctant Bachelor 4

Beginning with A Shooting Party:

A shooting party refers to the practice of shooting birds — partridges, pheasants — generally bred on an estate for that purpose. The shooting season was in the fall and followed by the fox hunting season beginning in November through December and into January, weather permitting.

Mrs Fitzhugh laughed, ‘From Miss Stilton’s statement I do not believe it will be a serious hunt. It certainly will not be the gentleman with his hunting dog and a servant or two to flush the coverts, with perhaps a loaf a bread and some cheese produced from a pocket for luncheon.’
flush the coverts: coverts refers to both the tall grasses or brush where birds might hide and to a collection of birds

‘Actually, I’d hoped to have a little something in the way of toast and jam and … and maybe a boiled egg, or …’

Breakfasts in a fashionable house at this time probably would have been served buffet style from chafing dishes, with a selection of meats, eggs, breads and fish. Not too different, in fact, from the full English breakfast, but without the fry-up.

‘No, I’m quite comfortable, excellent view from here. Look, I can see them arranging the marquee for our shoot.’
marquee: tent

‘I do not wish to disagree with you, Miss Woodsen, but my agenda with Mr Worcester closely parallels that of Moses’s agenda with the Midianites and I am almost certain smiting comes under the heading of harm.’
Midianites: nomadic tribes in the middle East. Moses heard God speak to him through the burning bush while in their land. In Numbers 31-3, Moses retaliates against the Midianites for their collusion with the Moabites:

And Moses spake unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the LORD of Midian.

‘Let me think for a second, Potty. Of course I think better on terra firma.’
terra firma: dry land; the ground as distinct from the sea or air.

‘But yes, I suppose the ties that bind would lead one to conclude that she would look poorly on any physical harm coming to her favourite nephew.’

Possibly a reference to the hymn Blessed be the Tie That Binds by John Fawcett:

Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.

I might be able to supply you with those little delicate compliments which are always acceptable to ladies.’

From Pride and Prejudice Volume I Chapter 14:

Mr. Collins: “Her ladyship seemed pleased with the idea; and you may imagine that I am happy on every occasion to offer those little delicate compliments which are always acceptable to ladies.”

‘Thank you, Miss Woodsen. I began to plan my life in that tree.’
‘Like St. Simeon Stylites.’
St. Simeon Stylites: this holy man died in 459 after living 36 years atop his pillar

‘Ha!’ she said with a laugh like Charlotte’s. ‘One minute a question about anatomy, another something about Lysander’s strategy at Notium and then a question about polyphonic motets. And I knew nothing of these matters.’
Lysander’s strategy at Notium: the battle of Notium in 406 BC, was a Spartan naval victory in the Peloponnesian War. The Spartan fleet under the command of Lysander defeated the Athenian navy.
polyphonic motets: a choral work with many voices

‘What! Hey, that’s right. Do you think they’ll want to issue the old nolle prosequi?’
nolle prosequi: a formal notice of abandonment by a plaintiff or prosecutor of all or part of a suit or action

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