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Plush A rich fabric of silk, cotton, wool, or other material (or any of these combined), with a long soft nap, used esp. for upholstery, servants' livery, etc.; (also) a similar artificial or synthetic fabric. Also To provide (a footman or the like) with a livery of plush. to plush it : to act as footman. (OED)


Serpentine(1)

Specs Spec: A commercial speculation or venture (Stock Exchange Usage): (OED)

Crown(1) A coin worth five shillings (60 new pence). Or cash to that amount.

Serpentine A lake in Hyde Park, London

Cab Cabriolet; A light two-wheeled chaise drawn by one horse, having a large hood of wood or leather, and an ample apron to cover the lap and legs of the occupant. Contracted by 1830 to cab, and in later times applied to any vehicle known by that name. Applied not only to the original vehicle so named and its improved successor the 'hansom', but also to four-wheeled carriages shaped like broughams

Put(1) A card game for two, three, or four players, in which three cards are dealt to each player, a point being scored either by winning two or more tricks or by bluffing the other players into conceding. Also - in Stock Market usage - An option to sell assets at an agreed price on or before a particular date. More fully put option.

Broker One who, for a commission, buys and sells stocks on behalf of clients. (OED).

Railway stags The meaning of stag has Stag: A slang term for short-term speculator. A stag would be equivalent to a day trader who attempts to profit off short-term market moves by quickly moving in and out of positions. (Investopedia, http://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/stag.asp)

A person who applies for an allocation of shares in a joint-stock concern solely with a view to selling immediately at a profit.
Or 1854 H. AYRES Fenn's Eng. & For. Funds 109 A Stag is one who is not a Member of the Stock Exchange, but deals outside, and is sometimes called an 'Outsider'

stagged stag as a verb = To observe; to take particular notice of; to watch; also, to find out or discover by observation, to detect

 

Capel court Site of the Stock Exchange from December 1802 until 1854
http://www.londonstockexchange.com/about-the-exchange/company-overview/our-history/our-history.htm

 

Railway King George Hudson, railway promoter and fraudster, 1800 -1871

Marriage deeds A legal agreement drawn up before a marriage by the two parties, setting out terms with respect to rights of property and succession. OED

[Note 329.1] This song is redolent of the class prejudice of its time. It seems to be based on an item by William Makepeace Thackeray published in Punch magazine in 1845 (See Bar 553, Jeames of Buckley Square). The book from which this text was taken was published in 1856 but the song may be somewhat older than that. Buckley square A reference to Berkeley Square in London. Home to some of the wealthiest people in Britain.

[Note 329.2] Gent's own gentleman Gentleman's gentleman: A man-servant performing duties chiefly relating to the person of his master; a gentleman's personal attendant. A valet. [OED]

[Note 329.3] Fitzplush Fitz is a prefix used to indicate a bastard child.

[Note 329.4] "In love soar'd to the seventh sky"

[Note 329.5] Beauty's Queen Probably a reference to Fair Oriana, Beauty's Queen, a song from 'The Triumphs of Oriana' 1601 John Hilton.

[Note 329.6] "I'll be your Railway King" is a reference to George Hudson () whose success in financing railway companies led to him being known as the Railway King. Hudson made a great fortune by means of corrupt dealing in railway shares but lost it in the crash of 1847. Hudson was the son of a farmer and so considered to be the social inferior of the upper classes, many of whom took great pleasure in his downfall. The title Railway King was conferred on him by Sydney Smith in 1844. (ref. Williams, F. S., Our Iron Roads: Their History, Construction and Administration, p51)

[Note 329.7] "He'd near drained Fortunes cup":- may be a reference to the practice of reading fortunes by interpreting the pattern of leaves left in the cup after the tea had been consumed. Reading the tea leaves became popular in the 19th century (ref
http://tarotamber75.wordpress.com/2013/01/19/brief-history-of-tea-leaf-reading/) It was also the kind of superstitious practice likely to draw the sneers of the upper classes.

[Note 329.8] "But then he did not see / Though once a footman, any fun / A running one to be" - a running footman was employed to run for some specific purpose, as to deliver messages, be in attendance upon a coach or carriage, etc. [OED]

[Note 329.9] For rouges to bring all things so round As James did in the Square" :- The mixing of the social classes that was brought about by the railways caused great unease. The footman's eventual fall back to his original lowly situation would have gratified the upper class audience at whom this song was clearly aimed.

[Note 329.10] Bargery 321, The Rail! The Rail! was also written by W.H.C. West

Cyclopedia of Music. Miscellaneous Series of Songs ; no. 87 British Library shelfmark H.2342

 

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