gild the lily!

By Alice on Tuesday November 25th 2008 at 19:24

...most of my weekend was spent in front of the tv or washing up! The chocolate fridge cake was a success - - -  four pieces went with us to Rob & Laura’s for dinner on Friday evening where we also had a yummy chilli. We left Jemima dog in one room and Jemima cat (Rob and Laura’s kitten) in another - how funny that they’re both called Jemima!

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We had a night out in Stratford which included tequila - which I LOVED (and had fogotten all about)! Saturday morning we were up nice and early as Mark was playing golf, and Jemima and I went for a hungover walk and found some big bales to climb on! I actually managed to do some catch up on Alice Palace work on Saturday morning - then in the afternoon Paula, Will and Mark’s Mum popped over for a cuppa and some chocolate fridge cake - then Katie arrived to try some, and to go on a walk before making a risotto and watching Strictly - love John Sergeant! The risotto was lovely - - This is where we found out about the expression ‘gild the lily’ (love it!)... In fact, as it turns out, I completely forgot to throw a few bits of shredded green leek on top at the end!!

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Gild the lily: To apply unnecessary ornament - to over embellish.

Origin: gild the lilyFrom Shakespeare’s King John, 1595:

  SALISBURY:
  Therefore, to be possess’d with double pomp,
  To guard a title that was rich before,
  To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
  To throw a perfume on the violet,
  To smooth the ice, or add another hue
  Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light
  To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish,
  Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.

The context of that speech in the play is King John’s satisfaction with his second coronation - “Here once again we sit, once again crown’d”. His courtiers aren’t so sure, calling the crowning ‘superfluous’. The use of Shakespeare’s text to denote unnecessary ornamentation is fairly straightforward. After all, ‘to gild’ is to cover with a thin layer of gold, so ‘gilding refined gold’ is obviously unnecessary. Unfortunately, remembering text from Shakespeare isn’t everyone’s forte and the quotation has become rather garbled. As the quotation above shows, ‘gild the lily’ doesn’t appear in the original.

The term ‘paint the lily’ was used in the 20th century, with the same meaning we now apply to ‘gild the lily’. Clearly, this is the correct quotation. The two versions coexisted for a time, although ‘paint the lily’ is now hardly ever used. The first citation I can find for ‘gild the lily’ comes from the USA, in the Newark Daily Advocate, 1895, in what appears to be a half-remembered version of Shakespeare:

  “One may gild the lily and paint the rose, but to convey by words only an adequate idea of the hats and bonnets now exhibited absolutely passes human ability.”


....dinner was followed by lots of pink fizz - then we met up with Liz and Aimee and I’m not too sure where the night went! On sunday I felt pretty sorry for myself and washed up and watched TV (I need to mention the boring things I do, apparantly!) and then went over to Zoe’s for Brenny’s 3rd birthday cake and presents. We got him a Thomas the tank engine watch - pretty cool and he put it on. In the evning, Mark cooked the most AMAZING beef wellington and we watched more TV!

So far this week, I’ve been working on some wedding invites for the future Mr and Mrs Peacock….

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...And advertising for next year too - -

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..And I’ve managed to make a good start on the ‘Extinction sucks’ range - - Here’s the sea turtle for you to see…

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- - and the logo too…

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I knew we had Blood Diamond on dvd to watch on Monday night (as we borrowed it from Zoe and Guy - and it’s one of Zoe’s favourite films and me and Lizzy had a fight over who was going to borrow it first - I let her!) - anyway, I was really looking forward to it - so much so,  that Monday night is now declared as DVD night!

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- it was pretty good - but I did not like the man with the scary no eye! And then I couldn’t sleep, and then I had a dream where I had to take a deep breath to go for a very long swim under water - and as I took the deep breath in my dream - in real life I sat up and slightly head butted Mark! Then soon woke us both up - and I didn’t go swimming anywhere!!

I took Mark into work today and then went to lunge Albert in the cold and frost…then I took Jemima to agility and had a great time and got completely worn out and left behind - she’s very quick when you have cheese treats - and jumps and tunnels are about! She was really really good and I have a new mission to take her more often as she loves it so much - and as the lady who runs it said, ‘Looks like you do too!’ Last man standing is on this evening - try not to miss it!