Shine, Verger, Shine!

04 Jul

pyx – n.  a box used to hold the Eucharistic hosts, or a box used to hold sample coins at a mint

Classical Usage:  When Emma falls ill after Rudolphe’s abandonment the priest arrives with holy water for her bed, and pulls a white host from the sacred pyx.  Context there was pretty handy at defining the word, but not for making it stick, because when I ran across it again in Chapter I of Part Three I couldn’t remember at all what it meant.  Flaubert describes the verger of the church approaching Léon, anxious to give him a tour of the place.  He was in full regalia, with plumed hat, rapier and staff, more majestic than a cardinal, shining like a pyx.  So, I’m justified by not getting it that time on context, right?

Classically Mad Usage:  I have friends on the altar guild at church.  I think I might just test out their vocabulary.

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Posted by on July 4, 2012 in Madame Bovary


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