ll. 44-45: from “Foxe’s Acts and Monuments,” that part entitled “The Behavior of Doctor Ridley and Maister Latimer at the Time of Their Death.” Ridley, who at the stake could not burn due to the “evil nature of the fire unto him,” cried out to his executioners: “Let the fire come unto me; I cannot burn.” The chapter ends: “Well, dead they are, and the reward of this world they have already.” For rhetorical reasons, I have changed the punctuation to make “well” an adverb modifying the predicate adjective.
l. 46: The Fire Sermon is the 3rd part of Eliot’s “The Wasteland.”
l. 12: Dactyl is a finger; count the joints from the bottom and you get long, short, short, dactylly.
l. 13: I don’t remember exactly where I read this, but I think it was a poem of Wordsworth’s about the frantic sealing of documents in a jug before the enemy arrived; an ancient custom; with reference, also, to the Nag Hammadi Library where many Gnostic documents were discovered.