I don't understand the phrase

The glass still keeps very high

in the adventure The Boscombe Valley Mystery in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, by Arthur Conan Doyle http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1661.

Here is the whole paragraph:

"The glass still keeps very high," he remarked as he sat down. "It is of importance that it should not rain before we are able to go over the ground. On the other hand, a man should be at his very best and keenest for such nice work as that, and I did not wish to do it when fagged by a long journey. I have seen young McCarthy."

1 Answer 1


It is referring to the atmospheric pressure as measured by a barometer.

Typically in Victorian times, barometers were known as glasses. The text is stating that high pressure, which suggests good weather, prevails.

  • Thanks a lot! Just after reading your answer, I found the following quote (a little bit before the quote in the question): ""It was very nice and complimentary of you," Holmes answered. "It is entirely a question of barometric pressure." // Lestrade looked startled. "I do not quite follow," he said. // "How is the glass? Twenty-nine, I see. No wind, and not a cloud in the sky..." Jul 7, 2016 at 9:15

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