Page 36

The Pickwick Papers

The Ball

'What names, sir?' said the man at the door. Mr Tracy Tupman was stepping forward to announce his own titles, when the stranger prevented him.

'No names at all;' and then he whispered to Mr Tupman, 'names won't do - they're not known - very good names in their way, but not great ones - excellent names for a small party, but won't make an impression in public assemblies - incognito - that's the thing - say we're gentlemen from London - distinguished foreigners - anything.' The door was thrown open, and Mr Tracy Tupman and the stranger entered the ballroom.

It was a long room, with crimson-covered benches, and wax candles in glass chandeliers. The musicians were securely confined in an elevated den, and quadrilles were being systematically got through by two or three sets of dancers. Two card-tables were made up in the adjoining card-room, and two pair of old ladies, and a corresponding number of stout gentlemen, were playing whist therein.

The finale concluded, the dancers promenaded the room, and Mr Tupman and his companion stationed themselves in a corner to observe the company.


Incognito: With the name hidden or disguised.
Distinguished: Here it means 'famous and important'.
Chandelier: A large candleholder on the ceiling.
Elevated: Lifted higher.
Den: Here it is a small comfortable room.
Adjoining: The one connected.
Stout:Rather fat.
Whist:A card game
Therein: In there
Promenade: Walking about on display.
Station: Go to a good position

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