My Particular Friend footnotes: The Poison Pen Affair 8

Beginning with We Confront Mr Hickham:

It was now my turn to spot them. ‘I don’t see them … no wait, Mrs Ashby is seated in the far corner, dressed as Sukey. Miss Ashby is no doubt already with a partner.’

dressed as Sukey: a common nickname for Susan; several pantomime characters share the name; possibly a reference to Sukey Sweetlips from Mile Peter Andrew’s The Enchanted Castle, which has an air familiar to Americans as Yankee Doodle:

Jenny Locket lost her pocket, Sukey Sweetlips found it,
Devil a thing was in the pocket, but the border round it.

That task done, we tried our best to remain unpartnered, an easier task for Charlotte. She looked so fierce as the Maid of Orléans that few men approached her. I hid in a corner until a man wearing a Domino costume approached. With his bow he quickly pulled aside his mask.
Maid of Orléans: Joan of Arc is a Catholic saint who rallied French forces in support of the King of France, Charles VII, in the 15-century, and against the Burgundian forces in league with the English
Domino costume: a common figure at a masked ball, wearing a robe and mask similar to the Lone Ranger’s mask

How Charlotte knew for certain it was Mr Hickham I was unsure, although perhaps she had foreknowledge of his costume. He was dressed as Harlequin, and although there were two others dressed similarly that night, they were no match for the presumptive baron. His size, the fit of his tights, the evil mirth of his mask and the size of his slapstick made him the object of every lady’s eye.

Harlequin: another of the stock characters from the Italian commedia dell’arte you might see at a masked ball, described as a “a facile and witty gentleman’s valet and a capricious swain of the serving maid.”
slapstick: a wooden sword or bat in two pieces that slap together, making a loud sound
Finally Miss Ashby, dressed as Judy, caught his attention and he walked toward her, his eyes still seeking another in the crowd.
dressed as Judy: the wife of Punch, from puppet shows, commedia dell’arte and pantomime
We had some difficulty exiting as the crowd pressed in, but soon found ourselves in the Small Octagon and then to the room Mr King had prepared.
the Small Octagon: a central room in the Upper Assembly Rooms

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