“At Marlow” Class 6 English Lesson Explanation & Glossary

“At Marlow” by Jerome K Jerome Class 6 English Lesson Explanation & Glossary (Word Meanings): Get here the explanation of the story along with word meanings of the lesson “At Marlow” published in Class 8 Wind Chimes book. Click here for questions & answers.

Page 162 & 163


  • Bumbling: Clumsy or incompetent.
  • Amateurs: People who engage in a pursuit for pleasure rather than as a profession.
  • Trundle onwards: Continue moving forward slowly and laboriously.

We meet the main characters of our story: J, George, Harris, and Montmorency. J is the narrator, a romantic and fanciful individual who loves history, sunsets, and food, while detesting hard work and often imagining illnesses. George, who works in a bank, is relatively sensible but known for sleeping a lot and snoring heavily. He is polite, can cook a little, and plays the banjo, albeit poorly. Harris, on the other hand, is boastful, ill-mannered, and short-tempered. He tends to lie, sings off-key, and overeats consistently. Despite these traits, he is even lazier than J and George. Finally, there’s Montmorency, J’s mischievous fox terrier with a penchant for causing trouble wherever he goes, though he possesses innocent-looking eyes. Some recent mishaps involving the group include failing to open a tin of pineapple, nearly injuring themselves with sharp objects, and colliding with a fishing boat due to their absent-mindedness. Despite their incompetence, they continue their journey down the River Thames.

Page 164


  • Tolerably: Acceptably; in a satisfactory manner.
  • Awful ass of himself: Behaved foolishly or embarrassingly.
  • Serious difference of opinion: A significant disagreement.
  • Bad language: Swear words or profanity.
  • Wasted: Used unnecessarily or without purpose.
  • Reformation: Improvement or change for the better.
  • Rowdiness: Noisy, unruly behavior.

The story shifts to the events of Monday morning at Marlow. The group rises fairly early and decides to take a bath before breakfast. However, upon returning, Montmorency, the mischievous dog, behaves embarrassingly. The narrator, J, humorously notes that the only serious disagreement he has with Montmorency is regarding cats. J likes cats and treats them kindly, whereas Montmorency does not share this sentiment.

When J encounters a cat, he reacts with gentleness, petting it and speaking affectionately. The cat responds by arching its back and displaying signs of affection. However, when Montmorency encounters a cat, his reaction is quite the opposite. He creates a ruckus, causing the whole street to hear, and his language becomes quite vulgar in a matter of seconds. J attributes Montmorency’s behavior to his nature as a fox terrier, suggesting that this breed inherently possesses more mischievous tendencies than others.

J doesn’t blame Montmorency for his behavior, understanding that it’s simply part of his nature. He humorously remarks that fox terriers seem to be born with an excess of mischief, requiring years of patient effort from their owners to bring about any noticeable change in their rowdy behavior.

Page 164, 165


  • Instincts: Natural or innate behaviors.
  • Darted: Moved suddenly and quickly.
  • Prey: The target of a predator’s pursuit.
  • Disreputable-looking: Having a poor or questionable appearance.
  • Sinewy: Lean and muscular.
  • Would-be assassin: Someone intending to harm or kill another.
  • Lacks pluck: Lacks courage or bravery.
  • Boldest: Most courageous or fearless.
  • Abruptly: Suddenly and unexpectedly.

Now the focus shifts to a particular incident involving Montmorency and a cat, where Montmorency finds himself regretting his impulsive behavior.

As the group returns from their bath, a cat suddenly emerges from a house and starts crossing the road. Montmorency, spotting the cat, becomes excited, likened to a fierce warrior seeing his enemy within reach. The cat, described as a large black tom with various injuries, including a missing tail, ear, and part of its nose, appears disheveled but oddly composed. Despite Montmorency’s rapid pursuit, the cat remains calm and continues trotting along as if unaware of the danger.

Even when Montmorency closes in, the cat doesn’t panic. Instead, it calmly sits down in the middle of the road, facing Montmorency with a gentle and curious expression, as if inviting confrontation. This demeanor unnerves Montmorency, despite his usual bravery. The paragraph ends with a suspenseful pause, leaving the reader curious about the unspoken exchange between Montmorency and the cat.

Page 165, 166


  • Hospitable: Friendly and welcoming.
  • Imagined: Created or thought of in the mind.
  • Courteous: Polite and respectful.
  • Refusals: Denials or rejections.
  • Persistently: Continuing firmly or obstinately.
  • Pleasantries: Polite remarks or conversation.
  • Embarrassed: Feeling self-conscious or awkward.
  • Elicits: Causes or brings about a reaction.

In this amusing exchange, the imagined conversation between Montmorency and the cat unfolds. The cat, displaying a polite and hospitable demeanor, addresses Montmorency first, offering assistance with a courteous “Can I do anything for you?” Montmorency, feeling awkward and realizing his mistake in judging the cat, responds with polite refusals, claiming he made a mistake and apologizing for disturbing the cat.

Despite Montmorency’s reassurances that he doesn’t need anything, the cat persistently offers help, showing kindness and politeness throughout the interaction. Eventually, with pleasantries exchanged, the cat resumes its trot, and Montmorency, feeling somewhat embarrassed, returns to the group, quietly tucking his tail back into place.

The paragraph ends with a humorous observation about Montmorency’s lasting reaction to the encounter. Even to this day, mentioning the word “Cats!” to Montmorency elicits a visible reaction from him, as if he remembers the encounter vividly and prefers to avoid any further interactions with cats.

Page 166, 167


  • Revictualled: Replenished supplies, especially food.
  • Foraged: Searched or scavenged for food.
  • Ostentatious: Characterized by a showy display or excessive pretentiousness.
  • Landing-stage: A wooden structure for embarking and disembarking from boats.
  • Gladstone bag: A type of bag resembling a briefcase, typically with two equal compartments.
  • Fooling about: Acting in a silly or frivolous manner.
  • Row: A quarrel or argument.
  • Hassles: Troubles or annoyances.

The focus shifts to the group’s activities after breakfast, where they embark on shopping for provisions to replenish their boat for the next three days. George, the more sensible member of the group, insists on acquiring vegetables, emphasizing their importance for health. He assures the others that he can cook them properly.

Following George’s advice, they purchase a variety of vegetables, including potatoes, peas, and cabbages, along with other provisions such as a meat pie, gooseberry tarts, a leg of mutton, fruits, cakes, bread and butter, jam, and eggs. They scavenge around the town to gather these supplies.

The departure from Marlow is described as a success, characterized by dignity and impressiveness, yet lacking any unnecessary showiness. They ensured that all the items they purchased were immediately sent to them, avoiding any delays or excuses from the shopkeepers.

Instead of dealing with the inconvenience of waiting for deliveries, they opt to have everything packed immediately and even take the boy who helped pack their basket with them. This approach reflects their determination to avoid unnecessary hassles and delays.

Page 167 & 168


  • Entourage: A group of people accompanying and attending to someone.
  • Spectacle: A visually striking or impressive display.
  • Procession: A line or sequence of people or vehicles moving forward in an orderly manner.
  • Bulged-out: Swollen or protruding.
  • Gladstone bag: A type of bag resembling a briefcase, typically with two equal compartments.
  • Bosom companion: A close or intimate friend.
  • Fruiterer: A person who sells fruit.
  • Entailed: Involved or necessitated.
  • Commotion: Noisy or chaotic activity.

The group’s shopping spree leads to them being followed by a growing number of boys with baskets, eager to assist them with their purchases. This unintended entourage creates a spectacle as they make their way down the High Street towards the river, attracting attention from the locals.

The procession is described in detail, with Montmorency leading the way, followed by two other dogs, presumably friends of Montmorency’s. George carries coats and rugs, while Harris struggles to maintain an elegant stride with a bulging Gladstone bag and a bottle of lime-juice in hand. Various boys with baskets from different shops trail behind, along with other individuals and animals, including a long-haired dog and stray dogs.

The narrator, feeling somewhat burdened with the responsibility of carrying hats and boots, attempts to maintain composure despite the chaotic scene. Six small boys and four additional stray dogs add to the commotion.

Upon reaching the landing-stage, the boatman’s inquiry about the type of boat they have booked adds a humorous touch, highlighting the absurdity of their situation and the unexpected challenges they encounter.

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