Charles Dickens

Cymon, with a shudder. 'How different,' he thought, 'from the Dowager Duchess of Dobbleton!'

'Very pretty woman, Mrs. Captain Waters, is she not, Cymon?' inquired Miss Charlotta.

A glow of nervous excitement passed over the countenance of Mr. Cymon Tuggs, as he replied, 'An angel of beauty!'

'Hallo!' said Mr. Joseph Tuggs. 'Hallo, Cymon, my boy, take care. Married lady, you know;' and he winked one of his twinkling eyes knowingly.

'Why,' exclaimed Cymon, starting up with an ebullition of fury, as unexpected as alarming, 'why am I to be reminded of that blight of my happiness, and ruin of my hopes? Why am I to be taunted with the miseries which are heaped upon my head? Is it not enough to-- to--to--' and the orator paused; but whether for want of words, or lack of breath, was never distinctly ascertained.

There was an impressive solemnity in the tone of this address, and in the air with which the romantic Cymon, at its conclusion, rang the bell, and demanded a flat candlestick, which effectually forbade a reply. He stalked dramatically to bed, and the Tuggses went to bed too, half an hour afterwards, in a state of considerable mystification and perplexity.

If the pier had presented a scene of life and bustle to the Tuggses on their first landing at Ramsgate, it was far surpassed by the appearance of the sands on the morning after their arrival. It was a fine, bright, clear day, with a light breeze from the sea. There were the same ladies and gentlemen, the same children, the same nursemaids, the same telescopes, the same portable chairs. The ladies were employed in needlework, or watch-guard making, or knitting, or reading novels; the gentlemen were reading newspapers and magazines; the children were digging holes in the sand with wooden spades, and collecting water therein; the nursemaids, with their youngest charges in their arms, were running in after the waves, and then running back with the waves after them; and, now and then, a little sailing-boat either departed with a gay and talkative cargo of passengers, or returned with a very silent and particularly uncomfortable-looking one.

'Well, I never!' exclaimed Mrs. Tuggs, as she and Mr. Joseph Tuggs, and Miss Charlotta Tuggs, and Mr. Cymon Tuggs, with their eight feet in a corresponding number of yellow shoes, seated themselves on four rush-bottomed chairs, which, being placed in a soft part of the sand, forthwith sunk down some two feet and a half--'Well, I never!'

Mr. Cymon, by an exertion of great personal strength, uprooted the chairs, and removed them further back.

'Why, I'm blessed if there ain't some ladies a-going in!' exclaimed Mr. Joseph Tuggs, with intense astonishment.

'Lor, pa!' exclaimed Miss Charlotta.

'There IS, my dear,' said Mr. Joseph Tuggs. And, sure enough, four young ladies, each furnished with a towel, tripped up the steps of a bathing-machine. In went the horse, floundering about in the water; round turned the machine; down sat the driver; and presently out burst the young ladies aforesaid, with four distinct splashes.

'Well, that's sing'ler, too!' ejaculated Mr. Joseph Tuggs, after an awkward pause. Mr. Cymon coughed slightly.

'Why, here's some gentlemen a-going in on this side!' exclaimed Mrs. Tuggs, in a tone of horror.

Three machines--three horses--three flounderings--three turnings round--three splashes--three gentlemen, disporting themselves in the water like so many dolphins.

'Well, THAT'S sing'ler!' said Mr. Joseph Tuggs again. Miss Charlotta coughed this time, and another pause ensued. It was agreeably broken.

'How d'ye do, dear? We have been looking for you, all the morning,' said a voice to Miss Charlotta Tuggs. Mrs. Captain Waters was the owner of it.

'How d'ye do?' said Captain Walter Waters, all suavity; and a most cordial interchange of greetings ensued.

'Belinda, my love,' said Captain Walter Waters, applying his glass to his eye, and looking in the direction of the sea.

'Yes, my dear,' replied Mrs. Captain Waters.