Charles Dickens

Finally, Mr. Cymon Tuggs ascended the steps last, and Mrs. Captain Waters last but one; and Mr. Cymon Tuggs discovered that the foot and ankle of Mrs. Captain Waters, were even more unexceptionable than he had at first supposed.

Taking a donkey towards his ordinary place of residence, is a very different thing, and a feat much more easily to be accomplished, than taking him from it. It requires a great deal of foresight and presence of mind in the one case, to anticipate the numerous flights of his discursive imagination; whereas, in the other, all you have to do, is, to hold on, and place a blind confidence in the animal. Mr. Cymon Tuggs adopted the latter expedient on his return; and his nerves were so little discomposed by the journey, that he distinctly understood they were all to meet again at the library in the evening.

The library was crowded. There were the same ladies, and the same gentlemen, who had been on the sands in the morning, and on the pier the day before. There were young ladies, in maroon-coloured gowns and black velvet bracelets, dispensing fancy articles in the shop, and presiding over games of chance in the concert-room. There were marriageable daughters, and marriage-making mammas, gaming and promenading, and turning over music, and flirting. There were some male beaux doing the sentimental in whispers, and others doing the ferocious in moustache. There were Mrs. Tuggs in amber, Miss Tuggs in sky-blue, Mrs. Captain Waters in pink. There was Captain Waters in a braided surtout; there was Mr. Cymon Tuggs in pumps and a gilt waistcoat; there was Mr. Joseph Tuggs in a blue coat and a shirt-frill.

'Numbers three, eight, and eleven!' cried one of the young ladies in the maroon-coloured gowns.

'Numbers three, eight, and eleven!' echoed another young lady in the same uniform.

'Number three's gone,' said the first young lady. 'Numbers eight and eleven!'

'Numbers eight and eleven!' echoed the second young lady.

'Number eight's gone, Mary Ann,' said the first young lady.

'Number eleven!' screamed the second.

'The numbers are all taken now, ladies, if you please,' said the first. The representatives of numbers three, eight, and eleven, and the rest of the numbers, crowded round the table.

'Will you throw, ma'am?' said the presiding goddess, handing the dice-box to the eldest daughter of a stout lady, with four girls.

There was a profound silence among the lookers-on.

'Throw, Jane, my dear,' said the stout lady. An interesting display of bashfulness--a little blushing in a cambric handkerchief--a whispering to a younger sister.

'Amelia, my dear, throw for your sister,' said the stout lady; and then she turned to a walking advertisement of Rowlands' Macassar Oil, who stood next her, and said, 'Jane is so VERY modest and retiring; but I can't be angry with her for it. An artless and unsophisticated girl is SO truly amiable, that I often wish Amelia was more like her sister!'

The gentleman with the whiskers whispered his admiring approval.

'Now, my dear!' said the stout lady. Miss Amelia threw--eight for her sister, ten for herself.

'Nice figure, Amelia,' whispered the stout lady to a thin youth beside her.


'And SUCH a spirit! I am like you in that respect. I can NOT help admiring that life and vivacity. Ah! (a sigh) I wish I could make poor Jane a little more like my dear Amelia!'

The young gentleman cordially acquiesced in the sentiment; both he, and the individual first addressed, were perfectly contented.

'Who's this?' inquired Mr. Cymon Tuggs of Mrs. Captain Waters, as a short female, in a blue velvet hat and feathers, was led into the orchestra, by a fat man in black tights and cloudy Berlins.

'Mrs. Tippin, of the London theatres,' replied Belinda, referring to the programme of the concert.

The talented Tippin having condescendingly acknowledged the clapping of hands, and shouts of 'bravo!' which greeted her appearance, proceeded to sing the popular cavatina of 'Bid me discourse,' accompanied on the piano by Mr.