The Twins

Martin Farquhar Tupper
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The Twins

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Title: The Twins A Domestic Novel
Author: Martin Farquhar Tupper
Release Date: August 21, 2005 [EBook #16574]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

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BURLEIGH-SINGLETON is a pleasant little watering-place on the
southern coast of England, entirely suitable for those who have small
incomes and good consciences. The latter, to residents especially, are at
least as indispensable as the former: seeing that, however just the
reputation of their growing little town for superior cheapness in matters
of meat and drink, its character in things regarding men and manners is
quite as undeniable for preëminent dullness.
Not but that it has its varieties of scene, and more or less of
circumstances too: there are, on one flank, the breezy Heights, with
flag-staff and panorama; on the other, broad and level water-meadows,
skirted by the dark-flowing Mullet, running to the sea between its
tortuous banks: for neighbourhood, Pacton Park is one great
attraction--the pretty market-town of Eyemouth another--the
everlasting, never-tiring sea a third; and, at high-summer, when the
Devonshire lanes are not knee-deep in mire, the nevertheless
immeasurably filthy, though picturesque, mud-built village of Oxton.

Then again (and really as I enumerate these multitudinous advantages, I
begin to relent for having called it dull), you may pick up curious agate
pebbles on the beach, as well as corallines and scarce sea-weeds, good
for gumming on front-parlour windows; you may fish for whitings in
the bay, and occasionally catch them; you may wade in huge
caoutchouc boots among the muddy shallows of the Mullet, and shoot
at cormorants and curlews; you may walk to satiety between
high-banked and rather dirty cross-roads; and, if you will scramble up
the hedge-row, may get now and then peeps of undulated country
Moreover, you have free liberty to drop in any where to
"tiffin"--Burleigh being very Indianized, and a guest always welcome;
indeed, so Indianized is it, so populous in jaundiced cheek and ailing
livers, that you may openly assert, without fear of being misunderstood
(if you wish to vary your common phrase of loyalty), that Victoria sits
upon the "musnud" of Great Britain; you may order curry in the
smallest pot-house, and still be sure to get the rice well-cooked; you
may call your house-maid "ayah," without risk of warning for
impertinence; you may vent your wrath against indolent waiters in
eloquence of "jaa, soostee;" and, finally, you may go to the library, and
besides the advantage of the day-before-yesterday's Times, you may
behold in bilious presence an affable, but authoritative, old gentleman,
who introduces himself, "Sir, you see in me the hero of
You may even now see such an one, I say, and hear him too, if you will
but go to Burleigh; seeing he has by this time over-lived the year or so
whereof our tale discourses. He has, by dint of service, attained to the
dignity of General H.E.I.C.S., and--which he was still longer coming
to--the wisdom of being a communicative creature; though possibly, by
a natural rëaction, at present he carries anti-secresy a little too far, and
verges on the gossiping extreme. But, at the time to which we must
look back to commence this right-instructive story, General Tracy was
still drinking "Hodgson's Pale" in India, was so taciturn as to be
considered almost dumb, and had not yet lifted up his yellow visage
upon Albion's white cliffs, nor taken up head-quarters in his final rest

of Burleigh-Singleton.
Nevertheless, with reference to quartering at Burleigh, a certain
long-neglected wife of his, Mrs. Tracy, had; and that for the period of
at least the twenty-one years preceding: how and wherefore I proceed
to tell.
A common case and common fate was that of Mrs. Tracy. She had
married, both early and hastily, a gallant lieutenant, John George Julian
Tracy, to wit, the military germ of our future general; their courtship
and acquaintance previous to matrimony extended over the not
inconsiderable space of three whole weeks--commencing with a
country ball; and after marriage, honey-moon inclusive, they lived the
life of cooing doves for three whole months.
And now
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