MoboReader > Literature > The Twins

   Chapter 5 JEALOUSY.

The Twins By Martin Farquhar Tupper Characters: 5570

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:03


For Julian soon perceived that Charles was no despicable rival. At first, self-flattery, and the habitual contempt wherewith he regarded his brother, blinded him to Emily's attachment: moreover, in the scenes of gayety and the common social circle, she never gave him cause to complain of undue preferences; readily she leant upon his arm, cheerfully accompanied him in morning-visits, noon-day walks, and evening parties; and if pale Charles (in addition to the more regular masters, dancing and music, and other pieces of accomplishment) thought proper to bore her with his books for sundry hours every day, Julian found no fault with that;-the girl was getting more a woman of the world, and all for him: she would like her play-time all the better for such schoolings, and him to be the truant at her side.

But when, from ordinary civilities, the coarse loud lover proceeded to particular attentions; when he affected to press her delicate hand, and ventured to look what he called love into her eyes, and to breathe silly nothings in her ear-he could deceive himself no longer, notwithstanding all his vanity; as legibly as looks could write it, he read disgust upon her face, and from that day forth she shunned him with undisguised abhorrence. Poor innocent maid! she little knew the man's black mind, who thus dared to reach up to the height of her affections; but she saw enough of character in his swart scowling face, and loud assuming manners, to make her dread his very presence, as a thunder-cloud across her summer sky.

Then did the baffled Julian begin to look around him, and took notice of her deepening love of Charles; nay, even purposely, she seemed now to make a difference between them, as if to check presumption and encourage merit. And he watched their stolen glances, how tremblingly they met each other's gaze; and he would often-times roughly break in upon their studies, to look on their confused disquietude with the pallid frowns of envy: he would insult poor Charles before her, in hope to humble him in her esteem; but mild and Christian patience made her see him as a martyr: he would even cast rude slights on her whom he professed to love, with the view of raising his brother's chastened wrath, but was forced to quail and sneak away beneath her quick indignant glance, ere her more philosophical lover had time to expostulate with the cowardly savage.

Meanwhile, what were the parents about? The general had given out, indeed, that he had brought Emily over for schooling; but he seemed so fond of her (in fact, she was the only thing to prove he wore a heart), that he never could resolve upon sending her away from, what she now might well call, home. Often, in some strange dialect of Hindostan, did they converse together, of old tim

es and distant shores; none but Emily might read him to sleep-none but Emily wake him in the morning with a kiss-none but Emily dare approach him in his gouty torments-none but Emily had any thing like intimate acquaintance with that moody iron-hearted man.

As to his sons, or the two young men he might presume to be his sons, he neither knew them, nor cared to know. Bare civilities, as between man and man, constituted all which their intercourse amounted to: what were those young fellows, stout or slim, to him? mere accidents of a soldier's gallantries and of an ill-assorted marriage. He neither had, nor wished to have, any sympathies with them: Julian might be as bad as he pleased, and Charles as good, for any thing the general seemed to heed: they could not dive with him into the past, and the sports of Hindostan: they reminded him, simply, of his wife, for pleasures of Memory; of the grave, for pleasures of Hope: he was older when he looked at them: and they seemed to him only living witnesses of his folly as lieutenant, in the choice of Mrs. Tracy. I will not take upon myself to say, that he had any occasion to congratulate himself on the latter reminiscence.

So he quickly acquiesced in Julian's wish for a commission, and entirely approved of Charles's college schemes. After next September, the funds should be forthcoming: not but that he was rich enough, and to spare, any month in the year: but he would be vastly richer then, from prize-money, or some such luck. It was more prudent to delay until September.

With reference to Emily-no, no-I could see at once that General Tracy never had any serious intention to part with Emily; but she had all manner of masters at home, and soon made extraordinary progress. As for the matter of his sons falling in love with her, attractive in all beauty though she were, he never once had given it a thought: for, first, he was too much a man of the world to believe in such ideal trash as love: and next, he totally forgot that his "boy, or boys," had human feelings. So, when his wife one day gave him a gentle and triumphant hint of the state of affairs, it came upon him overwhelmingly, like an avalanche: his yellow face turned flake-white, he trembled as he stood, and really seemed to take so natural a probability to heart as the most serious of evils.

"My son Julian in love with Emily! and if not he, at any rate Charles! What the devil, madam, can you mean by this dreadful piece of intelligence?-It's impossible, ma'am; nonsense! it can't be true; it shan't, ma'am."

And the general, having issued his military mandates, wrapped himself in secresy once more; satisfied that both of those troublesome sons were to leave home after the next quarter, and the prize-money at Hancock's.

* * *

(← Keyboard shortcut) Previous Contents (Keyboard shortcut →)
 Novels To Read Online Free

Scan the QR code to download MoboReader app.

Back to Top

shares