+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

over, and completed the sense, and did the
Viceroy's business though a brother. "Why
you dear little goose," said he: " of course I
don't mean that. I have as good as got the
things we must buy; and those are a new


"A wreath of orange blossoms——"

"Oh you good boy!"

"Four pair of gloves: two whiteone is safe
to breaktwo dark; very dark: invisible green,
or visible black; last the honeymoon. All the
rest you must find in the house."

"What, fit her out with a parcel of old
things? Can you be so cruel, so unreasonable,
dear Edward?"

"Old things! Why, where is all your
Gorgeous Attire from Oriental climes? I see the
splendiferous articles arrive, and then they
vanish for ever."

"Now, shawls and Indian muslins! pray
what use are they to a bride?"

"Why what looks nicer than a white muslin

"Married in muslin? The very idea makes
me shiver."

"Well, clap her on another petticoat."

"How can you be so childish? Muslin is
not the thing"

"No more is running in debt."

He then suggested that a white shawl or two
should be cut into a bridal dress. At this
both ladies' fair throats opened on him with
ridicule: cut fifty-guinea shawls into ten-pound
dresses; that was male economy; was it?
Total; a wedding was a wedding: new things
always had had to be bought for a wedding, and
always would, in secula seculorum.

"New things? Yes," said the pertinacious
wretch; "but they need not be new-bought
things. You ladies go and confound the world's
eyes with your own in the drollest way: if
Gorgeous Attire has lain long in your drawers,
you fancy the world will detect on its glossy
surface how long you had it, and gloated over it,
and made it stale to your eye, before you could
bring your mind to wear it. That is your
delusion, that and the itch for going out shopping;
oh, I'm down on you. Mamma dear, you
open that gigantic wardrobe of yours; and I'll
oil my hair, whitewash my mug (a little moan
from Mrs. D.), and do the counterjumping business
to the life; hand the things down to you,
unrol 'em, grin, charge you 100 per cent over
value, note them down in a penny memorandum-
book, sing out ' caesh! caesh!' &c. &c.: and so
we shall get all Julia wants, and go through the
ritual of shopping without the substantial
disgrace of running in debt."

Mrs. Dodd smiled admiringly, as ladies
generally do at the sauciness of a young male;
but proposed an amendment. She would open
her wardrobe, and look out all the contents for
Edward's inspection; and, if the mere sight of
them did not convince him they were inappropriate
to a bride, why then she would coincide
with his views, and resign her own.

"All right!" said he. "That will take a
jolly time, I know; so I'll go to my governor
first for the bonnet and wreath."

Mrs. Dodd drew in at this last slang word;
she had heard young gentlemen apply it to their
fathers. Edward, she felt sure, would not so sully
that sacred relation: still the word was obnoxious
for its past offences; and she froze at it: "I
have not the honour to know who the personage
is you so describe," said she formally. Edward
replied very carelessly that it was an upholsterer
at the North end of the town.

"Ah, a tradesman you patronise."

"Humph? Well, yes, that is the word,
mamma, haw! haw! I have been making the
bloke a lot of oak candlesticks, and human
heads with sparkling eyes, for walking-sticks,
&c. And now I'll go and draw myprotégé's
blunt." The lady's hands were uplifted
towards pitying Heaven with one impulse: the
young workman grinned: " Soyons de notre
siècle," said he, and departed whistling in the
tenor clef. He had the mellowest whistle in

After a few minutes well spent in deploring
the fall of her Oxonian, and gently denouncing
his motto, and his century, its ways, and above
all its words, Mrs. Dodd took Julia to her
bedroom, and unlocked drawers and doors in her
wardrobe; and straightway Sarah, who was
hurriedly flogging the chairs with a duster,
relaxed, and began to work on a cheval-glass as
slowly as if she was drawing Nelson's lions at a
thousand pounds the tail. Mrs. Dodd opened a
drawer and took out three pieces of worked
Indian muslin, a little discoloured by hoarding:
"There, that must be bleached and make you
some wrappers for the honeymoon, if the weather
is at all fine; and petticoats to match;" next
an envelope consisting of two foolscap sheets
tacked: this, carefully undone upon the bed,
revealed a Brussels lace flounce and a veil: " It
was my own," said Mrs. Dodd softly. " I saved
it for you; see here is your name written on
it seventeen years ago. I thought, ' this dear
little toddler will have wings some day, and then
she will leave me.' But now I am almost afraid
to let you wear it; it might bring you misfortune:
suppose after years of wedded love you
should be bereaved of——" Mrs. Dodd choked,
and Julia's arms were round her neck in a

"I'll risk it," cried she impetuously. " If it
but makes me as beloved as you are, I'll wear
it come weal come woe! And then I shall feel
it over me at the altar like my guardian angel's
wings, my own sweet, darling, mamma. Oh
what an idiot, what a wretch I am, to leave you
at all."

This unfortunate, unexpected burst,
interrupted business sadly. Mrs. Dodd sank down
directly on the bed and wept; Julia cried over
her, and Sarah plumped herself down in a chair
and blubbered. But wedding flowers are
generally well watered in the private apartments.

Patient Mrs. Dodd soon recovered herself:
"This is childish of me. When I think that