[ALL BIGHTS fcESERViJD.j C1 TIMOTHY SLICK \¡j IN SEARCH OF A WIFE, Illustratingthedifficulties of a Penarth gentleman in his earnest quest for a partner in his joys and torrows. t ARTICLE VI.I BECOME ENGAGED. In the bourse of my* peregrinations in the high- ways and byways of literature I have somewhere come across the following, which speaks for itself :— H He who marries for love gets a wife who mar- ries for position gets a lady who marries for fortune gets a mistress. If you are sick your wife nurse you, your lady will visit you, and your mistress will in- quire about your health. If you die, your wife will weep for you, your lady lament* and your mistress wear mourning." I Now I have two reasons for calling your attention to this statement; one of which will appear later on. The other is occasioned by the fact that no doubt some of you are asking what has become of the ideal I had mentally drawn up, and which seems to have been forgotten, or I might say, drowned in the sea of Oblivion. Love, however, is a thing which will not be bound down by rules and legulations; at least, that is how I have found it. It simply laughs at locksmiths. When it comes into being the bolts and bars of human idealism have to give way, for it will assert itself; and the more we attempt to hold it down the stronger it be- comes, until our poor, puny strength succumbs to its victorious advance. Love, like life, is an eternal evolution. I know I bad formed a conception of what a wife ought to be; but, as I told you, that conception had for its fundamental principle the idea of companion- ship. Now I have another view of the matter, and I quite fall in with the remark that 11 he who marries for love gets a wife," and. I am convinced that if I have that as the foundation, the superstructure will ultimately not fall far short of the ideal already given. "Ah," but you say to me, "Slick, you ought to have found out whether those things existed first, and s then have fallen in love. That is all very fine from a theoretical standpoint, but it does not hold water in the realm of practical experience. Love does not very often wait to ask you what your likes and dislikes are. Before you are aware of it, in a moment- in the twinkling of an eye, Cupid's darts pierce the heart, and it is wounded beyond recovery. Then man has in consequence to give to the wmds his long-cherished ideas. At any rate this is what i:: has done with me it literally knocked me down, smashed me up, and gave me no quarter whatever, and I had to cry out- Nay, but I yield, I yield, I can bold out no more I am by mighty Love compelled To own it conqueror." That was how I felt that day at Weston, when, you will remember, I at last got sufficient courage to pop the question to the idol of my heart. Will you be my wife ? I said. Then I raised the httle. hand which I bad taken possession of, and pressed it to my lips. I opened my heart to her. I poured out from thence my story of love in a pas. sionate torrent of words. They fell from my lips like a mighty rushing stream. My stammering1 tongue was unloosed at last. I was full of eloquence. ^ar^ing, I love you more than life itself," I said; "I shall die without you; nay, more, I am -T l-?'° P rou&k fire and water—even through death itselt—tor you. I adore and worship you! Oh., do not refuse me, do not spurn me or you will sentence me to eternal torments." This and much more I said, until I was compelled at length to stop for want of wind power. Then came the suspense while I waited for her re- ply. ihose few moments of silence intervening were to me like a small eternity. There flashed across the track of memory the words— Only a whisper-low as the siobing V Wlaf *n tall tree tops above; °PeEl0d heaven To the beait of a timid girl in love." If that were so, how much more ought my words to1 have opened heaven to the one whose hand I held Would it be so ? I wondered. Would she Í' Suddenly, the volition ot thought was stayed as tones of her voice fell upon my ear. She whispered oaly one word, but it sent me ricrht up beyond the stars in an ecstacy of del Ight b Only one word—the monosyllable, li Yes "-but, oh how pregnant its meaning to me. *"■ I took her then in my arms and rained a shower of kisses 6n those sweet red lips that had been often so tempting to me, I raised her blushing face to mine I' to which she protested feebly by saying," Ob, don't!" But I will," I cried, and once more I kissed her, aft-er which she hid her crimson cheeky on my manly bleast, IS- Then, as the excitement of the first few minutes gradually subsided. I told her how I had loved her every minute day and nigbt since the day I bad picked up her bat for her., H Yes, and I will love you, I cried, as no lover hftve loved before, or will love again, for no lover can ever love as I love you." Thus I raved for some minutes. 11 1 have loved you, too, almost from the first/she said I feel, oh so very happy." Her tears coursed down her cheeks as she spoke. They were tears of joy! I took her once more in my arms- Don't cry," I whispered brokenly. It always takes the nerve out of me to see a woman cry. I took my handkerchief out and wiped away the tears. Let me be just a bit," she sobbed I shall be better after a good cry I did not think such joy could be mine." By-and-Bye the deluge of waters ceased, and when dry land had appeared, we sat there forgetful of everything and everybody. Welh thank heaven, it was off my mind. I was in a state of perfect rap- ture. Julia and I were now engaged. Later on I whispered, You will call me Tim, now, •won't you, dear ? Yes, Tim, what a nice name she shyly answered, And I will call you Jewel," I said- The time passed rapidly on as we talked to each other, and rejoiced together in our new found mutual joy. All at once the dream was broken by an ex- clamation from my beloved "Oh, Tim, here is brother Jack coming; what shall we do ? Do ? Why make the best of it. I sufpose he will guess there is something on between u s, but we don't cares do we, love ? No," she said, with a pretty blr/sh; but we won't say anything to papa and maIrma just yet. I don't mind our Jack knowing; he "is such a dear old boy." By this time her brother bad arrived on the scene, and seeing the happy look on mjeface, and the crim- son cheeks of my darling, 1,3 said with a wicked smile on his face, I say, w'nat are you two .up to? Why here is the mater all '.a a sweat about you, and she has sent me off feore to lookfor you, as she says you have been away mor;e than two hours. Two hours I cr'ied incredulousiy, interrupting him, as I jumped upc a my feet. 0 Yes, it is more fdn two houJs since you left us. If you don't believe ille, just look at your -watch." I did, and was astounded to fidd.t,hat what he bad Y' said was true, Wb Y, how swiftly the time had sped. It eeemed to me bu t a few moments at the most. Mr James," I said apologising^, I am really sorry to have givp-n y jj.f mrents-any Smeasiness but the fact of the matter is, Julia (^promised to ue my A wife, and we have been so happy together that we have not thought of the flight of time," Julia looked shyly at him, but he only smiled back at her in a humourous kind of way. He had only recently been through the same kind of thing, so therefore under- stood the situation most thoroughly. "Jack, dear," my jewel said to him as we strolled slowly back, don't say anything about this to father or mother. I would rather tell mamma myself when we get back to Penarth-" Jack promised. They were very fond of each other -this brother and sister! When we got back her father wanted to know where we had been, and I replied that we bad just had a delightful walk-which was quite true. Come, come," he said, it is time we had tea; the boat will be returning soon, so we bad better hasteii." Yes," I said, "I feel as hungry as a hunter; this sea breeze has given me an appetite, anyhow J, might have said more. People say that love leads to loss of appetite; but it sharpened mine considerably or at least I thought it did. I may have been mis- taken. of course. We were in plenty of time for the boat. We walked back and fore on the deck during a part of the pas- sage back; and then when the shades of night had fallen upon us, we sat down close to each other, and under cover of the darkness I held her little hand in mine and stole-drop the curtain, please! The passage was accomplished all too soon for us but, like everything else in this transcient world, it would come to an end. After I had parted from them at Penarth, I went back to my house feeling like a new creature. I was unutterably happy. It was one of the red-letter days in my life's experiences, never to be forgotten. A few days after, I asked her to meet me on the following evening in town, as I wanted her to go with me on a particular errand. I did not tell her till she came that what I really wanted her for was to choose for herself that little hoop of gold studded with precious gems which was to be the outward and visible sign of the inward and spiritual grace, called love, that bound us together. She was rather startled the next evening, and wanted to run away when I told her my desire. I managed by dint of eloquent pleading to get her inside of a jeweller's shop for that purpose- t, I don't know that I was very brave myself when it came to the push; but I had gone so far that there J was ebsolutely no retreat, so I stammered forth, Will you kindly let this young lady see a few en- gagement rings ?'' "Yes, certtinly," he said with great gravity, while an assistant at the other end turned bis face away to hide the smile that he could not repress, and vhicb, made me blow hot and cold at one and the same time At last, after looking at several, she picked up one that she liked more than all the rest. I will have this one, Tim, if you please ? she said, and gave me a look that would have opened my pocket to any amount, if I had it. When I got outside she thanked me for the gift, to which, of course, I gal- lantly responded by saying that .she was worth more to me than anything I could give her, and that I counted it a pleasure to be able to contribute anything towards her happiness, knowing as I did how insepar- ably mine was linked with her's. I have looked at that ring hundreds of times since, I have caught the rays of light which reflect them- selves from those tiny gems that glisten and sparkle in the sun by day and the gaslight by night. It seems to say as it circles that certain little finger on the left hand. She is yours now she will ever be true- and faithful to you. Love her well, for she is worthy of your heart's deepest devotion." Yes, little messenger, I will As long as life sliall- list, I will, indeed, I be true and fast. The other day we had a quarrel-our first one, and I hope it will be our last. I suppose I was to blame for being so jealous minded, It came about this way I called for her one evening, and found she had gone down to the bsacb. I went there in search of her, and lo once again I found her t-alking to some other fellow whom I did not know, I did not see them till I was close upon them. I never gave A thought to a similar circumstance on a former occa- sion, which I have already alluded to, or I might have- made myself appear less ridiculous than 1 did. As it was, I was simply beside myself in a moment. I passed her by as if I bad never known her. I went home in a desparate condition. I sent her a note saying I would meet her the following evening, and demand an explanation of such conduct. When we met I raved and fumed and swore in- wardly, I told her I would not have her flii-ti ng about with other chaps- It she preferred them to me she could have them. I was not going to be treated in that fashion. Although I had come for an explanation I would not let her explain. Her spirit was roused, and she told me to go, for she was going to please herself as to whom she should speak. This nettled me the more, and I left her in high dudgeon. Next day I received the ring back again enclosed in a little note, which, though written in a despairing kind of way, yet was frm in what it said. She told me that she was but speaking to a you: g man from her home that she was always glad to see her friends that she was waiting for me at the time that she had no intention of being disloyal to me; but seeing my conduct and my foolish jealousy, it would be better for us to part for ever. If I could not trust her, she was not worthy, she was sure, to be my wife. She concluded by using the ex- pression that our love had begun in folly and ended in madness"—which dreadful words occasioned me to tear my hair and cry all night that all was over. I ought to have taken care of my hair since I was not overstocked with that commodity, but I had suddenly become reckless. I wrott. to her, making thb most abject apologies for my conduct "Forgive me," I said; "have mercy upon me; stiike me, trample me underfoot, kill me if you like -bnt forgive me. I cannot live without you. I shall go mad. I shall end my days in a lunatic asylum. I shall commit suicide if you banish me from your pre- sence. Will you, can you, my adorable Julia, for- give your wretched, worthless, sinning, but repentant Tim ? She replied by asking me to see her the following night. This I hastened to. We met away from the 0 haunts of men. I fell on my knees before her. I besought har forgiveness with tears. At last she held out the golden sceptre-her hand—to me, and I arose, threw my arms around her,and kissed her with all the passion of my passionate nature. I vov.ed I would never doubt her again, but trust her absolutely. II Kiss me forgiveness," I said beseechingly. She pouted, held out a little longer, but gradually her coldncss gave way before my all-conquering agony and love. C, H I won't," she said at first; and then she did what she said she wouldn't. How sweet to the taste were the frmts of forgive- ness. We sat down. I took her to myself; and wcman.1ike, now that the tension was relaxed, she found relief in a flood of tears. The fountain of the great deep was broken up! As we parted that night she said in her old coquetish way, Tim, you will never doubt me again ?" To which I replied very humbly:- No, darling, never again!" To be Continued.
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