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[ILL RIGHTS RESERVED.] TIMOTHY…

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[ILL RIGHTS RESERVED.] TIMOTHY SLICK IN SEARCH OF A WIFE. Illustrating the difficulties of a Pecarth gentleman in his earnest quest for a partner in bis joys and sorrows. ARTICLE VIII.-I GET MARRIED. I have at length passed through the chrysalis state of my existence. I have been metamorphosad. Old things have passed away, behold all things have become new. The cocoon of musty, fusty, rusty ideas and antiquated opinions in which I formerly lived has been burst asunder, and I have entered into onother state made up of newer experiences and newer joys-a state which was to me only dim and shadowy before. The transition from the old life to the new was 'brought about in this wise First of all, I had to pay a visit to the Registrar of the district in which the wedding was to take place. This I did a few weeks ago. I need hardly tell you I felt very bashful about it. Having waited in the ante-room for some minutes. I wrs -,it length ushered into his august presence. I stood trembling before him. as if I were about to receive f.om his hands a death wairant. By-and-by, after keeping me in great snspeLse, he looked up at me and solemnly in- quired in a sepulchral tone what my business was. I don't, know wh; ther I looked very woestricken my- self cr not. but I noticed t! at his features seemed as if they were cL the I in sackcloth and ashes; and I have thought since that it was out of sympathy to me that he did so. for after 1 told him the object of my visit, the clouds of darkness vanished, and his face wa. now and again lit up with streaks of sunshine. "Oh—hum—ah, I see,' he said smiling,<! you wish me to register the event, and procure you the; licence ? Yes, sir," I said, with downcast eyes. "All light, young man," he repbed;"nowsit down and give me all particulars about you and your bride-elect." After having satisfactorily replied to all the old fossil's questions, I paid him the required fee, and de- parted, only too glE, d once more to get out into the fresh air where I could breathe more freely. The next thing I did a few days afterwards was to E¡: the minister of the Baptist Chapel at Havod, V i 1 usually •worshipped, for I found out where her peop., » although when that they believed in H. they were at Penarth xh^y often went to f'*iurc" f ing in Rome as Rome does." like most visitors to thfs fashionable little watering place. After being ushered into li-i, sanctum sanctorum, I told him that I was wishful that he should join Miss James and I in the holy bonds of matrimony, to which he readily r.greed. We had a little talk about the matter, and"then I retired, feeling that all was now plain sailing. I have noted these preliminaries here for the sake of others who, like myself, may be contemplating en- tering thiough the pMs s into the city of matrimony, and, hnviug done sc, I can now the mere easily take you back to the afternoon of the day before the weddmg-that is. the day before yesterday. You will remember with. wmt high expectancy I anticipated the coming of the morrow, f: aught as it would be. to me with the most important event in my life. illy cup was filled to the brim, when quite un- ex reeled! y I found on going home after a short walk that Julia had run down m order to accompany me bi c, to her home, She wanted to SEe how I was getting on she said then I heard her whisper in my ear. Oh. Tim, I couldn't slop away any longer from > you—not even till tc-nig hl-I was bound to run down and see if you were all light. Dear little angel 1 how she must love ma. I am glad you are como," I said. because now, my darling, you con come wi; h me to buy the wed- ding ring. I shall be more satisfied if you choose it." c All right, dearest, I'll coriie," she said with a pretty L-luzsh so after tea we went to Ingram's, the jeweller, in Glebe-slreel, for that purpose. After much deliberi-ion she made her choice, and I aiust Say she chose well, for it is a regular beeuly In addition, I bought h r a keeper, for was I not .to keep her henceforth and for ever, in more ways than one, as will be well understood by the initiated. She put bo h of them on when she got outside, and would not take them off again until we got back to her home. She was very proud of them. 4: To-morrow, dear," she said to me, pointing to the wedding ting, "yell will 'put this one on. ne\er to take it off again," ''Yes, darling, to-morrow I whispered, my own heart being in transport of joy at her words. As I had some few arrargeiii-nts to make before going on to Havod, we went back to my house,where we remained a few hours- Whea they were com- pleted we hurried to the station, as it had been arranged for me to stay at her home that night in order to be in readiness for the day to come. Having arrived there we found that several uncles and aunts, together with a few other relatives, had come in order to share in the forthcoming cele- bration. bration. As I had not seen them before the usual introduc- tion had to be gone through. While I mentally summed them up,they surveyed me from head to foot, and no doubt were very favourably impressed vith my bearing and appearance; if they were not they ought to have been- But I didn't care a fig for their ought to have been. But I didn't care a fig for their opinion. \Ve got on well together, however, and after some little conversation we all retired for the night. Julia came into the passage wi\h me, and held up her face for something, and as I did that which was proper and becoming on my part in accordance with a time- honoured custom--for you remember we are toldfthat "Jacob kissed Rachel"—I whispered in her ear, This time to-morrow, darling, you will be mine." 14 Yes, dear,' she said coyly "I shall beglad when Z, it is all over. I am tired of all this flustration- Why dun't they let people get married quietly ? Never mind, love," I responded. ¡, Good-ni g lit, pow," and having again descended in a semi-circular sweep from a higher to a lower position for a specific object, I then departed. I could not sleep all night lon. I was in a dream, —a flustered, happy, hurried dream. I could hardly believe it was true, although I was so supremely happy. I could not collect myself. I felt in a misty and unsettled kind of state, just as if I had got up I very early in the morning a week or two ago, and had not been to bed since- At last, just as day broke I in upon me, I managed to catch forty winks. I 1 dreamed that while at the marriage altar Julia declared she would not have me, and there ensued quite a scene, I awoke with a start to find the perspiration standing in watery beads on my foreheard- Thank God it was only a dream. I got up then and dressed as it was not any too soon. I took unusual care with my toilet, for was it not my wedding day ? Was I not about to lead to the hymeneal altar the fairest, dearest creature under the sun ? My heart beat high with joy, notwithstanding my unpleasant dream. I peered through the window to see what kind of ad iy it was. The sun shone brightly ah, Providence, in- deed, favoured us, for Ilappy is tl:e bride the sun sLiDes on. I went down to bieakfast with a mingling of strange feelings stirring my breast. There I found everything in a state of tumult. By and by Julia came in with bright eyes and blushir gface. She was (irc Esed in her wedding dress. I took her to my heart, for she looked simply beautiful. Then she vanished from my presence-for a while. One by ore the guests arrived, each one bringing some souvenir of the occasion. What lovely presents some of them were We managed to snatch a hasty meal, and as we were at it we could hear the carriages arrive which were to convey us to the chapel, 0 A- i»si, everytuis; be!B £ ready for a start, we bf' the house in the usual orthodox f¡;hlOl1. As I got to the chapel first, I went up to the Com- munion rail, where I waited anxiously until the others had arrived atd taken up their positions, Julia, of course, standing to my left. The minister then commenced the service. I felt very nervous, and the palms of my hands were damp with perspiration. My darling, however, seemed in grod spirits, and uttered the responses in a clear, dis- tinct manner, although the tones of her voice were low. After each of us had responded c. I will," in answer to the minister's question, Jack handed Julia over to me- and I took her right hand in mine. saying after the minister, '< I will take thee to be my wedded life." This caused a general titter to go round amongst, the people. I should have said wife, not life. Or. hew insignificant- I felt myself just then! The t luod leaped to my face in a moment. My jewel, hc>« evei\made no such blunder. She seemed like some old veteran at it. Then I took the ring and put it U¡ŒI the fourth finger of my beloved's left lipnd- the finger it had encircled the night before—and then I said after the minister, With this ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thae endow." This done, we knelt down while he offered a suitable prayer, after which he said, as he joined our right hands together, Those whom God hath joined together let no man put asunder. Then before all the people he pronounced us man and wife, and Julia and I were one for ever. I As we rose from our knees I could have sung— "The great transaction's done, I am my love's, and she is mine She drew me, and I followed on, Charmed to confess her voice divine." Now that it was over I could not restrain myself whatever. I fell on her neck and kissed her, and, 1 although the people laughed at me, I did not care, for she was mine at last- Those at the altar looked on, as Dickens says, in an April state of smiles and tears," as they beheld the wondrous happiness that j a-lowed upon our faces> while some of the brides- maids wished that they, too, could be in the position that my newly-made wife then occupied- We went into the vestry afterwards to sign the register. My darling wrote Julia James for the last time. After she bad done so, the Registrar said in a jocular way, "Mrs Slick, that is the last time you will write your maiden name; Julia Slick next time, re- membei, please." She looked at him after be had said it with a smile and a pretty blush. I could see that the saying had pleased her well. As we came out of chapel we could hear the organ pealing forth the stirring notes of the Wedding March." When we got outside we were met with a blinding shower of old shoes and rice, which two things, I suppose, meant that the good people hoped we should never go lower down in our luck than that. I hope not. I don't relish anything further down the scale of human existence than old shoes and rice- At any rate we bad too much rice that day. We could have done with a little Jess. It would have been better if the people bad put some of it by until a rainy day. As it was, we had to endure the ricey ordeal. What a shower it was It filled our ears, our hats, aud our pockets; it rolled down our backs in a most extraordinary manner— Ilice to the right of us, Rice to the left of us, Rice in front of us, Rice all around us." It wns, in fact, a delude of rice. I have called it since il The Charge of the Wedding Brigade." We gave way instantly. We were routed; we were utterly defeated, and only too glad tc find a covert from the storm in the carriages that awaited us. Ae we were being driven back home it seemed to me as if after all it must be a dream, and yet I felt a sort of pity for the people who were looking at us as we passed along, because they had no part or lot in this wonderful new joy that I was experiencing. Even when I got into the house again I seemed to be moving in some ethereal world. I sat down with the assembled guests at the table I noted the abundance of good things provided I watched my pretty little wife cut the wedding cake with her dainty little hand, and then hand it round I heard the health and hap- piness of the newly-married pair proposed; I listened to the speeches given—good, bad, or indifferent, as the case may be, and yet, doubtless, all of them sincere I was attentive while they sang the praises of my little princess. Then I rose to respond for both of us-hut still in a dream. I trembled at first. My understandings nearly gave way, while my mouth was full of semiquavers and demi-semiquavers and crotchets and tremors- «^After a while, however, I got over my shyness, and then I waxed eloquence. The guests stood open- mouthed and in some of the pathetic passages in my speech the ladies could be seen to take out their handkerchiefs and wipe away the silent tear. I was a second silver-tongued Demosthenes. I reached the climax of oratory because I had reached the climax of love It was that which oiled my tongue, and made my words as ointment poured fourth- When I had concluded the guests fell back with a dee^ use of relief. The tension had been great. es beamed with intense satisfaction, and Julia le afterwards that everyone said I had excelled myseit, and ihai she f u,, quite prouu of m«. Nevertheless I still seemed to live in the land of dreams While others had been enjoying the banquet spread before them, I had been eating nothing but love and marriage all the time. When a person is in a state such as I was he lives in an imaginary world, and needs not the things that pertain to flesh and blood. We determined beforehand to spend the first night at home in Fcnartb, and then proceed on our tour the following day, so yesterday afternoon, after wishing the friends good-bye, we came here; The parting between Julia and her parents was very affecting- „ •, • t She put her arms round her father s neck, just as she bad done so many tinif s before, and, as she kissed him, she said in a broken voice :— (i Good-bye now, papa dear you will come aud see your own little girl so soon as she gets back to Penarth?" Yes my darling, the old man cne-Q. r.s he neia her to him and kissed her cheeks. "Yes, I shall want to see you very much by that time. I shall miss you very, very much." Cheer up," she said, you can come and see us often. It is not very far away." She then disengaged herself from his embrace. Her mother came to the door with us to see us off. Poor old lady! She tried to laugh and cry at the same time, but I think the tears got the victory. My little wife herself could not altogether stop the river from overflowing its banks as her mother held her to hei breast. 44 Mother, don't cry," she said, I will come to see you often." Turning J.o m3, she added, "Why mother can come to see us as often as she likes, can t she?" Yes, dearest," I replied, <- we shall be glad to see her-" They embraced each other once more, and then said Good-bye," As we were getting into the carriage which was to take us to the station, her mother said to me as we I shook hands at parting;— ( Take care of her, Tim, won't you ? j "Yes, indeed, I will," I murmured, as I gulped down a great lump that had come unbidden into my t'noit, and which almost choked me. t'noit, and which almost choked me. I Oh, what a wonderful thing is the sympathy of tears. We got to Penarth safe and sound, and taking