Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

1 article on this Page

TIMOTHY SLICK IN SEARCH OF…

News
Cite
Share

[ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.] TIMOTHY SLICK IN SEARCH OF A WIFE, Illustrating the difficulties of a Penarth gentleman in his earnest quest for a partner in his joys and sorrows. ARTICLE X.-I AM—WHAT ? It will be remembered that at an earlier epoch in my history I called attention to a certain statement, and told you I had two reasons for giving it. One of these reasons was given then—the other is to be given tn DúW. Subsequently I hinted that it was possible I might extract a few more notes from my pocket-book, and as those jottings will perhaps more forcibly explain the Mason alluded to, I think I cannot do better than let them speak instead of me.. Here is a question asked by a young man not far from thirty:— I want to get married, but am not in possession of £ 200 a year. What shall I do?" The reply was: Marry a woman who has £ 200 a year in her own right." "But they don't come within range of my rifle." I suppose you mean to say that you cannot get access to their preserves?'' That young man evidently had very high ideas of married life. He wanted a house which ivas respect- able enough to have a name lettered on the gateway he wanted a cellar—not for coals, but for a—a—a little of what Paul recommended Timothy to take for his stomach's sake he wanted, parlours, but he did not use that antiquated word—he used the word drawing- rooms; then he wanted a dining-room, a morning room, and a dressmg-room, the latter, of course, beinc not for private theatricals, but to dress in. It will be interesting to give a few more notes from this dialogue. He was asked :— What about the bill of fare ? He drew a slip of paper from his pocket, and read «—Menu. What is tbat? said the other. You will see," he replied, and the list was as follows chops or (levelled, kidneys, toast, marmalade, and- Hold," the other cried, I never breakfasted on anything but a rasher of bacon in my life, save an egg on Sundays, when I can get a fresh one." Irish roll! he smiled. Yes, and thankful for it." But the DINNER—what about the dinner ?'' was asked again. He hesitatingly admitted that six was the earliest hour at which he could think of dining—soup, fish, and joints, with reference to entrees, whatever that may mean. Such was the substance of that young man's idea of marriage; but, as the other said, do not such views I savour much of the pampered children of a false I civilation, and not the sons of English men and ■ women ? I We must be content to begin at the bottom and I -work our way up the ladder of matrimonial life. But I if each generation is to advance upon the style and I expenditure of that from which it starts, I wonder I where we shall get to in the long run. Don't let us I be afraid of small beginnings. We must remember H that where we love is home." They say that ■ -when poverty comes in by the door love flies out I through the window, but this is wrong. Love is ■ mightier than poverty, as may be proved in hundreds I of happy homes up and down the length and breadth ■ of our land! I I know that we had to commence married life on very much less than the sum that young man re ■ quired. More than two years have gone never tore- I tarn since we were linked together in indissoluble ■ Lands uutil death us do part, but we have managed ■ to keep our heads above water, and the grizzly bear of want has not as yet crossed the threshold of our ■ home. But Julia is a born financier, and what would have been insufficient in the hands of another w.)man has, by her, been carefully Kid out to the beat advantage- ■ Tim," she said one day,. I make the money you give me go a long way, don't I ? Yes, dear," I answered, "you make it go so far I see -I,t ■ But she saw I was only teasing her, and she only H laughtd. I told her afterwards that I was more than H satisfied with her management, which caused a look of pleasure to sweep across her face. Women like n encouraging word spoken to them sometimes. zn Ah bow hasty old Father time is in his flight. I can scarcely believe that so many months have rolled 1 ■ by, and yet it must be true, although as I look back I it seems but yesterday. Yet many things have happened since then. There are changes in the home, although no change in our lov-that lemains eternal. Shall I summon up the days that are gone, carry with them the unalterable in iif-? I will lift the curtain just awhile, and then H it must diop ft-r ever 1 1 t I remember that the first week after our return from the honeymoon we bad a little quarrel over the shopping business. Now, I need hardly tell yon that I hate goino- to shop. I always did from my youth up, so that when on the Saturday evening my wife asked me to go into Rogers', the grocer's, with her to make some purchases, I refused point blank. She tried to persuade me, but I:was:stubborn,and would not go in so she went in and got what she wanted. When she came out she would not speak. 1 could see she was very much nettled about it, She then went to CornweJrd, the butcher's, foi meat, and Tuckel's, I Glebe-street, for "praties, but between us two there was the stillness of the grave. I knew the storm would burst when we got home. It did. When we got inside she turned to me, and said petulantly- Tim, why did you refuse to come into Rogers s with me ? Because I am not going to do shopping dear I detest it," I retorted. "But you must come with me; I wish you to say what you would like as well as me." -'Oh, bother it," I cried angrily I won't do it, so there's an end of the matter-" She burst into tears, and said she wished she had never been married oh, where was her dear, dear mother ? Thank heaven, I could repeat the well- known lines quite heartily just then- Where is my mother-in-law ? Far, far away. She would go home, she continued. I could stand stand it no longer, so I said testily, as the last straw fell on the camel's back, Well, go, then, and good riddance." With that I seized my hat and rushed out of the house. But I was too miser- able to go far. I soon returned, and going up to my wife. I put my arm round her neck, and begged her forgiveness for my careless words. Leave me alone," she sobbed, "you don't love me any longer oh, I wish 1 were dead." •'Don't be so soft," I said, feeling, however, rather soft about the eyes myself. Will you forgive me for speaking so roughly, dearest? I added, "and I will try to be more careful in future; only don't ask me to go shopping, there a good little wife, unless you are not able to go yourself.' Well, we made it up, and having both shed a few more tears over the grave of this little disagreement, we were happy once more. Then things went on smoothly, until one day my wife was stricken down with influenza. I w;:mt about with a heavy heart. I feared I might lose her- I was in an awful fear all the time. I rushed to the doctor, and implored him to save her life that if she was to die, I believed it would kill me. "Ob, nonsense," he said, "you are not going to die yet, ncr she either; she will be all right again in a lew days." As he said, she soon got better. How glad I was to see her sitting down in her cosy chair when I re- turned one evening from the office. My heart bounded with joy. La grippe" gripped me shortly afterwards, and laid me low on a bed of languishing and pain. I remember being laid up once in lodgings, but then there was- No one to love me, None to caress but how different now. My darling was a most ex- cellent nurse I wanted for nothing. She was inces- sant: in her devotion and attention to me. While I was convalescent she sat and read to me, and when I went down stairs and out into the fresh air for the first time since my illness, she helped me to walk by bidding me lay my band upon her shoulder for support. Indeed, I pretended not to be well enough to resume my duties at the office so long as I dare, lor it was something new to me to be petted and caressed and made so much of as I was then. They were very happy, happy days to me. In the process of time there appeared upon the scene a new arrival! It was, oh such a little wee mite of a thing. My wife was very ill at the time. I remember when 1 went up to the room after the baby girl was born how pale and wan she looked. Come here, Tim," she said, I have been wanting you just see here what a dear little child this is." I drew aside the covering, and looked upon the face of my first-born, and a father's pride for his off- spring welled in my heart- I bent over it and kissed it, and thenl kissed its mother, whose heart was full of I secret joy for thie her little child. One day the nurse brought it down stairs and told me tc hold it, but I was afraid to handle the little tragile piece of humanity. You should have seen the awkwardness with which I did so—even the nurse laughed heartily at the picture I presented. But I tried to do my best to keep it quiet, and on giving it back to her I said, It's a little beauty, I'm sure! Of course it is," she snapped, anyone can see that," This completely silenced me. I answered her never a word- The little thing did not live, but gradually pined away. We did all we cculd for it, but in vain the Reaper Death cut down the little budding flower, and it was gone How peaceful it seemed as it laid in the stilh ess of its long sleep! We laid it to rest in the 1 churchyard near at handj and as the &ods fell upon the little casket that held all that now remained of our little darling, it seemed as if we bad buried our hearts in that narrow little cell in which it lay. How bitter was the loss to my fair young wife and I none can tell save those who, like us, have followed their loved ones into the valley of the shadow of death! Her grief was terrible to behold for a time, but Father Time with kindly hand has poured his healing balm upon our hearts, and there remains now—but that for ever !-3. green spot in the garden of memory where the love for one fair spirit, who is not lost but only gone before, lies sleeping until it, too, shall burst forth into life again on the resurrection morn Another has been born since then-a little boy, the heir to all his father's estates, if ever I possess any, which is not likely. What attention that youngster demands! Why it takes the united effort of father, mother, and nurse to look after him He will be attended to. But he is a bonnie bairn They have just brought him in to me to nurse him while his mamma does something else. He seizes hold of my watch chain he pulls my hair ou t in liandf alri, and I shall soon have to wear a wig; he kicks and yells until I can hear nothing else in the wide world. I n I try to quiet him, but in vain I put him into the bassinette I rock him back and fore, but the more I rock the more he screams. They tell me he is never like that when I am away iu the day-a better child never could be; but I know he always is like it when I am home. I no sooner get in than he begins to howl- I believe he must hear my footsteps in the distance- Oh dear, what .'shall I do with him ? Be quiet, you young scamp," and I give him a good shake, which makes him scream the more. Where in the world is his mamma ? Julia, for goodness sake come here. I can do nothing with this young rascal "-and then she comes and takes him from me, laughing the while at my evi- dent perturbation- Then she looks tenderly at him, and says, "Poor little fellow, he must ba in pain! Tim, bring me the dill water." Mothers always find excuses for their bairns- At night it is something awful. For long hours I have to walk the bedroom with the baby in my arms crying and yelling at the top of his voice. I manage to quiet him at last I have just got in bed once more, and a comfortable feeling is stealing over me; I am drifting slowly but surely into the land of dreams, when lo he wakes up again, and I have to go on parade enct. more- Poor little chap, be must want something to eat," she says, at which I growl, Well I wish you would give him something then." She does, but he does not stop, so I have to goon another tour with him in iiiyarruz, singing—but not in the spirit—a lullaby, which, how- ever, fails to lull the boy to sleep. But he gets tired of crying as the morning dawns, and falls into a gentle slumber; then I have to catch a few hours rest, and with a rush and a push I reach the station just as the train is on the move, Sometimes I have to turn out at some unearthly hour of the night and warm him some food, while I stand shivering with cold sometimes I have to lie cown by his side when he is put to bed, and push my fingers in his mouth to keep him quiet sometimes- the rest I pass over in silence. We have taken several little walks among the old scenes of our courtship days. I often laugh when I think of what I passed through when I used to traverse aloDó that lonely promenade by the beach. They have greatly improved things down there now. "The pier has been opened, and is proving a great attraction—music and dancing is no uncommon thing on a dice calm evening. Of course. Julia was anxious to give the baby an airino- on the new pier, but I told her I did not think they would allow perambulators to be perambulated upon it. But she found out differently, and told me that for the modest sum of threepence the thing could be done. Well, I had to capitulate, and so one fine day we wended our way thither. My wife not being very strong, and the girl being left at home to get tea, I had to do the pushing business. It was all very well when the youngster did not cry; but no sooner had we passed through the gates than he began in fine style to convince the people of his lung power, and do what we would to quiet him it was in vain, for he kept it up without intermission. It made me feel quite mad to see the people looking at us, as much as to say Why don t you see what is the matter with the poor .little thing, you hard- hearted creature ? I was o-lad to get back to the ho'jse, and I vowed v that the girl would have to go next time, even if I bad to do without tea when I got home. We were goinit up Glebe-street the other day,wben we met old Murphy. He was very glad to see us, and shook hands most heartily with us. He had seen my wife before, but not my boy. Is that your Eon Yes," I said with evident pride. Well, indeed, he is a fine child. And how are you getting on Slick ? Oh, splendidly," I answered; li how are. things with you? A 1," be said laughing. After a few moments further chat we parted, but before we did so I got him to promise to bring1 his wife over to tea on the following Sunday. I was glad to see when they came that both of them seemed perfectly happy together-