The ceremony was performed in a spacious room, extending throughout the length of the grand edifice. The services were conducted by a Hebrew priest, who was brought to Babylon with other captives at the close of Jeconiah’s reign of three months.
In entering the wedding apartment, one part of the company appeared at one end, while the rest at the same time appeared at the other end. Thus Mathias, with a band of young men, and Perreeza, with a group of damsels, slowly marched, met, and formed into a circle in the center of the room, the officiating priest, with a small altar, in the midst.
“Ye who are to take upon you the holy and solemn vows of matrimony, draw nigh,” said the priest.
Without delay, the loving twain left the circle, and stood side by side before the sacred altar, when the priest, after a brief marriage ceremony, gave them this blessing: “God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, keep, bless, and preserve you, and so fill you with all benediction and grace, that ye may walk before Him in the beauty of true perfection and holiness. Perreeza, daughter of Amonober, of the royal line of Judah, behold thy husband! Mathias, son of the illustrious Joram, behold thy wife! Take her as thine own, and convey her to thine own habitation, and there make merry with thy numerous friends.”
At the house of Joram, preparations on a magnificent scale were made for the return of the bridegroom with his bride. A large number of the flower of the young men and maidens of Babylon were assembled, to congratulate the young pair on their happy union.
The bridegroom and bride led the train. They were seated in a superb chariot, drawn by two spirited, snow-white steeds. The next was that of Barzello, containing himself and daughter, while a merry company brought up the rear. Nothing could have exceeded the beauty and brilliancy of the occasion. A flashing light from a hundred flaming torches completely banished the gloom of night, while hundreds of delighted spectators made the welkin ring with cheers. They soon reached the wide portals of Joram’s mansion. The charioteers alighted. The bridegroom and bride first entered, the guests following in regular order. “They that were ready entered with him into the marriage, and the door was shut.”
. . . . . . .
The celebration was over. The company had retired. Quietude was restored. The Joram family, with one additional gem, was once more left to the peacefulness of its own mansion. They were all quietly seated. Joram arose, and slowly approached the old harp, the friend of his early days, and inspected it with fondness, while the thoughts of other years fast crowded upon his memory.
“My dear father, and my dear Uncle Esrom!” said Perreeza, smiling, “now that they are all gone, let us have one dear little song from thee.”
“Ah, precious child!” said Esrom, at the same time brushing away a fugitive tear, “I play so seldom nowadays, I fear I would not appear to very good advantage among such fine performers.”