“Halloa!” said Wemmick. “Here’s Miss Skiffins! Let’s have a wedding.”
That discreet damsel was attired as usual, except that she was now engaged in substituting for her green kid gloves, a pair of white. The Aged was likewise occupied in preparing a similar sacrifice for the altar of Hymen. The old gentleman, however, experienced so much difficulty in getting his gloves on, that Wemmick found it necessary to put him with his back against a pillar, and then to get behind the pillar himself and pull away at them, while I for my part held the old gentleman round the waist, that he might present and equal and safe resistance. By dint of this ingenious Scheme, his gloves were got on to perfection.
The clerk and clergyman then appearing, we were ranged in order at those fatal rails. True to his notion of seeming to do it all without preparation, I heard Wemmick say to himself as he took something out of his waistcoat-pocket before the service began, “Halloa! Here’s a ring!”
I acted in the capacity of backer, or best-man, to the bridegroom; while a little limp pew opener in a soft bonnet like a baby’s, made a feint of being the bosom friend of Miss Skiffins. The responsibility of giving the lady away, devolved upon the Aged, which led to the clergyman’s being unintentionally scandalized, and it happened thus. When he said, “Who giveth this woman to be married to this man?” the old gentlemen, not in the least knowing what point of the ceremony we had arrived at, stood most amiably beaming at the ten commandments. Upon which, the clergyman said again, “Who giveth this woman to be married to this man?” The old gentleman being still in a state of most estimable unconsciousness, the bridegroom cried out in his accustomed voice, “Now Aged P. you know; who giveth?” To which the Aged replied with great briskness, before saying that he gave, “All right, John, all right, my boy!” And the clergyman came to so gloomy a pause upon it, that I had doubts for the moment whether we should get completely married that day.
It was completely done, however, and when we were going out of church, Wemmick took the cover off the font, and put his white gloves in it, and put the cover on again. Mrs. Wemmick, more heedful of the future, put her white gloves in her pocket and assumed her green. “Now, Mr. Pip,” said Wemmick, triumphantly shouldering the fishing-rod as we came out, “let me ask you whether anybody would suppose this to be a wedding-party!”
Breakfast had been ordered at a pleasant little tavern, a mile or so away upon the rising ground beyond the Green, and there was a bagatelle board in the room, in case we should desire to unbend our minds after the solemnity. It was pleasant to observe that Mrs. Wemmick no longer unwound Wemmick’s arm when it adapted itself to her figure, but sat in a high-backed chair against the wall, like a violoncello in its case, and submitted to be embraced as that melodious instrument might have done.