And indeed why should I? Our young friends were married as legally and irrevocably as half a dozen parsons in the presence of a distinguished congregation assembled in a fashionable London church could marry them. Of what actually took place I have the confused memory of the mere man. I know that it was magnificent. All the dinner parties of Mr. Jornicroft were splendidly united. Adrian’s troops of friends supported him. Doria, dark eyed, without a tinge of colour in the strange ivory of her cheek, looked more elfin than ever beneath the white veil. Jaffery, who was best man, vast in a loose frock coat, loomed like a monstrous effigy by the altar-rails. Susan, at the head of the bridesmaids, kept the stern set face of one at grapple with awful responsibility. She told her mother afterwards that a pin was running into her all the time. . . . Well, I, for one, signed the register and I kissed the bride and shook hands with Adrian, who adopted the poor nonchalant attitude of one accustomed to get married every day of his life. Driving from church to reception with Barbara, I railed, in the orthodox manner of the superior husband, at the modern wedding.
“A survival of barbarism,” said I. “What is the veil but a relic of marriage by barter, when the man bought a pig in a poke and never knew his luck till he unveiled his bride? What is the ring but the symbol of the fetters of slavery? The rice, but the expression of a hope for a prolific union? The satin slipper tied on to the carriage or thrown after it? Good luck? No such thing. It was once part of the marriage ceremony for the bridegroom to tap the wife with a shoe to symbolise his assertion of and her acquiescence in her entire subjection.”
“Where did Lady Bagshawe get that awful hat?” said Barbara sweetly. “Did you notice it? It isn’t a hat; it’s a crime.”
I turned on her severely. “What has Lady Bagshawe’s hat to do with the subject under discussion? Haven’t you been listening?”
She squeezed my hand and laughed. “No, you dear silly, of course not.”
Another instance of the essential inconvincibility of woman.
It was Jaffery Chayne, who, on the pavement before the house in Park Crescent, threw the satin slipper at the departing carriage. He had been very hearty and booming all the time, the human presentment of a devil-may-care lion out for a jaunt, and his great laugh thundering cheerily above the clatter of talk had infected the heterogeneous gathering. Unconsciously dull eyes sparkled and pursy lips vibrated into smiles. So gay a wedding reception I have never attended, and I am sure it was nothing but Jaffery’s pervasive influence that infused vitality into the deadly and decorous mob. It was a miracle wrought by a rich Silenic personality. I had never guessed before the magnetic power of Jaffery Chayne. Indeed I had often wondered how the overgrown and apparently irresponsible schoolboy who couldn’t make head