Bessie recollected rather pathetically having once heard the sanguine, good vicar use very similar terms in speaking of her beloved Harry.
FOR BETTER, FOR WORSE.
Towards the end of September, Harry Musgrave and Bessie Fairfax were married. Lady Latimer protested against this conclusion by her absence, but she permitted Dora Meadows to go to the church to look on. The wedding differed but very little from other weddings. Harry Musgrave was attended by his friend Forsyth, and Polly and Totty Carnegie were the bridesmaids. Mr. Moxon married the young couple, and Mr. Carnegie gave the bride away. Mr. Laurence Fairfax was present, and the occasion was further embellished by little Christie and Janey in their recent wedding garments, and by Miss Buff and Mr. Phipps, whose cheerful appearance in company gave rise to some ingenious prophetic remarks. The village folks pronounced the newly-wedded pair to be the handsomest they had seen married at Beechhurst church for many a long year, and perhaps it was lucky that Lady Latimer stayed away, for there was nothing in Mr. Harry Musgrave’s air or countenance to cheat her into commiseration.
“Elizabeth looked lovely—so beautifully happy,” Dora Meadows reported. “And Mr. Harry Musgrave went through the ceremony with composure: Miss Buff said he was as cool as a cucumber. I should think he is a faithless, unsentimental sort of person, Aunt Olympia.”
“Indeed! because he was composed?” inquired my lady coldly.
Dora found it easier to express an opinion than to give her reasons for it: all that Aunt Olympia could gather from her rather incoherent attempts at explanation was that Mr. Harry Musgrave had possibly feigned to be worse than he was until he had made sure of Elizabeth’s tender heart, for he appeared to be in very good case, both as to health and spirits.
“He might have died for Elizabeth if she had not loved him; and whatever he is or is not, he most assuredly would never voluntarily have given up the chances of an honorable career for the sake of living in idleness even with Elizabeth. You talk nonsense, Dora. There may be persons as foolish and contemptible as you suppose, but Elizabeth has more wit than to have set her affections on such a one.” Poor Dora was silenced. My lady was peremptory and decisive, as usual. When Dora had duly repented of her silly suggestion, Aunt Olympia’s natural curiosity to hear everything prevailed over her momentary caprice of ill-humor, and she was permitted to recite the wedding in all its details—even to Mrs. Musgrave’s silk gown and the pretty little bridesmaids’ dresses. The bridegroom only she prudently omitted, and was sarcastically rebuked for the omission by and by with the query, “And the bridegroom was nowhere, then?”