Green vines crept and twined along the white walls, drooping over doors and windows, and trailing down the muslin curtains as if they grew there. The flowers were not made into stiff bouquets, but here and there was a handful of roses or sweet-scented violets. The old fireplace lost itself in callas, ferns, and ivies, while the mantel blossomed out into tube-roses and mosses. One of the recesses formed by the large chimney was turned into a leafy bower, the bells of white lilies fringing the green archway.
“Beautiful!” “Exquisite!” murmured the guests. “I verily believe we have come to a wedding,” said one.
In another moment Mr. Monteith and his bride stood in the niche under the lilies, and the minister spoke the mystic words that declared them “no more twain, but one.”
Edna was not glittering in satin and jewels. Her dress was apparently a soft white cloud floating about her, looped here and there with a cluster of lilies of the valley. A wreath of the same flowers fastened her veil; and the sweet face and luminous eyes that gleamed through its folds seemed just another rare flower.
The formalities and congratulations all over, Mr. and Mrs. Monteith passed down the walk under the spreading branches to their carriage.
The apple-blossoms showered fragrant blessings on them as they went their way, and the bridegroom whispered: “Do you remember the first time you and I came up this hill together?”
There was an audible rustle in the large congregation of St. Paul’s Church, well-bred people though they were, as their young minister came up the aisle with his bride and seated her in the minister’s pew. They not only turned their heads, giving one slight glance, seeing all without seeming to, as cultured people know how to do, but they broke all rules in their code of good manners by a succession of twistings of the neck. It was not easy to settle down content after one short look at the beautiful being who glided by the minister’s side. Had he seated a veritable fairy in that pew the sensation could scarcely have been greater. Her beauty was of that rare blonde type—hair of spun gold, eyes of sapphire, and complexion fine and delicate as a rose-leaf. She was youthful and richly dressed, the dark-green velvet suit, white plumes and fine laces, well setting off her marvellous beauty. Her eyes fairly drooped before the undisguised admiration expressed in many faces.
The minister himself saw nothing of it at all. He was annoyed at finding himself actually late, and his thoughts were intent on getting to his place in the pulpit with all possible speed. It was not one of his ambitions to be conspicuous; he was accustomed to slip quietly into his place from the chapel door, and his apparently triumphal march into his church on the first Sabbath of his return, after all the people had assembled, as if to say, “Behold us now!” was not to his taste nor of his planning; all this threw his thoughts into a tumult unfitting him in part for his sacred duties.