“No, I have refused him,” gasped Vera; “but, thank God, I have saved your ‘Long Eliza,’ Cissy!”
Early the following morning one of Mrs. Hazeldine’s servants was despatched in a hansom with a small brown paper parcel and a note to the Charing Cross Hotel.
During the night watches Miss Nevill had been seized with misgivings concerning the mysterious mission wherewith she had been charged.
But the servant, the parcel, and the note all returned together just as they had been sent.
“Monsieur D’Arblet has left town, Miss; he went by the tidal train last night on his way to the Continent, and has left no address.”
So Vera tore up her own note, and locked up the offending parcel in her dressing-case.
A WEDDING TOUR.
Thus Grief still treads upon the heels
Married in haste, we may repent at leisure.
We all know that weddings are as old as the world, but who is it that invented wedding tours? Owing to what delusion were they first instituted?
For a wedding feast there is a reasonable cause, just as there is for a funeral luncheon, or a christening dinner. There has been in each instance a trying ordeal to be gone through in a public church. It is quite right that there should be eating and drinking, and a certain amount of jollification afterwards amongst the unoffending guests who have been dragged in as spectators on the occasion. But why on earth, when the day is over, cannot the unhappy couple be left alone to eat a Darby-and-Joan dinner together in the house in which they propose to live, and return peacefully on the morrow to the avocation of their daily lives? Why must they be sent off amid a shower of rice and shabby satin shoes into an enforced banishment from the society of their fellow-creatures, and so thrown upon each other that, in nine cases out of ten, for want of something better to do, they have learnt the way to quarrel, tooth and nail, before the week is out?
I believe that a great many marriages that are as likely as not to turn out in the end very happily are utterly prevented from doing so by that pernicious and utterly childish custom of keeping up the season known as the honeymoon. “Honey,” by the way, is very sweet, doubtless; but there is nothing on earth which sensible people get sooner tired of. Three days of an exclusively saccharine diet is about as much as any grown man or woman can be reasonably expected to stand; after that period there comes upon the jaded appetite unlawful longings after strong meats and anchovies, after turtle-soup and devilled bones, such as no sugar-fed couple has the poetic right to indulge in. Nevertheless, like a snake in the grass, the insidious desire will creep into the soul of one or other of the two. There will be, doubtless, a noble struggle to stifle the