Mark Twain, a Biography. Complete eBook

Albert Bigelow Paine
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,512 pages of information about Mark Twain, a Biography. Complete.
at the piano and played softly the Wedding March from “Taunhauser.”  Jean Clemens was the only bridesmaid, and she was stately and classically beautiful, with a proud dignity in her office.  Jervis Langdon, the bride’s cousin and childhood playmate, acted as best man, and Clemens, of course, gave the bride away.  By request he wore his scarlet Oxford gown over his snowy flannels, and was splendid beyond words.  I do not write of the appearance of the bride and groom, for brides and grooms are always handsome and always happy, and certainly these were no exception.  It was all so soon over, the feasting ended, and the principals whirling away into the future.  I have a picture in my mind of them seated together in the automobile, with Richard Watson Gilder standing on the step for a last good-by, and before them a wide expanse of autumn foliage and distant hills.  I remember Gilder’s voice saying, when the car was on the turn, and they were waving back to us: 

“Over the hills and far away,
Beyond the utmost purple rim,
Beyond the night, beyond the day,
Through all the world she followed him.”

The matter of the wedding had been kept from the newspapers until the eve of the wedding, when the Associated Press had been notified.  A representative was there; but Clemens had characteristically interviewed himself on the subject, and it was only necessary to hand the reporter a typewritten copy.  Replying to the question (put to himself), “Are you pleased with the marriage?” he answered: 

Yes, fully as much as any marriage could please me or any other father.  There are two or three solemn things in life and a happy marriage is one of them, for the terrors of life are all to come.  I am glad of this marriage, and Mrs. Clemens would be glad, for she always had a warm affection for Gabrilowitsch.

There was another wedding at Stormfield on the following afternoon—­an imitation wedding.  Little Joy came up with me, and wished she could stand in just the spot where she had seen the bride stand, and she expressed a wish that she could get married like that.  Clemens said: 

“Frankness is a jewel; only the young can afford it.”

Then he happened to remember a ridiculous boy-doll—­a white-haired creature with red coat and green trousers, a souvenir imitation of himself from one of the Rogerses’ Christmas trees.  He knew where it was, and he got it out.  Then he said: 

“Now, Joy, we will have another wedding.  This is Mr. Colonel Williams, and you are to become his wedded wife.”

So Joy stood up very gravely and Clemens performed the ceremony, and I gave the bride away, and Joy to him became Mrs. Colonel Williams thereafter, and entered happily into her new estate.

CCLXXXVI

AUTUMN DAYS

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Mark Twain, a Biography. Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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