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Men who Missed their own Weddings by P G Wodehouse

Men who Missed their own Weddings by P G Wodehouse

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Published by grandmapolly
More very rare early Wodehouse stories to brighten your mood while thinking about Santorum being president.
More very rare early Wodehouse stories to brighten your mood while thinking about Santorum being president.

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Published by: grandmapolly on Feb 22, 2012
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11/03/2012

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Men who Missed their own Weddings by P G WodehouseTHE AGE, MELBOURNE. SATURDAY JANUARY 19, 1901--------------------------------------------------------------------------------ABSENT MINDED BRIDE GROOMS.————<>————MEN WHO MISSED THEIR OWN WEDDINGS. At Ipswich recently, says a London contemporary, a marriage was about to take place when it was discovered that the bridegroom was not present. Nobody had seenor heard anything of him, and the greatest confusion reigned until, some twentyminutes after the hour appointed for the service, his brother appeared on a bicycle, with the news that the missing gentleman was too busy to come, but would present himself at church on the following day.When the wedding party reassembled at the tune mentioned the bridegroom was present, but this time the bride had absented herself. A search was instituted, andshe was found at her home, arrayed in wedding dress, but evidently determined topay her fiancé back in his own coin. She yielded, however, at last, and this eccentric pair were successfully united.Most men are apt to be nervous on the last evening of their bachelor life, and aman living in a town near Bristol was no exception. So agitated, indeed, was lie that he had to take a powerful opiate before he could get to sleep.The draught proved instantly successful, and he was soon asleep. But, unfortunately, in his nervousness he had mixed so strong a dose that, when the appointed hour arrived, he was still in a deep stupor. Nor did he awake until late in the following afternoon, when he found everybody in the greatest consternation, thinking that he was in a cataleptic trance, from which he would never awake. Luckilyfor all concerned the drug left no bad effects, and the marriage was celebratedat the earliest possible moment.A ludicrous ease occurred recently where both bride and bridegroom missed the wedding. On the wedding morning the bridegroom received a letter from the bride informing him that she had changed her mind and had married a more favored rival at a registry office that morning. Curiously enough, the bridegroom had himself sent a letter the night before begging her to release him from his engagement, ashe was certain that they could never be really happy together.Cases of either the man or the woman saving “No” when the marriage service requiresthem to say “Yes,” though rare, have been known to happen. Several years ago a man lost his intended wife in this way owing to his irritable temper. On the marriageday he had been the victim of a number of small accidents, and, thinking himself alone, he had indulged in some strong language, which the lady happened to overhear, and thinking that life with a man of such bad temper would be most unpleasant, caused a unique sensation by saying “No” instead of “Yes,” and walking out of thechurch. Nor could all the arguments of the bridegroom induce her to relent.
 
THE LANGUAGE OFFLOWERS.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------TO the literature of the streets a small volume has recently been added, which at first sight induces the purchaser to think the charge of a penny an excessiveone. This feeling, however, disappears after a thoughtful perusal of the work inquestion.It is a comprehensive dictionary of flowers, containing also a preface which isa prose poem, thirty lines of verse from the pen of an anonymous writer, and full information as to how neuralgia, tic, rheumatism, toothache, and gout may be cured simultaneously at the extremely moderate cost of one and threepence. Few will be found so grasping as to demand more for their penny.“Each blossom,” says the writer of the preface, “has its odour, its mission, its message. The violet will never cease to speak of humility, or the marigold of vulgarjealousy. (A little hard, this, on the marigold.) And their odours! Who can forget the delicacy of the violet’s breath, the sweet perfume of the rose, or the pleasant scented lavender. Oh! the measure of sweetness that comes from the silent children of the sod to the speaking and thinking ones of earth!” Like the hero of one of Mr. Quiller-Couch’s poems, the writer certainly has a neat poetic vein whenhe is fairly started.A few more preliminary remarks on the subject of the arrangement of flowers, andthe reader is brought to the vocabulary itself. From this it is an easy task, especially if one is a member of the class referred to as the speaking and thinking ones of earth, to weave romantic situations. It is, for instance, the mauvaisquart d’heure preceding dinner. Our hero has been told off to take down the heroine, with whom he has for many a long month been secretly in love. He, being of an intensely shy nature, feels himself unequal to the task of framing his opinions in words. She being the very soul of maidenly reserve, cannot bring herself tolend him the helping hand he so sorely needs. He remarks that the weather is fine, especially for the time of year. She agrees. Then there is an awkward silence. This is where a knowledge of the language of flowers is of such vital importance. Assuming that the hero has brought with him a basketful of assorted blossoms, he commences by selecting an arbutus—not a whole tree, presumably, though our author says nothing on the subject, but a portion of one. This he presents to thelady, thereby indicating to her, if she is also a speaking and thinking one ofearth, “Thee only do I love.” Though naturally taken aback somewhat by this sudden declaration of passion, she follows suit according to her mood. She may select adouble China aster, “I partake of your sentiments,” or perhaps, if she wishes to keep him a little longer in suspense, she substitutes a single China aster, that flower expressing the cold but eminently proper words, “I will think of it.”This urges the hero on to further efforts. He thinks for a while. Then he presents her with a Dianthus. “Make haste” is the exact meaning of the Dianthus. To such afloral remark a floral snub is the only reply. She withers him with a Dipladenia Crassinoda, “You are too bold.” His observations then become sharp and abrupt, after the fashion of Mr. Alfred Jingle. He produces in rapid succession a parti-coloured daisy, a damask rose, an eschscholtzia, and a jonquil. In effect he says :“Beauty! Brilliant complexion! Do not refuse me! I desire a return of affection!”She wavers and exhibits a marjoram, to show that she is blushing. His eloquencenow gets the best of him in impassioned entreaties. He bends down, and begins topull flower after flower from the basket. Having obtained as many as he requires, he arranges them before her in the following order. “Hortensia. (You are cold.)Purple hyacinth. (I admit my imperfections.) Henbane. (And I am sorry for them.) Green locust tree. (My love will last beyond the grave.) Moving plant. (Observe my agitation.) Pine-apple. (You are perfect!) Pink. (And I know that I am taki
 
ng a great liberty), but Christmas Rose. (Put me out of my misery.) White Rose.(I am on the whole quite worthy of you), for Wheat stalk, white mullen, and variegated tulip. (I am rich, good-natured, and have beautiful eyes.) Reversed vine.(No, I do not drink.) In a word stephanotis, and oxlip. (Will you accompany meto the East. Speak out!)”The effect of this speech is instantaneous. A red tulip, or in other words a declaration of love follows, and the two proceed to dinner—the gong having just sounded—an engaged couple.Other uses for the language of flowers readily present themselves. Biting sarcasm may be employed by presenting an unwelcome guest with a reversed sweet pea, which signifies “Don’t go.” Delicate satire could be effected by a judge presenting a criminal after sentence with a sweet-scented tussilago, which, being interpreted,means “Justice shall be done you,” a charming present for a gentleman shortly to embark on a ten years’ visit, sweetened by toil and simple fare, at Portland or Dartmoor.Soon, too, the sight may be familiar in London of an army of rejected contributors blocking the streets opposite the various editorial offices, each wearing inhis button-hole a simple red primrose, the sign of unpatronised merit. Undoubtedly, the language of flowers has many uses.The Pugilist in Fiction. By P. G. WODEHOUSE. THERE are two novels in the library of pugilistic fiction which stand alone, Dr.Conan Doyle’s “Rodney Stone” and Bernard Shaw’s “Cashel Byron’s Profession.” In most booke hero is a pugilist because he is a hero. In these two he is a hero because heis a pugilist. Probably everybody who takes an interest in sport has read “RodneyStone,” and has revelled in the fight between Berks and Boy Jim in the coachhouse,and the great battle on Crawley Downs between the smith and the West-countryman. He has waited in suspense with Sir Charles Tregellis when the last minutes areflying past, and still his man has not put in an appearance; and a thrill has run through him as the crowd swirls and eddies, and an old black hat flickers upfrom their midst, and falls in the centre of the ring. It is a great scene, that. However often one may have read the book, and however much one may be preparedfor the surprise, that magnificent climax comes as fresh as ever. “Rodney Stone” isan epic of the ring.“Cashel Byron’s Profession” is perhaps less well-known. Mr. Shaw has chosen for his hero the best type of professional pugilist, a gentleman born, clever at few things, but as straight as a die, and possessing a genius for fighting. In his preface the author makes a few remarks on the subject of pugilistic genius. By geniushe means something higher than mere skill. Many boxers are skillful, but not onein a thousand possesses that peculiar gift, amounting almost to divination, which enables him to foretell his opponent’s actions, and reduce the art of timing toa second nature. Jem Belcher is the best instance of genius in the history of the ring. Mace was a genius. So was Sayers. So perhaps were John Jackson and Mendoza. But Belcher was the greatest of them all, and possibly it is Belcher who has been the author’s model for Cashel Byron. And I should be inclined to say that Mr. Shaw had heard of the Tipton Slasher when he created William Paradise, his hero’s opponent.

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