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genteel fortune, tied herself for life to Mr Norris cite a few instances of the perpetration of matriof Formby, a gentleman exactly six times her age. mony at an equally advanced stage of life. A In 1769, Miss Ann Nugent of Mountaston, a for- wedding once came off in Berkshire between a ward damsel of fifteen, wedded Robert Judge, Esq. bride of eighty-three and a bridegroom of eightyof Cortesborough, Kilbeggan, a patriarchal soldier five; the bridemaids were none of them under who had received a bullet in his nose fighting for seventy, and all of them spinsters. Four of the or against William the Silent. A Worcestershire lady's grandsons sang an epithalamium, composed girl, aged fifteen, took a blacksmith ninety years for the occasion by the parish clerk; and half a old for better or worse ; and even a miserly old dozen of the gentleman's grand-daughters strewed hunks, like the Rev. Luke Ember, with four- flowers before the happy pair of octogenarians. In score years on his shoulders, found a maiden of 1754, Mr Ephraim Thair, aged eighty-five, was fifteen to share his miserable lot. A Berkshire married, at Weymouth, to Mrs Mary Kingman, gentleman, finding himself for the third time aged seventy-eight. The bridegroom had been a wifeless, at the age of seventy-six, married a widower just fifteen months, and was then—through young lady to whom he had stood godfather his first wife, with whom he had lived sixty years eighteen years before, making her step-mother to ,-father, grandfather, and great-grandfather to a men and women thrice her own age. Among the hundred and fifty-two individuals
. Only a year marriages recorded in the Gentleman's Magazine for ago, the guardians of a metropolitan parish were 1733 we find, ‘Sir John Leigh, Bart. of Addington, astonished by their chairman of the board asking
, seventy, to Miss Wade, about eighteen, daughter receiving outdoor relief should not be joined in of Mr Wade, apothecary at Bromley, in Kent, who holy matrimony. A widower, seventy-five years lately cured Sir John of a mortification in his toe ;' old, in receipt of a weekly allowance from the and, * Married, last week, Mr Thomas Gowler, an parish, had been captivated by a lady one year eminent tailor, grocer, and chandler at Warboys, younger in the same predicament. They were Hunts, near a hundred years old, to a brisk young very anxious to wed, but, like a prudent pair, widow of the same place, aged thirty. He was so wished, before tying the knot, to be assured against infirm, that it was with great difficulty he got the being deprived of the dole they had hitherto licensé out of his pocket, and he several times enjoyed. One cold-hearted guardian suggested dropped the ring before he could get it on the lady's that the couple should be ordered into the House finger; but since his marriage, has so greatly recov- as soon as the ceremony was over ; but his colered as to quit the assistance of his cane.' Accord-leagues, remembering that they had once been ing to the old saying, for every Jack there is a Jill, young themselves, had more consideration for the and some very ugly Jacks contrive to obtain very lovers, and agreed that their marriage should make pretty Jills. Even Crutchy Jack of Leeds, a man no difference to them as far as the parish was conof thirty-six inches, found a spouse ; for when he cerned. The last couple had certainly arrived at died at the age of sixty-two, he left behind himn a years of discretion, but they were chickens comwidow and four children, the youngest a boy of paratively to Mr Patrick Stephens and Mrs Barry, five. In 1749, a noted Scotch blue-gown, named who were married at Dublin in 1772, for the William Hamilton, after defying female blandish- former recorded himself a hundred and nine years ments for eighty years, succumbed to the charms old, while the bride owned to a hundred and of pretty Jane Lindsay, just out of her teens. He two! The marriage of another centenarian is thus certainly got the best of the bargain, for he is entered in the parochial register of Greenwich : described as having both legs drawn up to his 1685, Nov. 18. John Cooper of this parish, almsears, his arms twisted backwards, and almost every man in Queen Elizabeth's College, aged a hunpart of him out of joint: at anyrate, this queer dred and eight years, and Margaret Thomas, of specimen of humanity had to be carried to the Charlton, in Kent, aged eighty years, married by
marriage-house' upon the shoulders of a friendly license of the Lord Bishop of Rochester, and porter. There is something repulsive in the leave of the Governors of the Drapers. This union of crabbed age and youth, and such matches entry had soon afterwards a melancholy addendum can hardly be reckoned among heaven-made ones. -Ould Cooper, buried October 31, 1686. Of course, there are exceptional cases, like that of We have not quite done with the old folks yet. the accomplished lady who, of her own free choice, In 1769, Mr Boys of Lincolnshire, then upwards of gave her hand, with her heart in it, to a nobleman eighty, married a Mrs Air, she being his third wife, many years her senior; and when some dissatisfied and he her third husband. The same year saw a friend urged that the gentleman was old enough to lover of the sex, hailing from Essex, take a girl be her father, answered : 'Oh, if that's all, I'm of eighteen to wife; he being seventy-three when sure any one would like to marry papa!'
making this his third appearance in the character Patience is a very good thing, but, like other good of bridegroom-his third appearance in twelve things, folks may have too much of it, as was the months! Sir John Price could not bring himself case with Robert Philips, brother of the 'Cider' to part with his wives even after death, and having poet, and his lady-love, Anne Bowdier. This embalmed two, still shared his bed with them ; an faithful pair formed, when young, an attachment arrangement he was obliged, much to his chagrin, quite strong enough to marry upon ; but with un- to alter when he went wooing again, since the exampled deference to the objections of disapprov- lady he honoured with his well-worn affections ing relatives, were content to carry on their court- refused to become Lady Price until he put her ship for sixty years, only bringing it to its proper predecessors under ground. Unlike the Irishman end when death removed the objectors. Then they who excused his polygamous propensity by saying plucked up courage, and went to church, when he was only 'trying to get a good one, Sir Gervase each owned to eighty. We can find no parallel to Clifton was fortunate in his many matrimonial this example of long-enduring love ; but we can speculations. This many-wived man owned to
having been 'blessed' seven times in his life, and but when the latter made matters even, by convert-
her daughter by him, the other her daughter by A soldier who had won and lost five wires, when her first husband. In 1797, the President married he departed this life in 1785, left a widow to his step-child, thus becoming the son-in-law of his lament her fourth bereavement. Experienced as dead wife ; while he was step-father to his second she was in wearing the weeds, she was surpassed wife, and brother-in-law to his own daughter ; that way by Daine Scrimshaw
Madame Finot the second on her part becoming Who lived in the reign of Queen Anne,
her sister's mother; and when some little Finots And was debonair, buxom, and thrifty ;
appeared on the scene, their father was their grandWho married five times—as you see by these father into the bargain. Two brothers married rhymes-
a mother and daughter, making the mother's husAnd died at one hundred and fifty.
band his brother's father-in-law, and the four made Unlike modern lasses, she scorned to wear glasses, between them a mother and daughter, two brothers,
And without them used needle and thread; a father-in-law, a mother-in-law, two sisters-in-law, As you may all see, without favour or fee,
and two brothers-in-law. If the elder lady was Although she so long has been dead.
blessed with a son, he would have been halfThis wonderful old woman danced before the brother to his aunt; and if the daughter followed court a few days before her death, and upon Her suit, her child would have been one uncle's grandMajesty condescending to inquire if she intended to son, another uncle's cousin, and nephew to his marry again, answered : 'I think not; I am getting grandmother. In cross-marrying of this kind lies too old' Dame Scrimshaw's allowance of hus- the key to enigmatical lines inscribed beneath an bands has been exceeded by women who fell far old family painting preserved in an ancient manshort of attaining her length of days. In 1772, sion near Taunton : a woman of eighty-five was married at St Clement Danes to her sixth husband. In 1768, there died
Madam-I pray this one thing me shew, at Florence one Elizabeth Masi, who had outlived
What you three be, if you them know; no less than seven spouses, although she had
Coming from the castle in such degree,
What's their descent and nativitie? reached her seventieth year when she claimed the
Sir— The one by my father's side is my
brother, priest's good offices for the last time. On her death- And so is the next in right of my mother; bed, this modern rival of the Wife of Bath was Third is my own son, lawfully begat, puzzled to decide which of her seven partners most And all sons of my husband in my lap. deserved to be her companion in death, and after much cogitation and balancing of merits and
Without hurt of lineage in any degree, demerits, solved the delicate question by desiring
Shew me in reason how this may be? that she might be laid by the side of her fifth hus- We must leave our readers to unriddle the mystery band. Martha Blewitt, after following eight hus for themselves. If ever our lawmakers agree that bands to the grave, was buried by her ninth in no affinity, save of blood-relationship
, shall be a 1681, the disconsolate widower doubtless deriving bar to matrimony, we shall see more bewildering much consolation from the sermon preached upon complications still
. the occasion, from the text, ' Last of all, the woman Amid the variety of strange marriages, the palm died also ! If St Jerome is to be believed, as of oddity must certainly be conceded to those from of course he is, there once lived a woman who which man has been excluded. One case of this would have laughed at the moderation of those sort came to light this very year, when the Edinof her sex who stopped at seven or eight husbands ; burgh police laid their hands upon a young woman for she buried twenty-one, and then found a man who was wanted," from information supplied by brave enough to become her twenty-second; but an Irish girl, whom the masquerading female in he was almost her equal in experience, having question had married, while employed as a labourer enjoyed connubial bliss with twenty fair ones in in the neighbourhood of Kirknewton. The couple turn.
had lived happily together for a time; but quarrelThere was nothing very odd in Dr Bowles marry- ling over some domestic matter, the wife resalves ing the daughter of his old friend, Dr Stamford, I to part company, and informed the police what
manner of a husband she had married. A stranger St Paul's waiting for them in the chapel. The
A CONFIRMED BACHELOR.
So that, except for the absence of the junior The Rev. David Mackenzie relates an instance of partner at night, things went on much in their a man getting married unintentionally. Some thirty old wa in Mole's Buildings. Of course, the Salutayears ago, a decent couple appeared in church to tion had a guest the less to make ready for and be married, after due proclamation of the banns. welcome to its comforts. As a husband, SimkinThey asked the clergyman to wait a bit ; he son had now home cares and duties to attend to. waited for an hour, and then, at their request, Besides, he had come rather to dread the Salutation; proceeded with the ceremony. He had thought he was conscious that its staple converse and the delay arose from the absence of some expected familiar jokes were no longer for his ears, especially friend, but the truth was, it was the bridegroom as there was every probability of his being constiwho had failed to put in an appearance; and his tuted its leading butt and topic. And then his brother, who brought the bride to church, unwill- tea and slippers were awaiting him in Doughty ing, as he afterwards said, “to go home, after com- Street, not to mention the cordial greetings and ing so far, without doing some business, so as to caresses of his youthful spouse, on his return from make sure of the young woman,' had, in all inno- the business
the day. cence, wedded her himself, as proxy for his brother. But altogether, Simkinson's absence was much How the lady and the brothers arranged matters, felt by his city friends and gossips. My uncle the reverend gentleman forgets to tell us. Another said little ; but there can be no doubt that the odd match is noticed by Pepys in one of his letters head of the firm greatly missed his junior. He -a match that, for a time, served to give the folks had not valued him, and he did not now profess to of London something to talk about more enliven- set any great store upon him ; still, he began to ing than the unwelcome war-news of the day. perceive that Simkinson's companionship had been Two rich citizens had died, one leaving his wealth of more service and support to him than he could to a Blue-coat boy, the other making a Blue-coat well afford to dispense with. His remarks lost girl his heiress. What could be more proper than something of their effect from the dumbness of that the lucky Blues should unite their fortunes ! that familiar echo and assent which Simkinson had Neither of them was out of their nonage, but that been wont so faithfully to supply. Mr Strangwas not allowed to interfere with the plan. Accord ways was as a man who had lost a considerable ingly, one September day in 1695, the boy, dressed portion of his shadow. He found it rather depressin blue satin, led by two girls ; and the girl, ing coming away alone of nights from the tavern arranged in a blue sarsenet gown, green apron, to his solitary life in the Buildings. Perhaps, too, and yellow petticoat, led by two Blue-coat boys, he was oppressed by an uneasy suspicion that, after marched from Christ's Hospital, through Cheap- all
, Simkinson had not done such a very foolish side, to Guildhall, where they found the Dean of thing.
Still, my uncle had been so far true to himself he had not paid this compliment. At the same and to his word. He was not present at the wed- time, he felt persuaded that if he had, my uncle, ding; he had not visited the bride ; he had in all probability, would have resented it, and abstained from paying any of the compliments, or regarded it unpleasantly. from regarding any of the forms and etiquettes There'll only be ourselves,' he said after a usual under the circumstances. He had given his pause. teapot; and there, as he determined, was an end of Ashamed to introduce me to your West-end the matter. He would go no farther. Certainly, friends ?' My uncle considered the neighbourhood he would keep aloof from Doughty Street, and of Doughty Street as pretentiously fashionable and from all participation in the joys or miseries--as aristocratic. the case might be-of Simkinson's married life. Don't say such things as that, Strangways ; So he was understood to have expressed himself. please, don't, said the junior partner in a hurt tone.
It should be stated, however, that my uncle had “What will you give me for dinner?' not been invited to Doughty Street. Oftentimes, Anything you like.' Simkinson had considered the subject—had be- 'No soup or fish nonsense, then. A plain stowed upon it, indeed, much and painful reflection. boiled leg of mutton and turnips ? Most heartily would he have welcomed to his house Certainly: the head of the firm-would have felt deeply And a rolly-poly pudding ?' grateful for a visit from him. But he feared to ‘By all means. give offence; he shrunk from the rebuff that And a glass of hot grog afterwards !' seemed to him the inevitable result of any bold Most decidedly.' proffer of hospitality on his part. At the same time, 'I think I'll come, then,' said my uncle, after he accused himself of cowardice, and of some show some moments of grave reflection. He felt
, perof disregard for his partner in this respect. He haps, that he was sacrificing his character for conwas a kind man and a generous. The happiness sistency. He could not do this without effort. he now enjoyed—and there could be no doubt that Presently he added : “You really mean it? You he was supremely happy-he would gladly have were not counting upon my refusal ?' shared, so far as he might, with his old comrade. "Of course not, Strangways.' He longed to admit him to the joys of Doughty "Well, if you were, I'll disappoint you ; for 1 1] Street. He looked forward anxiously—as to an come.' event so felicitous that it was almost presumption And we'll have a pleasant erening. At any, to hope for its ever really occurring—to some day rate, we'll do all we can to make
you comfortable? seeing old Joseph Strang ways' legs under the Mind,' resumed my uncle, “I'ls have no greenSimkinson mahogany. Perhaps—for man is not grocer in Berlin gloves hanging on to the back of perfect--there was just a grain of the mildest my chair, and breathing hard into the nape of malice in this solicitude. It might be that he my neck. No genteel tomfoolery of that kind, desired to make manifest his happiness, and the Simkinson.' refutation it afforded of Strangways' sinister Of course not. We've a neat handy parlouropinions concerning a married life. Simkinson maid, who does all that's necessary in the way
of was content to forget the support he had once given waiting.' to these acrid sentiments,
'I hope her cap ribbons ain't too streaming, or He took heart at last.
made up into too many bows ?' "Strangways,' he said one morning, coughing "I think she's moderate as to cap
ribbons.' timidly as he spoke, and with an embarrassed • Is she pretty ?' expression upon his face, 'it is my birthday on Well, really. Yes. Perhaps she might be Wednesday. We always used to have a little called pretty.' celebration of it. Don't let us give up the old *Then, mark my words, Simkinson : your wife custom. Come and dine with us in Doughty will soon give her warning. And you mind what Street.'
you're about with that parlour-maid, or you'll • What does
my uncle inquired catch it. It's plain to me that you're no better rather grimly.
than a Lothario, for all your gray hair.'. She joins me in asking you. She 'll be delighted This was spoken fiercely, and fortified by an to see you.'
oath ; but it was meant jocosely. Simkinson 69 My uncle took a huge pinch of snuff with ex- understood it, and in high good-humour laughed treme deliberation, eyeing his partner the while heartily. My uncle's eyes twinkled curiously, and severely.
he chuckled audibly as he retreated to his private "Getting tired of her society, and want to fall room. There he took snuff, prodigiously waving back upon mine, eh ?'
about his brilliant-hued handkerchief, as though it Simkinson waived reply to this question. had been a flag of victory. He had no triumph to • It will give us both very great pleasure if you boast of in the matter, however, save over himself
. will honour us with your company.'
Having thus accepted his partner's invitation, • This is the first time you've invited me, Sim- my uncle determined that, so far as he could, he kinson,' said my uncle, and you've been married would do credit to himself and to the occasion. now some months.'
He attired himself in the dress suit, with : Simkinson looked perplexed. Well, frankly, black velvet waistcoat, and the protuberant shirtStrangways, I didn't think you'd have come if í frill he was accustomed to wear, when, as somehad asked you.
times happened, he dined with the Lord Mayor, or * Perhaps I shouldn't. But you might have joined the festivities of the City Company—the tried it on.
It would have been a compliment- Vintners'—of which he was a member; and a cet not a very costly one.'
tain inherent, but long-forgotten spirit of gallantry Simkinson was silent. He blamed himself that stirred again within him, and found expression
A CONFIRMED BACHELOR.
On, his way to Doughty Street, he purchased a amazed his partner, who had lively recollections bouquet of large dimensions and choice composi- of the offence given by his own efforts of that kind. tion, and presented it, with many old-fashioned He left early in a cab, parting upon very cordial bows and genutlexions, to the young wife of his terms indeed with his entertainers. He even kissed old friend.
Mrs Simkinson, but in a staid and ceremonious Still, these concessions notwithstanding, my manner. My dear, I'm old enough to be your uncle had determined that he would not be won grandfather,” he said as he gently pressed his old over too easily to countenancing the proceedings of lips upon her soft, round, blushing cheek. He did the Simkinsons, or refrain from the assertion of not by this remark design to convey any reference his own independence. He would be polite, but to Simkinson's years, which, however advanced, he would still be himself. So he rapped out a fell considerably short of his own sum. round oath or two in the course of dinner. Mrs "I'll come again, if you 'll ask me,' said my
uncle Simkinson blinked a little at first—as though a graciously in reply to some kindly expressions on Hash of lightning had crossed her path—but the part of the Simkinsons, and he went away in speedily recovered her self-possession. No doubt great good-humour. But he was terribly stern and she had been duly tutored by her husband as to abrupt with the cabman who drove him back to the peculiarities of his partner's vocabulary.
Mole's Buildings. The repast was successful. Some slight failure It was natural, perhaps, that Mrs Simkinson had attended the mashing of the turnips, which should sigh a sigh of relief at his departure—it had greatly afflicted Mrs Simkinson; but the mutton been a trying evening to her. was all that could be wished. Mr Strangways 'I hope you think all went off well, James?' she freely confessed that he had never eaten better, said to her husband. and made altogether an excellent dinner. The Capitally: rolly-poly pudding was quite to his taste ; and by I was dreadfully frightened at first, but I got the time he had enjoyed a glass of port wine as better afterwards. It was foolish of me ; for, after an harmonious accompaniment to his cheese, he all, there wasn't so very much to be afraid of. Í shall was a thoroughly satisfied man, and had put from know better another time. And really, altogether, him all inclination to criticise or find fault. do you know, I think I like Mr Strangways. He's
Indeed, the Simkinsons conducted themselves odd; but there's a great deal of good about him.' most irreproachably. Their manner was completely Simkinson kissed his wife ; but he so often did cordial, simple, and natural. They did not flaunt that, that the fact is hardly worth chronicling. ostentatiously before their guest their connubial happiness ; neither did they oppress him with too urgent and laborious a hospitality. The husband was cheerful and good-humoured without boister- It began to be noticed at the Salutation Tavern, ousness. The wife, a little timid at first, ably and about this time, that a change had come over Mr gracefully seconded her spouse's efforts. She was Strangways. He was not less regular in his soberly dressed in a dark-coloured silk dress, attendance than formerly ; he was nightly to be which permitted no exceptional revelation of her found occupying his accustomed seat by the chimshoulders. Her nose was not more upturned than ney-corner; he consumed with his old appetite nature had ordained. She owned a clear com- his usual allowance of punch, and his fair share of plexion, a pretty smile, a soft voice, and tender the hot suppers provided by the house. Still, he gray eyes, and she certainly looked very young be- was more silent than he had been wont to be, and side her mate. But then, as though to bridge over wore now habitually something of a subdued air. this discrepancy, she wore a neat matronly cap, His utterances were less objurgatory; his sentiments not of too antique or severe a form, nor yet of too were less forcibly delivered. An inclination arose obviously coquettish a description, but a becoming to rally him ; to view him as the sick lion, and head-dress, such as a young married woman might to treat him with inferior reverence compared to assume without incurring accusation of any kind. that he had once enjoyed. Hitherto, the jesting The parlour-maid, it may be added, acquitted her at the Salutation had been abundant enough, but self deftly, and her cap ribbons did not invite it had rarely been provided at my uncle's expense. adverse remark.
There had been a sufficiency of laughter, but it Mr Strangways was punctually supplied with the had not been pointed much in his direction. hot grog for which he had stipulated, and was after- One Royster, of the corn-market, a great frequenter wards solaced with a cup of tea from his own tea of the tavern, noted as a choice spirit, and somepot,' as Mrs Simkinson described the vessel he had thing of a wag, whose waggishness, however, was presented upon her marriage. Could he help being of rather a rude type, now often ventured to banter gratified at the unaffected pride she took in her my uncle. Of old, Simkinson had been an estabmassive silver teapot ? Simkinson did not produce lished target for Royster's jokes, but as these were his flute, but a measure of music nevertheless not very pointed, and Simkinson offered a large distinguished the entertainment ; for the young but robust surface of resistance, no severe measure wife, urged by her guest, sang with excellent taste of execution resulted from the marksman's labours. and expression the old-world ditty of Wapping "We shall have you getting a wife next, StrangOld Stairs. Mr Strangways expressed himself as ways, Royster said one evening; and imitating nuch pleased by this performance, and, indeed, old Simmy. By 'old Simmy,' he of course meant, appeared affected almost to tears by its simple in his uncouth way, reference to Mr Simkinson. grace and pathos. It had possibly been a favourite 'I've heard say that matrimony runs through a song of his in times long past, and tender memories house like measles. There's no getting inoculated and associations had gathered round it. He beat against it. One's taken after another, before you've time to the tune, and altogether developed a toler- time to turn round. Age won't save you. The ance, to say the least of it, for music, that much old uns catch it for all the world like the young