« ElőzőTovább »
crowded the courtyard in front of the reception-room, while her husband is es. bouse; the bridal chair again made its corted by his friends up the other side. appearance; and not without much trouble In the centre of this room is a large table the newly made wife was got out and half with two seats at one end, the right one for carried into the house. It was here that the bride, the left for the groom. While I first had an opportunity to see the bridal the couple are proceeding to their places, clothes. These, like the bridal chair, are a man, a relative of the groom, stands by generally hired for the occasion at a great the table, and in the soberest manner, yet expense; but we were told that, as far as the in a sing song tone, pours forth complibride's costume went, it was her own prop- mentary speeches about the bride and all erty and the work of her own hands. The her relations; while opposite to him an material of her dress or robe was of rich old woman, representing the bride's fam. crimson silk, beautifully embroidered in ily, does the same by the groom and his gold and colors, the design embodying relations. This simply amounts to an exalmost everything you can think of - How- pression of mutual flattery. The table is ers, vines, houses, trees, animals, birds, decorated with flowers, amongst which is butterflies, beetles, and lots of other things, a stone jar filled with money which has jumbled together in an artistic but appar. been given to the bride. Besides this, all ently meaningless manner.
the guests are supposed to make presents The dress consists of two pieces, the of money to the bride; and in many cases lower one or skirt being the more elabo- the couple are dependent on these offerrately worked; while the sleeves of the ings to defray the expenses of the wedding upper garment and the middle of the back in fact, that is what it is for, just like a were one solid mass of embroidery. Over collection at church. her head she wears a very thick red silk While the complimentary speeches are veil, through which she can manage to being droned out with many bows and see what is going on without being seen much solemnity, some eatables are being herself. This reaches below ber waist. brought in by an old waiting-woman, and Over the veil she wears an immense bridal set upon the table in front of the happy crown of gold or "looksee" gold. This pair. These comprise about a dozen appears so heavy that it makes you tired dishes of all kinds of Chinese foods, rather to look at it. It is about eighteen inches decorative than substantial, and are high, and is made up of almost everything brought in for appearance only. A woman ornamental, heaped up tier above tier approaches the bride, and with chopsticks gilt, real gold, jade, silver, silk, embroid- and bowl in hand pretends to feed her eries, pendants, tassels – in fact, a pile with some of the viands; but as the heavy of Christmas-tree ornaments, weighing veil is never lifted, nothing whatever is several pounds. What must this poor eaten, and only the appearance of it is ingirl have suffered wearing it all day! This dulged in. The same office is performed crown is invariably hired.
by another woman for the bridegroom, The bridegroom's dress was also hired, who, though not veiled, was equally conas the young gentleman having affected tent with going through the motions. European clothes was not in possession Then a glass of native wine is poured out of a Chinese wardrobe. His costume was and handed to the groom, who puts it to of ink-blue satin, heavily embroidered with his lips only; the same cup is then applied gold, the back being plain, with the excep- to the outside of the bride's veil, and both tion of a square of about ten inches be. are supposed to have partaken. The tween his shoulders of very rich gold couple are then tied together, always at a embroidery, which I thought at the time respectful distance, by two pieces of colwould just make a nice anti-macassar. ored silk ribbon, red and green, the ends We learned afterwards that this unwilling of which are tied to the right wrist of the husband had been obliged to return to groom, and the left of the bride. This, I China by his parents, who have supreme believe, is the nuptial knot. In this posiauthority over their children here ; also, tion they remain for about a quarter of an that his queue or pigtail was false, and hour, being subjected to the gaze of all was fastened inside his hat, removable the guests and inflicted with more music with same.
by the band, which has by this time found Arrived at the house of the bridegroom, its way into the room. or the substitute for it, the Chinese cere- In due time that is, when every. mony begins. The bride is accompanied body's patience is quite exhausted - the by her bridesmaids, her servants, and her couple are released from their silken bondfriends, who lead her up one side of the age, and are conducted, each in the es
cort of two women, out of the room and covered with red paper, with gauze on the up-stairs to the bridal chamber, all the top, through which you could see that visitors following in the train. This each contained a small handful of Chinese chamber contains, among other things, a confections. Every one leaving the bridal bed of great splendor
-a complete mu- chamber received a box. This seum in itself. In shape it is a very large-sponds to our custom of giving each guest sized four-poster of dark red hard wood, a piece of wedding cake, and, indeed, may richly carved, and with small round slabs have been its origin. of mottled Chinese marble let in wherever The whole company, followed by the there seems a place for them. But the bride and bridegroom, then descend to a principal feature is the richly embroidered reception-room, shortly to be shown into curtains hanging from the top of the frame a long room furnished only with chairs. down to the ground, but made in such a In the middle of the floor is a piece of red way that the wooden frame of the bed is cloth ; on one side are two bridal chairs, allowed to be seen in front of the draper. very elaborate and colored red, standing a ies. The bedclothes consisted of a num- little distance apart; and facing these, 'on ber of band-worked quilts, and two the other side of the carpet, are two ordimagnificently embroidered pillows, which nary chairs for the reception of the guests were laid down the middle of the bed in each in turn. These chairs, however, very neat order. Outside the curtains, were scarcely used on this occasion, the this extraordinary piece of furniture was guests remaining standing. This part of ornamented with all sorts of small speci. the ceremony - it was more like a scene in mens of embroidery of varied designs, a drama — was perhaps the most charac. looking like pen-wipers, pincushions, and teristic of the Chinese ways and customs, the like, some shaped like dragons, others and was devoted entirely to “chin-chin," square or triangular, and all dissimilar. or saluting. The groom had taken up his We heard that all these elaborate einbroid- place beside one of the chairs, and ihere eries were the work of the bride, and that stood ready to receive and pay homage she had probably spent the whole of her to the male guests each in turn; while life in preparing for this great event, such beside the other chair stood the bride, being the custom among Chinese women. bowing to the lady guests.
Having reached the bridal chamber, the The gentleman who chanted the comcompany proceeded to examine the wed. plimentary speeches at the make-believe ding presents, which were displayed on breakfast table now acted as master of the the Chinese dressing-table. These were ceremonies, and brought in a male friend, partly Chinese, partly foreign, but all very placing him directly in front of the bride. pice and well chosen a pair of costly groom. Then commenced a series of vases, a manicure set, a toilet set, Japanese Oriental salaams; the husband, the guests, tea-service, pieces of silk embroidery and the master of ceremonies all on their made by friends, and many other things knees, and with hands clasped, and raised beside jewellery. But what was very char- above their heads, bow down to the ground acteristic was noticed on one side of the again and again. In order to enable them
a pile of black boxes tied up with to move together, the master of ceremonies strips of red paper. These boxes were sings a doleful strain, rising and falling to heaped up one over the other till they suit the action, and apparently done to nearly reached the ceiling. There may enable the trio to move in concert. The have been twenty of them, all as like as more influential or rich the guest, the more peas, and each large enough to contain “chin-chin ” they receive. two or three ladies' dresses. It is regarded The first male guest having been disas a sign of wealth to have a large number posed of, the groom takes a rest, and our of these ; and such is their love for show, attention is directed to the bride. She is that a Chinese lady would sooner not be assisted by an ahma (Chinese nurse), who married than not have a large display of stands beside her and assists her to bow these boxes, which are supposed to con- in a manner which seems more forcible tain her trousseau. Of course, some of than polite. A lady having been placed these boxes may have been empty, and opposite, the same show begins, and the others may have contained old clothes, as same extravagant salutations are indulged great care was observed to have them in. Then the groom begins with another sealed up and their contents safe from man, while the bride has an opportunity examination.
to straighten out her back, and so on, until In one corner of the room, on a table, all the celebrities and intimate friends were a number of small cardboard boxes, I have been done homage to. With this,
FROM REAL LIFE.
the first day's ceremonies are at an end, | he retired from the field of conversation in and the festivities begin. Other portions favor of the driver. As we passed an old of the wedding festivities are held on the ruined castle, the latter inquired if we next two or three days, the final festivity "had iver heerd tell av how the crows not taking place for some days. It takes falled 'the rest av it.” As we had not, a long time to get married in China. he proceeded with the narrative as fol
lows: “Well, there was wonst a grand young lady who lived near Ballywire, an'
she was very rich intirely, an' she had a From The Spectator.
grate rookery near her place. Well, be AN IRISH MAIL-CAR DRIVER.
the same token, she was iver an' always goin' to balls an' parties an' operas an’
thayaters, and would only be rowlin' home WE travelled l'ately through a portion of in her carriage at four o'clock in the a southern Irish county, as yet untapped mornin'. An' when she'd want to go to by a railway, on a mail.car. The fare was sleep, the crows wouldn't let her close an marvellously low - Is. 6d. for a journey eye at all, at all. So she gothered a party of twelve English miles and if ihe wit of her gintleman frinds, and they were of the car-driver be thrown in, it was ridic. shootin' at thim same crows mornin', noon, ulously cheap.
and night; but they might as aisy have Our driver, who was rather a solid, so bailed the Shannon wid a tay.spoon, for ber-looking "gossoon,” did not at first all the good they did. Well, at long an sight promise much amusement. But ap- at last there was an ould pinshioner came pearances are deceitful, and Shakespeare the way, and he med an offer to the lady himself has told us that “there is no art to to do away wid the crows for fifty pound. find the mind's construction in the face.” • Done,' says she; ‘for all that I'in afther He warmed up after we had“shoved on a losin' a dale av money over thim same bit,” and when he had been stimulated crows,' says she, 'fifty pound doesn't matby the remarks of an asylum porter, who ter a traneen to me, wan way or another,' proudly said he owed his position to the says she. Well, me bould pinshioner, patronage of two “lards." “Oh! if it's what did he do but off wid him into Lim. lards ye're for talkin' about,” observed the erick, and spint twenty pound av the fifty driver, “the nicest lard I iver met is Lard on bird-lime. An' when he came back, he Mountmellick [we slightly transform the plasthered all the trees with the bird-lime, title]; he's the grandest lard av the day. whin the crows was aff on their divarsions He niver smoke anything but a long clay in the day time. Well, home they came pipe, as long as the crop av me whip (here agin, shure enough, when the night was he suited the action to the word), and he falling, an' wint to roost. And whin they niver smoke anything but the common were sound asleep, an’ well clung to the twist tobaccy. This lard's a grate smoker trees wid the bird-lime, what does the pinintirely; he'll ardher a box av these long shioner do but walk into the rookery wid a clays wid thirty in it at a time, an' he'll double-barrelled gun. An' whin he fired niver drop smoking wan av thim till he off a couple av shots, the crows all flapped have it colored as black as me hat." This their wings to fly; but they were so clung testimony to his lordship seemed incon. to the branches by the bird-lime, they testable, but the driver proceeded to im. couldn't stir at all, at all. Well, they prove upon it. “An' he's sich a lard for pulled an' they dragged all as wan, till sport. “John,' he'd say to me wan day they pulled all the trees in the rookery out lately, where do you spind your Sun- by the roots, an' few off wid thim. An'
(Sunday was a sort of off-day the first thing they came against was this with the driver, and at least a half-holiday.) ould castle; an' they falled it ivery bit to " At home in Glounagoleen, me lard,' pieces but the wan wall that is left. An' says I. "Well, John,' says he if ye want it's not very long since I tould this story to enjoy yourself some Sunday,' says he, to two English gintlemen; an' they were . bring a couple av dogs wid you,' says he, so plased wid it, they made me tell it over 'an' take a day's huntin' in my demesne,' agin.” says he. Look at that for ye now! Look There were six passengers on the mail at that for a lard !” The asylum porter car; and in the intervals of story-telling, was quite abashed by the recital of such their conversation was entirely political, personal friendship and familiarity on the the Anti-Parnellite element outnumbering part of a lard, as his two lards had only the Parnellite. The chief Parnellite advo used their influence for him officially, and I cate was considerably “under the influ
ence,” or, as the universal formula in this annuity, and he has my leave to die in Ireland is, “had drink taken," before the the Poorhouse. car started. However, when a 'halt was There is a long codicil to tbe will, made made at a village post-office on the way, he in the following year, explainiog at great found it necessary to be in company with length why the “irreclaimable booby bad John Jameson again. Though he could been so treated. It describes his experihardly maintain the perpendicular, it was ences at the gold-fields, —as a gold-digger, marvellous how very slightly his powers of a horse.dealer, a flour-merchant, a trafficker expression were affected. His language in boots and shoes - quite an amusing was well chosen, courteous, and coherent. biographical sketch, written in a style of The whole controversy was conducted in most severe sarcasm. It concludes as the most amicable spirit, notwithstanding follows: the decided differences of opinion among the speakers, and was in its own way an ex; his mouth. This is the career of this man of
He returned to Ireland with his finger in cellent illustration of Irish conversational
the world. I only ask any man to say is it to power. The car-driver himself seemed such a man I ought to leave the independence rather undecided; he declared that if a I have so hardly earned. vote would put Parnell into heaven," he couldn't give it to him, for he hadn't wan to
A medical friend is remembered thus: give!”. And when pressed with the atti. When I had an opportunity I called him in, tude of the bishops, he observed that “if which was a great advantage to him profeshe knew William O'Brien's mind was to go sionally, as he was well paid. Mr. C.'s case, wid Parnell, he'd be for him too.” William the one when I amputated, he got a larger fee O'Brien was evidently his pope in the than myself. B.'s when upset by Mail Coach matter, if he could only know his mind. was another, and others also. I now make We desire to add here, by way of conclu- him a present of my works on surgery and any
instruments I may
have. sion to this article, a remarkable specimen of readiness attributed to an Irish rector, desire all other books not medical, with soup
I give my medical books to Mr. W. G. I father of a living Irish bishop, who was ladle and large silver Tankard being long in beneficed in the county where our car. my family, and also my silver snuff-boxes, to driver plies his whip. A "fish-jolter” be packed up in a chest down-stairs, painted called at the rectory one day with fish fo [sic], properly fastened, and directed to $. M., sale. “What have you to-day ?” " Sole Hobart Town, Tasmania. and plaice, your Reverence; the finest I desire to be buried in my tomb in T. iver swum the say.” Rector, after exam-churchyard, and that no laborer with spade ining them for some time: “Damn your have seen this class committing great sacrilege
or shovel be allowed to enter my tomb. I sole, leave the plaice." It would not be
in order to show their work and trouble. I easy to get a better specimen of a double wish quicklime to be strewed thick in bottom pun than this.
of coffin, and when corpse is in to have lime thrown over it. While alive I have a great abhorrence of insects, and may have the same though dead.
I leave and bequeath to Mr. J. M. an anA CURIOUS IRISH WILL.
nuity of £10 a year, to be paid half-yearly, as [TO THE EDITOR OF THE SPECTATOR.] he is the most distressed of all his respectable SIR, – So recently as the year 1874, a because he was a near relative of my deceased
relations, not from any regard for bim, but professional gentleman in the south of
wife. Ireland made a will some extracts from I leave the Parlor maid £10 on giving up which are here given. The will was lent all articles entrusted to her care in good or. to me by a parishioner; but for obvious der; she has the key of plate-chest. reasons I do not give the name and ad- Scarves and hatbands may be bought at dress of the testator :
O'C. and L.'s; these men employed me; but
I will not have a coffin made in T., from the I leave and bequeath an annuity of £ 120 a way my niece was served and treated. year, an ample provision for an irreclaimable booby, to my nephew, I. L. C., to be paid Are there many instances of wills such hiin only in Australia or any British colony, as this being made the vehicle for personal where he may desire it to be remitted to him. reflections? I am, sir, etc., Should the said I. L. C. return to Ire
COURTENAY MOORE, M.A. land, England, or Scotland, I then revoke Mitchelstown Rectory, March 21st.
CONTENTS. 1. POLITICS IN FICTION,
Nineteenth Century, VI. THE MUQADDAM OF SPINS,
Nature, XI. MODERN GOTHS,
400 405 411
432 439 445 447
TERMS OF SUBSCRIPTION. For Eight DOLLARS, remitted directly to the Publishers, the LIVING AGE will be punctually forwarded for a year, free of postage.
Remittances should be made by bank draft or check, or by post-office money-order, if possible. If neither of these can be procured, the money should be sent in a registered letter. All postmasters are obliged to register letters wben requested to do so. Drafts, checks, and money-orders should be made payable to the order of LITTELL & Co.
Single Numbers of The LIVING AGB, 18 cents.