Monday, November 28, 2022

Impulsiveness and loyalty

From a Christmas Cracker, about Vincenzo Valdrati Valdre "while at Stowe he attended a wedding and when the bridegroom failed to appear, he was so moved at the bride’s distress that he chivalrously offered himself as a substitute – and was accepted."

You have to look something like that up. The life of James Gandon, Esq

A strong, though rather comical, illustration of his character was given in the mode of his marriage with an English lady some short time before his visit to Ireland. When in a convivial mood, with a few select friends, he was sometimes induced to give the following account of his courtship and marriage:

"With some others, I was invited to a wedding, which was to take place in the neighborhood of Stowe, in Buckinghamshire. When the parties invited on this occasion assembled at the church, one only was absent, namely, the bridegroom! whose presence was, of course, most anxiously required. The clergyman to officiate, and the vigilant clerk, were duly in attendance; minutes passed rapidly away, and the church clock struck an hour after the appointed time. All eyes were directed to the porch of the church, until it became evident that some fatal cause would interfere with the performance of the ceremony--that all was not right with some of the parties concerned."

"The worthy clergyman at length closed his book, in which was fruitlessly deposited a small slip of paper containing the names of the intended bride and bridegroom, then left the church; the bride adjusted her veil with a dissatisfied countenance, and all parties were preparing to depart for their respective homes. Feeling the distressing situation of the neglected lady, I boldly offered my services and offered my arm to lead the intended bride out of church."

"With feelings I felt a difficulty in checking or explaining, I boldly offered myself as a substitute for the absent suitor. Nor was my spirited conduct slightly appreciated--a blushing approval sanctioned my honorable and gallant conduct. The clergyman was overtaken and requested to return, as matters had assumed a new feature. Return he did, but on the explanation of the affair, it became his unpleasant duty to state to the elated and happy pair, `that three successive Sundays must pass over before it would be in his power to contribute to the happiness we so eagerly anticipated.'"

In short, the newly betrothed parties did wait the protracted period. The original truant, the cause of so many variations of the compass, continued absent, we may presume with leave; and his successor, Waldre being a man of honour, a "chevalier sans peur et sans reproche," patiently abided the appointed time, at the end of which the volunteering parties were happily united as man and wife.

I gather that they were married for of the order of 30-40 years until his death (hers followed shortly).

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