Charles Dickens

When we had fortified ourselves with the rum-and-milk and biscuits,

and were going out for the walk with that training preparation on

us, I was considerably surprised to see Wemmick take up a

fishing-rod, and put it over his shoulder. "Why, we are not going

fishing!" said I. "No," returned Wemmick, "but I like to walk with


I thought this odd; however, I said nothing, and we set off. We

went towards Camberwell Green, and when we were thereabouts,

Wemmick said suddenly:

"Halloa! Here's a church!"

There was nothing very surprising in that; but a gain, I was rather

surprised, when he said, as if he were animated by a brilliant


"Let's go in!"

We went in, Wemmick leaving his fishing-rod in the porch, and

looked all round. In the mean time, Wemmick was diving into his

coat-pockets, and getting something out of paper there.

"Halloa!" said he. "Here's a couple of pair of gloves! Let's put

'em on!"

As the gloves were white kid gloves, and as the post-office was

widened to its utmost extent, I now began to have my strong

suspicions. They were strengthened into certainty when I beheld the

Aged enter at a side door, escorting a lady.

"Halloa!" said Wemmick. "Here's Miss Skiffins! Let's have a


That discreet damsel was attired as usual, except that she was now

engaged in substituting for her green kid gloves, a pair of white.

The Aged was likewise occupied in preparing a similar sacrifice for

the altar of Hymen. The old gentleman, however, experienced so much

difficulty in getting his gloves on, that Wemmick found it

necessary to put him with his back against a pillar, and then to

get behind the pillar himself and pull away at them, while I for my

part held the old gentleman round the waist, that he might present

and equal and safe resistance. By dint of this ingenious Scheme,

his gloves were got on to perfection.

The clerk and clergyman then appearing, we were ranged in order at

those fatal rails. True to his notion of seeming to do it all

without preparation, I heard Wemmick say to himself as he took

something out of his waistcoat-pocket before the service began,

"Halloa! Here's a ring!"

I acted in the capacity of backer, or best-man, to the bridegroom;

while a little limp pew opener in a soft bonnet like a baby's, made

a feint of being the bosom friend of Miss Skiffins. The

responsibility of giving the lady away, devolved upon the Aged,

which led to the clergyman's being unintentionally scandalized, and

it happened thus. When he said, "Who giveth this woman to be

married to this man?" the old gentlemen, not in the least knowing

what point of the ceremony we had arrived at, stood most amiably

beaming at the ten commandments. Upon which, the clergyman said

again, "WHO giveth this woman to be married to this man?" The old

gentleman being still in a state of most estimable unconsciousness,

the bridegroom cried out in his accustomed voice, "Now Aged P. you

know; who giveth?" To which the Aged replied with great briskness,

before saying that he gave, "All right, John, all right, my boy!"

And the clergyman came to so gloomy a pause upon it, that I had

doubts for the moment whether we should get completely married that


It was completely done, however, and when we were going out of

church, Wemmick took the cover off the font, and put his white

gloves in it, and put the cover on again. Mrs. Wemmick, more heedful

of the future, put her white gloves in her pocket and assumed her

green. "Now, Mr. Pip," said Wemmick, triumphantly shouldering the

fishing-rod as we came out, "let me ask you whether anybody would

suppose this to be a wedding-party!"

Breakfast had been ordered at a pleasant little tavern, a mile or

so away upon the rising ground beyond the Green, and there was a

bagatelle board in the room, in case we should desire to unbend our

minds after the solemnity.