<h2>LECTURE XIX - MRS. CAUDLE THINKS “IT WOULD LOOK WELL TO KEEP THEIR WEDDING-DAY.”</h2>
<p>“Caudle, love, do you know what next Sunday is?</p>
<p>“<i>No</i>!<i> you don’t</i>?</p>
<p>“Well, was there ever such a strange man! Can’t
you guess, darling? Next Sunday, dear? Think, love, a minute
- just think.</p>
<p>“<i>What</i>!<i> and you don’t know now</i>?</p>
<p>“Ha! if I hadn’t a better memory than you, I don’t
know how we should ever get on. Well, then, pet, - shall I tell
you what next Sunday is? Why, then, it’s our wedding-day
- What are you groaning at, Mr. Caudle? I don’t see anything
to groan at. If anybody should groan, I’m sure it isn’t
you. No: I rather think it’s I who ought to groan!</p>
<p>“Oh, dear! That’s fourteen years ago. You
were a very different man then, Mr. Caudle. What do you say -
<p>“<i>And I was a very different woman</i>?</p>
<p>“Not at all - just the same. Oh, you needn’t roll
your head about on the pillow in that way: I say, just the same.
Well, then, if I’m altered, whose fault is it? Not mine,
I’m sure - certainly not. Don’t tell me that I couldn’t
talk at all then - I could talk just as well then as I can now; only
then I hadn’t the same cause. It’s you who’ve
made me talk. What do you say?</p>
<p>“<i>You’re very sorry for it</i>?</p>
<p>“Caudle, you do nothing but insult me.</p>
<p>“Ha! you were a good-tempered, nice creature fourteen years
ago, and would have done anything for me. Yes, yes, if a woman
would be always cared for, she should never marry. There’s
quite an end of the charm when she goes to church! We’re
all angels while you’re courting us; but once married, how soon
you pull our wings off! No, Mr. Caudle, I’m not talking
nonsense; but the truth is, you like to hear nobody talk but yourself.
Nobody ever tells me that I talk nonsense but you. Now, it’s
no use your turning and turning about in that way, it’s not a
bit of - what do you say?</p>
<p>“<i>You’ll get up</i>?</p>
<p>“No you won’t, Mr. Caudle; you’ll not serve me
that trick again; for I’ve locked the door and hid the key.
There’s no getting hold of you all the day-time - but here you
can’t leave me. You needn’t groan again, Mr. Caudle.</p>
<p>“Now, Caudle, dear, do let us talk comfortably. After
all, love, there’s a good many folks who, I daresay, don’t
get on half so well as we’ve done. We’ve both our
little tempers, perhaps; but you <i>are</i> aggravating; you must own
that, Caudle. Well, never mind; we won’t talk of it; I won’t
scold you now. We’ll talk of next Sunday, love. We
never have kept our wedding-day, and I think it would be a nice day
to have our friends. What do you say?</p>
<p>“<i>They’d think it hypocrisy</i>?</p>
<p>“No hypocrisy at all. I’m sure I try to be comfortable;
and if ever man was happy, you ought to be. No, Caudle, no; it
isn’t nonsense to keep wedding-days; it isn’t a deception
on the world; and if it is, how many people do it! I’m sure
it’s only a proper compliment that a man owes to his wife.
Look at the Winkles - don’t they give a dinner every year?
Well, I know, and if they do fight a little in the course of the twelvemonth,
that’s nothing to do with it. They keep their wedding-day,
and their acquaintance have nothing to do with anything else.</p>
<p>“As I say, Caudle, it’s only a proper compliment that
a man owes to his wife to keep his wedding-day. It’s as
much as to say to the whole world - ‘There! if I had to marry
again, my blessed wife’s the only woman I’d choose!’
Well! I see nothing to groan at, Mr. Caudle - no, nor to sigh
at either; but I know what you mean: I’m sure, what would have
become of you if you hadn’t married as you have done - why, you’d
have been a lost creature! I know it; I know your habits, Caudle;
and - I don’t like to say it, but you’d have been little
better than a ragamuffin. Nice scrapes you’d have got into,
I know, if you hadn’t had me for a wife. The trouble I’ve
had to keep you respectable - and what’s my thanks? Ha!
I only wish you’d had some women!</p>
<p>“But we won’t quarrel, Caudle. No; you don’t
mean anything, I know. We’ll have this little dinner, eh?
Just a few friends? Now don’t say you don’t care -
that isn’t the way to speak to a wife; and especially the wife
I’ve been to you, Caudle. Well, you agree to the dinner,
eh? Now, don’t grunt, Mr. Caudle, but speak out. You’ll
keep your wedding-day? What?</p>
<p>“<i>If I let you go to sleep</i>?</p>
<p>“Ha! that’s unmanly, Caudle. Can’t you say
‘Yes,’ without anything else? I say - can’t
you say ‘Yes’? There, bless you! I knew you
<p>“And now, Caudle, what shall we have for dinner? No -
we won’t talk of it to-morrow; we’ll talk of it now, and
then it will be off my mind. I should like something particular
- something out of the way - just to show that we thought the day something.
I should like - Mr. Caudle, you’re not asleep?</p>
<p>“<i>What do I want</i>?</p>
<p>“Why, you know I want to settle about the dinner.</p>
<p>“<i>Have what I like</i>?</p>
<p>“No: as it’s your fancy to keep the day, it’s only
right that I should try to please you. We never had one, Caudle;
so what do you think of a haunch of venison? What do you say?</p>
<p>“<i>Mutton will do</i>?</p>
<p>“Ha! that shows what you think of your wife: I dare say if
it was with any of your club friends - any of your pot-house companions
- you’d have no objection to venison. I say if - what do
<p>“<i>Let it be venison</i>?</p>
<p>“Very well. And now about the fish? What do you
think of a nice turbot? No, Mr. Caudle, brill won’t do -
it shall be turbot, or there sha’n’t be any fish at all.
Oh, what a mean man you are, Caudle! Shall it be turbot?</p>
<p>“Very well. And now about the soup - now, Caudle, don’t
swear at the soup in that manner; you know there must be soup.
Well, once in a way, and just to show our friends how happy we’ve
been, we’ll have some real turtle.</p>
<p>“<i>No, you won’t, you’ll have nothing but mock</i>?</p>
<p>“Then, Mr. Caudle, you may sit at the table by yourself.
Mock-turtle on a wedding-day! Was there ever such an insult?
What do you say?</p>
<p>“<i>Let it be real, then, for once</i>?</p>
<p>“Ha, Caudle! As I say, you were a very different person
fourteen years ago. And, Caudle, you’ll look after the venison?
There’s a place I know, somewhere in the City, where you get it
beautiful! You’ll look to it?</p>
<p>“And now who shall we invite?</p>
<p>“<i>Who I like</i>?</p>
<p>“Now, you know, Caudle, that’s nonsense; because I only
like whom you like. I suppose the Prettymans must come?
But understand, Caudle, I don’t have Miss Prettyman: I’m
not going to have my peace of mind destroyed under my own roof! if she
comes, I don’t appear at the table. What do you say?</p>
<p>“Very well be it, then.</p>
<p>“And now, Caudle, you’ll not forget the venison?
In the City, my dear? You’ll not forget the venison?
A haunch, you know; a nice haunch. And you’ll not forget
the venison - ?”</p>
<p>“<i>Three times did I fall off to sleep</i>,” says Caudle,
“<i>and three times did my wife nudge me with her elbow, exclaiming</i>
- ‘<i>You’ll not forget the venison</i>?’ <i>At
last I got into a sound slumber, and dreamt I was a pot of currant jelly</i>.”</p>
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