Tit-Bits, November 24, 1900




At Ipswich recently a marriage was about to take place when it was discovered that the bridegroom was not present. Nobody had seen or heard anything of him, and the greatest confusion reigned until, some twenty minutes after the hour appointed for the service, his brother appeared on a bicycle with the news that the missing gentleman was too busy to come, but would present himself at church on the following day.

When the wedding-party reassembled at the time mentioned the bridegroom was present, but this time the bride had absented herself. A search was instituted, and she was found at her home, arrayed in wedding-dress, but evidently determined to pay her fiancé back in his own coin. She yielded, however, at last, and this eccentric pair were successfully united.

Most men are apt to be nervous on the last evening of their bachelor life, and a man living in a town near Bristol was no exception. So agitated, indeed, was he that he had to take a powerful opiate before he could get to sleep. The draught proved instantly successful, and he was soon asleep. But, unfortunately, in his nervousness he had mixed so strong a dose that, when the appointed hour arrived, he was still in a deep stupor. Nor did he awake until late in the following afternoon, when he found everybody in the greatest consternation, thinking that he was in a cataleptic trance, from which he would never awake. Luckily for all concerned the drug left no bad effects, and the marriage was celebrated at the earliest possible moment.

A ludicrous case occurred recently where both bride and bridegroom missed the wedding. On the wedding-morning the bridegroom received a letter from the bride informing him that she had changed her mind and had married a more favored rival at a registry-office that morning. Curiously enough, the bridegroom had himself sent a letter the night before, begging her to release him from his engagement, as he was certain that they could never be really happy together.

Cases of either the man or the woman saying “No” when the marriage service requires them to say “Yes,” though rare, have been known to happen. Several years ago a man lost his intended wife in this way owing to his irritable temper. On the marriage-day he had been the victim of a number of small accidents, and, thinking himself alone, he had indulged in some strong language, which the lady happened to overhear, and, thinking that life with a man of such bad temper would be most unpleasant, caused a unique sensation by saying “No” instead of “Yes,” and walking out of the church. Nor could all the arguments of the bridegroom induce her to relent.



This is Wodehouse’s first paid contribution to a periodical of general circulation, as opposed to magazines aimed at a schoolboy readership. His entry in Money Received for Literary Work notes the publication date as November 21, but the actual issue is dated November 24.


   A wedding was arranged at a church in Ipswich recently. On the appointed day everybody but the bridegroom put in an appearance. The clergyman’s patience was well-nigh exhausted, when some one arrived on a bicycle and announced that the bridegroom said he was too busy to go to the church. The ceremony was accordingly postponed until next day. On this occasion the bridegroom appeared, but the bride did not. A messenger was sent for the bride, who was found sitting at home, but after much persuasion she consented to go to church, and the nuptial knot was tied.
  (Portsmouth Evening News, October 23, 1900)