Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!

Fannie’s Bridal
by [?]


IT was to be a quiet wedding. Fannie would have it so; only his relations. She, poor thing, was an orphan, and only spirit-parents could hover around her on this great era of her life.

The bride entered the large, sunny parlour, leaning upon the arm of her stately husband. Her white lace robe, and the fleecy veil upon her head, floated cloud-like around her fragile, almost child-like form. Peace hovered like a white dove over her pure brow, and a truthful earnestness dwelt in the dark brown eyes.

On one side of the room nearest the bay-windows,
Where the sunset kept shining and shining between
The old hawthorn blossoms and branches so green,

stood the eight brothers of the groom. All tall, dark, stately men, pride in ever black glancing eye; the same curl upon every finely formed lip, harsh upon some, softer upon others, yet still there, tracing the same blood through all; the same inherent qualities of the father transmitted to the sons. One brother was a type of all, differing only as pictures and copies–in the shade and touch.

Upon the opposite aside were seated the five sisters of the groom, not so like one another. One had blue eyes, another auburn curls, one a nose retroussé, a fourth was fresh and rosy, a fifth round-faced; still the same pride had found a resting-place on some fine feature of each face, and stamped it with the seal of sisterhood. The same sap ran in all the branches, and each branch put forth the same leaves.

The thirteen faces had been stern and cold, but when their youngest brother and his fair bride came in, affection and curiosity softened their eyes, as for the first time she appeared before them. Some thought her too delicate, others too young; the sisters, that Harwood could have looked higher; but all felt drawn to that shrinking form and pale countenance; each hand had a warm grasp for hers, each curling lip a sweet smile, and the manly voices softened to welcome her into their proud family. Gracefully she received all, happy and joyful as a child. But the first shadow fell with the sunlight.

“Brothers and sisters,” said Harwood pleadingly, “upon this my wedding day cast aside your bitterness of spirit for ever, and become as one–“

“Harwood!” replied quickly the elder sister, “upon this–this happy day, we hide all feelings called forth by the malice and unbrother-like conduct of our brothers, but only for the present; we, can never become reconciled.”

A silence fell upon all; strange as it may seem, the sisters were colder and sterner than the brothers. A frown settled upon every brow; the lips curled with contempt. A storm was tossing the waves, but peace breathed upon the waters and all was calm. The presence of the bride restrained angry expressions of feeling.

This was the first knowledge that Fannie had of the family feud; tears stood in her soft eyes, and the rosy lips trembled; but her husband’s bright glance, and gentle pressure of her hand, reassured her. There was no more warmth that day–during the ceremony and the brief stay of the newly married. The sisters gathered around the young wife, and the brothers around Harwood. Occasional words were interchanged; but there reigned an invisible barrier, that seemed to say “so far shalt thou come but no farther.”

When the carriage stood at the door and Fannie and Harwood stepped in, she stretched out her pretty hand and beckoned to the elder brother and sister; they approached; she took a hand of each, saying in a trembling voice:

“You both breathe the same air; the same beautiful sunlight shines upon you; you pray to the same God, both say ‘forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us.’ Be examples for those younger–let me join your hands–” But the sister, with a frown, threw aside the little hand rudely, the brother pressed the one he held, but laughed maliciously. The carriage drove on, and the fair head rested sobbing upon the shoulder of her husband. Sadly did he relate to her the family feud, a quarrel of ten years’ standing; sisters against brothers, resting on a belief of unfairness in the disposition of the will of a relation. The sisters passed the brothers upon the street without speaking, refused them admittance to their house. Harwood being the youngest, was too young to take part in the quarrel, and had never been expected to do so.