Just before three o'clock Mr. and Mrs. Newton
went together to the parlor and sat down by a small
table covered with a white cloth, on which there lay
a Bible and a Book of Common Prayer. A few
minutes later David and Robert came in, and stood
talking to them, until the door opened and Theo
dora and Mercedes entered. Then Mr. Newton
stood up, and Robert and Theodora stood before
him, and renewed their marriage vows in the most
solemn and simple manner. There were no decora
tions, no music, no attendants, no company, nothing
but a prayer, and the old, old ritual of a thousand
years. But after it Mr. Newton told them in a
few sentences, how supremely important love is to
" It perishes without love," he said. " To the
soul love is blessing, love is salvation, love is the
guardian angel, and without love the centrifugal law
easily overpowers and sweeps it far out from its
divine source, towards the cold frontiers of the ma
terial and the manifold."
Then there was a tender and cheerful good-bye,
and Robert and Theodora went to their new home.
They wandered hand in hand through all its beau
tiful rooms, and through the scented walks of its fair
garden, and Robert said : " It is a palace in Paradise,
" And I am so happy ! So proud, and so happy,
dear Robert! " she answered.
After a perfect dinner at their own table, Robert
went to his wife's parlor to smoke his cigar, and
A Reconstructed Marriage 393
then he told her all about his last unhappy visit to
his family, and his native land.
It was the necessary minor note in their joyful
wedding song, but it soon returned to its triumphant
dominant, since they must needs rejoice in that loving
Power which had so surely " tempered all things
" Had worked their -pleasure out of pain,
And out of ruin golden gain."
And as they talked in the splendid room, with its
sweet odors and dim light, their voices grew lower,
and they were content to whisper each other's names,
and fall into sweet silences, thrilled with such soft
stir, as angels in their cloud-girt wayfarings know,
when they " feel the breath of kindred plumes."
" The tumult of the time disconsolate.
To inarticulate murmurs died away."
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