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A Beggar's Wedding

Anecdotes Home




Dean Swift being in the country, on a visit to Dr.
Sheridan, they were informed that a beggar's wedding was about to be
celebrated. Sheridan played well upon the violin; Swift therefore proposed
that he should go to the place where the ceremony was to be performed,
disguised as a blind fiddler, while he attended him as his man. Thus
accoutred they set out, and were received by the jovial crew with great
acclamation. They had plenty of good cheer, and never was a more joyous
wedding seen. All was mirth and frolic; the beggars told stories, played
tricks, cracked jokes, sung and danced, in a manner which afforded high
amusement to the fiddler and his man, who were well rewarded when they
departed, which was not till late in the evening. The next day the Dean and
Sheridan walked out in their usual dress, and found many of their late
companions, hopping about upon crutches, or pretending to be blind, pouring
forth melancholy complaints and supplications for charity. Sheridan
distributed among them the money he had received; but the Dean, who hated
all mendicants, fell into a violent passion, telling them of his adventure
of the preceding day, and threatening to send every one of them to prison.
This had such an effect, that the blind opened their eyes, and the lame
threw away their crutches, running away as fast as their legs could carry
them.





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