Friday, 4 November 2016

The Quaker (and Quaking) Brides

I read an interesting story last night. What made it so remarkable is that it apparently was true.

Let me put it in my own words. 
“Welcome to our home, Katharine,” Cynthia’s adopted parents greeted the young lady warmly and Cynthia, although only seventeen and several years younger than their guest, did also. 
               Katharine was looking around at the verdant countryside, so different from her city- dwelling when a man on horseback came into view. What interested her most was Cynthia’s quick, in-take of breath, but she quickly composed herself. 
               “Good morning, I hope thee fares well,” the young man greeted them. “I come to inform thee of our wedding plans this week Saturday.”
               Katharine heard the babble of acknowledgment and well wishes but her eyes were fixed on the demure young maid: were her cheeks paler, perhaps? But before she could come to any conclusion, she saw Richard cast Cynthia a quick, wistful glance before reining the horse in and trotting off. 
               Katharine soon realized that the Frye’s wanted to regale her with stories of the Civil War, so recently past. She wondered how Cynthia put up with it, because although adopted, it had been her mother’s dying wish that her daughter would be raised in the Quaker faith. Cynthia was sent to mingle with the Quakers each weekend which she embraced wholeheartedly. 
               ‘What a lovely breeze this fine evening, and with the scent of honeysuckle lingering in the air, I think sitting on the porch will be a fine way to relax, Katharine thought, secretly adding: and escape all those dreadful war stories. 
               She was taken by surprize when a flushed, agitated Cynthia joined her a moment later. Cynthia was usually the picture of sweetness, discretion, and composure.
               Katharine was a discerning lass and quickly realized that her haunches were correct. Cynthia was in love with Richard, and he had become enthralled by a dusky beauty recently adopted by her Quaker aunt and uncle. Cynthia, who was fair of face and form, had been supplanted by this glamorous stranger!

Katharine did what she could to council the sweet, lovely damsel without showing undue sympathy.
The wedding day came, and true to form, Cynthia arrived pretending that all was well: but all was not well! That somber Quaker wedding had a disruption rarely seen at religious meetings, let alone among such conservative people, and no, it wasn’t Cynthia that started it!
               Dora had begun to say her part of the vow: but can you believe it? She flung herself down at her aunt’s feet and said, “I cannot do it, oh I cannot!” (I think her relatives had been pressuring her into it!) 
               Of course, this caused a disturbance and her uncle demanded if she was mad or if she had heard evil tales about the young man. She admitted she had not but continued sobbing.
               “There is something within me that tells me ill of him, and I dare not marry him.”
               Well, if Richard was anything, he was conscientious, so he said, “What man can know his own heart, and if it was revealed to this pure maiden how evil I am then it is best that I know the truth.”
               Now comes Cynthia’s moment of glory. Never forget how calm and sweet she normally is, but now she arose to her feet and declared plainly, “Richard, she is deceiving thee; it is not the Spirit moving her. I am as pure a maid as she, and nothing tells me ill of thee; I would not fear to marry thee this hour.”
               Did he take her? Yes, yes, and lamented how he had been deceived. Was Cynthia happy with her decision? Well, Katharine felt it was her responsibility to find out so before returning to the city Mr. Frye took her on the long journey to Richard and Cynthia’s new home in the Virginian hills. It was an arduous journey with rivers to ford and hills to climb but they made it. Was Cynthia happy? Well, we’ll put it this way: she felt she would love Katharine forever for giving her the courage to speak her mind.

What is God asking you to do? 
Read this book? :>)
 Mary'am's Memories

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