“Equal to the Occasion”

A couple were going to be married, and had proceeded as far as the church door: the gentleman then stopped his intended bride, and thus unexpectedly addressed her:–

‘My dear Eliza, during our courtship I have told you most of my mind, but I have not told you the whole: when we are married, I shall insist upon three things.’

‘What are they?’ asked the lady.

‘The three things are these,’ said the bridegroom: ‘I shall sleep alone, I shall eat alone, and find fault when there is no occasion: can you submit to these conditions?’

‘O yes, sir, very easily,’ was the reply, ‘for if you sleep alone, I shall not; if you eat alone, I shall eat first: and as to your finding fault without occasion, that I think may be prevented, for I will take care you shall never want occasion.’

The conditions being thus adjusted, they proceeded to the altar, and the ceremony was performed.

The Knot Tied: Marriage Ceremonies of All Nations, 1877