Image of the Week: A slice of Mrs. Weston’s wedding-cake

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This weeks image is inspired by a short scene in Jane Austen’s Emma. Concerned for the digestive health of the guests at Miss Taylor’s wedding, Mr. Woodhouse tries to dissuade them from eating the wedding-cake…

There was no recovering Miss Taylor—nor much likelihood of ceasing to pity her; but a few weeks brought some alleviation to Mr. Woodhouse. The compliments of his neighbours were over; he was no longer teased by being wished joy of so sorrowful an event; and the wedding-cake, which had been a great distress to him, was all eat up. His own stomach could bear nothing rich, and he could never believe other people to be different from himself. What was unwholesome to him he regarded as unfit for any body; and he had, therefore, earnestly tried to dissuade them from having any wedding-cake at all, and when that proved vain, as earnestly tried to prevent any body’s eating it.

Image from page 859 of Post Office Edinburgh and Leith directory (1846) - The Internet Archive Book Collection
Internet Archive Book Images –  taken from page 859 of “Post Office Edinburgh and Leith directory” 

 

The guests pay little heed to his warning and indulge anyway

He had been at the pains of consulting Mr. Perry, the apothecary, on the subject. Mr. Perry was an intelligent, gentlemanlike man, whose frequent visits were one of the comforts of Mr. Woodhouse’s life; and upon being applied to, he could not but acknowledge (though it seemed rather against the bias of inclination) that wedding-cake might certainly disagree with many—perhaps with most people, unless taken moderately. With such an opinion, in confirmation of his own, Mr. Woodhouse hoped to influence every visitor of the newly married pair; but still the cake was eaten; and there was no rest for his benevolent nerves till it was all gone. There was a strange rumour in Highbury of all the little Perrys being seen with a slice of Mrs. Weston’s wedding-cake a slice of Mrs. Weston’s wedding-cake in their hands: but Mr. Woodhouse would never believe it.

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