|IPN, July 9, 1870, via British Newspaper Archive|
I came across this story while compiling wedding disasters for that post I did some weeks ago, but I thought this one deserved to stand alone. Enjoy some romantic bliss, "Illustrated Police News" style.
The Times of Friday last contained the following humorous account of a violent assault committed by an infuriated and indignant wife upon her faithless husband.--A French paper relates a thrilling scene which lately occurred in a Parisian mairie. A couple presented themselves to be married, the bride about eighteen years of age, and possessed of considerable personal attractions; the bridegroom an extremely small titan, aged forty-five. When the ceremony was concluded the door of the hall was burst open, and a woman of gigantic stature, accompanied by a thin damsel of fifteen, burst into the room and elbowed her way through the semicircle of guests.
"Wretch, scoundrel, thief!" she cried, addressing the husband, who turned as white as a sheet; "this is how you leave me in the lurch, who have sighed during fifteen years for the day when I might call myself your wife!" Saying this she seized the unhappy man by the collar and jerked him up under her left arm as though he were a crush-hat, taking no notice of his struggles.
She addressed the mayor in a voice of thunder, "Do I arrive too late?" "The marriage is concluded," replied the mayor, "and I request you to release M. Augustin and to retire." "Not," said the giantess, "without giving his deserts to the villain who leaves me with this girl here." "No no, that girl is not mine," howled the little man.
He had better have remained silent. The giantess frantically raised him in the air, and whirled him round her head. "Repeat what you have said," she shrieked; "this child, who is as like you as one pea is another--is she yours or not?" M. Augustin did not open his mouth. His executioner then seized his nose with her left hand and wrung it violently.
About this time two of the guests, moved by the entreaties of the bride, attempted to interfere, but the enraged woman, using the bridegroom as a weapon and brandishing him at arm's length, charged her opponents with such fury that she put them speedily to flight.
"Call the police," cried the mayor. "You need not give yourself the trouble," hoarsely ejaculated the giantess; "I will let go the rascal of my own accord. Here, my beauty," addressing the bride, "is your little bit of a man, I have not broken him. We have no further business here. Follow me, Baptistine," and so saying she flung down her victim at the feet of two agents of police, who at that moment appeared at the door.
"I go," she added; "but let him ever appear before me on his wife's arm, and I will take him between my thumb and forefinger and make but one mouthful of him."
This little incident cast quite a gloom over the assembled guests, and no one dared even to pick the fainting bridegroom from the floor until the last echo of the heavy footsteps of the injured fair one had died away in the distance, when they raised him to his feet, and in solemn silence took their departure.