A ludicrous romance

There's a thin line between tragedy and farce, and in 1888, it was crossed by two love-struck teenagers with racing hearts but sluggish wits.

He was 17, she was four years younger. With the itchy impatience of youth, they couldn't face the wait to marry, and decided death would be preferable.

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Behind the custom house in Budapest they embraced and kissed their goodbyes, then headed for the Danube for the wretched last act in their passionate tale. Steeling themselves to act, she threw herself in and he pulled out a revolver.

But after plunging into the river, the girl remembered she could swim. Just as she reached the shore, her heartbroken lover turned the gun on himself, pulled the trigger three times and managed to miss with each shot.

A quarter of an hour later, the Tamworth Herald reported, the hapless pair were handed over to their (presumably thin-lipped) parents.

Marrying a corpse and more here (BBC article).