1. His father and mother were the companions of himself and his wife for ten
years after they were married, when both died; and then Henry and Phoebe
were left with their five children
growing lustily apace.
2. All the rest of life is a far-off, clamorous phantasmagoria, flickering like
Northern lights in the night, and sounding as faintly as cow-bells tinkling in
3. And after many pleadings and proffers of advice, with supplies of coffee
and bacon and baked bread duly offered
and accepted, he was left to himself.
4. A certain combination of furniture – a chair near a table, with his coat on it,
the half-open kitchen door casting a shadow, and the position of a lamp near a
paper – gave him an exact representation of Phoebe leaning over the table as
he had often seen her do in life.
5. In an old tin coffee-pot of large size he placed a small tin cup, a knife, fork,
and spoon, some salt and pepper, and to the outside of it, by a string forced
through a pierced hole, he fastened a plate, which could be released, and which
was his woodland table.
6. Then one chill spring night she died, and old Henry, in a fog of sorrow and
uncertainty, followed her body to the nearest graveyard, an unattractive space
with a few pines growing in it.