"Methinks waiting for their best friend's coffin, that and nothing to do, are enow to make them worse than Nature meant. Why not set them up somewhere, to give 'em a chance?" Eli said he was willing, but afraid they would drink and gamble their very shelves away. "Nay," said Catherine, "Dost take me for a simpleton?
When the day of the funeral came, the men would not allow the corpse to be put in the hearse; they took turns to carry the coffin over the moor, and the women and children followed in lines.
The looks, the souls, of all were quivering at the sight of that coffin and the darkened banners of the eighty regiments of the army of Italy, borne by eighty officers, drawn up in line on its passage: for Italy was there in those eighty tokens, which recalled the thousands of dead, the torrents of blood, our most sacred glories, our most holy sacrifices, our most tremendous griefs.
We must coffin and bury old Austria with the dead that sleep on the battle-grounds of lost Silesia; and from her ashes we must build a new empire, of which Hungary and Lombardy shall be integral parts.
Here is a screw-driver!" he shouted as the coffin was replaced upon the table. "Here's one for you, my man! A sovereign if the lid comes off in a minute! Ask no questions work away! That's good! Another! And another! Now pull all together! It's giving! It's giving! Ah, that does it at last." With a united effort we tore off the coffin-lid.
Unlike the Chinese, who treat their dead with the greatest respect and go to enormous expense in the burial, every Mongol knows that his coffin will be the stomachs of dogs, wolves, or birds. Indeed, the Chinese name for the raven is the "Mongol's coffin." The first day we camped in Urga, my wife and Mrs. MacCallie were walking beside the river.
On the platform of the chapel the body lay in state throughout this and the succeeding day. The coffin was covered with evergreens and flowers, and the face of the dead was uncovered that all might look for the last time on the pale features of the illustrious soldier. The body was dressed in a simple suit of black, and the appearance of the face was perfectly natural.
The few soldiers and sentries whom we passed halted and gave the last salute. There was a full moon, covered with clouds, that let the light through at their misty edges. A soft rain fell as we lowered the coffin by thin ropes into the grave.
Having recovered, however, in about a fortnight, he was taken on board the "Agnes," an American brig of six guns and fourteen men, commanded by Captain Coffin, which was then engaged in trading for pearl and tortoiseshell among the islands of the Pacific.
And so we come to the contrast between the deceitfulness of earthly good and the substantial reality of the heavenly. Will any fortune, even though it goes into seven figures, save a man from the miseries, the sorrows, the ills that flesh is heir to? Does a great estate make a man feel less desolate when he stands by his wife's coffin?