“They Didn’t Ought to Have Coloured Flowers at Buryings”

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The funeral was over. The carriages had rolled away through the soft mud, and only the poor remained.

It was New Year’s Eve. Across the other side of the world the fireworks were beginning, issuing in some era, new or continuing, good or ill, changed or unchanged.

They thrilled with the excitement of a death, and of a rapid death.

Few would sleep.

Ah yes – she had been a good women – she had been steady.

The dead cannot own property; title must pass.

How she had disliked improvements, yet how loyally she had accepted them when made!

But the unproductive vine.

The vine – she had got her way about the vine. It still encumbered the south wall with its unproductive branches.

They would go about their business, confident she would have done her duty in death as in life.

There were no legacies, no annuities, none of the posthumous bustle with which some of the dead prolong their activities.

The entirety would be left without reserve.

the house had been all her dowry,

the house would come to him in time.

they could not know that to her it had been a spirit, for which she sought a spiritual heir.

They had laid white flowers at her graveside.

Is it credible that the possessions of the spirit can be bequeathed at all?

She had sent chrysanthemums.

A wych-elm tree, a vine, a wisp of hay with dew on it – can passion for such things be transmitted where there is no bond of blood?

***********************

An explanation followed …

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