THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT
OF CHARLES LOUNSBURY
I'd like to read something to you, my friends; something that was written by a man who knew a great deal about life. It makes a lot of sense:
That part of my interest, which is known in law and recognized in the sheep-bound volumes as my property, being inconsiderable and none account, I make no disposition in this, my will. My right to live, being but a life estate, is not at my disposal, but these things excepted, all else in the world I now proceed to devise and bequeath.
ITEM: I give to good fathers and mothers and trust to their children all good little words of praise and encouragement and all quaint pet names and endearments. And I charge said parents to use them judiciously or generously as the deeds of their children shall require.
ITEM: I leave to children inclusively, but only for the duration of their childhood, all and every flower of the fields and the blossoms of the woods. And I devise to children the banks of the brooks and the golden sands beneath the water thereof and the odors of the willows that dip therein and the white clouds that float on high above the giant trees. And I leave the children the long, long days to be merry in in a thousand ways, and the night, and the trail of the Milky Way to wonder at; but subject, nevertheless, to the rights hereinafter given to lovers.
ITEM: To lovers I devise their imaginary world filled with the stars of the skies and the red roses by the walks, the bloom of the hawthorne and the sweet strains of music and ought else that they may desire to figure to each other the lastingness and the beauty of their love.
ITEM: I bequeath the power to have lasting friendships, the capacity for courage, and undaunted faith.
ITEM: To our loved ones with snowy crowns, I leave memory, the peace and happiness of old age, and the love and gratitude of their children before they fall asleep.