We parted no more, till that blow came, which parted us for ever, and extinguished the only perfect happiness of which I could form even the idea. Short indeed was the period in which such enviable society was continued to me. We had been home only about a year, and the little Catherine was but three years old, when we took an excursion upon a lake, which was but at a small distance from my habitation. The day was specially serene, without being oppressively hot; a pleasant western breeze played upon our cheeks, and refreshed our spirits. It occasioned however only a quiet and lazy ripple of the surface, and no wise interfered / with the plan of our course. Never had I experienced a more complete felicity. We began to lay the plans of future years. Sportively it occurred to us to anticipate that decline of life, which, if the thread of our existence is not suddenly cut off, must to all mortals arrive at last. We both of us agreed that that would occasion no diminution to our content, that even wrinkles would turn into motives of endearment, and that the longer we were accustomed to each other’s society, the more impossible we should each of us feel it was to live without it. The rash impulses of headstrong youth would be gone; we should have tried the scenes of many-coloured life, without arriving at the repining and unsatisfied inferences of the wise man, should talk over the old times, and read together once again the favourite authors of our youth. We should smile at the different aspects with which things would appear to us with a few decads a of years / between, the same, yet not the same, with such variation as the objects of nature display in the ascending and the setting sun. In books, in tales, in characters, the thing we looked at would be unaltered; but it would have a frequent novelty of appearance, that arose not from itself, but from the change which had insensibly taken place in the mind of the observer.