Monday, 29 February 2016

The Legislature have appropriated $6,000 to defray the funeral expenses of the Princess. The obsequies will take place the latter part of next week. I have seen the coffin (it is not quite finished yet), and certainly it is the most elegant piece of burial furniture I ever saw. It is made of those two superb species of native wood, kou and koa. The former is nearly as dark as ebony; the latter is like fine California laurel, richly grained and clouded with mahogany. Both woods have an iron-like hardness, and are exceedingly close in grain, and when highly polished and varnished nothing in the shape of wood can be more brilliant, more lustrous, more beautiful. It produces a sort of ecstasy in me to look at it, and holds me like a mesmeric fascination. There is nothing extraordinary about the fashioning — the planning and construction — of this coffin, but still it is beautiful. The wood is so splendidly burnished, and so gracefully grained and clouded. Mark Twain

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