The story begins on the birthday of twin sisters, Dora and Nora Chance. By what Dora, who is also the narrator of the story, described as bizarre , it is also the 1ooth birthday of their natural father, Melchior Hazard, and his twin brother, Peregrine Hazard, who is believed to be dead. The date is similarly Shakespeare's birthday.
The old man thought long and hard before attempting to blow out a century's worth of candles. Finally a vision of words flashed through his mind's eye:
Life is not what you see, but what you've projected. It's not what you've felt, but what you've decided, not what you've experienced, but how you've remembered it. It's not what you've forged, but what you've allowed. And it's not who's appeared, but who you've summoned.
And this should serve you well, until you find, what you already have.
I know myself very well
Amongst it but not it so to speak.