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than the fabrics with which they are now fashion of country tombstones. Mr. Paget associated. Pages upon pages have been has done for the humbler classes what Mr. written upon the origin of planting this tree Markland's excellent book has for the highin our churchyards, and form a curious er.* His Tract,' which does great credit chapter in the history of antiquarian trifling. to the provincial press from which it issues, It is contended that it was placed there as a should be widely distributed in all country screen to the church against the winds-a parishes, and will hardly fail to diminish the shelter for the congregation assembling-to number and size and correct the emblems of furnish long bows for the parish-as a the black slate slabs, which, from their ready funeral emblem of death—as a joyful sym-subjection to the chisel, are making rapid bol of the resurrection, as a substitute for inroads throughout our rural churchyards. palms as a wood anciently used used in From Mr. Paget, as well as the Cambridge funeral pyres, or strewed on coffins-as de- Camden Society, we have had drawings of rived from the pagan reverence for 'green a better class of headstones; yet, though trees;' and one Edipus has the hardihood those designs which we have seen executed to account for its proximity to the church, in stone are great improvements on the prethat, in troubled times, the congregation, vailing form, we think there is still room for when disturbed, might have a natural the exercise of an enlightened and chasarmory at hand whence they might cut tened taste. We are still in want of a good their weapons. A more obvious reason- collection of posies for country churchyards, its use in decorating the church at Christmas and other festivals-we have never seen suggested in the many essays which this simple subject has produced. Its deadly and others of that class. Perhaps the simproperty to cattle is well known; and wheth-pler and older forms of epitaph, imploring er or not that was a good reason for planting it in churchyards, its presence there is at least a better one for the expulsion of the grazier's stock, too often found there.
"Afflictions sore long time 1 bore",
mercy and peace, would be more consonant with right feeling; but we could hardly debar our rural population from the sermons in stones' which they delight to pore over as they loiter among their fathers' graves before evening service. Only we wish that the poetry and the doctrine put before them were more free from the vulgar extravagancies which now amuse rather than instruct us on village tombstones. Goldsmith has somewhere made a remark on how good and amiable a world this would be, if men's lives were only spent as they read on their epitaphs. Of men, as Christians-and as such their epitaph should speak of themthe less said is best said. The greater part of mankind must be content, as though they had not been, to be found in the regis ter of God, not in the record of man.'
The title of an ancient statue (35 Edward I.), which runs, 'Ne Rector Arbores in Cemeterio prosternat,' might be sometimes revived with advantage in the present day. An old story is found in Brand of a clergy- Mr. Chadwick deserves the thanks of the man, who, seeing some boyes breaking community for having stepped a little out of boughs from the yew-tree in the church-his way to notice the subject of funeral exyard, felt himselfe much injured.' He be- penses. Five millions sterling, on a modthought him of a summary method of escap-erate calculation, is the sum annually exing the like indignity for the future; for, pended in England and Wales alone on this to prevent the like trespasses, he sent one account. Four of these may fairly be set presently to cut downe the tree, and bring down as squandered on the mere fopperies it into his back-yard.' Whereupon two of of death. Will Christian England hear this his cows, feeding on the leaves of it, died. simple statement and be still? There is a We join with the narrator in the moral of the story, and bring in the verdict of the Irish jury- Sarv'd him right.'
There is every reason to hope that some check may be given to the present hideous
Quarterly Review, vol. lxx. p. 417.
We have just received, too late to notice it otherwise, a Paper on Monuments,' Oxford, 1844, by the Rev. J. Armstrong, which gives the best designs for churchyard head-stones we have seen.
cry in the streets of towns that count their expenses is passed, as a matter of course, inhabitants by tens of thousands, for schools by a Master of Chancery, even in an insoland churches; gaunt and squalid poverty, vent estate. From 607. to 1007. for an heathen ignorance, and, what is worse, half- upper tradesman, 2507. for a gentleman, knowing infidelity, call aloud for almoners, 5007. to 15007. for a nobleman-such is the and teachers, and pastors; and the utmost ordinary metropolitan scale, as announced that our wealth has done for them has never by the officials of the great Leveller, for atyet in one year met the demand of that tendance on the funerals of many who have year's increase, let alone the accumulations left their widows and orphans destitute, their of past years' neglect. And here is an an- debts unpaid, and perhaps wanted themnual four millions-a professed offering to selves the comforts, even the necessaries of domestic piety and Christian decency- a dying-bed. The family pride, that which might have met all these demands turned a deaf ear and a stone heart to the even to an overflowing-not merely wasted, calls of living wretchedness, comes to the but degraded to the idlest and meanest uses. rescue when the unfortunate has ceased This estimate does not include the vain from troubling, and gladly pays to the last marble, the storied urn and animated bust,' claim that which, if given before, might and the emblazoned hatchment, of monu- have inconveniently prolonged and increased mental affectation and parade. To what further demands. Poor Sheridan proved then does it go? To silk scarfs, and brass not in his death more truly the faithlessness nails-feathers for the horses-kid gloves of summer friends, than he did in his funeral and gin for the mutes-white satin and the hollow mockery of posthumous parade; black cloth for the worms. And whom does and Moore never struck a nobler or more it benefit? Not those in whose honor all independent chord than when he sung, this pomp is marshalled-not those who 'How proud will they flock to the funeral array often at a costly sacrifice submit to it as a Of one whom they shunned in his sickness and trammel of custom-not those whose unfeigned sorrow makes them callous at the moment to its show and almost to its mockery-not the cold spectator, who sees its dull magnificence give the palpable lie to the preacher's equality of death-but the lowest of all low hypocrites, the hired mourner, whose office it is a sin to sanction and encourage. There is a time in every family when one room in the house of the living is the chamber of death-when words are whispered low, and the smile is checked, and the light of the sun is darkened, and the sternest master is mild, and the most bustling servant is still, and no one has the heart to choose the wood for the coffin, or haggle about the price of broadcloth Then, when false shame or true affection makes us puppets in the hands of others, a mercenary stranger,
How bailiffs may seize his last blanket to-day, Whose pall shall be held up by nobles tomorrow!"
It was probably with a prescient dread of some such empty pageantry that Pope ordered, by will, that his pall should be supported by poor men only. This officeindeed the more real service of carrying the bier itself was formerly the privilege of the nearest relations and dearest friends. The holy Lady Paula has this honor recorded of her by St. Jerome, that the bishops of Palestine carried her forth with their own hands, and put their own necks under her coffin,
Bending beneath the lady and her lead.' Good Isaak Walton was told by the Bishop of London who ordained George Herbert, Like the ghole of the East, with quick scent for that ' he laid his hand on Mr. Herbert's head, the dead,'
The average surplice-fee for the clergyman ' undertakes' the measure and evidences of for the whole of London, where almost alone it our grief, and by only what is customary' exists, and which forms the chief source of inis at once the arbiter, and director, and pur-funeral expense for the whole London population come in some parishes, is 6s. 2d. The average veyor of the trappings of woe, taking his is about 151. Pauper coffins are contracted for at own orders, and charging his own prices,1s. 6d. each. Undertakers themselves acknowaccording as he may estimate the pride, or piety, or purse of his helpless employers. It speaks volumes of the iron grasp with which that monster custom has clutched us here, that a bill of 60l. or 707. for funeral AUGUST, 1844.
ledge that 56 per cent, might be deducted from their usual charges, and leave them a fair remu
neration. The whole of Mr. Chadwick's Report
on this part of the subject proves the undertaking system to be, what, in another sense, Lord Portsmouth delighted to call a black job.
and, alas, within less than three years lent his shoulder to carry his dear friend to the grave; and it was often a matter of friendly rivalry who should be allowed to carry a good man deceased to his last home. Even in our own day, we read in the life of Sir Walter Scott, that 'His old domestics and foresters made it their petition that no hireling hand might assist in carrying his remains. They themselves bore the coffin to the grave.' If modern effeminacy or refinement can only lay a hand to a tassel, where our fathers put their shoulders to the coffin, at least some poor dependents might be selected for underbearers, on whom the funeral dole would be better bestowed than on hired strangers. Now-the men who share in the funeral baked meats are thus described by one of their masters;-They are frequently unfit to perform their duty, and have reeled in carrying the coffin. The men who stand as mutes at the door, as they stand out in the cold, are supposed to require more drink, and receive it liberally. I have seen these men reel about the road, and after the burial we have been obliged to put these mutes and their staves into the interior of the hearse, and drive them home, as they were incapable of walking. After the return from the funeral, the mourners commonly have drink again at the house.' (Sup. Rep. $56.) No one who has read Inheritance'-and who has not?-can fail to be reminded here of Miss Pratt's arrival at the Earl's.
Thus are farce and tragedy mixed up in the drama of life, and remind us of the schoolboy puzzle, which, by a slight harle quinade of the letters, turned 'funeral' into real fun!'
In olden times, when charity implied an act and not only a feeling, almsgiving accompanied the performance of every Christian service. Men were not afraid of doing good works, lest they should be said to rest upon them. And the funeral Dole,* though it undoubtedly led at times to great excesses, was one of the occasions which helped to equalize wealth, and make the poor partakers of our substance and hospitality. The Fathers, indeed, are full of condemnation of the abuses of the anniversary festivals of the dead, which savored more of the Parentalia of the Gentiles than of the doles of Churchmen; our own Puritans also, not without reason, attacked the carousing and junketing of the Month's Myndes ; but the same objections hardly hold good against the dole and almsgiving at the time of the funeral. St. Jerome commends a widower upon this account-'that whilst other husbands throw violets, and roses, and lilies, and purple flowers upon the graves of their wives, our Psammachius waters the holy ashes and bones of his wife with the balsam of alms.' Old English wills are full of such instructions as that of William de Montacute, Earl of Salisbury, 1397-that 'twenty-five shillings should be daily distributed among three hundred poor people from the time of 'It was drawing towards the close of a day, his death to the arrival of his body at Buswhen the snow had fallen without intermis-tlesham.' And Strutt gives among the artision, but was now beginning to abate. Acles of expense at the funeral of Sir John huge black object was dimly discernible enter- Rudstone, mayor of London, 1531—' To ing the avenue, and dragging its ponderous length towards the castle; but what was its precise nature the still falling snow prevented their ascertaining. But suddenly the snow ceased, the clouds rolled away, and a red brassy glare of the setting sun fell abruptly on the moving phenomenon, and disclosed to view a stately full-plumed hearse. There was something so terrific, yet so picturesque, in its appearance, as it ploughed its way through waves of snow-its sable plumes and gilded skulls nodding and grinning in the now lurid glimmering of the fast-sinking sun-that all stood transfixed with alarm and amazement. At length the prodigy drew near, followed by two attendants on horseback; it drew up at the grand entrance, the servants gathered round, one of the men began to remove the end-board that threshold of death-and there was lifted out, not "a slovenly unhandsome corpse betwixt the wind and his nobility," but the warm, sentient, though somewhat discomfited, figure of Miss Pratt.'
poor folke in almys, 17. 5s.' &c.; and the list might be easily lengthened. If respect for the dead necessarily involve unusual expenditure, surely such objects as the above are more reasonable items than those which occur in a modern undertaker's bill of
The origin and signification of the word are well explained by these lines from Percy:"Deal on, deal on, my merry men all, deal on your cake and wine;
For whatever is dealt at her funeral to-day, shall be dealt to-morrow at mine."'
The day month after the funeral, as year'smind was the anniversary. Sir Robert Chichely, grocer, and twice Lord Mayor of London, who died in 1439, wylled in his testament, that upon his Mynde Day a good and competent dinner should be ordayned to xxiiii C. pore men. And over that was xx pounde destributed among them, which was to every man two-pence.'-Brand's Pop. Antiq., Sir H. Ellis's Ed., vol. ii. P. 192.
* ostrich feathers, 17. 1s.; man carrying | courage to undergo this ordeal. But let a ditto, 8s.; eighteen pages, silk bands and distribution be made or announced on the gloves, 117. 14s.' and the like.
day of the funeral, which, while the minimum sum is expended on the obsequies, by the amount saved from the undertaker's clutches, shall feed and clothe, and teach the poor, and the most ignorant will be satisfied, and the most envious silenced. If we could be brought to view this matter simply as Christians, nay, as mere men of common sense, 107. would suffice in towns, and 57. in the country, for that upon which hundreds are now squandered, and of which not a trace remains. Something may be said for a sumptuous monument; it wards off oblivion for a generation or two, from a
It is to be lamented, but perhaps not wondered at, that the more the dead have been honored, the more the living have been forgotten the poor stinted as the parade has increased. We omit in this view the extraordinary occasions when in the palmy days of pageant and heraldry the combination of great worth, wealth, and rank-all, or some of them-made a funeral procession an affair of state; and which in no way justifies the appropriation of the dead-letter of a spirit of nobility which has passed away, to the obsequies of persons who in those days would not have been al-name that would otherwise be forgotten; it lowed to subscribe 'gent.' as their designation. But while the ceremonial pomp of our fathers has been retained, their charity, whether by the will of the deceased, or the largess of the surviving, is too often omitted, and the mural tablet now generally records the virtues which were once more indirectly, but not the less sensibly, portrayed on the same church-walls in the list of parish benefactions. Let us hope that the like spirit which is now converting the sepulchral monument from being the disfigurement of the church into its ornament, that substitutes the painted window and the sculptured font for the pompous and unmeaning tablets of the last age, may be yet further extended to the more judicious application of funeral expen
speaks for a time of and to the charities of
Lo! now, what dismal sons of Darkness come
And oh how needless when the woe's sincere.'
We do not hesitate to denounce the present accumulation of ceremony and outlay at funerals as not only ridiculous but sinful. In ordinary cases it is out of all proportion to the means of the family incurring it, and not unfrequently a most grievous burden. But where money is of little moment, how far better would it be to expend the sum consumed in an hour's passing pomp on the lasting and substantial good On the other hand, conceive for a moof a memorial school-room or an alms-house, ment what our towns might have saved in in restoring an aisle, or adding a porch to workhouses and prisons-what buildings the parish church! Some sacrifice on the in their place devoted to religion and chardeath of a friend humanity seems to demand ity they might have exhibited, if, during the -who does not read Rasselas' with a last age, the forty pounds which might have double interest when he knows it was writ- been saved out of every fifty wasted on futen to pay the cost of a mother's funeral? neral fopperies had been rationally expendAffection, where it exists, suggests it: and ed. Let it not be said that it is vain to arits absence, where it exists not, is scarcely gue thus-that the money if not spent on a less stimulant, lest the niggard hand the funeral would not have been spent at should betray the cold heart. The world, all, or at least in no better way; because always leaning to the uncharitable side,nature will demand a sacrifice in the last while it gives little credit to a costly outlay, gift of love, and of old it did flow in a noyet sees in a cheap funeral the measure of bler channel. It is not cheap, so much as the love of the survivors; and few have the plain, funerals that we advocate. We.
grudge not the waste of ointment,' how-that Ephrem Cyrus left it upon his will, that ever costly, so it be poured out in the honor nothing should be expended on his funeral, of God, and not for the pride of man; and but whatever should be appointed for that the very want of our Lord's visible presence should be given to the poor. Paula, to suggests that we have the poor in His room. whom we referred before, left not money so And yet, after all, in the case of our much as to buy a winding-sheet. St. Basil dearest friends deceasing, it may be feared asks the rich- What need have you of a that the world and its fashions will have sumptuous monument, or a costly entombtheir way. We cannot bear, perhaps, the ing? Prepare your own funeral whilst you thought of withholding, in the case of oth-live. Works of charity and mercy are the ers, even the lacquered cherubs and French funeral obsequies you can bestow upon yourpolished mahogany of the undertaker's bill. self.' Sir Thomas Wyndham, 1521, diBut there is one case which comes nearest rects his body to be buried without damhome to us, on which we may decide, for nable pomp, or superfluities;'* and the old ' once it shall come to pass, that concern-wills abound in similar injunctions. The ing every one of us it shall be told in the Roman sumptuary laws expressly forbade neighborhood that we are dead;' and then expensive funerals; might not taxation, there may be found that strict written in- which in modern times supersedes the nejunction with regard to our own funeral, cessity of direct restrictive enactments, help that even the extreme officiousness of love to diminish the increasing folly? dares not disobey. Mere general direc- It would be unjust to the Gallican Church tions, however, will not suffice. Few fail not to notice especially her continual efforts even now to give instructions, verbal or against the repeated inroads of intramural written, that no unnecessary sum shall be burial. These she has persevered in, even expended on their burial. But each one in spite of the Pope's decretals giving hemust name the definite amount beyond reditary rights of burial within the church to which the expenditure shall not go, and wealthy and noble families. Mr. Walker name also the rescued sum which shall be reprints a most valuable document, taken devoted to charitable purposes. Details from a New York publication, in the form must not alarm us; we must name the elm of an ordinance of Stephen Charles de Locoffin, and the coarse linen, and dispense menie de Brienne, Archbishop of Toulouse, explicitly with mutes, and hat-bands, and who was made a cardinal by Pius VI. kid gloves. The carpenter must be the Making allowance for some doctrinal points, undertaker, and six poor men to carry us to which we might not agree, the archbishin place of the four-horsed hearse. If we op's letter gives the best history of, and the thus took the ordering of our own funerals most conclusive arguments against, intraupon ourselves, our friends would be reliev-mural burial, which we have yet seen. Afed, and the world satisfied; and though ter referring to thirteen ordinances publisheccentricities might sometimes peep out of ed in France alone, between the years 1600 the instructions, there would be little fear and 1721, against the practice, he thus apof often encountering the orange-colored peals to the feelings of those who might be pall and cloaks of the late Dr. Somebody, disposed to persist in their privilege of inor the 40007. for an equestrian statue of terment in or near the church :himself, left a short time since by one Mr. Hobart.
Many of the best and greatest men have left strict injunctions on this head, which have mostly been evaded for want of more definite expressions. A few only occur to us at this moment, as Pope and Burke, Sir M. Hale, and we think Bishop Hall. All strongly deprecated funeral extravagance. Evelyn records of his mother that on her death-bed she importuned his father 'that what he designed to bestow upon her funeral, he would rather dispose among the poor.' We learn from Gregory Nyssen,
* Bingham, Antiq. xxiii. 2.
'If inhumation around churches is to be allowed, can cities be perfectly salubrious? If to be buried within, who shall judge of this pipriests and laymen, distinguished for piety, are ety, or who presume to refuse their testimony? If the quality of founder or benefactor is a title, what rate shall fix the privilege? If the right is hereditary, must not time multiply the evil be crowded beyond endurance? If distinctions to excess, and will not our churches at length of rank are to exist after death, can vanity know any limitation or judge? If these distinctions are to be procured for money, will not vanity lavish riches to procure them? And would it be proper for the Church to prostitute
*Nicolas, Test. Vet. p. 581.