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Be cast, like common dust, into the pit,
Without one line of monumental wit ?
One death's-head distich, or mortality-staff
With sense enough for churchyard epitaph ?
No stirrup verse at grave before she go?
Batt does not use to part at tavern so."

In Poems by the Rev. John Black, of Butley in Suffolk, 1799, p. 10, in “an Elegy on the Author's Mother, who was buried in the churchyard of Dunichen in Scotland,” is the following stanza :

Oh, how my soul was griev'd, when I let fall
The string ihat dropt her silent in the grave !
Yet thought I then I heard her spirit call :
• Safe I have pass'd through death's o'erwhelming wave.'”

On the second line the author has this note: “In Scotland it is the custom of the relations of the deceased themselves to let down the corpse into the grave, by mourning cords, fastened to the handles of the coffin; the chief mourner standing at the head, and the rest of the relations arranged according to their propinquity. When the coffin is let down and adjusted in the grave, the mourners first, and then all the surrounding multitude, uncover their heads; there is no funeral service read, no oration delivered: but that solemn pause, for about the space of ten minutes, when every one is supposed to be meditating on death and immortality, always struck my heart in the most awful manner; never more than on the occasion here alluded to. The sound of the cord, when it fell on the coffin, still seems to vibrate on my ear."

The ancient Christians to testify their abhorrence of Heathen rites, rejected the Pagan custom of burning the dead, depositing the inanimate body entire in the ground. Thus I found at Rutchester, one of the stations upon the Roman wall in Northumberland, a sepulchre hewn out of the living rock, wherein, Leland says, Paulinus, who converted the Northumbrians to Christianity, was interred.

The belief in Yorkshire was, amongst the vulgar, says Aubrey, and perhaps is, in part, still, that after a person's death, the soul went over Whinny Moor; and till about 1624, at the funeral, a woman came (like a Præfica) and sung the following song:

“ This ean night, this ean night,

Every night and awle,
Fire and fleet (water) and candle-light,

And Christ receive thy sawle.
When thou from hence doest pass away,

Every night and awle,
To Whinny-Moor' (silly poor) thou comest at last,

And Christ receive thy sawle.
If ever thou gave either hosen or shoon (shoes),

Every night and awle,
Sit thee down and putt them on,

And Christ receive thy sawle.
But if hosen nor shoon thou never gave naen,

Every night and awle,
The whinnes shall prick thee to the bare heane,

And Christ receive thy sawle.
From Whinny-Moor that thou mayst pass,

Every night and awle,
To Brig o' Dread thou comest at last,

And Christ receive thy sawle.
From Brig of Dread, na brader than a thread,

Every night and awle,
To purgatory fire thou com'st at last,

And Christ receive thy sawle.
If ever thou gave either milke or drink,

Every night and awle,
The fire shall never make thee shrink,

And Christ receive thy sawle.
But if milk nor drink thou never gave naen,

Every night and awle,
The fire shall burn thee to the bare beane,

And Christ receive thy sawle.” This song, with one or two trifling variations, is printed under the title of a Lyke-Wake Dirge, in the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, ii. 363.

I found in a collection of Old Epigrams of the time of James the First, the following quaint one on the subject of carrying the body to the grave with the feet foremost:

517. Man's Ingress and Egress.
“ Nature, which headlong into life did throng us,
With our feet forward to our grave doth bring us ;
What is less ours than this our borrowed breath?
We stumble into life, we goe to death."

From whin, furze.

Sir Thomas Browne, in his Urne-burial, observes, that “the custom of carrying the corpse as it were out of the world with its feet forward is not inconsonant to reason, as contrary to the native posture of man, and his production first into it.”


The custom of using torches and lights at funerals, or in funeral processions, appears to have been of long standing.' The learned Gregory tells us that “the funeral tapers, however thought of by some, are of harmlesse import. Their meaning is to show that the departed soules are not quite put out, but having walked here as the children of light, are now gone to walk before God in the light of the living.”?

Strutt tells us, Manners and Customs, ii, 108, the burning of torches was very honorable. To have a great many was a special mark of esteem in the person who made the funeral to the deceased. By the will of William de Montacute, Earl of Salisbury, executed April 29, 1397 : “Twenty-four poor people, clothed in black gowns and red hoods, are ordered to attend the funeral, each carrying a lighted torch of eight pounds' weight." In Nichols's Illustrations, 1797, Churchw. Accounts of St. Margaret's Westminster, p. 1, under 1460-1, is the following article: “Item. rec. de Joh'e Braddyns die sepultur' Roberti Thorp gen. p. iii. Tor. vjs. viijd.” On which Dr. Pegge observes, p. 243 : "Little was done in these ages of gross Popery without lights. These torches cost ls. 8d. apiece; but we find them of various prices, according, as we may suppose, to their size. The churchwardens appear to have provided them, and consequently they were an article of profit to the church.” The editor adds: “ These torches, it is conceived, were made of wax, which in ordinary cases were let out by the church, and charged to the party according to the consumption at the moment. This appears in the York churchwardens' accompts, where wax is charged.” Ibid. p. 8, A.D. 1519: “Item, Mr. Hall, the curate, for iv. torches, and for the best lights, at the buryal of Mr. Henry Vued, my Lord Cardinal's servant, vjs. vid.”

I "Dum autem funus efferebatur, faces præferebantur. Constantii corpus delatum fuisse nocturnis cantionibus et cereorum ignibus," &c. Durand. de Ritibus, p. 228. “ Gallos funus honorificè curasse et multitu. dinem luminum, spiendorem sibi etiam per diem vendicantem, repercusso solis radio repulsisse," &c. Ibid.

2 Gregorii Opuscula, p. 112. See also Gough’s Introd. to vol. ii. Sepul. chral Monuments in Great Britain, p. 7: "Among the Romans public funerals were celebrated in the day ; private burials at night: and both were accompanied with torches.” Female Mentor, ii. 196. "All funerals," says Adam, in his Roman Antiquities, 1792, p. 476,"used anciently to he solemnized in the night-time with torches, that they might not fall in the way of magistrates and priests, who were supposed to be violated by seeing a corpse, so that they could not perform sacred rites till they were purified by an expiatory sacrifice. Serv. in Virg. xi. 143; Donat. Ter. And. i. 1, 81. Thus, to diminish the expenses of funerals, it was ordained hy Demetrius Phalerius at Athens, Cic. de Legg. ii. 26, according to an ancient law which seems to have fallen into desuetude, Demosth. adr. Macartatum, p. 666. Hence funus, a funeral, from funes accensi, Isid. xi. 2, xx. 10, or funalia, funales cerei, cereæ faces, vel candele, torches, candles or tapers, originally made of small ropes or cords (funes vel funiculi), covered with wax or tallow (sevum vel sebum). Serv. ibid. et Æn. i. 727; Val. Max. iii. ; 6, 4; Var. de Vit. Pop. R. But in after ages public funerals (funera indictiva) were celebrated in the day-time, at an early hour in the forenoon, as it is thought from Plutarch, in Syl., with torches also. Serv. in Virg. Æn. vi. 224 ; Tac. Ann. iii. 4. Private or ordinary funerals (tacita) were always at night. Fest. in Vespilones.

In Coates's History of Reading, 1802, p. 115, in the churchwardens' accounts of St. Lawrence's parish are the following articles : “ 1502. It. rec. of wast of torchis at the berying of Sir John Hide, vicar of Sonyng, ijs. vjd. 1503. It. rec. for wast of torchys at the burying of John Long, maist of the gram' scole, vjs. viijd. 1504. It. rec. of the same Margaret,” (late the wife of Thomas Platt,) “for wast of torchis at the

yer mind of the seid Thomas, xxd.” See also Strype's edit. of Stowe's Survey of London, i. 258, A.). 1556, Sir John Gresham's funeral, "He had four dozen of great staff torches and a dozen of great long torches.

Veron, in his Hunting of Purgatory to Death, 1561, f. 40, says: “If the Christians should bury their dead in the nightetime, or if they should burne their bodies, as the Painims did, they might well use torches as well as the Painims without any just reprehension and blame.” He observes, f. 45 : “Moreover it is not to be doubted but that the auncient byshops and ministers of the church did bryng in this manner of bearinge of torches, and singinge in funerals, not for thentent and purpose that the Painimes did use it, nor yet for to confirme their superstitious abuses and errours, but rather for to abolishe them. For they did see that it was an hard thing to pluck those old and inveterate customes from the heartes of them that had been nouselled in them from their youth. They did forsee that, if they had buried their dead without som honest ceremonies, as the worlde did then take them, it had bene yet more harde to put away those olde rotten errors from them, that were altogether wedded unto them.” Our author tells us, ibid. fol. 47 : “Chrisostome, likening the deade whome they followed with burnynge torches unto wrestlers and runners, had a respect unto the customes and fashions of Greke land, beyng a Greeke himselfe, amonge whiche there was a certain kind of running after this manner: The firste did beare a torche, being lighted, in his hand, which, being weary, he did deliver unto him that followeth next after him. He againe, that had received the torche, if he chaunced to be wery, did the like; and so all the residue that followeth in order;" hence“ among the Grekes and Latines to geve the lampe or torche unto another hath beene taken for to put other in his place, after that one is werye and hath perfourmed his course.” He concludes : “This may very wel be applyed unto them that departe out of this world.” Ibid, f. 151:

Singinge, bearinge of lights, and other like ceremonies as were used in their buringes and funeralles, were ordeyned, or rather permitted and suffred, by y auncient bishoppes and pastours, for to abolish, put downe, and dryve awai the superstition and ydolatri yt the heathen and paynymes used about their dead; and not for anye opinion yt they had yt suche thinges could profite the soules of the departed, as it doth manifestly appear by their owne writinges."

Monsieur Jorevin, before cited, describing a lord's burial near Shrewsbury, speaking of six men taking up the corpse, and carrying it on their shoulders to the church, says: “It was

| The following is the epitaph of the great Budè at St. Geneviève, Paris :

“Que n'a-t-on plus en torches dependu,

Suivant la mode accoutumée en sainte ?
Afin qu'il soit par l'obscur entendu
Que des François la lumiire est éteinte."

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