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that there is an interruption of the funerals abroad, where the Church solemnity, which is not taken up again steps in at once, and takes possession until the last deposit in the earth, of the deceased as under its protecwhen the friend and the relative steal tion, under the scanctity of its religious forward, and drop their tears into the authority; and if it makes an exhihigrave, and the men of business keep bition, it is with authority,—and this in the back-ground-often even then proclamation has holiness in it. All indecorously to pack up their trap- that is not ecclesiastical is kept out of pings for another show. And there sight. There is nothing intermediate is always sure to be something ridicu- between the deceased and the Church. lous mixed up with their proceedings. The undertaker interferes not, intrudes In the last case it was strikingly so to not here to spoil all. Death it is even the would be mourners; for they true reigns for the hour, but religion were not thought of, and the appears triumphs. The Church certifies the ance of wo was discarded a mile out of triumph, and the resurrection. I town, the pace quickened, and the well remember, my dear Eusebius, resumption of the farce occasionally, how much I was once affected by an made the whole a mockery. The exhibition of this kind, on the very dress assumed; the mutes; hired first night of my entering Rome. It mourners; the known circumstance was dark; a singularly impressive that they have never perhaps seen the cry attracted my attention. I was led deceased, nor care one farthing for by the sound some distance, I knew him or her, and often they know not not where, for I was totally unacwhich; their sleek appearance, bodily ; quainted with the city. I found mytheir enormous eating and drinking; self in a large and long street, at the their impatience to shuffle up their further end of which I could see many paraphernalia ; all those things, which torches, and heard a constant repetiare besides most adverse to any sym- tion of the cry. I waited, leaning pathy with the real mourners, have against a large pillar, until the proin themselves much of the ridiculous. cession should reach me. It did so, The mummery before our eyes leaves and passed in great order; first came us no time to think of the defunct ; and the several religious orders, all bearif we do, it is to picture him, not as ing torches, as I should suppose, in death, but as the mummers have trick- number many hundreds. Then ed him up. The mind's eye can with single figure, a miserable friar, of difficulty penetrate the plumed enclo- some low order apparently, bare-footsure. The very idea of the Trade of ed, with his cord round his waist, Wo, that all is hired for the occasion, bearing on his back a common coffinis revolting to better feeling. Now shell, totally unornamented; in fact, a it is the absence of this hired sorrow, few poor boards tacked together; imand the room that is left to the imagi- mediately after him, a sumptuous and nation of the sepctator, by the dress highly raised car or bier, on the front and sword of the soldier upon his cof- and lower part of which was a splenfin, to personify the dead-to see him, did display of armorial bearings,' and at a glance, the living and the dead above the body. It was a lady—of a that makes a soldier's funeral exceed- fine person, and noble and handsome ingly affecting. And here all that aspect. She lay extended; her hands attend have been his companions, nor joined as in prayer; her face, her is there any pantomime trickery of hands, and her feet naked and undress and gesture. These are the very covered; the rest of her person aparms he wore, he handled—the boots, peared in a stole of black, and such as their hability, their fitness to the in- showed the beauty of her form. She dividual, all that which made them appeared to be about thirty years of his, and him theirs, is not yet depart- age. Her countenance I shall never ed. We see the man more awfully forget; it was extremely placid, pale, than if we actually saw him lying in had no sunken and worn character, his coffin. The value of the indivi. as if disease had touched it. You dual man is stamped by the official could scarcely believe there was not military attendance, and serves as an conciousness remaining; or whether epitaph of merit. The costliest fune. remaining, as of the world left, or imral of the highest son of earth has parted as of the new world, were the nothing so affecting.
doubt. It passed ; and then followed There is much more solemnity in a lon train similar to that which prec
ceded the body, of monks and friars, son—then will sister angels come to and all religious orders numberless, awaken her, to own her, and to bear with torches,
and singing as they pass- her away. It was but a few moments ed “ the Miserere,” as did the whole while the ecclesiastic was passing, that procession. I did not follow to the I gazed upon the figure, yet often has church, for I was afraid of losing my the vision recurred to my mind; bow way; and I had heard strange tales of quick is thought, how searching is the streets of Rome, which deterred me, observation, when a mystery, nature In this case the parade lost its va- knows not what, makes the impression! nity and pride, for it seemed less of I said, Eusebius, that undertaken the indivdual than of human grandeur keep clerical company for mutual ad. in the abstract, and that set up even vantage–let the relatives look to that by the Church itself as a broad text —but when they are in league with unpon death, and humility, and all the medical profession, let the sick things, rather to be offered than dis- man look to what stuff he takes played at the foot of the cross in the Many years ago my good father, sanctuary to which the procession was whom you know, Eusebius, to have moving. How contemptible did all had a natural antipathy to any thing the funerals I had ever seen, in which sordid, was sent for to receive his fare display was affected, seem after this ? well and blessing from an aged aunt There is much in the idea that no upon her sick-bed at Bath. He ar. unhallowed hands touch the body-be rived in time to see her alive, and it so, or not, you are persuaded it is likewise to have an interview with the the case.
There is no vulgar inter- apothecary, who on taking leave at vention between life, death, and the the door-the old lady yet living—said tomb. Every act, after the breath softly and significantly to my father, has departed, is of sanctity and reli- putting a half a guinea at the same gious rite.
time into his hand, for he took him for I was on another occasion much the butler, my father being particular struck with this. Turning the cor- in his dress— Be so good, sir, as to ner of a street in Rome, also, and inform the family that my brother is at mid-day, I suddenly came upon a an undertaker.” Fagots and fury! tall personage dressed in ecclesiastical gloves and hat-bands! but such a thing habit
, carrying before him a coffin, in as this ought to be looked into. If which was a child, a girl, probably such should be the practice now at about ten years of age. She was very Bath or elsewhere, we are none of us beautiful. To say the face was pale safe in our beds. I have observed would ill describe the appearance; it that an undertaker pays his court to was marble pallor, with a look as if the penurious wealthy. Misers are it had been recently so converted from frequently known to be profuse in this living flesh and blood. Yet the idea their last, their only expenditure. of weight conveyed by the word mar- They not uncommonly give very large ble must be excluded from that ce- directions for their funerals; and, with lestialized look and substance. Indeed, a whimsical inconsistency, have driven seeing that it was the body of one of hard bargains upon the occasion, the age I have mentioned, it has since which they are shrewd enough to been a source of some wonder that the know will not be adhered to, and in priest could so easily carry it, and some instances, have given an order that surprise_still more spiritualizes on their heirs for the amount, and the subject. But that it was so pale, taken discount beforehand for their it might have been, to the imagination, own funerals. It is but one of the an angel caught sleeping, and brought freaks of pride. I knew a man wbo in the flowers of Paradise in which it denied his aged wife, with whom he had decked itself-for there were had lived forty years, in her last illflowers in festoons from head to foot. ness, medical attendance or nurse, and None followed—there was but the the many little comforts she wanted. priest with this beautiful child. It But once dead, his affection was shown has been, thought I, discovered in its by extraordinary magnificence in her death to be an angel , and has put off funeral
. Great was the display. The in this sleep all its earthly ties and coffin was the most sumptuous that thoughts. Nor parents, nor relatives, could be; all went on to the universal must follow it. It must be laid by astonishment of the neighbourhood at priest's hands in the temple for a sea- great cost. Bnt alas, the fit was over
the day before the funeral should take however, as it may. He did preserve place. A thought struck him that he her above ground, and above ground could save something in conveyance of she may be now perhaps. For he was the coffin from the undertaker's, and in the inventor of a new pickle, and in the dusk of the evening he sent for it the experiment the great John Hunter home in a dumg-cart. It upset by the was coadjutor. It is quite pleasant to way, perhaps through the malice and think that one human being in the the contrivance of the undertaker, and great city could escape the hands of arrived in broad day at the miser's door, the Black Harpies. The old woman daubed with mud, and a troop of hoot- in Horace was to be carried oiled, to ing boys after it. He forgot to give see if it was possible for her to slip directions respecting his own burial; through the hands of her heir and the perhaps the costly experiment and undertakers. But the pickle of Mafailure of his wife's interment sickened dame Van Butchel was a happier him ; his son certainly did not trouble thing, for through it she was never his head about the magnificence of it. carried out at all, but preserved at
The celebrated Van Butchel was home.* worthy of our respect, not so much for If a min would but consider every his beard and spotted horse, as for his funeral he sees as his own, or as spedetermination and success in defraud. cimens of the trade, from which to ing the black fraternity of their un- select for himself, how much absurreasonable expectations. He was at dity, mockery, and expense would he no sumptuous cost for his wife. It determine to cut off. Some have taken has been said that an annuity had been a fancy to have their coffins made, bequeathed to her, “as long as she while in good health themselves, 'and should be above ground.” Be that, kept them constantly before their eyes.
*The following Epitaph, which I have somewhere met with, may not be unacceptable.
“Ia reliquias Marim Van Butchel novo miraculo conservatas, et a marito suo superstites cultu quotidiano adoratas.
“Hic exsors tumuli jacet
Invita et repugnante natura,
Et horis omnibus eandem!” VOL. XLIV.
This may be bravery or cowardice; the convent. He formed therefore they may think thus to reconcile them- the scheme to become a member of selves by degrees to that which they their or some other monkish order. scarcely' dare face in all its reality. Whither he retired is not known. He But to rehearse the funeral in full, left his beautiful domains, just at the even to the laying out the gloves and moment his extensive lands and garhat-bands, and to the examination of dens were putting on their best surnthe accounts of the “forty per cents,” mer looks, and gently breathing in if it became a fashion, would doubtless every wind “enjoy." ruin the trade. For if men themselves This invitation was too much for were not satisfied with the rehearsal, him, for he was determined not to entheir heirs would be. Milton rehearsed joy any thing. So he departed, ostes. his, but that was to keep off the reality. sibly to pass a few months on the There are many who profess to give Continent. Thither he went, taking up the world, to shut themselves up with him only one old faithful domes for the rest of their lives, who would tic. He proceeded to the town of do well to take this methor of announ- B Having been there a few cing to their friends their defunct state, weeks, he opened his scheme to this that no further inquiries may be made old and tried servant, and made him about them, a practice which some solemnly swear to keep the secret, and debtors have found very convenient; perform his part in the scheme_to for men desperately in debt, by so give out that he was dead_and to doing, like skilful divers, may plunge procure a mock funeral. And to see over head and ears, in the sight of cure his fidelity, he showed him a very their crcditors, and come up else- beneficial codicil in his will, not avail. where. That a rich man' however able but in case of his real or suppos. should see himself dead and buried, ed death. I pass over the condition and then sit down to write his own of the poor old domestic—he had epitaph, and send it per post to his served his master too long to dispute executors, would be past belief, if it his will—and now there was a lurking were not to be found among the freaks wish that nobody else would dispute of humanity. There is an example, it. It had been law to him, and might Eusebius, within my and your memory. be in the eyes of others. The plan is You remember Sir Giles the agreed upon.
The old domestic besceptic—of - Park. It is generally comes acquainted with some of the supposed that he died abroad; but no under attendants at the hospital of such thing—by some means or other and by their means, under prethe truth has come out. Weary of tence that his master is a Professor of property and prosperity, and of having Anatomy, procures a body-conveys no wants ungratified but the greatest, it to the lodgings—and all minor matthat of knowing what he wanted ; mo- ters prepared for the deception, tells rose, suspicious, misanthropic, he had the people of the house that a friend long quarrelled with Providence for of his master's had died suddenly while too amply providing for him ; and paying him à morning visit. The more out of spite than conviction had body, under the real name of his maslong professed himself an atheist. At ter is coffined, and magnificent orders the
age of seventy he meditated a new given for the interment. Things bescheme of happiness; the only bar to ing in this state, the domestic writes the execution of which, for some time to the next heir an account of his after the conception of it, being that it master's sudden death; that he had would confer happiness on others, a been obliged to deposit the body in thing he never by any chance intend- lead, and all was ready for the funeral, ed. He had for years shut himself up and waiting further orders," &c. within his own domain, and had mostly &c. taken his exercise by nightfall. In The heir arrives, with little show of those nightly excursions he visited the sorrow, and strange to say, this rather owls, and the owls visited him, and amused than offended the old gentlethey were mutually satisfiel that they man, Sir Giles, who now under the had no other society. It occurred to disguise of a red wig and other ways him that the monks of La Trappe and means of metamorphosis, at the must be an improvement on them, in- recommendation of his servant to the asmuch as there must be less noise in Undertaker, has become one of the
official attendants upon his own funeral. dominions, they bury him in the counEvery thing was magnificently order. try of the Garrhians.” There is scarcely ed, as becoming the rank of so consi- an undertaker's array, provided he be derable a man. In his capacity of of any note, and has been long in the assistant Undertaker, he was initated trade, that would not furnish the folinto the mysteries, was even pleased lowing list to be strangled—“a conwith the sober riot and licentious de- cubine to be strangled, with a cup corum, the cheating, the pilfer, the bearer, a cook, a groom, a waiter, a
knavery, and felt a new joy in his messenger, certain horses.” A Royal i misanthropy. “Hung be the heavens Funeral in those days was something
with black.” Though the undertaker worth seeing—for, not satisfied with spread showers of silk, and suspended the above, “ they took the King's as clouds his sombre broad cloth, they Ministers, fifty in number, and strangwere to him but as Xerxes' arrows, led them; and with them the King's that shut out the day, but did not hit stud, fifty beautiful horses, and after the sun of happiness that now for the they have emptied and cleansed their first time shone in his heart. Happy bellies, the King's Ministers, they to him was the day of his death, but having been supposed to have filled far happier that of his burial. He them extraordinarily, they fill them looked upon his heir as the fool that with straw and sew them up again.
had taken the burden of his station Then they lay two planks of a semi- and property off his shoulders; and as circular form upon four pieces of tim
he would have only hated him the ber, placed at a convenient distance, more had he shown any feeling on the with the half circle upwards ; and when occasion, he was quite indifferent to they have erected a sufficient number the degree of sorrow he affected or of those machines, they set the horses omitted to affect. After the funeral he upon them, spitted with a strong pole, walked away, no one ever knew whi- quite through the body to the neck; ther, bequeathing as he fully believed and thus one semicircle supports the to his heir, all the miseries of prosperity shoulders of the horse, the other his unalloyed. Among his papers were flank, and his legs are suspended in the found his epitaph : "Favra KOVIS Kai tave air. After this they bridle the horses, τα το μηδεν." The old domestic has and hanging the reins at full length recently died, and bequeathed his upon posts erected to that end, mount money to the Ebenezer Chapel at one of the fifty they have strangled, T and had disclosed before his upon each horse, and fix him in the
seat death to relieve his conscience, so by driving a straight stick upwards from much as has enabled me to tell you the end of the back-bone to his head, the story. I have only a word or two and fastening the lowest part of that to add to this long letter, that in my stick in an aperture of the beam that spleen against all undertakers, that spits the horses. Then placing these they may more effectually mourn in horsemen quite round the monument, their professional calling, and get their they all depart; and this is the man“ forty per cent” with entire impuni. ner of the King's Funeral.” The ty, I will remind them of the ancient Scythians were a sensible people. discipline of their tribe among the When Dr. Prideaux offered to the Scythians, and sincerely wish they publisher his Connection of the Old would return to it. Herodotus tells and New Testament, the bookseller us, that when the king died, the under- remarked that it was a dry subject, takers who attended him, I will use and he could not safely print it, unless the words of the historian, cut off part he could enliven it with a little humour. of one ear, shave their heads, wound Perhaps, my dear Eusebius, you will themselves on the arms, forehead and charge me with making such an attempt
and pierce the left hand with an upon a grave subject. Be that as it arrow. Having done this, they ac- may, I know very well that if I do not company the chariot to another dis- make you laugh you will laugh withtrict, and this manner is observed in out me. every province, till having carried the dead body of the king through all his