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Till then, to spend my short remains of time
ON FOOLISH SUPERSTITIONS. To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.
Hořoured Sir, i As you seem so affable and condescending, and ready to give your advice to all those that seek it, I hope you'll not be offended that a plain man, like me, should take the freedom to write to you; and what's more, to beg for an answer in your Monthly Visitor. I hope, Sir, this is not done out of a vain. desire to see how my name looks in print, but just for this plain reason, because I want to tell some of my neighbours what I think is the truth and yet I cannot find words of my own to persuade them. Now, I think, honoured Sir, your words, if you would be so kind as to give them, would go a deal farther than mine..
These following, and such like, are the things I mean, that I want to know how to talk to them rightly about. '
One perhaps shall tell me how his wife is very ill; and, when I shall ask him why he does not go for the Doctor, then he will say, " there's no use in that, for the poor creature is overlookedhe knows who it is has cast an evil eye upon her, and he has been to the cunning man about it; nay, and many a night he has taken the Common Prayer-book up
stairs, and laid it under her pillow ;-and all won't do.”—Then comes another, and tells me " How his child is very bad with the hooping cough; but no matter, for it must soon be well now."__"How so,' neighbour,” says I. ." Oh,” says he, “I've taken a red string, and bound it nine times round the child's wrist, and, at every knot I tied, I repeated some of those charms that the wise woman taught, me, till they were all said.”-A third has told me “ How she has sent to get her bad eye charmed'; for there's no need to go one-self; if one does but send' ones name, it's enough--but, the worst of it is, he'as charms 'em wont do many more, its thought now; for he's obliged to take for himself just half as much of the distemper as he takes away from another, and so his eyes are so dim he can hardly see.” Now, honoured Sir, I could fill my paper with such stories ! as these, but that would be tiring your patience ; for I know in my heart, that it is all folly; and I think, in them that pretend to it, it is much more than folly, for it must be wickedness; but then, for want of being able to frame my reason, I cannot get my neighbours to take my word.
Pray, honoured Sir, let us have your notions about it, for I am almost certain they must do the joh, for your hook is much respected and beloved in all the parish. So, honoured Sir, I remain your dutiful servant,
P.S. I've seen in the end of your book where I must send my letter, so as it may come safe to hand. So as the Squire's Family is going to London, I have begged of one of the Livery Servants to drop it in any time as he goes by the place, that it may be free of all expence.
Joseph Trueman asks for our advice; and thinks that we can say something more likely to be of use, than what he himself would say on this subject. We
sometitable trade by fra called innocent;cion shi
where the scarcely Fraud and
think we cannot, and we have therefore printed his letter just as we received it. Every one whoreads it, must see that Joseph is right, and that the customs which he has mentioned, are nothing but foolish : fancies, and idle superstitions;—though, indeed, as he justly observes, they are something worse, for sometimes they arise from an intention to make a profitable trade by fraud and deceit. And even ignorance can scarcely be called innocent, in a country. where the light of the Christian religion shines, which would at once, if its benefits were sought,
drive away the darkness of such ignorance and folly. · We really hope, however, and are indeed certain,
that these fooleries are much less frequent than they were a few years ago. The people generally know better. We must confess, however, that, not very long since, in one of our country visits, a Goody was sent for, to bless a scalded arm;which she did by repeating a few verses over it. It must be owned, however, that the good woman had moreover an excellent receipt for a cooling ointment, which she put on at the same time. And the wound did very well; but whether from the ointment or the verses, we shall leave our readers to judge.
.. ON EPITAPHS. To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.
I send you two epitaphs upon children, taken from country church-yards, and which I have been much struck with.
Ere sin could blight or sorrow fade,
Death came with friendly care, The infant bud to Heaven conveyed, , And bade it blossom there *.
* In the church-yard where I saw this beautiful epitaph, (at Boxford, in Suffolk) I met with another of a very different
When the Archangel's trump shall blow,
And souls to bodies join,
Had been as short as thine...
I add another, on the same subject; which I should be glad to see in your book, if you should think it fit for insertion.
Suffer the little children, said our Lord,
' I am, Sir,
. R. B. To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.
Sir, The Visitor for March contains some very just observations on the absurd Epitaphs on many grave. stones in every church-yard. Such a collection as you seem to wish for would be very useful, for many instances have occurred of great good having been done by a striking reflection meeting the eye of a traveller. I'would, however, suggest a remedy against any thing really absurd and improper being allowed to appear. Every rector or vicar has a
description, as the reader will soon discover. It is upon two infants and thus it runs:
Like two fine roses all in bloom,
God did us call, we was cutt down,
And called us back, we was his own.
right to demand a fee for a grave-stone; the churchyard is his freehold. Now he may with great propriety insist upon having any epitaph submitted to him before the stone shall be admitted into the church-yard. 'i '
'Epitaph in Wimbledon Church-yurd.
Here lie the remains of ..
Aged 73 years. He had lived nearly twenty-two years in the service of Joseph Marryatt, Esq. of this village, as Bailiff; highly and deservedly respected for the integrity and picty of his character, when he was thrown ont of a cart by the horse falling, and killed on the spot.
“ In the midst of life, we are in death!"
Like him who rests beneatly this humble soul;
Whenever called apon to meet thy God. .
In the same Church-yard.;,.
DANIEL SMITH, aged 8 years, Who on the 28th April, 1821, while employed in a gravelpit on the Common, which had been left improperly exca. vated, were smothered by the sudden fall of the earth above them, “ There is but a step, between me and death."
I Samuel xx. 3. When such as these are called away, A warning voice seems heard to say, • Presume no more on health or youth, • Here learn, and feel an awful truth: • Perlaps a step-perhaps a breath, * Is all between thee now and death. • 0! then, while yet 'tis called to-day, • Prepare to meet it, watch and pray,' nn..