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Monument at Higham Ferrars.


the postage of, on account of the transaction carried on. Let the member have the privilege of granting five franks to his friends; and be it recollected that this, at five a day, fairly valued at half a crown each, will in the year save them, that is, the friends of the thousand members, 228,125l. of postage. It is not probable that constituents will send above two letters per day, and the remaining three the member will receive uncharged. I have said enough to show that this important case cannot remain much longer on a footing so manifestly detrimental to the public interest, labouring under pressure in every department. JOHN MACDONALD,


Feb. 16. THE Church of Higham Ferrers, in Northamptonshire, is one of the most handsome in itself, and most rich in its monuments, in a county which is distinguished for the beauty of its ecclesiastical structures. It was made collegiate by Archbishop Chicheley, who also built near the church a School and a Bedehouse; a view comprising the church and school was given in your vol. LXXXV. i. 393.

The monument represented in the accompanying drawing (Plate II.) is that of Laurence de Sancto Mauro, or Seymour, who died Rector in 1337. Its slab is beautifully inlaid with brass, as may be seen engraved in Gough's Sepulchral Monuments, vol. II. p.332. The Rector, in a rich cope, stands under a highly decorated arch, surrounded with niches containing saints. Four brass shields of arms have been torn away; but some shields still remain carved in stone, on the sides of the tomb. They appear to have been originally nearly the same on both sides of the tomb; 1. the three lions of England; 2. the same under a label, Plantagenet of Lancaster, Lord of Higham Ferrars; 3. two chevrons under a label of three, Seymour; and 4. checky, On the south side the label of the second coat is of three points, and on the north of five.

The tomb is surmounted with a finely formed arch, of which the side next the high altar is exhibited in the plate. It is principally with a view of showing the remarkable manner in which this arch has been adorned with painting, that the present drawGENT. MAG. June, 1831.


ings are communicated. During the repairs of the church in the year 1827, when an attempt was made to restore the mouldings to their early sharpness and beauty, by removing the accumulated filth and whitewash, this colouring was accidentally discovered.

The central moulding, within the arch, is painted with the lozenge pattern, shown at large in fig. 1. The lozenge is of red and black, on a slatecoloured ground. The three knobs, which are seen projecting from this part, have iron rings in them, either for suspension of lamps, or a canopy or curtain, or perhaps to fix on bosses which have been broken off.

The outer members of the arch, on each side, are divided into compartments, in the manner shown at large in fig. 2. The ground is alternately green and red, the latter not vermilion, but a kind of crimson, apparently laid on dry, whilst most of the other colours appear to have been laid on wet, and some with oil. The compartments are separated by a broad black line, close to which on the crimson side is another of brown which was once gilt, and on the green side a like stripe of white. The lowest compartment on the west side is green, with a pattern of black and white dragonflies; the next above is red with the same insect pattern; the two next are alternately green and red, with a pattern of white lions; then two compartments, green and red, of flies; two, at the turning of the arch, of lions; and so down the other side.

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St. Maur and Seymour.-Funeral Ceremonies.

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perienced observer remarked, many centuries ago, that there is nothing new under the Sun; and the practices of the present race seem to confirm the wisdom which dictated that pithy observation. The writings of Homer contain a system of ethics, which human knowledge and human ingenuity, exercised throughout a consecutive period of two thousand years, have failed essentially to improve; and even the mythological rites and ceremonies that distinguished the most cultivated æra of paganism, have been transmitted through all the fluctuations of religious worship, and have descended to our times, very little impaired by their introduction into a system of truth.


June 9.

I have often reflected with astonishment at the want of novelty which distinguishes all our customs and ceremonies, civil or religious. We are the creatures of habit, more apt to imitate the usages of our forefathers, than to aim at originality even in our most solemn rites. And how correct soever this may be in principle, it is still a process of much curiosity to trace the resemblance that actually exists between the customs of two periods which are removed from each other by thousands of years. An ex

We have scarcely a single devotional ceremony, the original of which may not be traced to some æra of remote antiquity. Have we annual feasts to commemorate the dedication So had the Jews of our churches ? and Greeks at the solemn consecration of their temples. Do we use Christmas celebrations? They may be traced to the brumal or Yule feasts of our Saxon ancestors, which were held at the same season, and we have not rejected even the name. The custom perpetuated in many parts of this country of decorating churches and dwelling houses with evergreens at that time of the year, is evidently derived from the aboriginal inhabitants of the island; for the same practice formed a part of the Druidical winter ceremonies. Did the primitive fathers of our Church instruct their Christian followers to worship with their faces towards the east? We are assured that the same practice was prevalent amongst the heathens. How this has happened I pause not here to inquire; the object of the present communication being of a more humble nature;

It is to be regretted that some members of the Duke of Somerset's family should have recently had the bad taste to alter the spelling of their name from Seymour to St. Maur. The latter is French, or abbreviated Latin; the former is the established English orthography. It is true that Dugdale has printed the name St. Maur in the place above referred to; but those Barons were not the ancestors of the Duke of Somerset ; and, if Dugdale be an authority, he, of course, in his account of the Ducal family, authorises that orthography from which it has been entirely a modern fancy to deviate. It may be also true that the names of the Duke's remote ancestors are found Latinized by "de Sabeto Mauro;" yet, since as a family the present Seymours have an unusually marked starting post, in the marriage of Henry the Eighth with Jane Seymour, the ancestors they have chiefly to regard are the two able and aspiring uncles of King Edward the Sixth; and to look beyond those SEYMOURS is to give up a substantial ancestral honour for a "vox et præterea nihil.**

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Origin of Funeral Ceremonies..


and I shall proceed to point out a few instances of this system of imitation in the common ceremonial of our funerals as practised in the part of Lincolnshire where I reside.

On the decease of an individual, when the eyes and mouth have been ceremonially closed, after the manner of the Jews, Greeks, and Romans, a bell is tolled, which is called the Passing Bell, to intimate to all whom it may concern, that a fellow Christian has passed from life to death. Some think that the passing bell was originally intended to drive away the evil spirits who were waiting in the lower regions of the air to seize upon the soul of the deceased person in its passage from the body. For this opinion I cannot find sufficient authority, though it was undoubtedly an ancient belief, that unclean spirits have a decided antipathy to the sound of bells, and particularly to those which have been ritually consecrated. Hence the well-known observation of Durand, "Cæterum campanæ in processionibus pulsantur ut dæmones timentes fugiant." The truth is, that this bell was intended as an admonition to the survivors to pray for the departed soul; and the number of prayers enjoined was, two for a woman, and three for a man; which accounts rationally for our custom of distinguishing the sex of the departed by the number of strokes with which the passing bell commences and concludes. A slight variation has crept in through lapse of time, the death of the female being announced by three pulsations, and that of the male by four.

The corpse is now laid out, and shrouded. This is a custom of great antiquity, and was used, not only by the early patriarchs, but also by the Egyptians, as their mummies fully testify. It is, in fact, a custom dictated by Nature herself. A pewter dish containing salt is usually placed on the stomach of the corpse to prevent a premature decay; a practice which was derived from the Druids, combining two remarkable emblems, -the body, of corruption; the salt, of incorruption or immortality. The corpse, thus prepared, is watched till the funeral, which generally takes place on the third day after the decease, in reference to the inhumation of our Saviour, who was crucified on one day, lay in the tomb the whole of


the next, and on the third was triumphantly restored to life.

On the funeral day, the relatives and friends of the deceased assemble about an hour before the time appointed for interment, and are regaled with sweet cakes and wine. This custom is of unfathomable antiquity, The "bread of mourners" is mentioned by the prophet Hosea; and the wine, or "cup of consolation for the dead," by Jeremiah. The heathen nations observed the same practice. The funeral cake used by the Greeks was placed in the mouth of the deceased to appease the wrath of Cerberus, and is called by Virgil, "melle soporatam et medicatis frugibus of fam." The ancients made libations to the dead of wine, honey, and blood, and honey was universally considered a symbol of death. Пonava, or round, broad, and thin salt cakes made a part of the funeral offerings to Hecate or the moon. The Hindoos were enjoined in the Vedas to offer a cake called peenda to the ghosts of their


Before the coffin is ultimately screwed down, one of the attendants usually invites the sorrowing relatives and others to take a farewell view of the deceased, whose face has been kept exposed till this moment, that all suspicion of violence or unfair dealing may be removed. The corpse is then removed to the church in procession, carried by six persons of the same sex, followed by the mourners, habited in black scarves, hoods, and gloves, and preceded by the clergyman and medical attendant; the body being covered with flowers, which tend to accelerate decay after interment, and the coffin with evergreens, which are symbolical of the soul's immortality. This custom may be traced to an early period. Virgil thus describes its observance on the death of Marcellus :

66- Manibus date lilia plenis : Purpureos spargam flores, animamque nepotis His saltem accumulem donis, et fungar inani Munere."-En. vi. 884.

And Propertius says, "Et tenera poneret ossa rosâ."

At Roman funerals the doors were hung with cypress, which was es teemed the proper emblem of a fune


ral. mary.

The train is preceded by a choir of singers, which is a vestige of heathenism, and is probably a transcript of the bardic funeral dirge. The idolatrous nations of Greece and Rome, whose funeral rites were celebrated with great pomp, used to sing hymns over their dead, because they conceived that during the performance of harmonious music, the soul would slide into Elysium with greater facility. To accomplish this purpose, a hymn called by the Greeks Aodn, was first sung during the procession to the funeral pile by hired female vocalists, and consisted of mourning verses for the loss they had sustained. Then an anthem was used at the pile in commendation of the deceased; after which they chaunted a kind of dialogue while the ashes were collected. The Jews used a similar practice over their illustrious dead. It was adopted by the early Christians; and in Saxon times it was usual for the priest who preceded the coffin to sing a funeral psalm. The custom was continued by some of the Reformed Churches; and amongst others, it is still used by the Church of England, and by some classes of Protestant dissenters from the establishment. GEO. OLIVER.

Thoughts on the English Language. The Saxons used sprigs of rose

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Mere, May 3. YOUR esteem for the language of England, your father-land, and the mightiest isle of the sea, and your kind insertion of my former letters on the corruptions of it, lead me to hope that you will open the Gentleman's Magazine for a few more thoughts on the same subject.

From want of attention to the Saxon ground-work of our language, and to the Gothic dialects that come from the same original with it; the adjective endings, some and ful, as in frolicsome, merciful, &c. have been neglected, confounded, and abused. These endings have their own particular meanings; some being equally as useful as ful, though it should not be used instead of it. Some, as I showed in my former letter, by reference to the German, means strictly, apt to do or promote the thing denoted by the word to which it is put; as quarrelsome, apt to quarrel, wholesome (German heilsam), apt to heal, &c. But


ful means full of, or having much of, a thing; as spiteful, full of spite, sorrowful, full of sorrow, &c. So that delightful, spoken of a fine morning, of music, or any other charming thing, is wrong; and delightsome, as it is sometimes shaped by the vulgar, is right; because a morning or music cannot have, or be full of, delight itself, but is apt to delight man, or to promote delight in his mind.

If these distinctions are allowed, many such adjectives as the following should end with some, instead of ful: frightful, healthful,

(applied to a thing.)

hurtful, dreadful,

mindful, and


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Later writers have shaped a kind of macaronic words in the oddest and most irregular way possible; some of them partly English, with latinlike endings; some beginning in Saxon, and ending in Greek, and others being half English and half French. Of this kind are Constabulary (force), Squirearchy, Cottage-orné, Sheriffalty, Toryism, and others; which might be,

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constably, genteel cottage, sheriffhood, effervesce,
Toryhood, and so on. If ulary is a
fit ending for making adjectives from
nouns ending in le, as constable; we
may as well use it generally, and call
a fiddle-bow a fiddulary arc; and the
black of a tea-kettle the kettulary
smut and if hood, and ship, are the
English noun-endings to mark a state
or office, let us use one of them in all
fit cases, instead of ism, cy, alty, and


We know that the Latin endings abilis, and ibilis, have a passive meaning; as audibilis, that may be heard; accessibilis, that may be come to; and that able and ible are the English shapes of those endings: and yet we have such a word as pleasurable; which, in regularity, would mean that may be pleasured; but which really means pleasing in an active sense. Peccadillo is the diminutive of the Spanish pecado, a sin, or crime: and as we form diminutives by ling, as duckling, gosling, foundling, &c. we have no need of it; because crimeling or sinling would be equal to it. And by using the ending ling more commonly, we may have a class of useful words, such as

kingling, fieldling, farmlings,

The Duchess of Portland's Portrait of Milton.

shopling, landling,

bookling, folkling,

a regulus, a little king. a small field.

the small quantities of ground let to the poor, a small farm. a huckster's shop.

a small territory, or island. a small book, a pamphlet. a small people, or nation. authorling, a petty writer. townling,

a small town; and others.

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(e fervesco), to heat up. (a most awkward compound for a noun, even in the French), meetstead




(main œuvre, handy-work), handwork; in the sense of a trick, willwork. (Ital. motto, a word), chosen-word, or word.


grotesque work, whimwork. grotesque,




thwarting, or notwithstandstanding.




June 3.

A CORRESPONDENT in your Magazine for May has sent for preservation Vertue's Letter to Mr. Christian on the subject of Milton's portrait. He is undoubtedly right in thus publishing entire what Warton only quoted for the particular expression as to Lord Dorset. Every thing respecting the Epic Wonder of our nation is of lasting importance. Permit me therefore to inquire after a resemblance of the poet, to which my attention was originally called by the Editor of his Minor Poems. Upon referring to Mr. Warton's note upon Milton's Greek tetrastic, In effigiei ejus sculptorem, at page learned Commentator thus expressing 545 of the edition 1785, we find the himself: "The Duchess of Portland has a miniature of his head, when young the face has a stern thoughtfulness, and, to use his own expression, is severe in youthful beauty.'

Now, Mr. Urban, I am old enough to remember the controversy, and your own Magazine was the field of the

disputants, some five and forty years ago (see vol. LXI. pp. 399, 603, 885), when Sir Joshua Reynolds endeavoured to persuade the world, as he had satisfied himself, that a miniature which he had purchased for 100 guineas, certainly by Cooper, and painted in 1653, was a genuine portrait of the poet. Sir Joshua is great authority in his own art; and, therefore, when we find him stating that "it is admirably painted, and with such a character of nature that I am perfectly sure it was a striking likeness," there are few who would feel disposed to question his decision. But as to its being a likeness of Milton, I imagine he at last began to doubt even the possibility of its having a

Yours, &c.

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