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Gleanings in Graveyards

by Horatio Edward Norfolk

Although this country may be behind many others in the poetic or classic character of its monumental inscriptions, it is certainly not so in the production of Epitaphs of a curious and absurd character. Whether it is that the British are, as a nation, witty and humorous, and that they are desirous that their peculiarities should be recorded even in the sanctuaries of their dead, or that they consider true records of the departed to be of little or no value, has yet to be shown. It is, however, remarkable that if we refer to the epitaphial records of other nations, we find that they are, as a rule, noted for their beauty, elegance, or truth, whereas of the many graveyards in Great Britain there is scarcely one that does not afford examples of humourous effusions.

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