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Quaint Epitaphs

Transcriber's Notes

Non-standard spellings, typos and non-standard punctuation have been left as they appear in the original, except in a few cases where standardization was needed for clarity.

* * * * *

"Quaint Epitaphs"

COLLECTED BY

SUSAN DARLING SAFFORD.

COPYRIGHT, 1895,

BY SUSAN DARLING SAFFORD.

ALFRED MUDGE & SON, PRINTERS, 24 FRANKLIN STREET, BOSTON.

INTRODUCTION.

This collection of epitaphs was started in a very modest fashion about thirty-five years ago, when the compiler found great pleasure in searching all the graveyards near her Vermont home for quaint inscriptions upon old tombstones. It was neither a morbid curiosity nor a spirit of melancholy that attracted her to the weather-beaten slabs of marble and slate, but rather a fondness for studying human eccentricity as revealed in whimsical epitaphs. In almost every graveyard one can find

"Some frail memorial still erected nigh, With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture decked"

and these have given many hours of pleasure to one who finds in such sombre elegies of the dead most interesting reflections of the living.

As the only purpose of carrying on such odd researches was to satisfy a fondness for freakish ingenuity, much less interest was found in the thousands of amusing epitaphs that are penned by writers for comic papers or by wags in general. Fictitious inscriptions lack the charm of authenticity, which in the case of epitaphs is decidedly more desirable than imagination. All selections which could not be definitely located are classed by themselves, but many of these are known to have actually existed, though for varying reasons the collector is unable to vouch for their exact locality.

In a few instances the names have been changed, where it was thought that verbatim copies of the epitaphs might prove invidious to the relatives or friends of the dead. It is hoped that the division into localities will prove a convenience to a majority of readers, who naturally will not care to read such a book through at one sitting, but rather to pick it up now and then when in the mood for such light entertainment as it can afford. The spelling has necessarily been changed at times from the antiquated and almost hieroglyphic forms which would defy the most careful typography; but in general the orthography and punctuation are copied verbatim from the originals.


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