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I. Welton. Money Bicks. 1839.
DISTINGUISHED AND EXTRAORDINARY PERSONS.
Printed and Sold by J. Raw;
ORME, PATERNOSTER NOW, LONDON.
MONUMENTAL Inscriptions excited the attension of the ancients, and are regarded by the moderns as sources of amusement, information and admonition.
Epitaphs are not simply memorials that “ time is on the wing, that every rank and age must fall a prey to his depredations, that the moments of life are too precious to be squandered away on trifles, that religion is the only support against the horrors of death, and the only guide to the joys of eternity.”
Epitaphs are brief biographical memoirs, the outlines of characters which have appeared in the drama of human life.
The desire of gaining some clue to the knowledge of our predecessors, is secondary only to the wish of transmitting to posterily some token of our existance.
Men in a few instances have employed a part of their lives in preparing for themselves memorials to to rescue their names from oblivion, but custom generally assigns the office to friendship; hence elogiung frequently emblazons the virtues and conceals the faults of the deceased.--However amiable the maxim “ speak not ill of the dead;" praise for excellencies never possessed is poignant satire in the eyes of those who are well informed, and culpable imposition or the credulity of strangers.
Complimentary Epitaphs, the effusions of courtesy; are far less estimable than those which characterize, the wise, the great, and the good.
That species of composition, Epigramic Epitaphs. which consist in satirical description, ironical eulogy, or the wit of the punster-although seldom if ever. admitted to counteract the solemnity which meditation. amongst the tombs produces ; does not appear out of. place in a collection adapted to readers of different temperatures, and intended to amuse, inform and instruct.
A collection of Epitaphs in the learned languages would le "acceptable to learned men, and useful to students.
But in this compilation, no inscriptions in Latin, &c. are inserted, because, to the greater number of readers they present a dead letter, and the rehearsal of