C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


It is but waste to bury them preciously.


  • The nodding plums,
  • Which makes poor man’s humiliation proud;
  • Boast of our ruin! triumph of our dust!
  • Dr. Young.

  • Groans and convulsions, and discolour’d faces,
  • Friends weeping round us, blacks, and obsequies,
  • Make death a dreadful thing; the pomp of death
  • Is far more terrible than death itself.
  • Nat. Lee.

    The only kind office performed for us by our friends of which we never complain is our funeral; and the only thing which we most want, happens to be the only thing we never purchase—our coffin.


  • Of all
  • The fools who flock’d to swell or see the show,
  • Who car’d about the corpse? The funeral
  • Made the attraction, and the black the woe;
  • There throbb’d not there a thought which pierc’d the pall.
  • Byron.

  • Why is the hearse with scutcheons blazon’d round,
  • And with the nodding plume of ostrich crown’d?
  • The dead know it not, nor profit gain;
  • It only serves to prove the living vain,
  • How short is life; how frail is human trust!
  • Is all this pomp for laying dust to dust?
  • Gay.

  • But see! the well-plumed hearse comes nodding on, stately and slow;
  • But tell us, why this waste?
  • Why this ado in earthing up a carcass
  • That’s fallen into disgrace, and in the nostrils smells horrible?
  • Blair.

  • What though no friends in sable weeds appear,
  • Grieve for an hour, perhaps, then mourn a year?
  • And bear about the mockery of woe
  • To midnight dances, and the public show!
  • Pope.

  • Thus, day by day, and month by month, we pass’d;
  • It pleas’d the Lord to take my spouse at last.
  • I tore my gown, I soil’d my locks with dust,
  • And beat my breasts—as wretched widows must.
  • Before my face my handkerchief I spread,
  • To hide the flood of tears I did—not shed.
  • Pope.