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A Victorian Scrapbook

A Scrapbook of Newspaper Articles Compiled by George Burgess (1829-1905)

Victorian Culture and Life

An Outspoken Epitaph

Published c1858

Thomas Bond and wife Mary burried in Horsleydown, Cumberland, England

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Transcript from original newspaper article: -
AN OUTSPOKEN EPITAPH. – A remarkably out-spoken one, from a monument in Horsleydown Church, in Cumberland, runs as follows: -

An Outspoken Epitath“Here lie the bodies of Thomas Bond and Mary his wife. She was temperate, chaste, and charitable; but she was proud, peevish, and passionate. She was an affectionate wife and tender mother, but her husband and child, whom she loved, seldom saw her countenance without a disgusting frown, while she received visitors whom she despised with an endearing smile. Her behaviour was discreet towards strangers, but imprudent in her family. Abroad her conduct was influenced by good breeding, but at home by ill-temper.”

And so the epitaph runs on to considerable length, acknowledging the good qualities of the poor woman, but killing each by setting against it some peculiarly unamiable trait. It is an unmanly assault which her brother (the author of the inscription) has thus made upon the poor dead woman. If you cannot honestly say good of a human being on his gravestone, then say nothing at all.