Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Grave stones and memorials

I have from time to time blogged about oddities I have stumbled across (across which I have stumbled, Skip?) such as the pirate's grave at Brockley (read about it here.) or another in Stanmer churchyard (you can find that one here). There is another memorial which I have never seen, even though it is only a mile or so from my front door. Not only have I never seen it, but I had never heard of its existence even until a few weeks ago.

Back in the 18th century, smuggling was almost a way of life for people in south-east England - even more so than in the days of the booze cruise! Brandy, tea, tobacco, silk - all made their surreptitious ways across the beaches. As Rudyard Kipling had it:
Five and twenty ponies,  
Trotting through the dark —   
Brandy for the Parson,  
Baccy for the Clerk;  
Laces for a lady, letters for a spy,  
And watch the wall, my darling,  
While the Gentlemen go by! 
One delightful story concerns the Vicar of Preston, then a small village just north of Brighton. The gentleman in question was also in charge of the parish of Hove, then an even smaller village to the west of Brighton. He would conduct Sunday services in either church on alternate weeks. One Sunday the Vicar turned up to do his duty, but found that the bell was not being rung and, on enquiring why, was told that he had got his preaching timetable wrong. The Vicar, certain that he was right, pressed the Sexton who eventually informed him that he could not carry out the service because the church was full of kegs of spirits and the pulpit was full of tea.

But back to the memorial in Patcham churchyard. The grave is that of Daniel Scales, who, we are told, "was unfortunately shot on Thursday evening, Nov. 7th, 1796." The inscription continues:
Alas! swift flew the fatal lead, 
Which pierced through the young man’s head. 
He instant fell, resigned his breath, 
And closed his languid eyes in death 
.All you who do this stone draw near, 
Oh! pray let fall the pitying tear. 
From this sad instance may we all 
Prepare to meet Jehovah’s call.

There must have been plenty of money in smuggling to cover the cost of that inscription!


(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip, said...

I've decided that to determine the placement of a preposition I will see how clumsy it sounds when placed according to the rules of grammar.
I'm not really all that disturbed unless they are redundant and unnecessary.

joeh said...

If it is acceptable these days to say "We were conversating" it is certainly ok to end a sentence a preposition with. Actually according to one site on the web:

"I've read long arguments about why it's OK to end sentences with prepositions when the preposition isn't extraneous, but the driving point still seems to be “Normal people don't talk that way.”

If it sounds weird it is wrong. So to "end a sentence a preposition with" is incorrect.