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their appointed places, and the Canaanites surround the whole assembly -O what a shriek !
Amelia. It is most excessive and outrageous! Your ventriloquist and his assistants have exerted all their strength, and have well performed their part. What, weary already! silent so soon! Again repeated, and louder than before.
Mrs. N.-Was this, Sir, the manner in which they formerly used to mourn for the dead:
Ex.-Yes, Madam, these cries continue a long time, then cease at once; they begin again as suddenly, at day break, and in concert, together with increasing loudness and
shrillness, which render it quite terrific. You are not to suppose that those, who were ready to split their throats with crying out, wept much; the greater part of them did not shed a tear.
The relations of the deceased often testify their sorrow in a more serious and affecting manner, by cutting and slashing their naked arms with daggers, beating their breasts and thighs, tearing their flesh, and making furrows in their faces with their nails; the bereaved Greeks tore, cut off, and sometimes shaved their hair; they reckoned it a duty which they owed to the dead, to deprive their heads of the greatest part of their honours. The Jews, and other nations of Syria, expressed their sorrow for the loss of their friends in the same manner.
Mrs. N.-This had more the semblance of sincerity, but it was not required, by either affection or friendship, nor did it any honour to their religion.
D.—They did not on all occasions proceed to so great excesses; in ordinary sorrows they only neglected their hair, or suffered it to hang loose upon their shoulders; in more poignant grief they cut it off; but in a sudden and violent paroxysm, they plucked it off with their hands.
Amelia.—The antients might pride themselves on their forms of mourning, but, without doubt, the moderns have a more elegant mode of displaying their grief. I remember when my cousin Frederic returned from visiting Mrs. Blandeville, after the death of her husband; he said, although the fair mourner could not prevent the involuntary tear trickling down her cheek, to the memory of her “ beloved Blandeville,” yet the deeply afflicted lady had not omitted the proper adjustment of her sables; and declared her countenance and costume were so well adapted to each other, that the widow should never lay aside her weeds, until she was persuaded to renounce the character.
your cousin might make, it is highly improper for you to repeat them. Did the antients, Sir, in their times of mourning, pay any particular attention to their dress?
D.—Yes, Madam, they did. Oriental mourners, divested themselves of all ornaments, and laid aside their jewels, gold, and every thing rich and splendid - in their dress.
In Judea, the mourner was clothed in sackcloth of hair, and by consequence in sable robes; and as dead bodies in the east were shrouded in cloth of this kind, surviving relatives probably wore it in assimilation to the departed.
Mrs. N. - Myself and daughters, Sir, are much obliged by the account