Page:A short history of social life in England.djvu/267

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247
FUNERALS

little Venice glass she had, which showed her, I suppose, that what the stupid boy said was only too true, for she turned away from the glass and her eyes filled with tears."

In 1694 the Queen herself was attacked and died in a few days of this malignant disease. Inoculation and vaccination were as yet unknown, and there was nothing to stay its ravages. The common treatment seems to have been a black powder, made of thirty or forty live toads burnt to black ashes. When the Queen sickened, her physicians had recourse to their ordinary remedy for all the ills of life, that of bleeding. But there was no cure for the virulent small-pox of the seventeenth century, and at the early age of thirty-two Mary died.

Royal funerals in these days were outrageous in their display of pomp and this exaggeration found an echo in funerals of all classes of society. No pains were spared to make a funeral of the poorest both costly and miserable. The funeral invitations sent out were ghastly eulogies of the dead, decorated with grinning skulls, pickaxes, hourglasses, and cross-bones, material ideas entirely crushing the spiritual. To each mourner gloves, hat-bands and mourning rings were presented,