Notebooks, and Some Letters from Julia Augusta Martin

Notebooks, and Some Letters from Julia Augusta Martin

Notebooks, and Some Letters from Julia Augusta Martin

Notebooks, and Some Letters from Julia Augusta Martin

Excerpt

1867

My father's description of the funeral of a singer, or violinist, at Stinsford formerly: 'I am the Resurrection and the Life' was sung by the Quire when the corpse was met, at the beginning of Afternoon Service, the funeral being on a Sunday. The body remained in the nave during the whole service. The 88th or 39th Psalm was sung, instead of the ordinary Psalm, at the commencement of service. Ist Corinthians was read instead of the Lesson for the Day; the Burial Service Psalms instead of those for the day, and a funeral sermon was delivered. At the end of the service the congregation went out, and were followed by the funeral. The singers and players stood round at the foot of the grave and sang the 90th Psalm (verses 3-6, Tate and Brady). My grandfather, with his 'cello, used a joint, or coffin-stool to sit on.

It is significant that this, the first of Hardy's surviving unpublished notes, is concerned with music, more especially religious music played by his forbears in the parish where he was born. He made this note when he was twenty-seven but Under the Greenwood Tree (which has the members of the Old Quire for protagonists) was not written for another four years. It was published anonymously by Tinsley Brothers in 1872, and a succeeding note tells us what Hardy was paid.

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