Magazine article The Spectator

Mind Your Language

Magazine article The Spectator

Mind Your Language

Article excerpt

I WONDER what the poor Princess will have on her tombstone.

We all know about not being on oath in lapidary inscriptions, but I have noticed recently that the virtues prized by another age are not the ones we embrace most eagerly, and were certainly not expressed in the same terms.

I've been doing a bit of desultory tomb-spotting during another of my husband's so-called conferences (really, bribes from drug companies), this time at Oxford. At Woodstock, nearby, in St Mary Magdalene's church, there is a tablet to Robert Crews (died 1731): 'He was an Humble, Obsequious Son,/A Tender, Affectionate Brother,/A Peaceable, Benevolent Neighbour./He kept up the Good Old Hospitality./His Liberal Table was Spread to the Hungry,/His Purse Open to the Necessitous,/Generous without Affectation,/Just in his Actions and Sincere to his Friends,/A pattern of Patience, Humility,/Charity, Good Nature and Peace.'

Well, that sums it up nicely. I like 'Obsequious'. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.