“The End of His Days”,
page 9 of 10
“Last Friday Morning departed this Life after a lingering Illness the Honorable Mrs. Roddam, wife to Robert Roddam, Esq. Commander of his Majesty’s Ship Greyhound, now on this Station, and eldest Daughter of his Excellency our Governor. We hear she is to be Interred this Evening.
“Good Mr. Parker — Dont let the Character of our Deceased Friend, Mrs. Roddam, slip through your Fingers, as that of her Person through those of the Doctors. That she was a most affable and perfectly Good-Natured young Lady, with Good Sense and Politeness is well known to all her Acquaintances, and became one of the most affectionate Wives.
“Immatura peri, sed to felicior, Annos
Vivi mens, Conjux optime, vive tuos
were the Sentiments of her Later Moments when I had the Honour to attend her. As this is intended as a small Tribute to the Manes of my dear departed Friend, your inserting of it will oblige one of your constant Female Readers and Humble Servant.”
Another, of a well-known colonial dame, reads thus:—
“Last Monday died in the Both year of her Age, and on Thursday was decently interred in the Family Vault at Morrisania: Isabella Morris, Widow and Relict of his Excellency Lewis Morris, Esq., Late Governor of the Province of New Jersey: A Lady endowed with every Qualification Requisite to render the Sex agreeable and entertaining, through all the Various scenes of Life. She was a pattern of Conjugal Affection, a tender Parent, a sincere Friend, and an excellent Oeconomist.
Liberal, without Prodigality
Frugal, without Parsimony
Chearful, without Levity
Exalted, without Pride.
In person, Amiable
In conversation, Affable
In friendship, Faithful
Of Envy, void.
She passed through Life endow’d with every Grace
Her virtues! Black Detraction can’t deface;
Or Cruel Envy e’er eclipse her Fame;
Nor Mouldering Time obliterate her Name.”
The tiresome, pompous, verbose productions, Johnsonian in phrase and fulsome in sentiment, which effloresced on the death of any man in public life or of great wealth, need not be repeated here. They were monotonously devoid of imagination and originality, being full of idle repetitions from each other, and whoever has labored through one can judge of them all.