Victorian London - Death and Dying - Advertisements - Funeral Contractors


SOME "Funeral contractors " (that is the new term) advertise to "perform funerals" with a due regard to the feelings of the bereaved, and the solemnity of the occasion. The regard that is due is mainly proportioned, we suppose, to the amount of ready money that is paid? They have different qualities of grief, you may be sure, according to the price you pay. For 2 10s., the regard is very small. For 5, the sighs are deep and audible. For 7 10s. the woe is profound, only properly controlled; but for 10, the despair bursts through all restraint, and the mourners water the ground, no doubt, with their tears. We wonder these black crocodiles do not openly advertise the sale of their lachrymae? We dare say that the luxury would be every drop as expensive as early peas, or anything else that was forced. We wonder what is the market-price of "tears per pint?"-and we are, also curious to know, whether these funeral pantomimists make up so small a quantityof mitigated grief as "one tear," and what is the lowest price they charge for the same? We notice, in the same grinning advertisement, that "The Gothic Stale Hearse is used for every class funeral above 5." It seems, then, that there are as many classes of funerals as there are of railway trains. There are, apparently, First Class, Second Class, and Third Class Funerals. We hope, for the sake of the poor, that there are no Parliamentary funerals that stop on their dreary-way as often as a Parliamantary train. But who, we ask, could possibly forego the above inducement when offered at so contemptible a price? Is there anybody, in possession of so small a sum as 5, who would not gladly put it aside for the unutterable luxury of being buried in a "Gothic State Hearse!" Put another sovereign to it, and we should not be surprised if a "Gothic State Coachman" wasn't also thrown in

Punch, October 17, 1857