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that four poor old men of his parish should
wear his livery, and carry the initials of his
name about the country for ever. I can
picture Strode to myself also:—a weak man
anxious to make a bargain for his soul and a
salve for his vanity at the same time. Let
me also recall the pompous bequest of the
merest pittance made by William Norrice in
1611, to the parish of All Saints, Leicester,
"in consideration of the love which he bore"
to itand to himself. He granted fifteen
shillings, "issuing out of certain garden-
ground in or near Soar Lane, upon the
conditions that the minister and churchwardens
should yearly, upon the Sunday next before
the feast of St. Bartholomew the Apostle, in
the afternoon, meet and elect forty-one of the
poorest people inhabiting in the parish of All
Saints, and deliver a list of their names in
writing to the clerk of the parish, and cause
him to give notice that all persons whose
names were contained in that note should
personally attend evening prayer on St.
Bartholomew's Day, and that the minister
should, on the said feast day, after the second
lesson at evening prayer, exhort the people to
praise God for his mercy in providing for the
poor, and should make choice of some fit
psalm for that purpose, desiring the people to
sing that psalm with him; and after evening
prayer the minister and churchwardens
should cause the clerk to call the said forty-
one people into some convenient place in the
church, calling each by his name, and in a
loud voice, and to give each fourpence, and
the minister and churchwardens, and clerk
were to have fourpence each; all which being
satisfied, the said poor should depart, glorifying
God (and William Norrice): and default
of all this formality, the annuity should cease."
And all for fifteen shillings!

It is not certain, however, that we might not
reasonably prefer the will of William Norrice
to one of those documents where reckless
munificence is recorded. It is difficult to give
well. In 1790 George Jarvis, Esq., of Stanton
upon Wye, Herefordshire, left thirty thousand
pounds to be invested in Government securities,
the interest to be distributed in money,
provisions, clothes, or medicine amongst the poor
people "of this parish of Bredwardine and
Litten." In 1822 this fund amounted to
ninety-two thousand four hundred and ninety-
six pounds, seventeen shillings, and ninepence,
the interest of which was to be distributed
amongst the poor of three parishes, the united
population of which did not exceed eleven
hundred and eighty persons. The yearly
fund distributable amounted to three thousand
pounds. This was a source of great attraction
to the country people round about, and
encouraged the idle and dissolute to come and
plant themselves within the genial influence
of Mr. Jarvis's bounty. Thus George Jarvis,
Esq., did not effect much good by his munificence;
it is more than probable, on the
contrary, that he contrived to do much evil by it.

We run over innumerable bequests of
money to preach sermons about the Armada;
to return thanks that the fire of London was no
worse; to encourage servants to remain with
their employers; to invigorate "the inner
man" of bellringers; to tempt "poor
maidens" into matrimony; to console the
weary hours of single ladies who have arrived
"at a certain age"; to reward labourers who
have reared infinitely large families on
infinitely low wages; to give clean gloves to
churchwardens, and targets to local sportsmen;
to apprentice deserving little boys, and
sing doggrel verse to condemned murderers;
to encourage loyalty, and promote education.
Two objects are curiously associated by John
Perram of Newmarket, who, after the
important words "I give and bequeath," wrote
to the effect that a marriage portion of twenty-
one pounds was to be given out of his estate
yearly to a parishioner, or, in default of
a marrying parishioner (who must not be
worth twenty pounds), to the winner of the
next town plate!

The ingenious eccentricities of testators
are, in fact, endless. They have tacked sums
to churches for the most curious purposes;
in the olden time, to strew the sacred edifices
with rushes or new hay; and, comparatively
in modern times, to reward men who will
undertake to wake those who sleep during a
dull sermon and "to whip dogs out of the
church." These bequests have been made to
many country churches, and zealous men
have been found to do these offices for the
yearly sum of eight shillings. Even the
inattention of boys during divine service long
ago attracted the attention of testators. Much
money has also been given and bequeathed to
sextons and pew-openers, and to the guardians
of churchyards, and enormous sums have
been set aside to decorate testators' graves:
to plant them with rose-trees, or cover them
with flying angels.

These vanities and pomps are however
relieved, as we run through the list, by tender
touches of goodness and piety. Here and
there we feel that a good soul has dictated
the words that follow "I give and bequeath";
that here the bountiful hand was opened
not to be seen by a staring world, but for
the love of doing good; that strong affection,
regardless of the applause that may follow
the deed, made its noble offering to its object.
In a history of bequests the curious reader
may find touches of pathos that must move
him deeply; traces of quiet goodness that
make the vulgar ways of the coarser part
of the world sweet again; revelations of an
inner spirit which redeem the harsh appearances
of social life. The sternest men have
softened before a last will and testament; the
most abandoned profligates have paused
before this solemn document, to do an act of
redeeming goodness.

That is a touching pillar planted on the
road between Penrith and Appleby, in the year