Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Bedewed With Tears

Another early epitaph:

Here lies interred Mrs. Lydia
Beadle Aged 32 Years
Ansell Lathrop Elizabeth Lydia & Mary
Beadle her Children the eldest aged
11 and the youngest 6 years Who
on the morning of the 11th day of Decr AD 1781
Fell by the hands of William Beadle
An infatuated Man who closed the
Horrid sacrifice of his Wife
& Children with his own destruction.

Pale round their grassy tomb bedewed with tears
Flit the thin forms of sorrows and of fears,
Soft sighs responsive swell to plaintive chords
And indignations half unsheathe their swords.

Curious term, infatuated.  I wonder if it meant something other than what we think it means today.  (Actually, it does.  We looked it up in my wonderful OED - Oxford English Dictionary - and in the mid-eighteenth century it meant being taken over by an idea.)

I got the book manuscript straightened out and sent!  O happy day!  Now I’m going back through it ahead of my editor’s comments to add my own changes – for one thing, I want to strengthen Connor’s “take-charge” character to the point where it alarms Betsy.

It’s been raining for four days, and the forecast for today is rain mixed with snow.  Nuff said.


Linda O. Johnston said...

I've always found the evolution of word meanings and usage to be fascinating, Monica. I'd no idea what "infatuated" used to mean. And all best wishes on the evolution of your manuscript, too!

Monica Ferris said...

One of my favorite words to watch evolve down the centuries is "nice." It used to mean pernickety - fussy, delicate-minded. Now it means someone kind, or an event that goes well. But I'm watching it, because I think it's starting to change again.

Betty Hechtman said...

Monica, really interesting about "nice," It must be a relief to have sent your manuscript off.