Henry Craik, ed. English Prose. 1916. Vol. II. Sixteenth Century to the Restoration
The White Bird
By James Howell (c. 15941666)
TO MR. E. D.
From Familiar Letters
SIRI thank you a thousand times for the noble entertainment you gave me at Berry, and the pains you took in shewing me the antiquities of that place. In requital, I can tell you of a strange thing I saw lately here, and I believe tis true: as I passed by St. Dunstans in Fleet Street the last Saturday, I stepped into a lapidary, or stone-cutters shop, to treat with the master for a stone to be put upon my fathers tomb: and casting my eyes up and down, I spied a huge marble with a large inscription upon it, which was thus to my best remembrance:
Here lies hard by James Oxenham, the son of the said John, who died a child in his cradle a little after, and such a bird was seen fluttering about his head, a little before he expired, which vanished afterwards.