234 BYGONE SUSSEX.
brought from the house by mourners dressed in white, and was preceded and followed by maidens in white muslin, one of whom read a sermon at the grave. The Rev. John Evans, having a professional interest in the matter, interviewed this feminine preacher in 1804, and ascertained from her that the discourse was not, as was generally supposed, the composition of the Miller, but was contained in a printed volume entitled, One hundred and sixteen Sermons preached out of the first lessons at Morning and Evening Prayer for all Sundays in the year, by William Reading, A.M., Keeper of the Library at Sion College. The text was Gen., 45, 5. Now therefore be not grieved nor angry with yourselves that ye sold me hither, for God did send me before you to preserve life. This is part of the lesson for Jan. 23, so that the date was inappropriate, and Mr. Evans remarks, " The discourse seemed by no means suited to the occasion ; but what can be expected from the choice of a man who all his life long studied singularity, and took a pride in deviating from the rest of mankind."*
* Reading's book appeared in sections between 1728 and 1736, and was reprinted in four volumes in 1755, after his death, which occurred in 1744. It is rather rare. He was a scholarly man, who greatly improved the library under his care, was attentive to students using it, as we learn from