sexton

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sexton

1. a person employed to act as caretaker of a church and its contents and graveyard, and often also as bell-ringer, gravedigger, etc.
2. another name for the burying beetle
References in classic literature ?
The grave, Sir; making the grave," stammered the sexton.
Under favour, Sir," replied the horror-stricken sexton, "I don't think they can, Sir; they don't know me, Sir; I don't think the gentlemen have ever seen me, Sir.
I--I--am afraid I must leave you, Sir," said the sexton, making an effort to move.
As the goblin laughed, the sexton observed, for one instant, a brilliant illumination within the windows of the church, as if the whole building were lighted up; it disappeared, the organ pealed forth a lively air, and whole troops of goblins, the very counterpart of the first one, poured into the churchyard, and began playing at leap-frog with the tombstones, never stopping for an instant to take breath, but "overing" the highest among them, one after the other, with the most marvellous dexterity.
It was in vain for the unfortunate sexton to protest that he was not in the habit of taking anything warm at night; one of the goblins held him while another poured the blazing liquid down his throat; the whole assembly screeched with laughter, as he coughed and choked, and wiped away the tears which gushed plentifully from his eyes, after swallowing the burning draught.
The scene was altered to a small bedroom, where the fairest and youngest child lay dying; the roses had fled from his cheek, and the light from his eye; and even as the sexton looked upon him with an interest he had never felt or known before, he died.
But her musings did not stop here, for she was wise enough to think that by a good and merciful adjustment this must be human nature, and that the old sexton, with his plans for next summer, was but a type of all mankind.
Yes, now I have seen him; he looked just like our sexton.
Farewell,' said Little Klaus; and away he went with his money and the big chest, wherein sat the sexton.
A great new bridge had been built over it, on the middle of which Little Klaus stopped, and said aloud so that the sexton might hear:
The sexton crept out very quickly, pushed the empty chest into the water and went to his house, where he gave Little Klaus a bushel of money.