In his notes on pages 130 and 131, the author describes 'The Discourses of the Dead' as a 'Necrological Drama' and reproduces the 'mottoes' he had selected as 'prefixes' to the work. The first of these 'mottoes' were the following lines from Swift (1736):
'Come assist me muse obedient! / Let us try some new expedient; / Shift the scene for two brief hours - / For, both place and time are yours; / Downward, then, at once conduct me, / And on all things there instruct me. // See, the Muse unbars the gate; / Hear the phantoms, how they prate! / All ye Pow'rs who rule the soul, / When released from life's control, / Let me be allow'd to tell / What I witness here in Hell.'
The second 'motto' was from Dryden: 'I hear the groans of ghosts; / Thin, hollow sounds, and lamentable screams!'