The dead were driving the living to the grave. The dead were represented by skeletons, frisky and grinning, unaware that they were anatomically incorrect. The line of the living began with prelates in grand robes, the Pope in the lead. Following the prelates came a procession of merchants, hands on purses, then ordinary men and women, a soldier, then a prostitute in a low-cut, tight-laced dress; lastly, a crippled beggar bringing up the rear. Thus most ranks of medieval society were represented, together with inescapable gradations of decay.
– Brian Aldiss. Somewhere East of Life.