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der their countenance, the human affections are gra- tation of a rational, but of an immortal Soul. Each dually formed and opened out. This is not the place of these Sages was in Sympathy with the best feelings to enter into the recesses of these investigations; but of our Nature; feelings which, though they seem opthe subject requires me here to make a plain avowal, posite to each other, have another and a finer conneethat, for my own part, it is to me inconceivable, that tion than that of contrast. — I. is a connection formed the sympathies of love towards each other, which grow through the subtle progress by which, both in the nawith our growth, could ever attain any new strength, tural and the moral world, qualities pass iosensibly into or even preserve the old, after we had received from their contraries, and things revolve upon each other. the outward senses the impression of Death, and were As, in sailing upon the orb of this Planet, a voyaga in the habit of having that impression daily renewed and towards the regions where the sun sets, conduets gra- ! its accompanying feeling brought home to ourselves, dually to the quarter where we have been accustomed and to those we love; if the same were not counteracted to behold it come forth at its rising; and, in like manby those communications with our internal Being, which ner, a voyage towards the east, the birth-place in our are anterior to all these experiences, and with which imagination of the morning, leads finally to the quarter revelation coincides, and has through that coincidence where the Sun is last seen when he departs from our alone (for otherwise it could not possess it) a power to cyes; so the contemplative Soul, travelling in the direcaffect us.
I confess, with me the conviction is abso- tion of mortality, advances to the Country of everlastlute, that, if the impression and sense of Death were ing Life; and, in like manner, may she continue to not thus counterbalanced, such a hollowness would explore thote cheerful tracts, till she is brought back, pervade the whole system of things, such a want of cor- for her advantage and benefit, to the land of transitory respondence and consistency, a disproportion so as things—of sorrow and of tears. touuding betwixt means and ends, that there could be On a midway point, therefore, which commands the no repose, no joy. Were we to grow up unfostered by thoughts and feelings of the two Sages whom we have this genial warmth, a frost would chill the spirit, so represented in contrast, does the Author of that species penetrating and powerful, that there could be no mo of composition, the Laws of which it is our present tions of the life of love; and infinitely less could we purpose to explain, take lois stand. Accordingly, rehave any wish to be remembered after we had passed curring to the twofold desire of guarding the Remains away from a world in which each man had moved of the deceased and preserving their memory, it may about like a shadow.-If, then, in a Creature endowed be said that a sepulchral Monument is a tribute to a with the faculties of foresight and reason, the social af. Man as a human Being; and that an Epitaph, (in the fections could not have unfolded themselves uncounte- ordinary meaning attached to the word) includes this nanced by the faith that Man is an immortal being; general feeling and something more; and is a record to and if, consequently, neither could the individual dying preserve the memory of the dead, as a tribute due to have had a desire to survive in the remembrance of his his individual worth, for a satisfaction to the sorrowing fellows, nor on their side could they have felt a wish to hearts of the Survivors, and for the common benefit of preserve for future times vestiges of the departed; it the living: which record is to be accomplished, not in follows, as a final inference, that without the belief in a general manner, but, where it can, in close connecImmortality, wherein these several desires originate, tion with the bodily remains of the deceased : and these, neither monuments nor epitaphs, in affectionate or it may be added, among the modern Nations of Europe laudatory commemoration of the Deceased, could have are deposited within, or contiguous to their places of existed in the world.
worship. In ancient times, as is well known, it was Simonides, it is related, upon landing in a strange the custom to bury the dead beyond the Walls of Towns Country, found the Corse of an unknown person, lying and Cities; and among the Greeks and Romans they by the Sea-side ; he buried it, and was honoured were frequently intcrred by the waysides. throughout Greece for the piety of that Act. Another I could here pause with pleasure, and invite the ancient Philosopher, chancing to fix his eyes upon a
Reader to indulge with me in contemplation of the dead Body, regarded the same with slight, if not with advantages which must have attended such a practice. contempt; saying, «sce the Shell of the flown Bird!» | We might ruminate upon the beauty which the MonuBut it is not to be supposed that the moral and tender- ments, thus placed, must have borrowed from the surhearted Simonides was incapable of the lofty move- rounding images of Nature—from the trees, the wild ments of thought, to which that other Sage gave way at tlowers, from a stream runding perhaps within sight the moment while his soul was intent only upon the or hearing, from the beaten road stretching its weary indestructible being; nor, on the other hand, that he, length hard by. Many tender similitudes must these in whose sight a lifeless human Body was of no more objects have presented to the mind of the Traveller value than the worthless Shell from which the living leaning upon one of the Tombs, or reposing in the fowl had departed, would not, in a different mood of coolness of its shade, whether he had halted from mind, have been affected by those cartbly considerations weariness or in compliance with the invitation, « Pause, which had incited the philosophic Poet to the perfor- Traveller!» so often found upon the Monuments. AIN mance of that pious duty. And with regard to this to its Epitaph also must have been supplied strong aplatter we may be assured that, if he had been destitute peals to visible appearances or immediate impressions, of the capability of communing with the more exalıed lively and affecting analogies of Life as a journeythoughts that appertain to human Nature, he would Death as a Sleep overcoming the tired Wayfarer-of have cared no more for the Corse of the Stranger than Misfortune as a Storm that falls suddenly upon himfor the dead body of a Seal or Porpoise which might of Beauty as a Flower that passeth away, or of innocent have been cast up by the Waves. We respect the cor- pleasure as one that may be gathered-of Virtue that poreal frame of Man, not merely because it is the labi. standeth firm as a Rock against the beating Waves;
I of Ilope « undermined insensibly like the Poplar by A Village Church-yard, lying as it does in the lap of
the side of the River that has fed it,» or blasted in a Nature, may indeed be most favourably contrasted with moment like a Pine-tree by the stroke of lightning that of a Town of crowded Population; and Sepulture upon the Mountain-top-of admonitions and heart-therein combines many of the best tendencies which stirring remembrances, like a refreshing Breeze that belong to the mode practised by the Ancients, with comes without warning, or the taste of the waters of an others peculiar to itself. The sensations of pious cheer
unexpected Fountain. These, and similar suggestions, fulness, which attend the celebration of the Sabbath-day · must have given, formerly, to the language of the sense- in rural places, are profitably chastised by the sight of
Iess stone a voice enforced and endeared by the be- the Graves of Kindred and Friends, gathered together nignity of that Nature with which it was in unison.- in that general Home towards which the thoughtful yet We, in modern times, have lost much of these advan- happy Spectators themselves are journeying. Hence a uages; and they are but in a small degree counter- Parish Church, in the stillness of the Country, is a balanced to the inhabitants of large Towns and Cities, visible centre of a community of the living and the by the custom of depositing the Dead within, or con- dead; a point 10 which are habitually referred the riguous to, their places of worship; however splendid nearest concerns of both. or imposing may be the appearance of those Edifices, As, then, both in Cities and in Villages, the Dead are or however interesting or salutary the recollections as- Jeposited in close connection with our places of worsociated with ther. Even were it not true that Tombs ship, with us the composition of an Epitaplı naturally lose their monitory virtue when thus obtruded upon turns, still more than among the Nations of Antiquity, the Notice of Men occupied with the cares of the World, upon the most serious and solemn affections of the and too often sullied and defiled by those cares, yet human mind; upon departed Worth--upon personal or still, when Death is in our thoughts, nothing can make social Sorrow and Admiration--upon Religion, indiamends for the want of the soothing influences of Na-vidual and social-upon Time, and upon eternity. iure, and for the absence of those types of renovation Accordingly it suffices, in ordinary cases, to secure a
and decay, which the fields and woods offer to the composition of this kind from censure, that it contains | notice of the serious and contemplative mind. To feel nothing that shall shock or be inconsistent with this · the force of this sentiment, let a man only compare in spirit. But to entitle an Epitaph to praise, more than this
imagination the unsightly manner in which our Monu- is necessary. It ought to contain some Tbought or ments are crowded together in the busy, noisy, unclean, Feeling belonging to the mortal or immortal part of and almost grassless Church-yard of a large Town, with our Nature touchingly expressed; and if that be done, the still seclusion of a Turkish Cemetery, in some re however general or even trite the sentiment may be, mote place; and yet further sanctified by the Grove of every man of pure mind will read the words with pleaCypress in which it is embosomed. Thoughts in the sure and gratitude. A Husband bewails a Wife; a Pasame temper as these have already been expressed with rent breathes a sich of disappointed hope over a lost true sensibility by an ingenuous Poet of the present Child; a Son utters a sentiment of filial reverence for a day. The subject of bis Poem is « All Saints Church, departed Father or Mother; a Friend perhaps inscribes
Derby:» he has been deploring the forbidding and un an encomium recording the companionable qualities, | seemly appearance of its burial-ground, and uttering a or the solid virtues, of the Tenant of the Grave, whose
wish, that in past times the practice had been adopted departure has left a sadness upon his memory. This, 1 of interring the Inbabitants of large Towns in the and a pious admonition to the Living, and a humble | Couptry:
expression of Christian confidence in Immortality, is
the language of a thousand Church-yards; and it does Then in some rural, calm, sequestered spot,
not often happen that any thing, in a greater degree Where healing Nature her beniquant look Ne'er changes, sare at that loro srason, wbra,
discriminate or appropriate to the Dead or to the With tresses drooping o'er her sable stole,
Living, is to be found in them. This want of discriShe yearly mourns tbe mortal doom of man,
mination has been ascribed by Dr Johnson, in his Essay ller noblest work (so Israel's virgins erst,
upon the Epitaphs of Pope, to two causes ; first, the With annual moan upon the mountains wepe Their fairest gone), there in that rural scene,
scantiness of the Objects of human praise; and, secondly, So placid, so con genial to the wish
the want of variety in the Characters of Men; or, to use The thristian feels, of peaceful rest within
his own words, « to the fact, that the greater part of The silent grave, I would have strayed:
Mankind have no character at all. Such language - wandered forth, where ibe cold dew of heaven may be holden without blame among the generalities Lay on the humbler graves around, what timo
of common conversation; but does not become a Critic The pale moon gazed upon the turfy mounds,
and a Moralist speaking seriously upon a serious SubPensive, as though like me, in lonely muse, 'T were brooding on the Dead inbumed beneath.
ject. The objects of admiration in Human-nature are Tbere while with him, the holy man of Uz,
not scanty, but abundant; and every Man has a ChaO'er buman destiny I sympathized,
racter of his own, to the eye that has skill to perceive Counting tbe long, long periods propbecy
it. The real cause of the acknowledged want of discri. Decrees to roll, ere the great day arrives
mination in sepulchral memorials is this : That to of resurrection, oft the blue-eyed Spring Had met me with her blossoms, as the Dove,
analyse the Characters of others, especially of those Of old, returned with olive leaf, to cheer
whom we love, is not a common or natural employment The Patriarch mourning over a world destroyed :
of Men at any time. We are not anxious unerringly to And I would bless her visit; for to me
understand the constitution of the Minds of those who As one, the works of Nature and the word
have soothed, who have cheered, who have supported of God.
us: with whom we have been long and daily pleased Joax EWARDS or delighted. The affectious are their own justification.
"T is sweet to trace the consopance that links
The Light of Love in our Hearts is a satisfactory evi- exist; yet, the object being looked at through this medence that there is a body of worth in the minds of dium, parts and proportions are brought into distinct our friends or kindred, whence that Light has pro- view, which before had been only imperfectly or unceeded. We shrink from the thought of placing their consciously seen : it is truth hallowed by love the join: merits and defects to be weighed against each other in offspring of the worth of the Dead and the affections of the nice balance of pure intellect; nor do we find much the Living ?- This may easily be brought to the test. templation to detect the shades by which a good quality Let one, whose eyes have been sharpened by personal or virtue is discriminated in them from an excellence hostility to discover what was amiss in the character of known by the same general nime as it exists in the a good man, hear the tidings of his death, and what a mind of another; and, least of all, do we incline to these change is wrought in a moment!- Epnity melts away refinements when under the pressure of Sorrow, Ad- and, as it disappears, unsightliness, disproportion, and miration, or Regret, or when actuated by any of those deformity, vanish ; and, through the influence of comfeelings whiclı incite men to prolong the memory of miseration, a harmony of love and beauty succeeds. their Friends and Kindred, by records placed in the Bring such a Mao to the Tombstone on which shall be bosom of the all-uniting and equalising Receptacle of inscribed an Epitaph on his Adversary, composed in the the Dead.
spirit which we have recommended. Would be tura The first requisite, then, in an Epitaph is, that it from it as froin an idle tale! No-lhe thoughtful look, should speak, in a tone which shall sink into the heart, the sighi, and perhaps the involuntary tear, would tes. the general language of humanity as connected with the tify that it had a sane, a generous, and good meaning; subject of Death-the source from which an Epitapha and that on the Writer's mind had remained an impresproceeds; of death and of life. To be born and to die sion which was a true abstract of the character of the are the two points in which all men feel themselves to deceased; that his gifts and graces were remembered in be in absolute coincidence. This general language may the simplicity in which they ought to be remembered. be uttered so strikingly as to entitle an Epitaph to high | The composition and quality of the mind of a virtuous praise; yet it cannot lay claim to the highest unless man, contemplated by the side of the Grave where his other excellencies be superadded. Passing through all body is mouldering, ought to appear, and be felt as intermediate steps, we will attempt to determine at once something midway between what he was on Eartha what these excellencies are, and wherein consists the walking about with his living frailties, and what he perfection of this species of composition. It will be may be presumed to be as a Spirit in Heaven. found to lie in a due proportion of the common or uni It suffices, therefore, that the Trunk and the maig versal feeling of liumanity to sensations excited by a Branches of the Worth of the Deceased be boldly add distinct and clear conception, conveyed to the Reader's unaffectedly represented. Any further detail, minutely mind, of the Individual, whose death is deplored and and scrupulously pursued, especially if this be done whose memory is to be preserved; at least of his cha- with laborious and antithetic discriminations, must racter as, after death, it appeared to those who loved inevitably frustrate its own purpose ; forcing the passing him and lament bis loss. The general sympathy ought Spectator to this conclusion, -either that the Dead did to be quickened, provoked, and diversified, by particular | not possess the merits ascribed to him, or that they thoughts, actions, images,-circumstances of age, oc- who have raised a monument to his memory, and must cupation, manner of life, prosperity which the Deceased therefore be supposed to have been closely connected had known, or adversity to which he had been subject; with him, were incapable of perceiving those inerits ; or and these ought to be bound together and solemnized at least during the act of composition had lost sight of into one harmony by the general sympathy. The two them; for, the Understanding having been su busy in powers should temper, restrain, and exalt each other. its petty occupation, how could the heart of the Mourner The Reader ought to know who and what the Man was be other than cold? and in either of these cases, whether whom he is called upon to think of with interest. A the fault be on the part of the buried Person or the distinct conception should be given (implicitly where it Survivors, the Memorial is unaffecting and profitless. can, rather than explicitly) of the Individual lamented. Much better is it to fall short in discrimination thaa But the Writer of an Epitaph is not an Auatomist who to pursue it too far, or to labour it un feelingly. For dissects the internal frame of the mind; he is not even in no place ure we so much disposed to dwell upon a Painter who executes a portrait at leisure and in entire those points, of nature and condition, wherein all Men tranquillity : his delineation, we must remember, is resemble each other, as in the Temple where the unperformed by the side of the Grave; and, what is more, versal Father is worshipped, or by the side of the Grave the grave of one whom he loves and admires. What which gathers all Human Beings to itself, and « equapurity and brightness that virtue clothed in, the lizes the lofty and the low.»
We suffer and we weep image of which must no longer bless our living eyes! with the same heart; we love and are anxious for one The character of a deceased Friend or beloved Kinsman another in one spirit; our hopes look to the same is not seen, no-nor ought to be seen, otherwise than quarter; and the virtues by which we are all to be as a Tree through a tender haze or a luminous mist, furthered and supported, as patience, meekness, goodthat spiritualizes and beautifies it; that takes away in- will
, temperance, and temperate desires, are in an equal deed, but only to the end that the parts which are not degree the concern of us all. Let an Epitaph, then, abstracted may appear more dignified and lovely, may contain at least these acknowledgments to our common impress and affect the more. Shall we say, then, that nature; nor let the sense of their importance be sacrithis is not truth, not a faithful image ; and that ac ficed to a balance of opposite qualities or minute discordingly the purposes of commemoration cannot be cinctions in individual character; which if they do not, answered ?-It is truth, and of the bigliest order! for, | (as will for the niost part be the case) when examined, thoughi doubtless things are not apparent which did resolve themselves into a trick of words, will, even
when they are true and just, for the most part be, tions were referred to the consciousness of Immortality frievously out of place; for, as it is probable that few as their primal source. only have explored these intricacies of human nature, I do not speak with a wish to recommend that an so can the tracing of them be interesting only to a Epitaph should be cast in this mould preferably to the few. But an Epitaph is not a proud Writing shut up still more common one, in which what is said comes for the studious; it is exposed to all, to the wise and from the Survivors directly; but rather to point out the most ignorant; it is condescending, perspicuous, how natural those feelings are which have induced men, and lovingly solicits regard; its story and admonitions in all states and ranks of Society, so frequently to adope are brief, that the thoughtless, the busy, and indolent, this mode. And this I have done chiefly in order that may not be deterred, nor the impatient tired; the the laws, which ought to govern the composition of the stooping Old Man cops the engraven record like a other, may be better understood. This latter mode, second born-book ;—the Child is proud that he can namely, that in which the Survivors speak in their own read it—and the Stranger is introduced by its media- | Persons, seems to me upon the whole greatly prefertion to the company of a Friend : it is concerning all, / able: as it admits a wider range of notices; and, above and for all :-in the Churchyard it is open to the day; all
, because, excluding the fiction which is the groundthe sun looks down upon the stone, and the rains of work of the other, it rests upon a more solid basis. Heaven beat against it.
Enough has been said to convey our notion of a Yet, though the Writer who would excite sympathy perfect Epitaph; but it must be observed that one is is bound in this case more than in any other, to give meant which will best answer the general ends of that proof tbat he himself has been moved, it is to be species of composition. According to the course pointed remembered, that to raise a Monument is a sober and out, the worth of private life, through all varicties of a retlective act; that the inscription which it bears is situation and character, will be most honourably and intended to be permanent, and for universal perusal; profitably preserved in memory. Nor would the model and that, for this reason, the thoughts and feelings recommended less suit public Men, in all instances save expressed should be permanent also-liberated from of those persons who by the greatness of their services that weakness and anguish of sorrow which is in nature in the employments of Peace or War, or by the surtransitory, and which with instinctive decency retires passing excellence of their works in Art, Literature, or
from notice. The passions should be subdued, the Science, have made themselves not only universally ' emotions controlled; strong indeed, but nothing un- known, but have filled the heart of their Country with
governable or wholly involuntary. Seemliness requires everlasting gratitude. Yet I must here pause to correct this, and truth requires it also : for how can the Nar- myself. lo describing the general tenour of thought rator otherwise be trusted ? Moreover, a Grave is a which Epitaphs ought to hold, I have omitted to say, tranquillizing object : resignation in course of time that, if it be the actions of a Man, or even some one springs up from it as daturally as the wild flowers, conspicuous or beneficial act of local or general utility, besprinkling the turf with which it may be covered, or which have distinguished him, and excited a desire that gathering round the monumeot by which it is defended. he should be remembered, then, of course, ought the The very form and substance of the monument which allention to be directed chictly to those actions or that has received the inscription, and the appearance of the act ; and such sentiments dwelt upon as naturally arise letters, testifying with what a slow and laborious hand out of them or it. Having made this necessary disthey must have been engraven, might seem to reproach tinction, I proceed. — The mighty benefactors of manthe Author who had given way upon this occasion to kind, as they are not only known by the immediate Surtransports of mind, or to quick turns of contlicting vivors, but will continue to be kuown familiarly to passion; though the same might constitute the life and latest Posterity, do not stand in need of biographic beauty of a funeral Oration or elegiac Poem.
sketches, in such a place; nor of delineations of chaThese sensations and judyments, acted upon perhaps racter to individualize them. This is already done by unconsciously, have been one of the main causes why their Works, in the Memories of Men. Their naked Epitaphs so often personate the Deceased, and represent names and a grand comprehensive sentiment of civic him as speaking from his own Tomb-stone. The de-Gratitude, patriotic Love, or human Admiration; or the parted Mortal is introduced telling you himself that his utterance of some elementary Principle most essential
paios are gone; that a state of rest is comc; and he in the constitution of true Virtue; or an intuition, 1 conjures you to weep for him no longer. He admonishes communicated in adequate words, of the sublimity of
with the voice of one experienced in the vanity of those intellectual Power, these are the only tribute which affections which are confined to earthly objects, and can here be paidthe only offering that upon such an gives a verdict like a superior Being, performing the Altar would not be unworthy! office of a Judge, who has no temptations to mislead What needs my Shakspeare for his bonoured bonos, him, and whose decision cannot but be dispassionaic. The labour of an age in piled stones, Thus is Death disarmed of its sting, and aftliction un
Or that bis ballowed reliques should be bid substantialized. By this tender fiction, the Survivors
L'oder a stary-pointing pyramid !
Dear Son of Memory, fireat Heir of Fame, bind themselves to a sedater sorrow, and employ the What need'st thou sach weak witness of thy name! intervention of the imagination in order that the reason may speak her own language earlier than she would Hast built thyself a live-lon: Monument, otherwise have been enabled to do. This shadowy in
And so sepulchred, in such pomp cost lie,
That kings for such a Tomb would wish to die. terposition also harmoniously unites the two worlds of the Living and the Dead by their appropriate affections.
Page 304, col. 1. And I may observe, that here we have an additional And spires whose silent finger points to Heaven. proof of the propriety with which sepulchral inscrip-! An instinctive taste teaches men to build their churches
Tbou in our wonder and astonishment
in flat countries with spire-steeples, which as they decay; and that all things, with an uninterrupted cannot be referred to any other object, point as with course, tend to dissolution and death: I therefore, wele. silent finger to the sky and stars, and sometimes, when
Page 323, col. 1. they reflect the brazen light of a rich though rainy
Earth bas lent sunset, appear like a pyramid of Name burning heaven
Her waters, Air her breezes. ward. Sce « The Friend,» by S. T. Coleridge, No. 14.
In treating this subject, it was impossible not to me
collect, with gratitude, the pleasing picture, which, in Page 318, col. 2.
bis Poem of the Flecce, the excellent and amiable Dyer That Sycamore, which annually holds
has given of the influences of manufacturing industry Within its shade, as in a stately tent.
upon the face of this Island. He wrote at a time when This Sycamore, oft musical with bees;
machinery was first beginning to be introduced, and Such Tents the Patriarchs loved.
his benevolent heart prompted him to augur from it
nothing but good. Truth has compelled me to dueil Page 321, col. 1.
upon the baneful effects arising out of an ill-regulated Perish the roses and the flowers of Kings.
and excessive application of powers so admirable in The « Transit gloria mundi» is finely expressed in the
themselves. latroduction to the Foundation Charters of some of the
Page 329, col. 2. ancient Abbeys. Some expressions here used are taken
Binding herself by Statute. from that of the Abbey of St Mary's Furness, the The discovery of Dr Bell affords marvellous facilities translation of which is as follows.
for carrying this into effect, and it is impossible to over « Considering every day the uncertainty of life, that rate the benefit which might accrue to humanit from the roses and flowers of Kings, Emperors, and Dukes, the universal application of this simple engine under an and the crowns and palms of all the great, wither and enlightened and conscientious government.
S. T. COLERIDGE.