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by marking their death-stones with such information as they consider creditable to their memory. I have noticed the following records of this kind in my walk among the tombs and catacombs:— "An eminent printer." "Chief engineer to his highness Mohammed Ali Pacha." "Head master of Reading school." "Some time principal store-keeper of the Ordnance." "A respectable merchant." "A faithful and confidential servant." "Inspector-general of hospitals." "A gallant and distinguished soldier." "Physician to king George iv." "Bishop of St. David's." "Author of the History of Sumatra." "Secretary of the Admiralty." These, and numberless other inscriptions appear, in which respect and affection for the dead are mingled with some degree of living vanity. Who is there among us that is quite content to be nobody and unknown?
Here is a massive granite pedestal without an inscription! What shall I write thereon ?" Here lieth the dust of an heir of immortality?" or, "He went down to the grave an unrepentant sinner?" What a solemn consideration it is, that the grave can neither withhold the righteous from happiness, nor protect the wicked from unutterable woe!
From the colossal pillars of the portico of the chapel, the view of the cemetery is a sweet one, and quite in character. There is no affected sentimentality; no littleness, no gewgaws to catch the eye. No child's play of making gardens, as in many parts of " Pere la Chaise." All is vast, sober, chaste, field-like, and beautiful; rather sweet than romantic; and the prospect to the south is extensive. A cemetery should soothe sorrow, as well as call forth profitable reflection. Judging by my present feelings, this place is calculated to do both.
A fluted pillar of pure marble, having the semblance of being suddenly broken, is meant to be symbolical of the sudden death of a young lady, aged twenty-five, who was called away from the world without a moment's warning. "Her sun went down while it was yet day." Reader! when thou hearest that a fellow mortal has been suddenly plunged into eternity, think of the mercy that has spared thee.
A painter, engaged in bronzing the iron palisades of a monument, has conceded to me, though somewhat unwillingly, that the gates of Hyde Park, near Apsley House, are bronzed "pretty well." He has just given me his card, that in case I should ever require the services of a bronzer and painter, he may have the pleasure of serving me in a superior manner.
In another part of the grounds, observing a young man at work, coating over the sculptured letters on a marble tomb with size, before painting them black, I remarked to him, "Why, that must be double trouble." "Yes, it is, Sir," said he, with a black look, "but my master" here the sudden appearance of his master prevented him from finishing the sentence; otherwise, he would no doubt have informed me, that his master was an unreasonable man, who cared nothing about the double trouble of his journeyman, for he never paid him for it. Oh the world I the world! With masters and servants, self-interest is as lynx-eyed in a burial-ground as at the Stock Exchange.
Here and there is an inscription to an only child. "She was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter."Oh! what love, what loneliness, what agony, does that word only represent!
The colonnade of Grecian architecture on the north side is sure to attract the eye, and draw the feet of the visitor to the place, either before or after he has examined the chapel. There are catacombs in which two thousand coffins may rest undisturbed; and the number of monuments already erected is considerable. The north side of the cemetery is much more thickly peopled with the dead than any other part, probably on account of its elevated situation.
Death is indeed no respecter of persons: the infant and the aged are sleeping beneath my feet.
There is the last house of Morison, the hygeist, the celebrated vender of pills; and yonder is the high-erected monument of John St. John Long, no less famous than the former personage for the peculiarity of his medical practice.
* * * * *And this is Norwood! Green fields, grassy slopes, woods, and handsome mansions in the distance; and here is the goodly cemetery of forty acres, which has drawn me from the busy city whose cathedral is visible from this place.
I have stepped into the entrance-lodge, and turned over the ample leaves of the great parchment book, whose pages, formed into squares, correspond, on a miniature scale, with the forty acres of burial-ground immediately around me. Every tree within my view seems to flourish but the cypress. From this spot I can count five cypress trees, absolutely withered from their natural green colour to a ruddy brown.
The monuments of the dead are at present few; and the cemetery presents that retired, grassy, leafy, flowery appearance, which, canopied by the clear blue sky, and breathed on by the balmy air, is truly delightful. Unconsciously, I have been indulging one of those musing, dreamy abstractions in which we become posthumous. I have been fancying that my faded body lay beneath the turf, at the foot of the hill there; that the sun was going down; and that a friend was just plucking a flower from the grave of Old Humphrey.
A gravel walk is the only barrier between the consecrated and the unconsecrated parts of the ground; and as a spectator gazes on the broad acres in the centre, unbroken by a grave, and studded over with myriads of daisies, he can hardly persuade himself that he is in a place of sepulture. Seventy thousand pounds have already been expended to render the place worthy the patronage of the public; and certainly great praise is due to both architect and landscape gardener.
But pleasant as this place is, the thought intrudes—What chequered scenes are yet to be passed through by those whose bodies will here be deposited! what hopes and fears! what joys and sorrows! Will they thoughtlessly live and die without God in the world? or will they finish their course with joy, and find the end thereof eternal life? There is no peace to the wicked; but the humble Christian, whose faith is in lively exercise, has peace at the last.
A thousand fears of dreadful name Ungodly men surprise;
With glory shining round his head, And sunbeams on his breast,
The episcopal-looking chapel, with its octagonal towers, on the brow of the hill, fronting the west, has a fine effect; and that facing the northwest is little inferior to it. They are built with