« ПредишнаНапред »
asked him how he presumed to affix these letters to his name. " Indeed, Sir," said he, “ I have as good a right as you have."-"What do you mean, you impudent scoundrel ?" " I mean," returned the other, “ that I am Drum-Major of the Royal Scots Fuzileers."
An attorney in France having purchased a charge of bailiff for his son, advised him never to work in vain, but to raise contributions on those who wanted his assistance. “What! father,” said the son, in surprise, “ would you have me sell justice?"_" Why not?" answered the father : “ is so scarce an article to be given for nothing ?”.
Lord Armadale, one of the Scotch Judges, and son-in-law to the late celebrated Lord Justice Clerk, has a son, who at the age of eleven or twelve rose to the rank of a Major. One morning his mother hearing a noise in the rursery, rang to know the cause of it, “ It is only,” said the servant, “the Major greeting for his porridge *.”
There being a lawsuit between Mr. Foot and Mr• Ross, respecting the Edinburgh theatre, let by the latter to the former, which came by appeal before the house of lords, the matter was terminated in favour of Rose, and Foot was saddled with the costs. When he paid the bill to Mr. Walter Ross, Mr. Ross's Scotch solicitor, he said to him, “Now, Walter, when do you go to Scotland?"-" Tomorrow."'--" And how do you travel? I suppose, like the rest of your countrymen, you will do it in
* Crying for his breakfast.
the inost economical manner."-" Yes," replied he, “ I shall travel on Foot !”
The journeymen tailors, by their protracted dispute, seem desirous to widen the breach, forgetting, no doubt, the good old professional adage, that “ a stitch in time saves nine !"
The new fashioned carriages, with which the streets of the metropolis now abound, are by no means creditable to the taste of the times. Their shape bears some resemblance to a clumsy tub, and they are hung so excessively low, that the coachman seems as if placed upon a watch-tower to keep a good look-out for the company below.
For the Monthly Visitor.
THOUGHTS ON MONUMENTAL INSCRIPTIONS.
Can storied urn, or animated bust,
Or flatiery soothe the dull cold car of death? THE Elegy of Gray (from which I have here
I quoted a verse, as a kind of motto) is universally admired for the dignified simplicity of style in which it is written. The poet having in a preceding verse mentioned that the boast of heraldry, the pomp of power, and all the attendants on beauty and wealth, were destined in the course of events to sink into oblivion, proceeds in this stanza, under the form of a question, to remonstrate against the ridiculous practice of making for deceased persons superb monuments, bedecked with flattering inscriptions. For friends to follow to the grave a relative, whose general plan of life was known to have been not quite what it ought to have been, must necessarily be a grievous task: but it surely is no excuse for their erecting to his memory a pompous monument, overspread with flattery; telling the world he possessed virtues which never belonged to him; in fact, endeavouring to make us believe that to be virtuous which in reality was disgraceful or criminal. This is a strange abuse of words and facts, and jusly merits the animadversions made by the late amiable Dr. Enfield, in a sermon which he wrote on the Moral Abuse of Words.
But although it is highly censurable thus to decorate a little spot which encloses a lifeless corpse, I think we may assert, that monuments with appropriate inscriptions, have their utility. They tend to call into action the benevolent sympathies of our nature. This is my first remark. Were we to enter a burial-ground, like that of the Quakers, in which there was not a single stone; in which nothing appeared but the grassy hillock, to informy, us of the contents of the place, we might possibly have many humiliating, yet useful, ideas enter our mind. But how much more vigorously are our benevolent and tender sympathies likely to arise when turning our eyes around, we behold on yon stone the name of one with whom we have often had sweet converse. When we see, that be who started in life along with us is gone before us, has given up the concern he had in sublunary affairs, when we think that his soul, ere this, has explored a very momentous country, knows, perhaps, some kittle of its dooin-can we refrain from considering
how short and uncertain is our life, how ridiculous therefore to be always bickering about trifles upon the journey? Can we help asking ourselves, whether our house is in order-whether, as we have enjoyed our friend's company upon earth, we are ready to follow him into an untried eternal region? Surely not. Such thoughts imperceptibly start up in our mindslet us give them a hearty welcome. When from the tomb of our friend, we turn to a monument reared by the hands of an afflicted parent over a darling son, cut off in the bloom of health and manhood, we are constrained to mingle our sighs with those of the afflicted relative, and to bow with humility to the mysterious events of Providence. When on another tomb we see the history of one, whose life was a continued scene of difficulty and distress-to whom health was a total stranger-and beyond whose reach the comforts of life were like the cup of Tantalus, always suspended, but yet never were within his grasp. We naturally reflect how happy an appointment is the grave, into which this poor wretch could enter and take refuge; where the wicked and the distresses of life cease to trouble, and where the frame of this poor man finds rest. The man who can enter a burial ground without being affected, without having his virtues matured, his disposition and conduct meliorated, must have a heart hard as adamant-callous as the finty rock.
2d. Monumental spectacles tend to turn our thoughts to religion. Seeing, from the inscriptions of the tombs, death to be the lot of all, we naturally ask, is there no method of escaping? Or, can see we not turn to our advantage this doom which we cannot avoid ? Men should be thankful; this question by them can easily be answered. They know the grave is only a passage from this world
to a better; that although here there is much difference of rank and opulence ; that, there, in that respect, all distinction ceases. They know, that unless the rich man has used his talents to advantage, the fretted vault which contains his corpse, and the monument erected with curious workmanship, to shew the rank of the possessor, will nought avail to soften the condemnation of a righteous God! On the other hand, they have the pleasure of reflecting, that the poor man, who has not a stone to tell where he lies, provided bis alms and his prayers have gone up as a memorial before God, will be enriched with unfading honours. Can we possess such delightful intelligence without frequently dwelling upon it with rapture and delight? • 3d. Monuments points to the evanescent nature of all earthly materials. The grassy hillock shews us human frailty, by telling us that it encloses a lifeless corpse, which once was an animated body. But the monument erected by survivors, to extend a little longer the memory of their departed friend, goes much further; and says, with emphatic language, not merely buman flesh and blood, but stocks and stones themselves, must yield to all conquering time. When the pyramid, or mausoleum, is first erected, it seems to tell the traveller its business is to perpetuate the memory of one deceased, and, that in spite of time and destruction, it will fulfil its duty; but a few revolving years shew its incapacity for its office. The hand of time gradually erases the name which was inscribed and the proud memento at last sinks into oblivion.
Lastly. Monuments are tokens of respect from survivors towards their deceased relations. Every nation has some mode peculiar to itself of paying - respect to its deceased members. In some places they innocently adorn the graves with flowers in