« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
sprinkling, however, is for superstition, not for watering the flowers.
We do not remember to have seen the Swiss churchyards noticed by any traveller. The monuments are of iron, with scrolls, hearts, darts, and crosses : those of the poor wholly black, except the epitaph; the others gilt and painted. At Schwartz they have little pictures of saints, and other religious or emblematic miniatures ; gilt crucifixes are frequent upon these gay and hideous tombs : nothing can be more ugly by day or more ghastly by night. At Lungern and at Saxlen little portraits of the deceased are framed in these scrolls of iron, generally husband and wife together. A few years suffice to destroy these frail memorials; the colours disappear, the features themselves decay, and the perishing outline which remains bears the same resemblance to the picture that a skeleton does to the living body. There is something very frightful and very affecting at the same time in seeing these things in the different stages of the death and dissolution which they also undergo.
The Duc de Levis says, that old families in England usually have their own places of burial in their park. On the contrary, it is rather remarkable that there should be so very few. Wesley notices one in an uncharitable spirit, which, with him, was not usual; but the passage is curious. In our way to Bury,' he
says, we called at Felsham, near which is the seat of the late Mr. Reynolds. The house is, I think, the best contrived and the most beautiful I ever saw. It has four fronts, and five rooms on a floor, elegantly, though not sumptuously furnished. At a small distance stands a delightful grove. On every side of this, the poor rich man, who had no hope beyond the grave, placed seats to enjoy life as long as he could. But being resolved none of his family should be put into the ground, he built a structure in the midst of the grove, vaulted above and beneath, with niches for coffins, strong enough to last for ages. In one of these he had soon the satisfaction of laying the remains of his only child; and two years after, those of his wife. After two years more, in the year 1759, having eat and drunk, and forgotten God for eighty-four years, he went himself to give an account of his stewardship.'
On the other hand, if private cemeteries are very unfrequent in England, there is no country in the world where those half madmen, who are styled humourists, have indulged themselves so frequently in what may be called funeral freaks. An old smoker, who died in a workhouse about ten years ago, at the age of 106, desired that his pipe might be laid in his coffin. An old fox hunter would be buried with a fox-pad in each hand; and had the huntsmen and whippers-in of all the packs with which he had hunted for his A stout electioneer gave directions that his coffin should be painted blue, and the bearers wear blue ribbands. A chaise-driver, who had attained to great eminence in that profession, desired that he might he interred as near the turnpike road as possible, that he might enjoy the satisfaction, he said, of hearing the carriages pass. An odd fellow, in a higher rank of life, left one penny to every child that should attend his funeral, a guinea to seven old navigators (as canal-men are called in the midland counties), for puddling him up in his grave, and half-a-guinea to the ringers, to strike off a peal of grand bobs when they were putting him in. Some daring spirits have chosen to testify their contempt for the national church by rejecting the last of its fine services, testifying also that they rejected the Mediator and Redeemer, and died without hope like the beasts that perish. For souls like these, who would be contented with utter death, (a miserable faith, which proceeds far more frequently from the corruption of the heart than the aberration of intellect) Dante has imagined a tremendous destination-sepulchres in hell, wherein they shall be enclosed alive.
Were the happiness of the next world,' says Sir Thomas Brown, as closely apprehended as the felicities of this, it were a martyrdom to live; and unto such as consider none hereafter, it must be more than death to die; which makes us amazed at those audacities that durst be nothing and return into their chaos again. It is the heaviest stone that melancholy can throw at a nian to tell him he is at the end of his nature, or that there is no farther state to come, unto which this seems progressional, and otherwise made in vain.'
We cannot close this article more appropriately than by a churchyard poem, written by a youth who suon afterwards was laid in the grave himself. His life had been eventful and unfortunate, till his extraordinary merits were discovered by persons capable of appreciating, and willing and able to assist him. He was then placed under a kind and able ivstructor, and arrangements had been made for supporting him at the University; but he had not enjoyed that prospect many weeks before it pleased God to remove him to a better world. The reader will remember that they are the verses of a school-boy, who had not long been taken from one of the lowest stations in life, and he will then judge what might have been expected from one who was capable of writing with such strength and originality upon the tritest of all subjects.
WRITTEN IN THE CHURCHYARD
* It is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three Tabernacles, one for Thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.'-Matthew, xvii. 4.
Nor Elias nor Moses appear,
For see, they would pin him below,
Nor knows the foul worm that he frets
Shall we build to the purple of Pride,
Alas! they are all laid aside :
The treasures are squandered again.
Ah! here is a pleutiful board,
Or fled with the spirit above.
? The dead cannot grieve. Not a sob, not a sigh meets mine ear,
Which compassion itself could relieve!
And here there are trophies enow.
that none may
The first tabernacle to HOPE we will build,
The second to Faith, which insures it fulfill’d;
Art. V.-1. The Statutes of the United Kingdom of Great Bri
tain and Ireland, 58 Geo. III. Vol. VII. Part. II. 2. An Analytical Digest of the Reports of Cases decided in the
Courts of Common Law and Equity, of Appeal and Nisi Prius, in the Year 1817. To be continued Annually. By a Barrister.
Large which has been published; and the second is intended as an Epitome of the whole body of Cases in Law and Equity reported within the year for which it appears; and they have been selected in order to bring under review the whole class of publications to which they respectively belong. Our object is to direct the attention of such of our readers as may be disposed to follow us, to the enormous magnitude which acts of parliament and law reports have already reached, and the rapidity with which they are continually increasing; to inquire into the causes of this increase, which we cannot help considering as an alarming public evil; and then to point out some of the consequences which must inevitably follow unless its progress be speedily arpested. To those of our readers who turn over the pages of a periodical work merely in search of amusement, we are aware that no allurement we can throw around the present subject will make it attractive; and by those whose station, studies or employments have led them to attach to it that importance which it eminently deserves, no adventitious recommendation will be thought necessary. We shall therefore, without further preface, proceed to thexexamination of the topics we have announced.
No maxim in jurisprudence is more firmly settled, than that every state ought within the limits of its own territory to exact, and its subjects to yield, obedience to all its laws. The foundation of
this obligation on the part of the people is, that the legislative authority on its part is presumed to have made the laws so clear and public, that every member of the community either knows them, or must be culpably inattentive if he does not. Leges sacratissimæ,' says the Roman law, “quæ constringunt hominum vitas intelligi ab omnibus debent, ut universi
, præscripto earum manifestius cognito, vel inhibita declinent vel permissa sectentur.' --Cod. lib.i. Tit. 14. 89. This presumption is indispensably necessary in order to preclude the plea of ignorance which would otherwise be advanced whenever a question about breach of law occurred, but never was supposed to be justified by the fact. Even in the earliest stage of regular government it never happened that all the laws were known to all who were amenable to their jurisdiction. As civilization advances, and science, trade and wealth increase, the public and private relations of the different members of society become more complicated, and laws necessarily more nume
At last, when refinement has been carried beyond a certain point, to understand the whole or even a branch of the system of law established in any state, becomes the business of a laborious life, and no skill or industry can then mould it into such a form as to make a thorough knowledge of it attainable even by persons of liberal education and pursuits. That we cannot however do all we wish is no reason why we should not accomplish all we can;
and when it is recollected that obedience to enactments which affect the person, property, and reputation of every individual, cannot be reasonably required unless such enactments have received all practicable perfection and publicity, it appears to us that to carry these improvements as far as judgment and experience will permit, is not a boon which the government of a country may confer or withhold at pleasure, but one of the most urgent and sacred duties which it is called upon to discharge.
It is to be lamented that so few attempts of this kind have hitherto been made among ourselves, and it is difficult to be accounted for otherwise than by supposing that the extreme number of technical expressions which occur in the law of England, and the artiticial form into which almost every part of it has been thrown, have prevented it from becoming so general a study as in an enlightened country peculiarly jealous of its rights and privileges we should expect to find it. In saying this we are far from intimating any
desire that it should become a prevailing habit to intermeddle with the practice of courts of law or innovate in legislation. We only mean to urge that if a succession of men of cultivated and coniprehensive minds, not lawyers by profession, and especially those filling or likely to fill seats in either House of Parliament, had made themselves more intimately acquainted with the details as
VOL. XXI. NO. XLII.