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For war, for danger, for renown, for aught
A noble name !
Noble lady, no.
Countess. True ; true. And I expect my powerful kinsman, ,
. Good Conrade, help me
Rest thee here awhile,
Enter Theodore and Bertha.
Who call'd me mother?
How art thou, dearest mother?
But still thou tremblest, and so pale !
The. And for my father's sake, perhaps-
How can poor Theodore,
Even if you banish, pardon !_Who could see
My dearest mother,
Is the Count Lindori
Fred. My gracious lady, he is dead.
Last night Count Lindorf died.
The. Mother! I do not ask if this be real,
And the poor
Countess. My daughter, still my daughter.
No; thy wife. Will that
Con. My own sweet child.
My son, thy speaking eyes
It is his very self.
Of bold triumphant guilt had paled to fear
A boundless debt
Pay it to my Bertha.
Cease, flatterer, cease!
My son, I long
You will find
Countess. Theodore, my son,
THERE is a humble, unpretending England ; and though many of these
kind of poetry, limited in its sub- are the avowed productions of men of ject--the production alike of the learn- learning and genius, yet by far the ed and the ignorant, the high and low, greatest number, like the songs of the the rich and poor - which, alike in- peasantry, are the production of humteresting to all, has failed to obtain ble and nameless persons. I have not much regard from those to whom it failed to observe, that the inscriptions addresses instruction : I mean Epi- which spoke the plainest sense, extaphs. The living naturally wish to pressed the happiest sentiments, conshun all intercourse with the dead; and tained the richest poetry, and gave the though the latter, in many a warning most original and vivid portraiture of line, lift up their voice, and call aloud past beauty or worth, were generally from the ground, we heed not the post- ihe works of obscure persons, whose humous counsel, but tread over the names are unknown to literature ; and gravel, or the green sod, which covers who, probably both before and after, our ancestor's dust, without even whist- sought no intercourse with the muse. I ling to keep our courage up. In the shall only transcribe now a few of these course of a long and busy life, I have epitaphs, which seem not generally read many epitaphs in various parts of known, and confine myself rather to
the curious than the beautiful. The seem of the same opinion; and we following very simple and affecting epi- hope all the tailors of the district lay taph expresses more in few words than the virtues of their righteous brother to we usually observe in this kind of com- heart, and seek to practise them in their position :
lives : Nineteen years a maiden,
Here lies entomb’d, within this vault so dark, One year a wife,
A tailor, soldier, cloth-drawer, and clerk ; One hour a mother,
Death snatch'd him hence, and also from And so I lost my life.
His needle, thimble, sword, and prayer The brevity of the following is of
book. a different nature, and approaches too He could no longer work nor fight : what close to the epigrammatic:
He left the world, and faintly cried, Amen. Life is uncertain, death is sure ;
Sin is the wound, and Christ the cure. There is some conceit in this plain An inscription in Kingston church- epitaph at Southampton, but it will yard, Surrey, seems to be composed on be forgiven for the sake of the comthe judicious precept of Butler: mencing line : For brevity is very good,
A plain rough man, but without guile or Where we are, or are not understood.
Goodness bis aim, and honesty his guide ; It is as follows:
Could all the pomps of this vain world des
And only after death desired to rise.
One on a young man at Chichester
will not be read without emotion : jokes, obscure compliments, as well as innumerable lines, are cut in stone. The Art thou in health and spirits gay? following, on a child, will be found at I too was so the other day ; Brighton :
And thought myself of life as safe,
As thou who read'st my epitaph.
Honest Stephen Rumbold, of OxBut turn'd his little head aside,
ford, is thus briefly remembered : Disgusted with the taste, and died.
He lived one hundred and five, Those who die at peace with the
Sanguine and strong ;
An hundred to five world, and leave rich legacies to their
You live not so long. relations, commonly come in for a very reasonable share of good qualities in
In the epitaph on a Marine at Chitheir epitaphs. There is some bitter- chester, the writer has made an adroit ness contained in two lines on a tomb- turn from mortal to spiritual warfare. stone at Pentonville:
There are many military inscriptions Death takes the good—too good on earth to them are very happy:
scattered about the country, but few of stay, And leaves the bad—too bad to take away. Here lies a true soldier, whom all must apAn inscription at Islington is in bet- Much hardship he suffer'd at home and
plaud; ter taste and gentler feeling. It is on a abroad ; child some months old ; and, brief as it But the hardest engagement he ever was in, is, contains a fine sentiment:
Was the battle of Self in the conquest of
Sin. Here virtue sleeps--restrain the pious tear!
A soldier died suddenly in Hampshire He waits that judgment which he cannot fear.
from drinking small beer after a hot The merry people of Cheshire min- march, and this is his epitaph : gle no gall in their remembrance of Here sleeps in peace a Hampshire grenatheir benefactors. We have, ourselves,
dier, always loved the calling of a tailor, and Who caught his death by drinking cold
small beer. thought, with the old Scottish poet, Soldiers, be wise, from his untimely fall ; that he is more than man, rather than And when you're hot, drink strong, or none less. The inhabitants of Cheshire
The following ludicrous addition stone was removed from the garden, was made by the officers in garrison the old inscription effaced and its place when they restored the decayed monu- supplied by an epitaph from another ment :
hand. An honest soldier never is forgot,
In the church-yard of Bayswater, Whether he died by inusket or by pot.
mid-way down the ground on the left An old fisherman of Kent is thus hand, leaning against the wall, obscurremembered in the church-yard of ed by nettles and rank grass, unnoticed, Hythe :
and perhaps unknown, stands a rude
memorial of common rough stone, inHis net old fisher George long drew, debted to no gifted and cunning hand
Shoals upon shoals he caught, Till Death came hauling for his due,
for beauty of form, and to no elegant And made poor George his draught.
mind for the inscription with which it Death fishes on through various shades ;
is covered. It is the tomb-stone of In vain it is to fret ;
Laurence Sterne. Perhaps his counNor fish or fisherman escapes Death's all-enclosing net.
trymen who are so patriotic, so witty, I like the unassuming epitaph of in their remembrances, so fond of num
when the wine is good, so affectionate John and Martha Wright ;—it says bering Sterne among those steady lights much in small space :
which contribute to the fixed splendour Plain in their form, but rich they were in of Ireland, may reflect, while they
mind : Religious, quiet, honest, meek, and kind.
laugh and wonder, and weep over his Nor do I dislike the lines on Sophia dead, and have the grace to propose to
pages, that he sleeps among the vulgar Bovil, a child of two years old : honour themselves by erecting a monRest soft thy dust, wait the Almighty's will, ument to his memory. That the noRise with the just, and be an angel still. ble, the wealthy, the witty, and the
The following ludicrous verse, though gay, left the interment of Sterne and none of the happiest
, happens to be a the erection of his grave-stone, to merecent production :
chanics and strangers, is a reproach that Here fast asleep, full six feet deep,
can never be removed. And seventy summers ripe, George Thomas lies in hopes to rise,
* Near this place lies the body of And smoke another pipe.
The Reverend Laurence Sterne, A. M.
Died Sept. 13, 1768, aged 53 years. It was almost one of the last acts of Horne Tooke to 'cause a vault to be This monumental stone was erected to the made in his garden, surmounted by a
memory of the deceased by two brother
Masons; for although he did not live to slab of black marble, for which he
be a member of their society, yet all his wrote the following inscription, and incomparable performances evidently caused it to be engraved with directions prove him to have acted by rule and that his executors should fill up the
square. They rejoice in this opportunity blank :
of perpetuating his high and irreproacha
ble character to after ages. John Horne Tooke, late proprietor, now occupier of this spot, What did it boot him, ridiculed, abused, born in 1736, died in
By fools insulted, and by prudes accused; Contented and grateful.
In him, mild reader, view thy future fate; His singular request to be buried in his Like him, despise what were a sin to hate,
w. &s. own garden was not complied with : he was interred at Ealing; the tomb- Cumberland, Aug. 1821.
* See Ath. vol. iii. pp. 114, 142, 434 ; vol. v. p. 309.