« AnteriorContinuar »
youth and beauty, as well as profound attention, would have attracted the notice of eyes less curious than my own, I approached her with respect; I ventured to ask her the nature and meaning of the custom, but she eluded my inquiries, and went on removing the obtrusive weeds. Finding, however, that I was importunate, she turned her head, and shewed a beautiful countenance, still more interesting from grief; the tears trickled down her cheeks, and with a voice that rebuked by intrusion, she said, “I come, Sir, here every Saturday to pluck these weeds, and to weep over my dear brother I had but one
he was a brother-but he was too good to remain here—I would I had gone in his stead!!”. After an interval of silence, that it would have been long before I could have broken, she added, “I don't know whether I am wrong, Sir, but I frequently pray
dear brother may flourish in Paradise as this rose on his grave: I have been told, that I ought not to pray for the dead, * but I find my heart better after it, and I feel a stronger desire to be holy, that I may be the sooner fit to go to him.”
My sympathy I found was strongly affected, and the piety of the sentiment disarmed me of all power to demonstrate the fallacy of the doctrine.
* Whatever may have been said by able writers upon this subject, yet it requires no subtlety of reasoning to prove it an erroneous doctrine. A strict adherence to the plain representation of scripture will furnish the unlettered christian with an invincible and decisive argument against it. Rev. chap, xxii. v, 10, 11,
A little further appeared one that had been recently dressed, and the friend lately gone. There was a peculiar degree of neatness about this
within the outer inclosure was an inner one, the size of a young child's ; on inquiry, I found that a female was interred here, who, in the act of giving life, had lost her own. She had died in child-bed, and her offspring living but a few hours after the mother, was placed in the same coffin, and buried in the same grave. Here, in a representation of aromatic flowers, the infant was lying on her breast. The husband, still a widower, had just been to perform this sadly pleasing task, returning home doubtless satisfied that he had done all for the friend of his bosom that distance and separation allowed him to do; and evincing to the surviving friends, that the virtues of her who had left them were still dear in his remembrance, and that they still lived in his affections.
To live in the remembrance of those we love, is an instinct connate with our very Being; and this posthumous attention to our departed friends, while it cherishes that principle which is the soul of society, and the sweetner of life, impresses upon our recollection the virtues which through life we had forgotten to appreciate, urges them strongly to our imitation, and calls our attention to that Great Day of Inquisition which they have already seen, and we shall soon be summoned to behold! The gay and dissipated may cast a sneer, and the philosophically morose may heave a sigh over the prevalence of this antiquated, and as they may term it, superstitious
custom ; but to me, who scorn all participation with these characters, it appeared in a sacred point of view, and the tear of sympathy has often stolen down my cheek while I beheld it. On the whole, I cannot but be strongly inclined to think, that whatever tends to cherish the remembrance of departed virtue, and to solicit our attention to a future world, must be consistent with the highest reason, and ultimately productive of essential good. With such sentiments so congenial to your own, and in the sincerity of friendship,
I remain yours, &c.
In the morning of life the mind is elated with hope, because yet unacquainted with its delusions; and is sanguine in its views, because it has not experienced the bitterness of disappointment, The body, unwearied with reiterated fatigue, attends a willing and agile associate in the pursuit of happiness: every object around wears a correspondent tint of gaiety; and the distant prospects in the horizon of life fill the imagination with fascinating dreams of ideal and inexpressible pleasures.
We left Llanfair just as the beauteous orb of day was darting his golden beams from behind a lofty mountain on our left : while the
mists of morn were fast retiring towards the ocean. His brilliant rays threw a lustre over the umbrageous woods, and the dew drops, like sprakling gems, stood tiptoe on the waving foliage. The feathered tribes were chanting their matin song of gratitude; and the hills in distant whispers echoed these warbling notes of praise. Every thing conspired to excite the most pleasing sensations, to stimulate exertion, and inspire hope,
Hitherto we had experienced little difficulty, and our labour had been amply rewarded by the pleasure we had received. Highly gratified with the past, we were disposed to look favourably to the future; and, in defiance of the many obstacles thrown in our way, to take within this excursion the source of the Severn. Our road lay through a country consisting of vales and moderately rising hills; their bases skirted with woods, their sides cultivated far
and their tops
adorned with numerous flocks. The intermediate risings were now covered with the golden grain, and the meadows rich in luxuriant pasturage:* the country well wooded, and the different streamlets meandering in gentle murmurs by to join their waters with the Severn, gave life to the pleasing scenery.
In passing the Castle, of Caereineon, a Roman Fortress, few remains of which are left, and of those it may be said,
be said, “ Etiam periere ruinæ,” we came to the small village of BERhiw: where the handsome little church and parsonage, the neat appearance of the whited cottages, and highly cultivated farms, gave us an idea of content and plenty; and brought to our recollection Goldsmith's description of Auburn in its prosperous state, with which he commences his elegant Poem the Deserted Village:
“ Sweet Auburn! loveliest village of the plain, - Where health and plenty cheer'd the labouring swain; " Where smiling spring its earliest visits paid, “ And parting summer's ling’ring blooms delay'd.
* By the road side we found the ORNITHOGALUM LUTRUM and CARDUUS ERIOPHORUS.