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a window at the extremity of the ceiling. A more frightful scene never appalled the eye. The walls were lined with shallow niches, from which hung, leaning forward, as if to fall upon the gazer, the dried bodies of monks in the full dress of their order. Their hands were crossed upon their breasts or hung at their sides, their faces were blackened and withered, and every one seemed to have preserved, in diabolical caricature, the very expression of life. The hair lay reddened and dry on the dusty skull; the teeth, perfect or imperfect, had grown brown in their open mouths; the nose had shrunk; the cheeks fallen in and cracked ; and they looked more like living men cursed with some horrid plague than the inanimate corpses they were. The name of each was pinned upon his cowl, with his age and the time of his death. Below in three or four tiers, lay long boxes painted fantastically, and containing, the monk told us, the remains of Sicilian nobles. Upon a long shelf above sat perhaps a hundred children of from one year to five, in little chairs worn with their use while in life, dressed in the gayest manner, with fanciful caps upon their little blackened heads, dolls in their hands, and, in one or two instances, a stuffed dog or parrot lying in their laps. A more horribly ludicrous collection of little withered faces, shrunk into expression so entirely inconsistent with the gaiety of their dresses, could scarce be conceived. One of them had his arm tied up, holding a child's whip in the act of striking, while the poor thing's head had rotted and dropped upon his breast; and a leather cap fallen on one side shewed his bare skull with the most comical expression of carelessness. We quite shocked the old monk with our laughter, but the scene was irresistible.
Tomb of the Son of Napoleon. He lies in the deep vaults of the Capuchin convent, with eighty-four of the imperial family of Austria beside
him. A monk answered our pull at the cloister-bell, and the valet translated my request into German. He opened the gate with a guttural · Yaw! and lighting a wax candle at a lamp burning before the image of the Virgin, unlocked a massive brazen door at the end of the corridor, and led the way into the vault. The Capuchin was pale as marble, quite bald, though young, and with features which expressed, I thought, the subdued fierceness of a devil. He impatiently waved a way the officious interpreter after a moment or two, and asked me if I understood latin. Nothing could have been more striking than the whole scene. The immense bronze sarcophagi lay in long aisles behind railings and gates of iron; and as the long-robed monk strode on with his lamp through the darkness, pronouncing the name and title of each as he unlocked the door and struck it with the key, he seemed to me, with his solemn pronunciation, like some mysterious being calling forth the imperial tenants to judgment. He appeared to have a something of scorn in his manner as he looked on the splendid workmanship of the vast coffin, and pronounced the sounding titles of the ashes within. At that of the celebrated Empress Maria Theresa alone, he stopped to make a comment. It was a simple tribute to her virtues, and he uttered it slowly, as if he were merely musing to himself. He passed on to her husband, Francis the First, and then proceeded uninterruptedly till he came to a new copper coffin. It lay in a niche beneath a tall, dim window; and the monk, merely pointing to the inscription, set down his lamp, and began to pace up and down the damp floor, with his head on his breast, as if it was a matter of course that here I was to be left awhile to my thoughts.
It was certainly the spot, if there is one in the world, to feel emotion. In the narrow enclosure on which my finger rested lay the last hopes of Napoleon. The heart of the master-spirit of the world was bound up in these ashes. He was beautiful, accomplished, generous, brave. He was
loved with a sort of idolatry by the nation with which he had passed his childhood. He had won all hearts. His death seemed impossible. There was a universal prayer that he might live; his inheritance of glory was so incalculable.
I read his epitaph. It was that of a private individual. It gave his name, and his father's and mother's; and then enumerated his virtues, with a common-place regret for his early death. The monk took up his lamp and re-ascended to the cloister in silence. He shut the convent-door behind me, and the busy street seemed to me profane. How short a time does the most moving event interrupt the common current of life!
LETTER TO A YOUNG FRIEND.
Vive memor lethi...."Live mindful of death.”
My dear L ****
This sentiment, pregnant as it is with all that relates to man's happiness here and hereafter, was received and adopted into the crude and imperfect systems of heathen philosophy. The ancients deemed the man regardless of the closing scene of life, either as senseless or maniacal; and though they sought for consolation necessarily in very defective and limited means, yet it evinced their anxiety on the subject, and showed that they were not utterly reckless concerning their future destiny. It is worthy of observation, likewise, that they connected Life with death, and by the motto affixed at the head of this epistle, seem to have shadowed out the universal audit spoken of in holy writ, “That men shall be rewarded according to the deeds done in the body, whether they be good or whether they be evil.” “Tell me not," therefore said one, “how a man died, but how he lived.”
These days have passed.--Thousands, and tens of thousands-Millions, and tens of millions, have crossed the boundary of time, and their immortal spirits at this moment are in existence, and ever will be. This is a thought which to embrace fully, is almost beyond the stretch of human intellect : but add another to it-That these myriads of departed spirits were but as a feather in the scale-an atom in creation—nothing in His sight, whose power is illimitable
-whose nature is incomprehensible ;-yea, less than nothing, and vanity.
The darkness of barbarian speculation is now dispersed. All mystery is cleared np by the introduction of a greater