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a whole afternoon in the church-yard, the cloifters, and the church, amusing myself with the tomb-ftones. and infcriptions, which I met with, in thofe feveral regions of the dead. Moft of them, recorded nothing elfe of the buried perfon, but, that he was born upon one day, and died upon another; the whole hiftory of his life, being comprehended in these two circumstances, that are common to all mankind. I could not but look upon thofe registers of existence, whether of brafs or marble, as a kind of fatire upon the departed perfons; who had left no other memorial of themselves, but that they were born, and that they died.
UPON my going into the church, I entertained myself with the digging of a grave: and faw, in every fhovelful of it, that was thrown up, the fragment of a bone, or fcull, intermixt with a kind of fresh mouldering earth, that, fome time or other, had a place in the compofition of an human body. Upon this, I began to confider with myself, what innumerable multitudes of people lay confused together, under the pavement of that ancient cathedral: how men and women; friends and enemies; priefts and foldiers; monks and prebendaries; were crumbled amongst one another, and blended together, in the fame common mafs; how beauty, ftrength and youth; with old age, weakness, and deformity; lay undiftinguished, in the fame promifcuous heap of matter.
After having thus furveyed this great magazine of mortality, as it were in a lump; I examined it more particularly, by the accounts which I found on several of the monuments, which are raifed in every quarter of that ancient fabric. Some of them were covered with fuch extravagant epitaphs, that,
if it were poffible for the dead perfon to be acquainted with them, he would blufh at the praifes, which his friends have beftowed upon him. There are others fo exceffively modeft, that they deliver the character of the perfon departed, in Greek or Hebrew; and, by that means, are not understood once in a twelvemonth. In the poetical quarter, I found there were poets, who had no monuments; and monuments, which had no poets. I obferved, indeed that the present war had filled the church with many of those uninhabited monuments; which had been erected to the memory of persons, whose bodies were, perhaps, buried in the plains of Blenheim, or in the bofom of the ocean.
I could not but be very much delighted with feveral modern epitaphs, which are written with great elegance of expreffion, and juftnefs of thought; and which, therefore, do honour to the living, as, well as to the dead. As a foreigner is very apt to conceive an idea of the ignorance or politenefs of a nation, from the turn of their public monuments and infcriptions, they fhould be fubmitted to the perufal of men of learning and genius, before theyare put into execution. Sir Cloudefly Shovel's monument has very often given me great offence. Inftead of the brave rough English Admiral, which was the diftinguishing character of that plain gallant man, he is reprefented on his tomb, by the figure of a beau, dreffed in a long perriwig, and repofing himself upon velvet cushions, under a canopy of ftate. The infcription is answerable to the monument: for, inftead of celebrating the many remarkable actions he had performed in the fervice of his country, it acquaints us only with the manner of his death; in which it was impoffible for him to reap any honour. The Dutch, whom we are apt
to despise for want of genius, fhew an infinitely greater taste in their buildings and works of this nature, than we meet with, in those of our own country. The monuments of their admirals, which have been erected at the public expence, represent them like themselves; and are adorned with roftral crowns and naval ornaments, with beautiful feftoons of feaweed, fhells, and coral.
I know that entertainments of this nature, are apt to raise dark and difmal thoughts in timorous minds, and gloomy imaginations. But for my own part, tho' I am always ferious, I do not know what it is to be melancholy; and can, therefore, take a view of nature, in her deep and folemn fcenes, with the fame pleasure as in her moft gay and delightful ones. By these means, I can improve myfelf with objects, which others confider with terror. When I look upon the tombs of the great; every emotion of envy dies in me: when I read the epitaphs of the beautiful; every inordinate defire goes out: when I meet with the grief of Parents upon a tomb-ftone ; my heart melts with compaffion: when I fee the tombs of the parents themselves; I confider the vanity of grieving for thofe, whom we must quickly follow. When I fee kings lying by thofe who deposed them when I confider rival wits placed fide by fide, or the holy men, that divided the world with their contefts and difputes; I reflect, with forrow and astonishment, on the little competitions, factions and debates of mankind. When I read the feveral dates of the tombs; of fome, that died yesterday, and fome, fix hundred years ago; I confider that great day, when we thall all of us be contemporaries, and make our appearance together.
FAMILY PRIDE RIDICULED.
N empty man of a great family, is a creature, that is fcarcely converfable. You read his anceftry in his fmile, his air, his eye-brow. He has, indeed, nothing, but his nobility, to give employment to his thoughts. Rank and precedency, are the important points, which he is always difcuffing within himself. A gentleman of this turn, began a fpeech, in one of King Charles's parliaments: "Sir, I had the honour to be born at a time"-upon which, a rough honeft gentleman took him up fhort, " I would fain know what that gentleman means: is there any one in this house, that has not had the honour to be born as well as he?"
My lord Froth has been fo educated in punctilio, that he governs himfelf by a ceremonial, in all the ordinary occurrences of life. He measures out his bow, to the degree of the perfon he converfes with. I have feen hin, in every inclination of the body, from the familiar nod, to the low ftoop in falutation. -I remember, five of us, who were acquainted with one another, met one morning at his lodgings; when a wag of the company was faying, it would be worth while, to obferve how he would diftinguish us, at his first entrance. Accordingly, he no fooner camne into the room, but, cafting his eye about, My lord Such-a-one, fays he, your moft humble fervantSir Richard, your humble fervant--your fervant, Mr. Ironfide-Mr. Ducker, how do you do?-Hah! Frank, are you there?
EAST-INDIA COMPANY'S ADDRESS, ON THE
TO THE KING'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY. E, your Majefty's loyal fubjects, the united company of merchants of England trading to the Eaft-Indies, beg leave, in this time of general alarm, to exprefs our fentiments of zeal and affection to your Majefty's royal perfon and government. In an hour of threatened ruin to our commerce, and of poffible infult to this ifland, it is a duty incumbent on all your Majesty's fubjects, but peculiarly on great commercial focieties, to exert their best means of strengthening that important and conftitutional defence, the naval power of thefe kingdoms; which, we truft, notwithstanding the various fervices required in the diftant parts of the empire, will prove fuperior to the combined force of the house of Bourbon in Europe.-As a fmall teftimony of our earnest defire to promote this effential intereft of our country, by an immediate fupply of men, we have offered bounties to those who shall voluntarily enter themselves to serve on board your Majefty's fleet and, at the fame time, that we may contribute our affiftance to its future ftrength, we have refolved, at our own expence, and with all poffible difpatch, to build three fhips of war, of feventy-four guns each, with their mafts and yards; of which, when finished, we requeft your Majefty's gracious acceptance.
WHATEVER judgment posterity may form of the unhappy contest with our fellow-fubjects in America,