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(Thomas Fuller.) MBS are the clothes of the dead. A grave is but
a plain suit, and a rich monument is one embroidered. Most moderate men have been care
ful for the decent interment of their corpses;. both hereby to prevent the negligence of heirs, and to mind them of their mortality. Virgil tells us that when bees swarm in the air, and two armies meeting together fight as it were a set battle with great violence—cast but a little dust upon them and they will be quiet :
Hi motus animorum, atque hæc certamina tanta,
Pulveris exigui jactu compressa quiescunt.” Thus the most ambitious motions and thoughts of man's mind are quickly quelled when dust is thrown on him, whereof his fore-prepared sepulchre is an excellent remembrancer. Yet some seem to have built their tombs therein to bury their thoughts of dying; never thinking thereof, but embracing the world with greater greediness. A gentleman made choice of a fair stone, and, intending the same for his grave-stone, caused it to be pitched up in a field a pretty distance from his house, and used often to shoot at it for his exercise. “ Yea, but,” said a wag that stood by, "you would be loath, sir, to hit the mark.” And so are many unwilling to die, who, nothwithstanding, have erected their monuments. The shortest, plainest, and truest cpitaphs are best.
I say “the
shortest ;" for when a passenger sees a chronicle written on a tomb, he takes it on trust some great man lies there buried, without taking pains to examine who he is. Mr Camden in his “Remains presents us with examples of great men that had little epitaphs. And when once I asked a witty gentleman, an honoured friend of mine, what epitaph was fittest to be written on Mr Camden's tomb—“Let it be," said he, "Camden's Remains.'” I say also “the plainest;" for except the sense lie above ground, few will trouble themselves to dig for it. Lastly, it must be “true;" not as in some monuments, where the red veins in the marble may seem to blush at the falsehoods written on it. He was a witty man that first taught a stone to speak, but he was a wicked man that taught it first to lie.
To want a grave is the cruelty of the living, not the misery of the dead. An English gentleman, not long since, did lie on his death-bed in Spain, and the Jesuits did flock about him to pervert him to their religion. All was in vain. Their last argument was, “If you will not turn Roman Catholic, then your body shall be unburied.” “Then,” answered he, “I will stink;" and so turned his head and died. Thus love, if not to the dead, to the living, will make him, if not a grave, a hole. ... A good memory is the best monument. Others are subject to casualty and time; and we know that the pyramids themselves, doting with age, have forgotten the names of their founders. To conclude ; let us be careful to provide rest for our souls, and our bodies will provide rest for themselves.
(Shakspeare.) Wolsey.-Farewell! a long farewell, to all my greatness! This is the state of man: to-day he puts forth The tender leaves of hopes; to-morrow blossoms, And bears his blushing honours thick upon him ; The third day comes a frost, a killing frost, And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely His greatness is a-ripening, nips his root, And then he falls, as I do. I have ventured, Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders, These many summers in a sea of glory, But far beyond my depth : my high-blown pride At length broke under me and now has left me, Weary and old with service, to the mercy Of a rude stream, that must for ever hide me. Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate ye: I feel my heart new open'd. O, how wretched Is that poor man that hangs on princes' favours ! There is, betwixt that smile we would aspire to,
That sweet aspect of princes, and his ruin,
Let's dry our eyes: and thus far hear me, Cromwell;
THE CROWN AND THE TIARA.
(Stephen.) 7GAINST a regimen of sackcloth and fasting, the body
and the soul of Henry revolted. At the close of the Diet of Tribur, he had scarcely completed his twentysixth year. Degraded, if not finally deposed, hated and
reviled, abandoned by man, and compelled by conscience to anticipate his abandonment by God, he yet, in the depths of his misery, retained the remembrance and the hope of dominion. The future was still bright with the anticipations of youth. He might yet retrieve his reputation, resume the blessings he had squandered, and take a signal vengeance on his great antagonist. And amidst the otherwise universal desertion, there remained one faithful bosom on which to repose his own aching heart. Bertha, his wife, who had retained her purity unsullied amidst the license of his Court, now retained her fidelity unshaken amidst the falsehood of his adherents. Her wrongs had been such as to render a deep resentment nothing less than a duty. Her happiness and her honour had been basely assailed by the selfish profligate to whom the most solemn vows had in vain united her. But to her those vows were a bond stronger than death, and indissoluble by all the confederate powers of earth and hell. To suffer was the condition—to pardon and to love, the necessity—of her existence. Vice and folly could not have altogether depraved him who was the object of such inalienable tenderness, and who at length learnt to return it with a devotion almost equal to her own, after a