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PEN AND INK SKETCHES.
A CITY CHURCH-YARD.
There is something fearful in death! When one in whom has been centred our fondest affection, and whose society has been so long enjoyed as to render it almost a necessary part of our existence;one, with whom we have been accustomed to share alike the clouds of sorrow, and the sunshine of joy;— with whom we have oftentimes delighted to take "sweet counsel ;”—when such a one is laid low by the unsparing hand of death, and taken from our side ;—when the tongue, whose accents ever fell sweet and soft on the listening ear, is for ever silenced ;—when the bright eye, whose expressive beamings have cheered and gladdened the spirit, is for ever closed ;when the form so dear to the heart is for ever stiff and cold ;-who does not then feel that there is sonething fearful in death?
And when that loved one is committed to the silence of the tomb, “ Ashes to ashes-dust to dust !"-when the grave closes orer, and hides for ever that dear form from the sight, who does not feel a sadness and a loneliness of spirit come over him, like the storm-cloud brooding over the lonely vessel as it drifts on through mid-ocean to that
“desolate shore, “When the dreams of our childhood are vanished and o'er!" And yet there is something inexpressibly soothing in the religious retirement of a rural burying-ground, where the fresh green grass clothes the gentle mound with verdure, and the autumn sunshine sleeps on its quiet bosom, and the mournful yew, or the drooping willow, cast their shadows over the mourner that weeps beneath them.
There is a something which seems to whisper softly, “ There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary are at rest."Rest!—that no rude blast of a cold world can disturb;-REST! still, and deep as the silent sadness that pervades the hallowed spot!
The English grave-yards at Zante and at Leghorn ;-the one that contains the slumbering dust of the poet Keats at Rome ;--the Strangers' Burying-ground at Clifton, or the many lovely sanctuaries of the departed which Caroline Bowles has pictured for us,-are spots in which the weary spirit almost longs for its rest, and which seem to take away much of the bitterness from death and an early grave. But a City CHURCH-Yard! Oh! come and look at one, and will you not exclaim with Walter Maynard, or rather with the bright genius who spoke through him-L. E. L., “God grant that I may never die in a city!"
Almost in the centre of London, and surrounded on two sides by offices of business, and on the other two by warehouses, the stranger may discover a small church-yard. The church has long since been destroyed by fire, but there remains this spot of consecrated ground; and that it has been used, even in late years, headstones bearing date 1826, sufficiently attest. The walls of the houses form its boundaries
on three sides, and a tall iron railing guards it on the fourth, within which is a row of elm-trees—if such diminutive, stunted, skeleton productions of vegetable nature deserve the name:-a pathway, overgrown with long grass and weeds, surrounds it ;—and here and there stand the records of human frailty and mortality, raised by human grief, or (too frequently) by human pride. In some places the inscriptions, which once were traceable, are now effaced; and the monumental stone is fast following, in its decay, the cold remains of the form whose name it once bore, and above whose dust it stands. Here again, is a stone, that, broken by age, has been re-clasped with iron by the vain officiousness of some surviving friend or relative,-but which is lying in broken fragments, half-buried in earth, and overgrown with the long, damp, luxuriant grass, that seems to flourish on the corruption it covers. The earth beneath your feet is damp and soft and crumbling; and the very trees have a dampness, and a sepulchral feeling and appearance that chills the very life-blood. Whilst you stand beneath them, musing at the lesson taught you of the vanity of man, and the transience of earthly pomp and glory, and peering through the twilight shadows of a London November evening, at the tombstones around you,—the lamp at the extremity of the churchyard is lit up, and throws its flaring, flickering light across through the gloom, deepening the shadows behind the tombs, and falling with a glare on the stones immediately underneath it;—whilst anon, the noise and bustle and mingled sounds of a city still break in with a discordant jar, and fill the mind with thoughts that make it turn from the revolting, disgusting, sickening scene :-and breathing from the heart a deep-drawn sigh to relieve the oppression that weighs on it, you exclaim,“ God grant that I may never be buried in a city!"
ARTHUR P. HOWARD.
That blanch'd my virgin brow,
I took the nuptial vow.
Of maiden modesty,
No eye but his might see.
That coursed through every vein,
No polish'd art could feign.
The light elastic tread,
The day that I was wed.
Oh! give me back the spirit gay
Which deck'd that path with flowers;
From these bright roseate bowers.
Who far those earth-gifts hurl'à!
Unspotted from the world.
Sapping the vital vein ;
A purer health to gain.
May surely now be found
That consecrated ground !
Subdued in heart would be
In meek humility.
Oh! Time, thy onward flow;
For all thou canst bestow!
A frail and fragile thing ;
Gently upon thy wing.
THE MAN WHO WAS BORN TO BE USED BY OTHERS.
“I was born to be used by others," was the half pathetic, half humorous expression of my poor old friend, Humphrey Easy, whenever any fresh claim came upon his tender heart, or rather tender conscience; for Humphrey, though well deserving the epithet of "the good,” was, after all, more swayed by principle than affection, or as he phrased it, he had “ too much consideration.”
Humphrey was the youngest son of a family of seventeen brothers and sisters, and the last of a race of spendthrifts, whose lands, houses, and investments, had all gradually faded away, before the riotous course of a succession of bon vivants. Humphrey had nothing but his talents to look to, as his father said ; and, unfortunately, these were not, like those of old, of gold and of silver.
But I cannot better express his character and fortunes, or rather misfortunes, than in his own words. “I was born to be used by others,” said he, the last time I dined with him, after having been called from his wine by his neighbour's servant, who said, her mistress's favourite cat would perish, as she had slipped into his wine cellar when he went to replenish his cellaret; and, as he was his own butler, and permitted no one but himself to go into this sanctum, he was obliged to put on his boots, call for his lantern, and proceed to the mildewed cave; “ for,” said he, “I can't but have some consideration for the poor animal.” On returning, he gave loose to his reminiscences, and bitterly deplored that “ he was born to be used by others.” “From my very cradle,” said he, “ to the present time, has this been my lot.”
“How so?” said I ;“ let me hear the dismal story."
“You shall. You know I am naturally prudent; very fond of the niceties of life; hate to be dunned; long for leisure and elegance, and have been willing to work for them; but directly I come in sight of the means, some horrid contingency arises, that throws me back. I am a perfect emblem of Sisyphus,-directly I get the stone to the top of the hill, down it comes tumbling and tearing all my labours with it. I have heard my nurse say I was weaned to make way for a friend's child, who would have died if my mother had not nourished it; and as soon as I can recollect, the cry was, directly a toy was presented to me, 'Let baby have it, there's a good boy, you should consider little Charley. My mother had a very generous heart, and her principal aim was to make me considerate. My boyhood was a series of sacrifices. My accumulation of marbles or buttons, for I always had a turn for accumulating, were torn from me by the wants of my thoughtless brothers when debts of honour pressed them, until they were on the verge of having them liquidated by the pinching of the whole school. At length I was put out in the world, though in a worse situation than I should have been, because I gave up a cadetship (at that time the certain road to fortune), because a warm climate suited my brother better than a cold one: and ‘I ought to consider his health. Well, I did get out at last, and was getting on famously and tolerably free from considerations. I had been accepted by a charming, prudent girl, and was about to be married, when my father, who was rashly speculative, had so seriously involved himself, that I was obliged to give him all I had accumulated to prevent his rotting (as he termed it) in a gaol. The lady's friends interfered, and she was carried into the country, and I never saw her again. This, however, I got over, and married Mrs. E., between ourselves, out of consideration, she having been pleased to make it a life and death matter, as her mother informed mine. However, had my consideration never proved more productive of disappointment than this, I should not have complained as I do.
"We were blest, as they say, with a speedy family, and I began to indulge in all the hopes and ambition of a patriarch; my son was to be lord chancellor, my daughters marry heroes and millionaires, and I prepared to educate them accordingly: but as usual, just at this time, when I was investing, as I said, my earnings in their accomplishments, my brother perished in a shipwreck on his return from India, nothing escaping but his numerous sons and daughters, who emerged perfect paupers, having been dipped as heiresses. No one of the family but myself could give them assistance; and, as my mother wrote to me,
of course I could not but consider their miserable state.' I did so, and turned them amongst my own, when I had the satisfaction of my niece instead of my daughter marrying the captain (who was to be the future Duke of Wellington), and the boy enlisted the affections of the heiress I had intended for my son. At last I turned my children off into the world, but in a much lower station than I had anticipated, owing to these drawbacks, and got a little breathing time. I was now beginning to place my hopes beyond the grave (I don't mean in a religious point of view— I wish I had); but I was beginning to pull in resolution and doubt the equivocation of the fiend,' who had thus held the word of promise to the hope, but broke it to the heart,' and I hoped I might have a few years of leisure and retirement. Youth was gone-manhood was declining—all the enjoyments I had sighed for began to pall on me; but still I hoped I might get a few years of ease, and leave a something behind me, when the approaching bankruptcy of the son of the oldest friend who had served me in my youth, took all my available cash and nailed me for ten years more to smoke and business. As is universally the case, the assistance at such a sacrifice I had made for my friend was of no other service to him than the postponement of his ruin for about eighteen months, during which time, as he told me afterwards, he had suffered much more than when the crisis came. “Single misfortunes never come alone.' While I was calculating the remnant of my fortune, I received a most heart-rending letter from the lady I had loved in my youth, whose husband had turned out a heartless swindler, who, by ill usage, had brought on a paralytic stroke which rendered her helpless, though a pauper. One of my now very few thousands went for an annuity to her, for I always considered that the love must be very tin-foilish, that would refuse such a trifle, which, if it had been consummated by marriage, would not have thought a whole fortune sufficient to show its regard.
“ My father-in-law, too, died about this time. We had always considered him rich, and out of consideration to the respect due to him, I buried him in a very superb manner ; but on opening the will, we found every thing bequeathed to a favourite housekeeper who had contrived entirely to supersede every one else in his affections and recollections. As I said, whether they die, or whether they live, it brings nothing to me but expense and disappointment.
“ I now determined to be less considerate, and to show my firmness on the first occasion that presented itself. This was not long in occurring. One of my nephews, who had left a lucrative government situation to write theatrical criticisms in • The Evening Ruffian,' a new independent newspaper, wrote to me for fifty pounds, to save his honour, as he said, from being called in question by a gentleman belonging to 'the Rifle Brigade.' I refused, promptly and tartly, for the first time in my life, and by return of post received a summons from the coroner to give evidence as to the suicide of · Adolphus Augustus Orlando Albert Easy, Esq.' who had shot himself owing to some pecuniary