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a grave.” The puticolæ of pagan Rome were in the Esquiline fields, and it was there that the bodies of the common dead were thrown promiscuously. The Church from the beginning rejected all distinctions in this respect, treating the bodies of the poor and rich with equal respect; but in later times, in some places shorn of her material power, in others secretly or openly opposed by many influences, she has beheld, without being able to resist it, usages which look like a return to the old barbarity; for the state, the company, the union, or some other corporate power, sends the poor to unknown burial ; and so they all depart, unrespected, unattended, unprayed for, passing by one and one to pale oblivion. Each of these unfortunates gone to their death gives occasion to witness the scene described by the poet who so deeply sympathized with our English poor :

“ They rattle his bones fast over the stones,

It's only a pauper, whom nobody owns." The spectator who belongs to the same class, so that he can say, like Menippus to the ferryman, ουκ αν λάβοις παρά του μη {xovros, will naturally shudder when he mournfully reflects upon what is reserved for himself, demanding what spot will deign to receive one day his own dust. Alas! the Catholic Church, when thus oppressed, knows not on these occasions what to answer, unless it be in the words of an old poet, saying,

But there is a payment
Belongs to goodness from the great exchequer
Above; it will not fail thee, my poor child,

Be that thy comfort." Το bury the common dead τον Πανελλήνων νόμον σώζων, as the old poet says, or what would be more to the purpose, adhering to the ancient Christian practice respecting them, seems now too often a thing merely pretended. Your grave-digger no more builds stronger than either the mason, the shipwright, or the carpenter; the houses that he makes do not last till doomsday. Indeed, since the practical renouncement of the old Christian feelings in regard of sepulture, no class in the large English towns has witnessed any consistent respect shown to the bodies of its dead. That reverential treatment of the remains of man, as ancient as humanity itself, seemed in many places to be handed down in these latter ages by Catholicism alone. In London the parochial officers knew of the hideous practice which prevailed to such an extent, of mutilating the dead immediately after burial in order to procure space, and of making a profit of the coffins and their decorations. “ The ministers," we are told by their friends, “connived at it, and the legislature may be said to

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have sanctioned it.” With respect to the poor, the inviolability of their graves is not better secured by the arrangements of the rationalist civilization on the Continent ; for the city now will say, Let the earth cover them for five years. Theseus passed a more humane decree,

εάσατ' ήδη γη καλυφθήναι νεκρούς.
όθεν δ' έκαστον ες το σώμ' αφίκετο,
ενταύθ' απήλθε, πνεύμα μεν προς αιθέρα,

το σώμα δ' ες γήν *. Where," demands Adrastus, “are the remainder of the dead, the common dead? Buried in the valleys of Clitheron? On what side? Who gave them burial ? Theseus placed them near the shadowy rock of Eleutheris t." The modern legislatures, so far as they are opposed to Catholicism, are not much concerned about finding a shadowy rock for the poor who cannot pay the tariff to secure a quiet and inviolable grave; but the Church, while she had power, treated with great respect and tenderness the remains of the common people. “ Non licet," she said in solemn council, “mortuum super mortuum mitti I." Regino, abbot of Prum, in the ninth century, citing the authority of Pope St. Gregory, says, “Grievous is the act and alien from all sacerdotal office to seek price from the earth allotted to corruption, and to make a profit of another's sorrow. This vice we never permitted, remembering that when Abraham demanded the price of the sepulchre for his wife, the owner refused to accept any remuneration. If, then, a pagan man was unwilling to derive profit from a dead body, how much more ought we priests to shrink from such a thing? If, however, the parents or heirs should voluntarily offer lights, we do not object; but we forbid any sum to be required, lest the Church should seem venal, or you to seek advantage from the death of men ." We should remark, before proceeding further, that Catholicism has inherited and consecrated that ancient respect, even for the outward tombs and for whatever appertains to the graves of the dead in general, which modern religious influences and philosophy have been powerless to preserve where they have not even openly opposed it. Cicero expresses the sentiment of his times in affirming that the monument only becomes more venerable by its antiquity : “Statuæ intereunt tempestate, vi, vetustate ; sepulcrorum autem sanctitas in ipso solo est ; quod nulla vi moveri neque deleri potest. Atque, ut cetera exstinguuntur,

• Iph. in Aul. 530.

+ 759.
Concil. Antisiodorensis, Can. xv. ann. Miv.
§ Regino, Abb. Prum., De Eccles. Disciplin. lib. i. 78.

sic sepulcra fiunt sanctiora vetustate *." No one needs to be told how the disciples of Luther and Voltaire, though in most respects at variance, agreed at least in the one point of setting at nought all such notions as these. Catholicism, however, adverse to all exaggeration, has proved on the other hand, even during the middle ages, that it could distinguish a reasonable and pious respect from a superstitious fear in regard to sepulchres ; for when the public interest required such a measure, it made no difficulty in sanctioning a respectful transfer of the remains and tombs of former generations from one place to another, so that it involved a different spirit altogether from that of which Pausanias gives an instance, where he says that the citizens of Libethra, having been warned against the day when the tomb of Orpheus should no longer cover his body, and some shepherds, crowding round it to hear one of their comrades sing his verses, having overthrown the column, which caused the urn which it supported to fall and be broken, so that the sun saw the bones of Orpheus, believed that the overthrow of their city that night by a storm was in punishment for that outrage t. Such superstition belonged not to Catholicism ; but undoubtedly it would have resisted the inhuman profanation of graves, against which Shakspeare is said to have sought a refuge by his epitaph, and which has left Europe almost without any ancient sepul. chres, excepting those contained in museums, or such as have been reconstructed through attachment to the arts after their precious freight had been burnt or scattered to the winds.

Central principles, in regard to the respect wbich they inspire for graves, may be studied in “the subterraneous heaven of Rome,” as Arringhi calls the catacombs-in the yard of parishes, which long enjoyed the right of asylum, the gates being consecrated with the relics of saints , and where each church, as Gerbet

says, “watches over its dead, or, to use the expression of St. Paul, its sleepers," as a mother watches over her child in the cradle ; and, in fine, in the ancient and modern cemeteries, where

As at Pola, near Quarnaro's gulf,
That closes Italy and laves her bounds,

The place is all thick spread with sepulchres g." Dante in these lines refers to that celebrated cemetery of the Elysian Fields of Arles called Eliscamp, without the city, upon an eminence, where pagan and Christian tombs have been crowded together for ages, the former sepulchres having been protected by the sacerdotal authority, as when Gaspar du

# Phil. ix.

+ Lib. ix, # Bib. de l'Ecole des Chartes, iv. 580.

& Hell,

Laurens, archbishop of Arles, excommunicated those zealots who should dare to break the pagan tombs, lamps, and lachrymatories with which these graves in Eliscamp were furnished ; the lamps being thought, according to a poetic fancy, to burn perpetually, in token of the pagan belief in the immortality of the soul*. This was the spot in which Constantine was said to have seen the cross in the air, as Nicephorus relates, in memory of which the Laborum is represented on many of these tombs.. Michael de Morieres, archbishop of Arles, and Gervais de Til. bury, the Englishman who was mareschal of the kingdom of Arles, say that Eliscamp was so celebrated throughout the world, that all Christians desired to be buried there ; and in the church of St. Severin, at Bordeaux, was an inscription on an ancient stone attesting this fact. Many of the paladins who had died in the Holy Land were buried here. In this solemn field lie kings, princes, governors of provinces, generals of armies, and great noblemen. Turpin says that Charlemagne caused to be buried here those who fell at Roncevaux, amongst whom were Astolphe, count of Langres, Sanson, general of the Bur. gundians, Arlant of Berlant, and Estamat Athon. Here lay also St. Trophine, and his successors, St. Honorat, St. Hilary, St. Concorde, St. Aurelien, St. Eonius and Virgile, St. Rotland, and others t.

It is an ancient sentiment of humanity, though ridiculed by sophists in all ages, which induces men to prefer some particular place for their own interment, and in general to wish that their remains may be placed near the just, or in the neighbourhood of those to whom they were themselves once known. Fulbert of Chartres deems that Solomon was saved merely from observing that he was buried among the kings of Israel, which was a privilege denied to reprobate kings who maintained their perverse will to the last I. “ When a man has travelled in his youth," says Chateaubriand, “ and passed ma years out of his country, he grows accustomed to place death every where. In traversing the seas of Greece, it seemed to me that all the monuments which I perceived upon the promontories were hostelries, where a bed was prepared for myself.”. And yet, in regard to a grave, it is not perhaps quite natural for men to be such cosmopolites. The circumstance of one's bones lying utterly undistinguished where no one that ever passes will have any memory or knowledge of him whose spirit has again to be associated with what reposes beneath the earth, rather seems to add to the misfortune of dying pilns årò tarpidos ains. There is a charm which attracts us to the place where sleep our former friends and companions with whom we played as youths, studied as scholars,

* Du Port, Hist. de l'Eglise d'Arles.

+ 71.

| Epist. lxxxi.

acted as men. The heathen Æneas felt this attraction, and exclaimed,

An sit mihi gratior ulla
Quove magis fessas optem demittere naves,
Quam quæ Dardanium tellus mihi servat Acesten,

Et patris Anchisaē gremio complectitur ossa *?" All Christian antiquity recognized the force of the same sentiment, by which, no doubt, many are still moved.

66 'Tis little; but it looks in truth

As if the quiet bones were blest

Among familiar names to rest,

And in the places of his youth.” “Formerly," says a French writer, “men knew where they were born, and they knew where was their tomb.” Penetrating into the forest, they could say,

“ Beaux arbres qui m'avez vu naître,

Bientôt vous me verrez mourir." Formerly, too, every one desired to know where were buried those whose memory was dear to him. Inspired by that sentiment, our contemporary Charles Swain represents a youth saying to a mysterious stranger, “ I have one only wish on earth-it is to see my mother's grave, to kneel upon it.” To whom the gipsy answers, “I know thy mother's grave! Now would'st thou to it?

But one besides myself can show it thee,
And when we die
All knowledge of her burial-place dies too!
Thine eyes will never gaze with filial love

Upon that hallowed mould."" When the youth, though terrified by the dark, reprobate look of such a guide, exclaims,

• Take me! do what thou wilt!

Show me my mother's grave.” Dying persons would charge their

friends to visit the spot where they were to be buried. So the Friar, in the Lovers’ Progress, relating to Lidian the death of Clarange, says,

And of me
He did desire, bathing my hand with tears,
That with my best care I should seek and find you,
And from his dying mouth prevail so with you,
That you awhile should leave your hermit's strictness,
And on his monument pay a tear or two,
To witness how you loved him.”

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