arises, therefore, from considering thus how greatly the dead outnumber the living! We are brought, then, to contemplate the mute and boundless fields of the invisible Church, in which men should wander more than they do; for in this consideration lies the Catholic's refuge from the world. In effect, we need not fear the want of human company on this road, though we may not see our associates and fellow-travellers; but for that matter neither in life do we see our best friends always living under the same roof with us. Seventy-five thousand persons are supposed to die daily throughout the world; and how many leave each city the same day and hour, each of whom might be consoled by the idea of human sympathy? Chauteaubriand, on one occasion, seems suddenly struck with the numbers that he has personally known, and who were already gone. Towards the close of his memoirs he calls over the list of his former contemporaries, and demands of each, "Where art thou? Answer," he says. "Alexander, emperor of Russia? Dead. Francis II., emperor of Austria? Dead. Louis XVIII., king of France ? Dead. Charles X., king of France? Dead. George IV., king of England? Dead. Ferdinand I., king of Naples? Dead. Charles Felix, king of Sardinia? Dead. The duke of Tuscany? Dead. The duc de Montmorency? Dead. Mr. Canning? Dead. Ministers of foreign affairs of France, England, Prussia? Dead.” What young man or woman, even in the humble walks of common life, has not, however brief their experience, within the memory some catalogue of this kind as impressive to their poor hearts as the list of the renowned departed proved to the statesman? Where are the fair and comely ones each will ask at times-Anne and Harry, sweet Alice, and "all the friends who were schoolmates then?" Oh! don't you remember? and then, as the popular song of Ben Bolt recurs to them, the eyes will glisten with a tear that youthful bashfulness would hide. Nevertheless, in these cemeteries, consecrated by the holy cross which shines over the graves, Death, after all its trophies, seems visibly dethroned, and unable to nullify the worship of the heart which rises to Him, to whom all live,—" Regem cui omnia vivunt." In being borne hither, the dead seem only to join the majority, and to be united to the whole. What can be better than by surmounting all causes of separation and of isolation, of partition and exclusion, to follow in a Christian sense the advice of Simplicius, congungere se cum universo," as Alfonso Antonio de Sarasa even expressly recommends us to do in his treatise on the art of rejoicing evermore *? In this world of ours, so beset with difficulties and dangers, real or imaginary, we live for the most part shut up and fenced in in particular houses,


and can only fancy on passing others at rare intervals how sweet it would be to live with them. There above, after taking this preliminary road of the tombs, we shall be all of us together, without confinement and without disunion, enjoying the same felicity, with the same assurance that it is to be for ever! Here, then, is a place where, without the risk of any dangerous theory, one may be absorbed in a contemplation of the universal frame of things. Here you feel, as you never before felt, that you cannot die, so as to be separated from those you love; that you and they must live for ever. Here you feel fulfilled in yourself the lines of Pope :

"Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never is, but always to be, blest.
The soul uneasy and confined from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come."

If faith in the future life

In fact, even in these common cemeteries one verifies in part the observation of Gerbet on visiting the tombs of the first Christians; for he says, "In the catacombs, all graves that they are, the thought of death is only accessory. The predominant sentiment is that of immortality. could be lost on earth, we should find it again in the cemeteries of the martyrs. The immense love of truth and justice which has consecrated these places must have another destination besides an eternal hole in a quarry of pouzzoli. The monument of this love cannot be the vestibule of annihilation. The most hardened materialist would, I am sure, be staggered after half an hour's meditation in the catacombs *." We are not here near the martyrs, perhaps any thing, alas! but that; still we are near those who suffered much, who loved and desired much: we do not trace the palm-branch or the phial, but without any stretch of imagination the tear can be made out, and the lowliness and the poverty. In this place, too, might have been commemorated brave and continued struggles, acts of self-sacrifice, goodness, love, in which perhaps it would not be false or overstrained to say that God did all, as the ancient chorus added,

κοὐδὲν τούτων, ὅ τι μὴ Ζεύς †.

At all events, every one here can see, as it were, that to Him "omnis caro veniet ;" and so in the office after the words, " Putredini dixi: Pater meus es; Mater mea et soror mea, vermibus," the dead seem to strike their hands together, clasping them, and respond, Ubi est ergo nunc præstolatio mea? et patientiam meam quis considerat? Tu es, Domine, Deus meus.'

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But we must depart, since now our youthful wanderers, with whom we entered this enclosure, can see the sun kissing the

* Esquisse, &c., i. 253.

+ Trach. 1280.

domes and spires of the distant city, warning them that it is time to bend thither their returning steps. We have observed then in general that the effect of visiting the tombs is often the exact contrary of what might be expected, being not only to strip death of its repulsive forms, and by the very spectacle of its power to cause a reaction of hope, as if one felt that He who is stronger than death, and who has already triumphed over it, will, from the very fact of its cruel ravages, be resolved to put a limit to its reign, and suffer it not to prevail for ever over His poor creatures; but that it has a most sensible power to catholicize the mind, to change the whole current of men's thoughts, and to prepare the way for a union of heart and understanding with the. central wisdom. In the life of every man, to use the words of a remarkable writer, there are sudden transitions of feeling which seem almost miraculous. The causes which produce these changes may have been long at work within us, but the changes themselves are instantaneous, and apparently without sufficient cause. It is so often with the visitor who comes here, and begins to find "the solemn wand'rings of a wounded mind;" for of the tombs one may say,

"They gie the wit of age to youth,
They let us ken oursel;

They make us see the naked truth,
The real guid and ill.”

The old dialogue which represents the dead being required to lay aside the burden of all their evil dispositions before stepping into the ferry-boat, has here a sublime meaning, and often a most practical realization in regard to all the impediments which keep men from proceeding to the centre. They can hear themselves called here with a most audible voice to cast away their anxiety to make a fortune rapidly, reckless of the wants and hardships of their workmen; to give up their affection for riches, with all their pride and contempt of others; their wrath, and impatience, and disdain. The philospher and self-called teacher of his own notions must recognize here the necessity of parting with his contentious spirit and vain glory, his high-sounding sentences, veiling ignorance, and his littleness of mind imposing upon others,καὶ τὸ οἴεσθαι ἀμείνω εἶναι τῶν ἄλλων. The rheto rician, so potent in certain halls and public meetings, must feel that he cannot retain his loquacity, his antitheses, his nice balancing of phrases, regardless of truth, his solemn periods, and all his weight of words with which he has so often opposed the central wisdom. The tombs also bring forcibly before us the unity of the human race in regard to its object and dangers on


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the common journey of life, showing how we all have the same wants, how the same principles are necessary for us all, and how, while loving one another, we should all be armed with one and the same hope, as well as with the same or kindred virtues. As in the new mode of travelling with a multitude, the guard, when addressing all classes, young and old, at the moment of requiring some observance, uses the words " All of you," which seem so strange to the rich and privileged few that may chance to be seated with the commonalty, so on the road of the tombs there is a voice addressed without ceremony to all alike, familiar yet imperious, playful yet solemn, which when heard by all but the proud soothes, while it communicates some stern, necessary, and undeviating law. There is, in fact, on the whole nothing that naturally leads the mind so far or so promptly towards central thoughts, as a visit to the cemetery. While begetting in us, I know not how, a soft, religious tenderness, nothing moves it more to a sense of the mysterious, supernatural side of things; so that lovers' walks directed hither by chance, and commenced with only the wish to be, as we say, romantically amused, may prove by their results that pleasure, for even such votaries, is not always vain, and that its rambles may lead to the true and everlasting rest.

It is said with inimitable simplicity and beauty in the Gospel, remarks a great writer, that the disciples, having viewed the sepulchre on the morning of the resurrection, "went away again to their own home." From the contemplation of the greatest prodigy, from almost immediate contact with it, they returned to their houses and to the ordinary affairs of common life, as if to show that great thoughts, underlying and animating small duties, is the true philosophy of existence. So unconsciously it is here with these young persons.


Returning home at evening, with an ear
Catching the notes of Philomel—an eye
Watching the sailing cloudlet's bright career,
They mourn that day so soon has glided by:
E'en like the passage of an angel's tear,

That falls through the clear ether silently*."

And even still, while on the way home returning thus to the metropolis on a lovely evening, watching the setting sun as its dying glory illumines each object on the road, while perhaps a tear, mingling with a smile, is ready to steal down some fair,

* Keats.

pensive face, without our knowing why, how many thoughts, that seem "to lie slumbering on golden ridges in the evening clouds,” silently direct to the centre, while the heart is thus open and insensible to all selfish, crabbed influences. Watching and doting upon the lakes "pictured in western cloudiness that takes the semblance of gold rocks and bright gold sands, islands and creeks, and amber-fretted strands, with palaces and towers of amethyst, beautiful thoughts, full of sweetness and tranquillity, and consolation come clustering round the heart like seraphs!" It is a propitious moment; for each of these poor excursionists, under the lingering impressions of the late scene which has acted secretly as a very powerful revelation of the mysteries of existence, will reflect and say,

"Why, all men's actions have some proper end

Whereto their means and strict endeavours tend,
Else there would be nought but perplexity
In human life, and all uncertainty."

What inference, then, may we suppose them drawing, but that they, too, who hitherto, perhaps, have known no end to wild desire, have been led astray by wandering fancy, instead of seeking to mingle their aspirations, as they feel now they ought to have done, with those of the departed good and great, making the achievement of immortality, and the realization of fancy's own sweetest dreams the inspiring purpose of their lives-that nothing finite satisfies a boundless mind; that not in this or in that earthly object should their primary affections rest; and that one bourne is the only centre to which the line of love is drawn. Do what we will,-immerse ourselves in matter and in the present with ever such intensity of purpose, the past, the distant, or the future is still the fairest. Oh, the ideal, the ideal! it is this which wounds, which lacerates the heart. Place the youth by the side of his charmer; let her smile upon him with all the fascination of her sweetest loveliness, talk with him in her wisest, most endearing accents; weep with him in her wildest simplicity of pleading love; he has not attained yet to the full conception of beauty, innocence, woe. Would you have him arrive at this perfect knowledge of what most sways our destiny? Tear him from her; place a barrier of distance between them. Then he will have before his mind's eye that which endeared her to him-the beautiful, which alone, though scantily imparted, renders her what she is; then will he hear in memory words that burn; then will he see sparkle drops that pierce his very soul! The reason simply is, that it is the ideal which now enchants him, for it is a true enchantment that he

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