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Prince of Poets in his time, whose divine spirit needs no other witness than the works which he has left behind him. He was born in London in 1553, and died in 1598.” Not far from Spenser is the grave of one of those choice spirits that from time to time come to us on earth, and over whose ashes the tears of all good men fall-Granville Sharp. His record is in the hearts of all who love humanity.
In letting my eye wander back to Shakspeare's tablet, I saw near it the monument of the author of the "Seasons.” “James Thomson, Ætatis 48, obit. 27th August, 1748. Tutored by thee, sweet poetry exalts her voice to ages, and informs the page with music, image, sentiment, and thought, never to die.” The figure of Thomson leans its left arm upon a pedestal, holding a book in one hand and a cap of Liberty in the other.
On John Gay's monument is an epitaph written by himself, which is no less shocking to good taste than to religion :
“Life is a jest, and all things show it:
I thought so once, and now I know it." John Gay was considered a sensible man; but he has probably had occasion to change his opinion on this point.
There are the ashes of one of those brilliant stars which have risen in Ireland, to shed honour upon the English name-Oliver Goldsmith; and who does not love his name, Boswell notwithstanding ? Said that little, obsequious, but, after all, very useful slave
GOLDSMITH, ADDISON, HANDEL, ETC.
of Johnson, one evening to Goldsmith, as he seemed to be attracting the attention of the company from the mighty lexicographer, “Oh, Goldy! you must not try to shine in the presence of Hercules.” Goldsmith did shine, however, in the presence of Johnson, and every other man he met, when he condescended to.
A little farther on is a fine statue in relief, on a monument with a Latin inscription, calling upon the stranger, whoever he may be, to “Venerate the memory of Joseph Addison.” Thou dost not need my praise, Addison ; but my heart responds to the call : I do venerate thee.
Near this is the last monument Roubiliac lived to finish : it is Handel's. The left arm of the statue is resting on a group of musical instruments, and the attitude is expressive of fixed attention to the melody of an angel, playing on a harp in the clouds above. Before him lies the celebrated Messiah, opened at the sublime air, “ I know that my Redeemer liveth ;" beneath only this inscription : “George Frederic Handel, Esq, born Feb. 23, 1684; died April 14, 1769."
I feel a great reverence for Isaac Barrow, who has a fine monument here: the last man we should ex. pect Charles II. would have chosen for his chaplain. There is a curious story told of Barrow. When he was a boy, as has often been observed of others who afterward become illustrious, he used to indulge in fancies and day-dreams of young &nbition. Isaac's
parents felt no great admiration for such things : and, besides, he would not work like his brothers; and as his sire could perceive no value in a boy who would not work, the good man used to pray, that if it ever pleased the Lord to take away from him any one of his children, it might be Isaac! It is a good thing that even good men's prayers are not always answered.
“ To the memory of David Garrick, who died in the year 1779, at the age of 63.” When one is passing for the first time around the solemn walls of Westminster Abbey, it is difficult to feel much reverence for an actor, even though he were the greatest actor the world ever saw. Garrick was great and generous; but it is to be feared there was a part he never acted ; a part, too, it were wise in every man to play, before the last fall of the curtain.
I could not but stop for a few moments before the splendid monument of Major André. This monument is of statuary marble, and the figures were cut by Van Gelder. On a moulded panelled base and plinth, stands a sarcophagus, on the panel of which is inscribed : “Sacred to the memory of Major André, who, raised by his merit, at an early period of life, to the rank of Adjutant-general of the British forces in America, and employed in an important but hazardous enterprise, fell a victim to his zeal for his king and country, the 2d October, 1780, aged twenty-nine, universally beloved and esteemed by the army in which he served, and lamented even
MONUMENT OF ANDRÉ.
by his foes. His gracious sovereign, King George III., has caused this monument to be erected ;” and on the plinth, “ The remains of the said Major André were deposited, on the 28th November, 1821, in a grave near this monument."
The sarcophagus has projecting figures; one of them (with a flag of truce) presenting to Washington a letter André had addressed to his excellency the night previous to his execution, and worded thus :
Sir, buoyed above the terror of death by the consciousness of a life devoted to honourable purposes, and stained with no action which can give me remorse, I trust that the request which I make to your Excellency at this serious period, and which is to soften my last moments, will not be rejected : sympathy towards a soldier will surely induce your Excellency and a military tribunal, to adapt the mode of my death to the feelings of a man of honour. Let me hope, sir, that if aught in my character impresses you with esteem towards me—if aught in my misfortunes marks me as the victim of policy, and not of resentment, I shall experience the operation of these feelings in your breast, by being informed that I am not to die on a gibbet. I have the honour to be, your Excellency, John André, Adjutant of British forces in America."
All this is impressive: his fate was melancholy. But Washington must not be blamed, if we judge him by the code of military honour.
I have some indistinct recollection, I think, tha
when I was a boy, I somewhere read a story like the following: After the retreat of General Washington from Long Island, by which it was left in possession of the British, that great commander applied to Colonel Knowlton to adopt some means of gaining information concerning the strength, situation, and future movements of the enemy. The colonel communicated this request to Captain Hale, one of the most brilliant and best educated young men in America, who had left the halls of Yale University to die, if necessary, for liberty. Young Hale immediately volunteered his services; and, conquering his repugnance to assume a character foreign to his nature, in the hope of being useful to his country, passed in disguise to Long Island, and obtained all the requisite information. In attempting to return, however, he was apprehended and brought before Sir Williain Howe, who ordered him to be executed the next morning. This sentence (conformable, it is true, to the laws of war) was carried into effect in the most unfeeling and barbarous manner. He asked if he might see a friend (one he loved better than all things but liberty-one who had given him up to his country), and he was denied. He asked for a Bible: it was refused! He was soon to die; and even his last request that a clergyman might be with him for a little time, was rejected with noble oaths, and blasphemy, and curses (which we should not have mentioned but as furnishing a striking contrast to the conduct of Washington, who signed André's