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THE PORTFOLIO.

63 compare them to mankind, and then na quality,---see with what dignity and turally make such observations as the composure he gives himself the coup de following:

grace, and how his friends gather about Observe, I sometimes say, how ae to perform the last sad office for him--tively they fly about from place to place, there is the long drawn procession which like the inhabitants of a arge city in conducts him to his final rest---and now pursuit of profit, pleasure, or honour; the sculptor employs his art to preserve there's one about the centre of my field the memory of so worthy a pillar of the of view, who, by a small speck on the state for thousands of instants yet to forehead, which I call a coronet, and by come; how the marble swells into life the deference which those about appear under his skilful touch---those femalo. to pay him, I suppose to be a person of figures seem really to weep---between quality,---how proudly he moves along, ourselves, they feel as much true grief scarcely deigning to cast a look to the as some of the deceased's surviving relaright or to the left ; there's another a tives, and all proper too; but let us see little to the right, whom I take to be what is said of a person so sincerely the widow of a person of substance and regretted--respectability,---she is rather handsome, and possesses an annuity of 2,000 blits

Sacred to the Memory of the Most Noble

Chinsi.--tinsi per instant, ---see what airs she gives herself, and how the males crowd about

Duke of Biloibarradin, her, striving who shall win her favour,--

who departed this life she seems to have the person of quality in the fifty thousandth instant of perfece also amongst her admirers, and is puz

tion, and the 365th of his age. zled where to fix her choice---she has When from this scene true virtue disappears, now made it, and it falls on a dancing

Well may the sad event draw forth our tears

Weep then, ye passengers, your loss deplore, master!

The firmest friend of virtue is no more. A little to the right are two solitary Could honors, suavity of manners save, beings, who seem to be carefully shun Their bland possessor from th’insatiate grave;

Could fate respect rare talents free from pride ned by the rest ; one is a thief-taker--

Great Bilnibarradin had never died. the other a tax-gatherer; and observe, the former seems to have some prey in

This epitaph it will be seen, would view,---there's one appears to strain

suit any other as well as the person for every nerve to escape him, but all in whom it is intended, only changing the vain; he fastens on the unlucky wight, name; and some of the poetic animalculee and drags him towards the centre, where will supply them at so many blits aa crowd is immediately round them, and piece. One of these gentry, however, amongst the rest is the

person of quality,

wrote one on the wife of his intimate who seems to stand in the character of friend, which neither himself nor any accuser; now the delinquent prays to the

one else could make any thing of, and it nobleman for mercy, but obtains none;

was generally supposed that his senses see with what coldness and indifference

were bewildered by the greatness of the

occasion. It ran thus:-the great one turns away from real distress---apparently he belongs to that *“ Nought is so easy as fictitions praise ! class who reserve their tears and sympa

Ideal virtues call forth latent wit ! thies for the fictitious distress of the

Imagination high, we then may raise,

For who can say th’eulogiam is not fit! "stage; with what floods of tears will he But when an object, eminently good bewail the sad lot of some animaculean Try'd in the furnace of the world's ordeal,

Who'd all th' temptations of that world Belvidera, and with what honest indig

withstood, nation will he devote to perdition some And bore, upon her heart, strict virtue's rapacious and unforgiving Shylock, but

seal

Calls for the tribute verse'tis hard to draw the poor unfortunate before him is now

The lovely portrait; lest some sceptic led away, doubtless to undergo the pun

voice ishment due to his crime, whatever that Should say—we violate Truth's sacred law!

Though Truth, herself of ev'ry phrase

make choice ! Towards the bottom of my field of

Such is the case with them who wish to view is a select knot, who continue

paint about the same spot, and are visited by In honest verse, devoid of fatt'ry's leaven, others; but I observe these others on

Her who is now-30 pure she was a saint

Unchanged an angel - Julia still-in quitting the select few, (whom I shall

Heaven." therefore call' a pest of gamblers), generally destroy themselves, and amongst * The original of this is to be found in the the rest of the victims, is the person of church-yard of Prestwich, Lancashire,

may be.

Bless me, what's amiss ! my animal to grasp the pike, and another the pen-. culæ are knocking one another to pieces which urges some to shine in divinity, without mercy; O for the pen of Homer and others in driving---some to study to describe their daring feats---there's slang, and others to study sonneteering : one stouter than the rest, before whom the very same which invites the Etonian they all fly; he can certainly be no less to inscribe his name on the oaken pannels than the Wellington or Napoleon of the of our venerable School-room, and peranimalculæ ; but I now perceive what is suades the Churchwarden to adorn the the reason of all this confusion---the newly-painted Commandments with his drop of water (their world) is evaporat own important initials. But I am raming very fast, and there is not sufficient bling in a most strange manner from my room for them---now they are dimi- subject ;---I will, therefore (missis amnished to two or three---and now a bagibus), return to my original topic. single one flies anxiously from side to The boast of heraldry and the pomp side, but cannot avoid his fate ;---there! of phraseology, which so repeatedly and there's an end of my profound specula- disgustingly obtrude, themselves upon tions, for my animalculæ, together with my view, in many of the sepulchral mothe world they inhabited, have all to numents of cities, are, in my opinion, tally disappeared !

G.G. calculated to inspire no feeling, savo

that of derision and contempt. But the

uncouth, though not always uppleasing, ON COUNTRY CHURCHYARD Epitaphs, which we generally meet with EPITAPHS.

in country churchyards, are by no means

undeserving of our attention. They Their name, their years, spelt by th’unlet have a peculiarity of expression, which ter's Muse,

is strikingly opposite to the polished and The place of Fame and Elegy supply:

elaborately elegant phrases which deAnd many a holy text around she strews, That teach the rustic moralist to die."

signate the tombs of courtiers and citiGRAY'S ELEGY. zens; and although we cannot always,

upon perusing their awkward rhymes It is an incident worthy of remark, and measures, repress our laughter, that the love of Fame, which so power their simplicity often merits and obtains fully actuates our hearts, and predomi

the tribute of a sigh, nates in our words and actions during Having sometimes amused myself life, does not even desert us, when the during my rambles, by compiling a sort prospect of dissolution is so immediately of Scrap-book, in which I have inserted before our eyes, and we cannot deny most of the Epitaphs remarkable for that all our labours for the acquisition their uncouth phraseology, or their eleof worldly glory are at an end. Human gant simplicity, I will make a few exnature is still desirous of attracting the tracts from it of both species. Take attention and admiration of survivors, the following, Reader :--although she is conscious of her own

6. He died of a quinsey, impotency in witnessing it. We may,

And was buried at Binsey." indeed, have heard many exclaiming This I selected from a village churchagainst expense and ostentation in the yard_in Nottinghamshire, during my performance of their obsequies ; but we last Easter Vacation, and added it to my shall rarely meet with the man, who collection, as an admirable instance of would willingly dispense with a plain the observance of that Horatian canon, stone to mark the resting-place of his “ In medias res.Analyze it, Reader. ashes, or a short inscription to attest his How could the author have better shown existence. Few---very few, can brook his talent for brevity? A more poetical the idea of a stranger treading upon the composer of Epitaphs, if he had been sod beneath which they repose, unless it desired to work up a tribute of respect is in their power to inform him of their to the manes of poor John Doley, the names and their ages ;---unless they can above-mentioned victim of a quinsey, remind him that they were once, as he would have been siezed with a fit of inis, living ;---that they have passed the spiration---would have flown off in a barrier which he must pass---mortality. tangent, and at length started a rhapsody, The origin of this weakness, ---this de four times as pathetic, six times as flow. sire of posthumous fame, must be traced ery, and ten times as long as the foreto the same principle which actuates us, going distich. He would have men: and excites all our bodily and mental tioned “Elysian fields,' applauding powors during life---which impels one seraphs, “morbid destruction," "fata)

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THE PORTFOLIO.

35 messengers, sepulchral bands,” and exert, if we take upon ourselves to po Heaven knows what beside! But he ruse the inscriptions beneath which the Would never when at the end of his bones of many a more illustrious Perflight, inform us what a reader would sonage repose. How often do we, after most probably wish to know; the cause having laboured to no purpose in discoof Poor John's fate, and the spot of his vering the various ancestors and various interment. Rhyme could never have intermarriages which such an inscriphandled the subject in such a manner ;--- tion records, give up our task in disgust! Reasop goes straight to work, und de But the son of John and Mary Brown velopes the whole catastrophe. And I obtains a patient reading from all. Desa question whether the shade of John pise not his example, ye Epitaph-Wri. Doley receives not full as much conso ters. Let as, after a few more speci. lation, from this plain, unsophisticated mens of the quaint, proceed to the other Epitaph, as if his death were recounted branch of our subject. at a greater length, together with all the

“ Here lies a much-lov'd Son, for whom we aid of flowery diction and poetic hyper:

cried ; bole. I will select another :---,

He only griev'd his parents when lo died." • Gentle Reader, who standest by, my grave to “ To the memory of a faithful Wife, a friend yiew,

sincere; I was on earth, much the same as you: Who died at Kew, and with ber Child lies And as 1 am, so you must be ;

sleeping bere." Therefore, I say, prepare to follow me.”

“ My Parents dear, shed not a tear, We shall have some difficulty in re Although I am dead and buried; solving such a metre as this, as I be Give up your sorrows and your fear, lieve we cannot meet with it in any of To happier shores 1 am ferried.". the British Poets. There are, you see,

“ Death smote me hard; but, though in earth in the first line, twelve feet ;-in the

I lie, second, nine ;---in the third, eight ;---in Some day he will be conquer'd, just as 1.” the last, ten. A most unwarrantable licence of version! But observe, Rea

“ To the memory of Father, Mother, and 1,

Who all of us died in one year ; der, how civilly, and yet how forcibly, Father lies at Salisbury he admonishes you of your end. Mark, And Mother and I lies here." how he informs you that lie has lived, as

“ Her temper mild, her manners such : you do; that he has died, as you will.

Her language good, but not too much." In these four lines a string of moral pre

What a variety of sentiment and excepts is contained, which many elegiac writers

would have dilated into a long, pression is breathed in these lines! tion, and dignified with the name of again, how many beauties wowd they

not discover in them how many disseran Epitaph. Mark also the force of the

tations would they not enter into, resa words, “I say." They speak volumes

Their inequality of ---they banish every shade of doubt pecting them?

measure, their freedom of system, their from our minds. Scepticism

itself would

multitudinous combination of ideas, are do well to listen to them. Take another

equally entitled to the disquisitions and extract :--

labours of the most eminent Commentą. “Here 1, the son of John and Mary Brown, tors. (Who liv'd until Death's scythe did cut' I

The more elegant Epitaphs which I down), Do lie. But when the trumpet last shall

have met with, and which I truly ad, sound,

mire for their sweetness and simplicity, Then shall I rise above the ground.”

I will present to my readers withouttur. Here again appears that amiable bre- ther observation. What coñmment is vity, which designates a Country Church needed for such as the following :yard Epitaph. It is evident, that the

ON TWO INFANTS. author of it was not a little proud of his

6. The storm that sweeps the wintry sky, family, and was determined that the

No more disturbs their deep repose, passing traveller should know who he The Summer Ev’ning's latest sighwas.

We

e can plainly perceive that he That shuts the rose." was in some measure infected with that most exuberant species of insanity, Ge. Found the taste bitter, and refus'd the rest :

" Just to her lips the cup of life she prest; nealogical Pride. Nor can we blame She felt averse to life's returning day, him. He tells us at once his origin:

And softly sigh'd her little soul away.” he spares us those efforts of Patience

“ Ere Sip could blight or Sorrow fade, and Labour which we so often must Death came with friendly care;

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The op'ning bud to Heav'n convey'd,

“ He had been a considerable time a And bade it blossom there."

very welcome guest on board this brig, “ How sweet a thing is Death, to all who

waiting for the time a Mr. J. Houtson know

could accompany him to Benin, whose That all on Earth is vanity and woe ?

interest with the King of that place he Who, taught by sickness, 'long have ceas'd to considered would be serviceable to him.

dread The stroke that bears them to this peaceful bed ?

On the night of the 24th of November Few are our days : yet, while those days re

he left us, with Mr. Houtson, for Gato. main,

On parting with us, he seemed a little Oar Joy must yield to Grief; our ease to pain : agitated, particularly when the crew, to Then tell me, weary Pilgrim, which is best, each of whom he had made a present, The toilsome journey, or the 'Trav'ller's rest!" I will conclude these extracts with a

gave him three loud cheers on leaving

the vessel. • God bless you, my fine few beautiful lines which I picked up fellows, and send you a happy sight of at an obscure village in the North of

your country and friends,' was his ansEngland. They are inscribed by a

wer, On the 3d of December I received husband to the memory of a beloved a letter from Mr. Houtson, requesting wife.

me to come to Benin, as Mr. B. was • A tender Plant, borne from the fost'ring lying dangerously ill, and, in case of

gales That breathe on Aron's margin, droop'd and

death, wishing a second person to be died.

present. I was prevented going, not Yet Time shall be, sweet Plant, a gale divine only by business, but a severe fever, Shall Thee restore. And Thou, in health and which had then hold of me. On the 5th, yonth,

I had a second letter from Mr. H., with By the pure streams of peace shall ever live, And flourish in the Paradise of God!"

the particulars of Mr. B.'s end, and one My latest wish will be, that whenever

from himself, almost illegible, dated I am no more of this world, my remains

Dec. 2, requesting me to assist in the

disposal of his effects, and to remit the may be deposited in a Country Churchyard, and that my eulogy may be in- proceeds home to his agents, Messrs.

Briggs, Brothers and Co., Americatrusted to a yillage poet. I. care not whether my epitaph be short or long;

square, London, together with a beautiwhether it be elegant or quaint, so that

ful amethyst ring he wore, which he it be divested of those pompous orna

seemed particularly anxious should be

delivered to his wife, with the assurance ments of language, those gross effusions

that he died in the fullest affection for her, of adulation, which too often disgrace

as he found himself too weak to write his, The marble upon which they are

last wishes and adieus. He was interred glaved. Who can forget that our

at Gato, next day, with all the respect worldly glory must end with our life;--that the Sculptor's art and the Panegy- possible ; and I furnished a large board,

with the following inscription, and rists abilities are alike unable to pre

which was placed over his grave: serve our ashes from annihilation, or our

“ Here lie the remains of fame from oblivion?

J. H.

G. BELZONI, Who was attacked with dysentery at Benin (On his way to Houssa and Timbuctoo),

On the 26th of Nov., and died at this place, BELZONI.

December 3, 1823.

The gentlemen who placed this inscription The following letter from a young

over the grave of this intrepid and enterprising

traveller, hope that every European visiting Gentleman, of Liverpool, to Mr. A.

this spot will cause the ground to be cleared, Hodgson, communicated the particulars and the fence round the grave repaired, if of the death of this enterprising Tra necessary Teller:

At the time of Mr. Belzoni's death, Brig Castor, British Accarah, Mr. Houtson had every thing arranged Jan. 7, 1824.

with the King of Benin for his depar“I wrote you some time, almost at a ture, and had his health continued, there venture, mentioning the arrival in Benin is no doubt he would have succeeded. River of Mr. G. Belzoni, the celebrated Mr. B. passed at Benin as an inhabitant, taveller, who was attempting to reach or rather native of the interior, who had Houssa and Timbuctoo, by way of come to England when a youth, and was Benin. I am sorry to inform you that, now trying to return to his country. like all others who have made this trial, The King and Emegrands (or nobles) he has perished. He died at Gato, the gave credit to this, Mr. B. being in á 3d of Dec., 1823,

Moorish dress, with his beard nearly 4.

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THE PORTFOLIO.

Br foot in length. There was, however, side of Del Rey is the contrary, being some little jealousy amongst them, high and mountainous, viz., the high which was removed by a present or two, land of Cameroons and Reconly Lard. well applied: and the King of Benin's The intervening marsh between Lagos messenger was to accompany Mr. B. and Del Rey has evidently been formed with the King's cane, and as many men by the soil and mud washed down these as were considered necessary for rivers. That the coast here has been guard, and baggage carriers. The carried further out, in my opinion cannot King's name is respected as far as be doubted, as, in a conversation I had Houssa, and he has a messenger, or with the King of Wanu, he informed me ambassador stationary there. On Mr. six or seven of his father's back was. B.'s arrival at Houssa, he was to leave when white man first came to Wanu; his guard there, and proceed to Timbuc that then they came to the town in their too, the King not guaranteeing his safety ships, as they could then soon catch the farther than Houssa, and Timbuctoo not sea ; but now the river had gone a long þeiug known at Benin. On his return to way urther out.' Of course he meant Houssa, he would make the necessary

the land further out. I suppose Wanu preparations for going down the Niger, is forty miles from the sea now. At the and dispatch his messenger and guard same time he showed me some of the back with letters to his agents and to gins brought out by the first ship that Mr. John Houtson. The messenger to came there, with matchlocks and stands. be rewarded according to the accounts The old gentleman was very communi. the letters gave of his behaviour, and cative. He related the history of his the King to receive a valuable stated family being made kings, which would present. This was the plan, and I think please you, but I have no time for it it would have proved fortunate had Mr. here; I hope I may relate it to you in B. Jived.

Liverpool. Of course, you know the " The distance from Benin to Houssa various opinions against the Niger teris not so great. The King gave the fol. minating here or in the Congo. I may lowing account of the route :--From add another. None of the natives of the Benin to Jaboo, six days' journey; Ja interior having come down the river, nor boo to Eyoo, three; Eyoo to Tappa, none of the river people gone up to look nine; Tappa to Nyffo, four; and Nyffo for trade more than two days' journey to Houssa, three. I am sorry I cannot

in a canoe. Yet they describe it at that find the memorandum I made of this, but distance as large as at the entrance. I I think I am correct, Between Nyffoo may also remark, that I never could and Houssa, the Big Water'

is to be find any of the natives who had been at crossed, considerably above Tangara, Houssa, that had crossed or seen those at which place it is tremendously rapid mountains, which are considered as inand wide; farther down the natives of superable obstacles to the Niger running Benin know nothing of it, except that it south, viz.—the Mountains of the runs to the southward. I wish it was a Moon.'_But their heads here are so settled point. Mr. B. began to waver thick, it is difficult to get correct inforin his opinion of the Niger being a mation out of them. There are several branch of the Nile, after having seen natives of Houssa slaves in the river, one or two of these rivers in the bight of You will perceive, by what I have said, Benin. I will give you my idea on this the opinion I have formed, that the subject. If the Niger does not empty Niger empties itself by a great Delta, of itself into the bights of Beapa and Benin, which Rio Formoso, or Benin, is the there must be some other immense western, and Rio del Rey the eastern course of water in the interior, to sup- branch, with several rivers between them ply these rivers, viz., Benin, Dos Escra

from the same source. vos, Dos Ramas, Bonny, New Calabar, This distinguished traveller was a Old Calabar, and Rio del Rey, with the native of Padua, in Italy, (the birthnumerous intersecting creeks, and which place of Livy), of a Roman family who any person, I think, only need see to resided in that city for some years. The know they run from one great stream. state and troubles of Italy in 1900, comAdd to this, the land to the westward of pelled him to leave it, and from that river Lagos, though not high, is per- time he visited several different parts of fectly dry, and free from marsh; from Europe, and suffered, as he himself exs. Lagos to the west side of Rio del Rey, presses it, many vicissitudes. there is scarcely a spot of land that is The greater part of his younger days not overflowed at high tides. The east he passed in Rome, the former abode of

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