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tongue-tied, and unable to remonstrate,mis seized by the undertaker,--and, as the Irish phrase is, “is put to bed with a shovel," — farewell human respect ! “Out of sight, out of mind." His epitaph, if he has left assets to buy one, may for a while keep up a little bustle about his name; but a short dialogue with a sexton of after-times, over the scattered fragments of his existence, will afford a pretty accurate measure of the degree of real insignificance into which he has subsided. This is mortifying, but it is among
the sources of our highest interests. Certainly it is only natural that we should look to some future compensation for our minds, in return for the many insults their old companions are sure to suffer when they are not by to protect them : it were an intolerable prospect otherwise. To-day, to be active, happy, and ambitious, conscious of being “made for the contemplation of heaven and all noble objects ;” and to-morrow, to be fung as useless lumber into a hole, and, in process of time, to be buffeted by grave-diggers, and shovelled up to make way for new comers, without a friendly moralizer to pronounce an Alas, poor Yorick !” over our chopfallen crania; or perhaps, (what is still more humiliating in a posthumous point of view), to be purloined by resurrection men, and hung up in dissecting-rooms as models of osteology for the
instruction of surgeons'mates ;--the thoughts of all this would gall, as well it might, our vanity to the quick, were it not that Religion, assured of a retribution, can smile at these indignities, and discover, in every rude cuff that may be given to our dishonoured bones, a farther argument for the immortality of the soul.
New Monthly Magazine.
THE LAST MOMENTS OF DISTINGUISHED
Addison, upon being given over by his physicians, sent for a young dissolute nobleman to witness his dissolution; when he entered the chamber, Addison, who was extremely feeble, and whose life hung quivering on his lips, observed a profound silence. The youth, after a long and awful pause, at length said in low and tremulous accents, “Sir, you desired to see me; signify your commands, and be assured they shall be executed with religious fidelity." Addison took him by the hand, and with his expiring breath replied, “ Observe with what tranquillity a Christian can die.”
Rousseau, feeling himself about to expire, desired bis attendants to place him before his chamber window, that he might once more look upon the flowers, and bid adieu to nature, which had ever afforded him so much delight. EPAMINONDAS,
« first and best of men," received his mortal wound at the battle of Mantinea. In the agonies of dissolution he was solicitous only for his military glory, and the success of his countrymen. “Is my
shield safe? -Are the Thebans victors ?” were questions that he repeated with the utmost anxiety. His shield was brought to him, and he was at the same time informed that the Spartans were defeated. A glow of brightness suffused itself over his countenance, even in the moment of death. In the midst of the general affliction, one of his most intimate friends exclaimed, “Oh Epaminondas! you are dying, and we shall lose you entirely, without a hope remaining of seeing you revive in your offspring; you leave us no children behind you.” “You are mistaken," replied Epaminondas calmly; “I shall leave behind me two immortal daughters—the victory of Leuctra, and that of Mantinea.' He then commanded the javelin, which was rankling in his side, to be extracted, knowing that it would occasion his immediate death, and gently expired in the arms of his surrounding friends.
Roscommon, at the moment he expired, with a peculiar energy of voice, uttered two lines of his own version of “ Dies Iræ."
WALLER repeated some lines from Virgil in his last moments.
CHAUCER,“ upon his dethe-bede, lying in his grete anguysse," (to use his own remarkable words) composed a balade or moral ode, and thus bade farewell to the vanity of human wishes.
CORNELIUS DE WIT, who, as Hume says, bravely served his country in war, and who had been invested with the highest dignities," fell a sacrifice to popular prejudice. He was delivered into the hands of the executioner, and while suffering the severest tortures, repeated the 3d ode of the 3d book of Horace. “ Justum, et tenacem propositi virum,” &c.
Of him that's steadfast to his trust,
Firm in resolve, th' unshaken soul,
No tyrant's threatful frown can e'er control. Metastasio, after having received the sacrament, broke out with all the enthusiasm of religion and poetry into the following stanzas :
T'offro il tuo proprio figlio,
Che già d'amore in pegno
Si volle a noi donar.
Guardo chi t'offro, e poi,
Lascia di perdonar.
LUCAN, when the monster Nero ordered his veins to be opened, died while reciting some lines from his own Pharsalia, in which he had described a dying wounded soldier.
The Spectator has translated the sonnet which the famous Des BARREUX composed in his parting moments.
JOUBERT, a brave French general, who fell, crowned with glory, at the battle of Novi, in the moment of his dissolution cried aloud to his fellow soldiers, Marchez, marchez, mes enfans ; je meure pour ma patrie.”
The Chevalier BAYARD, for his great valour, obtained the surname of Le bon Chevalier sans peur et sans reproche: he accompanied Charles VIII. into Naples, and performed the most incredible acts of heroism. Being mortally wounded in an action with the Imperialists in Italy, and perceiving his dissolution was at hand, it is said he recoinmended himself to God in fervent prayer, and then requested to be placed near a tree, with his face towards the enemy, at that time victorious, observing to those around him, “ As in life I always faced the enemy, so in death I will not turn my back
Wolfe.—The death of this general, as related by Smollett, is equally animating. In the assault upon Quebec, he stationed himself where the attack was most warm, and as he stood conspicuous in the front of the line, he had been aimed at by the enemy's marksmen, and received a shot in the wrist, which however did not oblige him to quit the field. Having wrapped a handkerchief round his hand, he continued giving orders without the least emotion, and advanced at the head of the grenadiers with their bayonets fixed, when another ball unfortunately pierced the breast of this young hero, who fell in the arms of victory, just as the enemy gave way.
When the fatal ball took place, General Wolfe, finding himself unable to stand, leaned upon the shoulder of a lieutenant, who sat down for that purpose. The officer seeing the French give way, exclaimed, “ They run! they run!” “Who run?” cried the gallant Wolfe, with great eagerness; when the lieutenant replied, " The French !" “ Then,” said he, “I die happy.” So saying, the hero expired, in the 34th year of his age.
Haller.This celebrated physician perceiving his end approaching, kept feeling his pulse to the last moment; and when he found that his was almost
gone, he turned to his brother physician and observed, “My friend, the artery ceases to beat,” and almost instantly expired.
Adrian.-This emperor dying, made that celebrated address to his soul which Pope has so beautifully translated.
CHATELAR was one of the many unfortunate individuals who were sacrificed at the shrine of Mary's beauty. From historical records it appears that this youth, who was condemned to death for an improper attachment to his queen, met his fate with the greatest fortitude, and ascended the scaffold divested of every sentiment of fear. On the scaffold he made a very laconic address to the spectators, the subject of which is not recorded in history, and turning toward the window of the chamber usually occupied by the queen, and which commanded a view of the spot, he still professed his unalterable passion, and gloried at meeting his fate in such a cause: he then repeated some lines from the works of Ronsard, which were very applicable to his situation, and with a dauntless demeanour gave his head to the block, which was severed by the executioner at one blow.
LOPE DE VEGA.
This extraordinary man was born at Madrid, in 1562. His father had been secretly addicted to poetry. There are so many similar facts recorded, as to justify an opinion that the propensity, or aptitude for poetry, is hereditary. Lope's talents were early manifested. The uncommon quickness and brilliancy of his eyes in infancy indicated a corresponding vivacity of mind, and before his hand was strong enough to guide the pen,
he recited verses of his own composition, which he bartered with his play-fellows for prints or toys. Thus, even in his childbood, he not only wrote poetry, but turned his poetry to account, an art in which he must