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A FUNERAL.

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"WHENCE this delay ?"—" Along the crowded street A funeral comes, and with unusual pomp." So I withdrew a little and stood still,

While it went by. "She died as she deserved,"
Said an Abatè, gathering up his cloak,

And with a shrug retreating as the tide

Flowed more and more. "But she was beautiful!"
Replied a soldier of the Pontiff's guard.
"And innocent as beautiful!" exclaimed
A matron sitting in her stall, hung round
With garlands, holy pictures, and what not?
Her Alban grapes and Tusculan figs displayed
In rich profusion. From her heart she spoke;
And I accosted her to hear her story.
"The stab," she cried, "was given in jealousy;
But never fled a purer spirit to heaven,

As thou wilt say, or much my mind misleads,
When thou hast seen her face. Last night at dusk,
When on her way from vespers none were near,
None save her serving-boy who knelt and wept,
But what could tears avail him, when she fell
Last night at dusk, the clock then striking nine,
Just by the fountain that before the church,
The church she always used, St. Isidore's-
Alas! I knew her from her earliest youth,
That excellent lady. Ever would she say,
Good-even, as she passed, and with a voice.
Gentle as theirs in heaven!". - But now by fits
A dull and dismal noise assailed the ear,

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A wail, a chant, louder and louder yet;
And now a strange fantastic troop appeared!
Thronging, they came-as from the shades below;
All of a ghostly white! "O, say!” I cried,
"Do not the living here bury the dead?
Do spirits come and fetch them? What are these,
That seem not of this world, and mock the day;
Each with a burning taper in his hand?”.
"It is an ancient Brotherhood thou seest.
Such their apparel. Through the long, long line,
Look where thou wilt, no likeness of a man;
The living masked, the dead alone uncovered.
But mark." - And, lying on her funeral couch,
Like one asleep, her eyelids closed, her hands
Folded together on her modest breast,

As 't were her nightly posture, through the crowd
She came at last — and richly, gayly clad,
As for a birth-day feast! But breathes she not?
A glow is on her cheek—and her lips move!
And now a smile is there - how heavenly sweet!
"O, no!" replied the dame, wiping her tears,
But with an accent less of grief than anger,
"No, she will never, never wake again!"

Death, when we meet the spectre in our walks, As we did yesterday and shall to-morrow, Soon grows familiar-like most other things, Seen, not observed; but in a foreign clime, Changing his shape to something new and strange (And through the world he changes as in sport, Affect he greatness or humility),

Knocks at the heart. His form and fashion here To me, I do confess, reflect a gloom,

A sadness round; yet one I would not lose;
Being in unison with all things else
In this, this land of shadows, where we live
More in past time than present, where the ground,
League beyond league, like one great cemetery,
Is covered o'er with mouldering monuments;
And, let the living wander where they will,
They cannot leave the footsteps of the dead.

Oft, where the burial-rite follows so fast
The agony, oft coming, nor from far,
Must a fond father meet his darling child
(Him who at parting climbed his knees and clung)
Clay-cold and wan, and to the bearers cry,
"Stand, I conjure ye!"

Seen thus destitute,
What are the greatest? They must speak beyond
A thousand homilies. When RAPHAEL went,
His heavenly face the mirror of his mind,
His mind a temple for all lovely things
To flock to and inhabit when he went,
Wrapt in his sable cloak, the cloak he wore,
To sleep beneath the venerable Dome,
By those attended, who in life had loved,
Had worshipped, following in his steps to Fame
('T was on an April day, when Nature smiles),
All Rome was there. But, ere the march began,
Ere to receive their charge the bearers came,
Who had not sought him? And when all beheld
Him, where he lay, how changed from yesterday,
Him in that hour cut off, and at his head

His last great work; 240 when, entering in, they looked
Now on the dead, then on that masterpiece,241

Now on his face, lifeless and colorless,

Then on those forms divine that lived and breathed,
And would live on for ages all were moved;
And sighs burst forth, and loudest lamentations.

NATIONAL PREJUDICES.

"ANOTHER assassination! This venerable city," I exclaimed, "what is it, but as it began, a nest of robbers and murderers? We must away at sunrise, Luigi."— But before sunrise I had reflected a little, and in the soberest prose. My indignation was gone; and, when Luigi undrew my curtain, crying, "Up, signor, up! The horses are at the gate!" "Luigi," I replied, "if thou lovest me, draw the curtain." 242

It would lessen very much the severity with which men judge of each other, if they would but trace effects to their causes, and observe the progress of things in the moral as accurately as in the physical world. When we condemn millions in the mass as vindictive and sanguinary, we should remember that wherever justice is ill-administered the injured will redress themselves. Robbery provokes to robbery; murder to assassination. Resentments become hereditary; and what began in disorder ends as if all hell had broke loose.

Laws create a habit of self-restraint, not only by the influence of fear, but by regulating in its exercise the passion of revenge. If they overawe the bad by the prospect of a punishment certain and well-defined, they console the injured by the infliction of that punishment; and, as the infliction is a public act, it excites and entails no enmity

The laws are offended; and the community for its own sake pursues and overtakes the offender,- often without the concurrence of the sufferer, sometimes against his wishes. 243

Now, those who were not born, like ourselves, to such advantages, we should, surely, rather pity than hate; and when, at length, they venture to turn against their rulers,24* we should lament, not wonder at, their excesses; remembering that nations are naturally patient and long-suffering, and seldom rise in rebellion till they are so degraded by a bad government as to be almost incapable of a good one.

"Hate them, perhaps," you may say, "we should not; but despise them we must, if enslaved, like the people of ROME, in mind as well as body; if their religion be a gross and barbarous superstition."-I respect knowledge; but I do not despise ignorance. They think only as their fathers thought, worship as they worshipped. They do no more; and, if ours had not burst their bondage, braving imprisonment and death, might not we at this very moment have been exhibiting, in our streets and our churches, the same processions, ceremonials, and mortifications?

Nor should we require from those who are in an earlier stage of society what belongs to a later. They are only where we once were; and why hold them in derision? It is their business to cultivate the inferior arts before they think of the more refined; and in many of the last what are we as a nation, when compared to others that have passed away? Unfortunately it is too much the practice of governments to nurse and keep alive in the governed their national prejudices. It withdraws their attention from what is passing at home, and makes them better tools in the hands of ambition. Hence, next-door neighbors are held up to us from our childhood as natural enemies; and we are urged on like curs to worry each other."

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