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it in the emphatic language of his country, the Lord's Prayer ; the procession then again moved onward, and the customary service was performed previous to the affecting ceremony of interment.* As we had moved along toward the church, two or three idle urchins, who were playing among the tomb-stones, ran, forward to meet us, the foremost shouting in Welch as he ran, “ Come along, Shonen Roberts, and see at the burying of pretty Mary Williams,-here's the Minister, and old Megan, and the strange gentleman!"—and on they bounded in childish glee to gaze at us, bowing, however, with due reverence to the good clergyman as he passed them. I recollect this well. There was to me something so terrific in the callous indifference of these youngsters, that it struck me at the time as a powerful illustration of that prevailing principle of self-interest which teaches us to disregarded the misfortunes of those to whom we are not bound by the ties of sympathy or friendship, and to care nought about the miseries and misfortunes which are every day happening around

“ When I reflect," observes an eloquent writer, " what an inconsiderable atom every single man is with respect to the whole creation, methinks it is a shame to be concerned at the removal of such a trivial animal as I am. The morning after my exit the sun will rise as bright as ever, the flowers smell as sweet, the plants spring as green, the world will proceed in its old course, people will laugh as heartily, and marry as fast as they were used to do. The memory of man, as it is elegantly expressed in the Wisdom of Solomon, 'passeth away as the remembrance of a guest that tarrieth but one day.'”-Alas ! who amongst us has not felt the truth of this splendid quotation ?

The interment of the dead is one of the most awful and sublime rites of our holy religion. I have seen the strongest frame shake like a reed, and the sturdiest heart quail like a coward's, at this most sorrowful and affecting ceremony; and as we all


* In former times the funeral ceremonies of the Welsh were much more numerous than at present. Previous to a funeral it was customary, when the corpse was brought out of the house, for the next of kin to the deceased, whether widow, sister, mother, or daughter,-for it must be a female,-to give, over the coffin, a quantity of white loaves in a dish, and sometimes a cheese, with a piece of silver money stuck in it, to poor persons. After that, they presented in the same manner a cup, and required the person to drink a little out of it immediately : when this was done they knelt down , the Minister repeated the Lord's Prayer, after which they proceeded with the body; and at every crossway between the house and the church, they laid down the bier, knelt, and again said the Lord's Prayer, also repeating the ceremony when they first entered the church-yard. It was reckoned fortunate for the deceased if it should rain while they were carrying him to church, that his coffin might be wet with the dew of Heaven. It was likewise customary, in some districts, for the friends to say the Lord's Prayer over the grave for several Sundays following the interment ;---but this is now confined to the first Sunday afterwards.

stood round the grave of this village maiden I felt the full force of the sublime service appropriated by our Liturgy to the burial of the dead. It is melancholy enough to mourn over the remains of the infirm and the aged, whose life had lasted beyond the natural term of“ threescore years and ten;" but there is a feeling of despondency, as well as sorrow, in the death of the young and the lovely. We look for the fall of the "sear and yellow leaf” in autumn, as a common and natural occurence ; but we do not expect to see the sweet flowers of the spring wither and decay till they have delighted us with their beauty and fragrance, and fulfilled the brief space allotted to them here. The parent who has sorrowed for a beloved child, the lover who has lamented a tender mistress, and the sister who has mourned over an infant brother, can tell how agonizing it is to be parted from such dear objects of solicitude and affection. But there is a consolation for all of us in the cheering consciousness that the memory will never die ; and that in our idle hours of meditation the forms of those whom we may thus have loved and lost will vividly recur to us, bringing with them all those soothing recollections which constitute what has been emphatically denominated the “joy of grief."

“ Ask the fond youth
Why the cold urn of her whom long he loved
So often fills his arms, so often draws
His lonely footsteps, silent and unseen,
To pay the lonely tribute of his tears.
Oh ! he will tell you that the wealth of worlds
Should ne'er seduce his bosom to forego
Those sacred hours, when stealing from the noise
Of care and envy, sweet remembrance sooths,
With virtue's kindest works, his aching breast,
And turns his tears to rapture !".

Deeply was every person affected as the ceremony proceeded ; and many a tear was shed over the unconscious remains of one whom all had loved. The venerable chief mourner, however, at first maintained the most placid composure,—at least so far as all outward sigu" was concerned. She shed no tear, she uttered no sigh, and repeated the responses with a distinct, and even firm voice. But when the Minister pronouced the bitter words, " earth to earth! ashes to ashes ! dust to dust !” and when the sexton scattered the mould upon the coffin lid,-she was composed no longer. Hitherto there had been a calm deliberation in this age? mourner, which betokened deep and silent sorrow, and which seemed to be the result of much internal conflict. I could see from the beginning that her's was no common grief ; although she had, by a strong and extraordinary effort, subdued all boisterous indication of her anguish. But at this affecting portion the ceremony her emotions could no longer be controuled. The acuteness of her feelings, old and bowed down as she was, had gained additional intensity from their depression, and in a tone which still vibrates on my ear, she exclaimed, “Oh! Mary! Mary! why did ye not wait for your poor old grandmother!” and then she wept audibly, as, with her hands clasped, and her head bent over the grave, she gazed for the last time upon the coffin of her beloved grand-daughter. We all felt for the poor woman's affliction, more especially the good Pastor, who wiped a tear from his eyes as he paused till she had somewhat recovered. The ceremony was then conducted without any further incident, and the company wended their way

homewards, deeply impressed with the sad solemnity of the scene they had witnessed. Two or three of the oldest of the matrons accompanied poor Margaret Williams, or, as she was generally called, “old Megan," to her cottage, comforting her with such soothing means as their sagacity and experience suggested; while I remained behind to shake hands with my old friend the Rector. He greeted me with all his accustomed kindness; but his voice was tremulous, and a tear still glittered in his eye. He invited me however, to spend the day with him at the rectory, and, readily accepting the invitation, we walked arm in arm towards his residence. We soon arrived there, and, after a glass of his excellent gooseberry wine, our conversation naturally adverted to the Funeral. The grief of my kind old friend induced me to suspect that the deceased was something more to him than a parishioner; and I intimated that I was fearful he had lost a kinswoman and a friend. He replied that no relationship had subsisted between them ; but that in point of affection they were placed in the relative situation of father and daughter. changes, my friend,” he continued, “ have taken place in this house since you were in it last. My poor wife is dead; and so is your old play-fellow, Edward ; but, thanks be to God! I have had strength enough to bear my affliction with, I trust, Christian resignation. But if your are inclined to listen, I will relate a few particulars of poor Mary Willams's life, as it will necessarily involve the narration of my own domestic misfortunes.”

Mary was born and nurtured in affliction, for her mother was deluded hy the specious blandishments of a villain, who deserted her in her uttermost need, and left her to rear her infant in shame and sorrow. It too frequently happens, that when a female falls from her virtuous station in society, that some encouraging failing on her own part has led to ruin. In this instance, however, no such extenuation can be urged in palliation of a crime so destructive in its consequences. Poor Margaret Williams was a steady, good girl, fond, indeed of finery,and what girl is not ? but without any portion of levity in her disposition. Her behaviour was always characterized by a modest civility, which rendered her a welcome visiter at every

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house in the neighbourhood. But this availed her nothing. She fell into the hands of an unfeeling, pitiless scoundrel, and was ruined. But Margaret had a mother who, notwithstanding her humble rank of life, cherished sentiments which would have adorned a princess. This mother, the same aged woman who followed the corpse to-day, and wept so bitterly at the grave, did not spurn from her the child of her bosom, but opened wide her doors, and extended to her that solace and comfort which her hard-hearted seducer denied. But poor llargaret could not long survive her dishonour: she pined in ceaseless, life-consuming sorrow, and two years after the birth of her child, she sank into the grave before she had attained the age of twenty-one. The care of the little Mary now devolved upon her grandmother, who had been an old valued servant in my father's family; and my poor wife was consequently exceedingly attentive to them, for she had a tender heart, and always loved to please me, so that Mary and her old nurse were often with us at the Rectory. Our little protegée soon gave tokens of intelligence, and when her mind was capable of receiving impressions, I employed my leisure time in instructing her. She grew up as virtuous as she was beautiful ; and notwithstanding her ill-fated birth, she was beloved and caressed by all who knew her. It was not with us, Mr. Arundel, as it is with our more polished neighbours ; we do not, in this secluded vale, attach any disgrace to the offspring of shame, nor do we envy the lot of those whom Providence has ordained to be more fortunate than ourselves. We are strangers to many of the evils, as well as to many of the advantages of a more highly cultivated and refined condition.Well, my good sir,” continued my worthy friend,“ things were in this situation, when our only son returned after an absence of six years

in the East Indies. He had prevailed upon us, while he was yet a boy, to permit him to try his fortune there, and at seventeen he left us as a Cadet: we heard from him tiine after time, and the newspapers conveyed to us the gratifying intelligence, that he had frequently distinguished himself, and had been promoted to the rank of Captain in the Company's Service.- Poor Edward was a generous, open-hearted fellow, full of life and spirit, and filial affection, and the day of his arrival among us was, indeed, a day of happiness and rejoicing !"

My friend's roice grew tremulous with grief as these events recurred to his memory, and hiding his face with his handkerchief, he gave vent to his feelings in a flow of salutary tears. Having somewhat recovered his composure he resumed his narrative.

• When Edward left us Mary was a mere child, and it was as a mere child only that he thought of her in his absence. Every letter contained a remeinbrance to his pretty little Mary,' and when a blushing girl of eighteen was presented to him as his former play-fellow and friend, he started with astonishment and admiration at the change. The result is easily guessed,--they soon loved,--passionately, but purely loved each other; yet strange to say, I was for a long time, blind to their attachment; that is, I attributed his attentions to Mary to their long intimacy and to his wish to please his parents ; in short, I considered his affection was that of a brother for a sister. The mother, however,--and what mother is not ?-was keener sighted than the father, and she communicated her suspicious to me. "I am sure our dear boy is in love with Mary,' she said, ' every action denotes it. Is she walking to the town; Edward must walk with her. Is she going with any thing to the poor cottagers ? He must go with her too. In short they sing together, dance together, read together, walk together, and ride together, and I am quite sure they love each other dearly! Now that I was thus apprized of this, it appeared equally as evident to me as it did to Mrs. Richards, and it made me thoughtful. I am not a proud man, Mr. Arundel ; God forbid that I ever should be ! nor was my poor wife a vain or a haughty woman ; but this discovery startled us, and parental solicitude made us hesitate. However, after a little consideration, we came to the determination of suffering their attachment to take its course, " She will make a good wife' said I, and if they continue to love each other, we must not oppose their affection.

But our determinations were useless. Our dear son had brought with him a constitution shattered by the enervating influence of a tropical sun, as well as by the overpowing toil of a soldier's

and in three months after his arrival he was laid upon his bed of sickness and of death! It was now that Mary proved herself worthy of all our care. She ministered to the poor patient with unceasing assiduity, and consoled us with hopes, which she herself could never have cherished. You do not know, perhaps, what it is to attend, day ofter day, near the sick bed of a most dear relation,-to watch with agony and suspence the variable symptoms of a languishing disease, and to hear the fond and wishful anticipations of this care and solicitude.—You do not know, perhaps, what it is to hang beside a child's couch in tenderness and anxiety,—to soothe his pain and sorrow,—and to feel that all your hopes of happiness on earth are fixed on him : to catch his last faint sigh, and watch in tenderness life's fluttering-dying spark.—But this I have felt; and during this period of suspense and agony, Mary was like a ministering angel to us; and, though harassed both in mind and body, no exclamation of pain, nor of impatience escaped her lips. She endured what I could not have supposed any mortal could have undergone in similar circumstances; and although she wept much in secret, she suffered no indication of sorrow or despair to appear before us, or her lover. Week after week passed by in this miserable manner, and, after languishing nearly four months, our dear

life ;

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