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gard Mr. Dickens, as a man and as an author, was held
“There is nothing --no, nothing -- beautiful and good, that dies, and is forgotten. An infant, a prattling child, dying in its cradle, will live again in the better thoughts of those who loved it, and play its part, though its body be burned to ashes, or buried in the deepest sea. There is not an angel added to the hosts of heaven but does its blessed work on earth in those who loved it here. Dead! Oh, if the good deeds of human creatures could be traced to their source, how beautiful would even death appear! for how much charity, mercy, and purified affection, would be seen to have their growth in dusty graves!”
Some one has gathered these sweet flowers from Dickens's writings, and strewn them on his grave:
“ The spirit of the child, returning, innocent and radiant, touched the old man with its hand, and beckoned him away.”
...“A cricket sings upon the hearth, a broken child's toy lies upon the ground, and nothing else remains."
“I felt my old self as the dead may feel if they ever revisit these scenes. I was glad to be tenderly remembered, to be gently pitied, not to be quite forgotten.”
“When I die, put near me something that has loved the light, and had the sky above it always.”
" Lord, keep my memory green
66. Now,' he murmured, 'I am happy.' He fell into a light slumber, and, waking, smiled as before ; then spoke of beautiful gardens, which he said stretched out before him, and were filled with figures of men, women, and many children, all with light upon their faces; then whispered that it was Eden,
and so died.”
“Died like a child that had gone to sleep."
“And began the world, — not this world, oh! not this, — the world that sets this right.”
“Gone before the Father, far beyond the twilight judgment of this world, high above its mists and obscurities."
“ And lay at rest. The solemn stillness was no marvel now."
“It being high water, he went out with the
“Dickens's obsequies were simple, as he desired. The news that a special train left Rochester at an early hour yesterday morning, and that it carried his remains, was soon telegraphed to London : but every arrangement had been completed beforehand; and there was no one in the Abbey, no one to follow the three simple mourning-coaches and the hearse ; no one to obtrude upon the mourners. The waiting-room at Charing-cross Station was set apart for the latter for the quarter of an hour they remained there; the abbey doors were closed directly they reached it; and even the mourning-coaches were not permitted to wait. A couple of street-cabs, and a single brougham, took the funeral-party away when the last solemn rites were over; so that passers-by were unaware that any ceremony was being conducted : and it was not until a good hour after that the south transept began to fill. There were no cloaks, no weepers, no bands, no scarfs, no feathers, - none of the dismal frippery of the undertaker. Let the reader turn to that portion of Great Expectations' in which the funeral of Joe Gargery's wife is described, he will there find full details of the miserable things omitted. In the same part of the same volume, he will find reverent allusion to the time when these noble passages are read which remind humanity how it brought nothing
into the world, and can take nothing out; and how it fleeth like a shadow, and never continueth long in one stay;' and will think of the solemn scene in Westminster Abbey yesterday morning, with the dean reading our solemn burial-service, the organ chiming in subdued and low, and the vast place empty, save for the little group of heart-stricken people by an open grave. A plain oak coffin, with a brass plate bearing the inscription,
Born FEBRUARY 7TH, 1812.
DIED JUNE 9TH, 1870.
a coffin strewed with wreaths and flowers by the female mourners, and then dust to dust, and ashes to ashes, - such was the funeral of the great man who has gone. In coming to the Abbey, in the first coach were the late Mr. Dickens's children, - Mr. Charles Dickens, jun.; Mr. Harry Dickens; Miss Dickens ; Mrs. Charles Collins. In the second coach were Mrs. Austin, his sister; Mrs. Charles Dickens, jun.; Miss Hogarth, his sister-in-law ; Mr. John Forster. In the third coach, Mr. Frank Beard, his medical attendant; Mr. Charles Collins, his son-in-law; Mr. Ouvry, his solicitor; Mr. Wilkie Collins ; Mr. Edmund Dickens, his nephew.
6. Charles Dickens lies surrounded by poets and men
of genius. Shakspeare's marble effigy looked yesterday into his open grave; at his feet are Dr. Johnson and David Garrick ; his head is by Addison and Handel; while Oliver Goldsmith, Rowe, Southey, Campbell, Thomson, Sheridan, Macaulay, and Thackeray, or their memorials, encircle him ; and · Poets' Corner,' the most familiar spot in the whole Abbey, has thus received an illustrious addition to its peculiar glory. Separated from Dickens's grave by the statues of Shakspeare, Southey, and Thomson, and close by the door to · Poets' Corner,' are the memorials of Ben Jonson, Dr. Samuel Butler, Milton, Spenser, and Gray; while Chaucer, Dryden, Cowley, Mason, Shadwell, and Prior are hard by, and tell the bystander, with their wealth of great names, how
666 These poets near our princes sleep,
And in one grave their mansion keep.'”