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green, and the symbol of imınortality. The dark foliage, long duration, and out-spreading branches of the yew, render it a fit companion for the mouldering dead, and give solemnity to grave-yard scenery:
"Cheerless and unsocial plant, that loves to dwell
No other merriment, dull tree, is thine.' These trees attain to great size in England. In the church-yard at Aberystwith, there are eleven yew trees, the largest of which is twentyfour feet round, and in Fontingal church-yard, in Scotland, there was one which measured fifty-six feet in circumference. The people of that country held it sacred, and were accustomed to carry its branches in solemn procession to the graves of their friends and kindred, and deposit them under their bodies The funeral yew,' where it will grow, should be employed to decorate American burial grounds; it would add to the beauty of the scenery, by throwing its dark shadows over the last resting places of mortality. But the finest grave-yard ornament, and at the same time the most beautiful emblem of affection and tenderness, is the rose.
This shrub was early used for this purpose by the Greeks and Romans, who frequently made it their dying request that roses should be yearly planted and strewed upon their graves :
* Et tenera poneret ossa rosa.' They conceived that this custom had a power over the dead. Anacreon declares that it
*Preserves the cold inhuméd clay,
And marks the vestige of decay :' and Propertius speaks of the custom of burying among roses. The Turks sculpture a rose on the tombs of all unmarried ladies, and in Poland, the coffins of children are covered with these beautiful flowers. In the burial ground of Pére la Chaise, near Paris, they have renewed this fine old custom, which, as it tends to strip death and the grave of some of their gloom and terror, should be iinitated by every nation. How delightful to behold filial affection thus employed in decorating and beautifying the spot where the ashes of a tender parent repose ! How pleasing to think, that even here we shall not be wholly forgotten — that our memory will be cherished by those who once loved us, and that the spot where we rest will be sometimes bedewed by the tear of sorrowing love, and decorated by the hand of tenderness that flowers will fringe the path ways leading to our lowly resting place, and their fragrance, mingled with the holiest aspirations, ascend toward the throne of the Eternal. I would,' says an eloquent writer, speaking of burial-grounds, 'render such scenes more alluring, more familiar, and imposing, by the aid of rural embellishments. The skill and taste of the architect should be exerted in the construction of the requisite departments and avenues; and appropriate trees and plants should decorate its borders: the weeping willow, waving its graceful drapery over the monumental marble, and the sombre foliage of the cypress, should shade it, and the undying daisy should mingle its bright and glowing
tints with the native laurels of our forests. It is there I should desire to see the taste of the florist manifested in the collection and arrangement of beautiful and fragrant flowers, that in their budding, and bloom, and decay, they should be the silent but expressive teachers of morality, and remind us that although, like the flowers of autumn, the race of man is fading from off the earth, yet like them his root will not perish in the ground, but will rise again in a renewed existence, to shed the sweet influence of a useful life, in gardens of unfading beauty.'*
In the general charge of indifference and neglect shown to the repositories of our dead, the writer would not include the people of Boston. The beautiful cemetery of Mount Auburn reflects honor upon their sensibility and taste. This burial ground is judiciously and beautifully located. Nature has done much for it, and art has, so far, not been backward in contributing to its embellishment. It gives every promise to rival, in a few years, even Pére la Chaise. As this celebrated burial ground furnishes a fine model for similar establishments, it may not be amiss to conclude this brief and imperfect paper with a succinct account of it, from the graphic pen of Phillips. It is impossible,' says he, * to visit this vast sanctuary of the dead, where the rose and the cypress encircle each tomb, and the arbor vitæ and eglantine shade the marble obelisk, without feeling a solemn yet sweet and soothing emotion steal over the senses, as we wander over this variegated scene of hill and dale, columns and temples interspersed with luxuriant flowering shrubs, and fragrant herbs, that seem to defy the most profane hand to pluck them. We ascended a height, where our attention was attracted by a grave covered with fresh moss, and thickly strown with the most odorous white flowers, such as the orange blossoms, jasmine, myrtle, and white rose. At each corner stood white porcelain vases, filled with similar flowers, all of pure white ; the whole was covered with a fence of wire-work, and the monument was without a name, and had only this simple and pathetic inscription :
Fille chérie! avec toi mes beaux jours sont passés.' We were told that the afflicted parent still continued to indulge in the sad duty of replenishing the grave with fresh flowers, at the earliest opening of the gates of this melancholy garden of graves.' G. W. Washington, February, 1836,
See where she stoops from yonder snowy cloud,
Glad sings the peasant to the groaning wain,
+ Address before the Massachusetts Horticultural Society: by Z. Cook.
HALINA RADZIVIL: OR, THE BATTLE OF WARSAW.
A TALE OF POLAND.
BY PROFESSOR BARBER: AUTHOR OF 'PULPIT ELOQUENCE,' 'DOWNFALL OF NATIONS,' ETC.
On the evening which preceded the memorable revolution of Warsaw in 1830, two Poles in military apparel proceeded, in deep conversation, along the winding banks of the Vistula.
The costume of the elder, consisting of the caftan, girdle, sabre, and yellow boots, betokened him to be of noble lineage. His attendant, a youth about eighteen years of age, wore the insignia of the military academy in Warsaw.
Sire,' exclaimed the younger, as he gracefully threw back the dark flowing ringlets which shaded his manly forehead, and fixed his beaming eyes on the face of his companion, 'we are now without ihe walls of the Kraga: gold has purchased for me this interview with my noble father; perhaps,' added he, as a dark expression of melancholy overspread his youthful countenance, 'perhaps the last.'
· Does the duke, then,' said the elder, 'seek the destruction of the ancient house of Plater ? He shall yet know
Speak softly!' said the young man; the very winds of Poland aretraitors to liberty. The tyrant seeks the ruin of more houses than ours. Twelve noble scions are doomed, to-morrow, to the dungeons of Warsaw. But,' continued he, as his flashing eye expressed the daring energies of his mind, *the cup is full — the consummation has come. Ere yon orb re-illumes the banks of our ancient river, the Russian tyrant must flee, or perish! Two hundred youths of Poland, like myself
, have sworn on the altar of their country's wrongs to assert her freedom, or swell the hecatombs which the monster's vengeance has already lighted.
• Noble but ill-fated project!' exclaimed the elder Plater: 'what chance for freedom has Poland, before the power of the Russian autocrat? Abandon the enterprise, my son — it is useless. The iron bonds will be more strongly riveted. Failure will erase the name of Poland from the page of future history, and fill the mines of Siberia with the best and bravest of her sons.'
* Father,' replied Casimir Plater, · Il vaut mieux, mourrier avec honneur que de se rendre:' forty thousand Poles will assemble round our standard: · Deo adjuvante non timendum!' shall be our motto. The free in Europe will awake from their lethargy, and fly to our succor. The die is cast - we have passed the Rubicon — retreat is impossible, and triumph-glory!'
* But, Sire, continued young Plater, 'I tremble for the house of Radzivil, when the torch of liberty is lighted. Halina Radzivil must not fall into the monster's power. Speed to the Prince; warn him to place her beyond the Polish frontiers; I will see her to-morrow. guards are approaching. Adieu, best of fathers! Arm yourself for the events of the morrow: the name of Plater shall not be dishonored by
Two gens d'armes, clad in the Russian police dress, now approached. • Your time has expired, young man,' said they. “I am ready,' replied Casimir, as he pressed the hand of his parent, and departed for the state dungeon of the capitol.
I see my
The feelings which agitated the bosoms of the patriotic Poles were not unknown at the palace of Belveder. Spies had been placed in the mansion of every noble family, and the royal agent of the autocrat was aware that some great movement was about to take place; but fear was not an element in Constantine's character, and he trusted that by striking a decisive blow at some of the most exalted in Warsaw, the spark of freedom would be extinguished before it could burst into a flame. In the morning succeeding the interview between Count Plater and his son, Warsaw wore the appearance of a military camp. The drums beat to arms. A military commission was opened, at the head of which Constantine had placed — himself.
At ten o'clock, a military escort proceeded to the state-prison, and demanded, in the name of the Grand Duke, the military students, confined on a charge of treason. They were immediately surrendered. A few moments brought them before the tribunal of the tyrant.
Plater, with a firm step and dignified air, first ascended the platform, before his judges. With a contemptuous expression of countenance, he gazed around on this mockery of justice, as the chief commissioner exclaimed, • I denounce Casimir Plater a traitor to his emperor and his country!'
• Poland has no traitor among her free-born nobles,' replied the undaunted youth. Behold thy companions, continued the commissioner, pointing toward the military students who had assembled in the hall of the tribunal, they shall testify against thee.'
The bosom of the young soldier heaved with indignation : he exchanged a glance with his comrades; it was enough. Then, casting a look of disdain on his oppressors, he replied : “No Pole ever committed dishonor.'
* Thou hast been sworn against, as a rebel and a traitor,' muttered the Duke.
Show me my accuser,' retorted the youth. • The mines of Siberia are not yet filled,' continued Constantine ; a descendant of the noble house of Plater would grace the earth-wrought dungeons of Tobolsk.'
· Prince,' replied Casimir, “there is a point at which resistance becomes a virtue, and silence a crime. Posterity will demand at your hands a retribution for the wrongs of Poland. History will record this military tribunal, where power usurps the seat of judgment, and vengeance the throne of mercy from which the accuser is banished, and the accused condemned. The future assertors of the rights of nations and of men will re-echo from Warsaw to St. Petersburgh this unholy mockery of the great attributes of justice in the court of kings. They will record their verdict against the faith of princes, on the ruins of Poland's freedom, in characters of blood.'
• Could I alone,' continued Casimir, .be offered as a propitiatory sacrifice between Poland and her wrongs — could the yawning gulfs of your northern capital receive me as the last of their Polish victims, I would, like another Curtius, plunge into the lake, and save my country But the descendant of the house of Plater is a fraction in the vast unit of destruction. Where is the ancient house in Warsaw, that mourns not some inmate whose groans reverberate through your Siberian dungeons, until the genius of misery shrieks affrighted at the sound?