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[34]

From the number of tombs built, it will be inferred that the taste is a prevalent one, though it seems to admit of some question whether this mode of interment possesses the advantages over the more usual practice which are apparently ascribed to it. It is almost uniformly insecure and temporary at the best, while the nature of the erection makes it impossible to avoid, after a time, some inconveniences, inconsistent with the general good appearance of the Cemetery. These must be understood by those who have visited Pere la Chaise. On this point, a correspondent of one of the Boston papers some years since, remarks as follows:

It is a part of the original design of this establishment, though not an obligatory one, that interments shall be made in single or separate graves, rather than in tombs. The abundant space afforded by the extensiveness of the tract which has been purchased, precludes the necessity of constructing vaults for the promiscuous concentration of numbers. It is believed that the common grave affords the most simple, natural and secure method by which the body may return to the bosom of the earth, to be peacefully blended with its original dust. Whatever consolation can be derived from the gathering together of members of the same families, is provided for by the appropriation of lots, each sufficient for a family, while the provision that the same spot or grave shall not be twice occupied for interment, secures to the buried an assurance of undisturbed rest, not always found in more costly constructions.

On the same subject another consideration may be added. It is desired that the place may become beautiful, attractive, consoling,--not gloomy and repulsive,

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