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[294]

The last twelve-month has been unusually lethiferous, and lessons of mortality have been rapidly multiplied in every station, in every land. Besides the unnumbered and the unrecorded dead falling like the leaves of autumn noiselessly and unheeded upon the bosom of mother earth, not a few there were, so famous in rank, fortune, literary attainment, and special service, that, in descending into their graves, they challenged public attention and evoked general sorrow.

But yesterday, amid the tears of the French people, Pere Lachaise opened its solemn gates to receive into the close companionship of warriors and statesmen, prelates and artists, astronomers and dramatists, physicians, poets, lawyers, novelists and philosophers, whose fame envious time has not yet impaired, all that was mortal of the venerable and idolized Victor Hugo.

Shadows are resting upon the German Empire, for the Baron Von Manteufel, Frederick Charles—the dashing Red Prince of many campaigns—and the charming song—writer—Franz Abt—are not.

England laments the tragic fate of the gallant Burnaby, the unique Gordon, and their brave companions—regrets that Sir Moses Montefiore—the noble Jewish philanthropist—has been gathered to his fathers, and scatters white roses over the new-made graves of Sir Francis Hincks and Lord Houghton.

The gonfalons of Spain are drooping in honor of King Alphonso and the sagacious Serrano. The soul of music is even now breathing a requiem for Dr. Damrosh, and the Mussulman sits with bowed head for the careers of El Mahdi and Oliver Pain are ended.

Within the limits of this country, since our last annual convocation, the death harvest of prominent personages has been perhaps unprecedented. Ulysses S. Grant—commander-in-chief of the Federal armies during the civil war, twice president of these United States, and complimented abroad with tokens of respect and distinguished consideration never before accorded to a living American; Thomas A. Hendricks—vice-president of this puissant Republic, of exalted statesmanship and manly qualities, a citizen of national fame and a Christian gentleman; Cardinal McCloskey—supreme prelate, in this land, of the Roman Catholic Church, venerated for his professional attainments, his charitable ministrations, and his saintly virtues; William H. Vanderbilt—the richest man in America, fostering commercial schemes of gigantic proportions, and the controlling spirit of immense corporations; Horace B. Claflin—the greatest shop-keeper on this continent; Richardson—the wealthiest and most successful planter in the South; George B. McClellan—erstwhile the

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