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Hamlet among the Grves.


an amiable enthusiast, immortal in his beautiful little romance of Paul and Virginia, has given us in his Miscellanies a chapter on the Pleasures of Tombs,—a title singular enough, yet not inappropriate; for the meek-spirited and sentimental author has given, in his own flowing and eloquent language, its vindication. ‘There is,’ says he,

a voluptuous melancholy arising from the contemplation of tombs; the result, like every other attractive sensation, of the harmony of two opposite principles,—from the sentiment of our fleeting life and that of our immortality, which unite in view of the last habitation of mankind. A tomb is a monument erected on the confines of two worlds. It first presents to us the end of the vain disquietudes of life and the image of everlasting repose; it afterwards awakens in us the confused sentiment of a blessed immortality, the probabilities of which grow stronger and stronger in proportion as the person whose memory is recalled was a virtuous character.

It is from this intellectual instinct, therefore, in favor of virtue, that the tombs of great men inspire us with a veneration so affecting. From the same sentiment, too, it is that those which contain

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