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that hour, when the tear of affection should cease to flow, and when the sole memorial of the dead should linger on the records of the marble.
The mere anticipation of such neglect is enough to depress the most buoyant spirits; but it was not so much the buried as the living that elicited the melancholy of the moment. The one, I mentally exclaimed, are far removed from the scene of envy or of esteem; while the others still live though not to the friends of former times. Like travellers they have tarried at their inn, communed awhile with its inmates, professed esteem, passed away with the dawn, and in the bustle of other pursuits forgotten alike their protestations and their associates. But until experience has blunted the soul, it is painful to see these truths evinced in the friends of childhood; it is painful to see the hearty smile exchanged for the stiff courtesy, and the candor of youth deadened into the reserve of experience. It was not so in the spring time of existence, no mechanical world had then the power of forbidding the smile to rise, or the tear to flow, for like Adam in the garden of Eden, we were happy in the absence of experience. But even in the height of enjoyment we felt that we were not formed to live alone, and resolved to supply the vacuum in our hearts by the society of a friend. When once the
treasure was secured, we sought not the aid of dence to sanction, or of reason to confirm our choice, for our heart was satisfied and we imagined that it could never vary. Weak-minded enthusiasts! in an evil hour we quitted our friend to enter the world, and that separation though temporary to the eye, was eternal to the heart.
Farewell then to the friendships of infancy! too bright too pure for existence they are the unsophisticated children of the heart. Formed in a moment of confidence, they expire with the cause that created them, for when reserve commences, affection terminates. Engaged in after years too much with ourselves to bestow a thought upon our friend, our attention is solely occupied in bustling through the crowd that every where retards our progress. Though we see him whom we once loved jammed and trodden down beneath our feet, we cast a look of indifference behind us. Perhaps at that moment, a thought of past times darkens our brow; we look up; the crowd thickens; the dangers increase; we sigh out, "Poor fellow," and then pass on, leaving him unheeded to perish or escape. Such is the disposition of our nature; the affectious of the heart, like streams flowing on towards the sea, roll awhile in different channels, but are finally absorbed in the exhaustless ocean of self.
The evening bells of St. Laurence now warned me from my church-yard reveries. The sun had already set, and the play-ground was deserted. Not a sound was heard, where all was lately so cheerful, but the drony hum of the cock-chafer, or the distant hootings of the night-owl. With regret I quitted the neighbourhood, although assured at the same time, that I had revisited scenes which, from the frailty of existence, from disinclination, or other preventives, I might never again have an opportunity of beholding.
The Windsor Castle.
"so we'll live
And chat, and sing, and tell old tales."
AT a trifling distance from Windsor stands the village of Datchet, situated on the banks of the Thames, and crossed by a long arched bridge of recent erection. In its immediate neighbourhood are the dark groves of Ditton, and far to the right in the distance towers the venerable spire of Eton College, from the midst of an amphitheatre of wood. The picturesque appearance of the landscape, is enhanced by a small tavern erected on the Windsor side of the bridge, to equip funnies and sailing boats for the gratification of the surrounding gentry. A few years since, the rage for these aquatic excursions had reached their zenith, and the landlord of the Windsor Castle had in consequence attained the full plenitude of his power. He was
a gentleman of no light consideration, inasmuch as he weighed three hundred and sixty pounds, and was the accredited clerk of the parish. His real name was Patrick O'Doyle, but an inveterate fondness of heraldry which he contrived to acquire in the service of a professed antiquarian, had procured him the nick-name of the genealogist. If a stranger ever appeared in the village, his lynx eye was sure to scrutinize his heraldic appendages, and every iota connected with his descent and birthright. The coachmen too, he knew them all, father, mother, great aunts, and great uncles even unto the third and fourth generation. Accordingly they never failed to water horses at his inn, where a genuine glass of Yorkshire stingo gave bibulous. token that the genealogy of his beer-barrels was at least coeval with his own. In person he was somewhat quadrangular, with a roguish leer of eye, and goodly extent of mouth. A dashing brace of whiskers fringed the borders of each cheek, and then making a circumbendibus towards his chin spread into an uncultivated acre of bush.
Every evening it was his pride to be seen sauntering at the door of his ale-house, in busy confabulation with the youngest and prettiest girls of the village. There was one in particular to whom his attentions were invariably grateful, the late