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NATIONAL HEALTH. 135
constantly inured to the climate as they grow up; at a later period they should not be made victims to the hard studies of fashionable schools; and when they are sent into the world, they should not be sacrificed to the follies of fashionable dress and dissipation. If there is any conscience in the country, these things must, at length, come to be regarded. The claims of the present, and of future generations; the most essential welfare of the nation, and the dearest happiness of beings unborn; the anxieties and sorrows of husbands, fathers, and friends, call upon the women of our country to regard the care of their health as an absolute duty /
Slough—Stoke Park—The Churchyard of Gray's Elegy—Wind. sor Castle—Church Establishment in England–Claims of the Dissenters—The Voluntary Principle—Effect of an Establishment upon the state of Religion—Ramohun Roy—Effect of an Establishment upon the Character of the Clergy—Position of the Clergy in America—Danger of subserviency to Popular Opinion—General liability of the same character.
August 14. I came down to Slough to-day, and stopped for the night, that I might to-morrow visit Windsor Castle, two miles distant. In the direction opposite to the castle, and about the same distance, is Stoke Park, within the bounds of which is the church (the Stoke parish church) and the churchyard, upon which Gray is said to have composed his celebrated Elegy; and near at hand is his monument. After I had taken my tea, I determined to walk to the spot.
It was some time after sunset when I arrived there; a glow in the western sky spread a solemn hue over all objects, but scarcely penetrated the deep shadow of the groves. I could not havo
GRAY's MONUMENT AND ELEgy. 137
chosen an hour more fit for such a visit; nor could any place be more fit for such meditations as those of Gray's Elegy. The church is one of those singular structures so common in England, which seem to consist of several buildings clustered together without any order or plan. It has a pretty spire, which rises, with picturesque effect, amid the trees that surround the place on all sides, except that of the approach. The churchyard is full of the swelling mounds, mentioned in the Elegy, and there, too, stands the “venerable yew.” The monument appears in the distance, through the opening by which you approach. It is a simple, square block, with a sort of oblong urn on the top. One of the four sides bears the name, age, &c., and mentions that the poet's remains sleep in the neighbouring churchyard, in the same tomb with his mother's, and bearing no other than the affectionate inscription by which he commemorated her virtues. It was so dark when I arrived at the churchyard, that I could only read the words “careful and tender mother”—yet what a wealth of affection, what a World of solicitude and love, what a life of cares never to be repaid nor described, do those few Words set forth It was among the last shadows of the late eve
ning twilight that I commenced my walk homeward —if, alas! a traveller's home can be called home at all. As I left the park, one of those contrasts presented itself which “the lights and shadows” of life are so constantly depicting upon the many. coloured web of our reflections. Windsor Castle, seen in the distance, was just then lighted up for the evening. “What care we,” I said, “who built its mighty towers, compared with the interest we feel in him, who built the simple rhyme of the Elegy on this country churchyard I I had rather take my chance for fame in these few lines, which genius in its holy hour of inspiration has written, than in all that the royal masters of Windsor Castle have done, during the varied and anxious lives which have fretted themselves away, till the excla. mation has arisen, as it did from the dying bed of George the Fourth, “Oh God! this is death!” I should have mentioned that three sides of Gray's monument bear appropriate inscriptions from his own verses, two of them were from the Elegy, the other I cannot refer to. On one side were the following stanzas:—
“Beneath those rugged elms, that yew tree's shade,
GRAY's MonumENT. 139
The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,
Another side bore these :
“One morn I miss'd him from the 'custom'd hill,
The next, with dirges due, in sad array,
His monument, looking towards the churchyard, still seemed to be uttering the language of his living thoughts. It was long, I assure you, as I turned back from this spot, before I dropped the folded arms, and fell into the commonplace gait of this worldly journey.
Windsor Castle, August 15. I found the staterooms shut up, in preparation for fetes about to be given on occasion of the king's birthday, next week. I could therefore only walk around the castle, and go into St. George's Chapel; which I did during the daily morning service. I asked an attendant (a sort of sexton or keeper, several of whom are always connected with, and usually