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regions, where cold is much more in- scraped, and buried in the earth. tense, especially on high lands and How strange and inexplicable is all lofty mountains*, human bodies con this! that these men should, from tinue at these latitudes in their, na the influence of custom, or from a tural state of salubrity for a consider sense of religion, submit themselves able time, though devoid of artificial to the stench of a corrupting body, applications.
when they might deposit, with equal Vaults in England which are sub- respect to the deceased, and greater jected to periodical inundations, being advantage to themselves, by barying proportionably colder than others, or burning it. are productive of similar effects upon The comparative benefits which apinal substances. The art, how. ome mode of burial possesses over ever, of preserving the dead has much another, can become important only degenerated of lale years: the office by its effects to the living. To the of the undertaker consists pot in pre. ill consequences arising from putreserving, but in interring the dead. fying bodies exhaling noxious and in
Mankind in their funereal rites, as fectious vapours, Physicians have well as in all their arts and sciences, occasionally attributed the remote have been much influenced by cus causes of particular diseases. tom; accordingly, History bas trans- mains, however, to be proved whemitted to posterity their several ety- ther dead animal bodies, deposited at mologies.' The Egyptians invariably a certain depth from the surface of embalmed their dead. The Romans, the earth, can possibly produce such and the contemporary nations of an exhalations ; possibilities, I think, tiquity, destroyed them by fire, col- which rest-on no other authority than lecting the bones, and depositing the conjectural suppositions of the them in urns.
multitude. The present custom of almost every Vaults which are constructed and known or civilized nation is to bury used as receptacles for the dead in them in the earth, supposing that the very heart of the Metropolis, are element to have been ihe principal apparently detrimental to the public or original ingredient in our con- health; their abolition would be formation.
found a desirable improvement, as it To Captain Cook, the celebrated matters little where or how the carNavigator of the last century, we are case of a man be deposited, though indebted for another method, totally he be high or low, of rich or poor different from those we have just estate. The Christian religion, with enumerated, not only in the dissi a strict adherence to its tenets, will milarity but peculiarity of the pro- admit no other mode of disposing of cess, as affecting by putrefying odours the dead, than that which it has ex. the neighbouring residents of the clusively used during a long succesdead-mao.
When an inhabitant of siou of years: therefore all suggesOtaheite dies, they place him in a tions here adduced for a change, shed adjoining his former habitation, must be derogatory and unchristian. with different kinds of provision, Putrefaction, if not intended for weapons, and trees, supposed to be the good of mankind in general, emblematical of his present or future would not have been licensed por inslate. The shed has only one covered vented by a beneficent Creator: its side, against which the back of the obvious benefits to the world at large corpse's head is pointed; the remain. demonstrate at once its necessity in ing sidęs are open, and unprotected the economy of things; and a little from the weather: here the body is reflection will convince us, that, dikept exposed until the flesh is wasted vested of the aid it affords, the con, from the bones, when they are washed, stant companion of man’s life would
* “Mr. Brydone, in his Tour, informs us, that in some parts of Sicily the skin and muscles of dead persons are hardened, by a particular preparation, like dried fish, and that in this state several hundreds have been preserved in subterra. nean cavities between two and three hundred years. On the summit of the bigh mountain called Teneriff, the air is so dry and crisp, that dead bodies may be preserved there without any preparation or care." — BLACK’s Historical Sketch of the Medical Science, &c. &c.
be disease, and the continual horror : Civilization is now appreciated by of death. Having maturely weighed almost every nation in the known the reasons already assigned, we can world; the inculcation of it also to not approve of the Egyptian mode of others has become an object of genedisposing of their dead: chiefly, be- ral interest. By this means, barbacause they are trying to prevent the rism has gradually declined; it has course of Nature, who has never yet given birth and name to Literature erred in her proceedings; and se and Arts, and essentially meliorated condly, because, by accumulating an the condition of existence. When vopecessary collection of the dead, Civilization, the link of sociality, is they receive no gratification but the wanting, Industry, a never-failing Coahope that they themselves may be so comitant, will rarely thrive ; consepreserved, when legions of their fel- quently, the earth will remain unculJow-creatures have mingled with the tivated, provision will be in diminished dust. The Romans, and others who quantity in proportion to the vicisby the medium of fire destroyed their situdes of climate, and the inducedead by an instantaneous process, had ments to this horrid custom of a more certainly adopted the most effectual, seducing nature. though perhaps not the most respect To every man who regards the dig. ful method. Custom, however, con- nity of human nature, it is pleasing quers every feeling and compunction to be assured that this habit has pro. of human nature; and the present gressively declined; that even among age, who now bury their dead, would those nations where it is still in
vogue deemn it indecorous to burn them; few will devour a human being unless while the Romans, who then burut, they have taken bim by the chance would not have licensed burying. of war, or an unlucky tempest has What Power cannot effect, Time often driven him on their coasts. accomplisbes.
Though it is not my object to venSome Nations, destitute of the arts ture an assertion that any known and comforts of civilization, particu- mode of disposing of the dead should larly those who are dependant on the supersede the established one of a sea for a precarious subsistence, resi- Country, by the depression of the one, dent mostly on the coast, and seldom or the adoption of the other; yet in in the interior parts of a country, are particular instances the Roman mo koown to commit their dead to the thod, by fire, will be found both veocean instead of the earth. Captain cessary and excusable. The tremeuCook informs us, that in the great dous engagements which during the Southern Ocean instances of this
kind last war have desolated Europe of its were of frequent occurrence. They inhabitants by a carnage the most suspended a stone to the neck of the dreadful and destructive, must have body to insure its siuking, in the exposed the contending armies to the game mapper as natives of Great Bri- danger of putrių diseases, arisiog from tain drowu a cat or a dog.
putrid bodies. The labour, as well Of all customs, however, which as the inconvenience of burying thoueither chance has introduced among sands of men rendered obnoxious by mankind, or their natural propensi- their wounds, must have been expeties encouraged, none depresses them rienced by the General under circummore in the gradation of existeuce, stances of particular embarrassment. than the appropriation of their own Here, may I ask, is not the utility species to an article of food. This of fire rendered obvious to the most barbarous custoin becomes truly de superficial reflector: Officers as well grading when we reflect that the ma as soldiers would be intermingled in jority of brute animals will only de common coyfusion, but in a confusion vour their own kind when pressed by that would take but little space of insatiate hunger, or roused by parti ground; and while it relieved those cular incitement. Happy is it for who were living from the danger of man, that the limitation of a custom infection, would present an excellent so horrid, and so opposite to his na- opportunity of erectivg a monument tural feelings of humanity, is only to the memory of those who, having partial — that it is known and prac- fought in one cause, and honourably tised only by the most savage and ir. fallen in endeavouring to effect it,
thus finally enjoy one coinmon death
as one common grave.
“ Finis coro. heard, that, when his pain permitted, nat opus."
he was almost always so engaged, or A conclusion is now inferred. Where in prayer, in the attitude of which disposure of the dead is dependant on she more than once saw him when he National motives, either of religion, thought himself alone. One day he custom, or manners of a people, much inquired if she had ever read The contrariety of opinion will be ad. Age of Reason," and, on being anvanced with respect to improvements swered in the affirmative, desired to proposed. Prejudice may influence know her opinion of that book. She opinions and actions, however bene- replied, she was but a child when she ficial to society; and many indi- read it, and probably he would not viduals, unwilling to recede from the like to know what she thought of it. customs of their ancestors, will deny Upon which he said, if old enough to the efficacy of the one mode, though read, shọ was capable of forming they have experienced disagreeable some opinion, and from her he ex. effects from the other.
pected a candid statemept of what Јону ТоКЕ. . that opinion had been. She then
said, she thought it the most danTHOMAS PAINE.
gerous book she had ever seen ; that
the more she read, the more she "He following account of the lat. wished to read, and the more she lately appeared in the Newspapers, that is good; and that, from a consaid to be an extract of a leiler re
viction of its evil tendency, she had ceived by Mr. William Dilwyn, of burnt it, without knowing to whom Walthamstow, Essex, from bis daugh. it belonged. Paine replied to this, ter in America.
that he wished all who had read it We are not disposed (say the Edi- had been as wise a's she; and added, tors of The Times) to give much cre “ If ever the Devil had an agent upon dit to it, but we publish it because it earth, I have been one." At another is curious, and may be true. If false, time, when she was in his chamber, we do not see that it contaius any and the master of her family was sitpernicious falsehood. The writer is ting by his bed-side, one of Paine's of the most unquestionable respecta former companions came in, but, seebility, and appears recently to have ing them with him, hastily went out, received the information stated in it drawing the door after him with viofrom a person equally entitled to lence, and saying, " Mr. Paine, you credit. The latter had resided in a have lived like a man; I hope you family in the near neighbourhood of will die like one." Upon which Paine, the celebrated Thomas Paine, who turning to his principal visitor, said, resided at Greenwich, near New York, “ You see what miserable comforters and during his last illness had contri. I have.” An unhappy female, who buted to his comfort by occasionally had accompanied him from France, preparing and sending him food and lamented her sad fate, observing, refreshments more adapted to his “For this man I have given up my situation than he usually enjoyed. family and friends, my property and These the informant chose to be the religion ; judge then of my distress, bearer of to his bed-side, although his when he tells me that the principles personal circumstances were so de- be bas taught me will not bear me plorable, that tbe air of his chamber out!" could scarcely be endured. Io performing this humane office, she had Mr. URBAN,
Margate, Aug. 25. the opportunities of conversation with hiin, which authorize the wris
"HE method of separating Fresh ter's belief, that he exhibited another proof of Dr. Young's assertion, tbat,
tion has, I believe, been considered as
a modern discovery; but the follow“ Men may live fools, but fools they ing extract from Knolles will prove cannot die."
this art to have been kpown and prace The letter proceeds to say, that she tised by the Spaniards at the siege of found him frequently writing, and Zerbi, off the coast of Africa, in 1560, believed, from what she saw and when they were surprized, and after