Page images
PDF
EPUB

the writer conceives any farther apology unnecessary, and begs leave, after a word or two on

མ །

authorities, to proceed with the work itself. Being fully persuaded that its publication will be the most essential benefit he, as an individual, can confer upon mankind, under the present perilous circumstances, entailed upon them by a senseless gothic custom of the dark ages, which, as shewn in the work, has involved the world in misery. Adducing only a few cases of horror, out of a host that have transpired within the knowledge of man, where the defunct have been kept eight, ten, twelve, or even more days, after cessation of visible life, (and upon which men are so apt to solace themselves, and rest in comfortable and unconscious security of all being quite right). Leaving reflection to fill up the fearful hiatus of terror, according to its own intellectuallity and solicitude. And if his own authority should have no weight with the public, let it be remembered that authors of the first celebrity are not wanting to second, or rather lead him on; authors whose acknowledged merit alone have insured them that immortality which has made the present age acquainted with them.

And when it is considered that such illustrious men as Empedocles, Esculapius, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, and many others, have seriously taken this matter up, he need not blush for want

of patrons, or suspect the rectitude of his mind - for standing alone.

But as their works on this subject are only historical, and not detached in any English translation, what they had written has, in a great measure, become obsolete. And, owing to the desultory avocations of men and the giddy vortex of novelty, by which they are ingulphed and whirled round, little that the antients have said is now known beyond the external feature of the evil. Therefore, in the ultimate stages of this fearful investigation of the supernumerary miseries in the supposed mansions of peace, like another Telemachus, he must descend the frightful vault of death alone, and pursue his devious journey through the horrible "avernus" of darkness, (to which all men must one day submit,) without a precursor, associate, or guide, regardless of the sentinel gorgon's horrid front, who lies athwart his path.

Death, in a natural way, is the common lot of all mortals, from which none can escape; but this horrid supplement of supernumerary woe, is a second death, extrinsic of that originally intended and far surpassing it in misery!

3

PRELIMINARY ARGUMENT,

Not for the sake of Form,

BUT ESSENTIAL TO BE READ.

"The wise Man foresees the Evil, and runs and hides himself. But the Fool goes on and is punished."

PROVERBS OF SOLOMON.

Without firm nerves let no one dare approach,
For mine's a theme the stoutest will appal!!

UNDER the article Mausoleum, in No. 995, Vol. 14, of the Encyclopædia Londinensis, may be seen a hasty projection for " Public Mausolea, intended to secure all Persons indiscriminately from the horrors of premature Interment in confined Graves." The full illustration of which subject is therein referred to the future article, Re-animation. As the letter M was in full progress at that time, and could not wait the completion of the heart-appaling account without incommoding the public by the delay; and, as a long time must yet elapse (in a work like that, confined to alphabetical arrangement), before the letter R can appear, the author of the piece could not conscientiously suppress his feelings

upon so imperative a duty till that time arrived; and the delay having furnished him with many more ideas and, he trusts, improvements upon his original plan, he has, conformably to the impulses of his best mind's best means, resorted to what he conceives the more consistent determination of publishing a separate and cheap statement of such facts and observations as have transpired or occurred within his own reading, with his thoughts thereon; in hopes that, by a general diffusion of this most important affair, a sufficient number of readers may be found to give it universal publicity, so that it may not (like a nine days wonder, or matter of mere curiosity) be once read and then thrown carelessly aside, as many pieces are, be locked up in the cabinets of ostentation, or doomed to oblivion and the support of worms, but be acted upon and carried into the fullest effect, (without which all works are in vain!)

[ocr errors]

The object of the writer is not to create a false alarm or excite groundless fears, to lessen the pittance of human happiness by vague terrors, or to harrow up the passions of the soul by romantic vapours, arising from a melancholy cast of thought in himself, the inflations of a turbulent spirit, or the illusions of a distracted brain! but to call forth the rational faculties alone to exert their proper functions, and avert the impending evils and immensity of woe that the present monstrous system of interment me

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »