There are few things more unpleasant in general that a visit to the church-yards of a large city, where the remains of mortality, heaped together, and crowded side by side, have been collecting for ages. The rank, dark green over-fed looking grass- the fat, black, clammy soil- the crowds of neglected and indiscriminable graves- and even the monuments, whose individuality is lost sight of from their numbers- remind us most painfully, not so much of the rest and the loneliness, as of the loathesomeness and neglectedness of the tomb. The most insensible cannot fail to be occasionally impressed with this; and it needs no poetic sentimentalism to prefer the quiet tree-shaded burial-ground adjoining the church in which we have worshipped through life, as our final resting place, however well we may be aware, that when such comes to be by us required, we will be beyond the reach of annoyance from the things which now disgust us. It is only by those who have become throughly steeped in the prosing utilitarianism of the present unsentimental age that this reason indeed, is even pleaded, and only by a few even of them that is felt. The bulk of the cities population deplore the state of their church-yards as alike desirable yet difficult, to be amended.
Our Hospital Master here has had one of the most unmanageable cases of a scanty sized, a crowded, and a loathesome burial ground to deal with; and he has shown how much perseverance, ingenuity, and good taste can do with the most refractory subject. The Howff of Dundee had for years afforded all the most unpleasant features of a mausoleum too small for its occupants, over crowded with gravestones, and with the graves of nameless dead. Not very many months have passed since, and its very aspect has been changed; the ground is now as smooth, and the turf as green, as if it had slept for centuries, dressed into the texture of a lawn by the sythe of the gardener; shrubs and flowers wave as memorials of affection over those who sleep beneath, and broad gravel paths, cut in every direction, prevent irrelevent footsteps from treading on the remains of the departed. The monuments, which were formerly huddled together in indescribable confusion, are now ranged in lines parallel to each other, and numbered, so as easily found. In fact, the whole Howff, from having been one of the worst, is now one of the very best specimens of a city grave-yard. For this we have been indebted to Mr Dron. The mode taken to obtain it, was to cover the former surface with several feet of new soil, so that the newly dug graves should not reach the depth of the old; then to adjust the tomb-stones, and maintain, for the future, the surface smooth and unundulating, by carrying away the surplus earth of newly filled up graves. The idea and the execution are
alike meritorious; and if it be said that both are obvious and attainable enough, then may we ask, why Montrose, why Forfar, why Edinburgh, permit their church-yards to remain the most unpleasant spectacles that can be afforded?_ Dundee Guardian.
[Similar improvements to the above are as much called for in Perth as any where; and we think a small sum of public money would not be mis-spent in blending the memory of the dead with more pleasing associations_Ed. P.A.]
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