網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

those who are on them, and a foreground is established to the scenery beyond. But the plantations in most of the London cemeteries appear to have been made without the guidance of any leading principle. In one we have a thick belt round the margin, occupying one of the finest situations which any cemetery affords for border graves ; in another we have scarcely any trees along the walks, while we have a number grouped together along the centre of the compartments, where they lose much of their effect ; in another we have clumps scattered throughout the grounds without any connexion among themselves, or with any thing around, destroying all breadth of effect, and producing neither character nor expression. In one cemetery there are so few trees that the whole of the ground and the buildings are seen at one glance as soon as we enter the cemetery gates; in another trees have been planted which it might have been foreseen would never thrive.

The kinds of trees we object to, because they are chiefly deciduous, and such as produce light-foliaged bulky heads, while fastigiate conical dark needle-leaved evergreens shade much less ground, produce much less litter when the leaves drop, and, by associations both ancient and modern, are peculiarly adapted for cemeteries.

The Norwood Cemetery Coinpany has published an engraved view of its grounds, of which fig. 91. is a fac-simile ; and, to show the different effect which dark-foliaged fastigiate and conical trees would have had, we have prepared fig. 92., in which it will be observed that the foreground and distance are the same as in fig. 91., and that we have confined our alteration to the middle of the picture. We do not say that every one who compares the two pictures will prefer ours to the other, because we do not allow every one to be a judge in this matter ; but we do expect that all will acknowledge that there is a distinctive character in our view, and this is what we chiefly contend for. Every one knows that this character is aimed at in the new cemeteries formed on the Continent, and that the cemeteries of the ancients were characterised by the cypress,

To show that this is also the case with the cemeteries of the East, we have given some views of Oriental cemeteries. See figs. 93, 94, and 95.

In several of the cemeteries pines and firs have been planted without properly preparing the soil, in consequence of which they have become stunted and diseased, so as to disfigure rather than to adorn. On the whole it appears to us, that almost all

the cemeteries have not only been badly planted, as far as respects design and taste, but even in regard to execution, and in particular in the preparation of the soil.

The next point on which we would remark is the management of the tombstones, many of which, we are happy to say, exhibit progressive improvement in taste. Many, at the same time, appear to have been placed on insufficient foundations, and are in consequence already leaning to one side. Every headstone, monument, or tomb, to be secure and stand permanently upright, ought either to be founded on ground which has not been moved, or built on piers or walls of brick or stone carried up from the bottom of the grave.

The keeping of the new London Cemeteries is in general good, though it is very far from what it might be. In some it is highly discreditable, sheep being admitted to eat the grass, to save the expense of mowing, and the young trees being in consequence cropped by the sheep, and poisoned by their wool. In general a sufficient number of hands are not allowed for high keeping, and day-work is had recourse to, where letting by the job would be more economical to the company, and satisfactory to the labourers. The mowing of the grass, and the keeping of the roads, might be let by contract, and the grass kept much shorter than it is at present; because the contractor would soon discover that the shorter he kept the grass, the less mowing would be requisite : whereas at present, by way of being economical, the grass is allowed to attain several inches in length between each growing; or its roots are nourished by the dung of the sheep that graze on it. In conclusion, we have to observe that, in our visits to the different London

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

ceineteries, we have received the greatest civility and attention from the superintendants ; and, at the respective offices in London, every information has been afforded us by the secretaries with the greatest readiness and politeness.

As examples of the Eastern mode of planting cemeteries with cypress-like trees, we shall give from the Encyclopædia of Gardening, by the permission of the proprietors, engravings of the Turkish cemeteries at Pera and at Eyub, both near Constantinople, and of the Cemetery of Hafiz in Persia. We shall add two examples of Chinese cemeteries, in which are planted trees of various forms and characters.

The Turkish burying-grounds "are generally favourite places of public resort. The principal promenade in the evening, for the inhabitants of Pera, is a very extensive cemetery, which slopes to the harbour, is planted with noble cypresses, and is thickly se: in many places with Turkish monuments. The opulent Turks have their graves railed in, and often a building over them, in some of which lights are kept constantly burning. The inscription on the head-stones is usually a sentence from the Koran, written in letters of gold. The Turks, like the Welsh, adorn the graves of their friends by planting flowers upon them, often the myrtle, but sometimes the amaryllis. (fig. 94.)

[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

lig. 94. The Turkish Cemetery of Pera. (Willums's Travels, &c., p. 201.) The vicinity of a cemetery is not in the capital of Turkey judged by any means disagreeable, and 'no spot is so lively and well frequented as the Armenian and Frank burying-ground, at the outskirts of Pera, called Mnemata, or the tombs. It is shaded by a grove of mulberry trees, and is on the edge of some high ground, whence there is a magnificent view of the suburb of Scutari and a great portion of the Bosphorus. (Hobhouse's Travels in Albania, vol. ii. p. 837.) The cemetery of the Turks at Constantinople is the fashionable quarter of the Franks, and the pleasure-ground of the Levantines. It is the only place of recreation in Pera. (Madden's Turkry, p. 204 ) The Turkish cemeteries are generally out of the city, on rising ground, planted with cedars, cypresses, and odori. ferous shrubs, whose deep verdure and graceful forms bending in every breeze give a melancholy beauty to the place, and excite sentiments very congenial to its destination. (Eustace's Travels, &c., p. 45.) The Cemetery of Eyub, near Constantinople, is crowded with graves ; those which contain males have generally a turban at the head of the flat tombstone, and nearly all have plants growing from the centre of the stones. (fig. 93.) The magnificent

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

burial-ground of Scutari extends for miles in length, and among high and turbaned tombstones, with gold lettered inscriptions, mournful cypresses are thickly planted. (Alexander's Travels from India, p. 240.) There is a very large burying-ground, shaded by an extensive forest of cypresses at Bournabat, a village of elegant country houses built in the European fashion, belonging to the merchants of Smyrna. (Hobhouse's Travels in Albania, vol. i. p. 610.)” (Encyc. of Gard., ed. 1834, p. 300.)

Persian Cemeteries.-" There are said to be 1001 mausoleums at Shiraz; those of Chodsja Hafiz and Saadi Sjeraft (both celebrated poets) are the most beautiful. The burial-place of the first ( fig. 96.) is situated at Muselli, an estate pos

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

sessed by Flafiz, who, it is remarked, was not buried by the nation, but had the expenses of his funeral defrayed out of his own private fortune. His cemetery is square and spacious, shaded by poplars (a rare tree in Persia), and having a lion carved in stone on each side of the entrance. The wall is built of brick, and coincides in direction with the cypress trees of the surrounding garden. The ground is strewed with tombstones, and divers sepulchral memorials of those who had desired to be buried under the guardian influence of the poet. Entering from the neighbouring garden, which was bequeathed to the cemetery, the keeper conducts a stranger into the place of the sepulchre. This is surrounded by lattice-work, and contains three tumuli besides the grave of the poet; one encloses the remains of a secular prince, and the other two illustrious individuals, who, when living, were disciples of Hafiz. In the place of the sepulchre sits a priest, who repeats verses from the Koran in praise of the illustrious dead, and enumerates their virtues; when he has finished, another, and afterwards a third, in the open burying-place, take up the same theme ; so that the lamentations are incessant. The tombs are placed in a row ; and the form of all of them is the same. They are about the size of a sarcophagus, and have each a large stone, about a man's height, at both ends. The stone of which they are made is of a common kind, and unpolished. On each side are sculptured verses from the Koran, and on the stones placed at the feet are elegant epitaphs. Hafiz died A. D. 1340. (Kempfer's Amæn. Erot., &c., fas. ii. rel. vi. p. 367.)” (Encyc. of Gard., ed. 1834, p. 371.)

In the Chinese cemeteries (figs. 95. 97.), trees of various descriptions are introduced, and the tombs are of very remarkable forms. "About Canton and Macao the high lands are very little cultivated, being generally set apart for burying the dead; those about Canton are entirely occupied as cemeteries, the low grounds, which can be covered with water, being the only ones which will produce rice. (Dobell's Travels, &c., vol. ii. p. 191.) Sometimes, however, the

« 上一頁繼續 »