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CHURCH AND CHURCH-YARD.
his oars, which was attended with the desired success. We then, getting into deeper water, shot through the centre arch of the Old Bridge, and landed at the ancient village of Aylesford.
Here our Pilot told us we must wait for two hours, till the Tide turned. It is an old adage--" Time and Tide stay for no man.” It may be added, Neither do they come for any man.
Therefore we remained on the spot contented. We sallied forth for the purpose of passing the time and gratifying our curiosity. The venerable old CHURCH, standing on an eminence, attracted immediate attention. In the Church-yard, the entrance into which was shaded by a yew-tree, were many old tombs and head-stones. The latter were of a form in fashion a hundred years ago, at least in this part of the country'; having observed them in the burying-ground at Tovill and in other cemeteries of the dead. Upon the top of them, just over the inscription, are hideous faces chisselled out, designed, as it were, to produce an appalling sensation, and to frighten the spectator from these hallowed abodes of mortality! I love to wander, however, among the tombs, especially in a Country Church-yard; it is a kind of village-record, not of the present generation, but of those who have undergone the awful sentence pronounced on our first parents. How universal is the triumph of Death! What Millions of human beings have gone down to the dust since the creation of the world ; and what millions more will start into life, flourish for a few years, and then join those who
MAN'S EVANESCENT STATE.
have preceded them in the common lot of mortality ! They lived and they died, they are buried and forgotten, is the sum, as well as substance, of the history of by far the greater portion of the sons and daughters of Adam. Thus sings a most amiable as well as pious Bard :
Once, in the flight of ages past,
There liv'd a Man—and who was he?
That man resembled thee!
Unknown the region of his birth,
The land in which he died unknown;
This truth survives alone
That joy and grief, and hope and fear,
Alternate triumph’d in his breast;
OBLIVION hides the rest!
The bounding pulse, the languid limb,.!
The changing spirit's rise and fall,
For these are felt by ALL!
He suffer'dbut his pangs are o'er;
Enjoy'd but his delights are fed;
And foes his foes are dead!
He lov'd-but whom he lov'd THB GRAVE
Hath lost in its unconscious womb;
Her beauty from the TOMB!
THE COLEPEPPERS' MONUMENT.
The rolling seasons, day and night,
Sun, moon and stars, the earth aud main,
To uim exist-in vaiu !
He saw whatever thou hast seen,
Encounter'd all that troubles thee;
He is what thou shalt be!
The clouds and sun-beams o'er bis eye
That once their shade and glory threw,
No vestige where they flew !
The annals of the human race,
Their ruin since the world began,
Than this there liy'd a MAN!
We also examined the Church; for, being Saturday, a woman was preparing the interior for the solemnities of the ensuing Sabbath ; and, immediately on application, the door opened for our admission. The BUILDING is spacious, and commodiously laid out; decorated by some handsome Monuments, which could not fail to engage our attention.
The first MONUMENT belonged to the ancient and very respectable family of the Colepeppers. On the top of this tomb lay a gentleman and his lady, two figures as large as life, dressed in the costume of the age, with hands clasped, and eyes fixed towards Heaven! On each side were three children, their offspring,
following one another in a sort of procession. Their dress appeared still more formal, contrasted with the simplicity and gaiety of youth. At the extremity was a short inscription. The workmanship of the tomb was admirable; the beard rested itself gracefully on the old gentleman's breast, and the plaits in the bonnet of his venerable spouse were so delicately folded, that it seemed a pity to disturb them! It wanted cleaning, and was not in the best condition. I could not find the name of the artist inscribed upon it. The date was 1604. It was the tomb of Sir Thomas Colepepper and of his Lady, whose great grandson, of the same name, was Member of Parliament for Maidstone at the commencement of the seventeenth century. Preston Hall, opposite Aylesford, was the residence of the Colépepper family. It is a seat of great antiquity. On a stone window-case of a large barn, adjoining the house, is carved T. C. with the arms of the Colepepper family, having this date 1102. This date ascertains the use of numeral figures here, in Kent, thirty-one years before the time that Dr. Wallis gives them from an ancient chimney-piece of which he furnishes a figure in his History of Algebra. Preston Hall is now in the possession of the Milner family. Dr. Harris gives a superb bird's-eye view of it in his copious History of Kent.
There are supposed to be in Kent more GentleMEN's Seats than in any other county in England. Some of them are very ancient, and others of modern erection. The elegant seat of Lord Rombey, close
MOAT AND LEEDS CASTLE.
to Maidstone, denominated the Moat, is of the latter description. Of the ancient cast is Leeds Castle, about four miles distant, and well worth inspection. I went over to view it, along with my good friend Mr. G. HS, and my curiosity was gratified. It is surrounded with water, except a narrow isthmus by which it is connected with the adjacent country. Its form and numerous thrrets bespeak that it is "the architectural production of other days! It has been long in the possession of the family of Fairfax, descendants of the renowned General Fairfax, in the times of Cromwell. About this time, a servant had robbed the house, under very peculiar circumstances, and for a considerable time escaped detection. His deceased master owing him money, he took this mode of paying himself. At length he was seized, tried, condemned and even left for execution! But great interest was made to save his life. Mercy interposed, and his sentence was changed to transportation. I saw him, and conversed with him, in Maidstone gaol : he was a decent man, of plain sense and good manners. Upon asking him what he felt when the reprieve arrived, he said his feelings were of a very mixed kind; for he had made up his mind so comis pletely for the fatal event, that he seemed to doubt whether he should ever again be so resigned to the hour of DISSOLUTION!
In thé CHURCH were likewise two elegant mural monuments of white marble, at each corner, with 'inscriptions. The one belonged to the Banks' family,