Page:An account of a voyage to establish a colony at Port Philip in Bass's Strait.djvu/47

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but the prejudices of education, which teaches us to consider disturbing the dead as a species of horrid sacrilege[1], still wars against our better judgment, and perpetuates the noisome and acknowledged evil of crowded churchyards.

It appears to be a custom of ancient origin throughout Europe, (perhaps antecedent to heraldic achievements,) to

  1. The veneration paid to the mortal remains of our ancestors is generally dignified with the appellation of natural affection; it however may more properly be deduced from pride of birth, united with religious superstition. In Europe, it appears to be almost the last spark from the dying embers of feudal government. In China, where every beggar can trace his pedigree to one of the three hundred families, the dead are objects of more care than the living; feasts are held in honour of them, and their graves are continually adorned with silken streamers, and strewed with fresh flowers.

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