Gentle Editor, a Society Must be Formed for the Preservation of those Graves Which Belong to Personages Blessed With Fame, for if All took of the Graves in a Hunt for a Souvenir, then How Many Short Years would Pass before the Graves were Not Upon their Native Soil? Yours, Lady X
My Dear Lady X–
I concur with you Entirely, and think, as I am wont to do of an Evening, that I might, for Purposes Conducive to the Cultivation Virtuous Habit, render with Utmost Clarity that our Suggestions are Seldom Good, their Aim being to amuse, not instruct, a Sagacious Reader. The Rational, Civic Thing would be Precisely what you propose; As we lay Protections for our Entombed Loved Ones, Concerned Persons might assemble with Intent to protect those Stones and Monuments which mark their Rest, be it through Stronger Materials or a Dedicated Watch on Monuments which have been so Defaced.
Yet, as we can observe in the Practice’s Very Existence, Mankind is not so Rational and Civic as we aspire to be. Whatever compels us to have Such a Possessive View of our Nation’s Grand Figures and Monuments, that we would mar these Objects, meant to honour them and allow All Persons to follow suit? Some may surmise it comes of Entitlement, or Vicious Avarice, to take Away for Oneself that which is meant for Others to enjoy Also; Perhaps it is to claim in the Material, that Immaterial Sensation of the Part one plays as Witness to Dead History, the Awesome Moment when one stood so Near to our Greatest and Most Noble, yet so Distant from their Flourishing. Thus the Problem takes a Form too Unwieldy for a Well-meant Society to Alone combat.
Thus, to Defacers of the Nation, I wish to say this: Were it Possible for every Stolen Stone of Shakespeare’s Tomb to be Planted in the Black Earth, and like a Seed grow his Monument Anew, it would not lay his Bones there; He would no More have set Foot there than he did in Virginia.