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my own countenance, upon which I threw short waist for a pair of round shoulders ; it from me like a mask. It happened and a third cheapening a bad face for a very luckily that one who stood by me lost reputation : but on all these occasions had just before thrown down his visage, there was not one of them who did not which it seems was too long for him. It think the new blemish, as soon as she got was indeed extended to a most shameful it into her possession, much more dislength, I believe the very chin was, mo- agreeable than the old one. I made the destly speaking, as long as my whole same observation on every other misforface.
tune or calamity which every one in the I saw with unspeakable pleasure the assembly brought upon himself in lieu of whole species thus delivered from its sor- what he had parted with ; whether it be rows; though at the same time, as we that all the evils which befall us are in stood round the heap, and surveyed the some measure suited and proportioned to several materials of which it was com- our strength, or that every evil becomes posed, there was scarce a mortal in this more supportable by our being accusvast multitude who did not discover what tomed to it, I shall not determine. he thought pleasures and blessings of life, I must not omit my own particular and wondered how the owners of them adventure. My friend with a long visage ever came to look upon them as burdens had no sooner taken upon him my short and grievances.
face, but he made such a grotesque figure As we were regarding very attentively in it, that as I looked upon him I could this confusion of miseries, this chaos of not forbear laughing at myself, insomuch calamity, Jupiter issued out a second pro- that I put my own face out of counteclamation, that every one was now at nance. The poor gentleman was so senliberty to exchange his affliction, and to sible of the ridicule, that I found he was return to his habitation with any such ashamed of what he had done; on the other bundle as should be allotted to him. side I found that I myself had no great
Upon this Fancy began again to bestir reason to triumph, for as I went to touch herself, and, parcelling out the whole heap my forehead, I missed the place, and with incredible activity, recommended to clapped my finger upon my upper lip. every one his particular packet. The Besides, as my nose was exceedingly prohurry and confusion at this time was minent, I gave it two or three unlucky not to be expressed. Some observations knocks, as I was playing my hand about which I made upon the occasion I shall my face, and aiming at some other part communicate to the public. A venerable of it. I saw two other gentlemen by me, grey-headed man, who had laid down the who were in the same ridiculous circumcholic, and who, I found, wanted an heir stances. These had made a foolish swap to his estate, snatched up an undutiful son, between a couple of thick bandy legs and who had been thrown into the heap by his two long trapsticks that had no calves to angry father. The graceless youth, in less them. One of these looked like a man than a quarter of an hour, pulled the old walking upon stilts, and was so lifted up gentleman by the beard, and had like to into the air, above his ordinary height, have knocked his brains out; so that, that his head turned round with it; while meeting the true father, who came to the other made such awkward circles, as wards him with a fit of the gripes, he he attempted to walk, that he scarcely begged him to take his son again and give knew how to move forward upon his new him back his cholic; but they were in- supporters. Observing him to be a pleacapable either of them to recede from sant kind of fellow, I stuck my cane in the the choice they had made.
ground, and told him I would lay him a The female world were very busy among bottle of wine that he did not march up to it themselves in bartering for features: one on a line that I drew for him in a quarter of was trucking a lock of grey hairs for a
an hour. carbuncle; another was making over a The heap was at last distributed among
the two sexes, who made a most piteous meet with the grief of parents upon a sight as they wandered up and down tombstone, my heart melts with comunder the pressure of their several bur- passion; when I see the tomb of the dens. The whole plain was filled with parents themselves, I consider the vanity murmurs and complaints, groans and of grieving for those whom we must lamentations. Jupiter at length, taking quickly follow. When I see kings lying compassion on the poor mortals, ordered by those who deposed them, when I conthem a second time to lay down their sider rival wits placed side by side, or the loads, with a design to give every one his holy men that divided the world with own again. They discharged themselves their contests and disputes, I reflect with with a great deal of pleasure: after which, sorrow and astonishment on the little the phantom who had led them into such competitions, factions, and debates of gross delusions was commanded to dis- mankind. When I read the several dates appear.
There was sent in her stead a of the tombs, of some that died yesterday, goddess of a quite different figure; her and some six hundred years ago, I conmotions were steady and composed, and sider that great day when we shall all her aspect serious but cheerful. She of us be contemporaries, and make our every now and then cast her eyes towards appearance together. - The Spectator. heaven, and fixed them upon Jupiter. Her name was Patience. She had no
ooner placed herself by the mount of
I HAVE always preferred cheerfulness to gree, that it did not appear a third part mirth. The latter I consider as an act, so big as it was before. She afterwards the former as a habit of the mind. Mirth returned every man his own proper cala- is short and transient, cheerfulness fixed mity, and teaching him how to bear it in and permanent. Those are often raised the most commodious manner, he marched into the greatest transports of mirth, who off with it contentedly, being very well are subject to the greatest depressions of pleased that he had not been left to his melancholy: on the contrary, cheerful. own choice as to the kind of evils which ness, though it does not give the mind fell to his lot.
such an exquisite gladness, prevents us Besides the several pieces of morality from falling into any depths of sorrow. to be drawn out of this vision, I learned Mirth is like a flash of lightning, that from it never to repine at my own misfor- breaks through a gloom of clouds, and tunes, or to envy the happiness of another, glitters for a moment; cheerfulness keeps since it is impossible for any man to form
up a kind of daylight in the mind, a right judgment of his neighbour's suf- and fills it with a steady and perpetual ferings; for which reason also I have
serenity. determined never to think too lightly of
Cheerfulness of mind is of a serious and another's complaints, but to regard the composed nature; it does not throw the sorrows of my fellow-creatures with sen- mind into a condition improper for the timents of humanity and compassion.-present state of humanity, and is very The Spectator.
conspicuous in the characters of those who are looked upon as the greatest
philosphers among the heathens, as well REFLECTIONS IN WEST- as among those who have been deservedly MINSTER ABBEY.
esteemed as saints and holy men among
Christians. WHEN I look upon the tombs of the If we consider cheerfulness in three great, every emotion of envy dies in me; lights, with regard to ourselves, to those when I read the epitaphs of the beautiful, we converse with, and to the great Author every inordinate desire goes out; when I of our being, it will not a little recommend itself on each these accounts. with an immensity of love and mercy. The man who is possessed of this excel. In short, we depend upon a Being, whose lent frame of mind, is not only easy in power qualifies him to make us happy by his thoughts, but a perfect master of all an infinity of means, whose goodness the powers and faculties of his soul: his and truth engage him to make those imagination is always clear, and his happy who desire it of him, and whose judgment undisturbed : his temper is even unchangeableness will secure us in this and unruffled, whether in action or in happiness to all eternity. solitude. He comes with a relish to all Such considerations, which every one those goods which nature has provided should perpetually cherish in his thoughts, for him, tastes all the pleasures of the will banish from us all that secret heavicreation which are poured upon him, and ness of heart which unthinking men are does not feel the full weight of those acci- subject to when they lie under no real dental evils which may befal him. affliction, all that anguish which we
When I consider this cheerful state of may feel from any evil that actually mind in its third relation, I cannot but oppresses us; to which I may likewise look upon it as a constant habitual grati- add those little cracklings of mirth and tude to the Author of nature. An inward folly, that are apter to betray virtue than cheerfulness is an implicit praise and support it; and establish in us such an thanksgiving to Providence under all its even and cheerful temper, as makes us dispensations. It is a kind of acqui- pleasing to ourselves, to those with whom escence in the state wherein we are placed, we converse, and to him whom we were and a secret approbation of the Divine made to please. — The Spectator. will in his conduct towards man.
A man who uses his best endeavours to live according to the dictates of virtue and right reason, has two perpetual
THE VISION OF MIRZA. sources of cheerfulness, in the considera- When I was at Grand Cairo, I picked tion of his own nature, and of that Being up several oriental manuscripts, which I on whom he has a dependence. If he have still by me. Among others I met looks into himself, he cannot but rejoice with one entitled “The Visions of Mirza,' in that existence, which is so lately be which I have read over with great pleastowed upon him, and which, after mil. sure. I intend to give it to the public lions of ages, will be still new, and still when I have no other entertainment for in its beginning. How many self-con- them, and shall begin with the first vision, gratulations naturally rise in the mind, which I have translated word for word as when it reflects on this its entrance into follows: eternity, when it takes a view of those On the 5th day of the moon, which, improvable faculties, which, in a few according to the custom of my forefathers, years, and even at its first setting out, I always keep holy, after having washed have made so considerable a progress, myself, and offered up my morning devoand which will be still receiving an in- tions, I ascended the high hills of Bagdat, in crease of perfection, and consequently order to pass the rest of the day in meditaan increase of happiness?
tion and prayer. As I was here airing myThe second source of cheerfulness to a self on the tops of the mountains, I fell into good mind, is its consideration of that a profound contemplation on the vanity of Being on whom we have our dependence, human life ; and ing from one thought and in whom, though we behold him as to another, Surely, said I, man is but a yet but in the first faint discoveries of shadow, and life a dream. Whilst I was his perfections, we see every thing that thus musing, I cast my eyes towards the we can imagine as great, glorious, or summit of a rock that was not far from amiable. We find ourselves everywhere me, where I discovered one in the habit upheld by his goodness, and surrounded of a shepherd, with a little musical instru
ment in his hand. As I looked upon him, the sun, and reaching from the beginning he applied it to his lips, and began to play of the world to its consummation. Exupon it. The sound of it was exceedingly amine now,” said he, “this sea that is sweet, and wrought into a variety of tunes bounded with darkness at both ends, and that were inexpressibly melodious, and tell me what thou discoverest in it.” altogether different from anything I had see a bridge,” said I, "standing in the ever heard. They put me in mind of those midst of the tide." “The bridge thou heavenly airs that are played to the de- seest," said he, “is Human Life; consider parted souls of good men upon their first it attentively." Upon a more leisurely arrival in paradise, to wear out the im- survey of it, I found that it consisted of pressions of the last agonies, and qualify threescore and ten entire arches, with them for the pleasures of that happy place. several broken arches, which, added to My heart melted away in secret raptures. those that were entire, made up the num.
I had been often told that the rock be- ber to about a hundred. As I was countfore me was the haunt of a genius, and ing the arches, the genius told me that that several had been entertained with this bridge consisted at first of a thousand music who had passed by it, but never arches, but that a great flood swept away heard that the musician had before made the rest, and left the bridge in the ruinous himself visible. When he had raised my condition I now beheld it. “But tell me thoughts by those transporting airs which further," said he, “what thou discoverest he played, to taste the pleasures of his on it.” I see multitudes of people passing conversation, as I looked upon him like over it,” said I, “and a black cloud one astonished, he beckoned to me, and hanging on each end of it.” As I looked by the waving of his hand, directed me to more attentively, I saw several of the approach the place where he sat. I drew passengers dropping through the bridge near with that reverence which is due to into the great tide that flowed underneath a superior nature; and as my heart was it ; and upon further examination, perentirely subdued by the captivating strains ceived there were innumerable trap-doors I had heard, I fell down at his feet and that lay concealed in the bridge, which wept. The genius smiled upon me with the passengers no sooner trod upon, but a look of compassion and affability that they fell through them into the tide, and familiarised him to my imagination, and immediately disappeared. These hidden at once dispelled all the fears and appre- pitfalls were set very thick at the entrance hensions with which I approached hin. of the bridge, so that throngs of people He lifted me from the ground, and taking no sooner broke through the cloud, but me by the hand, “Mirza,” said he, “Î many of them fell into them. They grew have heard thee in thy soliloquies ; follow thinner towards the middle, but multiplied
and lay closer together towards the end of He then led me to the highest pinnacle the arches that were entire. of the rock, and placing me on the top of There were indeed some persons, but it, “Cast thine eyes eastward,” said he, their number was very small, that con"and tell me what thou seest. ,"tinued a kind of hobbling march on the said I, “ a huge valley, and a prodigious broken arches, but fell through one after tide of water rolling through it.” “The another, being quite tired and spent with valley that thou seest,” said he, “is the so long a walk. vale of misery, and the tide of water that I passed some time in the contemplathou seest is part of the great tide of eter- tion of this wonderful structure, and the nity.” “What is the reason,” said I, great variety of objects which it presented. " that the tide I see rises out of a thick My heart was filled with a deep melanmist at one end, and again loses itself in a choly to see several dropping unexpect, thick mist at the other ?” “What thou edly in the midst of mirth and jollity, and seest,” said he, “is that portion of eternity catching at everything that stood by them which is called Time, measured out by I to save themselves. Some were looking
" I see,"
up towards the heavens in a thoughtful with fruits and flowers, and interwoven posture, and, in the midst of a speculation, with a thousand little shining seas that stumbled, and fell out of sight. Multi- ran among them. I could see persons tudes were very busy in the pursuit of dressed in glorious habits, with garlands bubbles that glittered in their eyes and upon their heads, passing among the trees, danced before them ; but often when they lying down by the sides of fountains, or thought themselves within the reach of resting on beds of flowers, and could hear them, their footing failed, and down they a confused harmony of singing birds, fallsank.
ing waters, human voices, and musical The genius seeing me indulge myself on instruments. Gladness grew in me upon this melancholy prospect, told me I had the discovery of so delightful a scene. I dwelt long enough upon it. “Take thine wished for the wings of an eagle that eyes off the bridge," said he, "and tell I might fly away to those happy seats, me if thou yet seest anything thou dost but the genius told me there was no pasnot comprehend." Upon looking up, sage to them except through the Gates of " What mean,
said I, “those great Death that I saw opening every moment flights of birds that are perpetually hover- upon the bridge. “ The islands,” said ing about the bridge, and settling upon it he, “that lie so fresh and green before from time to time? I see vultures, har- thee, and with which the whole face of the pies, ravens, cormorants, and, among ocean appears spotted as far as thou canst many other feathered creatures, several see, are more in number than the sands on little winged boys, that perch in great num- the sea-shore; there are myriads of islands bers upon the middle arches.' These,” | behind those which thou here discoverest, said the genius,“ are Envy, Avarice, reaching farther than thine eye, or even Superstition, Despair, Love, with the thine imagination, can extend itself
. These like cares and passions that infest Human are the mansions of good men after death, Life."
who, according to the degree and kinds of I here fetched a deep sigh. “ Alas,” virtue in which they excelled, are distrisaid I,
man was made in vain !-how is buted among these several islands, which he given away to misery and mortality !- abound with pleasures of different kinds tortured in life, and swallowed up in and degrees, suitable to the relishes and death!”. The genius being moved with perfections of those who are settled in compassion towards me, bade me quit so them. Every island is a paradise accomuncomfortable a prospect. “Look no modated to its respective inhabitants. Are more,” said he, on man in the first stage not these, O Mirza ! habitations worth of his existence, in his setting out for contending for? Does life appear misereternity, but cast thine eye on that thick able, that gives thee opportunities of earnmist into which the tide bears the several ing such a reward? Is death to be feared, generations of mortals that fall into it.” that will convey thee to so happy an exI directed my sight as I was ordered, and istence? Think not man was made in (whether or no the good genius strength- vain, who has such an eternity reserved ened it with any supernatural force, or for him.” I gazed with inexpressible dissipated part of the mist that was before pleasure on these happy islands. At too thick for the eye to penetrate) I saw length, said I, “Show me now, I bethe valley opening at the farther end, and seech thee, the secrets that lie hid under spreading forth into an immense ocean, those dark clouds which cover the ocean that had a huge rock of adamant running on the other side of the rock of adamant.' through the midst of it, and dividing it The genius making me no answer, I into two equal parts. The clouds still turned about to address myself to him a rested on one half of it, insomuch that I second time, but I found that he had left could discover nothing in it; but the me. I then turned again to the vision other appeared to me a vast ocean planted which I had been so long contemplating, with innumerable islands that were covered but instead of the rolling tide, the arched