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made up the number about an hundred. As I was counting the arches, the genius told me that this bridge confifled at firft of a thoufand arches; but that a great flood fwept away the reft, and left the bridge in the ruinous condition I now beheld it: but tell me further, faid he, what thou discovereft on it. I fee multitudes of people paffing over it, faid I, and a black cloud hanging on each end of it. As I looked more attentively, I faw feveral of the paffengers dropping through the bridge, into the great tide that flowed underneath it; and upon further examination, perceived there were innumerable trap-doors that lay concealed in the bridge, which the paffengers no fooner trod upon, but they fell through them into the tide and immediately difappeared. Thefe hidden pit-falls were fet very thick at the entrance of the bridge, fo that throngs of people no fooner broke through the cloud, but many of them fell into them. They grew thinner, towards the middle, but multiplied and lay clofer together towards the end of the arches that were entire.

There were indeed fome perfons, but their number was very fmall, that continued a kind of hobbling march on the broken arches, but fell through one after another, being quite tired and spent with fo long a walk.

I paffed fome time in the contemplation of this wonderful ftructure, and the great variety of objects which it prefented. My heart was filled with a deep melancholy to fee feveral dropping unexpectedly in the midst of mirth and jollity, and catching at every thing that flood by them to fave themfelves. Some were looking up towards the heavens in a thoughtful pofture, and in the midst of a fpeculation ftumbled and fell out of fight. Multitudes were very bufy in the pursuit of bubbles that glittered in their eyes and danced before them; but often when they thought themfelves within the reach of them, their footing failed, and down they funk. In this confusion of objects, I obferved fome with fcimiters in their hands, and others with urinals, who ran to and fro upon the bridge, thrufting feveral perfons on trap-doors which did not feem to lie in their way, and

which they might have escaped had they not been thus forced upon them.

The genius feeing me indulge myself in this melancholy profpect, told me I had dwelt long enough upon it; Take thine eyes off the bridge, faid he, and tell me if thou feeft any thing thou doft not comprehend. Upon looking up, What mean, faid I, thofe great flights of birds that are perpetually hovering about the bridge, and fettling upon it from time to time? I fee vultures, harpies, ravens, cormorants, and among many other feathered creatures feveral little winged boys, that perch in great numbers upon the middle arches. Thefe, faid the genius, are envy, avarice, fuperftition, defpair, love, with the like cares and paffions that infeft human life.

I here fetched a deep figh, Alas, faid I, man was made in vain! how is he given away to mifery and mortality! tortured in life, and fwallowed up in death! The genius being moved with compaffion towards me, bid me quit fo uncomfortable a profpect. Look no more, faid, he, on man in the first flage of his exiftence, in his fetting out for eternity; but caft thine eye on that thick mit into which the tide bears the several generations of mortals that fall into it. I directed my fight as I was ordered, and (whether or no the good genius ftrengthened it with any fupernatural force, or diffipated part of the mift that was before too thick for the eye to penetrate) I faw the valley opening at the farther end, and fpreading forth into an immenfe ocean, that had a huge rock of adamant running through the midft of it, and dividing it into two equal parts. The clouds ftill refed on one half of it, infomuch that I could difcover nothing in it: but the other appeared to me a vaft ocean planted with innumerable iflands, that were covered with fruits and flowers, and interwoven with a thousand little fhining feas that ran among them. I could fee perfons dreffed in glorious habits with garlands upon their heads, paffing among the trees, lying down by the fides of fountains, or refting on beds of flowers; and could hear a confused harmony of finging birds, falling waters, human voices, and mufical inftruGladness grew in me upon the discovery of fo




delightful a scene. I wished for the wings of an eagle, that I might fly away to thofe happy feats; but the genius told me there was no paffage to them, except thro' the gates of death that I faw opening every moment upon the bridge. The islands, faid he, that lye fo fresh and green before thee, and with which the whole face of the ocean appears fpotted as far as thou canst fee, are more in number than the fand on the feahore: there are myriads of islands behind those which thou here discovereft, reaching further than thine eye, or even thine imagination can extend itself. These are the manfions of good men after death, who, according to the degree and kinds of virtue in which they excelled, are diftributed among these several islands, which abound with pleasures of different kinds and degrees, fuitable to the relishes and perfections of those who are fettled in them; every island is a paradife accommodated to its refpective inhabitants. Are not these, O Mirzah, habitations worth contending for? Does life appear miferable, that gives thee opportunities of earning fuch a reward? Is death to be feared, that will convey thee to fo happy an existence? Think not man was made in vain, who has fuch an eternity reserved for him. I gazed with inexpreffible pleasure on these happy islands. At length, faid I, fhew me now, I befeech thee, the fecrets that lie hid under those dark clouds, which cover the ocean on the other fide of the rock of adamant. The genius making me no answer, I turned about to address myself to him a fecond time, but I found that he had left me; I then turned again to the vifion which I had been fo long contemplating; but instead of the rolling tide, the arched bridge, and the happy iflands, I faw nothing but the long hollow valley of Bagdat, with oxen, theep, and camels grazing upon the fides of it.

A Letter to Sir CHARLES EASY in Town, from the Parfon of his Parish in the Country. [Beaumont's Moralities, p. 16.]



OU will forgive your old friend, who has troubled you, now-and-then, with fomething like advice, if he should do so once more, now there seems to be particular occafion for it. You fay, in your last that you are two thousand pounds the poorer this year for play. I am forry to hear it, with all my heart! for we people in the country look upon two thousand pounds as a very serious matter; and had I not known you fo well, I should have been much furprised to find that you could write fo gayly, on lofing fuch a vast fum as that is.

I know you gentlemen of the town look on gaming, only as an idle and weak thing, at the worst; but I have long confidered it as one of the greatest sins I know of. You will forgive an old parfon for ufing a word, which they tell me is almoft grown out of fashion.

Will you give me leave to tell you why I look on gaming as fo very wicked a thing? It is, because I think it may make a very bad man, of a very good one.

I know your temper very well; and am fure, that, naturally, you were much inclined to do good, and very defirous of having a good name in the world. You were of a sweet difpofition, from a boy; and I have feen you give fix-pence to a poor old man, when you had not two-pence more left in your pocket. How then can you go on to be fo fond of a thing, that may in time render you unwife, inglorious, ungenerous, unmerciful, and unjust?

I know you will laugh, and fay, I am preaching to you. Well, that you know is my trade and I hope, I fhall never be ashamed of it. But, how does play do all the things I have been talking of? Why, if you pleafe, I will tell you; and that in a few words too, though I am for old a man.

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Any one's manners must be tinged a good deal with the company he keeps: now the groom porter's itself, as I take it, is not a place to learn much wisdom in. The lowest fort of gamefters are as weak men, take them out of cards and dice, as ever I met with; and a man who games much, will be apt, fometimes, to fall in even with these, rather than stand out; and confequently, into converfations that are far enough from being improving.


As for reputation, the character of a gamefter will certainly be allowed to be one of the worft in the world; and though the world is fo bad, there never yet was a man in it, generally esteemed for being a gamefter, that I know of. If there has, things are grown worfe fince I was laft in town; which was at King George It's coronation.

I beg you to recollect, (for I know your good difpofition) how often you have been willing to relieve some worthy perfon, whom you faw in diftrefs, and could not do it, becaufe the dice had a run against you a night or two before. In each of thofe inftances, it was the dice that made you not generous, where you wanted to have been fo, with all your heart.

When an income is made too little for any gentleman, by play, his poor tenants in the country must be driven the harder, to pay in their rents when wanted; and the rents, in general, must be racked up as high as poffible, to fupply the annual demands of the gamingtable: and both of thefe, I fear, often in a manner, that may too fairly be called unmerciful.

Where gaming fwallows up good part of an income; as gaming debts must be paid firft, moft other debts will be fuffered to ftand still too long. The true value of money in trade confifts a good deal in the circulation of it; and if tradefmens debts are of long continuance, there must be an injuftice fomewhere. Either they charge no more than they fhould to a quick payer, and then you are unjuft to them, in keeping them out of their money fo long; or they will charge you more than the proper value of the goods, and then you are the ccafion of injuftice to yourself.




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