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degrees. About ten years ago it shot up to a "Tot premit ordinibus, tot adhuc compagibus very great height, insomuch that the female altum part of our species were much taller than the Aedificat caput : Andromachen a fronte videbis; The women were of such an enormous
Post minor est: aliam credas.” stature, that “we appeared as grasshoppers
-- Juv. Sat. vi. 501. before them ;'1 at present the whole sex is in a
But I do not remember in any part of my manner dwarfed, and shrunk into a race of beauties that seems almost another species.
reading, that the head-dress aspired to as great I remember several ladies, who were once very
an extravagance as in the fourteenth century; near seven foot high, that at present want
when it was built up in a couple of cones or some inches of five. How they came to be
spires, which stood so excessively high on each thus curtailed I cannot learn. Whether the
side of the head, that woman, who was but whole sex be at present under any penance
a Pigmy without her head-dress, appeared like which we know nothing of; or whether they
a Colossus upon putting it on. Monsieur have cast their head-dresses in order to sur
Paradin 2 says, “That these old-fashioned sonprise us with something in that kind which
tanges rose an ell above the head; that they shall be entirely new; or whether some of the
were pointed like steeples; and had long loose tallest of the sex, being too cunning for the pieces of crape fastened to the tops of them, rest, have contrived this method to make which were curiously fringed, and hung down themselves appear sizeable, is still a secret;
their backs like streamers." though I find most are of opinion, they are at
The women might possibly have carried this present like trees new lopped and pruned,
Gothic building much higher, had not a that will certainly sprout up and flourish with
famous monk, Thomas Conecte 4 by name, atgreater heads than before. For my own
tacked it with great zeal and resolution. This part, as I do not love to be insulied by holy man travelled from place to place to women who are taller than myself, I admire preach down this monstrous commode; and the sex much more in their present humilia
succeeded so well in it, that, as the magicians tion, which has reduced them to their natural
sacrificed their books to the flames upon the dimensions, than when they had extended preaching of an apostle, many of the women their persons and lengthened themselves out threw down their head-dresses in the middle into formidable and gigantic figures. I am
of his sermon, and made a bonfire of them not for adding to the beautiful edifices of
within sight of the pulpit. He was so renature, nor for raising any whimsicai super- nowned, as well for the sanctity of his life as structure upon her plans: I must therefore his manner of preaching, that he had often a repeat it, that I am highly pleased with the congregation of twenty thousand people; the coiffure now in fashion, and think it shows the
men placing themselves on the one side of his good sense which at present very much reigns pulpit, and the women on the other, that apamong the valuable part of the sex. One peared (to use the similitude of an ingenious may observe that women in all ages have
writer) like a forest of cedars with their heads taken more pains than men to ado the out
reaching to the clouds. · He so warmed and side of their heads; and indeed I very
animated the people against this monstrous much admire,2 that those female architects ornament, that it lay under a kind of persewho raise such wonderful structures out of cution; and, whenever it appeared in public, ribands, lace, and wire, have not been recorded was pelted down by the rabble, who flung for their respective inventions. It is certain stones at the persons that wore it. But there have been as many orders in these kinds not withstanding this prodigy vanished while of building, as in those which have been made the preacher was among them, it began to apof marble. Sometimes they rise in the shape of a pyramid, sometimes like a tower, and
1“With curls on curls they build her head before, sometimes like a steeple. In Juvenal's time
And mount it with a formidable tower: the building grew by several orders and A giantess she seems; but look behind, stories, as he has very humorously described
And then she dwindles to the pigmy kind." it:
2 a French historian of England (1510-1590)
a kind of headdress 4a Carmelite friar, burned 1 Cf. Numbers xiii : 33
pear again some months after his departure, When I was at Grand Cairo, I picked up or, to tell it in Monsieur Paradin's own words, several Oriental manuscripts, which I have "the women, that like snails in a fright had still by me. Among others I met with one drawn in their horns, shot them out again as entitled “The Visions of Mirza,” which I have soon as the danger was over.” This extrava- read over with great pleasure. I intend to gance of the women's head-dresses in that age give it to the public when I have no other enis taken notice of by Monsieur d'Argentre 1 in tertainment for them; and shall begin with his History of Bretagne, and by other his- the first vision, which I have translated word torians, as well as the person I have here for word as follows: quoted.
"On the fifth day of the moon, which acIt is usually observed, that a good reign is cording to the custom of my forefathers I the only proper time for the making of laws always keep holy, after having washed myself, against the exorbitance of power; in the same and offered up my morning devotions, I asmanner an excessive head-dress may be at- cended the high hills of Bagdad, in order to tacked the most effectually when the fashion pass the rest of the day in meditation and is against it. I do therefore recommend this prayer. As I was here airing myself on the paper to my female readers by way of preven- tops of the mountains, I fell into a profound tion.
contemplation on the vanity of human life; I would desire the fair sex to consider how and passing from one thought to another, impossible it is for them to add anything that 'surely,' said I, ‘man is but a shadow, and life can be ornamental to what is already the a dream. Whilst I was thus musing, I cast masterpiece of nature. The head has the my eyes towards the summit of a rock that most beautiful appearance, as well as the high- was not far from me, where I discovered one est station, in a human figure. Nature has in the habit of a shepherd, with a musical laid out all her art in beautifying the face; she instrument in his hand. As I looked upon has touched it with vermillion, planted in it a him he applied it to his lips, and began to double row of ivory, made it the seat of smiles play upon it. The sound of it was exceedand blushes, lighted it up and enlivened it with ingly sweet, and wrought into a variety of the brightness of the eyes, hung it on each side tunes that were inexpressibly melodious, and with the curious organs of sense, giving it airs altogether different from anything I had ever and graces that cannot be described, and sur- heard. They put me in mind of those heavenly rounded it with such a flowing shade of hair airs that are played to the departed souls of as sets all its beauties in the most agreeable good men upon their first arrival in Paradise, light. In short, she seems to have designed to wear out the impressions of their last agothe head as the cupola to the most glorious of nies, and qualify them for the pleasures of her works; and when we load it with such a that happy place. My heart melted away pile of supernumerary ornaments, we destroy in secret raptures. the symmetry of the human figure, and fool- “I had been often told that the rock before ishly contrive to call off the eye from great and me was the haunt of a Genius; and that sevreal beauties, to childish gewgaws, ribands, eral had been entertained with music who had and bone-lace.
passed by it, but never heard that the musi
cian had before made himself visible. When THE VISION OF MIRZA
he had raised my thoughts by those trans
porting airs which he played to taste the pleasNO. 159. SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 1711
ures of his conversation, as I looked upon him
like one astonished, he beckoned to me, and Omnem, qı!ae nunc obducta tuenti
by the waving of his hand directed me to Morlales hcbctat visus tibi, et humida circum
approach the place where he sat. I drew Caligal, nubem eripiam 2 .
near with that reverence which is due to a - VIRG. Aen. ii. 604.
superior nature; and as my heart was entirely
subdued by the captivating strains I had a French writer of the sixteenth century heard, I fell down at his feet and wept. The ? The cloud, which, intercepting the clear light, Genius smiled upon me with a look of comHangs o'er thy eyes, and blunts thy mortal sight, passion and affability that familiarized him I will remove
to my imagination, and at once dispelled all
the fears and apprehensions with which I approached him. He lifted me from the ground, and taking me by the hand, 'Mirza,' said he, 'I have heard thee in thy soliloquies; follow me.'
"He then led me to the highest pinnacle of the rock, and placing me on the top of it, 'Cast thy eyes eastward,' said he, 'and tell me what thou seest.' 'I see,' said I, 'a huge valley, and a prodigious tide of water rolling through it.' "The valley that thou seest,' said he, 'is the Vale of Misery, and the tide of water that thou seest is part of the great Tide of Eternity.' 'What is the reason,' said I, 'that the tide I see rises out of a thick mist at one end, and again loses itself in a thick mist at the other?' 'What thou seest,' said he, 'is that portion of eternity which is called time, measured out by the sun, and reaching from the beginning of the world to its consummation. Examine now,' said he, 'this sea that is bounded with darkness at both ends, and tell me what thou discoverest in it.' 'I see a bridge,' said I, 'standing in the midst of the tide.' 'The bridge thou seest,' said he, 'is Human Life: consider it attentively.' Upon a more leisurely survey of it, I found that it consisted of three score and ten entire arches, with several broken arches, which added to those that were entire, made up the number about an hundred. As I was counting the arches, the Genius told me that this bridge consisted at first of a thousand arches; but that a great flood swept away the rest, and left the bridge in the ruinous condition I now beheld it. But tell me farther,' said he, 'what thou discoverest on it.' 'I see multitudes of people passing over it,' said I, 'and a black cloud hanging on each end of it.' As I looked more attentively, I saw several of the passengers dropping through the bridge into the great tide that flowed underneath it; and upon farther examination, perceived there were innumerable trap-doors that lay concealed in the bridge, which the passengers no sooner trod upon, but they fell through them into the tide, and immediately disappeared. These hidden pit-falls were set very thick at the entrance of the bridge, so that throngs of people no sooner broke through the cloud, but many of them fell into them. They grew thinner towards the middle, but multiplied and lay closer together towards the end of the arches that were entire.
"There were indeed some persons, but their
number was very small, that continued a kind of hobbling march on the broken arches, but fell through one after another, being quite tired and spent with so long a walk.
"I passed some time in the contemplation of this wonderful structure, and the great variety of objects which it presented. My heart was filled with a deep melancholy to see several dropping unexpectedly in the midst of mirth and jollity, and catching at everything that stood by them to save themselves. Some were looking up towards the heavens, in a thoughtful posture, and in the midst of a speculation stumbled and fell out of sight. Multitudes were very busy in the pursuit of bubbles that glittered in their eyes and danced before them; but often when they thought themselves within the reach of them, their footing failed and down they sunk. In this confusion of objects, I observed some with scimitars in their hands, who ran to and fro upon the bridge, thrusting several persons on trap-doors which did not seem to lie in their way, and which they might have escaped had they not been thus forced upon them.
"The Genius seeing me indulge myself on this melancholy prospect, told me I had dwelt long enough upon it. Take thine eyes off the bridge,' said he, ‘and tell me if thou yet seest anything thou dost not comprehend.' Upon looking up, 'What mean,' said I, 'those great flights of birds that are perpetually hovering about the bridge, and settling upon it from time to time? I see vultures, harpies, ravens, cormorants, and among many other feathered creatures several little winged boys, that perch in great numbers upon the middle arches.' 'These,' said the Genius, 'are Envy, Avarice, Superstition, Despair, Love, with the like cares and passions that infest human life.'
"I here fetched a deep sigh. 'Alas,' said I, 'Man was made in vain! how is he given away to misery and mortality! tortured in life, and swallowed up in death!' The Genius being moved with compassion towards me, bid me quit so uncomfortable a prospect. 'Look no more,' said he, ‘on man in the first stage of his existence, in his setting out for eternity; but cast thine eye on that thick mist into which the tide bears the several generations of mortals that fall into it.' I directed my sight as I was ordered, and (whether or no the good Genius strengthened it with any supernatural force, or dissipated part of the mist that was
before too thick for the eye to penetrate) I I then turned again to the vision which I had saw the valley opening at the farther end, and been so long contemplating; but instead of spreading forth into an immense ocean, that the rolling tide, the arched bridge, and the had a huge rock of adamant running through happy islands, I saw nothing but the long the midst of it, and dividing it into two equal hollow valley of Bagdad, with oxen, sheep, parts. The clouds still rested on one half of it, and camels grazing upon the sides of it.” insomuch that I could discover nathing in it; but the other appeared to me a vast ocean planted with innumerable islands, that were
HILPA AND SHALUM covered with fruits and flowers, and interwoven with a thousand little shining seas that
NO. 584. MONDAY, AUGUST 23, 1714 ran among them. I could see persons dressed
Hic gelidi fontes, hic mollia prata, Lycori, in glorious habits with garlands upon their
Hic nemus, hic loto tecum consumerer acvo.1 heads, passing among the trees, lying down
- VIRG. Ecl. x. 42. by the sides of fountains, or resting on beds of flowers; and could hear a confused harmony Hilpa was one of the hundred and fifty of singing birds, falling waters, human voices, daughters of Zilpah, of the race of Cohu, by and musical instruments. Gladness grew
whom some of the learned think is meant Cain. in me upon the discovery of so delightful a She was exceedingly beautiful; and, when she scene. I wished for the wings of an eagle, was but a girl of three score and ten years of that I might fly away to those happy seats; age, received the addresses of several who but the Genius told me there was no passage made love to her. Among these were two to them except through the gates of death that brothers, Harpath and Shalum. Harpath, I saw opening every moment upon the bridge. being the first-born, was master of that fruit'The islands,' said he, “that lie so fresh and ful region which lies at the foot of Mount green before thee, and with which the whole
Tirzah, in the southern parts of China. Shaface of the ocean appears spotted as far as lum (which is to say the planter in the Chinese thou canst see, are more in number than the language) possessed all the neighboring hills, sands on the sea-shore: there are myriads of and that great range of mountains which goes islands behind those which thou here dis- under the name of Tirzah. Harpath was of a coverest, reaching farther than thine eye, or haughty contemptuous spirit; Shalum was of even thine imagination can extend itself. a gentle disposition, beloved both by God These are the mansions of good men after
and man. death, who, according to the degree and kinds It is said, that among the antediluvian woof virtue in which they excelled, are distrib- men, the daughters of Cohu had their minds uted among these several islands, which wholly set upon riches; for which reason the abound with pleasures of different kinds and beautiful Hilpa preferred Harpath to Shalum, degrees, suitable to the relishes and perfec- because of his numerous flocks and herds that tions of those who are settled in them: every covered all the low country which runs along island is a paradise accommodated to its re- the foot of Mount Tirzah, and is watered by spective inhabitants. Are not these, O Mirza, several fountains and streams breaking out of habitations worth contending for? Does the sides of that mountain. life appear miserable that gives thee oppor- Harpath made so quick a despatch of his tunities of earning such a reward? Is death courtship, that he married Hilpa in the hunto be feared that will convey thee to so happy dredth year of her age; and, being of an inan existence? Think not man was made in solent temper, laughed to scorn his brother vain, who has such an eternity reserved for Shalum for having pretended to the beautiful him.' I gazed with inexpressible, pleasure on Hilpa, when he was master of nothing but a these happy islands. At length, said I, “Show me now, I beseech thee, the secrets that lie 1 Come see what pleasures in our plains hid under those dark clouds which cover the abound; ocean on the other side of the rock of ada- The woods, the fountains, and the flow'ry mant.' The Genius making me no answer, I ground, turned me about to address myself to him a Here I could live, and love, and die, with only second time, but I found that he had left me; you.
long chain of rocks and mountains. This so better distribution of water through every much provoked Shalum, that he is said to part of this spacious plantation. have cursed his brother in the bitterness of The habitations of Shalum looked every his heart, and to have prayed that one of his year more beautiful in the eyes of Hilpa, who, mountains might fall upon his head if ever he after the space of seventy autumns, was came within the shadow of it.
wonderfully pleased with the distant prospect From this time forward Harpath would of Shalum's. hills, which were then covered never venture out of the valleys, but came to with innumerable tufts of trees and gloomy an untimely end in the two hundred and scenes, that gave a magnificence to the place, fiftieth year of his age, being drowned in a and converted it into one of the finest landriver as he attempted to cross it. This river scapes the eye of man could behold. is called to this day, from his name who per- The Chinese record a letter which Shalum ished in it, the river Harpath: and, what is is said to have written to Hilpa in the eleventh very remarkable, issues out of one of those year of her widowhood. I shall here transmountains which Shalum wished might fall late it, without departing from that noble upon his brother, when he cursed him in the simplicity of sentiment and plainness of bitterness of his heart.
manners which appears in the original. Hilpa was in the hundred and sixtieth year Shalum was at the time one hundred and of her age at the death of her husband, having eighty years old, and Hilpa one hundred and brought him but fifty children before he was seventy. snatched away, as has been already related. Many of the antediluvians made love to the ‘SHALUM, MASTER OF MOUNT TIRZAH, TO young widow; though no one was thought HILPA, MISTRESS OF THE VALLEYS so likely to succeed in her affections as her first lover Shalum, who renewed his court
Iis the 788th year of the creation. to her about ten years after the death of “What have I not suffered, 0 thou daughter Harpath; for it was not thought decent in of Zilpah, since thou gavest thyself away in those days that a widow should be scen by a marriage to my rival! I grew weary of the man within ten years after the decease of her light of the sun, and have been ever since husband.
covering myself with woods and forests. Shalum falling into a deep melancholy, and These threescore and ten years have I beresolving to take away that objection which wailed the loss of thee on the top of Mount had been raised against him when he made Tirzah, and soothed my melancholy among a his first addresses to Hilpa, began, imme- thousand gloomy shades of my own raising. diately after her marriage with Harpath, to My dwellings are at present as the garden of plant all that mountainous region which fell God; every part of them is filled with fruits, to his lot in the division of this country. He and flowers, and fountains. The whole knew how to adapt every plant to its proper mountain is perfumed for thy reception. soil, and is thought to have inherited many Come up into it, O my beloved, and let us traditional secrets of that art from the first people this spot of the new world with a man. This employment turned at length to beautiful race of mortals; let us multiply his profit as well as to his amusement; his exceedingly among these delightful shades, mountains were in a few years shaded with and fill every quarter of them with sons and young trees, that gradually shot up into daughters. Remember, O thou daughter of groves, woods, and forests, intermixed with
Zilpah, that the age of man is but a thousand walks, and lawns, and gardens; insomuch that years; that beauty is the admiration but of a the whole region, from a naked and desolate few centuries. It flourishes as a mountain prospect, began now to look like a second
oak, or as a cedar on the top of Tirzah, which Paradise. The pleasantness of the place, and in three or four hundred years will fade away, the agreeable disposition of Shalum, who was and never be thought of by posterity, unless reckoned one of the mildest and wisest of all a young wood springs from its roots. Think who lived before the flood, drew into it mul- well on this, and remember thy neighbour in titudes of people, who were perpetually em- the mountains.” ployed in the sinking of wells, the digging of Ilaving here inserted this letter, which I trenches, and the hollowing of trecs, for the look upon as the only antediluvian billet-doux