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route, lay at the river side, puffing, snorting, and emitting all those other disagreeable utterances, which betoken the departure to be immediate. I hurried on board with the rest of the passen. gers, most of whom were in great perturbation ; some bawling out for their baggage ; some tearing their hair and exclaiming that the boat would explode or sink ; some already pale with the heav. ing of the stream; some gazing affrighted at the ugly aspect of the steersman; and some still dizzy with the slumberous influences of the Enchanted Ground. Looking back to the shore, I was amazed to discern Mr. Smooth-it-away waving his hand in token of farewell!
“Don't you go over to the Celestial City ?" exclaimed I.
“Oh, no!" answered he with a queer smile, and that same disagreeable contortion of visage which I had remarked in the inhabitants of the Dark Valley. “Oh, no! I have come thus far only for the sake of your pleasant company. Good bye ! We shall meet again.”
And then did my excellent friend, Mr. Smooth-it away, laugh outright; in the midst of which cachinnation, a smoke-wreath issued from his mouth and nostrils, while a twinkle of lurid Alame darted out of either eye, proving indubitably that his heart was all of a red blaze. The impudent fiend! To deny the existence of Tophet, when he felt its fiery tortures raging within his breast ! I rushed to the side of the boat, intending to Aling myself on shore. But the wheels, as they began their revolutions, threw a dash of spray over me, so cold—so deadly cold, with the chill that will never leave those waters, until Death be drowned in his own river-that, with a shiver and a heart-quake, I awoke. Thank heaven, it was a Dream!
THE PROCESSION OF LIFE.
Life figures itself to me as a festal or funereal procession. All of us have our places, and are to move onward under the direction of the Chief Marshal. The grand difficulty results from the invariably mistaken principles on which the deputy marshals scek to arrange this immense concourse of people, so much more numerous than those that train their interminable length through streets and highways in times of political excitement. Their scheme is ancient, far beyond the memory of man, or even the record of history, and has hitherto been very little modified by the innate sense of something wrong, and the dim perception of better methods, that have disquieted all the ages through which the procession has taken its march. Its members are classified by the merest external circumstances, and thus are more certain to be thrown out of their true positions than if no principle of ar. rangement were attempted. In one part of the procession we see men of landed estato or monied capital, gravely keeping cach other company, for the preposterous reason that they chance to have a similar standing in the tax-gatherer's book. Trades and professions march together, with scarcely a more real bond of union. In this manner, it cannot be denied, people are disen. tangled from the mass, and separated into various classes accord. ing to certain apparent relations; all have some artifical badge, which the world, and themselves among the first, learn to consider as a genuine characteristic. Fixing our attention on such outside shows of similarity or difference, we lose sight of those PART 1.
realities by which nature, fortune, fate, or Providence, has con. stituted for every man a brotherhood, wherein it is one great office of human wisdom to classify him. When the mind has once accustomed itself to a proper arrangement of the Procession of Life, or a true classification of society, even though merely speculative, there is thenceforth a satisfaction which pretty well suffices for itself, without the aid of any actual reformation in the order of march.
For instance, assuming to myself the power of marshalling the aforesaid procession, I direct a trumpeter to send forth a blast loud enough to be heard from hence to China ; and a herald with world-pervading voice, to make proclamation for a certain class of morals to take their places. What shall be their principle of union ? After all, an external one, in comparison with many that might be found, yet far more real than those which the world has selected for a similar purpose. Let all who are afflicted with like physical diseases form themselves into ranks!
Our first attempt at classification is not very successful. It may gratify the pride of aristocracy to reflect, that disease, more than any other circumstance of human life, pays due observance to the distinctions which rank and wealth, and poverty and lowli. dess have established among mankind. Some maladies are rich and precious, and only to be acquired by the right of inheritance. or purchased with gold. Of this kind is the gout, which serves as a bond of brotherhood to the purple visaged gentry, who obey the herald's voice, and painfully hobble from all civilized regions of the globe to take their post in the grand procession. In mercy to their toes, let us hope that the march may not be long. The Dyspeptics, too, are people of good standing in the world. For them the earliest salmon is caught in our eastern rivers, and the shy woodcock stains the dry leaves with his blood, in his remotest haunts; and the turtle comes from the far Pacific islands to be gobbled up in soup. They can afford to flavor all their dishes with indolence, which, in spite of the general opinion, is a sauce more exquisitely piquant than appetite won by exercise. Apoplexy is another highly respectable disease. Wo will rank together all who have the symptom of dizziness in the brain, and, as fast as any drop by the way, supply their places with new members of the board of aldermen.
On the other hand, here come whole tribes of people, whose physical lives are but a deteriorated variety of life, and them. selves a meaner species of mankind; so sad an effect has been wrought by the tainted breath of cities, scanty and unwholesome food, destructive modes of labor, and the lack of those moral supports that might partially have counteracted such bad influ.
Behold here a train of house painters, all afflicted with a peculiar sort of colic. Next in place we will marshal those workmen in cutlery, who have breathed a fatal disorder into their ungs, with the impalpable dust of steel. Tailors and shoemak. ers, being sedentary men, will chiefly congregate into one part of the procession, and march under similar banners of disease; but among them we may observe here and there a sickly student, who has left his health between the leaves of classic volumes ; and clerks, likewise, who have caught their deaths on high offi. cial stools; and men of genius too, who have written sheet after sheet, with pens dipped in their heart's blood. These are a wretched, quaking, short-breathed set. But what is this crowd of pale-cheeked, slender girls, who disturb the ear with the mul. tiplicity of their short, dry coughs? They are seamstresses who have plied the daily and nightly needle in the service of master tailors and close-fisted contractors, until now it is almost time for each to hem the borders of her own shroud. Consumption points their place in the procession. With their sad sisterhood are inter. mingled many youthful maidens, who have sickened in aristo cratic mansions, and for whose aid science has unavailingly searched its volumes, and whom breathless love has watched. In our ranks the rich maiden and the poor seamstress may walk arm in arın.
We might find innumerable other instances, where the bond of mutual disease not to speak of nation-sweeping pesti. lence-embraces high and low, and makes the king a brother of the clown. But it is not hard to own that disease is the natu. ral aristocrat. Let him keep his state, and have his established orders of rank, and wear his royal mantle of the color of a fever flush ; and let the noble and wealthy boast their own physical infirmities, and display their symptoms as the badges of high sta. tion! All things considered, these are as proper subjects of human pride as any relations of human rank that men can fix upon.
Sound again, thou deep-breathed trumpeter! and herald, with thy voice of might, shout forth another summons, that shall reach the old baronial castles of Europe, and the rudest cabin of our westem wilderness! What class is next to take its place in the procession of mortal life? Let it be those whom the gifts of intellect have united in a noble brotherhood !
Aye, this is a reality, before which the conventional distinctions of society melt away, like a vapor when we would grasp it with the hand. Were Byron now alive, and Burns, the first would come from his ancestral Abbey, Ninging asido, although unwil. lingly, the inherited honors of a thousand years, to take the arm of the mighty peasant, who grew immortal while he stooped be. hind his plough. These are gone ; but the hall, the farmer's fireside, the hut, perhaps the palace, the counting-room, the work. shop, the village, the city, life's high places and low ones, may all produce their poets, whom a common temperament pervades like an electric sympathy. Peer or ploughman, will muster them, pair by pair, and shoulder to shoulder. Even society, in its most artificial state, consents to this arrangement. These factory girls from Lowell shall mate themselves with the pride of drawing-rooms and literary circles the bluebells in fashion's