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I found, upon his near approach, that it was only a natural hump, which he difpofed of, with great joy of heart, among this collection of human miferies. There were likewise diftempers of all forts; though I could not but obferve, that there were many more imaginary than real. One little packet I could not but take notice of, which was a complication of all the diseases incident to human nature, and was in the hand of a great many fine people: this was called the Spleen. But what most of all surprised me, was a remark I made, that there was not a fingle vice or folly' thrown into the whole heap; at which I was very much aftonished, having concluded within myself. that every one would take this opportunity of getting rid of his paf fions, prejudices, and frailties.
I took notice in particular of a very profligate fellow, who I did not question came loaded with his crimes: but upon fearching into his bundle, I found that, inftead of throwing his guilt from him, he had only laid down his memory. He was followed by another worthlefs rogue, who flung away his modesty instead of his ignorance.
When the whole race of mankind had thus caft their bur dens, the phantom which had been fo bufy on this occafion, feeing me an idle fpectator of what had paffed, approached towards me. I grew uneafy at her prefence, when of a fudden fhe held her magnifying glass full before my eyes. I no fooner faw my face in it, but I was startled at the thortnefs of it, which now appeared to me in its utmost aggra vation. The immoderate breadth of the features made me very much out of humour with my own countenance; upon which I threw it from me like a mask. It happened very luckily, that one who stood by me had just before thrown down his visage, which it feems was too long for him. It was indeed extended to a shameful length; I believe the very chin was, modeftly speaking, as long as my whole face. We had both of us an opportunity of mending ourselves; and all the contributions being now brought in, every man was at liberty to exchange his miffortunes for those of another perfon. But as there arofe many new incidents in the fequel of my vifion, I fhall referve them for the subject of my next paper.
The fame fubject continued.
In my laft paper, I gave my reader a fight of that mountain of miferies, which was made up of thofe feveral
calamities that afflict the minds of men. I faw, with unfpeakable pleasure, the whole fpecies thus delivered from its forrows; though at the fame time, as we stood round the heap, and furveyed the feveral materials of which it was. composed, there was fcarcely a mortal, in this vaft multitude, who did not discover what he thought pleasures of life; and wondered how the owners of them ever came to look upon them as burdens and grievances.
As we were regarding very attentively this confusion of miferies, this chaos of calamity, Jupiter iffued out a fecond proclamation, that every one was now at liberty to exchange his affliction, and return to his habitation with any fuch other bundle as fhould be delivered to him.
Upon this, FANCY began again to beftir herself, and, parcelling out the whole heap with incredible activity, recommended to every one his particular packet. The hur ry and confufion at this time were not to be expreffed. Some obfervations which I made upon this occafion fhall communicate to the public. A venerable gray-headed man, who had laid down the colic, and who I found wanted an heir to his eftate, fnatched up an undutiful fon, that had been thrown into the heap by an angry father. The graceless youth, in less than a quarter of an hour, pulled the old gentleman by the beard, and had like to have knocked his brains out; fo that meeting the true father, who came towards him with a fit of the gripes, he begged him to take his fon again, and give him back his colic; but they were incapable either of them to recede from the choice they had made. A poor galley flave, who had thrown down his chains, took up the gout in their stead, but made fuch wry faces, that one might eafily perceive he was no great gainer by the bargain. It was pleasant enough to fee the feveral exchanges that were made, for fickness against poverty, hunger against want of appetite, and care against pain.
The female world were very bufy among themselves in bartering for features: one was trucking a lock of gray hairs for a carbuncle; another was making over a short waist for a pair of round fhoulders; and a third cheapening a bad face for a loft reputation: but on all thefe occa fions, there was not one of them who did not think the new blemish, as foon as fhe had got it into her poffeffion, much more difagreeable than the old one. I made the fame obCervation on every other misfortune or calamity, which
every one in the affembly brought upon himself, in lieu of what he had parted with; whether it be that all the evils which befal us are in fome neafure fuited and proportioned to our strength, or that every evil becomes more fupportable by our being accustomed to it, I shall not determine.
I could not for my heart forbear pitying the poor humpbacked gentleman, mentioned in the former paper, who went off a very well-fhaped perfon with a stone in his bladder; nor the fine gentleman who had ftruck up this bargain with him, that limped through a whole affembly of ladies who used to admire him, with a pair of shoulders. peeping over his head.
I must not omit my own particular adventure. My friend with the long vifage had no fooner taken upon him my fhort face, but he made so grotesque a figure, that as I looked upon him I could not forbear iaughing at myself, infomuch that I put my own face out of countenance. The poor gentleman was fo fenfible of the ridicule, that I found he was afhamed of what he had done : "on the other fide, I found that I myself had no great reafon to triumph, for as 1 went to touch my forehead, I miffed the place, and clapped my finger upon my upper lip. Befides, as my nose was exceedingly prominent, I gave it two or three unlucky knocks as I was playing my hand about my face, and aiming at fome other part of it. I faw two other gentlemen by me, who were in the fame ridiculous circumftances. Thefe had made a foolish exchange between a couple of thick bandy legs, and two long trap-sticks that had no calves to them. One of these looked like a man walking upon ftilts, and was fo lifted up into the air, above his ordinary height, that his head turned round with it; while the other made so awkward circles, as he attempted to walk, that he scarcely knew how to move forward upon his new fupporters. Obferving him to be a pleafant kind of fellow, I ftuck my cane into the ground, and told him I would lay him a bottle of wine, that he did not march up to it, on a line that I drew for him, in a quarter of an hour.
The heap was at last distributed among the two fexes, who made a moft pitecus fight, as they wandered up and down under the preffure of their feveral burdens. whole plain was filled with murmurs and complaints, groans and lamentations. Jupiter, at length, taking com
ment may bury him in the fand, and of thirst which the wealthy have given half their poffeffions to allay? Do thofe on whom hereditary diamonds fparkle with unregarded luftre, gain from the poffeffion what is loft by the wretch who feeks them in the mine; who lives excluded from the common bounties of nature; to whom even the viciffitude of day and night is not known; who fighs in perpetual darknefs, and whose life is one mournful alternative of infenfibility and labour? If those are not happy who poffefs in proportion as thofe are wretched who beftow, how vain a dream is the life of man! And if there is, indeed, fuch difference in the value of existence, how fhall we acquit of partiality the hand by which this difference has been made?
While my thoughts thus multiplied, and my heart burned within me, I became fenfible of a fudden influence from above. The treets and the crowds of Mecca disappeared. I found myself fitting on the declivity of a mountain, and perceived at my right hand an angel, whom I knew to be Azoran, the minitter of reproof. When I faw him, I was afraid I caft my eyes upon the ground, and was about to deprecate his anger, when he commanded me to be filent. 66 Almet," faid he, "thou haft devoted thy life to meditation, that thy counsel might deliver ignorance from the mazes of error, and deter prefumption from the precipice of guilt; but the book of nature thou haft read without understanding: It is again open before thee: look up, confider it, and be wife."
I looked up, and beheld an enclosure, beautiful as the gardens of paradife, but of a small extent. Through the middle there was a green walk; at the end a wild defert; and beyond, impenetrable darkness. The walk was fhaded with trees of every kind, that were covered at once with bloffoms and fruit; innumerable birds were finging in the branches; the grafs was intermingled with flowers, which impregnated the breeze with fragrance, and painted the path with beauty. On the one fide flowed a gentle tranf parent ftream, which was just heard to murmur over the golden fands that sparkled at the bottom; and on the other were walks and bowers, fountains, grottos and cascades, which diverfified the fcene with endless variety, but did not conceal the bounds.
While I was gazing in a tranfport of delight and wonder on this enchanting fpot, I perceived a man stealing a
long the walk with a thoughtful and deliberate pace. His eyes were fixed upon the earth, and his arms crossed on his bosom; he fometimes started as if a sudden pang had seized him; his countenance expreffed folicitude and terror; he looked round with a figh, and having gazed a moment on the defert that lay before him, he feemed as if he wished to ftop, but was impelled forward by fome invisible power. His features, however, foon fettled again into a calm melancholy; his eyes were again fixed on the ground, and he went on as before, with apparent reluctance, but without emotion. I was ftruck with this appearance; and turning haftily to the angel, was about to inquire, what could produce fuch infelicity in a being, furrounded with every object that could gratify every fenfe but he prevented my request; "The book of nature,” said he, "is before thee; look up, confider it, and be wise." I looked, and beheld a valley between two mountains that were craggy and barren. On the path there was no verdure, and the mountains afforded no fhade; the fun burned in the zenith, and every fpring was dried up: but the valley terminated in a country that was pleasant and fertile, fhaded with woods, and adorned with buildings. At a fecond view, I difcovered a man in this valley, meagre indeed and naked, but his countenance was cheerful, and his deportment active. He kept his eye fixed upon the country before him, and looked as if he would have run, but that he was reftrained, as the other had been impelled, by fome fecret influence. Sometimes, indeed I perceived a fudden expreffion of pain, and fometimes he ftepped fhort as if his foot was pierced by the afperities of the way; but the fprightlinefs of his countenance inftantly returned, and he preffed forward without appearance of repining or complaint.
I turned again towards the angel, impatient to inquire from what fecret fource happiness was derived, in a fitua tion fo different from that in which it might have been expected; but he again prevented my requeft:" Almet,” faid he, "remember what thou haft feen, and let this memorial be written upon the tablets of thy heart. Remember, Almet, that the world in which thou art placed, is but the road to another; and that happiness depends not upon the path, but the end. The value of this period of thy existence is fixed by hope and fear. The wretch who wished to linger in the garden, who looked round upon its limits.