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He replied, we reap as we have sown. Men bear with them from this world into the intermediate state their habits of mind and stores of knowledge, their dispositions and affections and desires; and these become a part of our punishment, or of our reward, according to their kind. Those persons, therefore, in whom the virtue of patriotism has predominated, continue to regard with interest their native land, unless it be so utterly sunk in degradation that the moral relationship between them is dissolved. Epaminondas can have no sympathy at this time with Thebes, nor Cicero with Rome, nor Belisarius with the imperial city of the East. But the worthies of England retain their affection for their noble country, behold its advancement with joy, and when serious danger appears to threaten the goodly structure of its institutions, they feel as much anxiety as is compatible with their state of beatitude.
What, then, may doubt and anxiety consist with the happiness of heaven?
SIR THOMAS MORE.
Heaven and hell may be said to begin on your side the grave. In the intermediate state conscience anticipates with unerring certainty the result of judgement. We, therefore, who have done well, can have no fear for ourselves. But inasmuch as the world has any hold upon our affections, we are liable to that anxiety which is inseparable from terrestrial hopes. And as parents who are in bliss regard still with parental love the children whom they have left on earth, we, in like manner, though with a feeling different in kind and inferior in degree, look with apprehension upon the perils of our country.
---- sub pectore forti
Mansere, et prisci vivit non immemor ævi.
MONTESINOS. :I am to understand then that you cannot see into the ways of futurity.
SIR THOMAS MORE. Enlarged as our faculties are, you must not suppose that we partake of prescience. For human actions are free, and we exist in time. The future is to us therefore as uncertain as to you; except, only, that having a clearer and more comprehensive knowledge of the past, we are enabled to reason better from causes to
consequences, and by what has been, to judge of what is likely to be. We have this advantage also, that we are divested of all those passions which cloud the intellects and warp the understandings of men... You are thinking, I perceive, how much you have to learn, and what you should first inquire of me.
But expect no revelations! Enough was revealed when man was assured of judgement after death, and the means of salvation were afforded him. I neither come to discover secret things nor hidden treasures; but to discourse with you concerning these portentous and monster-breeding times; for it is your lot, as it was mine, to live during one of the grand climacterics of the world. And I come to you, rather than to any other person, because you have been led to meditate upon the corresponding changes whereby your age and mine are distinguished ; and because, notwithstanding many discrepancies and some dispathies between us, (speaking of myself as I was, and as you know me,) there are certain points of sympathy and resemblance which bring us into contact, and enable us at once to understand each other.
Et in Utopia ego.
SIR THOMAS MORE.. You apprehend me. We have both speculated in the joy and freedom of our youth upon the possible improvement of society; and both in like manner have lived to dread with reason the effects of that restless spirit, which, like the Titaness Mutability described by your immortal master, insults Heaven and disturbs the earth. By comparing the great operating causes in the age of the Reformation, and in this age of revolutions, going back to the former age, looking at things as I then beheld them, perceiving wherein I judged rightly, and wherein I erred, and tracing the progress of those causes which are now developing their whole tremendous power, you will derive instruction, which you are a fit person to receive and communicate; for without being solicitous concerning present effect, you are contented to cast your bread upon the waters. You are now acquainted with me and my intention. Tomorrow you will see me again; and I shall continue to visit you occasionally as opportunity may serve. Meantime say nothing of what has passed, .. not even to your wife. She might not like the thoughts of a ghostly visitor; and the reputation of conversing with the dead might be almost as inconvenient as that of deal
ing with the Devil. For the present then, farewell! I will never startle you with too sudden an apparition; but you may learn to behold my disappearance without alarm.
I was not able to behold it without emotion, although he had thus prepared me: for the sentence was no sooner completed than he was gone. Instead of rising from the chair, he vanished from it. I know not to what the inştantaneous disappearance can be likened. Not to the dissolution of a rainbow, because the colours of the rainbow fade gradually till they are lost; not to the flash of cannon, or to lightning, for these things are gone as soon as they are come, and it is known that the instant of their appearance must be that of their departure; not to a bubble upon the water, for you see it burst; not to the sudden extinction of a light, for that is either succeeded by darkness, or leaves a different hue upon the surrounding objects. In the same indivisible point of time when I beheld the distinct, individual, and, to all sense of sight, substantial form,.. the living, moving, reasonable image,... in that self-same instant it was gone, as if exemplifying the difference between to be and not to be. It was no dream, of this I was well as