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“ he ought, his life will be honourable, and his death
As the pronounced these words, the vanished from his fight. But though her features at that moment, instead of inspiring their usual horror, seemed to difplay a kind of languishing beauty, yet as Uranio, iq spite of his utmost efforts, could never prevail upon himself to love her, he neither regretted her departure, nor wished for her return. But though he rejoiced in her absence, he treasured up her counsels in his heart, and grew happy by the practice of them.
He afterwards betook himself again to merchandize; and having in a short time acquired a competency fufficient for the real enjoyments of life, he retreated to a little farm which he had bought for that purpose, and where he determined to continue the remainder of his days. Here he employed his time in planting, gardening, and husbandry, in quelling all disorderly passions, and in forming his mind by the lessons of Adversity. He took great delight in a little cell or hermitage in his garden, which stood under a tuft of trees, passed with eglantine and honey-fuckles. Adjoining to it was a cold bath, formed by a spring issuing from a rock, and over the door was written in large characters the following inscription. Beneath this moss-grown roof, within this cell, Truth, LIBERTY, CONTENT, and Virtue dwell. Say, you who dare this happy place disdain, What Palace can display so fair a train?
He lived to a good old age; and died honoured and lamented."
The Value of Life fixed by Hope and Fear. An Eastern Story.
[Advent. N° 114.] A
LMET, the Dervise, who watched the sacred
lamp in the sepulchre of the PROPHET, as he one day rose up from the devotions of the morning, which he had performed at the gate of the temple with his body turned towards the eaft and his forehead on the earth, saw before him a man in splendid apparel, attended by a long retinue, who gazed stedfastly at him with a look of mournful complacence, and seemed desirous to speak, but unwilling to offend.
The Dervise, after a short filence, advanced, and faluting him with the calm dignity which independance confers upon humility, requested that he would reveal his purpose.
“ ALMET," said the stranger, " thou seest before « thee a man, whom the hand of prosperity has over“ whelmed with wretchedness. Whatever I once de“ fired as the means of happiness, I now possess; but I
am not yet happy, and therefore I despair. I regret " the lapse of time, because it glides away without en
joyment; and as I expect'nothing in the future but " the vanities of the past, I do not wish that the future " should arrive. Yet I tremble left it should be cut off ; “ and my heart finks when I anticipate the moment in “ which 'eternity shall close over the vacuity of my life “ like the sea upon the path of a ship, and leave no traces of
my existence more durable than the furrow " which remains after the waves have united. If in " the treasuries of thy wisdom, there is any precept to “ obtain felicity, vouchsafe it to me: for this purpose " I am come ; a purpose which yet I feared to reveal, “ lest like all the former it should be disappointed.” Almet listened, with looks of astonishment and pity, to this complaint of a being, in whom reason was known to be a pledge of immortality : but the serenity of his countenance foon returned; and stretching out his hand towards heaven.' " Stranger," said he," the know
ledge which I have received from the PROPHET, I 6. will communicate to thee."
As I was sitting one evening at the porch of the temple, pensive and alone, mine eye wandered among the multitude that was scattered before me; and while I remarked the weariness and sollicitude which was visible in every countenance, I was suddenly struck with a sense of their condition. Wretched mortals, said I, to what purpose are ye busy? If to produce happiness, by whom is it enjoyed? Do the linens of Egypt, and the filks of Perfia, bestow felicity on those who wear them, equal to the wretchedness of yonder slaves whom I see leading the camels that bring them? Is the fineness of the texture, or the splendor of the tints, regarded with delight by those, to whom custom has rendered them familiar? Or can the power of habit render others insensible of pain, who live only to traverse the defart; à scene of dreadful uniformity, where a barren level is bounded only by the horizon; where no change of prospect, or variety of images, relieves the traveller from a sense of toil and danger, of whirlwinds which in a moment may bury him in the sand, and of thirst which the wealthy have given half their possessions to allay? Do those on whom hereditary diamonds fparkle with unregarded lustre, gain from the possession, what is loft by the wretch who seeks them in the mine ; who lives excluded from the common bounties of nature ; to whom even the vicissitude of day and night is not known; who fighs in perpetual darkness, and whose life is one mournful alternative of infenfibility and labour? If those are not happy who possess, in proportion as those are wretched who bestow, how vain a dream-is the life of man! and if there is indeed such difference in the value of existence, how shall 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 ler:Gble of a sudden influence from above. The streets 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 minister of reproof. When I saw him, I was afraid. I caft mine eye upon the ground, and was about to deprecate his anger, when he commanded me to be filent. “ Almet,” said he, “ thou hast devoted thy life to meditation, that thy “ counsel might deliver ignorance from the mazes of
error, and deter presumption from the precipice of “ guilt; but the book of nature thou hast read without “ understanding. It is again open before thee ; look
up, consider it and be wise.”
I looked up, and beheld an inclosure, beautiful as the gardens of Paradise, but of a small extent. Thro' the middle there was a green walk; at the end, a wild desart; and beyond, impenetrable darkness. The walk was Maded with trees of every kind, that were covered at once with bloffoms and fruit; innumerable birds were singing in the branches; the grass was intermingled with flowers, which impregnated the breeze with fragrance, and painted the path with beauty: on one fide flowed a gentle transparent stream, which was just heard to murmur over the golden sands that sparkled at the bottom ; and on the other were walks and bowers, fountains, grottos, and cascades, which diversified thó scene with endless variety, but did not conceal the bounds.
While I was gazing in a transport of delight and wonder on this enchanting spot, I perceived a man stealing along the walk with a thoughtful and deliberate pace: his eyes were fixed upon ihe earth, and his arms croised on his bofom ; he sometimes started, as if a sudden pang had feized him : his countenance expressed sollicitude and terror; he looked round with a figh, and having gazed a moment on the desart that lay be fore him, he seemed as if he wished to stop, but was impelled forward by some invisible power : his features, however, foon fettled again into a calm melancholy; his eye was again fixed on the ground; and he went on, as before, with apparent reluctance, but withouc emotion. I was struck with this appearance; and turning hastily to the Angel, was about to enquire what could produce such infelicity in a bejng, surrounded
with every object that could gratify every sense ; but he prevented my request : “ The book of nature,” said he, “is before thee ; look up, and consider it and be “ wise." I looked, and beheld a valley between two mountains that were craggy and barren; on the path there was ño verdure, and the mountains afforded no fhade ; the sun burned in the zenith, and every spring was dried up ; but the valley terminated in a country that was pleasant and fertile, fhaded with woods, and adorned with buildings. At a second view, I disco. vered a man in this valley, meagre indeed and naked, but his countenance was chearful, 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 restrained, as the other had been impelled, by fome secret influence : sometimes, indeed, I perceived a sudden expression of pain, and sometimes he stepped Thort as if his foot was pierced by the asperities of the way; but the sprightliness of his countenance instantly returned, and he presied forward without appearance of repining or complaint.
1 turned again toward the Angel, impatient to en. quire from what secret fource happiness was derived, in a fituation so different from that in which it might have been expected; but he again prevented my requeft: “ Almet," said he, “ remember what thou hast feen, “ and let this memorial be written upon the tablets of “ thy heart. Remember, Pimet, 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 sc fixed by hope and fear. The wretch who wished to
linger in the garden, who looked round upon its " limits with terror, was destitute of enjoyment, be. “ cause he was destitute of hope, and was perpetually tormented by the dread of losing that which yet
he “ did not enjoy: the song of the birds had been re
peated till it was not heard, and the flowers had so “ often recurred that their beauty was not seen : the “ river glided by unnoticed; and he feared to lift his
eye to the prospect, left he should behold the waite