Зображення сторінки

earth, and it trembleth." But he still remains without any gracious communication of Jehovah in the inner man. The earthquake was only the second herald of the Deity. It went before the Lord, “but the Lord was not in the earthquake.

4. When this had ceased, an awful fire' passes by. As the winds had done before, so now the flames' come upon him from every side, and the deepest shades of night are turned into the light of day. Elijah, lost in adoring astonishment', beholds the awfully sublime spectacle', and the inmost sensation of his heart must have been that of surprise and dread; but he enjoys, as yet, no delightful sensation of the divine presence'; “the Lord was not in the fire.

5. The fire disappears', and tranquillity, like the stillness of the sanctuary, spreads gradually over all nature'; and it seems as if every hill and dale', yea, the whole earth and skies', lay in silent homage at the footstool of eternal Majesty. The very mountains seemed to worship'; the whole scene is hushed to profound peace'; and now, he hears a “still, smäll voice.” “ And it was so when Elijah heard it, he wrapt his face in his mantle,” in token of reverential awe and adoring wonder', and went forth, "and stood at the entrance of the cave.


[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]


1. It is a celebrated thought of Socrates, that if all the misfortunes of mankind were cast into a public stock, in order to be equally distributed among the whole species, those who now think themselves the most unhappy, would prefer the share they are already possessed of, before that which would fall to them by such a division. Horace has carried this thought a good deal further, and supposes that the hardships or misfortunes we lie under, are more easy to us, than those of any other person would be, in case we could change conditions with him.

2. As I was ruminating on these two remarks, and seated in my elbow-chair, I insensibly fell asleep; when, on a sudden, methought there was a proclamation made by Jupiter, that every mortal should bring in his griefs and calamities, and throw them together in a heap. There was a large plain appointed for the purpose. I took my stand in the center of it, and saw, with a great deal of pleasure, the whole human species marching, one after another, and throwing

down their several loads, which immediately grew up into a prodigious mountain, that seemed to rise above the clouds.

3. There was a certain lady of a thin, airy shape, who was very active in this solemnity. She carried a magnifying-glass in one of her hands, and was clothed in a loose, flowing robe, embroidered with several figures of fiends and specters, that discovered themselves in a thousand chimerical shapes, as her garments hovered in the wind. There was something wild and distracted in her looks. Her name was Fancy. She led up every mortal to the appointed place, after having very officiously assisted him in making up his pack, and laying it upon his shoulders. My heart melted within me, to see my fellow-creatures groaning under their respective burdens, and to consider that prodigious bulk of human calamities which lay before me.

4. There were, however, several persons who gave me great diversion upon this occasion. I observed one bringing in a pack very carefully concealed under an old embroidered cloak, which, upon his throwing it into the heap, I discovered to be poverty. Another, after a great deal of puffing, threw down his baggage, which, upon examining, I found to be his wife. There were multitudes of lovers saddled with very whimsical burdens, composed of darts and flames; but, what was very odd, though they sighed as if their hearts would break under these bundles of calamities, they could not persuade themselves to cast them into the heap, when they came up to it; but, after a few faint efforts, shook their heads and marched away, as heavy laden as they came.

5. I saw multitudes of old women throw down their wrinkles, and several young ones who stripped themselves of a tawny skin. There were very great heaps of red noses, large lips, and rusty teeth. The truth of it is, I was surprised to see the greatest part of the mountain made up of bodily deformities. Observing one advancing toward the heap, with a larger cargo than ordinary upon his back, I found, upon his near approach, that it was only a natural hump', which he disposed of, with great joy of heart, among this collection of human miseries. 6. There were, likewise, distempers of all sorts, though I could

, not but observe, 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, that there was not a single vice or folly thrown into the whole heap: at which I was very much astonished, having concluded within myself, that every one would take this opportunity of getting rid of his passions, prejudices, and frailties.


7. I took notice, in particular, of a very profligate fellow, who, I did not question, came loaded with his crimes, but upon searching his bundle, I found, that instead of throwing his guilt from him, he had only laid down his memory. He was followed by another worthless rogue, who flung away his modesty instead of his ignorance.

8. When the whole race of mankind had thus cast away their burdens, the phantom which had been so busy on this occasion, seeing me an idle spectator of what had passed, approached toward


grew uneasy at her presence, when, of a sudden, she held her magnifying-glass full before my eyes. I no sooner saw my face in it, than I was startled at the shortness of it, which now appeared in its utmost aggravation. The immoderate breadth of the features made me very much out of humor 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 seems, was too long for him. It was, indeed, extended to a most shameful length; I believe the very chin was, modestly 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 misfortunes for those of another person.

9. As we stood round the heap, and surveyed the several materials of which it was composed, there was scarce a mortal in this vast multitude, who did not discover what he thought pleasures and blessings 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 miseries, this chaos of calamities, Jupiter issued a second proclamation, that every one was now at liberty to exchange his affliction, and to return to his habitation with any

such other bundle as he should select. Upon this, Fancy began to bestir herself, and parceling out the whole heap with incredible activity, recommended to every one his particular packet The hurry and confusion at this time was not to be expressed. Some observations, which I made at the time, I shall communicate to the public.

10. A venerable gray-headed man, who had laid down the colic, and who, I found, wanted an heir to his estate, snatched up an undutiful son, that had been thrown into the heap by his angry father. The graceless youth, in less than a quarter of an hour, pulled the old gentleman by the beard, and had liked to have knocked his brains out; so that the true father coming toward him with a fit of the gripes, he begged him to take his son 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 slave, who had thrown down his chains, took up the gout in their stead, but made such wry faces, that one might easily perceive he was no great gainer by the bargain.

11. The female world were very busy among themselves in bartering for features; one was trucking a lock of gray hairs for a carbuucle, and another was making over a short waist for a pair of round shoulders; but on all these occasions there was not one of them who did not think the new blemish, as soon as she had got it into her possession, much more disagreeable than the old one.

12. I must not omit my own particular adventure. My friend with a long visage had no sooner taken upon him my short face, but he made such a grotesque figure in it, that as I looked upon him, I could not forbear laughing at myself, insomuch that I put my own face out of countenance. The poor gentleman was so sensible of the ridicule, that I found he was ashamed of what he had done. On the other side, I found that I myself had no great reason to triumph, for as I went to touch my forehead, I missed the place, and clapped my finger upon my upper lip. Besides, 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 some other part of it.

13. I saw two other gentlemen by me, who were in the same ridiculous circumstances. These had made a foolish swap, 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 stilts, and was so lifted up in the air, above his ordinary hight, that his head turned round with it, while the other made such awkward circles, as he attempted to walk, that he scarce knew how to move forward upon his new supporters. Observing him to be a pleasant kind of a fellow, I stuck my cane in the ground, and told him I would lay a bottle of wine, that he did not march up to it on a straight line, in a quarter of an hour.

14. The heap was at last distributed among the two sexes, who made a most piteous sight, as they wandered up and down under the pressure of their several burdens. The whole plain was filled with murmurs and complaints, groans and lamentations. Jupiter at length taking compassion on the poor mortals, ordered them a second time to lay down their loads, with a design to give every one his own again. They discharged themselves with a great deal of pleasure; after which, the phantom, who had led them into such gross delusions, was commanded to disappear. There was sent in her stead, a goddess of quite a different figure: her motions were steady and composed, and her aspect serious, but cheerful. She, every now and then, cast her eyes toward heaven, and fixed them on Jupiter. Her name was Patience. She had no sooner placed herself by the Mount of Sorrows, but, what I thought very remarkable, the whole heap sunk to such a degree that it did not appear a third so big as before. She afterward returned every man his own proper calamity, and teaching him how to bear it in the most commodious manner, he marched off with it contentedly, being very well pleased that he had not been left to his own choice, as to the kind of evil which fell to his lot.

15. Besides the several pieces of morality to be drawn out of this vision, I learnt from it, never to repine at my own misfortunes, or to envy the happiness of another; since it is impossible for any man to form a right judgment of his neighbor's sufferings; for which reason also, I am determined never to think too lightly of another's complaints, but to regard the sorrows of my fellowcreatures with sentiments of humanity and compassion.




SCENE I.-Camp before Florence. Enter Count ROZENCRANTZ, the captain of horse in the Duke of Flor

ence's army, and Capt. Dumain and his brother, two officers under the Count.

1st Capt. Dumain. Nay, good my lord, try him. If your lordship find him not a knave, take me henceforth for a fool.

2d Capt. Dumain. On my life', my lord', he is a mere bubble. Count Rozencrantz. Do you think I am so far deceived' in him?

1st Capt. D. Believe it, my lord. To my certain knowledge, with out any malice, but to speak of him as gently as if he were my kinsman', he's a notorious coward', an infinite and endless liar', an hourly promise-breaker, and the owner of no one good quality worthy your lordship’s respect.

2d Capt. D. It is important that you should understand him, lest, reposing too far in a virtue, which he hath not, he might, on some important occasion, in some pressing danger, fail you.

Count R. I would I knew in what particular action to try him.

2d Capt. D. None better than to let him fetch off his drum, which you heard him so confidently undertake to do.

1st Capt. D. I', with a troop of Florentines, will suddenly surprise! him. I will have men whom, I am sure, he knows not from the enemy. We will bind and hoodwink him so, that he shall suppose that he is carried into the enemy's camp, when we bring him to our tents. Be but your lordship present at the examination'; if he do not', for the promise of his life, and under the compulsion of base

« НазадПродовжити »