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liberal science which was not made use of on this occasion. My good denion, who stood at my right hand during the course of this whole vision, observing in me a burning desire to join that glorious company, told me, “He highly approved that generous ardour with which I seemed transported; but, at the same time, advised me to cover my face with a mask all the while I was to labour on the ascent.” I took his counsel, without inquiring into his reasons. The whole body now broke into different parties, and began to climb the precipice by ten thousand different paths. Several got into little alleys, which did not reach far up the hill before they ended and led no farther; and I observed that most of the artisans, which considerably diminished our numbers, fell into these paths.
We left another considerable body of adventurers behind us, who thought they had discovered by-ways up the hill, which proved so very intricate and perplexed, that, after having advanced in them a little, they were quite lost among the several turns and windings; and though they were as active as any in their motions, they made but little progress in the ascent. These, as my guide informed me, were men of subtle tempers, and puzzled politics, who would supply the place of real wisdom with cunning and artifice." Among those who were far advanced in their way. there were some that, by one false step, fell backward, and lost more ground in a moment than they had gained for many hours, or could be ever able to procure. We were now advanced very high, and observed that all the different paths which ran about the sides of the mountain began to meet in two great roads; which insensibly gathered the whole multitude of travellers into two great bodies. At a little distance from the entrance of each road, there stood a hideous phantom, that opposed our farther passage. One of these apparitions had his right hand filled with darts, which he brandished in the face of all who came up that way; crowds ran back at the appearance of it, and cried out, Death! The spectre that guarded the other road was Envy: she was not armed with weapons of destruction like the former; but by dreadful hissings, noises of reproach, and a horrid, distracted laughter, she appeared more frightful than Death itself; insomuch, that abundance of our company were discouraged from passing any farther, and some appeared ashamed of having come so far. As for myself, I must confess my heart shrunk within me at the sight of these ghastly appearances : but on a sudden, the voice of the trumpet came more full upon us, so that we felt a new resolution reviving in us, and in proportion as this resolution grew, the terrors before us seemed to vanish. Most of the company who had swords in their hands, marched on with great spirit, and an air of defiance, up the road that was commanded by Death; while others, who had thought and contemplation in their looks, went forward in a more composed manner up the road possessed by Envy. The way above these apparitions grew smooth and uniform, and was so delightful that the travellers went on with pleasure, and in a little time arrived at the top of the mountain. They here began to breathe a delicious kind of ether, and saw all the fields about them covered with a kind of purple light, that made them reflect with satisfaction on their past toils; and diffused a secret joy through the whole assembly, which showed itself in every look and feature. In the midst of these happy fields there stood a palace of a very glorious structure: it had four great folding-doors, that faced the four several quarters of the world. On the top of it was enthroned the goddess of the mountain, who smiled upon her votaries, and sounded the silver trumpet which had called them up, and cheered them in their passage to her palace. They had now formed themselves into several divisions; a band of historians taking their stations at each door, according to the persons whom they were to introduce.
On a sudden the trumpet, which had hitherto sounded only a march, or point of war, now swelled all its notes into triumph and exultation : the whole fabric shook; and the doors flew open. The first that stepped forward was a beautiful and blooming hero, and, as I heard by the murmurs round me, Alexander the Great. He was conducted by a crowd of historians. The person who immediately walked before him was remarkable for an embroidered garment; who, not being well acquainted with the place, was conducting him to an apartment appointed for the reception of fabulous heroes. The name of this false guide was Quintus Curtius. But Arrian and Plutarch, who knew better the avenues of this palace, conducted him into the great hall, and
placed him at the upper end of the first table. My good demon, that I might see the whole ceremony, conveyed me to a corner of this room, where I might perceive all that passed, without being seen myself. The next who entered was a charming virgin, leading in a venerable man who was blind. Under her left arm she bore a harp, and on her head a garland. Alexander, who was very well acquainted with Homer, stood up at his entrance, and placed him on his right hand. The virgin, who it seems was one of the nine sisters that attended on the goddess of Fame, smiled with an ineffable grace at their meeting, and retired.
Julius Cæsar was now coming forward ; and, though most of the historians offered their service to introduce him, he left them at the door, and would have no conductor but himself.
Others followed, when I was awakened by the noise of the cannon, which were then fired for the taking of Mons. I should have been very much troubled at being thrown out of so pleasing a vision on any other occasion; but thought it an agreeable change, to have my thoughts diverted from the greatest among the dead and fabulous heroes, to the most famous among the real and the living
JOSEPH ADDISON. Born 1672; Died 1719.
Oxford, with critical and congratulatory verses. He thus
and eventually rose to high political office. His tragedy of Cato was popular in his own day, but his later
fame rests chiefly on his essays in the Tatler and the Spectator (1711-1712): a species of composition which he and his friend Steele originated, and of which they are still the best representatives.
THE VISION OF MIRZA. On the fifth day of the moon, which according to the custom of my forefathers I always keep holy, after having washed myself, and offered up my morning devotions, I ascended to the high hills of Bagdad, in order to pass the rest of the day in meditation and prayer. As I was here airing myself on the tops of the mountains, I fell into a profound contemplation on the vanity of human life; and passing from one thought to another, “Surely," said I, “man is but a shadow, and life a dream.” Whilst I was thus musing, I cast my eyes towards the summit of a rock that was not far from me, where I discovered one in the habit of a shepherd, with a little musical instrument in his hand. As I looked upon him, he applied it to his lips, and began to play upon it. The sound of it was exceeding