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to him in his march. Several had their swords drawn, some carried rolls of paper in their hands, some had compasses, others quadrants, others telescopes, and others pencils : some had laurels on their heads, and others buskins on their legs : in short, there was scarce any instrument of a mechanic art or liberal science which was not made use of on this occasion. My good dæmon, 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, be highly approved the 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 further; and I observed that most of the artisans, which considerably diminished our number, fell into these paths.
We left another consisterable 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 recover. 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 further 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 further, 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 for. ward 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 who 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 dæmon, 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 old inan that was blind. Under her left arm she bore a harp, and on her head a garland. Alexander, VOL. I.
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.
The next who advanced was a man of a homely but cheerful aspect, and attended by persons of greater figure than any that appeared on this occasioni
Plato was on his right hand, and Xenophon on his left. He bowed to Homer, and sat down by him. It was expeeted that Plato would himself have taken a place next to his master Socrates : but on a sudden there was heard a great clamour of disputants at the door, who appeared with Aristotle at the head of them. That philosopher with some rudeness, but great strength of reason, convinced the whole table that a title to the fifth place was his due, and took it accordingly.
He had scarce sat down, when the same beautiful virgin that had introduced Homer brought in another, who hung back at the entrance, and would have excused himself, had not his-modesty been overcome by the invitation of all who sat at the table. His guide and behaviour made me easily conclude it was Virgil. Ci. cero next appeared, and took his place. He had inquired at the door for one Lucceius to introduce him ; but not finding him there, he contented himself with the attendance of many other writers, who all, excepto Sallust, appeared highly pleased with the office.
We waited some time in expectation of the next Worthy, who came in with a great retinue of historians, whose names I could not learn, most of them being natives of Carthage. The person thus conducted, who was Hannibal, seemed much disturbed, and could not forbear complaining to the board of the affronts be had met with among the Roman historians, who attempted, says he, to carry me into the subterraneous apartment; and perhaps would have done it, had it not been for the impartiality of this gentleman, pointing to Polybius, who was the only person, except my own countrymen, that was willing to conduct me hither,
The Carthaginian took his seat, and Pompey entered with great dignity in his own person, and preceded by several historians. Lucan the poet was at the head of. them, who observing Homer and Virgil at the table, was going to sit down himself, had not the latter whispered him, that whatever pretence he might otherwise have had, he forfeited his claim to it by coming in as one of the historians. Lucan was so exasperated with the repulse, that he muttered something to himself; and was heard to say, that since he could not have a seat among them himself, he would bring in one who alone had more merit than their whole assembly : upon which he went to the door, and brought in Cato of Utica. That great man approached the company with such an air, that showed he contemned the honour which he laid a claim to. Observing the seat opposite to Cæsar was vacant, he took possession of it, and spoke. two or three smart sentences upon the nature of precedency, which, according to him, consisted not in place, but in intrinsic merit; to which he added, that the most virtuous man, wherever he was seated, was always at the upper end of the table. Socrates, who had a great spirit of raillery with his wisdom, could not