« PředchozíPokračovat »
The farmer, having put in bail t'appear,
move, Tho' proffer'd to be happy from above.
Horneck. IT. T is a celebrated thought of Socrates, that if all
the misfortunes of mankind were cast into a publick 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 poffess'd of, before that which would fall to them by such a division. Horace has carried this thought a great deal farther in the motto of my paper, which implies that the hardships or misfortunes we lie under, are more easy to us than those of any other person would be, in cafe we could change conditions with him.
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 this purpofe. I took my stand in the cen
tre 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.
There was a certain Lady of a thin airy shape; who was very active in this folemnity. She carried a magnifying glafs in one of her hands, and was clothed in a loose flowing robe, embroidered with feveral figures of fiends and spectres, that discoveed themselves in a thousand chinerical Thapes, as: her garments hovered in the wind. There was fomething wild and distracted in her looks. Her name was fancy. She led up every mortal to the appointed place, after having very officioufly affifted hini in making up his pack, and laying it upon his shoulders. My heart melted within me
my fellow creatures groaning under their pespective burdens, and to consider that prodi. gious bulk of human calamities which lay before me.
There were however several persons who gave me great divertion upon this occasion. I observed one bringing in a fardel 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 luggage, which, upon examining, I found to be his wife.
There were multitudes of lovers faddled with very whimsical burdens, composed of darts and fames: But what was very odd, though they fighed as if their hearts would break under these burdens 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 marcheu away, as heavy loaden as they came. I faw 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 towards 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 calledtion of human miseries. 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 a remark I made, that there was not a single vice or folly thrown into the whole heap: At which I was very much astonished, hav.. ing concluded within myself, that every one would take this opportunity of getting rid of his paffions, prejudices, and frailties.
I took notice in particular of a very profligate fellow, who I did not question came loaden with his crimes : But, upon searching into 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 ftung away his modesty instead of his igno
When the whole race of mankind had thus cast their burdens, the Phantom which had been so busy on this occasion, seeing me an idle spectator of what paffed, approached towards me. I grew un. easy at her presence, when of a sudden she held ber : magnifying glafs full before my eyes. I no fooner faw my
face in it, but was startled at the shortness of it, which now appeared to me in its utmost ag.
gravation. The immoderate breadth of the features made me very much out of humour with my own countenance, upon which I threw it from me like a malk. It happened very luckily, that one who stood by me had just before thrown down his visage, which it feems, was too long for him. It was indeed extended to a moft 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 liber. ty to exchange his misfortunes for those of another perfon. But as there arose many new incidents in the sequel of my vision, I shall reserve them for the subject of my next paper.
FRIDAY, JUNE 25.
Quid caufa eft, meritò quin illis Jupiter ambas
Hor. Sat. i. lib. 1. ver. 20.
HORNECK. IN my last paper, I gave my reader a fight of that mountain of miseries, which was made up
of those several calamities that afflict the minds of
I saw with unspeakable pleasure, the whole. fpecies thus delivered from its sorrows: Though, at the same time, as we stood round the heap, and furveyed 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 bleffings of life ; and wondered how the
owners of them ever came to look
them as burdens and grievances.
As, we were regarding very attentively this confusion of miseries, this chaos of calamity, Jupiter issued out 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 should be delivered to him.
Upon this, Fancy began again to beftir herself, and parcelling 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 expreffed. Some observations, which I made upon the occasion, I shall communicate to the publick. A venerable grey-headed man, who
. had laid down the colick 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 gentlenian by the beard, and had like to have knocked his brains out ; fo that meeting the true father, wlio came towards him with a fit of the gripes, he begged him to take his son again, and give him back his colick; 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. It was pleasant enough to see the several exchanges that were made, for fickness againit poverty, hunger against want of appetite, and care against pain.
The female world were very busy among themfelves in bartering for features; one was trucking a dock of grey hairs for a carbuncle, another was smaking over a short waist for a pair of round. fhoulders, and a third cheapning a bad face for a loft reputation : But on all these occasions, there