« PředchozíPokračovat »
midst of their flight, as if attentive to the affecting modulations of their voices. But no pencil can express the ravishing countenance of the young beauties, whose bosoms breathed love. Who can describe that love of which we have not any idea, that love for which we have no name, that love, the lot of pure intelligent beings, divine love, which they only can conceive and feel; the tongue of man, incapable, must be silent! The remembrance of this enchanting place suspends at this moment all the faculties of my soul. The sun was risingthe pencil falls from my hand. O Thomson, never did thy muse view such a sun! What a world, and what magnificent order! trod, with regret, on the flowery plants, endued, like that we call sensitive, with a quick and lively feeling; they bent under my foot, only to rise with more brilliancy: the fruit gently dropped, on the first touch from the complying branch, and had scarcely gratified the palate when the delicious sensation of its juices was felt glowing in every vein; the eye, more piercing, sparkled with uncommon lustre; the ear was more lively; the heart, which expanded itself over all nature, seemed to possess and enjoy it's fertile extent: the universal enjoyment did not disturb any individual; for union multiplied their delights, and they esteemed themselves less happy in their own fruition than in the happiness of others. This sun did not resemble the comparative paleness and weakness which illuminates our gloomy terrestrial prison; yet the eye could bear to gaze on it, and, in a manner, plunge itself in a kind of ecstasy in it's mild and pure light; it enlivened at once the sight and the understanding, and even penetrated the soul. The bodies
of those fortunate persons became, as it were, transparent; while each read in his brother's heart the sentiments of affability and tenderness with which himself was affected.
There darted from the leaves of all the shrubs which the planet enlightened, a luminous matter, which resembled, at a distance, all the colours of the rainbow; it's orb, which was never eclipsed, was crowned with such sparkling rays that the daring prism of Newton could not divide. When this planet set, six brilliant moons floated in the atmosphere; their progression in different orbits, each night formed a new exhibition. The multitude of stars, which seem to us as if scattered by chance, were here seen in their true point of view, and the order of the universe appeared in all it's pomp and splendour.
In this happy country, when a man gave way to sleep, his body, which had none of the properties of terrestrial elements, gave no opposition to the soul, but contemplated in a vision, bordering on reality, the lucid region, the throne of the Eternal, to which it was soon to be elevated. Men awaked from a light slumber without perturbation or uneasiness; enjoying futurity by a forcible sentiment of immortality, being intoxicated with the image of an approaching felicity, exceeding that which they already enjoyed. Grief, the fatal result of the imperfect sensibility of our rude frames, was unknown to these innocent men; a light sensation warned them of the objects which could hurt thein; and nature removed them from the danger, as a tender mother would gently draw her child by the hand from a pitfall. I breathed more freely in this habitation of joy and concord; my existence became most valuable to me; but, in proportion as the charms which surrounded me were lively, the greater was my sorrow when my ideas returned to the globe I had quitted. All the calamities of the human race united, as in one point, to overwhelm my heart, and I exclaimed piteously. Alas! the world I inhabited, formerly resembled your's; but, peace, innocence, and chaste pleasures soon vanished.-Why was I not born among you? what a contrast! the earth which was my sorrowful abode is incessantly filled with tears and sighs; there the smaller number oppress the greater; the demon of property infects what he touches, and what he covets. Gold is there a god, and they sacrifice on his altar, love, humanity, and the most valuable virtues. Shudder, you who hear me! the greatest enemy which man has is man; his chiefs are his tyrants; they make all things bend under the yoke of their pride or their caprice; the chains of oppression are in a manner extended from pole to pole; a monster who assumes the mask of glory, makes lawful whatever is most horrible, violence and murder. Since the fatal invention of an inflammable powder, no mortal can say, to-morrow I shall repose in peace;-to-morrow the arm of despotism will not crush my head;-to-morrow dreadful sorrow will not depress my soul;-to-morrow the wailings of an useless despair, proceeding from a distressed heart, will not escape my lips, and tyranny bury me alive as in a stone coffin! Oh, my brethren! weep, weep over us! We are not only surrounded with chains and executioners, but are moreover de pendent on the seasons, the elements, and the meanest insects. All nature rebels against us; and even if we subdue' her, she makes us pay dearly for the benefits our labour forces from her, The bread we eat
is earned by our tears and the sweat of our brow;
! Why, father,' said I, • are you then strangers to the agonies of deațh, the anguish, the pain, the dread, which accompany us in our last moments?' Yes, my child,' he replied, these angels of the Highest come at stated periods, and carry us all away, opening to us the road to a new world, of which we have an idea by the undoubted conviction of the unlimited bounty and magnificence of the Creator. A cheerful glow was immediately spread over their countenances; their brows already seemed crowned with immortal splendor; they sprang lightly from the earth in my sight; I prest the sacred hand of each for the last time, while with a smile they held out the other to the seraph, who had spread his
wings to carry them to heaven. They ascended all at once, like a flock of beautiful swans, that, taking flight, raise themselves, with majestic rapidity, over the tops of our highest palaces. I gazed with sadness; my eye followed them in the air, until their venerable heads were lost in the silver clouds, and I remained alone on this magnificent deserted land. I perceived I was not yet fitted to dwell in it, and wished to return to this unfortunate world of expiation: thus the animal escaped from his keeper rea turns, following the track of his chain, with a mild aspect, and enters his prison. Awaking, the ilusion was dispelled, which it is beyond the power of my weak tongue or pen to describe in its full splendor; but this illusion I shall for ever cherish; and, supported by the foundation of hope, I will preserve it till death, in the inmost recesses of my soul.