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many other feathered creatures, several little winged boys, that perch in great numbers upon the middle arches.' These,' said the Genius, 'are Envy, Avarice, Superstition, Despair, Love, with the like cares and passions that infest human life.'
5. “I here fetched a deep sigh. ‘Alas,' said I, 'man was made in vain! How is he given away to misery and mortality, tortured in life, and swallowed up in death!' '
6. “The Genius, being moved with compassion towards me, bade me quit so uncomfortable a
, prospect. 'Look no more,' said he, on man in the first stage of his existence, in his setting out for Eternity; but cast thine eye on that thick mist into which the tide bears the several generations of mortals that fall into it.'
7. “I directed my sight as I was ordered, and (whether or no the good Genius strengthened it with any supernatural force, or dissipated part of the mist that was before too thick for the eye to penetrate, I know not, but) I saw the valley opening at the further end, and spreading forth into an immense ocean, that had a huge rock of adamant? running through the midst of it, and dividing it into two equal parts.
8. The clouds still rested on one half of it, insomuch that I could discover nothing in it; but the other appeared to me a vast ocean planted with innumerable islands, that were covered with fruits and flowers, and interwoven with a thousand little shining seas that ran among them. I could see persons dressed in glorious habits, with gar
lands upon their heads, passing among the trees, lying down by the sides of fountains, or resting on beds of flowers; and I could hear a confused harmony of singing birds, falling waters, human voices, and musical instruments.
9. “Gladness grew in me upon the discovery of so delightful a scene. I wished for the wings of an eagle that I might fly away to those happy seats;
but the Genius told me there was no passage to them except through the gates of Death, which I saw opening every moment upon the bridge.
10. “The islands,' said he, 'that lie so fresh and green before thee, and with which the whole face of the ocean appears spotted as far as thou canst see, are more in number than the sands on the sea-shore. There are myriads of islands behind those which thou here discoverest, reaching further than thine eye, or even thine imagination, can extend itself.
11. “These are the mansions of good men after death, who, according to the degree and kinds of virtue in which they excelled, are distributed among these several islands, which abound with pleasures of different kinds and degrees, suitable to the relishes and perfections of those who are settled in them. Every island is a paradise accommodated to its respective inhabitants. Are not these, O Mirza ! habitations worth contending for? Does life appear miserable, that gives thee opportunities of earning such a reward ? Is death to be feared, that will convey thee to so happy an existence? Think not man was made in vain, who has such an eternity reserved for him.'
12. “I gazed with inexpressible pleasure on these happy islands. At length I said, 'Show me now, I beseech thee, the secrets that lie hid under those dark clouds which cover the ocean on the other side of the rock of adamant.'
13. “The Genius making me no answer, I turned about to address myself to him a second time, but I found that he had left me. I then turned again to the vision which I had been so long contemplating; but instead of the rolling tide, the arched bridge, and the happy islands, I saw nothing but the long, hollow valley of Bagdat, with oxen, sheep, and camels grazing upon the sides of it.”
Joseph Addison. Joseph Addison was a poet, and Eternity is represented by the “im. writer of essays.
He was born in Wiltshire in the year 1672. His best
2. Grand Cairo or Cairo, the known writings are his contributions
capital of Egypt, on the banks of the to a paper published in his day,
Nile. called the “Spectator.” The Vision of Mirza was one of these contribu- 3. Bagdat or Bagdad, a town on tions. He became a Secretary of
the River Tigris, in Mesopotamia. State in 1717, and died in London 4. Genius.—The Eastern name for 1719.
a supernatural being. They were 1. The Vision of Mirza was a supposed to inhabit special places, as dream of human life, the duration mountains, caves, or lonely valleys, of life being represented by a bridge
5. Soliloquies.- Thoughts spoken of 70 arches. The accidents and
aloud to oneself. diseases that cause death are represented by trap-doors and pit-falls,
6. Harpies. --A fal kind of through which the travellers fali large birds. into the river of death. The “ many” 7. Adamant.-The name given to with scimitars, or curved Turkish the hardest kind of rock. swords, represent the deaths by war.
TO A SKYLARK.
Dost thou despise the earth, where cares abound ?
Those quivering wings composed, that music still ! 2. To the last point of vision, and beyond,
Mount, daring warbler !—that love-prompted strain
3. Leave to the nightingale her shady wood;
A privacy of glorious light is thine ;
Wordsworth (1770-1850). 1. With thy nest.—The nest of are, by the genial and pleasant the skylark is built upon the ground. influence of spring.
2. Proud privilege.—You mount 3. Soar, but never roam.---You 80 high, that you seem to have lost mount upwards, but never wander all connection with the earth, and not to be inspired, as other birds
SOCIAL TASTES IN THE EIGHTEENTH
CENTURY.-Part I. 1. It is said that the revolution of 16881 brought four tastes into England, two of which were chiefly due to the Queen, Mary,” and two to her husband, William III.2 To Mary was due a passion for coloured East Indian calicoes, which speedily spread through all classes of the community, and also a passion for rare and curious porcelain, which continued for some generations to be a favourite topic with the satirists. This latter taste has strangely revived during the last few years, as may be seen in every modern drawing-room.
2. William, on his side, set the fashion of picturecollecting, and gave a great impulse to gardening. This latter taste, which forms one of the healthiest elements in English country life, attained its height in the first half of the eighteenth century, and it took a form which was entirely new. In the reign of Charles II. the parks of Greenwich and St.