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No. 22. SATURDAY, JUNE 20, 1807.
One great amusement of our household was,
Thomson's Castle of Indolence, Stanz. xlix.
It was in one of those beautiful evenings of autumn, when the stillness of the surrounding scene, and the varied hues of the distant landscape, excite an indescribable pleasure in the contemplative mind, that I retired to an alcove, situated on an eminence at the extremity of my garden. In my way thither, a thousand amusing objects pre
sented themselves to my view, the reapers were carrying away their last harvest load, the hedges were beginning to shew their winter-fruit berries, and, what was still more interesting to my feelings, I could discover numerous groups of gleaners, picking up the grain which the husbandmen had spared, and, with their loads upon their heads, marching homewards in all the glee of perfect happiness.
I HD left upon my table Sir Thomas More's • Commonwealth of Utopia,' which had occupied me for the last two hours; and, meditating upon the fanciful things contained in that performance, I sat down quietly within my alcove, resolved to indulge the variety of imagery which was crowding upon my fancy. In this thougiitful mood, interrupted only by the hum of the beetle, and warbling of the robin, I continued probably about half an hour, when sleep surprised me; and in my slumber I was amused by the following dream.
Methought I was gently lifted from the ground into the air, by a being of very superior size, but of an inexpressible sweetness of countenance. Although astonished by the singularity of my
situation, I was far from giving way entirely to fear; but, with a mixture of anxiety and resignation, awaited the issue of the event. My Guide or Protector, (for so this being must now be called) looked upon me with an air of tenderness, mingled with reproof; intimating, as I conceived, that the same superior Power which had thus transported me above my natural element, would of necessity keep me in safety. This sentiment quieted my apprehensions,
We had travelled together through an immensity of space, and could discover the world below as one small darkened spot, when my guide interrupted the awful silence that had been preserved, by the following exclamation : • Approach, O man! the place of thy desti
nation-compose thy perturbed spirits, and let all thy senses be awakened to a proper understanding of the scene which thou art about to behold.' So saying, he moved along with an indescribable velocity; and while my eyes were dazzled by an unusual effulgence of light, I found myself at rest upon a solid seat formed of crystal of prodigious magnitude.
My guide then fixed himself at my right hand, and after a vehement ejaculation, accompanied by gestures, which had the effect of enchantment upon me, he extended a sceptre of massive gold, decorated with emeralds and sapphires. Immediately there rose up a Mirror of gigantic dimensions, around which was inscribed, in fifty languages, the word “Truth. I sat in mute astonishment. Examine,' said my guide, with a voice the most encouraging imaginable, .exanine the objects reflected upon the surface of this mirror.' There are none that are discernible to my eyes,' I replied.