Page images

distributed among the whole species, those who now think themselves the most unhappy, would prefer the share they are already possessed of, before that which would fall to them, by such a division Horace has carried this thought a great deal further; which implies, that the hardships or misfortunes we lie under, are more easy to us than those of any other person would be, in case we should change conditions with him.

As I was ruminating on these two remarks, and seated in my elbow-chair, I insensibly fell a-sleep; 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 purpose. I took my stand in the centre 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 solemnity. She carried a magnifying glass in one of her hands, and was clothed in a loose flowing robe, embroidered with several figures of fiends and spectres, that discovered themselves in a thousand chimerical shapes, as her garment hovered in the wind. There was something wild and distracted in her looks. Her name was Fancy. She led up every mortal to the appointed place, after having very officiously assisted him in making up his pack, and laying it upon his shoulders. My heart melted within me to see my fellow-creatures groaning under their respective burthens, and to consider that prodigious bulk of human calamities which lay before them.

There were however several persons who gave me great diversion 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 saddled with very whimsical burthens, composed of darts and flames; but what was very odd, though they sighed as if their hearts would break under these bundles of calamities, they could not persuade themselves to cast them into the heap when they came up to it; but after a few faint offorts, shook their heads and marched away, as heavy laden as they came. I saw multitudes of old women throw down their wrinkles, and several young ones who stripped themselves of a tawney 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 advance towards the heap with a larger cargo than ordinary upon his back, I found upon his nearer approach, that it was only a natural hump, which he disposed of with great joy of heart, among this collection 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, having concluded within myself, that every one would take this opportunity of getting rid of his passions, prejudices, and frailties.

I took notice in particular of a very profligate fellow, who I lid not question came loaded 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 flung away his modesty instead of his ignorance.

When the whole race of mankind had thus cast their burthens, the Phantom which had been so busy on this occasion, seeing me an idle spectator of what passed, approached towards me.

I grew uneasy at her presence, when, on a sudden, she held her magnifying glass full before my eyes. I no sooner saw my face in it, but was startled at the shortness of it, which now appeared to me in the utmost aggravation. 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 mask. It happened very luckily, that one who stood by me had just before thrown down his visage, which, it seems, was too long for him. It was, indeed, extended to a most shameful length : I believe the very chin was, moderately 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 liberty to change his misfortune for those of another person.

As we were regarding very attentively this confusion of miseries, this chaos of calamity, Jupiter issued a second proclamation, that every one was now at liberty to change his affliction, and to return to his habitation with any other such bundle as should be delivered to him.

Upon this, Fancy began to bestir herself, and parcelling up the whole heap with incredible activity, recommended to every one his particular packet. The burry and confusion at this time was not to be expressed, Some observations which I made upon

the occasion, I shall communicate to the public. A venerable greyheaded man, who had laid down the cholic, and who I found wanted an heir to his estate, snatched up an undutiful son that had been thrown into the heap by an angry father. The graceless youth, in less than a quarter of an hour, pulled the old gentleman by the beard, and had like to have knocked his brains out; so that meeting the true father, who came towards him in a fit of the gripes, he begged him to take his son again, and give him back his cholic ; 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 sickness against poverty, hunger against want of appetite, and care against pain,

The female world were very busy among themselves in bartering for features; one trucking a lock of grey hairs for a carbuncle, another was making over a short waist for a pair of round shoulders, and a third cheapening a bad face for a lost reputation: but on all these occasions, there was not one of them who did not think the new blemish, as soon as she had got it into her possession, much more disagreeable than the old one.' I made the same observation on every other misfortune or calamity, which every one in the assemby brought upon himself, in lieu of what he had parted with ; whether it be that all the evils which befall us, are in some measure suited and proportioned to our strength, or that every evil becomes more supportable

e by our being accustomed to it, I shall not determine.

I could not from my heart forbear pitying the poor humpbacked gentleman, who went off a very well shaped person with a stone in his bladder; nor the fine gentleman who had struck up a bargain with him, that limped through the whole assembly of ladies who used to admire him, with a pair of shoulders peeping over his head.

I must not omit my own particular adventure-My friend with the long visage had no sooner taken upon him my short face, but he made such a grostesque figure in it, that as I looked upon him I could not forbear laughing at myself, insomuch that I put my own face out of countenance. The poor gentleman was so sensible of the ridicule, that I found he was ashamed of what he had done : on the other side, I found that I myself had got no great reason to triumph ; for as I went to touch my forehead, I missed the place, and clapped my finger upon my upper lip. Besides, as my nose was exceeding prominent, I gave it two or three unlucky knocks, as I was playing my hand about my face, and aiming at some other part of it. I saw two other gentlemen by me, who were in the same ridiculous circumstances. These had made a foolish swap between a couple of thick bandy legs and two long trap sticks that had no calf to them. One of these looked like a man walking upon stilts, and was so lifted up into the air above his ordinary height, that his head turned round with it; while the other made such aukward circles as he attempted to walk, that he scarce knew how to move forward upon his new supporters : observing him to be a very pleasant kind of a fellow, I struck my cane in the ground, and told him I would lay him a bottle of wine, that he did not march up to it on a line, that I drew for him, in a quarter of an hour.

The heap was at last distributed among the two sexes, who made a most piteous sight, as they wandered up and down under the pressure of their several burthens. The whole plain was filled with murmurs and complaints, groans and lamentations. Jupiter at length, taking compassion on the poor mortals, ordered them a second time to lay down their loads, with a design to give every one his own again. They discharged themselves with a great deal of pleasure, after which the phantom, which had led them into such gross delusion, was commanded to disappear. There was sent in her stead a goddess of a quite different figure : her motions were steady and composed, and her aspect serious and, cheerful. She every now and then cast her eyes towards heaven, and fixed them upon Jupiter : her name was Patience. She had no sooner placed herself by the mount of sorrows, but, what I thought very remarkable, the whole heap sunk to such a degree, that it did not appear a third part so big as it was before. She afterwards returned every man his own proper calamity, and teaching him how to bear it in the most commodious manner, he marched off with it contentedly, being very well pleased that he had not been left to his own choice, as to the kind of evils which fell to his lot.

Besides the several pieces of morality to be drawn out of this vision, I learned from it never to repine at my own misfortunes, or to envy the happiness of another, since it is impossible for any man to form a right judgment of his neighbours sufferings ; for which reason also I have determined never to think too lightly of another's complaints, but to regard the sorrows of my fellowcreature with sentiments of humanity and compassion.


(Continued from page 57.)

Nothing was more hotly pressed by the Scots, than that the Marquesse of Montrose should lay down his commission, who with small strength in the beginning, and inconsiderable forces when they were at the best, had acted things in Scotland even unto admiration : for besides many victories of lesse consequence, he had twice beaten the Duke of Argyle out of the field, followed him home, and wasted his country with fire and sword. He vanquished Bailey, one of the best soldiers of the faction, commanding over a well-formed army in a set battle fought between them—followed his blow, and made himself master of the city and castle of Edinburgh, releasing divers of his friends who had been seized and imprisoned there when he first took arms. Had the Lord Digby's horse came to him, he had not only perfected, but assured the conquest of that kingdome. But instead of those aids which he expected, he was unexpectedly set upon, and his whole army broken by David Lesley, sent from the Scots' army, in England, with six thousand horse, to oppose


of his fortune, whose coming being known to the Earl of Roxborough and Traquair (in whom the King continued still his wonted confidence), was purposely concealed from him, to the end that he being once suppressed, and in him the King's power destroyed in Scotland, they might be sure from being called to an account of their former treasons; however, he began to make head again, and was in a way of well-doing, when he received the King's command to disband his forces; to which he readily conformed, took ship, and put himself into a voluntary exile.

These obstacles removed, his Majesty conceived some thoughts of finding sanctuary in Scotland, the Scots having first assured him (as he signified by letter to the Marquesse of Ormond), before he put himself into their hands, that they would not only take his person, but so many of his party also as repaired unto him, into their protection, and stand to him with their lives and fortune. According to which hopes on his part, and those assurances on theirs, he had a great mind to return to his native country-his ancient and native kingdome, as he used to call it, there to expect the bettering of his condition in the changes of time. But the Scots hearing of his purpose, and having long ago cast off the yoke of subjection, voted against his coming to them in a full assembly. The like resolution also was entertained by the Commissioners of that nation, and the chief leaders of their army, who had contracted with the Houses of Parliament, and for the sum of two hundred thousand pounds, in ready money, sold and betrayed him into the hands of his enemies.

By the Commissioners sent from the Houses to receive him, he was conducted to Holdenby, a fair house of his own, and one of the goodliest piles in England, situate not far from Naseby (to the intent that he might be continually grieved with the sight of the fatal place of his overthrow); but kept so close that none of his domestick servants, no, not so much as any of his own chaplains were suffered to have accesse unto him.

In the mean time a breach began betwixt the Presbyterian

« PreviousContinue »