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sisted from doing good when he had no longer the power of relieving.
From a fortune thus spent in benevolence, he ex. pected a gratefal return from those he had formerly relieved; and made his application with confidence of redress: the ungrateful world soon grew weary of his importunity; for pity is but a short-lived passion. He soon, therefore, began to view mankind in a very different light from that in which he had before beheld them: he perceived a thousand yices he had never before suspected to exist : wherever he turned, ingratitude, dissimulation, and treachery, contributed to increase his detestation of them. Resolved therefore to continue no longer in a world which he hated, and which repaid his detestation with contempt, he retired to this region of sterility, in order to brood over his resentment in solitude, and converse with the only honest heart he knew; namely, with his own.
A cave was his only shelter from the inclemency of the weather; fruits, gathered with difficulty from the mountain's side, his only food; and his drink was fetched with danger and toil from the headlong torrent. In this manner he lived, sequestered from society, passing the hours in meditation, and sometimes xulting that he was able to live inde. pendently of his fellow.creatures.
At the foot of the mountain an extensive lake displayed its glassy bosom, reflecting on its broad surface the impending horrors of tbe mountain. To this capacious mirror he would sometimes descend, and, reclining on its sleep banks, cast an eager look on the smooth expanse that lay before him. • How beautiful,' he often cried, is nature ! how lovely, even in her wildest scenes ! How finely contrasted is the level plain that lies beneath me, with yon awful pile that hides its tremendous head in clouds! But the beauty of these scenes is no way comparable with their utility; from hence a bundred rivers are supplied, which distribute
health audi verdure to the various countries through which they flow. Every part of the universe is beautiful, just, and wise, but map: vile man is a solecism in nature; the only monster in the crea. tion. Tempests and whirlwinds have their use ; but vicious ungrateful man is a blot in the fair page of universal beauty. Why was I born of that detested species, whose vices are almost a reproach to the wisdom of the Divine Creator? Were men entirely free from vice, all would be uniformity, har: mony, and order.
A world of moral rectitude, should be the result of a perfectly moral agent. Why, why then, O Alla! must I be thus confined in darkness, doubt, and despair?"
Just as he uttered the word despair, he was going to plunge into the lake beneath him, at once to satisfy his doubts, and put a period to his anxiety; when he perceived a most majestic being walking on the surface of the water, and approaching the bank on which he stood. So unexpected an object at once checked his purpose; he stopped, contemplated, and fancied he saw something awful and divine in his aspect.
• Son of Adam,' cried the genius, 'stop thy rash purpose; the Father of the faithful has seen thy justice, thy integrity, thy miseries; and hath sent me to afford and administer relief. Give me thine hand, and follow, without trembling, wherever I shall lead ; in me behold the genius of conviction, kept by the great prophet, to turn from their errors those who go astray, not from curiosity, but a rectitude of intention. Follow me and be wise.'
Asem immediately descended upon the lake, and his guide conducted him along the surface of the water ; till, coming near the centre of the lake, they both began to sink; the waters closed over their heads; they descended several hundred fathoms, till Asem, just ready to give up his life as inevitably lost, found binself with his celestial guide in another world, at the bottom of the waters, wbero human foot had never trod before. His astonishment was beyond description, when he saw a sun like that he had left, a serene sky over his head, and blooming verdure under his feet.
"I plainly perceive your amazement,' said the genius ; but suspend it for a while. This world was formed by Alla, at the request, and under the inspection, of our great prophet; who once enter. tained the same doubts which filled your mind when I found you, and from the consequence of which you were so lately rescued. The rational inhabitants of this world are formed agreeable to your own ideas; they are absolutely without vice. In other respects it resembles your earth; but differs from it in being wholly inhabited by men who never do wrong. If you find this world more agreeable than that you so lately left, you have free permission to spend the remainder of your days in it; but permit me, for some time, to attend you, that I may silence your doubts, and make you bet. ter acquainted with your company and your new habitation.'
• A world without vice! Rational beings without immorality!' cried Asem, in a rapture; 'I thank thee, O Alla, who hast at length heard my petitions; this, this indeed will produce happiness, ecstasy, and ease. O for an immortality to spend it among men who are incapable of ingratitude, injustice, fraud, violence, and a thousand other crimes that render society miserable!'
• Cease, thine acclamatious,' replied the genius. • Look around thee; reflect on every object and action before us, and cominunicate to me the result of thine observations. Lead wherever you think proper, I shall be your attendant and instructor.' Asem and his companion travelled on in silence for some time, the former being entirely lost iu astonishmeut; but, at last, recovering his former sere. nity, be could vot help observing that the face of the country bore a near resemblance to that he bad
left, except that this subterranean world still seemed to retain its primæval wildness.
• Here,' cried Asem, ' I perceive animals of prey, and others that seem only designed for their subsistence; it is the very same in the world over our heads. But had I been permitted to instruct our prophet, I would have removed this defect, and formed 10 voracious or destructive animals, which only prey on the other parts of the creation.'
- Your tenderness for inferior animals, is, I find, remarkable,' said the genius, smiling. But, with regard to meaner creatures, this world exactly resembles the other; and, indeed, for obvious rea. sons : for the earth can support a more considerable number of animals, by their thus becomiug food for each other, than if they had lived entirely on her vegetable productions. So that animals of different natures thus formed, instead of lessening their multitude, subsist in the greatest number possible. But let us hasten on to the inhabited country before us, and see what that offers for instruction.'
They soon gained the utmost verge of the forest, and entered the country inhabited by men without vice; and Asem anticipated in idea the rational delight he hoped to experience in such an innocent society. But they had scarce left the confines of the wood, when they beheld one of the inhabitauts flying with hasty steps, and terror in his counten. ance, from an army of squirrels that closely pur. sued him. • Heavens ! cried Asem, 'why does he fiy? What can he fear from animals so contemptible?' He had scarce spoken, when he perceived two dogs pursuing another of the human species, who, with equal terror and haste, attempted to avoid them. • This,' cried Asem to his guide, is truly surprising ; nor can I conceive the reason for so strange an action.'—Every species of animals,' replied the genius, ' has of late grown very power C..] in this country; for the inhabitants, at first,
thinking it unjust to use either fraud or force in destroying them, they have insensibly increased, and now frequently ravage their harmless frontiers' 'But they should have been destroyed,' cried Asem;
you see the consequence of such neglect.' • Where is then that tenderness you so lately expressed for subordinate animals ? replied the genius, smiling: you seem to have forgot that branch of justice.'- I must acknowledge my mistake,' returned Asem ; 'I am now convinced that we must be guilty of tyranny and injustice to the brute creation, if we would enjoy the world ourselves. But let us no longer observe the duty of man to these irrational creatures, but survey their connex. ions with one another.'
As they walked farther up the country, the more he was surprised to see no vestiges of handsome houses, no cities, nor any mark of elegant design. His conductor, perceiving his surprise, observed, that the inhabitants of this new world were perfectly content with their ancient simplicity; each had a house, which, though homely, was sufficient to lodge his little family; they were too good to build bouses which could only increase their own pride, and the envy of the spectator; what they built was for convenience and not for show. • At least then,' said Asem, they have neither architects, painters, nor statuaries, in their society; but these are idle arts, and may be spared. However, before I spend much more time here, you should have my thanks for introducing me into the society of some of their wisest men: there is scarce any pleasure to me equal to a refined conversation ; there is nothing of which I am so much enamoured as wisdom.'-Wis. dom !' replied his instructor: ‘how ridiculous! We have no wisdom here, for we have no occasion for it; true wisdom is only a knowledge of our own duty, and the duty of others to us; but of what use is such wisdom here? Each intuitively performs what is right in himself, and expects the same from