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constantly employed to this particular purpose. We exert ambition, we pursue riches and honours, we form friendships and alliances, always with a view of poffeffing one certain particular situation, which exists only in our own thoughts, and cannot be found on this side of the grave. But since none of the effects of nature are formed in vain, and since all other beings, mankind excepted, enjoy benefits sufficient and satisfactory to their natural appetites, it is far from a presumption to believe that the ALMIGHTY cannot have implanted this natural de. fire so strongly in all the sons of Adams, without having allotted a proper and agreeable fatisfaction for it: that satisfaction, we must confess, is not attainable within the limits of this world. Our most reasonable inference then is, to conclude, that it may be appropriated to a future state.
I Went to bed one night full of such thoughts and I reflections as are naturally suggested to a considerate being, by a retrospect of our past lives; which altogether wrought so upon my mind, that
blending itself insensibly with neep, it formed the following vision:
Methought I was instantly conveyed and set down in a place that my eye saw no end to. I looked on one side of me, and observed a gate of most exquisite workmanship, the parts that composed it were as fine as threads, and a child might have opened it, had it not been guarded by two very powerful, but beautiful figures, whose names I found to be PROVIDENCE and Religion. I saw in letters of gold written over it, « THE GATE OF LIFE.” I turned myself from this gate to look forward, and see what was to be done, when all at once I found myself very much dwindled in form and apprehension, suitable to a child of about seven or eight years old. I was quite charmed, however, with the endless variety I saw before me, hills, dales, woods, rivers, plains rising in prospect one above another.
I wandered with this playful fancy into the first path that presented itself, where I met with vast numbers of my own age conducted by governesses of very different dispositions; some of these little companions beat me, because I happened to gather Aowers they were not able to find; others, who were dressed very fine, seemed to pity me for wearing plain clothes, and for having what they fancied a poor name and no governess.
As I wandered farther into this path, I saw a lovely woman approaching towards me, she was dressed in a long white robe, and a veil which almost entirely hid all her beauty, fave what the sporting of a breeze discovered. Every body (for there were multitudes of people in the place) strove to see as much of her as they could; old and young pressed forward to look at her; whilft she, unmindful of them all, regarded nothing but the flowers, me, and my companions; this sweet person's name was SIMPLicity. I must own I felt a pleasure not to be equalled when she took me by the hand, and seeing me without a guide, promised to conduct me for as long a time as I chose, or for ever. I made no scruple to resign myself to her direction: as there is no accounting for the workings of a dream, or any unity of time or place preserved in them, I cannot pretend to say how it was that I felt my stature and reason increasing, as I had before felt them diminish. I was employing myself in such tasks as my governess had allotted me, when a venerable person accosted me, telling me, that she was going to make a trial of that wisdom, that it was whispered about by my companions I was poffeffed of; that her name was EXPERIENCE; that she would be of more use to me in the path I had entered, than any person I could meet with ; that if I nighted her I
should bitterly repent it; and that though my governess was very amiable, and well-meaning, yet she was apt to lead people astray. As this address was delivered with some little severity, and at the same time reflected on my fair conductress, I gave no heed to it. A beautiful, blooming, tall figure of a man, who they told me was Youth, put a bandage over my eyes, and I saw my sage adviser no more.
The breezes of pleasure whistled in my ears; I went on swiftly, happy enough with SIMPLICITY at my side; she introduced me to AFFECTION, who embraced me with looks of bewitching tenderness; and entertained me with nothing but discourses of love and friendship. But as I advanced, I began to recollect the words of EXPERIENCE, and to wish I had paid a little more attention to her ; for I found that both SIMPLICITY and her companion AFFECTION, were confoundedly mistaken in the persons they met with. They presented me in one day Civility for Esteem, OBSTINACY for PERSEVERANCE and ExTRAVAGANCE for GENEROSITY. I found out afterwards, that they had industriously kept me in the most retired windings of this vast place, lest I should meet with Experience, and so leave them; which whenever I spoke of, Affection, who was infinitely enchanting, clung round me, protesting she would never leave me wherever I went. I found it very
difficult to get from either of these companions, though they were perpetually involving me in some misfortune. I sometimes thought I would endeavour to go back and find ExpeRIENCE, but in essaying so to do, I found I had not the power to tread one step over again that I had already come.
Whilft I was in this cruel dilemma, I saw a tall figure that almost frightened me, he was called Advice; he had several heads and as many mouths, that were always talking, and contradicting each other; at times I thought I had heard some things that would prove for my advantage to follow; but before I could put it in practice, another of the heads told me something else; and PRUDENCE, who was very partial to this monster, stood by me, and intreated me to listen to all he said. I was not likely to reap much benefit from it, from the reasons I have related. Meantime my favourite guides SimPLICITY and Affection, who never left me for a moment, pointed to the Temple of Hymen, where I saw several votaries entering in all the extacy of youthful happiness and joy. I saw them all go in; and though I was sensible they could not return again by the way that they went, yet AffecTION told me, there were large and ample fields for me to range in if I would try them.