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prise at their want of curiosity, Quirke acquainted me, that, whilst their country flourished he had heard that they had been as anxious as persons could be to hear news from it; but, after its decline, for they did not acknowlege the present degenerate race, they had tasted of the Lethéan stream, and now made it their only business to amuse themselves. -- Travelling on, we saw the shade of a little man, stringing beads with the utmost exactness in equal rows. Quirke told me that that was the shade of the famous A-P-e. · On introducing me to him, the poet inquired into the state of his art in his country, and being told that it seemed wholly extinct, be passed on without asking another question. — Beneath the shade of a mulberry tree, Quirke pointed out to me, a mean looking ghost; which he announced as that of the pride of England--the immortal Shakespeare. He was so lost in deep contemplation of a book, that he scarcely noticed us till we spoke to him. He received us bluntly, but civilly. On raising up his eyes, I was surprised at the astonishing lustre which beamed in them. The meanness of his appearance at once disappeared before the expression of his countenance, which bespoke heaven-born genius. I felt an awful distance between us, which was not occasioned by any haughtiness of conscious superiority on his side, but by a consciousness of immense inferiority on mine. His demeanour was modest, his discourse courteous. On my informing him that whatever love of novelty, or viciousness of taste had crept into his countrymen since his days, his works still held, and would, probably, for ever hold their merited pre-eminence. He smiled and replied that Nature would never change, and that he had only copied from her. He had heard that he had been much maimed by his commentators, and that even some spurious works had been forged to impose upon the public, who had done him strict justice by scouting his posthumous defamers; but that he could place the firmest reliance on the good sense of his countrymen, to distinguish between himself and such book-makers. — At parting, I begged leave to ask what book he was perusing, and he replied, that it was “ The Secrets of Nature," which, and the modern works of Sterne, were his chief musement. We afterwards
espied the ghost of an elderly man employed in making dirt-pies with a parcel of boys. On enquiring who it was that was thus strangely engaged, I was informed that it was Den S-t. I addressed him, and would have made myself known to him, but he told me that being hearti. ly tired with the follies of mankind during his abode among them, he had purposely drunk of the Lethéan stream to forget them. — He then resumed his employment, and I could engage his attention no more.
Wandering farther, I beheld the ghost of Dr. J- 1:- but, would you believe it! he was playing on a kit, and teaching some boys and girls to dance ! -I endeavoured to draw him into a conversation ; but he turned away, growl. ing out, that every new-comer from above brought him such tidings of the infamous aspersions that had been cast upon his memory by his biographers, that he was tired of hearing any more news. He then fell to his kit, and never cast another glance at me. -Presently, a tall, thin ghost glided pensively towards us, and I heard him exclaim with a sigh, — " Ab! my poor country! I shall love thee!” – As his head was hung down, he drew very near before I could discern that it was Billy Vortex. He also appeared to recognize me, and seemed to hesitate for a moment, whether he should stop or not; but he passed on. It is almost impossible to describe all the strange scenes which I saw before I heard the well-known voice of Brush call me by name. The sounds filled me with more joy than ever I had experienced from him on earth. My soul instantly acknowledged its earthly director. I flew to embrace him, but the imaged air eluded my grasp, and appeared, for a moment, to smile at the attempt. Then instantly looking very serious, it confirmed what Quirke had asserted of my not being really dead, and that it was happy to see me, having just heard news which were of the utmost importance to me and my friends on earth.
At that very moment, we were struck by the most dismal and horrid noises that ever assailed my ears; the crush of worlds would have been the mere cracking of a flea to them. -[Reader, this is Mr. Merryman's comparison, and not mine : and he is well known not to be
very delicate in his choice of similies.] -- At first, I conceived that they proceeded from the damned, who were undergoing their horrid punishments in the fiery lakes; but the shades were all as much astonished as myself; which made me guess, that it was no common event in the infernal empire. — Presently, the air was rent with the clangor of all kinds of martial instruments; and one of the dæmons, posting along on immense wings like those of a bat, and extending over a space of several acres of ground, summoned all good shades, in the name of Pluto, to assist in maintaining profound peace and order in his realms. Brush asked the cause of the disturbance, and was informed that some of the levelling, regicide, rebellious Gulls had broken loose to dethrone his infernal majesty, and that all Hell was in an uproar. The dæmon then flew on, sounding his clarion, and repeating his summons. The shades were all flying in one direction towards the palace of Pluto, and Brush hastily addressed me as follows: « I must leave you at present, to assist in quelling the insurgents, or I shall be deemed, and punished as one of the disaffected ; particularly