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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 entertained 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 dif fers 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 better 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 communicate 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 in asto nishmeut; but, at last, recovering his former sere. nity, he could not help observing that the face of the country bore a near resemblance to that he bas
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 sub. sistence; 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 no 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 reasons for the earth can support a more considerable number of animals, by their thus becoming 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 inhabitants flying with hasty steps, and terror in his countenance, from an army of squirrels that closely pursued him. 'Heavens' cried Asem, why does he fly? 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 ful 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 houses 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.'-Wisdom!' 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
others. If by wisdom you should mean vain curio. sity, and empty speculation, as such pleasures have their origin in vanity, luxury, or avarice, we are too good to pursue them. All this may be right,' says Asem; but methinks I observe a solitary dis position prevail among the people; each family keeps separately within their own precincts, without socie ty, or without intercourse.'' That, indeed, is true,' replied the other; here is no established society, nor should there be any all societies are made either through fear or friendship; the people we are among are too good to fear each other; and there are no motives to private friendship, where all are equally meritorious. Well, then,' said the sceptic,
as I am to spend my time here, if I am to have neither the polite arts, nor wisdom, nor friendship, in such a world, I should be glad, at least, of an easy companion, who may tell me his thoughts, and to whom I may communicate mine.' And to what purpose should either do this?' says the genius: ⚫ flattery or curiosity are vicious motives, and never allowed of here; and wisdom is out of the ques tion.'
Still, however,' said Asem, the inhabitants must be happy; each is contented with his own possessions, nor avariciously endeavours to heap up more than is necessary for his own subsistence; each has therefore leisure for pitying those that stand in need of his compassion.' He had scarce spoken when his ears were assaulted with the lamentations of a wretch who sat by the way-side, and, in the most deplorable distress, seemed gently to murmur at his own misery. Asem immediately ran to his relief, and found him in the last stage of a con. sumption. Strange,' cried the son of Adam, 'that men who are free from vice should thus suffer so much misery without relief!'-Be not surprised,' said the wretch who was dying; would it not be the utmost injustice for beings, who have only just sufficient to support themselves, and are content
with a bare subsistence, to take it from their own mouths to put it into mine? They never are possessed of a single meal more than is necessary; and what is barely necessary cannot be dispensed with. They should have been supplied with more than is necessary,' cried Asem; and yet I contradict my own opinion but a moment before: all is doubt, perplexity, and confusion. Even the want of ingratitude is no virtue here, since they never received a favour. They have, however, another excellence yet behind; the love of their country is still, I hope, one of their darling virtues.'' Peace, Asem,' replied the guardian, with a countenance not less severe than beautiful, nor forfeit all thy pretensions to wisdom; the same selfish motives by which we prefer our own interest to that of others, induce us to regard our country preferable to that of another. Nothing less than universal benevolence is free from vice, and that you see is practised here.'-'Strange!' cries the disappointed pilgrim, in an agony of distress; what sort of a world am I now introduced to? There is scarce a single virtue, but that of temperance, which they practise; and in that they are no way superior to the brute creation. There is scarce an amusement which they enjoy; fortitude, liberality, friendship, wisdom, conversation, and love of country, all are virtues entirely unknown here; thus it seems, that to be unacquainted with vice is not to know virtue. Take me, O my genius, back to that very world which I have despised a world which has Alla for its contriver, is much more wisely formed than that which has been projected by Mahomet. Ingratitude, contempt, and hatred, I can now suffer, for perhaps I have deserved them. When I arraign. ed the wisdom of Providence, I only showed my own ignorance; henceforth let me keep from vice myself, and pity it in others.'
He had scarce ended, when the genius, assuming an air of terrible complacency, called all his thun