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towards the summit of a rock that was not far from me, where I discovered one in the habit of a shepherd, with a little musical instrument in his hand. As I looked upon him, he applied it to his lips, and began to play upon it. The sound of it was exceeding sweet, and wrought into a variety of tunes that were inexpressibly melodious and altogether different from anything I had ever heard.

4. “They put me in mind of those heavenly airs that are played to the departed souls of good men upon their first arrival in paradise, to wear out the impressions of their last agonies, and qualify them for the pleasures of that happy place. My heart melted away in secret raptures.

5. “I had been often told that the rock before me was the haunt of a Genius, and that several had been entertained with music wliohad passed by it; but never heard that the musician had before made himself visible. When he had raised my thoughts, by those transporting airs which he played, to taste the pleasures of his conversation, as I looked upon him like one astonished, he beckoned to me, and by the waving of his hand directed me to approach the place where he sat.

6. "I drew near with that reverence which is due to a superior nature; and as my heart was entirely subdued by the captivating strains I had heard, I fell down at his feet and








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wept. The Genius smiled upon me with a look of compassion and affability that familiarised him to my imagination, and at once dispelled 10 all the fears and apprehensions with which I approached him. He lifted me from the ground, and taking me by the hand, 'Mirza,' said he, 'I have heard thee in thy soliloquies ; 11 follow me.'

7. “He then led me to the highest pinnacle 12 of the rock, and placing me on the top of it,

Cast thy eyes eastward,' said he, and tell me what thou seest.' 'I see,' said I, 'a huge valley, and a prodigious 13 tide of water rolling through it.' * The valley that thou seest;' said he, 'is the Vale of Misery ; and the tide of . water that thou seest is part of the great tide of Eternity.'

8. “What is the reason,' said I, 'that the tide I see rises out of a thick mist at one end, and again loses itself in a thick mist at the other?' • What thou seest,' said he, 'is that portion of Eternity which is called Time, measured out by the sun, and reaching from the beginning of the world to its consummation. 14

9. “Examine now,' said he, this sea that is bounded with darkness at both ends, and tell me what thou discoverest in it.' 'I see a bridge,' said I, standing in the midst of the tide. • The bridge thou seest,' said he, 'is Human Life ; consider it attentively.'

10. “Upon a more leisurely survey of it, I

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found that it consisted of threescore and ten entire arches, 15 with several broken arches, which, added to those that were entire, made up the number to about an hundred. As I was counting the arches, the Genius told me that this bridge consisted at first of a thousand arches, 16 but that a great flood swept away the rest, and left the bridge in the ruinous condition I now beheld it.

11. “But tell me further,' said he, 'what thou discoverest on it?' I see multitudes of people passing over it,' said I, “and a black cloud hanging on each end of it.' As I looked more attentively, I saw several of the passengers dropping through the bridge into the great tide that flowed underneath it: and upon further examination, perceived there were innumerable" trap-doors 18 that lay concealed in the bridge, which the passengers no sooner trod upon but they fell through them into the tide, and immediately disappeared.

12. “ These hidden pit-falls were set very thick at the entrance of the bridge, so that throngs of people no sooner broke through the cloud but many of them fell into them. They grew thinner towards the middle, but multiplied and lay closer together towards the end of the arches that were entire.

13. “There were, indeed, some persons, but their number was very small, that continued a kind of hobbling march on the broken arches, but fell through one after another,



“I saw several of the passengers dropping through the bridge.”

being quite tired and spent with so long a walk.

14. “I passed some time in the contemplation of this wonderful structure and the great variety of objects which it presented. My heart was filled with a deep melancholy 19 to see several dropping unexpectedly in the midst of mirth and jollity, and catching at everything that stood by them to save themselves. Some were looking up towards the heavens in a thoughtful posture, and in the midst of a speculation stumbled and fell out of sight.

15. “Multitudes were very busy in the pursuit of bubbles that glittered in their eyes

and danced before them; but often when they thought themselves within the reach of them, their footing failed, and down they sunk. In this confusion of objects, I observed many with scimitars 2° in their hands, who ran to and fro upon the bridge, thrusting several persons on trap-doors which did not seem to lie in their way, and which they might have escaped had they not been thus forced upon them.

16. “ The Genius, seeing me indulge myself on this melancholy prospect, told me I had dwelt long enough upon it.

. Take thine eyes off the bridge,' said he, and tell me if thou yet seest anything thou dost not comprehend ?'Upon looking up, What mean,' said

21 I, 'those great flights of birds that are perpetually hovering about the bridge, and settling upon it from time to time? I see vultures,


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