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which inclosed such excellent hearts, and I conceived a presentiment of celestial amity, of that amity which united their souls, and formed the greatest portion of their felicity. The angel of darkness, with all his artifice, was never able to discover the entranee into this world! notwithstanding his ever-watchful malice, he never found out the means to spread his poison over this happy globe, Anger, envy, and pride, were there unknown; the happiness of one appeared the happiness of all! an ecstatic transport incessantly elevating their souls at the sight of the magnificent and bountiful hand which collected over their heads the most astonishing prodigies of the creation. The lovely Morning, with her humid saffron wings, distilled the pearly dew from the shrubs and flowers, and the rays of the rising sun multiplied the most enchanting colours, when I perceived a wood embellished by the opening dawn. The youth of both sexes there sent forth hymns of adoration towards heaven; and were filled at the same time with the grandeur and majesty of God, which rolled almost visibly over their heads; for in this world of innocence, he vouchsafed to manitest himself by means unknown to our weak understandings. All things announced his august presence, the serenity of the air, the dyes of the flowers, the brilliancy of the insects, a kind of universal sensibility spread over all beings, whose vivified bodies seemed entirely susceptible of it. Every thing bore the appearance of sentiment; and the birds stopped in the midst of their flight, as if attentive to the affecting modulations of their voices. But no pencil can express the ravishing countenance of the yonng beauties, whose bosoms breathed love. Who can describe that love of which we have not any idea, that love for which we have no name, that love, the lot of pure intelligent beings, divine love, which they only can conceive and feel; the tongne of man, incapable, must be silent! The remembrance of this enchanting place suspends at this moment all the faculties of my soul. The sun was rising - the pencil falls from my hand. O Thomson, never did thy muse view such a sun! What a world, and what magnificent order! I trod, with regret, on the flowery plants, endued, like that we call sensitive, with a qnick and lively feel. ing; they bent under my foot, only to rise with more brilliancy: the fruit gently dropped, on the first touch, from the complying branch, and had scarcely gratified the palate when the delicious sensation of its juices was felt glowing in every vein; the eye, more piercing, sparkled with uncommon lustre; the ear was more lively; the heart, which expanded itself over all nature, seemed to possess and enjoy its fertile extent: the universal enjoyment did not disturb any individual; for union multiplied their delights, and they esteemed themselves less happy in their own fruition than in the happiness of others. This sun did not resemble the comparative paleness and weakness which illuminates our gloomy ter.
restrial prison; yet the eye could bear to gaze on it, and, in a manner, plunge itself in a kind of ecstasy in its mild and pure light; it enlivened at once the sight and the understanding, and even penetrated the soul. The bodies of those fortunate persons became, as it were, transparent; while each read in his brother's heart the sentiments of affability and tenderness with which himself was affected. There darted from the leaves of all the shrubs which the planet enlightened, a luminous matter, which resembled, at a distance, all the colours of the rainbow; its orb, which was never eclipsed, was crowned with such sparkling rays that the daring prism of Newton could not divide. When this planet set, six brilliant moons floated in the atmosphere; their progression in different orbits, each night formed a new exhibition. The multitude of stars, which seem to us as if scattered by chance, were here seen in their true point of view, and the order of the universe appeared in all its pomp and splendour. In this happy country, when a man gave way to sleep, his body, which had none of the properties of terrestrial elements, gave no opposition to the soul, but contemplated in a vision, bordering on reality, the lucid region, the throne of the Eternal, to which it was soon to be elevated. Men awaked from a light slumber without perturbation or uneasiness; enjoying futurity by a forcible sentiment of immortality, being intoxicated with the image of an approaching felicity, exceeding that which they already enjoyed. Grief, the fatal result of the imperfect sensibí. lity of our rude frames, was unknown to these innocent men; a light sensation warned them of the objects which could hurt them; and nature removed them from the dan. ger, as a tender mother would gently draw her child by the hand from a pitfall. I breathed more freely in this habitation of joy and concord; my existence became most valuable to me; but in proportion as the charms which surrounded me were lively, the greater was my sorrow when my ideas returned to the globe I had quitted. All the calamities of the human race united, as in one point, to overwhelm my heart, and I exclaimed piteously.- “Alas! the world I inhabited' formerly resembled your's; but peace, innocence, and chaste pleasures, soon vanished.
Why was I not born among you? what a contrast!. the earth which was iny sorrowful abode is incessant. ly filled with tears and sighs; there the smaller number
oppress the greater; the demon of property infects what he touches, and what he covets. "Gold is there a god, and they sacrifice on his altar, love, humanity, and the most valuable virtues. Shudder, you who hear me! the greatest enemy which man has is man; his chiefs are his tyrants; they make all things. bend under the yoke of their pride or their caprice; the chains of oppression are in a manner extended from pole to pole; a monster who assumes the mask of glory, makes, lawful whatever is most horrible, violence and murder. Since the fatal
invention of an inflammable powder, no mortal can say, to-morrow I shall repose in peace; - to-morrow the arm of despotism will not crush my head; – to.morrow dreadful sorrow will not depress my soul; to-morrow the wailings of an useless despair, proceeding from a distressed heart, will not escape my lips, and tyranny bury me alive as in a stone coffin! Oh, my brethren! weer, weep over us! We are not only surrounded with chains and executioners, but are moreover dependent on the seasons, the elements, and the meanest insects. All nature rebels against us; and even if we subdue her, she makes us pay dearly for the benefits our labour forces from her. The bread we eat is earned by our tears and the sweat of our brow; then greedy nien come and plunder us, to squander it on their idle favourites. Weep, weep with me, my brethren! hatred pursues us; revenge sharpens its poniard in the dark; calumny brands us, and even deprives us of the power of making our defence; the object of tenderness betrays our confidence, and forces us to curse this otherwise consolatory sentiment. We must live in the midst of all the strokes of wickedness, error, pride, and folly. While my heart gave a free course to my complaints, I saw a band of shining seraphs descending from heaven'; on which, shouts of joy were immediately sent forth from the whole race of these fortunate beings. As I gazed with astonishment, I was accosted by an old man, who said, «Farewel, my friend! the moment of your death draws near; or rather, that of a new life. The ministers of the God of clemency are come to take us away from this earth; we are going to dwell in a world of still greater perfection. »
«Why, father,, said 1, "are you then strangers to the agonies of death, the anguish, the pain, the dread, which accompany us in our last moments ? » « Yes, my child.» he replied, “ these angels of the Highest come at stated periods, and carry us all away, opening to us the road to a new world, of which we have an idea by the undoubted conviction of the unlimited bounty and magni. ficence of the Creator. A cheerful glow was immediately spread over their countenances; their brows already seemed crowned with immortal splendor; they sprang lightly from the earth in my sight; 1 pressed the sacred hand of each for the last time, while with a smile they held out the other to the seraph, who had spread his wings to carry them to heaven.' They ascended all at once, flock of beautiful swans, that, taking flight, raise themselves, with majestic rapidity over the tops of our highest palaces. I gazed with sadness; my eye followed them in the air, until their venerable heads were lost in the silver clouds, and I remained alone on this magnificent deserted land. I perceived I was not yet fitted to dwell in it, and wished to return to this unfortunate world of expiation: thus the animal escaped from his keeper returns, follow. ing the track of his chain, with a mild aspect, and enters
his prison. Awaking, the illusion was dispelled, which it is beyond the power of my weak tongue or pen to describe in its full splendor; but this illusion I shall for ever cherish; and, supported by the foundation of hope, I will preserve it till death, in the inmost recesses of
TWO LETTERS TO GEORGE WHAT
LEY, ESQ. Treasurer of the Foundling Hospital, London,
Passy, May 23, 1785. DEAR OLD FRIEND, I sent you a few lines the other day with the medallion, when I should have written more, but was prevented by the coming in of a bavard, who worried me till evening, I bore with him, and now you are to bear with me, for I shall probably bavarder in answering your letter,
I am not acquainted with the saying of Alphonsus, which you allude to as a sanctification of your rigidity, in refusing to allow me the plea of old age as an excuse for my want of exactitude in correspondence. What was that saying ? - You do not, it seems, feel
any occasion for such an excuse, though you are, as you say, rising 75, but I am rising (perhaps more properly falling) 80and I leave the excuse with you till you arrive at that age; perhaps you may then be more sensible of its validi. ty, and see fit to use it for yourself.
'I must agree with you, that the gout is bad, and that the stone is worse. I am happy in not having them both togetlier, and I join in your prayer, that you may live till you die without either. But I doubt the author of the epitaph you sent me is a little mistaken, when, speaking of the world, he says, that
- He ne'er car'd a pin What they said or may say of the mortal within. It is so natural to wish to be well spoken of, whether alive or dead, that I imagine he could not be quite ex. empt from that desire, and that at least he wished to be thought a wit, or he would not have given himself the trouble of writing so good an epitaph to leave behind him. Was it not worthy of his care, that the world should say he was an honest and a good man? I like better the concluding sentiment in the old song, called the old man's wish, wherein, after wishing for a warm house in a country town, an easy horse, some good old authors,
ingenious and cheerful companions, pudding on Sundays, with stout ale and a bottle of burgundy, etc. etc. in separate stanzas, each ending with this burden,
May I govern my passions with absolute sway,
Without gout or stone, by a gentle decay he adds, for the last stanza,
With courage undaunted may I face my last day,
What signifies our wishing? Things happen after all as they will happen. I have sung that wishing song a thousand times when I was young, and now find at fourscore, that the three contraries have befallen me, being subject to the gout, and the stone, and not being yet master of all my passions: like the proud girl in my country, who wished and resolved not to marry a parson, nor a presbyterian, nor an Irishman, and a length found herself married to an Irish presbyterian parson! You see I have some reason to wish that in a future state I may not only be as well as I was, but a little better. And I hope it: for 1 too, with your poet, trust in God.
And when I observe, that there is great frugality as well as wisdom in his works, since he has been evidently sparing, both of labour and materials; for by the various wonderful inventions of propagation, he has provided for the continual peopling his world with plants and animals without being at the trouble of repeated new creations ; and by the natural reduction of compound substances to their original elements, capable of being employed in new compositions, he has prevented the necessity of creat. ing new matter; for that the earth, water, air, and perhaps fire, which being compounded, form wood, do, when the wood is dissolved, return, and again become air, earth, fire, and water:
that when I see nothing annihilated, and not even a drop of water wasted, I cannot suspect the annihilation of souls, or believe that he will suffer the daily waste of millions of minds ready made that now exist, and put himself to the continual trouble of making new ones. Thus finding myself to exist in the world, I believe I shall in some shape or other always exist. And with all the inconveniences human life is liable to, shall not object to a new edition of mine; hoping, however, that the errata of the last may be corrected.
I return your note of children received in the foundling hospital at Paris, from 1740 to 1755 inclusive, and I have added the years preceding, as far back as 1710, together with the general christenings of the city; and the years succeeding, down to 1770. Those since that period I have