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thro' several difficulties, of which the most of us feemed utterly regardless.
When we landed, we perceived the island to be frangely overcast with fogs, which no brightness could pierce, so that a kind of gloomy horror fat always brooding over it. This had something in it very shocking to ealy tempers, insomuch that some others, whom Patience had by this time gained over, left us here, and privily conveyed themselves round the verge of the island, to find a ford by which the told thein they might escape.
For my part, I still went along with those who were for piercing into the centre of the place ; and joining themselves to others whom we found upon the same journey, we marched solemnly as at a funeral, thro' bordering hedges of rosemary, and
yew-trees, which love to overthadow tombs and flourish in church-yards. Here we heard on every side the wailings and complaints of several of the inhabitants who had cast themselves disconfolately at the feet of trees; and as we chanced to approach any of these, we might perceive them wringing their hands, beating their breasts, tearing their hair, or after fome other manner visibly agitated with vexation. Our furrows were heightened by the influence of what we heard and saw, and one of our number was wrought up to such a pitch of wildness, as to talk of hanging himself upon a bough which shot temptingly a-cross the path we travelled in ; but he was restrained
thro' a grove
from it by the kind endeavours of our above-mentioned companion.
We had now gotten into the most dusky silent part of the island, and by the redoubled sounds of fighs, which made a doleful whistling in the branches, the thickness of air which occafioned faintish respiration, and the violent throbbings of heart which more and more affected us, we found that we approached the grotto of Grief. It was a wide, hollow, and melancholy cave, sunk deep in a dale, and watered by rivulets that had a colour between red and black. These crept flow, and half congealed amongst its windings, and mixed their heavy murmur with the echo of groans that rolled thro' all the passages. In the most retired part of it fat the doleful Being herself; the path to her was ftrewed with goads, stings, and thorns; and the throne on which she sat was broken into a rocky with ragged pieces pointing upwards for her to lean upon. A heavy mist hung above her, her head oppressed with it reclined upon her arm: Thus did she reign over her disconfolate subjects, full of herself to stupidity, in eternal pensiveness, and the profoundelt silence. On one fide of her stood Dejection, just dropping into a swoon, and Paleness wasting to a skeleton ; on the other side were Care, inwardly tormented with imaginations, and Anguish suffering outward Troubles to fuck the blood from her heart in the shape of Vultures. The whole vault had a genuine dismalness in it, which a few
scattered lamps, whose blueilh Alames arose and sunk in their urns, discovered to our eyes with increase. Some of us fell down, overcome and spent with what they suffered in the way, and were given over to those Tormentors that stood on either hand of the presence ; others, galled and mortified with pain, recovered the entrance, where Patience, whom we had left behind, was still waiting to receive us.
With her ( whose company was now become more grateful to us by the want we had found of her) we winded round the grotto, and ascended at the back of it, out of the mournful dale in whose bottom it lay. On this eminence we halted, by her advice, to pant for breath, and lifting our eyes, which till then were fixed downwards, felt a fullen sort of satisfaction, in observing thro' the fades what numbers had entered the island. This fatisfaction, which appears to have ill-nature in it, was excufable, because it happened at a time when we were too much taken up with our own concern, to have respect to that of others; and therefore we did not consider them as suffering, but ourselves as pot suffering in the most forlorn estate. It had also the ground-work of humanity and compassion in it, tho' the mind was then too deeply engaged to per.. ceive it; but as we proceeded onwards it began to discover itself, and from observing that others were unhappy, we came to question one another, when it was that we met, and what were the sad occafions that brought us together. Then we heard our
ftories, we compared them, we mutually gave and received pity, and fo by degrees became tolerable company.
A considerable part of the troublesome road was thus deceived ; at length the openings among the trees grew larger, the air seemed thinner, it lay with less oppression upon us, and we could now and then discern tracts in it of a lighter greyness, like the breakings of day, short in duration, much enlivening, and called in that country, Gleams of Amusement. Within a short while these gleams began to appear more frequent, and then brighter and of a longer continuance ; the fighs that hithertto filled the air with so much dolefulness, altered to the sound of common breezes, and in general the horrors of the island were abated.
When we had arrived at last at the ford by which we were to pass out, we met with those fashionable mourners who had been ferried over along with us, and who being unwilling to go as far as we, had coafted by the fore to find the place, where they waited our coming ; that by shewing themselves to the world only at that time when we did, they might seem also to have been among the troubles of the grotto. Here the waters, that rolled on the other side so deep and silent, were much dried up, and it was an easier matter for us to wade over.
The river being crossed, we were received upon the further bank by our friends and acquaintance, whom Comfort had brought out to congratulate our
appearance in the world again. Some of these blamed us for staying so long away from them, others advised us against all temptations of going back again ; every one was cautious not to renew our trouble, by asking any particulars of the journey; and all concluded, that in a case of so much amiction, we could not have made choice of a fitter companion than Patience. Here Patience, appearing serene at her praises, delivered us over to Comfort. Comfort smiled at his receiving the charge ; immediately the sky purpled on that fide to which he turned, and double day at once broke in upon me.