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up, I am glad, says she, calling me by my name, to meet you at this time, stay close by me, and take a ftrict observation of all that passes. Her voice was sweet and commanding, I thought I had somewhere heard it ; and from her, as I went along, I learned the meaning of every thing which offered.
We now marched forward thro' the Rookery of Rumours, which flew thick and with a terrible din all around us. At length we arrived at the house of Common Fame, where a hecatomb of Reputations was that day to fall for her pleasure. The house stood upon an eminence, having a thousand passages to it, and a thousand whispering holes for the conveyance of found. The hall we entered was formed with the art of a music-chamber for the improvement of noises. Reft and Silence are banished the place. Stories of different natures wander in light focks all about, sometimes' truths and lies, or sometimes lies themselves clashing against one another. In the middle stood a table painted after the manner of the remoteft Afiatie countries, upon which the lamp, the filver veffel, and cups of a white earth, were planted in order. Then dried herbs were brought, collected for the folemnity in moon-fhine, and water being put to them, there was a greenish liquor made, to which they added the flower of milk, and an extraction from the canes of America, for performing a libation to the infernal Powers of Mischief. After this, Curiosity, retiring to a withdrawing-room, brought forth the
Victims, Victims, being to appearance a set of small waxen images, which she laid upon the table one after another. Immediately Talkativeness gave each of them the name of some one, whom for the time they were to represent; and Cenforiousness fuck them all about with black pins, still pronouncing at every one she stuck, something to the prejudice of the persons represented. . No sooner were these rites performed, and incantations uttered, but the found of a speaking trumpet was heard in the air, by which they knew the Deity of the place was propitiated and assisting. Upon this the fky grew darker, a Storm arose, and murmurs, fighs, groans, cries, and the words of grief or resentment were heard within it. Thus the three Sorceresses discovered, that they, whose names they had given to the images, were already affected with what was done to them in effigy. The knowledge of this was received with the loudest laughter, and in many congratulatory words they applauded one another's wit and power.
As matters were at this high point of disorder, the muffled lady, whom I attended on, being no longer able to endure such barbarous proceedings, threw off her upper garment of reserve, and appeared to be Truth. As soon as she had confessed herself present, the speaking-trumpet ceased to sound, the sky cleared up, the storm abated, the noises which were heard in it ended, the laughter of the company was over, and a serene light, 'till then unknown to the place, was diffused around it. At this the detected Sorceresses endeavoured to escape in a cloud which I saw began to thicken about them, but it was soon disperfed, their charms being controuled and prevailed over by the superior Divinity. For my part, I was exceedingly glad to see it fo, and began to consider what punishments she would inflict upon them. I fancied it would be proper to cut off Curiosity's ears, and fix them to the eaves of houses, to nail the tongue of Talkativeness to Indian tables, and to put out the eyes of Cenforioulness with a flash of her light. In respect of Credulity I had indeed some little pity, and had I been judge, she might perhaps, have escaped with a hearty reproof.
But I soon found that the discerning Judge had other designs ; she knew them for such as will not be destroyed intirely, while mankind is in being, and yet ought to have a brand and punishment affixed to them, that they may be avoided. Wherefore she took a feat for judgment, and had the criminals brought forward by Shame, ever blushing, and Trouble with a whip of many lashes, two phantoms who had dogged the procession in disguise, and waited till they had an authority from Truth to lay hands upon them. Immediately then she ordered Curiosity and Talkativeness to be fettered together, that the one should never suffer the other to rest, nor the other ever let her remain undiscovered. Light Credulity she linked to Shame at the Tormenter's own request, who was pleased to be thus secure that her prisoner should not escape; and this was done partly for her punishment, and partly for her amendment. Cenforiousness was also in like manner begged by Trouble, and had her afligned for an eternal companion. After they were thus chained with one another, by the judge's order, she drove them from the presence to wander for ever through the world, with Novelty italking before them.
The cause being now over,.The retreated from fight within the splendor of her own glory, which leaving the house it had brightened, the founds that were proper to the place began to be as loud and confused as when we entered, and there being no longer a clear diftinguished appearance of any objects reprefented to me, I returned from the excurfion 1 had made in fancy.
V I S I O N V.
HATEVER industry and eagerness the
modern discoverers have shewn for the knowledge of new countries, there yet remains an ample field in the creation to which they are utter ftrangers, and which all the methods of travelling hitherto invented, will never bring them acquainted with. Of this I can give a very particular instance in an accident which lately happened to me.
As I was on the 6th of this instant, being Feb. 1715, walking with my eyes cast upward, I fell into a refledion on the vast tracts of air which appeared before me as uninhabited. And wherefore, said I to myself, should all this space be created? Can it only be for an odd bird to fly through, as now and then a man may pass a desart ? Or are there also kingdoms with their particular polities, and people, of a fpecies which we know nothing of, ordained to live in it ?
It was in this manner I continued my thought, when my feet forsook the level, and I was insensibly mounted in the air, till I arrived at a footing as firm and level as what I had left. But with what furprize did I find myself among creatures distinct from us in fhape and customs ?