« PreviousContinue »
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. 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 reach of them, their footing failed, and down they sunk. In this confusion of objects I observed some with scimitars 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.
The genius, seeing me indulge myself in 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 seest anything thou dost not comprehend." Upon looking up, “What mean,” said I,“ those great flights of birds that are perpetually hovering about the bridge, and settling upon
it from time to time? I see vultures, harpies, ravens, cormorants, and, among many other feathered creatures, several little winged boys, that perch in great numbers upon the middle arches." "These," said the genius,“ are envy, avarice, superstition, despair, love, with the like cares and passions that infest human life.”
The genius then directed my attention to a vast ocean planted with innumerable islands that were covered with fruits and flowers, and interwoven with a thousand little shiny seas that ran among them.
“These," said he, are the mansions of good men after death, who, according to the degree and kinds of virtue in which they excelled, are distributed among these several islands, which
abound with pleasures of different kinds and degrees, suitable to the relishes and perfections of those who are settled in them; every island is a paradise accommodated to its respective inhabitants. Are not these, O Mirza, habitations worth contending for? Does life appear miserable that gives thee opportunities of earning such a reward ? Think not man was made in vain who has such an eternity reserved for him.” I gazed with inexpressible pleasure on these happy islands. At length said I, “Show me now, I beseech thee, the secrets that lie hid under those black clouds which cover the ocean on the other side of the rock of adamant ? The genius making me no answer, I turned about to address myself to him a second time, but I found that he had left me. I then turned again to the vision which I had been so long contemplating, but instead of the rolling tide, and the arched bridge, and the happy islands, I saw nothing but the long hollow valley of Bagdad, with oxen, sheep, and camels grazing upon the sides of it.
The genius, seeing me indulge myself in this melancholy prospect, told me I had dwelt long enough upon it. thine eyes off the bridge," said he," and tell me if thou seest anything thou dost not comprehend." Upon looking up, “ What mean,” said I, “ those great flights of birds that are perpetually hovering about the bridge, and settling upon it from time to time? I see vultures, harpies, ravens, cormorants, and, among many other feathered creatures, several little winged boys, that perch in great numbers upon the middle arches." “ These," said the genius, "are envy, avarice, superstition, despair, love, with the like cares and passions that infest human life.”
SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness
Close bosom friend of the maturing sun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run; To bend with apples the mossed cottage trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
find Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft lifted by the winnowing wind; Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Where are the songs of spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue ; Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
THE MANUFACTURE OF PAPER.
F. I WILL Now, as I promised, give you an account of the elegant and useful manufacture of paper, the basis of which is itself a manufacture. This delicate and beautiful substance is made from the meanest and most disgusting materials—from old rags, which have passed from one poor person to another, and have perhaps at length dropped in tatters from the child of the beggar. These are carefully picked up from dunghills, or bought from servants by Jews, who make it their business to go about and collect them. They sell them to the rag-merchant, who gives from twopence to fourpence a pound, according to their quality; and he, when he has got a sufficient quantity, disposes of them to the owner of the paper-mill. He gives them first to women to sort and pick, agreeably to their different degrees of fineness; they also with a knife cut out carefully all the seams, which they throw into a basket for other purposes; they then put them into the dusting engine, a large circular wire sieve, where they receive some degree of cleansing. The rags are then conveyed to the mill. Here they were formerly beat to pieces with vast hammers, which rose and fell continually with a most tremendous noise, that was heard from a great distance. But now they put the rags into a large trough or cistern, into wbich a pipe of
clear spring water is constantly flowing. In this cistern is a cylinder, about two feet long, set thick round with rows of iron spikes, standing as near as they can to one another without touching. At the bottom of the trough there are corresponding rows of spikes. The cylinder is made to whirl round with inconceivable rapidity, and with these iron teeth rends and tears the cloth in every possible direction ; till by the assistance of the water, which continually flows through the cistern, it is thoroughly masticated, and reduced to a fine pulp; and by the same process all its impurities are cleansed away, and it is restored to its original whiteness. This process takes about six hours. To improve the colour they then put in a little smalt, which gives it a blueish cast, which all paper has more or less: the French paper has less of it than ours. This fine pulp is next put into a copper of warm water. It is the substance of
paper, but the form must now be given it; for this purpose they use a mould.
It is made of wire, strong one way, and crossed with finer. This mould they just dip horizontally into the copper, and take it out again. It has a little wooden frame on the edge, by means of which it retains as much of the pulp as is wanted for the thickness of the sheet, and the superfluity runs off through the interstices of the wires. Another man instantly receives it, opens the frame, and turns out the thin sheet, which has now shape, but not consistence, upon soft felt, which is placed on the ground to receive it. On that is placed another piece of felt, and then another sheet of paper, and
, so on till they have made a pile of forty or fifty. They are then pressed with a large screw-press, moved by a long lever, which forcibly squeezes the water out of them and gives them immediate consistence. There is still, however, a great deal to be done. The felts are taken off, and thrown