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houses, no cities, nor any mark of elegant design. His conductor, perceiving his surprise, observed, . that the inhabitants of this new world were perfectlý content with their ancient simplicity; each had a house, which, though homely, was sufficient to lodge his little family; they were too good to build houses which could only increase their own pride, and the envy of the spectator; what they built was for convenience and not for show. At least then,' said Asem, - they have neither architects, painters, nor statuaries, in their society ; but these are idle arts, and may be spared. However, before I spend much more time here, you should have my thanks for introducing me into the society of some of their wisest men: there is scarce any pleasure to me equal to a refined conversation; there is nothing of which I am so much enamoured as wisdom.'-Wisdom!' replied his instructor : “ how ridiculous ! We have no wisdom here, for we have no occasion for it; true wisdom is only a knowledge of our own duty, and the duty of others to us ; but of what use is such wisdom here? Each intuitively performs what is right in himself, and expects the same from others. If by wisdom you should mean vain curiosity, and empty speculation, as such pleasures have their origin in vanity, luxury, or avarice, we are too good to pursue them.'-. All this may be right,' says Asem;
but methinks I observe a solitary disposition prevail among the people; each family keeps separately within their own precincts, without society, or without intercourse.'-That, indeed, is true,' replied the other; ' here is no established society, nor should there be any: all societies are made either through
fear or friendship; the people we are among are too good to fear each other; and there are no motives to private friendship, where all are equally meritorious.'- Well, then,' said the sceptic, as I am to spend my time here, if I am to have neither the polite arts, nor wisdom, nor friendship, in such a world, I should be glad, at least, of an easy companion, who may tell me his thoughts, and to whom I may communicate mine.'-' And to what purpose should either do this ?' says the genius : 'flattery or curiosity are vicious motives, and never allowed of here; and wisdom is out of the question.'
Still, however,' said Asem, . the inhabitants must be happy; each is contented with his own possessions, nor avariciously endeavours to heap up more than is necessary for his own subsistence ; each has therefore leisure for pitying those that stand in need of his compassion.' had scarce spoken when his ears were assaulted with the lamentations of a wretch who sat by the way-side, and, in the most deplorable distress, seemed gently to murmur at his own mi. sery. Asem immediately ran to his relief, and found him in the last stage of a consumption. Strange, cried the son of Adam, . that men who are free from vice should thus suffer so much misery without relief!'-— Be not surprised,' said the wretch who was dying ; ' would it not be the utmost injustice for beings, who have only just sufficient to support themselves, and are content with a bare subsistence, to take it from their own mouths to put it into mine? They never are possessed of a single meal more than is necessary; and what is barely necessary cannot
be dispensed with.'— They should have been supplied with more than is necessary,' cried Asem ; 6 and yet I contradict my own opinion but a moment before : all is doubt, perplexity, and confusion. Even the want of ingratitude is no virtue here, since they never received a favour. They have, however, another excellence yet behind ; the love of their country is still, I hope, one of their darling virtues.'• Peace, Asem,' replied the guardian, with a countenance not less severe than beautiful, 'nor forfeit all thy pretensions to wisdom; the same selfish motives by which we prefer our own interest to that of others, induce us to regard our country preferable to that of another. Nothing less than universal benevolence is free from vice, and that you see is practised here.'
Strange!' cries the disappointed pilgrim, in an agony of distress ; 'what sort of a world am I now introduced to ? There is scarce a single virtue, but that of temperance, which they practise; and in that they are no way superior to the brute creation. There is scarce an amusement which they enjoy ; fortitude, liberality, friendship, wisdom, conversation, and love of country, all are virtues entirely unknown here; thus seems, that to be unacquainted with vice is not to know virtue. Take me, O my genius, back to that very world which I have despised : a world which has Alia for its contriver, is much more wisely formed than that which has bee
projected by Mahomet. Ingratitude, contempt, and hatred, I can now suffer for perhaps I have deserved them. When I arraigued the wisdom of Provi
dence, I only showed my own ignorance ; henceforth let me keep from vice myself, and pity it in others.'
He had scarce ended, when the genius, assuming an air of terrible complacency, called all his thunders around him, and vanished in a whirlwind. Asem, astonished at the terror of the scene, looked for his imaginary world; when, casting his eyes around, he perceived himself in the very situation, and in the very place, where he first began to repine and despair; his right foot had been just advanced to take the fatal plunge, nor had it been yet withdrawn; so instantly did Providence strike the series of truths just imprinted on his soul. He pow departed from the water-side in tranquillity, and, leaving his horrid mansion, travelled to Segestan, his native city; where he diligently applied himself to commerce, and put in practice that wisdom he had learned in solitude. The frugality of a few years soon produced opulence; the number of his domes. tics increased ; his friends came to him from every part of the city, nor did he receive them with disdain ; and a youth of misery was concluded with an old age of elegance, affluence, and ease.
A REVERIE AT THE BOAR'S HEAD TAVERN, IN
The improvements we make in mental acquirements, only render us each day more sensible of the defects of our constitution : with this in view, therefore, let us
often recur to the amusements of youth; endeavour to forget age and wisdom, and, as far as innocence goes, be as much a boy as the best of them.
Let idle declaimers mourn over the degeneracy of the age ; but, in my opinion, every age is the same. This I am sure of, that man, in every season, is a poor, fretful being, with no other means to escape the calamities of the times, but by endeavouring to forget them; for if he attempts to resist, he is certainly undone. If I feel poverty and pain, I am not so hardy as to quarrel with the executioner, even while under correction: I find myself no way disposed to make fine speeches, while I am making wry faces. In a word, let me drink when the fit is on, to make me insensible; and drink when it is over, for joy that I feel pain no longer.
The character of old Falstaff, even with all his faults, gives me more consolation than the most studied efforts of wisdom: I here behold an agreeable old fellow, forgetting age, and showing me the way to be young at sixty-five. Sure I am well able to be as merry, though not so comical, as he. Is it not in my power to have, though not so much wit, at least as much vivacity ?-Age, care, wisdom, reflection, begone :-I give you to the winds. Let's have t'other bottle : here's to the memory of Shakspeare, Falstaff, and all the merry men of Eastcheap.
Such were the reflections that naturally arose while I sat at the Boar's-head tavern, still kept at Eastcheap. Here, by a pleasant fire, in the very room where old sir John Falstaff cracked his jokes in the