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shell of paint, Affectation with a mirrour to practise at, and Fashion ever changing the pofture of her clothes. These applied themselves to fecure the conquefts which Self-Conceit had gotten, and had each of them their particular polities. Flattery gave new colours and complexions to all things, Affectation new airs and appearances, which, as the faid, were not vulgar, and Fashion both concealed fome home defects, and added fome foreign external beauties.
As I was reflecting upon what I faw, I heard a voice in the croud, bemoaning the condition of mankind, which is thus managed by the breath of Opinion, deluded by Error, fired by Self-Conceit, and given up to be trained in all the courfes of Vanity, 'till Scorn or Poverty come upon us. Thefe expreffions were no fooner handed about, but I immediately faw a general disorder, 'till at last there was a parting in one place, and a grave old man, decent and refolute, was led forward to be punished for the words he had uttered. He appeared inclined to have spoken in his own defence, but I could not obferve that any one was willing to hear him. Vanity caft a fcornful fmile at him; Self-Conceit was angry; Flattery, who knew him for Plain-dealing, put on a vizard, and turned away; Affectation toffed her fan, made mouths, and called him Envy or Slander; and Fashion would have it, that at least he must be Ill-Manners. Thus flighted and despised by all, he was driven out for abufing
people of merit and figure; and I heard it firmly refolved, that he should be used no better where-ever they met with him hereafter.
I had already feen the meaning of most part of that warning which he had given, and was confidering how the latter words Thould be fulfilled, when a mighty noise was heard without, and the door was blackened by a numerous train of Harpies crouding in upon us. Folly and Broken Credit were seen in the house before they entered. Trouble, Shame, Infamy, Scorn and Poverty brought up the rear. Vanity, with her Cupid and Graces, difappeared; her fubjects ran into holes and corners ; but many of them were found and carried off (as I was told by one who stood near me) either to prifons or cellars, folitude, or little company, the mean arts or the viler crafts of life. But thefe, added he, with a difdainful air, are fuch who would fondly 'live here, when their merits neither matched the luftre of the place, nor their riches its expences. We have seen such scenes as thefe before now; the glory you saw will all return when the hurry is over. I thanked him for his information, and beHieving him fo incorrigible as that he would stay 'till it was his turn to be taken, I made off to the door, and overtook fome few, who, though they would not hearken to plain-dealing, were now terrified to good purpose by the example of others: But when they had touched the threshold, it was a strange fhock to them to find that the delufion of Error was
gone, and they plainly difcerned the building to hang a little up in the air without any real foundation. At first we saw nothing, but a desperate leap remained for us, and I a thousand times blamed my unmeaning curiofity that had brought me into fo much danger. But as they began to fink lower in their own minds, methought the palace sunk along with us, 'till they were arrived at the due point of Efteem which they ought to have for themselves; then the part of the building in which they stood touched the earth, and we departing out, it retired from our eyes. Now, whether they who ftayed in the palace were fenfible of this descent, I cannot tell; it was then my opinion that they were not. However it be, my dream broke up at it, and has given me occafion all my life to reflect upon the fatal confequences of following the fuggeftions of Vanity.
SPECTATOR. N° 501.
HOW are we tortured with the absence of
what we covet to poffefs, when it appears to be loft to us! what excurfions does the foul make in imagination after it! and how does it turn into itself again, more foolishly fond and dejected, at the disappointment! our grief, instead of having recourfe to reason, which might reftrain it, searches to find a further nourishment. It calls upon memory to relate the several paffages and circumftances of fatisfactions which we formerly enjoyed; the pleasures we purchased by thofe riches that are taken from us; or the power and fplendor of our departed honours; or the voice, the words, the looks, the temper, and affections of our friends that are deceased. It needs muft happen from hence, that the paffion fhould often fwell to fuch a fize as to burft the heart which contains it, if time did not make thefe circumftances lefs ftrong and lively, fo that reason should become a more equal match for the paffion, or if another defire which becomes more prefent did not overpower them with a livelier representation. These are
thoughts which I had, when I fell into a kind of vifion upon this fubject, and may therefore ftand for a proper introduction to a relation of it.
I found myself upon a naked fhore, with company whose afflicted countenances witneffed their conditions. Before us flowed a water, deep, filent, and called the river of Tears, which issuing from two fountains on an upper ground, encompaffed an ifland that lay before us. The boat which plied in it was old and shattered, having been fometimes overfet by the impatience and hafte of fingle paffengers to arrive at the other fide. This immediately was brought to us by Misfortune, who fteers it, and we were all preparing to take our places, wher there appeared a woman of a mild and compofed behaviour, who began to deter us from it, by reprefenting the dangers which would attend our voyage. Hereupon fome who knew her for Patience, and fome of those too, who 'till then cried the loudeft, were perfuaded by her, and returned back. The reft of us went in, and fhe (whofe good-nature would not suffer her to forfake perfons in trouble) defired leave to accompany us, that she might at leaft adminifter fome fmall comfort or advice while we failed. We were no fooner embarked, but the boat was pushed off, the fheet was fpread; and being filled with Sighs, which are the winds of that country, we made a paffage to the farther bank thro'