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Page 61 - Bagdat, in order to pass the rest of the day in meditation and prayer. As I was here airing myself on the tops of the mountains, I fell into a profound contemplation on the vanity of human life; and, passing from one thought to another, 'Surely,' said I, 'man is but a shadow and life a dream.
Page 64 - But the other appeared to me a vast ocean planted with innumerable islands, that were covered with fruits and flowers, and interwoven with a thousand little shining seas that ran among them. I could see persons dressed in glorious habits with garlands upon their heads, passing among the trees, lying down by the sides of fountains, or resting on beds of flowers; and could hear a confused harmony of singing birds, falling waters, human voices, and musical instruments.
Page 60 - I'll raise; So by my woes to be Nearer, my God, to thee, Nearer to thee.
Page 64 - Gladness grew in me upon the discovery of so delightful a scene. I wished for the wings of an eagle, that I might fly away to those happy seats ; but the Genius told me there was no passage to them except through the gates of death, that I saw opening every moment upon the bridge. 16.
Page 59 - NEARER, my God, to Thee, Nearer to Thee ! E'en though it be a cross That raiseth me ; Still all my song shall be, — Nearer, my God, to Thee, Nearer to Thee...
Page 64 - Alas,' said I, ' Man was made in vain ! how is he given away to misery and mortality! tortured in life, and swallowed up in death!' The Genius being moved with compassion towards me, bid me quit so uncomfortable a prospect. 'Look no more,' said he, 'on man in the first stage of his existence, in his setting out for eternity; but cast thine eye on that thick mist into which the tide bears the several generations of mortals that fall into it.
Page 63 - I observed some with scimitars in their hands, and others with urinals, who ran to and fro upon the bridge, thrusting several persons on trapdoors, 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 yet seest any thing thou dost not comprehend." Upon looking up,
Page 65 - IT is a celebrated thought of Socrates, that if all the misfortunes of mankind were cast into a public stock, in order to be equally distributed among the whole species, those who now think themselves the most unhappy, would prefer the share they are already possessed of before that which would fall to them by such a division.
Page 71 - I looked upon them as a piece of natural criticism; and was well pleased to hear him, at the conclusion of almost every scene, telling me that he could not imagine how the play would end. One while he appeared much concerned for Andromache, and a little while after as much for Hermione; and was extremely puzzled to think what would become of Pyrrhus. When Sir Roger saw Andromache's obstinate refusal to her lover's importunities, he whispered me in the ear, that he was sure she would never have him;...
Page 65 - 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, the arched bridge, and the happy islands, I saw nothing but the long hollow valley of Bagdat, with oxen, sheep, and camels grazing upon the sides of it.