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rest. I laid myself listlessly on the bank. The Trent murmured softly at my feet, and the willows sighed as they waved over my head. It was the holy moment of repose, and I soon sunk into a deep sleep. rations of fancy, in a slumber, induced by a combination of circumstances so powerful and uncommon, could not fail to be wild and romantic in the extreme. Methought I found myself in an extensive area, filled with an immense concourse of people. At one end was a throne of adamant, on which sat a female, in whose aspect I immediately recognized a divinity. She was clad in a garb of azure, on her forehead she hore a sun, whose splendor the eyes
of many were unable to bear, and whose rays illumined the whole space, and penetrated into the deepest recesses of darkness. The aspect of the goddess at a distance was forbidding, but on a nearer approach it was mild and engaging. Her eyes were blue and piercing, and there was a fascination in her smile which charmed as if by enchantment. The air of intelligence which beamed in her look, made the beholder shrink into himself with the consciousness of inferiority; yet the affability of her deportment, and the simplicity and gentleness of her manners soon re-assured him, while the bewitching softness which she could at times assume, won his permanent esteem. On enquiry of a by-stander who it was that sat on the throne, and what was the occasion of so uncommon an assembly, he informed me that it was the goddess of wisdom, who had at last succeeded in regaining the dominion of the earth, which folly had so long usurped. That she sat there in her ju
dicial capacity, in order to try the merits of many who were supposed to be the secret emissaries of Folly. In this way I understood Envy and Malevolence had been sentenced to perpetual banishment, though several of their adherents yet remained among men, whose minds were too gross to be irradiated with the light of wisdom. One trial I understood was just ended, and another supposed delinquent was about to be put to the bar. With much curiosity I hurried forwards to survey the figure which now approached. She was habited in black, and veiled to the waist. Her pace was solemn and majestic, yet in every movement was a winning gracefulness. As she approached to the bar, I got a nearer view of her, when what was my astonishment to recognize in her the person of my favourite goddess Melancholy. Amazed that she whom I had always looked upon as the sister and companion of Wisdom, should be brought to trial as an emissary and an adherent of Folly, I waited in mute impatience for the accusation which could be framed against her.-On looking towards the centre of the area, I was much surprised to see a bustling little Cit of my acquaintance, who, by his hemming and clearing, I concluded was. going to make the charge. As he was a self-important little fellow, full of consequence and business, and totally incapable of all the finer emotions of the soul, I could not conceive what ground of complaint he could have against Melancholy, who, I was persuaded, would never have deigned to take up her residence for a moment in his breast. When I recollected, however, that
he had some sparks of ambition in his composition, and that he was an envious carping little mortal, who had formed the design of shouldering himself into notice by decrying the defects of others, while he was insensible to his own, my amazement and my apprehensions vanished as I perceived he only wanted to make a display of his own talents, in doing which I did not fear his making himself sufficiently ridiculous.
After a good deal of irrelevant circumlocution, lie boldly began the accusation of Melancholy. I shall not dwell upon many absurd and many invidious parts of his speech, nor upon the many blunders in the misapplication of words, such as “ deduce” for “ detract," and others of a similar nature, which my poor
friend committed in the course of his harangue, but shall only dwell upon the material parts of the charge.
He represented the prisoner as the offspring of Idleness and Discontent, who was at all times a sulky, sullen, and “ eminently useless" member of the community, and not unfrequently a very dangerous one. He declared it to be his opinion, that in case she were to be suffered to prevail, mankind would soon become “ too idle to go,” and would all lie down and perish through indolence, or through forgetting that sustenance was necessary for the preservation of existence; and concluded with painting the horrors which would attend such a depopulation of the earth, in such colours as made many weak minds regard the goddess with fear and abhor
Having concluded, the accused was called upon for her defence. She immediately, with a graceful gesture, lifted up the veil which concealed her face, and discovered a countenance so soft, so lovely, and so sweetly expressive, as to strike the beholders with involuntary admiration, and which, at one glance, overturned all the flimsy sopbistry of my poor friend the citizen; and when the silver tones of her voice were heard, the murmurs which until then had continually arisen from the crowd were hushed to a dead still, and the whole multitude stood transfixed in breathless attention, As near as I can recollect, these were the words in which she addressed herself to the throne of wisdom.
I shall not deign to give a DIRECT answer to the various insinuations which have been thrown out against me by my accuser. Let it suffice that I declare my true history, in opposition to that which has been so artfully fabricated to my disadvantage. In that early age of the world, when mankind followed the peaceful avocations of a pastoral life only, and contentment and harmony reigned in every vale, I was not known among men; but when, in process of time, Ambition and Vice, with their attendant evils, were sent down as a scourge to the human race, I made my appearance. I am the offspring of Misfortune and Virtue, and was sent by Hea
ven to teach my parents how to support their afflictions with magnanimity. As I grew up, I became the intimate friend of the wisest among men. I was the bosom friend of Plato, and other illustrious sages of antiquity, and was then often known by the name of Philosophy, though, in present times, when that title is usurped by mere makers of experiments, and inventors of blacking-cakes, I am only known by the appellation of Melancholy. So far from being of a discontented disposition, my very essence is pious and resigned contentment. I teach my votaries to support every yicissitude of fortune with calmness and fortitude. It is mine to subdue the stormy propensities of passion and vice, to foster and encourage the principles of benevolence and philanthropy, and to cherish and bring to perfection the seeds of virtue and wisdom. Though feared and hated by those who, like my accuser, are ignorant of my nature, I am courted and cherished by all the truly wise, the good, and the great; the poet woos me as the goddess of inspiration; the true philosopher acknowledges himself indebted to me for his most expansive views of human nature; the good man owes to me that hatred of the wrong and love of the right, and that disdain for the consequences which may result from the performance of his duties, which keeps bim good; and the religious flies to me for the only clear and unencumbered view of the attributes and perfections of the Deity. So far from being idle; my mind is ever on the wing in the regions of fancy, or that true philosophy which opens the book of human nature, and raises the soul above the evils in