The Sleeping Bard - or, Visions of the World, Death, and Hell
by Ellis Wynne
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THE SLEEPING BARD; OR Visions of the World, Death, and Hell, BY ELIS WYN.





The Sleeping Bard was originally written in the Welsh language, and was published about the year 1720. The author of it, Elis Wyn, was a clergyman of the Cambro Anglican Church, and a native of Denbighshire, in which county he passed the greater part of his life, at a place called Y las Ynys. Besides the Sleeping Bard, he wrote and published a book in Welsh, consisting of advice to Christian Professors. The above scanty details comprise all that is known of Elis Wyn. Both his works have enjoyed, and still enjoy, considerable popularity in Wales.

The Sleeping Bard, though a highly remarkable, is not exactly entitled to the appellation of an original work. There are in the Spanish language certain pieces by Francisco Quevedo, called "Visions or Discourses;" the principal ones being "The Vision of the Carcases, the Sties of Pluto, and the Inside of the World Disclosed; The Visit of the Gayeties, and the Intermeddler, the Duenna and the Informer." With all these the Visions of Elis Wyn have more or less connection. The idea of the Vision of the World, was clearly taken from the Interior of the World Disclosed; the idea of the Vision of Death, from the Vision of the Carcases; that of the Vision of Hell, from the Sties of Pluto; whilst many characters and scenes in the three parts, into which the work of Elis Wyn is divided, are taken either from the Visit of the Gayeties, the Intermeddler, or others of Quevedo's Visions; for example Rhywun, or Somebody, who in the Vision of Death makes the humorous complaint, that so much of the villainy and scandal of the world is attributed to him, is neither more nor less than Quevedo's Juan de la Encina, or Jack o' the Oak, who in the Visit of the Gayeties, is made to speak somewhat after the following fashion:—

"O ye living people, spawn of Satan that ye are! what is the reason that ye cannot let me be at rest now that I am dead, and all is over with me? What have I done to you? What have I done to cause you to defame me in every thing, who have a hand in nothing, and to blame me for that of which I am entirely ignorant?" "Who are you?" said I with a timorous bow, "for I really do not understand you." "I am," said he, "the unfortunate Juan de la Encina, whom, notwithstanding I have been here many years, ye mix up with all the follies which ye do and say during your lives; for all your lives long, whenever you hear of an absurdity, or commit one, you are in the habit of saying, 'Juan de la Encina could not have acted more like a fool;' or, 'that is one of the follies of Juan de la Encina.' I would have you know that all you men, when you say or do foolish things, are Juan de la Encina; for this appellation of Encina, seems wide enough to cover all the absurdities of the world."

Nevertheless, though there is a considerable amount of what is Quevedo's in the Visions of Elis Wyn, there is a vast deal in them which strictly belongs to the Welshman. Upon the whole, the Cambrian work is superior to the Spanish. There is more unity of purpose in it, and it is far less encumbered with useless matter. In reading Quevedo's Visions, it is frequently difficult to guess what the writer is aiming at; not so whilst perusing those of Elis Wyn. It is always clear enough, that the Welshman is either lashing the follies or vices of the world, showing the certainty of death, or endeavouring to keep people from Hell, by conveying to them an idea of the torments to which the guilty are subjected in a future state.

Whether Elis Wyn had ever read the Visions of Quevedo in their original language, it is impossible to say; the probability however is, that he was acquainted with them through the medium of an English translation, which was published in London about the beginning of the eighteenth century; of the merits of that translation the present writer can say nothing, as it has never come to his hand: he cannot however help observing, that a person who would translate the Visions of Quevedo, and certain other writings of his, should be something more than a fair Spanish scholar, and a good master of the language into which he would render them, as they abound not only with idiomatic phrases, but terms of cant or Germania, which are as unintelligible as Greek or Arabic to the greater part of the Spaniards themselves.

The following translation of the Sleeping Bard has long existed in manuscript. It was made by the writer of these lines in the year 1830, at the request of a little Welsh bookseller of his acquaintance, who resided in the rather unfashionable neighbourhood of Smithfield, and who entertained an opinion that a translation of the work of Elis Wyn, would enjoy a great sale both in England and Wales. On the eve of committing it to the press however, the Cambrian Briton felt his small heart give way within him: "Were I to print it," said he, "I should be ruined; the terrible descriptions of vice and torment, would frighten the genteel part of the English public out of its wits, and I should to a certainty be prosecuted by Sir James Scarlett. I am much obliged to you, for the trouble you have given yourself on my account—but Myn Diawl! I had no idea till I had read him in English, that Elis Wyn had been such a terrible fellow."

Yet there is no harm in the book. It is true that the Author is any thing but mincing in his expressions and descriptions, but there is nothing in the Sleeping Bard which can give offence to any but the over fastidious. There is a great deal of squeamish nonsense in the world; let us hope however that there is not so much as there was. Indeed can we doubt that such folly is on the decline, when we find Albemarle Street in '60, willing to publish a harmless but plain speaking book which Smithfield shrank from in '30?

The Vision of the Course of the World.

One fine evening of warm sunny summer, I took a stroll to the top of one of the mountains of Wales, carrying with me a telescope to assist my feeble sight by bringing distant objects near, and magnifying small ones. Through the thin, clear air, and the calm and luminous heat, I saw many delightful prospects afar across the Irish sea. At length, after feasting my eyes on all the pleasant objects around me, until the sun had reached his goal in the west, I lay down upon the green grass, reflecting, how fair and enchanting, from my own country, the countries appeared whose plains my eyes had glanced over, how delightful it would be to obtain a full view of them, and how happy those were who saw the course of the world in comparison with me: weariness was the result of all this toiling with my eyes and my imagination, and in the shadow of Weariness, Mr. Sleep came stealthily to enthrall me, who with his keys of lead, locked the windows of my eyes, and all my other senses securely. But it was in vain for him to endeavour to lock up the soul, which can live and toil independently of the body, for my spirit escaped out of the locked body upon the wings of Fancy, and the first thing which I saw by the side of me was a dancing ring, and a kind of rabble in green petticoats and red caps dancing away with the most furious eagerness. I stood for a time in perplexity whether I should go to them or not, because in my flurry I feared they were a gang of hungry gipsies, and that they would do nothing less than slaughter me for their supper, and swallow me without salt: but after gazing upon them for some time, I could see that they were better and handsomer than the swarthy, lying Egyptian race. So I ventured to approach them, but very softly, like a hen treading upon hot embers, that I might learn who they were; and at length I took the liberty of addressing them in this guise, with my head and back lowered horizontally: "Fair assembly, as I perceive that you are gentry from distant parts, will you deign to take a Bard along with you, who is desirous of travelling?" At these words the hurly-burly was hushed, and all fixed their eyes upon me: "Bard," squeaked one—"travel," said another—"along with us," said the third. By this time I saw some looking particularly fierce upon me; then they began to whisper in each others ears certain secret words, and to look at me; at length the whispering ceased, and each laying his gripe upon me they raised me upon their shoulders, as we do a knight of the shire, and then away with me they flew like the wind, over houses and fields, cities and kingdoms, seas and mountains; and so quickly did they fly that I could fasten my sight upon nothing, and what was worse, I began to suspect that my companions, by their frowning and knitting their brows at me, wanted me to sing blasphemy against my King and Maker.

"Well," said I to myself, "I may now bid farewell to life, these cursed witches will convey me to the pantry or cellar of some nobleman, and there leave me, to pay with my neck for their robberies; or they will abandon me stark naked, to freeze to death upon the sea-brink of old Shire Caer, {3} or some other cold, distant place;" but on reflecting that all the old hags whom I had once known had long been dead and buried, and perceiving that these people took pleasure in holding or waving me over hollow ravines, I conjectured that they were not witches but beings who are called fairies. We made no stop until I found myself by the side of a huge castle, the most beautiful I had ever seen, with a large pool or moat surrounding it: then they began to consult what they should do with me; "shall we go direct to the castle with him?" said one. "No, let us hang him or cast him into the lake, he is not worth being shown to our great prince," said another. "Did he say his prayers before he went to sleep?" said a third. At the mention of prayers, I uttered a confused groan to heaven for pardon and assistance; and as soon as I recollected myself, I saw a light at a vast distance bursting forth, Oh, how glorious! As it drew nigh, my companions were darkening and vanishing, and quickly there came floating towards us a form of light over the castle, whereupon the fairies abandoned their hold of me, but as they departed they turned upon me a hellish scowl, and unless the angel had supported me, I should have been dashed into pieces small enough for a pasty, by the time I reached the ground.

"What is your business here?" said the angel. "In verity my lord," I replied, "I do not know what place here is, nor what is my business, nor what I am myself, nor what has become of my other part; I had four limbs and a head, and whether I have left them at home, or whether the fairies, who have certainly not acted fairly with me, have cast me into some abyss, (for I remember to have passed over several horrid ravines,) I cannot tell, sir, though you should cause me to be hung." "Fairly indeed," said he, "they would have acted with you, if I had not come just in time to save you from the clutches of these children of hell."

"Since you have such a particular desire to see the course of the little world," said he, "I have received commands to give you a sight of it, in order that you may see your error in being discontented with your station, and your own country. Come with me," he added, "for a peregrination," and at the word he snatched me up, just as the dawn was beginning to break, far above the topmost tower of the castle; we rested in the firmament upon the ledge of a light cloud to gaze upon the rising sun; but my heavenly companion, was far more luminous than the sun, but all his splendour was upward, by reason of a veil which was betwixt him and the nether regions. When the light of the sun became stronger, I could see, between the two luminaries, the vast air-encircled world, like a little round bullet, very far beneath us. "Look now," said the angel, giving me a different telescope from that which I had on the mountain. When I peeped through this I saw things in a manner altogether different from that in which I had seen them before, and in a much clearer one. I saw a city of monstrous size, and thousands of cities and kingdoms within it; and the great ocean, like a moat, around it, and other seas, like rivers, intersecting it.

By dint of long gazing I could see that it was divided into three exceedingly large streets; each street with a large, magnificent gate at the bottom, and each gate with a fair tower over it. Upon each tower there was a damsel of wonderful beauty, standing in the sight of the whole street; and the three towers appeared to reach up behind the walls to the skirts of the castle afore-mentioned. Crossing these three huge streets I could see another; it was but little and mean in comparison with them, but it was clean and neat, and on a higher foundation than the other streets, proceeding upward towards the east, whilst the three others ran downward towards the north to the great gates. I now ventured to enquire of my companion whether I might be permitted to speak. "Certainly," said the angel, "speak out! but listen attentively to my answers, so that I may not have to say the same thing to you more than once." "I will, my lord," said I. "Now pray, what place is the castle yonder in the north?" "The castle above in the air," said he, "belongs to Belial, prince of the power of the air, and governor of all the great city below: it is called Delusive Castle, for Belial is a great deluder, and by his wiles he keeps under his banner all you see, with the exception of the little street yonder. He is a great prince, with thousands of princes under him—what were Caesar or Alexander the Great compared with him? What are the Turk and old Lewis of France, but his servants? Great, yea, exceeding great, are the power, subtlety, and diligence of the prince Belial; and his armies in the country below are innumerable." "For what purpose," said I, "are the damsels standing yonder, and who are they?" "Softly," said the angel, "one question at once: they are there to be loved and to be adored." "And no wonder indeed," said I, "since they are so amiable; if I possessed feet and hands as formerly, I would go and offer love and adoration to them myself." "Hush, hush," said he, "if you would do so with your members, it is well that you are without them; know, thou foolish spirit, that these three princesses are only three destructive deluders, daughters of the prince Belial, and all their beauty and affability, which are irradiating the streets, are only masks over deformity and cruelty; the three within are like their father, replete with deadly poison." "Woe's me; is it possible," said I, quite sad, and smitten with love of them! "It is but too true, alas," said he. "Thou admirest the radiance with which they shine upon their adorers; but know that there is in that radiance a very wondrous charm; it blinds men from looking back, it deafens them lest they should hear their danger, and it burns them with ceaseless longing for more of it; which longing, is itself a deadly poison, breeding, within those who feel it, diseases not to be got rid of, which no physician can cure, not even death, nor anything, unless the heavenly medicine, which is called repentance, is procured, to cast out the evil in time, before it is imbibed too far, by excessive looking upon them." "But how is it," said I, "that Belial does not wish to have these adorers himself?" "He has them," said the angel; "the old fox is adored in his daughters, because, whilst a man sticks to these, or to one of the three, he is securely under the mark of Belial, and wears his livery."

"What are the names," said I, "of those three deceivers?" "The farthest, yonder," said he, "is called Pride, the eldest daughter of Belial; the second is Pleasure; and Lucre is the next to us: these three are the trinity which the world adores." "Pray, has this great, distracted city," said I, "any better name than Bedlam the Great?" "It has," he replied, "it is called The City of Perdition." "Woe is me," said I, "are all that are contained therein people of perdition?" "The whole," said he, "except some who may escape out to the most high city above, ruled by the king Emmanuel." "Woe's me and mine," said I, "how shall they escape, ever gazing, as they are, upon the thing which blinds them more and more, and which plunders them in their blindness?" "It would be quite impossible," said he, "for one man to escape from thence, did not Emmanuel send his messengers, early and late, from above, to persuade them to turn to him, their lawful King, from the service of the rebel, and also transmit to some, the present of a precious ointment, called faith, to anoint their eyes with; and whosoever obtains this true ointment, (for there is a counterfeit of it, as there is of every thing else, in the city of Perdition,) and anoints himself with it, will see his wounds, and his madness, and will not tarry a minute longer here, though Belial should give him his three daughters, yea, or the fourth, which is the greatest of all, to do so."

"What are those great streets called?" said I. "Each is called," he replied, "by the name of the princess who governs it: the first is the street of Pride, the middle one the street of Pleasure, and the nearest, the street of Lucre." "Pray tell me," said I, "who are dwelling in these streets? What is the language which they speak? What are the tenets which they hold; and to what nation do they belong?" "Many," said he, "of every language, faith, and nation under the Sun, are living in each of those vast streets below; and there are many living in each of the three streets alternately, and every one as near as possible to the gate; and they frequently remove, unable to tarry long in the one, from the great love they bear to the princess of some other street; and the old fox looks slyly on, permitting every one to love his choice, or all three if he pleases, for then he is most sure of him."

"Come nearer to them," said the angel, and hurried with me downwards, shrouded in his impenetrable veil, through much noxious vapour which was rising from the city; presently we descended in the street of Pride, upon a spacious mansion open at the top, whose windows had been dashed out by dogs and crows, and whose owners had departed to England or France, to seek there for what they could have obtained much easier at home; thus, instead of the good, old, charitable, domestic family of yore, there were none at present but owls, crows, or chequered magpies, whose hooting, cawing and chattering were excellent comments on the practices of the present owners. There were in that street, myriads of such abandoned palaces, which might have been, had it not been for Pride, the resorts of the best, as of yore, places of refuge for the weak, schools of peace and of every kind of goodness; and blessings to thousands of small houses around.

From the summit of this ruin, we had scope and leisure enough to observe the whole street on either side. There were fair houses of wondrous height and magnificence—and no wonder, as there were emperors, kings, and hundreds of princes there, and thousands of nobles and gentry, and very many women of every degree. I saw a vain high-topt creature, like a ship at full sail, walking as if in a frame, carrying about her full the amount of a pedlar's pack, and having at her ears, the worth of a good farm, in pearls; and there were not a few of her kind—some were singing, in order that their voices might be praised; some were dancing, to show their figures; others were painting to improve their complexions; others had been trimming themselves before the glass, for three hours, learning to smile, moving pins and making gestures and putting themselves in attitudes. There was many a vain creature there, who did not know how to open her lips to speak, or to eat, nor, from sheer pride, to look under her feet; and many a ragged shrew, who would insist that she was as good a gentlewoman as the best in the street; and many an ambling fop, who could winnow beans with the mere wind of his train.

Whilst I was looking, from afar upon these, and a hundred such, behold! there passed by towards us, a bouncing, variegated lady with a lofty look, and with a hundred folks gazing after her; some bent themselves as if to adore her; some few thrust something into her hand. Being unable to imagine who she was, I enquired. "Oh," replied my friend, "she is one who has all her portion in sight, yet you see how many foolish people are seeking her, and the meanest of them in possession of all the attainments she can boast of. She will not have what she can gain, and will never gain what she desires, and she will speak to no one but her betters, on account of her mother's telling her, 'that a young woman cannot do a worse thing, than be humble in her love.'" Thereupon came out from beneath us a pillar of a man, who had been an alderman, and in many official situations; he came spreading his wings as if to fly, though he could scarcely draw one knee after the other, on account of the gout, and various other genteel disorders: notwithstanding which, you could not obtain from him, but through a very great favour, a glance or a nod, though you should call him by his titles and his offices.

From this being I turned my eyes to the other side of the street, where I beheld a lusty young nobleman, with a number of people behind him; he had a sweet smile and a condescending air to every one who met him. "It is strange," said I, "that this young man and yonder personage should belong to the same street." "Oh, the same princess Pride rules them both," answered the angel,—"this young man is only speaking fair on account of the errand he comes upon; he is seeking popularity at present, with the intent to raise himself thereby to the highest office in the kingdom—it is easy for him to lament to the people how much they are wronged by the oppression of bad masters; but his own exaltment, and not the weal of the kingdom, is the heart of the matter." After gazing for a long time, I perceived at the gate of Pride, a fair city upon seven hills, and on the top of its lofty palace there was a triple crown, with swords and keys crossed. "Lo! there is Rome," said I, "and therein dwells the Pope." "Yes, most usually," said the angel; "but he has a palace in each of the other streets." Over against Rome, I could see a city with an exceedingly fair palace, and upon it was mounted on high, a half-moon on a banner of gold, and by that I knew that the Turk was there. Next to the gate after those, was the palace of Lewis XIV., of France, as I understood by his arms, three fleurs-de-lis upon a silver banner hanging aloft. Whilst looking on the height and majesty of these palaces, I perceived that there was much passing and repassing from the one to the other, and I asked what was the cause thereof? "Oh, there is many a dark cause," said the angel, "why those three crafty, powerful heads should communicate; but though they account themselves fully adapted to espouse the three princesses above, their power and subtlety are nothing when compared with these; yes, Belial the Great does not esteem the whole city, (though so numerous be its kings), as equivalent to his daughters. Notwithstanding that he offers them in marriage to everybody, he has still never given one entirely to anybody yet. There has been a rivalry between these three concerning them:—the Turk, who calls himself God upon earth, wished for the eldest, Pride, in marriage. 'No,' said the king of France, 'she belongs to me, as I keep all my subjects in her street, and likewise bring many to her from England and other countries.' Spain would have the princess Lucre, in despite of Holland and all the Jews. England would have the princess Pleasure, in despite of the Pagans. But the Pope would have the whole three, and with better reason than all the rest together, therefore Belial has stationed him next to them in the three streets." "And is it on this account that there is this intercourse at present," said I. "No;" he replied, "Belial has arranged the matter between them for some time; but at present he has caused them to lay their heads together, how they may best destroy the cross street yonder, which is the city of Emmanuel, and particularly one great palace which is there, out of sheer venom at perceiving that it is a fairer edifice than exists in all the city of Perdition. Belial moreover has promised to those who shall accomplish its destruction, the half of his kingdom during his life, and the whole when he is dead. But, notwithstanding the greatness of his power and the depth of his wiles; notwithstanding the multitude of crafty emperors, kings, and rulers, who are beneath his banner in the vast city of Perdition; and notwithstanding the bravery of his countless legions on the outer side of the gates in the world below; notwithstanding all this," said the angel, "he shall see that it is a task above his power to perform. Yes; however great Belial may be, he shall find that there is One greater than he, in the little street yonder."

I was unable to hear his angelic reasons completely, from the tumbling there was along this slippery street every hour, and I could see some people with ladders scaling the tower, and having reached the highest step fall headlong to the bottom. "To what place are those fools seeking to get?" said I. "To a place high enough," said he; "they are seeking to break into the treasury of the princess." "I will warrant it is full enough," said I. "It is," he replied; "and with every thing which belongs to this street, for the purpose of being distributed amongst the inhabitants. There you will find every species of warlike arms to subdue and to over-run countries; every species of arms of gentility, banners, escutcheons, books of pedigree, stanzas and poems relating to ancestry, with every species of brave garments; admirable stories, lying portraits; all kinds of tints and waters to embellish the countenance; all sorts of high offices and titles; and, to be brief, there is every thing there that is adapted to cause a man to think better of himself, and worse of others than he ought. The chief officers of this treasury are masters of ceremonies, vagabonds, genealogists, bards, orators, flatterers, dancers, tailors, mantua-makers, and the like." From this great street we proceeded to the next, where the princess Lucre reigns; it was a full and prodigiously wealthy street, yet not half so splendid and clean as the street of Pride, nor its people half so bold and lofty looking; for they were skulking mean-looking fellows, for the most part.

There were in this street thousands of Spaniards, Hollanders, Venetians, and Jews, and a great many aged, decrepit people were also there. "Pray, sir," said I, "what kind of men are these?" "They have all gain in view," said he. "At the lowest extremity, on one side, you will still see the Pope; also subduers of kingdoms and their soldiers, oppressors, foresters, shutters up of the common foot-paths, justices and their bribers, and the whole race of lawyers down to the catchpole. On the other side," said he, "there are physicians, apothecaries, doctors, misers, merchants, extortioners, usurers, refusers to pay tithes, wages, rents, or alms which were left to schools and charity houses; purveyors and chapmen who keep and raise the market to their own price; shopkeepers (or sharpers) who make money out of the necessity or ignorance of the buyer; stewards of every degree, sturdy beggars, taverners who plunder the families of careless men of their property, and the country of its barley for the bread of the poor. All these are thieves of the first water," said he; "and the rest are petty thieves, for the most part, and keep at the upper end of the street; they consist of highway robbers, tailors, weavers, millers, measurers of wet and dry, and the like." In the midst of this discourse, I heard a prodigious tumult at the lower end of the street, where there was a huge crowd of people thronging towards the gate, with such pushing and disputing as caused me to imagine that there was a general fray on foot, until I demanded of my friend what was the matter. "There is an exceeding great treasure in that tower," said the angel, "and all that concourse is for the purpose of choosing a treasurer to the princess, in lieu of the Pope, who has been turned out of that office." So we went to see the election.

The men who were competing for the office were the Stewards, the Usurers, the Lawyers, and the Merchants, and the richest of the whole was to obtain it, because the more you have the more you shall crave, is the epidemic curse of the street. The Stewards were rejected at the first offer, lest they should impoverish the whole street, and, as they had raised their palaces on the ruins of their masters, lest they should in the end turn the princess out of her possession; then the dispute arose between the three others; the Merchants had the most silks, the Lawyers most mortgages on lands, and the Usurers the greatest number of full bags, and bills and bonds. "Ha! they will not agree to night," said the angel, "so come away; the Lawyers are richer than the Merchants, the Usurers are richer than the Lawyers, and the Stewards than the Usurers, and Belial than the whole, for he owns them all, and their property too."

"For what reason is the princess keeping these thieves about her?" I demanded. "What can be more proper," said he, "when she herself is the arrantest of thieves." I was astonished to hear him call the princess thus, and the greatest potentates thieves of the first water. "Pray, my lord," said I, "how can you call those illustrious people greater thieves than robbers on the highway?" "You are but a dupe," said he; "is not the villain who goes over the world with his sword in his hand and his plunderers behind him, burning and slaying, wresting kingdoms from their right owners, and looking forward to be adored as a conqueror, worse than the rogue who takes a purse upon the highway? What is the tailor who cabbages a piece of cloth, to the great man who takes a piece out of the parish common? Ought not the latter to be called a thief of the first water, or ten times more a rogue than the other?—the tailor merely takes snips of cloth from his customer, whilst the other takes from the poor man the sustenance of his beast, and by so doing the sustenance of himself and his little ones—what is taking a handful of flour at the mill, to keeping a hundred sacksfull to putrify, in order to obtain afterwards a four-fold price?—what is the half-naked soldier who takes your garment away with his sword, to the lawyer, who takes your whole estate from you with a goose's quill, without any claim or bond upon it?—and what is the pickpocket who takes five pounds, to the cogger of dice who will cheat you of a hundred in the third part of a night?—and what is the jockey who tricks you in some old unsound horse, to the apothecary who chouses you of your money, and your life also with some old unwholesome physic?—and yet what are all these thieves to the mistress-thief there, who takes away from the whole all these things, and their hearts and their souls at the end of the fair?" From this dirty, disorderly street we proceeded to the street of the princess Pleasure, in which I beheld a number of Britons, French, Italians, Pagans, &c. She was a princess exceedingly beautiful to the eye, with a cup of drugged wine in the one hand, and a crown and a harp in the other. In her treasury there were numberless pleasures and pretty things to obtain the custom of every body, and to keep them in the service of her father. Yea! there were many who escaped to this charming street, to cast off the melancholy arising from their losses and debts in the other streets. It was a street prodigiously crowded, especially with young people; and the princess was careful to please every body, and to keep an arrow adapted to every mark. If you are thirsty, you can have here your choice of drink; if you love dancing and singing, you can get here your fill. If her comeliness entice you to lust for the body of a female, she has only to lift up her finger to one of the officers of her father, (who surround her at all times, though invisibly), and they will fetch you a lass in a minute, or the body of a harlot newly buried, and will go into her in lieu of a soul, rather than you should abandon so good a design.

Here there are handsome houses with very pleasant gardens, teeming orchards, and shadowy groves, adapted to all kinds of secret meetings, in which one can hunt birds and a certain fair coney; here there are delightful rivers for fishing, and wide fields hedged around, in which it is pleasant to hunt the hare and fox. All along the street you could see farces being acted, juggling going on, and all kinds of tricks of legerdemain; there was plenty of licentious music, vocal and instrumental, ballad singing, and every species of merriment; there was no lack of male and female beauty, singing and dancing; and there were here many from the street of Pride, who came to receive praise and adoration. In the interior of the houses I could see people on beds of silk and down, wallowing in voluptuousness; some were engaged at billiard- playing, and were occasionally swearing or cursing the table keeper; others were rattling the dice or shuffling the cards. My guide pointed out to me some from the street of Lucre, who had chambers in this street; they had run hither to reckon their money, but they did not tarry long lest some of the innumerable tempting things to be met with here should induce them to part with their pelf, without usury. I could see throngs of individuals feasting, with something of every creature before them; oh, how every one did gorge, swallowing mess after mess of dainties, sufficient to have feasted a moderate man for three weeks, and when they could eat no more, they belched out a thanks for what they had received, and then gave the health of the king and every jolly companion; after which, they drowned the savour of the food, and their cares besides, in an ocean of wine; then they called for tobacco, and began telling stories of their neighbours—and, I observed, that all the stories were well received, whether true or false, provided they were amusing and of late date, above all if they contained plenty of scandal: there they sat, each with his clay pistol puffing forth fire and smoke, and slander to his neighbour. At length I was fain to request my guide to permit me to move on; the floor was impure with saliva and spilt drink, and I was apprehensive that certain heavy hiccups which I heard, might be merely the prelude to something more disagreeable.

From thence we went to a place where we heard a terrible noise, a medley of striking, jabbering, crying and laughing, shouting and singing. "Here's Bedlam, doubtless," said I. By the time we entered the den the brawling had ceased. Of the company, one was on the ground insensible; another was in a yet more deplorable condition; another was nodding over a hearthful of battered pots, pieces of pipes, and oozings of ale. And what was all this, upon enquiry, but a carousal of seven thirsty neighbours—a goldsmith, a pilot, a smith, a miner, a chimney-sweeper, a poet, and a parson who had come to preach sobriety, and to exhibit in himself what a disgusting thing drunkenness is. The origin of the last squabble was a dispute which had arisen among them, about which of the seven loved a pipe and flagon best. The poet had carried the day over all the rest, with the exception of the parson, who, out of respect for his cloth, had the most votes, being placed at the head of the jolly companions—the poet singing:—

"Oh, where are there seven beneath the sky, Who with these seven for thirst can vie? But the best for good ale, these seven among, Are the jolly divine, and the son of song."

Disgusted with these drunken swine, we went nearer to the gate, to take a peep at the follies of the palace of Love, the purblind king; it is a place easy to enter and difficult to escape from, and in it there is a prodigious number of chambers. In the hall opposite to the door was insane Cupid, with his two arrows upon his bow, shooting tormenting poison, which is called bliss. Upon the floor I could see many fair damsels, finely dressed, walking about, and behind them a parcel of miserable youths gazing upon their beauty, and each eager to obtain a glance from his mistress, fearing her frown far worse than death. One was bending to the ground and placing a letter in the hands of his goddess; another a piece of music, all in fearful expectation, like school-boys showing their tasks to their master; and the damsels would glance back upon them a smile, to keep up the fervour of their adorers, but nothing more, lest they should lose their desire, become cured of their wound and depart. On going forward to the parlour, I beheld females learning to dance and to sing, and to play on instruments, for the purpose of making their lovers seven times more foolish than they were already: on going to the buttery, I found them taking lessons in delicacy and propriety of eating: on going to the cellar, I saw them making up potent love drinks, from nail-parings and the like: on going to the chambers, we beheld a fellow in a secret apartment, putting himself into all kinds of attitudes, to teach his beloved elegant manners; another learning in a glass to laugh in a becoming manner, without showing to his love too much of his teeth; another we found embellishing his tale before going to her, and repeating the same lesson a hundred times. Tired of this insiped folly, I went to another chamber, where there was a nobleman, who had sent for a bard from the street of Pride, to compose a eulogistic strain on his angel, and a laudatory ode on himself; the bard was haranguing upon his talent—"I can," said he, "compare her to all the red and white under the sun, and say that her hair is a hundredfold more yellow than gold; and as for your ode, I can carry your genealogy through the bowels of an infinity of knights and princes, and through the waters of the deluge, even as high up as Adam." "Lo!" said I, "here is a bard who is a better inventor than myself." "Come away, come away," said the angel, "these people are thinking to bamboozle the woman, but when they go to her, they will be sure to obtain from her as good as they bring."

On leaving these people, we caught a glimpse of some cells, where more obscene practices were going on than modesty will suffer me to mention, which caused my companion to snatch me away in wrath, from this palace of whimsicality and wantonness, to the treasury of the princess, (because we went where we pleased, in spite of doors and locks.) There we beheld a multitude of beautiful damsels, all sorts of drink, fruit, and dainties; all kinds of instruments and books of music, harps, pipes, poems, carols, &c.; all kinds of games of chance, draught-boards, dice-boxes, dice, cards, &c.; all kinds of models of banquets and mansions, figures of men, contrivances and amusements; all kinds of waters, perfumes, colors and salves to make the ugly handsome, and the old look young, and to make the harlot and her putrid bones sweet for a time.

To be brief, there were here all kinds of shadows of pleasure, all kinds of seeming delight; and to tell the truth, I believe this place would have ensnared me, had not my friend, without ceremony, snatched me far away from the three deceitful towers, to the upper end of the street, and set me down by a castellated palace of prodigious size, and very agreeable at first sight, but vile and terribly revolting on the farthest side, though it was only seen with great difficulty on the side of its deformity; it had a multitude of doors, and all the doors were splendid on the outside, but filthy within. "Pray, my lord," said I, "if it please you, what is this wonderful place?" "This," said he, "is the palace of another daughter of Belial, who is called Hypocrisy; she here keeps her school; there is not a youth or damsel within the whole city, that has not been her scholar, and the people in general, have so well imbibed what she has taught, that her lessons have become a second nature, and intertwined with all their thoughts, words and actions, almost since the time of their childhood." After I had inspected for a time the falsehood of every corner of the edifice, a procession passed by with a deal of weeping and groaning, and many men and horses dight in habits of deep mourning. Presently came a wretched widow, closely muffled, in order that she might look no more on this vile world; she was feebly crying, and groaning slowly in the intervals of fainting fits—verily, I could not help weeping myself, out of pity. "Pooh, pooh," said the angel, "keep your tears for something more worthy; these faintings are only a lesson of Hypocrisy, and in her great school these black garments were fashioned. There is not one of these people weeping seriously; the widow, before the body left the house, had wedded another man, in her heart; and if she could get rid of the expense attending the body, she would not care a rush if the soul of her husband were at the bottom of hell; nor would her relations, more than herself; because when his disease was hardest upon him, instead of giving him salutary counsel and praying fervently, for the Lord to have mercy upon him, they only talked to him about his effects, and about his testament, or his pedigree, or what a handsome vigorous man he had been, and the like; so all this lamenting is mere sham—some are mourning in obedience to custom and habit, others for company's sake, and others for hire."

Scarcely had this procession passed by, when, lo, another crowd came in sight. A certain nobleman, prodigiously magnificient, and his lady at his side, were going along in state; many respectable men were capping them, and there were a thousand also behind them, shewing them every kind of submission and reverence, and by the favours, I perceived that it was a wedding: "He must be a very exalted nobleman," said I, "who merits so much respect from all these people." "If you should consider the whole, you would say something quite different," said my guide; "that nobleman is one from the street of Pleasure; and the female, is a damsel from the street of Pride, and the old man yonder, who is speaking with him, is one from the street of Lucre, who has lent money upon nearly all the land of the nobleman, and is to-day come to settle accounts." We drew nigh to hear the conversation.

"Verily, sir," says the usurer, "I would not for all I possess, that you should want any thing that I can offer, in order that you may appear to- day like yourself, especially since you have met with a lady so amiable and illustrious as this." (The subtle old dog knowing perfectly well what she was all the time.) "By the Lord above," said the nobleman, "the next greatest pleasure, to looking at her beauty, is to listen to your obliging discourse; I would rather pay you usury than obtain money gratis from any one else." "Of a surety, my lord," said one of his principal associates, who was called flatterer, "my uncle shows you no respect but what is fully your right; but with your permission, I will assert, that he has not bestowed half the commendation on her ladyship which she deserves. I cannot myself produce, and I will defy any man to produce one lovelier than herself, in the whole street of Pride; nor one more gallant than you, my lord, in the whole street of Pleasure; nor one more courteous than you, dear uncle, in the whole street of Lucre." "Oh, that is only your good opinion," replied the lord, "but I certainly believe that two never came together with more mutual love than we." As they proceeded, the crowd increased, and every one had a fair smile and a low bow for the other, and forward they ran to meet each other with their noses to the ground, like two cocks going to engage. "Know now," said the angel, "that you have not yet seen a bow here, nor heard a word, that did not belong to the lessons of Hypocrisy. There is not here one, after all this courtesy, that has a farthing's worth of love for the other; indeed they are for the most part enemies to one another. The nobleman here is only a butt amongst them, and every one has his hit at him. The lady has her mind fixed upon his grandeur and his nobility, whereby she hopes to obtain precedence over many of her acquaintances. The miser has his eye upon his land, for his own son; and the others, to a man, on the money, which he is to receive as her portion, because they are all his subjects, that is, his merchants, his tailors, his shoemakers, or his other tradesmen, who have arrayed him and maintained him in all this great splendour, without yet obtaining one farthing, nor any thing but fair words, and now and then, threats perhaps. Now observe how many masks, how many twists, Hypocrisy has given to the face of the truth? He is promising grandeur to his love, having already disposed of his land; and she is promising portion and purity, whereas she has no purity, but purity of dress, and as for her portion it will not be long in existence, there being an inveterate cancer in it, even as there is in her own body."

"Well, here is a proof," said I, "that one never ought to judge by appearances." "Yes," said he, "but come away, and I will show you something more." Whereupon he transported me up to where stood the churches of the city of Perdition, for every body in it had an appearance of faith, even in the age of Disbelief. First we went to the temple of Heathenism, where I could see some adoring the form of a man, others that of the sun, others that of the moon, and an innumerable quantity of similar other gods, even down to leek and garlick, and a great goddess termed Delusion, obtaining general adoration, although you might see something of the remnants of the Christian faith amongst some of these people. Thence we went to a meeting of Dummies, where there was nothing but groaning, and shivering, and beating the breast. "Though there is here," said the angel, "an appearance of repentance and great submission, there is nothing in reality, but opinionativeness and obstinacy, and pride, and thick, thick darkness. Notwithstanding they talk so much about their internal light, they have not even the spectacle-glasses of nature which the heathens have, whom you lately saw." From these dumb dogs we chanced to turn to a large church open at the top, with a prodigious number of sandals {23} at the gate, by which I knew that it was the temple of the Turks; these people had only a dim and motley colored spectacle glass, which they called the Koran, yet through this they were always gazing up to the top of the church for their prophet, who, according to the promise which he gave them, ought to have returned to them long ago, but has not yet made his appearance. From there we went to the church of the Jews, people who had failed to find the way of escape from the city of Perdition, although they possessed a pure, clear spectacle glass, on account of a film having come over their eyes from long gazing, for want of having anointed them with the precious ointment, faith. We next went to that of the Papists. "Behold," said the angel, "the church which deceiveth the nations! Hypocrisy has built this church at her own expense; for the Papists permit, yea enjoin the breaking of any oath made to a heretic, although it were taken upon the sacrament." From the chancel we passed through key-holes to the upper end of a cell which stood apart, full of burning candles at mid-day, where we perceived a priest with his crown shaven, walking about as if he were in expectation of visitors; presently there came a rotund figure of a woman, and a very pretty girl behind her, and they went upon their knees before him to confess their sins. "My spiritual father," said the good woman, "I labour under a burden too heavy to be borne, unless you in your mercy will lighten it; I married a member of the church of England, and"—"What," said the shaven crown, "married a heretic! married an enemy! there is no pardon for you, now or ever." At this word she fainted, and he vociferated curses at her. "Oh, and what is worse," said she when she revived. "I have killed him!" "O, ho! you have killed him, well that is something towards obtaining reconciliation with the church; but I assure you, that unless you had killed him, you would never have got absolution, nor purgatory, but would have gone plump to the devil. But where is your offering to the cloister?" said he, snarling. "Here," she replied, and handed him a pretty big purse of money. "Well," said he, "I will now make your peace, and your penance is to remain a widow as long as you live, lest you should make another bad bargain." As soon as she had departed, the damsel came forward to make her confession. "Your pardon, my father confessor," said she, "I have borne a child and murdered it." "Very fair, in troth," said the confessor, "and who was the father?" "Verily," said she, "it was one of your monastery"—"Hush, hush," said he, "no scandal against the men of the church: but where is your atonement to the church?" "There," said she, handing him a gold coin. "You must repent, and your penance is to watch to night by my bedside," said he, smiling archly upon her.

At this moment appeared four other bald-pates, hauling in a lad to the confessor, the poor fellow looking as pleased as if he were going to the gallows. "We have brought you a cub," said one of the four, "that you may award him a proper punishment for revealing the secrets of the catholic church." "What secrets?" said the confessor, looking towards a murky cell which was nigh at hand. "But confess villain, what did you say?" "In truth," said the wretch, "one of my acquaintances asked me, if I had seen the souls shrieking beneath the altar, on the day of the festival of the dead? And I said, that I had heard the voice, but that I had seen nothing." "Ah, sir, say the whole," said one of the others. "But I added," said he, "that I had heard that you were only deceiving us ignorant people, and that instead of souls shrieking, there were only sea- crabs crackling beneath the carpet,"—"O son of the fiend! blasphemous monster!" said the confessor; "but proceed caitiff."—"and that it was a wire which turned the image of saint Peter," said the fellow, "and that it was by the wire that the Holy Ghost descended from the gallery of the cross upon the priest." "O heritage of hell!" said the confessor. "So ho here! take him torturers, and cast him into the smoky chimney yonder for telling tales." "Here you see," said the angel, "the church which Hypocrisy desires should be called the Catholic Church, and the members of which she would fain have the world consider, as the only people destined to be saved; it must be owned, indeed, that they had the true spectacle-glass, but they spoiled it by cutting upon the glass numerous images; and they had true faith, but they mingled that precious ointment with their own novel inventions, so that at present they see no more than the heathen." Thence we went to a barn, where stood a pert, conceited fellow preaching with great glibness, frequently repeating the same thing three times. "This man and his hearers," said the angel, "possess the true spectacle-glass, to see the things which pertain to their peace, but they lack now in their old age, a very essential matter which is called perfect love. Various are the causes which drive folks hither; some come out of respect to their forefathers, some out of ignorance, and many for worldly advantage. They will make you believe with their faces that they are being strangled, but they can swallow a toad if necessary; and thus the princess Hypocrisy does not disdain to teach some in barns." "Pray," said I, "where now is the Church of England?" "O," said he, "in the city high above, it constitutes a great part of the Catholic Church, and in the city here below, there are some probationary churches belonging to it, where the English and Welsh are under probation for a time, in order to become qualified to have their names written in the book of the Catholic Church, and they who become so, blessed are they for ever. But alas, there are but very few who are adapting themselves to obtain honour above; because, instead of looking thitherward, too many suffer themselves to be blinded by the three princesses below, and Hypocrisy keeps many with one eye upon the city above, and the other on that below; yea, Hypocrisy has succeeded in enticing many from their path, after they have overcome the three other deceivers. Come in here," said he, "and you will see something more;" whereupon he carried me to the gallery of one of the churches in Wales, the people being in the midst of the service. And lo! some were whispering, talking and laughing; some looking upon the pretty women; others were examining the dress of their neighbours from top to toe; some were pushing themselves forward and snarling at one another about rank; some were dozing; others were busily engaged in their devotions, but many of these were playing a hypocritical part. "You have not seen yet," said the angel, "no, not amongst the infidels, shamelessness as open and barefaced as this: but thus, alas, we see that the corruption of the best thing is the corruption worst of all." The congregation then proceeded to take the sacrament, and every one displayed reverential feelings at the altar.

However, (through the glass of my companion,) I could see one receiving the bread into his belly, under the figure of a mastiff, another under that of a swine, another like a mole, another like a winged serpent, and a few, O how very few, receiving a ray of celestial light with the bread and the wine. "Yonder," said he, "is a roundhead who is about to become sheriff, and because the law enjoins, that every one shall receive the communion in the church before he obtains the office, he has come hither rather than lose it; but though there are many here who rejoice at seeing him, there has been no joy amongst us for his conversion, for he has only turned for the time; and thus you see how bold Hypocrisy must be to present herself at the altar before Emmanuel, who is not to be deceived. But however great she be in the city of Perdition, she can effect nothing in the city of Emmanuel, above the wall yonder."

Thereupon we turned our faces from the great city of Perdition, and went up to the other little city. In going along I could see at the upper end of the streets, many turning half-way from the temptations of the gates of Perdition, and seeking for the gate of Life; but whether it was that they failed to find it, or grew tired upon the way, I could not see that any went through, except one sorrowful faced man, who ran forward resolutely, while thousands on each side of him were calling him fool, some scoffing him, others threatening, him and his friends laying hold upon him, and entreating him not to take a step by which he would lose the whole world at once. "I only lose," said he, "a very small portion of it, and if I should lose the whole, pray what loss is it? For what is there in the world so desirable, unless a man should desire deceit, and violence, and misery, and wretchedness, giddiness and distraction. Contentment and tranquillity," said he, "constitute the happiness of man; but in your city there are no such things to be found. Because who is there here content with his station? Higher, higher, is what every one endeavours to be in the street of Pride; give, give us a little more, says every one in the street of Lucre; sweet, sweet, pray give me some more of it, is the cry of every one in the street of Pleasure. And as for tranquillity, where is it? and who obtains it? If you be a great man, flattery and envy are killing you; if you be poor, every one is trampling upon and despising you; after having become an inventor, if you exalt your head and seek for praise, you will be called a boaster and a coxcomb; if you lead a godly life and resort to the church and the altar, you will be called a hypocrite; if you do not, then you are an infidel or a heretic; if you be merry, you will be called a buffoon; if you are silent, you will be called a morose wretch; if you follow honesty, you are nothing but a simple fool; if you go neat, you are proud, if not, a swine; if you are smooth speaking, then you are false, or a trifler without meaning; if you are rough, you are an arrogant, disagreeable devil. Behold the world that you magnify," said he, "pray take my share of it." Whereupon he shook himself loose from them all, and away he went undauntedly to the narrow gate, and in spite of every obstacle he pushed his way through, we following him; while many men dressed in black upon the walls, on both sides of the gate, kept inviting the man and praising him. "Who," said I, "are the men above dressed in black?" "The watchmen of the king Emmanuel," replied the angel, "who, in the name of their master, are inviting people and assisting them through this gate."

By this time we were by the gate; it was very low and narrow, and mean in comparison with the lower gates. On the two sides of the door were the ten commandments; upon the first slab on the right side was written, "love the Lord with thy whole heart, &c.," and upon the second slab on the other side, "love thy neighbour as thyself;" and above the whole, "love not the world nor the things which are therein." I had not looked long before the watchmen began to cry out to the men of Perdition, "Flee! flee, for your lives!" Only a very few turned towards them once, some of whom asked, "flee from what?" "From the prince of this world, who reigns in the children of disobedience," said the watchman; "flee from the pollutions which are in the world through the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and the vanities of life; flee from the wrath which is coming to overwhelm you!" "What," exclaimed the other watchman, "is your beloved city but a vast glowing roof cast over Hell, and if you were here, you might see the fire on the farther side of your walls kindling, to burn you down into Hell." Some mocked them, others threatened to stone them unless they ceased their unmannerly prate; but some few asked, "whither shall we fly?" "Hither," said the watchman, "fly hither to your lawful king, who yet offers you pardon through us, if you return to your obedience, and abandon the rebel Belial and his deceitful daughters. Though their appearance is so splendid, it is only deception; Belial at home is but a very poor prince, he has only you for fuel, and only you as roast and boiled to gnaw, and you are never sufficient, and there will never be an end to his hunger and your torments. And who would serve such a malicious butcher, in a temporary delirium here, and in eternal torments hereafter, who could obtain a life of happiness under a king merciful and charitable to his subjects, who is ever doing towards them the good offices of a shepherd, and endeavouring to keep them from Belial, in order finally to give to each of them the kingdom in the country of Light? O fools! will ye take the horrible enemy whose throat is burning with thirst for your blood, instead of the compassionate prince who has given his own blood to assist you?" But it did not appear that these reasonings, which were sufficient to soften a rock, proved of much advantage to them, and the principal cause of their being so unsuccessful was, that not many had leisure to hear, the greater part being employed in looking at the gates; and of those who did hear, there were not many who heeded, and of those there were not many who long remembered; some would not believe that it was Belial whom they were serving, others could not conceive that yonder little, untrodden passage was the gate of Life, and would not believe that the three other glittering gates were delusion, the castle preventing them from seeing their destruction till they rushed upon it.

At this moment there came a troop of people from the street of Pride, and knocked at the gate with great confidence but they were all so stiffnecked, that they could never go into a place so low, without soiling their perriwigs and their plumes, so they walked back in great ill humour. At the tail of these came a party from the street of Lucre. Said one, "is this the gate of Life?" "Yea," replied the watchmen who were above. "What is to be done," said he, "in order to pass through?" "Read on each side of the door, and you will learn." The miser read the ten commandments. "Who," he cried, "will say, that I have broken one of these?" But on looking aloft and seeing, "love not the world, nor the things that are therein," he started, and could not swallow that difficult sentence. There was among them an envious pig-tail who turned back on reading, "love thy neighbour as thyself;" and a perjurer, and a slanderer turned abruptly back on reading, "bear not false witness;" some physicians on reading, "thou shalt commit no murder," exclaimed "this is no place for us." To be brief, every one saw there something which troubled him, so they all went back to chew the cud. I may add, that there was not one of these people, but had so many bags and writings stuck about him, that he could never have gone through a place so narrow, even if he had made the attempt.

Presently there came a drove from the street of Pleasure walking towards the gate. "Please to inform us," said one to the watchman, "to what place this road is leading?" "This is the road," said the watchman, "which leads to eternal joy and happiness;" whereupon they all strove to get through, but they failed, for some had too much belly for a place so narrow; others were too weak to push, having been enfeebled by women, who impeded them moreover with their foolish whims. "O," said the watchman who was looking upon them, "it is of no use for you to attempt to go through with your vain toys; you must leave your pots, and your dishes, and your harlots, and all your other ware behind you, and then make haste." "How should we live then?" said the fiddler, who would have been through long ago, but for fear of breaking his instrument. "O," said the watchman, "you must take the word of the king, for sending you whatsover things may be for your advantage." "Hey, hey," said one, "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush;" and thereupon they all unanimously turned back.

"Come through now," said the angel, and he drew me in, and the first thing I saw in the porch was a large baptismal font, and by the side of it a spring of saline water. "Why is this here at the entrance of the road?" said I. "It is here," said the angel, "because every one must wash himself therein, previous to obtaining honour in the palace of Emmanuel; it is termed the fountain of repentance." Above I could see written, "this is the gate of the Lord, &c." The porch and also the street expanded, and became less difficult as one went forward. When we had gone a little way up the street I could hear a soft voice behind me saying, "this is the road, walk in it." The street was up-hill but was very clean and straight, and though the houses were lower here than in the city of Perdition, yet they were more pleasant. If there is here less wealth, there is also less strife and care; if there are fewer dishes, there are fewer diseases; if there is less noise, there is also less sadness, and more pure joy. I was surprised at the calmness and the delightful tranquillity that reigned here, so little resembling what I had found below. Instead of swearing and cursing, buffoonery, debauchery, and drunkenness; instead of pride and vanity, torpor in the one corner, and riot in the other; instead of all the loud broiling, and the boasting and bustling, and chattering, which were incessantly stupifying a man yonder; and instead of the numberless constant evils to be found below, you here saw sobriety, affability and cheerfulness, peace and thankfulness, clemency, innocence, and content upon the face of every body. No weeping here, except for the pollutions pervading the city of the enemy; no hatred or anger, except against sin; and that same hatred and anger against sin, always accompanied with a certainty of being able to subdue it; no fear but of incensing the King, who was ever more ready to forgive than be angry with his subjects; and here there was no sound but of psalms of praise to the heavenly guardian.

By this time we had come in sight of a building superlatively beautiful. O, how glorious it was! No one in the city of Perdition—neither the Turk nor the Mogul, nor any of the others, possessed any thing equal to it. "Behold the Catholic Church!" said the angel. "Is it here that Emmanuel keeps his court?" said I. "Yes," he replied, "this is his only terrestrial palace." "Has he any crowned heads under him?" said I. "A few," was the answer. "There are your good queen Anne, and some princes of Denmark and Germany, and a few of the other small princes." "What are they," said I, "compared with those who are under Belial the Great? He has emperors and kings without number." "Notwithstanding all this;" said the angel, "not one of them can move a finger without the permission of Emmanuel, nor Belial himself either, because Emmanuel is his lawful king; Belial rebelled, and for his rebellion was made a captive, with permission however to visit for a little time the city of Perdition, and delude any one he could into his own rebellion and a share of his punishment. So great is his malice, that he is continually using this permission, though aware that by so doing he will only add to his own misery; and so great is his love of wickedness, that he takes advantage of his half liberty, to seek to destroy this city and this edifice, though he has long known that their guardian is invincible."

"Pray, my lord," said I, "may we approach and take a more minute view of this magnificent palace?" for my heart had warmed towards the place at the first sight. "Certainly you may," said the angel, "because there I have my place, charge, and employment." The nearer we went to it, the more I wondered, seeing how lofty, strong, beautiful, pure, and lovely every part of it was; how accurate was the workmanship, and how fair were its materials. A rock wrought with immense labour, and of prodigious strength was the foundation stone; living stones were placed upon this rock, and were cemented in so admirable a manner, that it was impossible for one stone to be so beautiful in another place, as it was in its own. I could see one part of the church which cast out a very fair and remarkable cross, and the angel perceiving me gazing upon it asked me "if I knew that part." I did not know what to answer. "That is the Church of England," said he. These words made me observe it with more attention than before, and on looking up I could perceive queen Anne, on the pinnacle of the building, with a sword in each hand. With the one in her left, which is called Justice, she preserves her subjects from the men of the city of Perdition; and with the other in her right, which is the sword of the Spirit, or the word of God, she preserves them from Belial and his spiritual evils. Under the left sword were the Laws of England; under the other was a large Bible. The sword of the Spirit was fiery and of prodigious length, it would kill at a distance to which the other sword could not reach. I observed the other princes with the same arms, defending their portions of the church; but I could see that the portion of my queen was the fairest, and that her arms were the most bright. By her right hand, I could see a multitude of people in black—archbishops, bishops, and teachers, assisting her in sustaining the sword of the Spirit; and some of the soldiers and civil officers, and a few, very few of the lawyers, supporting, along with her, the other sword. I obtained permission to rest a little by one of the magnificent doors, whither people were coming to obtain the dignity of the universal church; a tall angel was keeping the door, and the church within side was so vividly light, that it was useless for Hypocrisy to show her visage there—she sometimes appeared at the door, but never went in. After I had been gazing about a quarter of an hour, there came a papist, who imagined that the Pope possessed the catholic church, and he claimed his share of dignity. "What proof of your dignity have you?" said the porter. "I have plenty," said he, "of traditions of the fathers, and acts of the congresses of the church; but what further assurance do I need, than the word of the Pope, who sits upon the infallible chair?" Then the porter proceeded to open an exceedingly large Bible. "Behold," said he, "the only Statute Book which we use here, prove your claim out of that, or depart;" whereupon he departed.

At this moment there came a drove of Quakers, who wanted to go in with their hats upon their heads, but they were turned back for their unmannerly behaviour. After that, some of the children of the barn, who had been there for some time, began to speak. "We have," said they, "no other statute than you, therefore show us our dignity." "Stay," said the glittering porter, looking them fixedly in the face, "and I will show you something. Do you see yonder," said he, "the rent which you made in the church, that you might go out of it, without the slightest cause or reason? and now, what do you want here? Go back to the narrow gate, wash yourselves well in the fountain of repentance, in order to free yourselves from some of the kingly blood, in which you steeped yourselves formerly; bring some of that water to moisten the clay, to close up the rent yonder, and then, and then only, you shall be welcome." But before we had proceeded a rood farther towards the west, we heard a buzz amongst the princes above, and every one, great and small, seized his arms, and proceeded to harness himself as if for battle; and before we had time to espy a place to flee to, the whole air became dark, and the city was more deeply over-shadowed than during an eclipse; the thunder began to roar, and the lightnings to dart forkedly, and a ceaseless shower of mortal arrows, was directed from the gates below, against the catholic church; and unless every one had had a shield in his hand to receive the fiery darts, and unless the foundation stone had been too strong for any thing to make an impression upon it, you would have seen the whole in conflagration. But alas! this was but the prologue, or a foretaste of what was to follow; for the darkness speedily became seven times blacker, and Belial himself appeared upon the densest cloud, and around him were his choicest warriors, both terrestrial and infernal, to receive and execute his will, on their particular sides. He had enjoined the Pope, and the king of France, his other son, to destroy the church of England and its queen; and the Turk and the Muscovite, to break to pieces the other parts of the Church, and to slay the people; the queen and the other princes, were by no means to be spared; and the Bible was to be burned in spite of every thing. The first thing which the queen and the other saints did, was to fall upon their knees, and complain of their wrongs to the King of kings, in these words:—"The spreading of his wings covereth the extent of thy land, O Emmanuel!" Isaiah 8. iii. This complaint was answered by a voice, which said, "resist the devil and he will flee from you;" and then ensued the hardest and most stubborn engagement, which had ever been upon the earth. When the sword of the Spirit began to be waved, Belial and his infernal legions began to retreat, and the Pope to falter. The king of France, it is true, held out; yet even he nearly lost heart, for he saw the queen and her subjects united and prosperous, whilst his own ships were sunk, his soldiers slaughtered, and thousands of his subjects rebelling. The very Turk was becoming as gentle as a lamb; but just at that moment my heavenly associate quitted me, darting up towards the firmament, to myriads of other shining powers, and my dream was at an end. Yes, just as the Pope and the other terrestrial powers, were beginning to sneak away, and to faint, and the potentates of hell to fall by tens of thousands, each making, to my imagination's ear, as much noise as if a huge mountain had been precipitated into the depths of the sea, my companion quitted me, and there was an end of my dream; for what with the noise made by the fiends, and the agitation which I felt at losing my companion, I awoke from my sleep, and returned with the utmost reluctance to my sluggish clod, thinking how noble and delightful it was to be a free spirit, to wander about in angelic company, quite secure, though seemingly in the midst of peril. I had now nothing to console me, save the Muse, and she being half angry, would do nothing more than bleat to me the following strains.

The Perishing World.

O man, upon this building gaze, The mansion of the human race, The world terrestrial see! Its architect's the King on high, Who ne'er was born and ne'er will die— The blest Divinity. The world, its wall, its starlights all, Its stores, where'er they lie, Its wondrous brute variety, Its reptiles, fish, and birds that fly,

And cannot number'd be, The God above, to show his love, Did give, O man, to thee. For man, for man, whom he did plan, God caus'd arise This edifice, Equal to heaven in all but size, Beneath the sun so fair; Then it he view'd, and that 'twas good For man, he was aware.

Man only sought to know at first Evil, and of the thing accursed Obtain a sample small. The sample grew a giantess, 'Tis easy from her size to guess The whole her prey will fall. Cellar and turret high, Through hell's dark treachery, Now reeling, rocking terribly, In swooning pangs appear; The orchards round, are only found Vile sedge and weeds to bear; The roof gives way, more, more each day, The walls too, spite Of all their might, Have frightful cracks, down all their height, Which coming ruin show; The dragons tell, that danger fell, Now lurks the house below.

O man! this building fair and proud, From its foundation to the cloud, Is all in dangerous plight; Beneath thee quakes and shakes the ground; 'Tis all, e'en down to hell's profound, A bog that scares the sight. The sin man wrought, the deluge brought, And without fail A fiery gale, Before which every thing shall quail, His deeds shall waken now; Worse evermore, till all is o'er, Thy case, O world, shall grow. There's one place free, yet, man for thee, Where mercies reign, A place to which thou may'st attain, Seek there a residence to gain Lest thou in caverns howl; For save thou there shalt quick repair, Woe to thy wretched soul!

Towards yon building turn your face! Too strong by far is yonder place To lose the victory. 'Tis better than the reeling world; For all the ills by hell uphurl'd It has a remedy. Sublime it braves the wildest waves; It is a refuge place Impregnable to Belial's race, With stones, emitting vivid rays, Above its stately porch; Itself, and those therein, compose The universal church. Though slaves of sin we long have been, With faith sincere We shall win pardon there; Then in let's press, O, brethren dear, And claim our dignity! By doing so, we saints below And saints on high shall be.

A Vision of Death in his Palace Below.

In one of the long, black, chilly nights of winter, when it was much warmer in a kitchen of Glyn-cywarch, than on the summit of Cadair Idris, and much more pleasant to be in a snug chamber, with a warm bed-fellow, than in a shroud in the church yard, I was mussing upon some discourses which had passed between me and a neighbour, upon the shortness of human life, and how certain every one is of dying, and how uncertain as to the time. Whilst thus engaged, having but newly laid my head down upon the pillow, and being about half awake, I felt a great weight coming stealthily upon me, from the crown of my head to my heel, so that I could not stir a finger, nor any thing except my tongue, and beheld a lad upon my breast, and a lass mounted upon his back. On looking sharply, I guessed, from the warm smell which came from him, his clammy locks, and his gummy eyes, that the lad must be master Sleep. "Pray, sir," said I, squealing, "what have I done to you, that you bring that witch here to suffocate me?" "Hush," said he, "it is only my sister Nightmare; we are both going to visit our brother Death, and have need of a third, and lest you should resist, we have come upon you without warning, as he himself will sometime; therefore you must come, whether you will or not." "Alas!" said I, "must I die?" "O no," said Nightmare; "we will spare you this time." "But with your favour," said I, "your brother Death never spared any one yet who was brought within reach of his dart; the fellow even ventured to fling a fall with the Lord of Life himself, though it is true he gained very little by his daring." At these words Nightmare arose full of wrath and departed. "Hey," said Sleep, "come away, and you shall have no cause to repent of your journey." "Well," said I, "may there never be night to saint Sleep, and may Nightmare never obtain any other place to crouch upon than the top of an awl, unless you return me to where you found me." Then away he went with me, over woods and precipices, over oceans and valleys, over castles and towers, rivers and crags; and where did we descend, but by one of the gates of the daughters of Belial, on the posterior side of the city of Perdition, and I could there perceive, that the three gates of Perdition contracted into one on the hinder side, and opened into the same place—a place foggy, cold, and pestilential, replete with an unwholesome vapour, and clouds, lowering and terrible. "Pray, sir," said I, "what dungeon of a place is this?" "The chambers of Death," said Sleep. I had scarcely time to enquire, before I heard some people crying, some screaming, some groaning, some talking deliriously, some uttering blasphemies in a feeble tone: others in great agony, as if about to give up the ghost. Here and there one, after a mighty shout would become silent, and then forthwith I could hear a key revolving in a lock; I turned at the sound to look for the door, and by dint of long gazing, I could see tens of thousands of doors, apparently far off though close by my side notwithstanding. "Please to inform me, master Sleep," said I, "to what place these doors open?" "They open," he replied, "into the land of Oblivion, a vast country under the rule of my brother Death; and the great wall here, is the limit of the immense eternity." As I looked I could see a little death at each door, all with different arms, and different names, though evidently they were all subjects of the same king. Notwithstanding which, there was much contention between them concerning the sick; for the one wished to snatch the sick through his door, and the other would fain have him through his own. On drawing near, we could see above every door, the name of the death written, who kept it; and likewise by every door, hundreds of various things left scattered about, denoting the haste of those who went through. Over one door I could see Famine, though purses and full bags were lying on the ground beside it, and boxes nailed up, standing near. "That," said he, "is the gate of the misers." "To whom," said I, "do these rags belong?" "Principally to misers," he replied; "but there are some there belonging to lazy idlers, and to ballad singers, and to others, poor in every thing, but spirit, who preferred starvation to begging." In the next door was the death of the Ruling Passion, and parallel with it I could hear many voices, as of men in the extremity of cold. By this door were many books, some pots and flaggons, here and there a staff and a walking stick, some compasses and charts, and shipping tackle. "This is the road by which scholars go," said I. "Some scholars go by it," said he, "solitary, helpless wretches, whose relations have stripped them of their last article of raiment; but people of various other descriptions go by it also. Those," said he, (speaking of the pots,) "are the relics of jolly companions, whose feet are freezing under benches, whilst their heads are boiling with drink and uproar; and the things yonder belong to travellers of snowy mountains, and to traffickers in the North sea."

Next at hand was a meagre skeleton of a figure, called the death of Fear. Through his exterior you might see that he did not possess any heart; and by his door there were bags, and chests also, and locks and castles. By this gate went usurers, bad governors and tyrants, and some of the murderers, but the plurality of the latter were driven past to the next gate, where there was a death called Gallows, with his cord ready for their necks.

Next was to be seen the death of Love, and by his feet were hundreds of instruments, and books of music, and verses, and love letters, and also ointments and colors to beautify the countenance, and a thousand other embellishing wares, and also some swords. "With some of those swords," said my companion, "bandits have been slain whilst fighting for women, and with others, love-lorn creatures have stabbed themselves." I could perceive that this death was purblind.

At the next door, was a death who had the most repulsive figure of all: his entire liver was consumed. He was called the death of Envy. "This one," said Sleep, "assaults losing gamesters, slanderers, and many a female rider, who repineth at the law which rendered the wife subject to her husband." "Pray, sir," said I, "what is the meaning of female rider?" "Female rider," said he, "is the term used here, for the woman who would ride her husband, her neighbours, and her country too, if possible, and the end of her long riding will be, that she will ride the Devil, from that door, down to hell."

Next stood the door of the death of Ambition, and of those who lift their nostrils on high, and break their shins for want of looking beneath their feet. Beside this door were crowns, sceptres, banners, all sorts of patents and commissions, and all kinds of heraldric and warlike arms.

But before I could look on any more of these countless doors, I heard a voice commanding me by my name to prepare. At this word, I could feel myself beginning to melt, like a snow ball in the heat of the sun; whereupon my master gave me some soporific drink, so that I fell asleep, but by the time I awoke, he had conveyed me to a considerable distance, on the other side of the wall. I found myself in a valley of pitchy darkness, and as it seemed to me, limitless. At the end of a little time, I could see by a dim light, like that of a dying candle, innumerable human shades—some on foot, and some on horseback, running through one another like the wind, silently and with wonderful solemnity.

It was a desert, bare, and blasted country, without grass, or vegetation, or woods, and without animals, with the exception of deadly monsters, and venomous reptiles of every kind; serpents, snakes, lice, toads, maw-worms, locusts, ear-wigs, and the like, which all exist on human corruption. Through myriads of shades, and creeping things, graves, sepulchres, and cemeteries, we proceeded, without interruption, to observe the country. At last I perceived some of the shades turning and looking upon me; and suddenly, notwithstanding the great silence that had prevailed before, there was a whispering from one to the other that there was a living man at hand. "A living man," said one; "a living man," said the other; and they came thronging about me like caterpillars from every corner. "How did you come hither, sirrah?" said a little morkin of a death who was there. "Truly sir," said I, "I know no more than yourself." "What do they call you?" he demanded. "Call me what you please, here in your own country," I replied, "but at home I am called the Sleeping Bard."

At that word I beheld a crooked old man, with a double head like to a rough-barked thorn tree, raising himself erect, and looking upon me worse than the black devil himself; and lo! without saying a word, he hurled a large human skull at my head—many thanks to a tombstone which shielded me. "Pray be quiet, sir," said I. "I am but a stranger, who was never here before, and you may be sure I will never return, if I can once reach home again." "I will give you cause to remember having been here," said he; and attacked me with a thigh-bone, like a very devil, whilst I avoided his blows as well as I could. "By heavens," said I, "this is a most inhospitable country to strangers. Is there a justice of the peace here?" "Peace!" said he, "what peace do you deserve, who will not let people rest in their graves?" "Pray, sir," said I, "may I be allowed to know your name, because I am not aware of ever having disturbed any one in this country." "Sirrah," said he, "know that not you are the Sleeping Bard, but that I am that person; and I have been allowed to rest here for nine hundred years, by every one but yourself." And he attacked me again.

"Forbear, my brother," said Merddyn, who was near at hand, "be not too hot; rather be thankful to him for keeping an honorable remembrance of your name upon earth." "Great honor forsooth," said he, "I shall receive from such a blockhead as this. Sirrah! can you sing in the four-and-twenty measures? Can you carry the pedigree of Gog and Magog, and the genealogy of Brutus ap Sylfius, up to a millenium previous to the fall of Troy? Can you narrate when, and what will be the end of the combats betwixt the lion and the eagle, and betwixt the dragon and the red deer?" "Hey, hey! let me ask him a question," said another, who was seated beside a large cauldron which was boiling, and going, bubble, bubble, over a fire. "Come nearer," said he, "what is the meaning of this?"

"I till the judgment day Upon the earth shall stray; None knows for certainty Whether fish or flesh I be."

"I will request the favor of your name, sir," said I, "that I may answer you in a suitable manner." "I," said he, "am Taliesin, {49} the prince of the Bards of the West, and that is a piece of my composition." "I know not," said I, "what could be your meaning, unless it was, that the yellow plague {50} which destroyed Maelgwn of Gwynedd, put an end to you on the sea-shore, and that your body was divided amongst the crows and the fishes." "Peace, fool!" said he, "I was alluding to my two callings, of man of the law and poet. Please to tell me, has a lawyer more similitude to a raven, than a poet to a whale? How many a one doth a single lawyer divest of his flesh, to swell out his own craw; and with what indifference does he extract the blood, and leave a man half alive! And as for the poet, where is the fish which is able to swallow like him? he is drinking oceans of liquor at all times, but the briny sea itself would not slack his thirst. And provided a man be a poet and a lawyer, how is it possible to know whether he be fish or flesh, especially if he be a courtier to boot, as I was, and obliged to vary his taste to every ones palate. But tell me," said he, "whether there are at present, any of those fellows upon the earth?" "There's plenty of them," said I; "if one can patch together any nonsensical derry, he is styled a graduate bard. But as for the others; there is such a plague of lawyers, petty attornies, and scribes, that the locusts of Egypt bore light upon the country, in comparison with them. In your time, sir, there were but bargains of tofts and crofts, and a hand's breadth of writing for a farm of a hundred pounds, and a raising of cairns and crosses, as memorials of the purchase and boundaries. There is no longer any such security, but there is far more craft and deceit, and a tombstone's breadth of written parchment to secure the bargain; and for all that, it is a wonder if a flaw be not in it, or said to be at least." "Well then," said Taliesin, "I should not be worth a straw in the world at present. I am better where I am. Truth will never be had where there are many poets, nor fair dealing where there are many lawyers; no, nor health where there are many physicians." At this moment, a little grey-headed hobgoblin, who had heard that a living man was arrived, flung himself at my feet, weeping abundantly. "Dear me," said I, "what are you?" "One who is grievously wronged every day in the world," said he. "May God move your soul to procure justice for me." "What is your name?" said I. "I am called Somebody," he replied, "and there is scarcely a piece of pimping, or a calumny, or a lie, or tale, to set people at loggerheads, but must be laid upon me. 'Verily,' says one, 'she is a prodigious fine girl, and she was praising you before somebody, notwithstanding that some very great person is paying his suit to her.' 'I heard somebody,' says another, 'reckoning that this estate was mortgaged nine hundred pounds deep.' 'I saw some one yesterday,' says the beggar, 'with a chequered slop, like a sailor, who had come with a large ship load of corn, to the neighbouring port.' And thus every ragged dog mangles me for his own wicked purposes. Some call me Friend—'I was informed by a friend,' says one, 'that so and so has no intention of leaving a farthing to his wife, and that there is no affection between them.' Some others vilify me yet more, and call me Bird—'A bird whistled in my ear, that there are bad practices going on there,' say they. It is true, some call me by the more respectable name of Old Person; yet, not half the omens, prophecies, and counsels, which are attributed to the Old Person, belong to me. I have never bidden people to follow the old road, provided the new one be better, nor a hundred similar things. But Somebody is my common name," he continued, "him you will most frequently hear, to have been concerned in every atrocious matter. Because, ask a person wherever a vile, slanderous falsehood has been uttered, who it was who said it, and he will reply, 'Truly I don't know who, but somebody in the company said it;' question then every one in the company concerning the fable, and every one will say he heard it from somebody, but no one knows from whom. Is not this a shameful injury?" he demanded. "Be so good as to inform every one whom you may hear naming me, that I have never said any one of these things, nor have ever invented nor uttered a lie to slander any one, nor a story to set relations by the ears; that I do not go near them; that I know nothing of their history, nor of their affairs, nor of their accursed secrets; and that they ought not to fling their wickedness upon me, but on their own corrupt brains."

At this moment there came a little death, one of the secretaries of the king, desiring to know my name, and commanding master Sleep, to carry me instantly before the king. I was compelled to go, though utterly against my will, by the power, which, like a whirlwind carried me away, betwixt high and low, thousands of miles back to the left hand, until we came again in sight of the boundary wall, and reached a narrow corner. Here we perceived an immense, frowning, ruinous palace, open at the top, reaching to the wall where were the innumerable doors, all of which led to this huge, terrific court. The walls were constructed with the sculls of men, which grinned horribly with their teeth. The clay was black, and was prepared with tears and sweat; and the mortar on the outside was variegated with phlegm and pus, and on the inside with black-red blood. On the top of each turret, you might see a little death, with a smoking heart stuck on the point of his dart.

Around the palace was a wood, consisting of a few poisonous yews and deadly cypresses, and in these, owls, blood crows, vultures and the like were nestling; and croaking continually for flesh, though the whole place was nothing but a stinking shamble. We entered the gate. All the pillars of the hall were made of human thigh bones; the pillars of the parlour were of shank bones; and the floors were one continued layer of every species of offal. It was not long before I came in sight of a vast and frightful altar, where I beheld the king of Terrors swallowing human flesh and blood, and a thousand petty deaths, from every hole, feeding him with fresh, warm flesh. "Behold," said the death who brought me there, addressing himself to the king, "a spark, whom I found in the midst of the land of Oblivion; he came so light footed, that your majesty never tasted a morsel of him." "How can that be?" said the king, and opened his jaws as wide as an earthquake to swallow me. Whereupon I turned all trembling to Sleep. "It was I," said Sleep, "who brought him here." "Well," said the meagre, grizly king, turning to me, "for my brother Sleep's sake, you shall be permitted to return this time, but beware of me the next." After having employed himself for a considerable time in casting carcasses into his insatiable paunch, he caused his subjects to be called together, and moved from the altar to a terrific throne of exceeding height, to pronounce judgment on the prisoners newly arrived. In an instant came innumerable multitudes of the dead, making their obeisance to their king, and taking their stations in remarkable order. And lo! king Death was in his regal vest of flaming scarlet, covered all over with figures of women and children weeping, and men uttering groans; about his head was a black-red three-cornered cap (which his friend Lucifer had sent as a present to him,) and upon its corners were written misery, wailing, and woe. Above his head were thousands of representations of battles on sea and land, towns burning, the earth opening, and the great water of the deluge; and beneath his feet nothing was to be seen but the crowns and sceptres of the kings whom he had overcome from the beginning. On his right hand Fate was sitting, seemingly engaged in reading, with a murky look, a huge volume which was before him; and on his left was an old man called Time, licking innumerable threads of gold, and silver, and copper, and very many of iron. Some few of the threads were growing better towards their end, and thousands growing worse. Along the threads were hours, days, and years; and Fate, according as his volume directed him, was continually breaking the threads of life, and opening the doors of the boundary wall, betwixt the two worlds.

We had not looked around us long, before we heard four fiddlers, newly dead, summoned to the bar. "How comes it," said the king of Terrors, "that loving merriment as ye do, ye kept not on the other side of the gulf, for there has never been any merriment on this side." "We have never done," said one of the musicians, "harm to any body, but have rendered people joyous, and have taken quietly what they gave us for our pains." Said Death, "did you never keep any one from his work, and cause him to lose his time; or did you never keep people from church? ha!" "O no!" said another, "perhaps now and then on a Sunday, after service, we may have kept some in the public house till the next morning, or during summer tide, may have kept them dancing in the ring on the green all night; for sure enough, we were more liked, and more lucky in obtaining a congregation than the parson." "Away, away with these fellows to the country of Despair!" said the terrific king, "bind the four back to back and cast them to their customers, to dance bare-footed on floors of glowing heat, and to amble to all eternity without either praise or music."

The next that came to the bar was a certain king, who had lived very near to Rome. "Hold up your hand, prisoner," said one of the officers. "I hope," said he, "that you have some better manners and favour to show to a king." "Sirrah," said Death, "why did you not keep on the other side of the gulf where all are kings? On this side there is none but myself, and another down below, and you will soon see, that neither he nor I will rate you according to the degree of your majesty, but according to the degree of your wickedness, in order to adapt your punishment to your crimes, therefore answer to the interrogation." "Sir," he replied, "I would have you know, that you have no authority to detain me, nor to interrogate me, as I have a pardon for all my sins under the Pope's own hand. On account of my faithful services, he has given me a warrant to go straight to Paradise, without tarrying one moment in Purgatory." At these words the king and all the haggard train gave a ghastly grin, to escape from laughing outright; but the other full of wrath at their ridicule, commanded them aloud to show him the way. "Peace, thou lost fool!" cried Death, "Purgatory lies behind you, on the other side of the wall, for you ought to purify yourself during your life; and on the right hand, on the other side of that gulf is Paradise. But there is no road by which it is possible for you to escape, either through the gulf to Paradise, or through the boundary wall back to the world; and if you were to give your kingdom, (supposing you could give it,) you would not obtain permission from the keepers of those doors, to take one peep through the key hole. It is called the irrepassable wall, for when once you have come through you may abandon all hope of returning. But since you stand so high on the books of the Pope, you shall go and prepare his bed, beside that of the Pope who was before him, and there you shall kiss his toe for ever, and he the toe of Lucifer."

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