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of Seek Truth,' 'The Pilgrimage of Theophilus,' 'The Infant Pilgrim,' 'The Hindoo Pilgrim,' are among the feeble copies of the great original. But the peculiar glory of Bunyan is that those who most hated his doctrines have tried to borrow the help of his genius. A Catholic version of his parable may be seen with the head of the Virgin in the title-page. On the other hand, those Antinomians for whom his Calvinism is not strong enough may stu the pilgrimage of Hephzibah,' in which noth will be found which can be construed into an admission of free agency and universal redemption. But the most extraordinary of all the acts of Vandalism by which a fine work of art was ever defaced, was committed so late as the year 1853. It was determined to transform the Pilgrim's Progress' into a Tractarian book. The task was not easy, for it was necessary to make the two sacraments the most prominent objects in the allegory; and of all Christian theologians, avowed Quakers excepted, Bunyan was the one in whose system the sacraments held the least prominent place. However, the Wicket Gate became a type of Baptism, and the House Beautiful, of the Eucharist. The effect of this change is such as assuredly the ingenious person who made it never contemplated. For, as not a single pilgrim passes through the Wicket Gate in infancy, and as Faithful hurries past the House Beautiful without stopping, the lesson, which the fable in its altered shape teaches, is that none but adults ought to be baptized, and that the Eucharist may safely be neglected. . . . Such blunders must necessarily be committed by every man who mutilates parts of a great work, without taking a comprehensive view of the whole."
The Vision of Mirza.
BY JOSEPH ADDISON.
Omnem quæ nunc obducta tuenti
Mortales hebetat visus tibi, et humida circum
WHEN I was at Grand Cairo, I picked up several Oriental manuscripts, which I have still by me. Among others, I met with one entitled "The Visions of Mirza," which I have read with great pleasure. I intend to give it to the public when I have no other entertainment for them, and shall begin with the first vision, which I have translated word for word, as follows:
On the fifth day of the moon - which, according to the custom of my forefathers, I always keep holyafter having washed myself and offered up my morning. devotions, I ascended the high hills of Bagdat, in order to pass the rest of the day in meditation and prayer. As I was here airing myself on the tops of the mountains, I fell into a profound contemplation on the vanity of human life; and, passing from one thought to another, "Surely," said I, "man is but a shadow, and life a dream."
While I was musing, I cast my eyes towards the summit of a rock that was not far from me, where I discovered one in the habit of a shepherd, with a little musical instrument in his hand. As I looked upon him,
he applied it to his lips, and began to play upon it. The sound of it was exceedingly sweet, and wrought into a variety of tunes that was inexpressibly melodious, and altogether different from anything I had ever heard. They put me in mind of those heavenly airs that are played to the departed souls of good men upon their first arrival in' paradise, to wear out the impressions of the last agonies, and qualify them for the pleasures of that happy place. My heart melted away in secret raptures.
I had been often told that the rock before me was the haunt of a genius, and that several had been entertained with music who passed by it, but never heard that the musician had before made himself visible. When he had raised my thoughts by those transporting airs which he played, to taste the pleasures of his conversation, as I looked upon him like one astonished, he beckoned to me, and by the waving of his hand, directed me to approach the place where he sat.
I drew near with that reverence which is due to a superior nature; and, as my heart was entirely subdued by the captivating strains I had heard, I fell down at his feet and wept. The genius smiled upon me with a look of compassion and affability that familiarized him to my imagination, and at once dispelled all the fears and apprehensions with which I approached him. He lifted me from the ground, and, taking me by the hand, "Mirza," said he, "I have heard thee in thy soliloquies. Follow me!"
He then led me to the highest pinnacle of the rock, and, placing me on the top of it, "Cast thine eyes eastward," said he, "and tell me what thou seest." "I see," said I, "a huge valley, and a prodigious tide of water
running through it." "The valley that thou seest," said he, "is the vale of misery, and the tide of water that thou seest is part of the great tide of eternity." "What is the reason," said I, "that the tide I see rises out of a thick mist at one end, and again loses itself in a thick mist at the other?" "What thou seest," said he, "is that portion of eternity which is called Time, measured out by the sun, and reaching from the beginning of the world to its consummation."
"Examine now," said he, "this sea that is bounded with darkness at both ends, and tell me what thou discoverest in it." "I see a bridge," said I, "standing in the midst of the tide." "The bridge thou seest," said he, "is Human Life; consider it attentively." Upon a more leisurely survey of it, I found that it consisted of three-score and ten entire arches, with several broken arches, which, added to those that were entire, made up the number to about a hundred. As I was counting the arches, the genius told me that this bridge consisted at first of a thousand arches, but that a great flood swept away the rest, and left the bridge in the ruinous. condition I now beheld it.
"But tell me further," said he, "what thou discoverest on it." "I see multitudes of people passing over it," said I, "and a black cloud hanging on each end of it." As I looked more attentively, I saw several of the passengers dropping through the bridge into the great tide that flowed underneath it; and, upon further examination, perceived there were innumerable trap-doors that lay concealed in the bridge, which the passengers no sooner trod upon but they fell through them into the tide, and immediately disappeared. These hidden pitfalls were set very thick at the entrance of the bridge,
so that throngs of people no sooner broke through the cloud, but many of them fell into them. They grew thinner toward the middle, but multiplied and lay closer together toward the end of the arches that were entire.
There were, indeed, some persons, but their number was very small, that continued a kind of hobbling march on the broken arches, but fell through one after another, being quite tired and spent with so long a walk. I passed some time in the contemplation of this wonderful structure, and the great variety of objects which it presented. My heart was filled with a deep melancholy to see several dropping unexpectedly in the midst of mirth and jollity, and catching at everything that stood by them to save themselves. Some were looking up toward the heavens in a thoughtful posture, and, in the midst of speculation, stumbled, and fell out of sight.
Multitudes were very busy in the pursuit of bubbles that glittered in their eyes and danced before them; but often, when they thought themselves within the reach of them, their footing failed, and down they sank. In this confusion of objects I observed some with cimeters in their hands, who ran to and fro upon the bridge, thrusting several persons on trap-doors which did not seem to lie in their way, and which they might have escaped had they not been thus forced upon them.
The genius, seeing me indulge myself on this melancholy prospect, told me I had dwelt long enough upon it. "Take thine eyes off the bridge," said he, "and tell me if thou seest anything thou dost not comprehend." Upon looking up, "What mean," said I, "those great flights of birds that are perpetually hovering about the bridge, and settling upon it from time to