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FRON

THE SPECTATOR.

No. 159. THE VISION OF MIRZA.

HEN I was at Grand Cairo, I picked up several oriental manuscripts, which I have still by me. Among others, I met with one intitled, The Visions of Mirza; which I have read over 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 via sion, 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 holy, after 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. Whilst I was thus 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 VOL. II.

looked

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looked upon him he applied it to his lips and began to play upon it. The sound of it was exceeding sweet, and wrought into a variety of tunes that were inexpressibly melodious, and altogether different from any thing 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 had passed by it, but never heard that the musician had before made himself visi. ble. 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 beart 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 thy eyes eastward, said he, and tell me what thou seest. I sce, said I, а buge valley, and a prodigious tide of water rolling through it. The valley that thou seest, said he, is the

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