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6 Look roand therefore without fear; observe, con“ template, and be instructed."
Encouraged by this assurance, I looked and beheld a mountain higher than Teneriffe, to the summit of which the human eye could never reach; when I had tired myself with gazing upon its height, I turned my eyes towards its foot, which I could easily discover, but was amazed to find it without foundation, and placed inconceivably in emptiness and darkness. Thus I stood terrified and confused; above were tracks inscrutable, and below was total vacuity. But my protector, with a voice of admonition, cried out, « Theodore, be not affrighted, but raise thy eyes again ; the Mountain of Existence is before thee, survey it and be wife.” · I then looked with more deliberate attention, and observed the bottom of the mountain to be of gentle rise, and overspread with flowers; the middle to be more steep, embarrassed with crags, and interrupted by precipices, over which hung branches loaded with fruits, and among which were scattered palaces and bowers. The tracks which my eye could reach nearest the top were generally barren; but there were among the clefts of the rocks a few hardy evergreens, which, though they did not give much pleasure to the fight or smell, yet seemed to cheer the labour and facilitate the steps of those who were clambering among them.
Then, beginning to examine mure minutely the different parts, I obferved at a great distance a multitude of both sexes
issuing into view from the bottom of the mountain. Their first actions I could not accurately difcern; but, as they every moment approached nearer, I found that they amused themselves with gathering flowers under the superintendence of a modest virgin in a white robe, who seemed not over solicitous to confine them to any settled pace or certain track; for she knew that the whole ground was smooth and solid, and that they could not be easily hurt or bewildered. When, as it often happened, they plucked a thistle for a flower, INNOCENCE, so was the called, would smile at the
naitake. Happy, said I, are they who are under fo gentle a government, and yet are safe. But I had not opportunity to dwell long on the confideration of their felicity; for I found that INNOCENCE continued her attendance but a little way, and seemed to consider only the flowery bottom of the mountain as her proper province. Those whom she abandoned scarcely knew that they were left, before they perceived themselves in the hands of EDUCATION, a nymph more severe in het aspect and imperious in her comniands, who confined them to certain paths, in their opinion too narrow and too rough. These they were continually solicited to leave, by APPETITE, whom EDUCATION could never fright away, though the sometimes awed her to such timidity, that the effects of her presence were scarcely perceptible. Some went back to the first part of the mountain, and feemed desirous of continuing bufieft in plucking flowers, but were no longer guarded by INNOCENCE ; and such as EDUCATION could not force back, proceeded up the mountain by some miry road, in which they were feldom seen, and scarcely ever regarded.
As EDUCATION led her troop up the mountain, nothing was more observable than that she was frequently giving them cautions to beware of HABITS; and was calling out to one or other at every step, that a HABIT was ensnaring them; that they would be under the dominion of HABIT before they perceived their danger; and that those whom Habit should once subdue, had little hope of regaining their liberty.
Of this caution, so frequently repeated, I was very solicitous to know the reason, when my protector directed my regard to a troop of pygmies, which appeared to walk filently before those that were climbing the mountain, and each to smooth the way before her follower. I found that I had miffed the notice of them before, both because they were so minute as not easily to be difcerned, and because they grew every moment ncarer in their colour to the objects with which they were furrounded. As the followers of EDUCATION did not appear sensible of the presence of these dangerous affociates, or, ridiculing their diminutive fize, did not think it . poffible that human beings should ever be brought into subjection by such feeble enemies, they generally heard her precepts of vigilance with wonder; and, when they thought her eye withdrawn, treated them with contempt. Nor could I myself think her cautions fo neceffary as her frequent inculcations feemed to suppose, till I observed that each of these petty beings held fecretly a chain in her hand, with which fhe prepared to bind those whom she found within her power. Yet thefe Habits, under the eye of EducaTION, went quietly forward, and seemed very little to increase in bulk or strength; for though they were always willing to join with Appetite, yet, when EDUCATION kept them apart from her, they would very punctually obey command, and make the narrow roads in which they were confined easier and smoother.
It was observable, that their stature was never at a stand, but continually growing or decreasing, yet not always in the same proportions; nor could I forbear to express my admiration, when I saw in how much lefs time they generally gained than loft bulk. Though they grew slowly in the road of EDUCATION, it might however be perceived that they grew; but if they once deviated at the call of APPETITE, their ftature soon became gigantic; and their strength was such, that EduCATION pointed out to her tribe many that were led in chains by them, whom the could never more rescue from their llavery. She pointed them out, but with little effect; for all her pupils appeared confident of their own fuperiority to the strongest HABIT, and some seemed in secret to regret that they were hindered from following the triumph of APPETITE.
It was the peculiar artifice of HABIT not to suffer her power to be felt at first. Those whom she led, she had the address of appearing only to attend, but was continually doubling her chains upon her companions;
(152) which were so slender in themfelves, and so filently fastened, that while the attention was engaged by other objects, they were not easily perceived. Each link grew tighter as it had been longer worn; and when by continual additions they became fo heavy as to be felt, they were very frequently too strong to be broken.
When EDUCATION had proceeded in this manner to the part of the mountain where the declivity began to be craggy, the resigned her charge to two powers of fuperior aspect. The meaner of them appeared capableof prefiding in fenates, or governing nations, and yet watched the fteps of the other with the most anxious attention, and was visibly confounded and perplexed if ever the suffered her regard to be drawn away. The other seemed to approve her submission as pleasing, but with such a condefcension as plainly shewed that she claimed it as due: and indeed so great was her dignity and sweetness, that he who would not reverence, must not behold her.
« Theodore," said my protector, “be fearless, and be " wise; approach these powers, whose dominion ex« tends to all the remaining part of the Mountain of “ Existence." I trembled, and ventured to address the inferior nymph, whofe eyes, though piercing and awful, I was not able to sustain. « Bright power,” said I, « by whatever name it is lawful to address thee, tell “ me, thou who prefideft here, on what condition thy “ protection will be granted ?” “ It will be granted, said she, “only to obedience. I am REASON, of all : 66 subordinate beings the nobleft and the greatest ; “ who, if thou wilt receive my laws, will regard thee « like the rest of my votaries, by conducting thee to 6 RELIGION." Charmed by her voice and aspect, I professed my readiness to follow her. She then presented me to her mistress, who looked upon me with tendernefs. I bowed before her, and she smiled.
When EDUCATION delivered up those for whose happiness she had been fo long solicitous, she seemed to expect that they should express some gratitude for her
care, or some regret at the loss of that protection which she had hitherto afforded them. But it was easy to discover, by the alacrity which broke out at herdeparture, that her presence had been long displeasing, and that she had been teaching those who felt in themselves no want of instruction. They all agreed in rejoicing that they should no longer be subject to her caprices, or disturbed by her documents, but should be now under the direction of Reason, to whom they made no doubt of being able to recommend themselves by a steady adherence to all her precepts. REASON counselled them, at their first entrance upon her province, to enlift themselves among the votaries of RELI. GION; and informed them, that if they trusted to her alone, they would find the same fate with her other admirers, whom she had not been able to secure against APPETITE and Passion, and who, having been seized by Habit in the regions of DESIRE, had been dragged away to the caverns of DESPAIR. Her admonition was vain ; the greater number declared against any other direction, and doubted not but by her superintendency they should climb with safety up the Mountain of Exiftence. “My power," said REASON, “is to advise, not to “ compel; I have already told you the danger of your « choice. The path seems now plain and even, but « there are asperities and pitfalls, over which RELIGION « only can conduct you. "Look upwards, and you will “ perceive a mist before you settled upon the highest « visible part of the mountain ; a mist by which my “ prospect is terminated, and which is pierced only by “ the eyes of RELIGION. Beyond it are the temples of “ HAPPINESS, in which those who climb the precipice “ by her direction, after the toil of pilgrimage, repose " for ever.
I know not the way, and therefore can “ only conduct you to a better guide. PRIDE has “ sometimes reproached me with the narrowness of my « view, but, when she endeavoured to extend it, could “ only shew me, below the mist, the bowers of Con« TENT ; even they vanished as I fixed my eyes upon