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Henry Fielding was an English novelist and dramatist known for his rich earthy humour and satirical prowess, and as the author of the novel Tom Jones. Collection 12 Works of Henry Fielding________________________________________A Journey From This World to the NextAmelia Volume IAmelia Volume IIAmelia Volume IIIAn Apology for the Life of Mrs. Shamela AndrewsJoseph Andrews, vol 1Joseph Andrews, vol 2Journal of A Voyage to LisbonThe History of the Life of the Late Mr. Jonathan Wild the GreatThe History of Tom Jones, a foundlingThe Lovers AssistantThe Works of Henry Fielding vol 2
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The Collected Complete Works of Henry Fielding
A Journey From This World to the Next
Amelia Volume I
Amelia Volume II
Amelia Volume III
An Apology for the Life of Mrs. Shamela Andrews
Joseph Andrews, vol 1
Joseph Andrews, vol 2
Journal of A Voyage to Lisbon
The History of the Life of the Late Mr. Jonathan Wild the Great
The History of Tom Jones, a foundling
The Lovers Assistant
The Works of Henry Fielding vol 2
A Journey From This World to the Next by Henry Fielding
A JOURNEY FROM THIS WORLD TO THE NEXT
The author dies, meets with Mercury, and is by him conducted to the stage which sets out for the other world
In which the author first refutes some idle opinions concerning spirits, and then the passengers relate their several deaths .
The adventures we met with in the City of Diseases
Discourses on the road, and a description of the palace of Death
The travelers proceed on their journey, and meet several spirits who are coming into the flesh
An account of the wheel of fortune, with a method of preparing a spirit for this world
The proceedings of judge Minos at the gate of Elysium
The adventures which the author met on his first entrance into Elysium
More adventures in Elysium
The author is surprised at meeting Julian the apostate in Elysium; but is satisfied by him by what means he procured his entrance there. Julian relates his adventures in the character of a slave
In which Julian relates his adventures in the character of an avaricious Jew
What happened to Julian in the characters of a general, an heir, a carpenter, and a beau
Julian passes into a fop
Adventures in the person of a monk
Julian passes into the character of a fiddler
The history of the wise man
Julian enters into the person of a king
Julian passes into a fool
Julian appears in the character of a beggar
Julian performs the part of a statesman
Julian's adventures in the post of a soldier
What happened to Julian in the person of a tailor
The life of alderman Julian
Julian recounts what happened to him while he was a poet
Julian performs the parts of a knight and a dancing-master
Wherein Anna Boleyn relates the history of her life
A JOURNEY FROM THIS WORLD TO THE NEXT
Whether the ensuing pages were really the dream or vision of some very pious and holy person; or whether they were really written in the other world, and sent back to this, which is the opinion of many (though I think too much inclining to superstition); or lastly, whether, as infinitely the greatest part imagine, they were really the production of some choice inhabitant of New Bethlehem, is not necessary nor easy to determine. It will be abundantly sufficient if I give the reader an account by what means they came into my possession. Mr. Robert Powney, stationer, who dwells opposite to Catherine-street in the Strand, a very honest man and of great gravity of countenance; who, among other excellent stationery commodities, is particularly eminent for his pens, which I am abundantly bound to acknowledge, as I owe to their peculiar goodness that my manuscripts have by any means been legible: this gentleman, I say, furnished me some time since with a bundle of those pens, wrapped up with great care and caution, in a very large sheet of paper full of characters, written as it seemed in a very bad hand. Now, I have a surprising curiosity to read everything which is almost illegible; partly perhaps from the sweet remembrance of the dear Scrawls, Skrawls, or Skrales (for the word is variously spelled), which I have in my youth received from that lovely part of the creation for which I have the tenderest regard; and partly from that temper of mind which makes men set an immense value on old manuscripts so effaced, bustoes so maimed, and pictures so black that no one can tell what to make of them. I therefore perused this sheet with wonderful application, and in about a day's time discovered that I could not understand it. I immediately repaired to Mr. Powney, and inquired very eagerly whether he had not more of the same manuscript? He produced about one hundred pages, acquainting me that he had saved no more; but that the book was originally a huge folio, had been left in his garret by a gentleman who lodged there, and who had left him no other satisfaction for nine months' lodging. He proceeded to inform me that the manuscript had been hawked about (as he phrased it) among all the booksellers, who refused to meddle; some alleged that they could not read, others that they could not understand it. Some would haze it to be an atheistical book, and some that it was a libel on the government; for one or other of which reasons they all refused to print it. That it had been likewise shown to the R--l Society, but they shook their heads, saying, there was nothing in it wonderful enough for them. That, hearing the gentleman was gone to the West-Indies, and believing it to be good for nothing else, he had used it as waste paper. He said I was welcome to what remained, and he was heartily sorry for what was missing, as I seemed to set some value on it.
I desired him much to name a price: but he would receive no consideration farther than the payment of a small bill I owed him, which at that time he said he looked on as so much money given him.
I presently communicated this manuscript to my friend parson Abraham Adams, who, after a long and careful perusal, returned it me with his opinion that there was more in it than at first appeared; that the author seemed not entirely unacquainted with the writings of Plato; but he wished he had quoted him sometimes in his margin, that I might be sure (said he) he had read him in the original: for nothing, continued the parson, is commoner than for men now-a-days to pretend to have read Greek authors, who have met with them only in translations, and cannot conjugate a verb in mi.
To deliver my own sentiments on the occasion, I think the author discovers a philosophical turn of thinking, with some little knowledge of the world, and no very inadequate value of it. There are some indeed who, from the vivacity of their temper and the happiness of their station, are willing to consider its blessings as more substantial, and the whole to be a scene of more consequence than it is here represented: but, without controverting their opinions at present, the number of wise and good men who have thought with our author are sufficient to keep him in countenance: nor can this be attended with any ill inference, since he everywhere teaches this moral: That the greatest and truest happiness which this world affords, is to be found only in the possession of goodness and virtue; a doctrine which, as it is undoubtedly true, so hath it so noble and practical a tendency, that it can never be too often or too strongly inculcated on the minds of men.
The author dies, meets with Mercury, and is by him conducted to the stage which sets out for the other world.
On the first day of December 1741 I departed this life at my lodgings in Cheapside. My body had been some time dead before I was at liberty to quit it, lest it should by any accident return to life: this is an injunction imposed on all souls by the eternal law of fate, to prevent the inconveniences which would follow. As soon as the destined period was expired (being no longer than till the body is become perfectly cold and stiff) I began to move; but found myself under a difficulty of making my escape, for the mouth or door was shut, so that it was impossible for me to go out at it; and the windows, vulgarly called the eyes, were so closely pulled down by the fingers of a nurse, that I could by no means open them. At last I perceived a beam of light glimmering at the top of the house (for such I may call the body I had been inclosed in), whither ascending, I gently let myself down through a kind of chimney, and issued out at the nostrils.
 Some doubt whether this should not be rather 1641, which is a date more agreeable to the account given of it in the introduction: but then there are some passages which seem to relate to transactions infinitely later, even within this year or two. To say the truth there are difficulties attending either conjecture; so the reader may take which he pleases.
No prisoner discharged from a long confinement ever tasted the sweets of liberty with a more exquisite relish than I enjoyed in this delivery from a dungeon wherein I had been detained upwards of forty years, and with much the same kind of regard I cast my eyes backwards upon it.
 Eyes are not perhaps so properly adapted to a spiritual substance; but we are here, as in many other places, obliged to use corporeal terms to make ourselves the better understood.
My friends and relations had all quitted the room, being all (as I plainly overheard) very loudly quarreling below stairs about my will; there was only an old woman left above to guard the body, as I apprehend. She was in a fast sleep, occasioned, as from her savor it seemed, by a comfortable dose of gin. I had no pleasure in this company, and, therefore, as the window was wide open, I sallied forth into the open air: but, to my great astonishment, found myself unable to fly, which I had always during my habitation in the body conceived of spirits; however, I came so lightly to the ground that I did not hurt myself; and, though I had not the gift of flying (owing probably to my having neither feathers nor wings), I was capable of hopping such a prodigious way at once, that it served my turn almost as well. I had not hopped far before I perceived a tall young gentleman in a silk waistcoat, with a wing on his left heel, a garland on his head, and a caduceus in his right hand. I thought I had seen this person before, but had not time to recollect where, when he called out to me and asked me how long I had been departed. I answered I was just come forth. "You must not stay here," replied he, "unless you had been murdered: in which case, indeed, you might have been suffered to walk some time; but if you died a natural death you must set out for the other world immediately." I desired to know the way. "O," cried the gentleman, "I will show you to the inn whence the stage proceeds; for I am the porter. Perhaps you never heard of me--my name is Mercury." "Sure, sir," said I, "I have seen you at the play- house." Upon which he smiled, and, without satisfying me as to that point, walked directly forward, bidding me hop after him. I obeyed him, and soon found myself in Warwick-lane; where Mercury, making a full stop, pointed at a particular house, where he bade me enquire for the stage, and, wishing me a good journey, took his leave, saying he must go seek after other customers.
 This is the dress in which the god appears to mortals at the theaters. One of the offices attributed to this god by the ancients, was to collect the ghosts as a shepherd doth a flock of sheep, and drive them with his wand into the other world.
I arrived just as the coach was setting out, and found I had no reason for inquiry; for every person seemed to know my business the moment I appeared at the door: the coachman told me his horses were to, but that he had no place left; however, though there were already six, the passengers offered to make room for me. I thanked them, and ascended without much ceremony. We immediately began our journey, being seven in number; for, as the women wore no hoops, three of them were but equal to two men. Perhaps, reader, thou mayest be pleased with an account of this whole equipage, as peradventure thou wilt not, while alive, see any such. The coach was made by an eminent toyman, who is well known to deal in immaterial substance, that being the matter of which it was compounded. The work was so extremely fine, that it was entirely invisible to the human eye. The horses which drew this extraordinary vehicle were all spiritual, as well as the passengers. They had, indeed, all died in the service of a certain postmaster; and as for the coachman, who was a very thin piece of immaterial substance, he had the honor while alive of driving the Great Peter, or Peter the Great, in whose service his soul, as well as body, was almost starved to death. Such was the vehicle in which I set out, and now, those who are not willing to travel on with me may, if they please, stop here; those who are, must proceed to the subsequent chapters, in which this journey is continued.
In which the author first refutes some idle opinions concerning spirits, and then the passengers relate their several deaths.
It is the common opinion that spirits, like owls, can see in the dark; nay, and can then most easily be perceived by others. For which reason, many persons of good understanding, to prevent being terrified with such objects, usually keep a candle burning by them, that the light may prevent their seeing. Mr. Locke, in direct opposition to this, hath not doubted to assert that you may see a spirit in open daylight full as well as in the darkest night.
It was very dark when we set out from the inn, nor could we see any more than if every soul of us had been alive. We had traveled a good way before any one offered to open his mouth; indeed, most of the company were fast asleep, but, as I could not close my own eyes, and perceived the spirit who sat opposite to me to be likewise awake, I began to make overtures of conversation, by complaining HOW DARK IT WAS. "And extremely cold too," answered my fellow traveler; "though, I thank God, as I have no body, I feel no inconvenience from it: but you will believe, sir, that this frosty air must seem very sharp to one just issued forth out of an oven; for such was the inflamed habitation I am lately departed from." "How did you come to your end, sir?" said I. "I was murdered, sir," answered the gentleman. "I am surprised then," replied I, "that you did not divert yourself by walking up and down and playing some merry tricks with the murderer." "Oh, sir," returned he, "I had not that privilege, I was lawfully put to death. In short, a physician set me on fire, by giving me medicines to throw out my distemper. I died of a hot regimen, as they call it, in the small-pox."
 Those who have read of the gods sleeping in Homer will not be surprised at this happening to spirits.
One of the spirits at that word started up and cried out, "The small-pox! bless me! I hope I am not in company with that distemper, which I have all my life with such caution avoided, and have so happily escaped hitherto!" This fright set all the passengers who were awake into a loud laughter; and the gentleman, recollecting himself, with some confusion, and not without blushing, asked pardon, crying, "I protest I dreamed that I was alive." "Perhaps, sir," said I, "you died of that distemper, which therefore made so strong an impression on you." "No, sir," answered he, "I never had it in my life; but the continual and dreadful apprehension it kept me so long under cannot, I see, be so immediately eradicated. You must know, sir, I avoided coming to London for thirty years together, for fear of the small-pox, till the most urgent business brought me thither about five days ago. I was so dreadfully afraid of this disease that I refused the second night of my arrival to sup with a friend whose wife had recovered of it several months before, and the same evening got a surfeit by eating too many muscles, which brought me into this good company."
"I will lay a wager," cried the spirit who sat next him, "there is not one in the coach able to guess my distemper." I desired the favor of him to acquaint us with it, if it was so uncommon. "Why, sir," said he, "I died of honor."-- "Of honor, sir!" repeated I, with some surprise. "Yes, sir," answered the spirit, "of honor, for I was killed in a duel."
"For my part," said a fair spirit, "I was inoculated last summer, and had the good fortune to escape with a very few marks on my face. I esteemed myself now perfectly happy, as I imagined I had no restraint to a full enjoyment of the diversions of the town; but within a few days after my coming up I caught cold by overdancing myself at a ball, and last night died of a violent fever."
After a short silence which now ensued, the fair spirit who spoke last, it being now daylight, addressed herself to a female who sat next her, and asked her to what chance they owed the happiness of her company. She answered, she apprehended to a consumption, but the physicians were not agreed concerning her distemper, for she left two of them in a very hot dispute about it when she came out of her body. "And pray, madam," said the same spirit to the sixth passenger, "How came you to leave the other world?" But that female spirit, screwing up her mouth, answered, she wondered at the curiosity of some people; that perhaps persons had already heard some reports of her death, which were far from being true; that, whatever was the occasion of it, she was glad at being delivered from a world in which she had no pleasure, and where there was nothing but nonsense and impertinence; particularly among her own sex, whose loose conduct she had long been entirely ashamed of.
The beauteous spirit, perceiving her question gave offense, pursued it no farther. She had indeed all the sweetness and good-humor which are so extremely amiable (when found) in that sex which tenderness most exquisitely becomes. Her countenance displayed all the cheerfulness, the good-nature, and the modesty, which diffuse such brightness round the beauty of Seraphina, awing every beholder with respect, and, at the same time, ravishing him with admiration. Had it not been indeed for our conversation on the small-pox, I should have imagined we had been honored with her identical presence. This opinion might have been heightened by the good sense she uttered whenever she spoke, by the delicacy of her sentiments, and the complacence of her behavior, together with a certain dignity which attended every look, word, and gesture; qualities which could not fail making an impression on a heart so capable of receiving it as mine, nor was she long in raising in me a very violent degree of seraphic love. I do not intend by this, that sort of love which men are very properly said to make to women in the lower world, and which seldom lasts any longer than while it is making. I mean by seraphic love an extreme delicacy and tenderness of friendship, of which, my worthy reader, if thou hast no conception, as it is probable thou mayest not, my endeavor to instruct thee would be as fruitless as it would be to explain the most difficult problems of Sir Isaac Newton to one ignorant of vulgar arithmetic.
 A particular lady of quality is meant here; but every lady of quality, or no quality, are welcome to apply the character to themselves.
 We have before made an apology for this language, which we here repeat for the last time; though the heart may, we hope, be metaphorically used here with more propriety than when we apply those passions to the body which belong to the soul.
To return therefore to matters comprehensible by all understandings: the discourse now turned on the vanity, folly, and misery of the lower world, from which every passenger in the coach expressed the highest satisfaction in being delivered; though it was very remarkable that, notwithstanding the joy we declared at our death, there was not one of us who did not mention the accident which occasioned it as a thing we would have avoided if we could. Nay, the very grave lady herself, who was the forwardest in testifying her delight, confessed inadvertently that she left a physician by her bedside; and the gentleman who died of honor very liberally cursed both his folly and his fencing. While we were entertaining ourselves with these matters, on a sudden a most offensive smell began to invade our nostrils. This very much resembled the savor which travelers in summer perceive at their approach to that beautiful village of the Hague, arising from those delicious canals which, as they consist of standing water, do at that time emit odors greatly agreeable to a Dutch taste, but not so pleasant to any other. Those perfumes, with the assistance of a fair wind, begin to affect persons of quick olfactory nerves at a league's distance, and increase gradually as you approach. In the same manner did the smell I have just mentioned, more and more invade us, till one of the spirits, looking out of the coach-window, declared we were just arrived at a very large city; and indeed he had scarce said so before we found ourselves in the suburbs, and, at the same time, the coachman, being asked by another, informed us that the name of this place was the City of Diseases. The road to it was extremely smooth, and, excepting the above-mentioned savor, delightfully pleasant. The streets of the suburbs were lined with bagnios, taverns, and cooks' shops: in the first we saw several beautiful women, but in tawdry dresses, looking out at the windows; and in the latter were visibly exposed all kinds of the richest dainties; but on our entering the city we found, contrary to all we had seen in the other world, that the suburbs were infinitely pleasanter than the city itself. It was indeed a very dull, dark, and melancholy place. Few people appeared in the streets, and these, for the most part, were old women, and here and there a formal grave gentleman, who seemed to be thinking, with large tie-wigs on, and amber-headed canes in their hands. We were all in hopes that our vehicle would not stop here; but, to our sorrow, the coach soon drove into an inn, and we were obliged to alight.
The adventures we met with in the City of Diseases.
We had not been long arrived in our inn, where it seems we were to spend the remainder of the day, before our host acquainted us that it was customary for all spirits, in their passage through that city, to pay their respects to that lady Disease, to whose assistance they had owed their deliverance from the lower world. We answered we should not fail in any complacence which was usual to others; upon which our host replied he would immediately send porters to conduct us. He had not long quitted the room before we were attended by some of those grave persons whom I have before described in large tie-wigs with amber-headed canes. These gentlemen are the ticket-porters in the city, and their canes are the insignia, or tickets, denoting their office. We informed them of the several ladies to whom we were obliged, and were preparing to follow them, when on a sudden they all stared at one another, and left us in a hurry, with a frown on every countenance. We were surprised at this behavior, and presently summoned the host, who was no sooner acquainted with it than he burst into an hearty laugh, and told us the reason was, because we did not fee the gentlemen the moment they came in, according to the custom of the place. We answered, with some confusion, we had brought nothing with us from the other world, which we had been all our lives informed was not lawful to do. "No, no, master," replied the host; "I am apprised of that, and indeed it was my fault. I should have first sent you to my lord Scrape, who would have supplied you with what you want." "My lord Scrape supply us!" said I, with astonishment: "sure you must know we cannot give him security; and I am convinced he never lent a shilling without it in his life." "No, sir," answered the host, "and for that reason he is obliged to do it here, where he is sentenced to keep a bank, and to distribute money gratis to all passengers. This bank originally consisted of just that sum, which he had miserably hoarded up in the other world, and he is to perceive it decrease visibly one shilling a-day, till it is totally exhausted; after which he is to return to the other world, and perform the part of a miser for seventy years; then, being purified in the body of a hog, he is to enter the human species again, and take a second trial." "Sir," said I, "you tell me wonders: but if his bank be to decrease only a shilling a day, how can he furnish all passengers?" "The rest," answered the host, "is supplied again; but in a manner which I cannot easily explain to you." "I apprehend," said I, "this distribution of his money is inflicted on him as a punishment; but I do not see how it can answer that end, when he knows it is to be restored to him again. Would it not serve the purpose as well if he parted only with the single shilling, which it seems is all he is really to lose?" "Sir," cries the host, "when you observe the agonies with which he parts with every guinea, you will be of another opinion. No prisoner condemned to death ever begged so heartily for transportation as he, when he received his sentence, did to go to hell, provided he might carry his money with him. But you will know more of these things when you arrive at the upper world; and now, if you please, I will attend you to my lord's, who is obliged to supply you with whatever you desire."
 That we may mention it once for all, in the panegyrical part of this work some particular person is always meant: but, in the satirical, nobody.
We found his lordship sitting at the upper end of a table, on which was an immense sum of money, disposed in several heaps, every one of which would have purchased the honor of some patriots and the chastity of some prudes. The moment he saw us he turned pale, and sighed, as well apprehending our business. Mine host accosted him with a familiar air, which at first surprised me, who so well remembered the respect I had formerly seen paid this lord by men infinitely superior in quality to the person who now saluted him in the following manner: "Here, you lord, and be dam--d to your little sneaking soul, tell out your money, and supply your betters with what they want. Be quick, sirrah, or I'll fetch the beadle to you. Don't fancy yourself in the lower world again, with your privilege at your a--." He then shook a cane at his lordship, who immediately began to tell out his money, with the same miserable air and face which the miser on our stage wears while he delivers his bank-bills. This affected some of us so much that we had certainly returned with no more than what would have been sufficient to fee the porters, had not our host, perceiving our compassion, begged us not to spare a fellow who, in the midst of immense wealth, had always refused the least contribution to charity. Our hearts were hardened with this reflection, and we all filled our pockets with his money. I remarked a poetical spirit, in particular, who swore he would have a hearty gripe at him: "For," says he, "the rascal not only refused to subscribe to my works, but sent back my letter unanswered, though I am a better gentleman than himself." We now returned from this miserable object, greatly admiring the propriety as well as justice of his punishment, which consisted, as our host informed us, merely in the delivering forth his money; and, he observed, we could not wonder at the pain this gave him, since it was as reasonable that the bare parting with money should make him miserable as that the bare having money without using it should have made him happy. Other tie-wig porters (for those we had summoned before refused to visit us again) now attended us; and we having fee'd them the instant they entered the room, according to the instructions of our host, they bowed and smiled, and offered to introduce us to whatever disease we pleased.
We set out several ways, as we were all to pay our respects to different ladies. I directed my porter to show me to the Fever on the Spirits, being the disease which had delivered me from the flesh. My guide and I traversed many streets, and knocked at several doors, but to no purpose. At one, we were told, lived the Consumption; at another, the Maladie Alamode, a French lady; at the third, the Dropsy; at the fourth, the Rheumatism; at the fifth, Intemperance; at the sixth, Misfortune. I was tired, and had exhausted my patience, and almost my purse; for I gave my porter a new fee at every blunder he made: when my guide, with a solemn countenance, told me he could do no more; and marched off without any farther ceremony.
He was no sooner gone than I met another gentleman with a ticket, i. e., an amber-headed cane in his hand. I first fee'd him, and then acquainted him with the name of the disease. He cast himself for two or three minutes into a thoughtful posture, then pulled a piece of paper out of his pocket, on which he wrote something in one of the Oriental languages, I believe, for I could not read a syllable: he bade me carry it to such a particular shop, and, telling me it would do my business, he took his leave.
Secure, as I now thought myself, of my direction, I went to the shop, which very much resembled an apothecary's. The person who officiated, having read the paper, took down about twenty different jars, and, pouring something out of every one of them, made a mixture, which he delivered to me in a bottle, having first tied a paper round the neck of it, on which were written three or four words, the last containing eleven syllables. I mentioned the name of the disease I wanted to find out, but received no other answer than that he had done as he was ordered, and the drugs were excellent. I began now to be enraged, and, quitting the shop with some anger in my countenance, I intended to find out my inn, but, meeting in the way a porter whose countenance had in it something more pleasing than ordinary, I resolved to try once more, and clapped a fee into his hand. As soon as I mentioned the disease to him he laughed heartily, and told me I had been imposed on, for in reality no such disease was to be found in that city. He then inquired into the particulars of my case, and was no sooner acquainted with them than he informed me that the Maladie Alamode was the lady to whom I was obliged. I thanked him, and immediately went to pay my respects to her. The house, or rather palace, of this lady was one of the most beautiful and magnificent in the city. The avenue to it was planted with sycamore trees, with beds of flowers on each side; it was extremely pleasant but short. I was conducted through a magnificent hall, adorned with several statues and bustoes, most of them maimed, whence I concluded them all to be true antiques; but was informed they were the figures of several modern heroes, who had died martyrs to her ladyship's cause. I next mounted through a large painted staircase, where several persons were depicted in caricatura; and, upon inquiry, was told they were the portraits of those who had distinguished themselves against the lady in the lower world. I suppose I should have known the faces of many physicians and surgeons, had they not been so violently distorted by the painter. Indeed, he had exerted so much malice in his work, that I believe he had himself received some particular favors from the lady of this mansion: it is difficult to conceive a group of stranger figures. I then entered a long room, hung round with the pictures of women of such exact shapes and features that I should have thought myself in a gallery of beauties, had not a certain sallow paleness in their complexions given me a more distasteful idea. Through this I proceeded to a second apartment, adorned, if I may so call it, with the figures of old ladies. Upon my seeming to admire at this furniture, the servant told me with a smile that these had been very good friends of his lady, and had done her eminent service in the lower world. I immediately recollected the faces of one or two of my acquaintance, who had formerly kept bagnios; but was very much surprised to see the resemblance of a lady of great distinction in such company. The servant, upon my mentioning this, made no other answer than that his lady had pictures of all degrees. I was now introduced into the presence of the lady herself. She was a thin, or rather meager, person, very wan in the countenance, had no nose and many pimples in her face. She offered to rise at my entrance, but could not stand. After many compliments, much congratulation on her side, and the most fervent expressions of gratitude on mine, she asked me many questions concerning the situation of her affairs in the lower world; most of which I answered to her entire satisfaction. At last, with a kind of forced smile, she said, "I suppose the pill and drop go on swimmingly?" I told her they were reported to have done great cures. She replied she could apprehend no danger from any person who was not of regular practice; "for, however simple mankind are," said she, "or however afraid they are of death, they prefer dying in a regular manner to being cured by a nostrum." She then expressed great pleasure at the account I gave her of the beau monde. She said she had herself removed the hundreds of Drury to the hundreds of Charing-cross, and was very much delighted to find they had spread into St. James's; that she imputed this chiefly to several of her dear and worthy friends, who had lately published their excellent works, endeavoring to extirpate all notions of religion and virtue; and particularly to the deserving author of the Bachelor's Estimate; "to whom," said she, "if I had not reason to think he was a surgeon, and had therefore written from mercenary views, I could never sufficiently own my obligations." She spoke likewise greatly in approbation of the method, so generally used by parents, of marrying children very young, and without the least affection between the parties; and concluded by saying that, if these fashions continued to spread, she doubted not but she should shortly be the only disease who would ever receive a visit from any person of considerable rank.
While we were discoursing her three daughters entered the room. They were all called by hard names; the eldest was named Lepra, the second Chaeras, and the third Scorbutia. They were all genteel, but ugly. I could not help observing the little respect they paid their parent, which the old lady remarking in my countenance, as soon as they quitted the room, which soon happened, acquainted me with her unhappiness in her offspring, every one of which had the confidence to deny themselves to be her children, though she said she had been a very indulgent mother and had plentifully provided for them all. As family complaints generally as much tire the hearer as they relieve him who makes them, when I found her launching farther into this subject I resolved to put an end to my visit, and, taking my leave with many thanks for the favor she had done me, I returned to the inn, where I found my fellow-travelers just mounting into their vehicle. I shook hands with my host and accompanied them into the coach, which immediately after proceeded on its journey.
 These ladies, I believe, by their names, presided over the leprosy, king's-evil, and scurvy.
Discourses on the road, and a description of the palace of Death.
We were all silent for some minutes, till, being well shaken into our several seats, I opened my mouth first, and related what had happened to me after our separation in the city we had just left.
The rest of the company, except the grave female spirit whom our reader may remember to have refused giving an account of the distemper which occasioned her dissolution, did the same. It might be tedious to relate these at large; we shall therefore only mention a very remarkable inveteracy which the Surfeit declared to all the other diseases, especially to the Fever, who, she said, by the roguery of the porters, received acknowledgments from numberless passengers which were due to herself. "Indeed," says she, "those cane-headed fellows" (for so she called them, alluding, I suppose, to their ticket) "are constantly making such mistakes; there is no gratitude in those fellows; for I am sure they have greater obligations to me than to any other disease, except the Vapors." These relations were no sooner over than one of the company informed us we were approaching to the most noble building he had ever beheld, and which we learned from our coachman was the palace of Death. Its outside, indeed, appeared extremely magnificent. Its structure was of the Gothic order; vast beyond imagination, the whole pile consisting of black marble. Rows of immense yews form an amphitheater round it of such height and thickness that no ray of the sun ever perforates this grove, where black eternal darkness would reign was it not excluded by innumerable lamps which are placed in pyramids round the grove; so that the distant reflection they cast on the palace, which is plentifully gilt with gold on the outside, is inconceivably solemn. To this I may add the hollow murmur of winds constantly heard from the grove, and the very remote sound of roaring waters. Indeed, every circumstance seems to conspire to fill the mind with horror and consternation as we approach to this palace, which we had scarce time to admire before our vehicle stopped at the gate, and we were desired to alight in order to pay our respects to his most mortal majesty (this being the title which it seems he assumes). The outward court was full of soldiers, and, indeed, the whole very much resembled the state of an earthly monarch, only more magnificent. We passed through several courts into a vast hall, which led to a spacious staircase, at the bottom of which stood two pages, with very grave countenances, whom I recollected afterwards to have formerly been very eminent undertakers, and were in reality the only dismal faces I saw here; for this palace, so awful and tremendous without, is all gay and sprightly within; so that we soon lost all those dismal and gloomy ideas we had contracted in approaching it. Indeed, the still silence maintained among the guards and attendants resembled rather the stately pomp of eastern courts; but there was on every face such symptoms of content and happiness that diffused an air of cheerfulness all round. We ascended the staircase and passed through many noble apartments whose walls were adorned with various battle-pieces in tapistry, and which we spent some time in observing. These brought to my mind those beautiful ones I had in my lifetime seen at Blenheim, nor could I prevent my curiosity from inquiring where the Duke of Marlborough's victories were placed (for I think they were almost the only battles of any eminence I had read of which I did not meet with); when the skeleton of a beef-eater, shaking his head, told me a certain gentleman, one Lewis XIV, who had great interest with his most mortal majesty, had prevented any such from being hung up there. "Besides," says he, "his majesty hath no great respect for that duke, for he never sent him a subject he could keep from him, nor did he ever get a single subject by his means but he lost 1000 others for him." We found the presence-chamber at our entrance very full, and a buzz ran through it, as in all assemblies, before the principal figure enters; for his majesty was not yet come out. At the bottom of the room were two persons in close conference, one with a square black cap on his head, and the other with a robe embroidered with flames of fire. These, I was informed, were a judge long since dead, and an inquisitor-general. I overheard them disputing with great eagerness whether the one had hanged or the other burned the most. While I was listening to this dispute, which seemed to be in no likelihood of a speedy decision, the emperor entered the room and placed himself between two figures, one of which was remarkable for the roughness, and the other for the beauty of his appearance. These were, it seems, Charles XII of Sweden and Alexander of Macedon. I was at too great a distance to hear any of the conversation, so could only satisfy my curiosity by contemplating the several personages present, of whose names I informed myself by a page, who looked as pale and meager as any court-page in the other world, but was somewhat more modest. He showed me here two or three Turkish emperors, to whom his most mortal majesty seemed to express much civility. Here were likewise several of the Roman emperors, among whom none seemed so much caressed as Caligula, on account, as the page told me, of his pious wish that he could send all the Romans hither at one blow. The reader may be perhaps surprised that I saw no physicians here; as indeed I was myself, till informed that they were all departed to the city of Diseases, where they were busy in an experiment to purge away the immortality of the soul.
It would be tedious to recollect the many individuals I saw here, but I cannot omit a fat figure, well dressed in the French fashion, who was received with extraordinary complacence by the emperor, and whom I imagined to be Lewis XIV himself; but the page acquainted me he was a celebrated French cook. We were at length introduced to the royal presence, and had the honor to kiss hands. His majesty asked us a few questions, not very material to relate, and soon after retired. When we returned into the yard we found our caravan ready to set out, at which we all declared ourselves well pleased; for we were sufficiently tired with the formality of a court, notwithstanding its outward splendor and magnificence.
The travelers proceed on their journey, and meet several spirits who are coming into the flesh.
We now came to the banks of the great river Cocytus, where we quitted our vehicle, and passed the water in a boat, after which we were obliged to travel on foot the rest of our journey; and now we met, for the first time, several passengers traveling to the world we had left, who informed us they were souls going into the flesh.
The two first we met were walking arm-in-arm, in very close and friendly conference; they informed us that one of them was intended for a duke, and the other for a hackney-coachman. As we had not yet arrived at the place where we were to deposit our passions, we were all surprised at the familiarity which subsisted between persons of such different degrees; nor could the grave lady help expressing her astonishment at it. The future coachman then replied, with a laugh, that they had exchanged lots; for that the duke had with his dukedom drawn a shrew for a wife, and the coachman only a single state.
As we proceeded on our journey we met a solemn spirit walking alone with great gravity in his countenance: our curiosity invited us, notwithstanding his reserve, to ask what lot he had drawn.
He answered, with a smile, he was to have the reputation of a wise man with L100,000 in his pocket, and was practicing the solemnity which he was to act in the other world. A little farther we met a company of very merry spirits, whom we imagined by their mirth to have drawn some mighty lot, but, on inquiry, they informed us they were to be beggars.
The farther we advanced, the greater numbers we met; and now we discovered two large roads leading different ways, and of very different appearance; the one all craggy with rocks, full as it seemed of boggy grounds, and everywhere beset with briars, so that it was impossible to pass through it without the utmost danger and difficulty; the other, the most delightful imaginable, leading through the most verdant meadows, painted and perfumed with all kinds of beautiful flowers; in short, the most wanton imagination could imagine nothing more lovely. Notwithstanding which, we were surprised to see great numbers crowding into the former, and only one or two solitary spirits choosing the latter.
On inquiry, we were acquainted that the bad road was the way to greatness, and the other to goodness. When we expressed our surprise at the preference given to the former we were acquainted that it was chosen for the sake of the music of drums and trumpets, and the perpetual acclamations of the mob, with which those who traveled this way were constantly saluted. We were told likewise that there were several noble palaces to be seen, and lodged in, on this road, by those who had passed through the difficulties of it (which indeed many were not able to surmount), and great quantities of all sorts of treasure to be found in it; whereas the other had little inviting more than the beauty of the way, scarce a handsome building, save one greatly resembling a certain house by the Bath, to be seen during that whole journey; and, lastly, that it was thought very scandalous and mean-spirited to travel through this, and as highly honorable and noble to pass by the other. We now heard a violent noise, when, casting our eyes forwards, we perceived a vast number of spirits advancing in pursuit of one whom they mocked and insulted with all kinds of scorn. I cannot give my reader a more adequate idea of this scene than by comparing it to an English mob conducting a pickpocket to the water; or by supposing that an incensed audience at a playhouse had unhappily possessed themselves of the miserable damned poet. Some laughed, some hissed, some squalled, some groaned, some bawled, some spit at him, some threw dirt at him. It was impossible not to ask who or what the wretched spirit was whom they treated in this barbarous manner; when, to our great surprise, we were informed that it was a king: we were likewise told that this manner of behavior was usual among the spirits to those who drew the lots of emperors, kings, and other great men, not from envy or anger, but mere derision and contempt of earthly grandeur; that nothing was more common than for those who had drawn these great prizes (as to us they seemed) to exchange them with tailors and cobblers; and that Alexander the Great and Diogenes had formerly done so; he that was afterwards Diogenes having originally fallen on the lot of Alexander. And now, on a sudden, the mockery ceased, and the king-spirit, having obtained a hearing, began to speak as follows; for we were now near enough to hear him distinctly:--
"GENTLEMEN,--I am justly surprised at your treating me in this manner, since whatever lot I have drawn, I did not choose: if, therefore, it be worthy of derision, you should compassionate me, for it might have fallen to any of your shares. I know in how low a light the station to which fate hath assigned me is considered here, and that, when ambition doth not support it, it becomes generally so intolerable, that there is scarce any other condition for which it is not gladly exchanged: for what portion, in the world to which we are going, is so miserable as that of care? Should I therefore consider myself as become by this lot essentially your superior, and of a higher order of being than the rest of my fellow-creatures; should I foolishly imagine myself without wisdom superior to the wise, without knowledge to the learned, without courage to the brave, and without goodness and virtue to the good and virtuous; surely so preposterous, so absurd a pride, would justly render me the object of ridicule. But far be it from me to entertain it. And yet, gentlemen, I prize the lot I have drawn, nor would I exchange it with any of yours, seeing it is in my eye so much greater than the rest. Ambition, which I own myself possessed of, teaches me this; ambition, which makes me covet praise, assures me that I shall enjoy a much larger proportion of it than can fall within your power either to deserve or obtain. I am then superior to you all, when I am able to do more good, and when I execute that power. What the father is to the son, the guardian to the orphan, or the patron to his client, that am I to you. You are my children, to whom I will be a father, a guardian, and a patron. Not one evening in my long reign (for so it is to be) will I repose myself to rest without the glorious, the heart-warming consideration, that thousands that night owe their sweetest rest to me. What a delicious fortune is it to him whose strongest appetite is doing good, to have every day the opportunity and the power of satisfying it! If such a man hath ambition, how happy is it for him to be seated so on high, that every act blazes abroad, and attracts to him praises tainted with neither sarcasm nor adulation, but such as the nicest and most delicate mind may relish! Thus, therefore, while you derive your good from me, I am your superior. If to my strict distribution of justice you owe the safety of your property from domestic enemies; if by my vigilance and valor you are protected from foreign foes; if by my encouragement of genuine industry, every science, every art which can embellish or sweeten life, is produced and flourishes among you; will any of you be so insensible or ungrateful as to deny praise and respect to him by whose care and conduct you enjoy these blessings? I wonder not at the censure which so frequently falls on those in my station; but I wonder that those in my station so frequently deserve it. What strange perverseness of nature! What wanton delight in mischief must taint his composition, who prefers dangers, difficulty, and disgrace, by doing evil, to safety, ease, and honor, by doing good! who refuses happiness in the other world, and heaven in this, for misery there and hell here! But, be assured, my intentions are different. I shall always endeavor the ease, the happiness, and the glory of my people, being confident that, by so doing, I take the most certain method of procuring them all to myself."--He then struck directly into the road of goodness, and received such a shout of applause as I never remember to have heard equaled. He was gone a little way when a spirit limped after him, swearing he would fetch him back.
This spirit, I was presently informed, was one who had drawn the lot of his prime minister.
An account of the wheel of fortune, with a method of preparing a spirit for this world.
We now proceeded on our journey, without staying to see whether he fulfilled his word or no; and without encountering anything worth mentioning, came to the place where the spirits on their passage to the other world were obliged to decide by lot the station in which every one was to act there. Here was a monstrous wheel, infinitely larger than those in which I had formerly seen lottery-tickets deposited. This was called the WHEEL OF FORTUNE.
The goddess herself was present. She was one of the most deformed females I ever beheld; nor could I help observing the frowns she expressed when any beautiful spirit of her own sex passed by her, nor the affability which smiled in her countenance on the approach of any handsome male spirits. Hence I accounted for the truth of an observation I had often made on earth, that nothing is more fortunate than handsome men, nor more unfortunate than handsome women. The reader may be perhaps pleased with an account of the whole method of equipping a spirit for his entrance into the flesh.
First, then, he receives from a very sage person, whose look much resembled that of an apothecary (his warehouse likewise bearing an affinity to an apothecary's shop), a small phial inscribed, THE PATHETIC POTION, to be taken just before you are born. This potion is a mixture of all the passions, but in no exact proportion, so that sometimes one predominates, and sometimes another; nay, often in the hurry of making up, one particular ingredient is, as we were informed, left out. The spirit receiveth at the same time another medicine called the NOUSPHORIC DECOCTION, of which he is to drink ad libitum. This decoction is an extract from the faculties of the mind, sometimes extremely strong and spirituous, and sometimes altogether as weak; for very little care is taken in the preparation. This decoction is so extremely bitter and unpleasant, that, notwithstanding its wholesomeness, several spirits will not be persuaded to swallow a drop of it, but throw it away, or give it to any other who will receive it; by which means some who were not disgusted by the nauseousness drank double and treble portions. I observed a beautiful young female, who, tasting it immediately from curiosity, screwed up her face and cast it from her with great disdain, whence advancing presently to the wheel, she drew a coronet, which she clapped up so eagerly that I could not distinguish the degree; and indeed I observed several of the same sex, after a very small sip, throw the bottles away. As soon as the spirit is dismissed by the operator, or apothecary, he is at liberty to approach the wheel, where he hath a right to extract a single lot: but those whom Fortune favors she permits sometimes secretly to draw three or four. I observed a comical kind of figure who drew forth a handful, which, when he opened, were a bishop, a general, a privy-counselor, a player, and a poet- laureate, and, returning the three first, he walked off, smiling, with the two last. Every single lot contained two more articles, which were generally disposed so as to render the lots as equal as possible to each other; on one was written, EARL, RICHES, HEALTH, DISQUIETUDE; on another, COBLER, SICKNESS, GOOD-HUMOR; on a third, POET, CONTEMPT, SELF-SATISFACTION; on a fourth, GENERAL, HONOR, DISCONTENT; on a fifth, COTTAGE, HAPPY LOVE; on a sixth, COACH AND SIX, IMPOTENT JEALOUS HUSBAND; on a seventh, PRIME MINISTER, DISGRACE; on an eighth, PATRIOT, GLORY; on a ninth, PHILOSOPHER, POVERTY, EASE; on a tenth, MERCHANT, RICHES, CARE. And indeed the whole seemed to contain such a mixture of good and evil, that it would have puzzled me which to choose. I must not omit here that in every lot was directed whether the drawer should marry or remain in celibacy, the married lots being all marked with a large pair of horns. We were obliged, before we quitted this place, to take each of us an emetic from the apothecary, which immediately purged us of all our earthly passions, and presently the cloud forsook our eyes, as it doth those of Aeneas in Virgil, when removed by Venus; and we discerned things in a much clearer light than before. We began to compassionate those spirits who were making their entry into the flesh, whom we had till then secretly envied, and to long eagerly for those delightful plains which now opened themselves to our eyes, and to which we now hastened with the utmost eagerness. On our way we met with several spirits with very dejected countenances; but our expedition would not suffer us to ask any questions. At length we arrived at the gate of Elysium. Here was a prodigious crowd of spirits waiting for admittance, some of whom were admitted, and some were rejected; for all were strictly examined by the porter, whom I soon discovered to be the celebrated judge Minos.
The proceedings of judge Minos at the gate of Elysium.
I now got near enough to the gate to hear the several claims of those who endeavored to pass. The first among other pretensions, set forth that he had been very liberal to an hospital; but Minos answered, "Ostentation," and repulsed him. The second exhibited that he had constantly frequented his church, been a rigid observer of fast-days: he likewise represented the great animosity he had shown to vice in others, which never escaped his severest censure; and as to his own behavior, he had never been once guilty of whoring, drinking, gluttony, or any other excess. He said he had disinherited his son for getting a bastard. "Have you so?" said Minos; "then pray return into the other world and beget another; for such an unnatural rascal shall never pass this gate." A dozen others, who had advanced with very confident countenances, seeing him rejected, turned about of their own accord, declaring, if he could not pass, they had no expectation, and accordingly they followed him back to earth; which was the fate of all who were repulsed, they being obliged to take a further purification, unless those who were guilty of some very heinous crimes, who were hustled in at a little back gate, whence they tumbled immediately into the bottomless pit.
The next spirit that came up declared he had done neither good nor evil in the world; for that since his arrival at man's estate he had spent his whole time in search of curiosities; and particularly in the study of butterflies, of which he had collected an immense number. Minos made him no answer, but with great scorn pushed him back. There now advanced a very beautiful spirit indeed. She began to ogle Minos the moment she saw him. She said she hoped there was some merit in refusing a great number of lovers, and dying a maid, though she had had the choice of a hundred. Minos told her she had not refused enow yet, and turned her back.
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