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hereby strictly require every person, who shall write on this subject, to remember that he is a christian, and not to sacrifice his catechisin to his poetry. In order to it, I do expect of him in the first place to make his own poem, without depending upon Phæbus for any part of it, or calling out for aid upon any one of the Muses by name. I do likewise positively forbid the sending of Mercury with any particular message or dispatch relating to the peace, and shall by no means suffer Minerva to take upon her the shape of any plenipotentiary concerned in this great work. I do further declare, that I shall not allow the destinies to have had a hand in the deaths of the several thousands who have been slain in the late war, being of opinion, that all such deaths may be very well accounted for by the christian system of powder and ball. I do therefore strictly forbid the Fates to cut the thread of man's life upon any pretence whatsoever, unless it be for the sake of the rhyme. And whereas I have good reason to fear, that Neptune will have a great deal of business on his hands, in several poems which we may now suppose are upon the anvil, I do also prohibit bis appearance, unless it be done in metaphor, simile, or any very short allusion, and that even here he be not permitted to enter but with great caution and circumspection. I desire that the same rule may be extended to his whole fraternity of heathen gods, it being my design to condemn every poein to the flames in which Jupiter thunders, or exercises any other act of authority which does not belong to him : in short, I expect that no pagan agent shall be introduced, or any fact related, which a man cannot give credit to with a good conscience. Provided always, that nothing herein contained shall extend, or be construed to extend, to several of the female poets in this nation, who shall be still left in full possession of their gods and goddesses, in the same manner as if this Paper had never been written.'

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No. 524.

6

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THE BLACK TOWER, A VISION.

SIR, ‘I was last Sunday in the evening led into a rious reflection on the reasonableness of virtue, and great folly of vice, from an excellent sermon I had heard that afternoon in my parish church. Among other observations, the preacher showed us that the temptations which the tempter proposed, were all on a supposition that we are either madmen or fools, or with an intention to render us such ; that in no other affair we would suffer ourselves to be thus imposed upon, in a case so plainly and clearly against our visible interest. His illustrations and arguments carried so much persuasion and convicticn with them, that they remained a considerable while fresh, and working in my memory; until at last the inind, fatigued with thought, gave way to the forcible oppressions of slumber and sleep, whilst fancy, unwilling yet to drop the subject, presented me with the following vision.

Methought I was just awoke out of a feep, that I could never remember the beginning of; the place where I found inyself to be was a wide and spacious plain, full of people that wandered up and down through several beaten paths, whereof some few were straighi, and in direct lines, but most of them winding and zurning like a labyrinth ; but yet it appeared to me

afterwards,

afterwards, that these last all met in one issue, so that many that seemed to steer quite contrary courses did at length meet and face one another, to the no little amazement of

many

of thein. In the midst of the plain there was a great fountain; they called it the spring of Self-love: out of it issued two rivulets to the eastward and westward : the name of the first was Heavenly-Wisdom ; its water was wonderfully clear, but of a yet more wonderful effect: the other's name was Worldly-Wisdom; its water was thick, and yet far from being dormant or stagnating, for it was in a continual violent agitation; which kept the travellers, whom I shall mention by and by, from being sensible of the foulness and thickness of the water ; which had this effect, that it intoxicated those who drank it, and made them mistake every object that fay before them. Both rivulets were parted near their springs into so many others as there were straight and crooked paths, which they attended all along to their respeciive issues.

I observed from the several paths nany now and then diverting, to refresh and otherwise qualify themselves for their journey, to the respective rivulets that ran near them; they contracted a very

observable courage and steadiness in what they were about, buy drink. ing these waters. At the end of the perspective of every straight path, all which did end in one issue and point, appeared a high pillar, all of diamond, casting rays as bright as those of the sun into the paths; which rays had also certain sympathizing and alluring virtues in them, so that whosoever had made some: considerable progress in his journey onwards towards the pillar, by the repeated impression of these rays upon him, was wrought into an habitual inclination

and

and conversion of his sight towards it, so that it grew at last in a manner natyral to him to look and gaze upon it, whereby he was kept steady in the straight paths, which alone led to that radiant body, the beholding of which was now grown a gratification to his nature.

« At the issue of the crooked paths there was a great Black Tower, out of the centre of which streamed a Iong succession of flames, which did rise even above the clouds : it gave a very great light to the whole plain, which did sometimes outshine the light, and oppressed the beams of the adamantine pillar ; though, by the observation I made afterwards, it appeared that it was not for any diminution of light, but that this lay in the travellers, who would sometimes step out of straight paths, where they lost the full prospect of the radiant pillar, and saw it but side-ways: but the great light from the Black Tower, which was somewhat particularly scorching to them, would generally light and hasten them to their proper climate again.

« Round about the Black Tower there were, methought, many thousands of huge mishapen ugly monsters; these had great nets, which they were perpetually plying and casting towards the crooked paths, and they would now and then catch up those that were nearest to them : these they took up straight, and whirled oyer the walls into the Flaming Tower, and they were no more seen nor heard of.

They would sometimes cast their nets towards the right paths to catch the stragglers, whose eyes, for want of frequent drinking at the brook that ran by them, grew dim, whereby they lost their way: these would sometimes very narrowly miss being catched away; but I could not hear whether any of these had ever been so

unfortunate,

unfortunate, that had been before very hearty in the straight paths.

- I considered all these strange sights with great attention, until at last I was interrupted by a cluster of the travellers in the crooked paths, who came up to me, bid me go along with them, and presently fell to singing and dancing : they took me by the hand, and so carried me away along with them. After I had followed them a considerable while, I perceived I had lost the Black Tower of light; at which I greatly wondered: but as I looked and gazed around me, and saw nothing, I began to fancy ny first vision had been but a dream, and there was no such thing in reality : but then I considered that, if I could fancy to see what was not, I might as well have an illusion wrought on me at present, and not see what was really before me. 1 was very much confirmed in this thought, by the effect I then just observed the water of Worldly-Wisdum had upon me; fur, as I had drunk a little of it again, I felt a very sensible effect in my head : methought it distracted and disordered all there : this made me stop of a sudden, suspecting some charm or cnchantment. As I was casting about within myself what I should do, and whom to apply to in this case, 1 spied at some distance off me a man beckoning and making signs to me to come over to him. I cried to him, I did not know the way. He then called to me audibly, to step at least out of the path I was in ; for, if I staid there any longer, I was in danger to be catched in a great net that was just hanging over me, and ready to catch me up; that he wondered I was so blind, or so distracted, as not to see so imminent and visible a danger, assuring me, that as soon as I was out of that way he would come to me to lead me into

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