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then, a weary votary of my gay rival, after fruitless endeavors to find me in her domains, at last comes to seek me in my native valley, but the greater number of her followers never, never return. Suffer me, then, to lead you at once to my safe and pleasant abode."
She ceased; and every face seemed agitated with painful indecision; her look, her manner, and her name interested all hearts. But during the whole of her address, Pleasure had ordered her music to play; the merry tambourine and tinkling cymbal flashed over our heads; her silken banners of purple and gold streamed in the air; the maidens recommenced their sprightly dance; while Pleasure herself, waving her white arm, beckoned incessantly to the crowd, till, overpowered by her attractions, a very large majority of the assembly turned their backs upon Happiness, and rejoined the rival standard.
Even of the few who stayed, several seemed to hesitate, halting and turning incessantly to listen to the receding music; till, at length, they complained that they were unable to keep pace with the quick step of Industry, and that they were disconcerted by the steady eye of Integrity; so, after making an awkward apology to Happiness, they deserted to the merry multitude. The small company who still remained followed her with a cheerful, determined air: and I watched the happy party as it crossed the plain, till it disappeared among the trees that shade the valley of Happiness.
For my own part, I resolved to follow the crowd to the palace of Pleasure, just to make my observations. As I reached the rear of the procession, I was really disgusted⚫ to see several hoary heads nodding to the music, and limbs tottering after the train as fast as they were able. "Surely, thought I, these would do better to repose peacefully in the asylum of Happiness!" But I presently ⚫ learned, that those who have been strangers to her in early life, rarely seek her acquaintance afterwards; and that, although Pleasure treats them with marked disrespect,
they persist in pursuing her wherever she goes-the disfigurement of her pageants, and the lumber of her halls.
We soon left the green plain and its pleasant trees in the distance; and proceeded till we reached the suburbs of a large city, whose domes and spires, and crowded roofs, were just visible through the smoke and vapor. All the bells were ringing, and the streets, lit up with long rows of lamps, resounded with the rattling of wheels and the trampling of horses. At length, the magnificent palace of our leader was discovered, rising above the surrounding buildings, and richly decorated with festoons of variegated lamps. A blaze of light from brilliant chandeliers shone from its innumerable windows; while the merry sound of the viol, and all kinds of instruments, was heard from within. The halls were already thronged with visitants, and we all crowded in, eager to share the entertainment.
There have been so many descriptions of the interior of this palace, that it would be quite superfluous to repeat them; and indeed it were an endless task. It is but justice, however, to say, that Pleasure had not exaggerated in her description. There were numerous suites of apartments, fitted up to suit the various tastes of the different visitors; many to regale the senses, others to delight the fancy; some, even to feast the intellect. For a time, all was life and gaiety. New comers, I observed, always seemed to think that one half had not been told them; yet I could but remark how many, after awhile, would suddenly forsake their pursuits, with looks of dissatisfaction and fatigue, and recline on sofas and couches, where they gaped and sighed, wondering why they did so. Others, with the same uneasy appearance, persisted in pacing from one apartment to another, as if in search of something that ever eluded them and what struck me as a strange inconsistency, was, that several protested they were only come to look for Happiness, persuaded that she was concealed somewhere in the palace, although they had them
selves seen her retire to her own quiet vale, quite in an opposite direction. Every hour increased the number of weary and discontented faces; the revelry, however, continued ; and Pleasure, to do her justice, made every effort to keep up the spirits of her guests, till she herself seemed nearly exhausted with her exertions. It being now long past midnight, I began to think of retiring, for my curiosity was fully satisfied; and I went, prepared with as good an excuse as I could devise, to pay my parting compliments to Pleasure, whom I found reclining on her throne, with a languid eye, and haggard countenance. She received my apologies with coldness, and expressed no wish to detain me; for it seems that Pleasure does not like to be looked at by any but her admirers.
Having escaped from the crowded apartments of the palace, I presently reached the outskirts of the city, where I no sooner began to inhale the fresh air, than my spirits experienced a sudden exhilaration. I breathed freely, and lost the sense of fatigue. Dawn was now breaking over the distant hills; and by the time I regained the plain whence we set out, a light, rosy tint, the pure blush of morning, was spread on every object. The lark sprang up, and commenced her merry carol over my head; a refreshing breeze gently stirred the foliage:-I felt that I was approaching the regions of Happiness.
I now looked about for the nearest path to the valley, which, although I had distinctly marked the evening before, I could not now readily distinguish. At this moment I was unexpectedly accosted by Happiness herself, who, being fond of early rising, had overtaken me in her morning walk. She saluted me with a courteous smile, and offered her hand to conduct me to her residence. But at first sight I did not recollect her; my eyes had been so much dazzled by the glare of light in the palace, that I could not see her distinctly, and even when she made herself known to me, I could scarcely believe her to be the same person that I had seen a few hours before. I thought
her features plain, and that she looked less cheerful and engaging; but every step we took together seemed to heighten her beauty, and to render her conversation more animating. At length we reached the valley, and I descried the white turrets of her mansion rising above the trees.
Same Subject concluded.
"I PROMISED," said Happiness," to lead you to my mansion; but this is the hour of morning sacrifice, and we must first repair to the altar of Devotion." So saying, she conducted me to a temple of the most simple architecture, where all the inhabitants of the valley were already assembled. A cloud of fragrant incense, which was the prayers of saints, curled in white wreaths among the trees, and thence ascended in a stately column to the sky. When the solemnities were concluded, Devotion, the priestess, with a serene brow, pronounced a benediction, and dismissed the assembly.
Withdrawing silently from the temple, we repaired to a spacious hall in the mansion, where long tables were spread, furnished abundantly with plain and wholesome provision. At these tables a healthy, handsome woman presided, called Temperance, who did the honors of her board with perfect grace, and with the warmest hospitality. But there was one singular custom: upon a certain signal, given by herself, every one present immediately ceased to regale; and if a cup or dish had been tasted by any of the company afterwards, it would have been considered as a personal affront to the lady herself. Happiness assured me, that if, on any occasion, Temperance chanced to be absent from her place, she herself (being always subject to fits) fainted at table, and could never be revived till Temperance brought her restoratives.
The signal being given, the whole company rose from table, and immediately repaired to their respective apartments. Those to which Happiness first conducted me, and which formed one extensive wing of the building, were under the superintendence of Industry, that brisk youth on whose arm Happiness leaned when I first met her, and who was, she told me, with the exception of Devotion, her nearest relation. This long suite of rooms was variously furnished, according to the different rank and circumstances of the inhabitants. Here were to be heard the clatter of machinery, the groans of the engine, the strokes of the hammer, and the roaring of the forge. There were to be seen the implements of husbandry, and the bustle of trade. Farther on, I observed countless numbers of females, plying the busy needle. Beyond these, we reached apartments of greater elegance, over which two persons presided, of remarkably interesting appearance, called Science and Literature;—the former, a silver-headed sage, of a mild, venerable aspect, before whom, as we approached, I involuntarily made a low prostration; the latter, an ardent, interesting youth, with a fine eye and a pale cheek; he wore a wreath of evergreens on his temples, and was attended by all the muses. As we passed him, I turned to Happiness, and inquired if she did not spend the greater proportion of her time in this part of her residence. She smiled at the question, and replied, that she was prevented from showing any such partiality, by certain evil genii, which occasionally infested her domains, and which often compelled her to fly from one apartment to another, especially if she had stayed in any of them rather longer than usual. "Here, for instance," said she, "there are two or three little impertinent demons, called Ambition, Envy and Irritability, who tease that poor youth sadly, and make him look so pale and wan: for my own part, I have so great an antipathy to them, that I can never stay in the same room with any of them; so that, I assure you, I am glad, sometimes, to