From This World to the Next
Henry Fielding

Part 1 out of 3

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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



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[1] 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

[1] 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[2] backwards upon it.

[2] 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.[3] 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.

[3] 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


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

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,[4] 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

[4] 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

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,[5]
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[6] 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

[5] A particular lady of quality is meant here; but every lady
of quality, or no quality, are welcome to apply the character to

[6] 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,[7]
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

[7] 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.[8] 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.

[8] 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

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

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,
HONOR, DISCONTENT; on a fifth, COTTAGE, HAPPY LOVE; on a sixth,
MINISTER, DISGRACE; on an eighth, PATRIOT, GLORY; on a ninth,
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.

She was succeeded by a spirit who told the judge he believed his
works would speak for him. "What works?" answered Minos. "My
dramatic works," replied the other, "which have done so much good
in recommending virtue and punishing vice." "Very well," said
the judge; "if you please to stand by, the first person who
passes the gate by your means shall carry you in with him; but,
if you will take my advice, I think, for expedition sake, you had
better return, and live another life upon earth." The bard
grumbled at this, and replied that, besides his poetical works,
he had done some other good things: for that he had once lent
the whole profits of a benefit-night to a friend, and by that
means had saved him and his family from destruction. Upon this
the gate flew open, and Minos desired him to walk in, telling
him, if he had mentioned this at first, he might have spared the
remembrance of his plays. The poet answered, he believed, if
Minos had read his works, he would set a higher value on them.
He was then beginning to repeat, but Minos pushed him forward,
and, turning his back to him, applied himself to the next
passenger, a very genteel spirit, who made a very low bow to
Minos, and then threw himself into an erect attitude, and
imitated the motion of taking snuff with his right hand. Minos
asked him what he had to say for himself. He answered, he would
dance a minuet with any spirit in Elysium: that he could
likewise perform all his other exercises very well, and hoped he
had in his life deserved the character of a perfect fine
gentleman. Minos replied it would be great pity to rob the world
of so fine a gentleman, and therefore desired him to take the
other trip. The beau bowed, thanked the judge, and said he
desired no better.

Several spirits expressed much astonishment at this his
satisfaction; but we were afterwards informed he had not taken
the emetic above mentioned.

A miserable old spirit now crawled forwards, whose face I thought
I had formerly seen near Westminster Abbey. He entertained Minos
with a long harangue of what he had done when in the HOUSE; and
then proceeded to inform him how much he was worth, without
attempting to produce a single instance of any one good action.
Minos stopped the career of his discourse, and acquainted him he
must take a trip back again.

"What! to S---- house?" said the spirit in an ecstasy; but the
judge, without making him any answer, turned to another, who with
a very solemn air and great dignity, acquainted him he was a
duke. "To the right-about, Mr. Duke," cried Minos, "you are
infinitely too great a man for Elysium;" and then, giving him a
kick on the b--ch, he addressed himself to a spirit who, with
fear and trembling, begged he might not go to the bottomless pit:
he said he hoped Minos would consider that, though he had gone
astray, he had suffered for it--that it was necessity which drove
him to the robbery of eighteenpence, which he had committed, and
for which he was hanged--that he had done some good actions in
his life--that he had supported an aged parent with his labor--
that he had been a very tender husband and a kind father--and
that he had ruined himself by being bail for his friend. At
which words the gate opened, and Minos bade him enter, giving him
a slap on the back as he passed by him. A great number of
spirits now came forwards, who all declared they had the same
claim, and that the captain should speak for them. He acquainted
the judge that they had been all slain in the service of their
country. Minos was going to admit them, but had the curiosity to
ask who had been the invader, in order, as he said, to prepare
the back gate for him. The captain answered they had been the
invaders themselves--that they had entered the enemy's country,
and burned and plundered several cities. "And for what reason?"
said Minos. "By the command of him who paid us," said the
captain; "that is the reason of a soldier. We are to execute
whatever we are commanded, or we should be a disgrace to the
army, and very little deserve our pay." "You are brave fellows
indeed," said Minos; "but be pleased to face about, and obey my
command for once, in returning back to the other world: for what
should such fellows as you do where there are no cities to be
burned, nor people to be destroyed? But let me advise you to have
a stricter regard to truth for the future, and not call the
depopulating other countries the service of your own." The
captain answered, in a rage, "D--n me! do you give me the lie?"
and was going to take Minos by the nose had not his guards
prevented him, and immediately turned him and all his followers
back the same road they came.

Four spirits informed the judge that they had been starved to
death through poverty--being the father, mother, and two
children; that they had been honest and as industrious as
possible, till sickness had prevented the man from labor. "All
that is very true," cried a grave spirit who stood by. "I know
the fact; for these poor people were under my cure." "You was, I
suppose, the parson of the parish," cries Minos; "I hope you had
a good living, sir." "That was but a small one," replied the
spirit; "but I had another a little better."--"Very well," said
Minos; "let the poor people pass." At which the parson was
stepping forwards with a stately gait before them; but Minos
caught hold of him and pulled him back, saying, "Not so fast,
doctor--you must take one step more into the other world first;
for no man enters that gate without charity." A very stately
figure now presented himself, and, informing Minos he was a
patriot, began a very florid harangue on public virtue and the
liberties of his country. Upon which Minos showed him the utmost
respect, and ordered the gate to be opened. The patriot was not
contented with this applause; he said he had behaved as well in
place as he had done in the opposition; and that, though he was
now obliged to embrace the court measures, yet he had behaved
very honestly to his friends, and brought as many in as was
possible. "Hold a moment," says Minos: "on second
consideration, Mr. Patriot, I think a man of your great virtue
and abilities will be so much missed by your country, that, if I
might advise you, you should take a journey back again. I am
sure you will not decline it; for I am certain you will, with
great readiness, sacrifice your own happiness to the public
good." The patriot smiled, and told Minos he believed he was in
jest; and was offering to enter the gate, but the judge laid fast
hold of him and insisted on his return, which the patriot still
declining, he at last ordered his guards to seize him and conduct
him back.

A spirit now advanced, and the gate was immediately thrown open
to him before he had spoken a word. I heard some whisper, "That
is our last lord mayor."

It now came to our company's turn. The fair spirit which I
mentioned with so much applause in the beginning of my journey
passed through very easily; but the grave lady was rejected on
her first appearance, Minos declaring there was not a single
prude in Elysium.

The judge then addressed himself to me, who little expected to
pass this fiery trial. I confessed I had indulged myself very
freely with wine and women in my youth, but had never done an
injury to any man living, nor avoided an opportunity of doing
good; that I pretended to very little virtue more than general
philanthrophy and private friendship. I was proceeding, when
Minos bade me enter the gate, and not indulge myself with
trumpeting forth my virtues. I accordingly passed forward with
my lovely companion, and, embracing her with vast eagerness, but
spiritual innocence, she returned my embrace in the same manner,
and we both congratulated ourselves on our arrival in this happy
region, whose beauty no painting of the imagination can describe.


The adventures which the author met on his first entrance into

We pursued our way through a delicious grove of orange-trees,
where I saw infinite numbers of spirits, every one of whom I
knew, and was known by them (for spirits here know one another by
intuition). I presently met a little daughter whom I had lost
several years before. Good gods! what words can describe the
raptures, the melting passionate tenderness, with which we kissed
each other, continuing in our embrace, with the most ecstatic
joy, a space which, if time had been measured here as on earth,
could not be less than half a year.

The first spirit with whom I entered into discourse was the
famous Leonidas of Sparta. I acquainted him with the honors
which had been done him by a celebrated poet of our nation; to
which he answered he was very much obliged to him. We were
presently afterwards entertained with the most delicious voice I
had ever heard, accompanied by a violin, equal to Signior
Piantinida. I presently discovered the musician and songster to
be Orpheus and Sappho.

Old Homer was present at this concert (if I may so call it), and
Madam Dacier sat in his lap. He asked much after Mr. Pope, and
said he was very desirous of seeing him; for that he had read his
Iliad in his translation with almost as much delight as he
believed he had given others in the original. I had the
curiosity to inquire whether he had really writ that poem in
detached pieces, and sung it about as ballads all over Greece,
according to the report which went of him. He smiled at my
question, and asked me whether there appeared any connection in
the poem; for if there did he thought I might answer myself. I
then importuned him to acquaint me in which of the cities which
contended for the honor of his birth he was really born? To
which he answered, "Upon my soul I can't tell."

Virgil then came up to me, with Mr. Addison under his arm.
"Well, sir," said he, "how many translations have these few last
years produced of my Aeneid?" I told him I believed several, but
I could not possibly remember; for that I had never read any but
Dr. Trapp's. "Ay," said he, "that is a curious piece indeed!" I
then acquainted him with the discovery made by Mr. Warburton of
the Elusinian mysteries couched in his sixth book. "What
mysteries?" said Mr. Addison. "The Elusinian," answered Virgil,
"which I have disclosed in my sixth book." "How!" replied
Addison. "You never mentioned a word of any such mysteries to me
in all our acquaintance." "I thought it was unnecessary," cried
the other, "to a man of your infinite learning: besides, you
always told me you perfectly understood my meaning." Upon this I
thought the critic looked a little out of countenance, and turned
aside to a very merry spirit, one Dick Steele, who embraced him,
and told him he had been the greatest man upon earth; that he
readily resigned up all the merit of his own works to him. Upon
which Addison gave him a gracious smile, and, clapping him on the
back with much solemnity, cried out, "Well said, Dick!"

I then observed Shakespeare standing between Betterton and Booth,
and deciding a difference between those two great actors
concerning the placing an accent in one of his lines: this was
disputed on both sides with a warmth which surprised me in
Elysium, till I discovered by intuition that every soul retained
its principal characteristic, being, indeed, its very essence.
The line was that celebrated one in Othello--
Betterton. Mr. Booth contended to have it thus:--
Put out the light, and then put out THE light. I could not help
offering my conjecture on this occasion, and suggested it might
perhaps be--
Put out the light, and then put out THY light. Another hinted a
reading very sophisticated in my opinion--
Put out the light, and then put out THEE, light, making
light to be the vocative case. Another would have altered the
last word, and read--
Betterton said, if the text was to be disturbed, he saw no reason
why a word might not be changed as well as a letter, and, instead
of "put out thy light," you may read "put out thy eyes." At last
it was agreed on all sides to refer the matter to the decision of
Shakespeare himself, who delivered his sentiments as follows:
"Faith, gentlemen, it is so long since I wrote the line, I have
forgot my meaning. This I know, could I have dreamed so much
nonsense would have been talked and writ about it, I would have
blotted it out of my works; for I am sure, if any of these be my
meaning, it doth me very little honor."

He was then interrogated concerning some other ambiguous passages
in his works; but he declined any satisfactory answer; saying, if
Mr. Theobald had not writ about it sufficiently, there were three
or four more new editions of his plays coming out, which he hoped
would satisfy every one: concluding, "I marvel nothing so much
as that men will gird themselves at discovering obscure beauties
in an author. Certes the greatest and most pregnant beauties are
ever the plainest and most evidently striking; and when two
meanings of a passage can in the least balance our judgments
which to prefer, I hold it matter of unquestionable certainty
that neither of them is worth a farthing." From his works our
conversation turned on his monument; upon which, Shakespeare,
shaking his sides, and addressing himself to Milton, cried out,
"On my word, brother Milton, they have brought a noble set of
poets together; they would have been hanged erst have [ere they
had] convened such a company at their tables when alive." "True,
brother," answered Milton, "unless we had been as incapable of
eating then as we are now."


More adventures in Elysium.

A crowd of spirits now joined us, whom I soon perceived to be the
heroes, who here frequently pay their respects to the several
bards the recorders of their actions. I now saw Achilles and
Ulysses addressing themselves to Homer, and Aeneas and Julius
Caesar to Virgil: Adam went up to Milton, upon which I whispered
Mr. Dryden that I thought the devil should have paid his
compliments there, according to his opinion. Dryden only
answered, "I believe the devil was in me when I said so."
Several applied themselves to Shakespeare, amongst whom Henry V
made a very distinguishing appearance. While my eyes were fixed
on that monarch a very small spirit came up to me, shook me
heartily by the hand, and told me his name was THOMAS THUMB. I
expressed great satisfaction in seeing him, nor could I help
speaking my resentment against the historian, who had done such
injustice to the stature of this great little man, which he
represented to be no bigger than a span, whereas I plainly
perceived at first sight he was full a foot and a half (and the
37th part of an inch more, as he himself informed me), being
indeed little shorter than some considerable beaux of the present
age. I asked this little hero concerning the truth of those
stories related of him, viz., of the pudding, and the cow's
belly. As to the former, he said it was a ridiculous legend,
worthy to be laughed at; but as to the latter, he could not help
owning there was some truth in it: nor had he any reason to be
ashamed of it, as he was swallowed by surprise; adding, with
great fierceness, that if he had had any weapon in his hand the
cow should have as soon swallowed the devil.

He spoke the last word with so much fury, and seemed so
confounded, that, perceiving the effect it had on him, I
immediately waived the story, and, passing to other matters, we
had much conversation touching giants. He said, so far from
killing any, he had never seen one alive; that he believed those
actions were by mistake recorded of him, instead of Jack the
giant-killer, whom he knew very well, and who had, he fancied,
extirpated the race. I assured him to the contrary, and told him
I had myself seen a huge tame giant, who very complacently stayed
in London a whole winter, at the special request of several
gentlemen and ladies; though the affairs of his family called him
home to Sweden.

I now beheld a stern-looking spirit leaning on the shoulder of
another spirit, and presently discerned the former to be Oliver
Cromwell, and the latter Charles Martel. I own I was a little
surprised at seeing Cromwell here, for I had been taught by my
grandmother that he was carried away by the devil himself in a
tempest; but he assured me, on his honor, there was not the least
truth in that story. However, he confessed he had narrowly
escaped the bottomless pit; and, if the former part of his
conduct had not been more to his honor than the latter, he had
been certainly soused into it. He was, nevertheless, sent back
to the upper world with this lot:--ARMY, CAVALIER, DISTRESS.

He was born, for the second time, the day of Charles II's
restoration, into a family which had lost a very considerable
fortune in the service of that prince and his father, for which
they received the reward very often conferred by princes on real
merit, viz.--000. At 16 his father bought a small commission for
him in the army, in which he served without any promotion all the
reigns of Charles II and of his brother. At the Revolution he
quitted his regiment, and followed the fortunes of his former
master, and was in his service dangerously wounded at the famous
battle of the Boyne, where he fought in the capacity of a private
soldier. He recovered of this wound, and retired after the
unfortunate king to Paris, where he was reduced to support a wife
and seven children (for his lot had horns in it) by cleaning
shoes and snuffing candles at the opera. In which situation,
after he had spent a few miserable years, he died half-starved
and broken-hearted. He then revisited Minos, who,
compassionating his sufferings by means of that family, to whom
he had been in his former capacity so bitter an enemy, suffered
him to enter here.

My curiosity would not refrain asking him one question, i. e.,
whether in reality he had any desire to obtain the crown? He
smiled, and said, "No more than an ecclesiastic hath to the
miter, when he cries Nolo episcopari." Indeed, he seemed to
express some contempt at the question, and presently turned away.

A venerable spirit appeared next, whom I found to be the great
historian Livy. Alexander the Great, who was just arrived from
the palace of death, passed by him with a frown. The historian,
observing it, said, "Ay, you may frown; but those troops which
conquered the base Asiatic slaves would have made no figure
against the Romans." We then privately lamented the loss of the
most valuable part of his history; after which he took occasion
to commend the judicious collection made by Mr. Hook, which, he
said, was infinitely preferable to all others; and at my
mentioning Echard's he gave a bounce, not unlike the going off of
a squib, and was departing from me, when I begged him to satisfy
my curiosity in one point--whether he was really superstitious or
no? For I had always believed he was till Mr. Leibnitz had
assured me to the contrary. He answered sullenly, "Doth Mr.
Leibnitz know my mind better than myself?" and then walked away.


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.

As he was departing I heard him salute a spirit by the name of
Mr. Julian the apostate. This exceedingly amazed me; for I had
concluded that no man ever had a better title to the bottomless
pit than he. But I soon found that this same Julian the apostate
was also the very individual archbishop Latimer. He told me that
several lies had been raised on him in his former capacity, nor
was he so bad a man as he had been represented. However, he had
been denied admittance, and forced to undergo several subsequent
pilgrimages on earth, and to act in the different characters of a
slave, a Jew, a general, an heir, a carpenter, a beau, a monk, a
fiddler, a wise man, a king, a fool, a beggar, a prince, a
statesman, a soldier, a tailor, an alderman, a poet, a knight, a
dancing-master, and three times a bishop, before his martyrdom,
which, together with his other behavior in this last character,
satisfied the judge, and procured him a passage to the blessed

I told him such various characters must have produced incidents
extremely entertaining; and if he remembered all, as I supposed
he did, and had leisure, I should be obliged to him for the
recital. He answered he perfectly recollected every
circumstance; and as to leisure, the only business of that happy
place was to contribute to the happiness of each other. He
therefore thanked me for adding to his, in proposing to him a
method of increasing mine. I then took my little darling in one
hand, and my favorite fellow-traveler in the other, and, going
with him to a sunny bank of flowers, we all sat down, and he
began as follows:-- "I suppose you are sufficiently acquainted
with my story during the time I acted the part of the emperor
Julian, though I assure you all which hath been related of me is
not true, particularly with regard to the many prodigies
forerunning my death. However, they are now very little worth
disputing; and if they can serve any purpose of the historian
they are extremely at his service. "My next entrance into the
world was at Laodicea, in Syria, in a Roman family of no great
note; and, being of a roving disposition, I came at the age of
seventeen to Constantinople, where, after about a year's stay, I
set out for Thrace, at the time when the emperor Valens admitted
the Goths into that country. I was there so captivated with the
beauty of a Gothic lady, the wife of one Rodoric, a captain,
whose name, out of the most delicate tenderness for her lovely
sex, I shall even at this distance conceal; since her behavior to
me was more consistent with good-nature than with that virtue
which women are obliged to preserve against every assailant. In
order to procure an intimacy with this woman I sold myself a
slave to her husband, who, being of a nation not over-inclined to
jealousy, presented me to his wife, for those very reasons which
would have induced one of a jealous complexion to have withheld
me from her, namely, for that I was young and handsome.

"Matters succeeded so far according to my wish, and the sequel
answered those hopes which this beginning had raised. I soon
perceived my service was very acceptable to her; I often met her
eyes, nor did she withdraw them without a confusion which is
scarce consistent with entire purity of heart. Indeed, she gave
me every day fresh encouragement; but the unhappy distance which
circumstances had placed between us deterred me long from making
any direct attack; and she was too strict an observer of decorum
to violate the severe rules of modesty by advancing first; but
passion at last got the better of my respect, and I resolved to
make one bold attempt, whatever was the consequence.
Accordingly, laying hold of the first kind opportunity, when she
was alone and my master abroad, I stoutly assailed the citadel
and carried it by storm. Well may I say by storm; for the
resistance I met was extremely resolute, and indeed as much as
the most perfect decency would require. She swore often she
would cry out for help; but I answered it was in vain, seeing
there was no person near to assist her; and probably she believed
me, for she did not once actually cry out, which if she had, I
might very likely have been prevented.

"When she found her virtue thus subdued against her will she
patiently submitted to her fate, and quietly suffered me a long
time to enjoy the most delicious fruits of my victory; but
envious fortune resolved to make me pay a dear price for my
pleasure. One day in the midst of our happiness we were suddenly
surprised by the unexpected return of her husband, who, coming
directly into his wife's apartment, just allowed me time to creep
under the bed. The disorder in which he found his wife might
have surprised a jealous temper; but his was so far otherwise,
that possibly no mischief might have happened had he not by a
cross accident discovered my legs, which were not well hid. He
immediately drew me out by them, and then, turning to his wife
with a stern countenance, began to handle a weapon he wore by his
side, with which I am persuaded he would have instantly
dispatched her, had I not very gallantly, and with many
imprecations, asserted her innocence and my own guilt; which,
however, I protested had hitherto gone no farther than design.
She so well seconded my plea (for she was a woman of wonderful
art), that he was at length imposed upon; and now all his rage
was directed against me, threatening all manner of tortures,
which the poor lady was in too great a fright and confusion to
dissuade him from executing; and perhaps, if her concern for me
had made her attempt it, it would have raised a jealousy in him
not afterwards to be removed.

"After some hesitation Roderic cried out he had luckily hit on
the most proper punishment for me in the world, by a method which
would at once do severe justice on me for my criminal intention,
and at the same time prevent me from any danger of executing my
wicked purpose hereafter. This cruel resolution was immediately
executed, and I was no longer worthy the name of a man.

"Having thus disqualified me from doing him any future injury, he
still retained me in his family; but the lady, very probably
repenting of what she had done, and looking on me as the author
of her guilt, would never for the future give me either a kind
word or look: and shortly after, a great exchange being made
between the Romans and the Goths of dogs for men, my lady
exchanged me with a Roman widow for a small lap-dog, giving a
considerable sum of money to boot.

"In this widow's service I remained seven years, during all which
time I was very barbarously treated. I was worked without the
least mercy, and often severely beat by a swinging maid-servant,
who never called me by any other names than those of the Thing
and the Animal. Though I used my utmost industry to please, it
never was in my power. Neither the lady nor her woman would eat
anything I touched, saying they did not believe me wholesome. It
is unnecessary to repeat particulars; in a word, you can imagine
no kind of ill usage which I did not suffer in this family.

"At last an heathen priest, an acquaintance of my lady's,
obtained me of her for a present. The scene was now totally
changed, and I had as much reason to be satisfied with my present
situation as I had to lament my former. I was so absolutely my
master's favorite, that the rest of the slaves paid me almost as
much regard as they showed to him, well knowing that it was
entirely in my power to command and treat them as I pleased. I
was intrusted with all my master's secrets, and used to assist
him in privately conveying away by night the sacrifices from the
altars, which the people believed the deities themselves
devoured. Upon these we feasted very elegantly, nor could
invention suggest a rarity which we did not pamper ourselves
with. Perhaps you may admire at the close union between this
priest and his slave, but we lived in an intimacy which the
Christians thought criminal; but my master, who knew the will of
the gods, with whom he told me he often conversed, assured me it
was perfectly innocent.

"This happy life continued about four years, when my master's
death, occasioned by a surfeit got by overfeeding on several
exquisite dainties, put an end to it.

"I now fell into the hands of one of a very different
disposition, and this was no other than the celebrated St.
Chrysostom, who dieted me with sermons instead of sacrifices, and
filled my ears with good things, but not my belly. Instead of
high food to fatten and pamper my flesh, I had receipts to
mortify and reduce it. With these I edified so well, that within
a few months I became a skeleton. However, as he had converted
me to his faith, I was well enough satisfied with this new manner
of living, by which he taught me I might insure myself an eternal
reward in a future state. The saint was a good-natured man, and
never gave me an ill word but once, which was occasioned by my
neglecting to place Aristophanes, which was his constant
bedfellow, on his pillow. He was, indeed, extremely fond of that
Greek poet, and frequently made me read his comedies to him.
When I came to any of the loose passages he would smile, and say,
'It was pity his matter was not as pure as his style;' of which
latter he was so immoderately fond that, notwithstanding the
detestation he expressed for obscenity, he hath made me repeat
those passages ten times over. The character of this good man
hath been very unjustly attacked by his heathen contemporaries,
particularly with regard to women; but his severe invectives
against that sex are his sufficient justification.

"From the service of this saint, from whom I received
manumission, I entered into the family of Timasius, a leader of
great eminence in the imperial army, into whose favor I so far
insinuated myself that he preferred me to a good command, and
soon made me partaker of both his company and his secrets. I
soon grew intoxicated with this preferment, and the more he
loaded me with benefits the more he raised my opinion of my own
merit, which, still outstripping the rewards he conferred on me,
inspired me rather with dissatisfaction than gratitude. And
thus, by preferring me beyond my merit or first expectation, he
made me an envious aspiring enemy, whom perhaps a more moderate
bounty would have preserved a dutiful servant.

"I fell now acquainted with one Lucilius, a creature of the prime
minister Eutropius, who had by his favor been raised to the post
of a tribune; a man of low morals, and eminent only in that
meanest of qualities, cunning. This gentleman, imagining me a
fit tool for the minister's purpose, having often sounded my
principles of honor and honesty, both which he declared to me
were words without meaning, and finding my ready concurrence in
his sentiments, recommended me to Eutropius as very proper to
execute some wicked purposes he had contrived against my frend
Timasius. The minister embraced this recommendation, and I was
accordingly acquainted by Lucilius (after some previous accounts
of the great esteem Eutropius entertained of me, from the
testimony he had borne of my parts) that he would introduce me to
him; adding that he was a great encourager of merit, and that I
might depend upon his favor.

"I was with little difficulty prevailed on to accept of this
invitation. A late hour therefore the next evening being
appointed, I attended my friend Lucilius to the minister's house.

He received me with the utmost civility and cheerfulness, and
affected so much regard to me, that I, who knew nothing of these
high scenes of life, concluded I had in him a most disinterested
friend, owing to the favorable report which Lucilius had made of
me. I was however soon cured of this opinion; for immediately
after supper our discourse turned on the injustice which the
generality of the world were guilty of in their conduct to great
men, expecting that they should reward their private merit,
without ever endeavoring to apply it to their use. 'What avail,'
said Eutropius, 'the learning, wit, courage, or any virtue which
a man may be possessed of, to me, unless I receive some benefit
from them? Hath he not more merit to me who doth my business and
obeys my commands, without any of these qualities?' I gave such
entire satisfaction in my answers on this head, that both the
minister and his creature grew bolder, and after some preface
began to accuse Timasius. At last, finding I did not attempt to
defend him, Lucilius swore a great oath that he was not fit to
live, and that he would destroy him. Eutropius answered that it
would be too dangerous a task: 'Indeed,' says he, 'his crimes
are of so black a dye, and so well known to the emperor, that his
death must be a very acceptable service, and could not fail
meeting a proper reward: but I question whether you are capable
of executing it.' 'If he is not,' cried I, 'I am; and surely no
man can have greater motives to destroy him than myself: for,
besides his disloyalty to my prince, for whom I have so perfect a
duty, I have private disobligations to him. I have had fellows
put over my head, to the great scandal of the service in general,
and to my own prejudice and disappointment in particular.' I
will not repeat you my whole speech; but, to be as concise as
possible, when we parted that evening the minister squeezed me
heartily by the hand, and with great commendation of my honesty
and assurances of his favor, he appointed me the next evening to
come to him alone; when, finding me, after a little more
scrutiny, ready for his purpose, he proposed to me to accuse
Timasius of high treason, promising me the highest rewards if I
would undertake it. The consequence to him, I suppose you know,
was ruin; but what was it to me? Why, truly, when I waited on
Eutropius for the fulfilling his promises, received me with great
distance and coldness; and, on my dropping some hints of my
expectations from him, he affected not to understand me; saying
he thought impunity was the utmost I could hope for on
discovering my accomplice, whose offense was only greater than
mine, as he was in a higher station; and telling me he had great
difficulty to obtain a pardon for me from the emperor, which he
said, he had struggled very hardly for, as he had worked the
discovery out of me. He turned away, and addressed himself to
another person.

"I was so incensed at this treatment, that I resolved revenge,
and should certainly have pursued it, had he not cautiously
prevented me by taking effectual means to despatch me soon after
out of the world.

"You will, I believe, now think I had a second good chance for
the bottomless pit, and indeed Minos seemed inclined to tumble me
in, till he was informed of the revenge taken on me by Roderic,
and my seven years' subsequent servitude to the widow; which he
thought sufficient to make atonement for all the crimes a single
life could admit of, and so sent me back to try my fortune a
third time."


In which Julian relates his adventures in the character of an
avaricious Jew.

"The next character in which I was destined to appear in the
flesh was that of an avaricious Jew. I was born in Alexandria in
Egypt. My name was Balthazar. Nothing very remarkable happened
to me till the year of the memorable tumult in which the Jews of
that city are reported in history to have massacred more
Christians than at that time dwelt in it. Indeed, the truth is,
they did maul the dogs pretty handsomely; but I myself was not
present, for as all our people were ordered to be armed, I took
that opportunity of selling two swords, which probably I might
otherwise never have disposed of, they being extremely old and
rusty; so that, having no weapon left, I did not care to venture
abroad. Besides, though I really thought it an act meriting
salvation to murder the Nazarenes, as the fact was to be
committed at midnight, at which time, to avoid suspicion, we were
all to sally from our own houses, I could not persuade myself to
consume so much oil in sitting up to that hour: for these
reasons therefore I remained at home that evening.

"I was at this time greatly enamored with one Hypatia, the
daughter of a philosopher; a young lady of the greatest beauty
and merit: indeed, she had every imaginable ornament both of
mind and body. She seemed not to dislike my person; but there
were two obstructions to our marriage, viz., my religion and her
poverty: both which might probably have been got over, had not
those dogs the Christians murdered her; and, what is worse,
afterwards burned her body: worse, I say, because I lost by that
means a jewel of some value, which I had presented to her,
designing, if our nuptials did not take place, to demand it of
her back again.

"Being thus disappointed in my love, I soon after left Alexandria
and went to the imperial city, where I apprehended I should find
a good market for jewels on the approaching marriage of the
emperor with Athenais. I disguised myself as a beggar on this
journey, for these reasons: first, as I imagined I should thus
carry my jewels with greater safety; and, secondly, to lessen my
expenses; which latter expedient succeeded so well, that I begged
two oboli on my way more than my traveling cost me, my diet being
chiefly roots, and my drink water.

"But perhaps, it had been better for me if I had been more lavish
and more expeditious; for the ceremony was over before I reached
Constantinople; so that I lost that glorious opportunity of
disposing of my jewels with which many of our people were greatly

"The life of a miser is very little worth relating, as it is one
constant scheme of getting or saving money. I shall therefore
repeat to you some few only of my adventures, without regard to
any order.

"A Roman Jew, who was a great lover of Falernian wine, and who
indulged himself very freely with it, came to dine at my house;
when, knowing he should meet with little wine, and that of the
cheaper sort, sent me in half-a-dozen jars of Falernian. Can you
believe I would not give this man his own wine? Sir, I
adulterated it so that I made six jars of [them] three, which he
and his friend drank; the other three I afterwards sold to the
very person who originally sent them me, knowing he would give a
better price than any other.

"A noble Roman came one day to my house in the country, which I
had purchased, for half the value, of a distressed person. My
neighbors paid him the compliment of some music, on which
account, when he departed, he left a piece of gold with me to be
distributed among them. I pocketed this money, and ordered them
a small vessel of sour wine, which I could not have sold for
above two drachms, and afterwards made them pay in work three
times the value of it.

"As I was not entirely void of religion, though I pretended to
infinitely more than I had, so I endeavored to reconcile my
transactions to my conscience as well as possible. Thus I never
invited any one to eat with me, but those on whose pockets I had
some design. After our collation it was constantly my method to
set down in a book I kept for that purpose, what I thought they
owed me for their meal. Indeed, this was generally a hundred
times as much as they could have dined elsewhere for; but,
however, it was quid pro quo, if not ad valorem. Now, whenever
the opportunity offered of imposing on them I considered it only
as paying myself what they owed me: indeed, I did not always
confine myself strictly to what I had set down, however
extravagant that was; but I reconciled taking the overplus to
myself as usance.

"But I was not only too cunning for others--I sometimes
overreached myself. I have contracted distempers for want of
food and warmth, which have put me to the expense of a physician;
nay, I once very narrowly escaped death by taking bad drugs, only
to save one seven-eighth per cent in the price.

"By these and such like means, in the midst of poverty and every
kind of distress, I saw myself master of an immense fortune, the
casting up and ruminating on which was my daily and only
pleasure. This was, however, obstructed and embittered by two
considerations, which against my will often invaded my thoughts.
One, which would have been intolerable (but that indeed seldom
troubled me), was, that I must one day leave my darling treasure.

The other haunted me continually, viz., that my riches were no
greater. However, I comforted myself against this reflection by
an assurance that they would increase daily: on which head my
hopes were so extensive that I may say with Virgil--
'His ego nec metas rerum nec tempora pono.'
Indeed I am convinced that, had I possessed the whole globe of
earth, save one single drachma, which I had been certain never to
be master of-- I am convinced, I say, that single drachma would
have given me more uneasiness than all the rest could afford me

"To say the truth, between my solicitude in contriving schemes to
procure money and my extreme anxiety in preserving it, I never
had one moment of ease while awake nor of quiet when in my sleep.

In all the characters through which I have passed, I have never
undergone half the misery I suffered in this; and, indeed, Minos
seemed to be of the same opinion; for while I stood trembling and
shaking in expectation of my sentence he bid me go back about my
business, for that nobody was to be d--n'd in more worlds than
one. And, indeed, I have since learned that the devil will not
receive a miser."


What happened to Julian in the characters of a general, an heir,
a carpenter, and a beau.

"The next step I took into the world was at Apollonia, in Thrace,
where I was born of a beautiful Greek slave, who was the mistress
of Eutyches, a great favorite of the emperor Zeno. That prince,
at his restoration, gave me the command of a cohort, I being then
but fifteen years of age; and a little afterwards, before I had
even seen an army, preferred me, over the heads of all the old
officers, to be a tribune.

"As I found an easy access to the emperor, by means of my
father's intimacy with him, he being a very good courtier--or, in
other words, a most prostitute flatterer--so I soon ingratiated
myself with Zeno, and so well imitated my father in flattering
him, that he would never part with me from about his person. So
that the first armed force I ever beheld was that with which
Marcian surrounded the palace, where I was then shut up with the
rest of the court.

"I was afterwards put at the head of a legion and ordered to
march into Syria with Theodoric the Goth; that is, I mean my
legion was so ordered; for, as to myself, I remained at court,
with the name and pay of a general, without the labor or the

"As nothing could be more gay, i. e., debauched, than Zeno's
court, so the ladies of gay disposition had great sway in it;
particularly one, whose name was Fausta, who, though not
extremely handsome, was by her wit and sprightliness very
agreeable to the emperor. With her I lived in good
correspondence, and we together disposed of all kinds of
commissions in the army, not to those who had most merit, but who
would purchase at the highest rate. My levee was now
prodigiously thronged by officers who returned from the
campaigns, who, though they might have been convinced by daily
example how ineffectual a recommendation their services were,
still continued indefatigable in attendance, and behaved to me
with as much observance and respect as I should have been
entitled to for making their fortunes, while I suffered them and
their families to starve.

"Several poets, likewise, addressed verses to me, in which they
celebrated my achievements; and what, perhaps, may seem strange
to us at present, I received all this incense with most greedy
vanity, without once reflecting that, as I did not deserve these
compliments, they should rather put me in mind of my defects.

"My father was now dead, and I became so absolute in the
emperor's grace that one unacquainted with courts would scarce
believe the servility with which all kinds of persons who entered
the walls of the palace behaved towards me. A bow, a smile, a
nod from me, as I passed through cringing crowds, were esteemed
as signal favors; but a gracious word made any one happy; and,
indeed, had this real benefit attending it, that it drew on the
person on whom it was bestowed a very great degree of respect
from all others; for these are of current value in courts, and,
like notes in trading communities, are assignable from one to the
other. The smile of a court favorite immediately raises the
person who receives it, and gives a value to his smile when
conferred on an inferior: thus the smile is transferred from one
to the other, and the great man at last is the person to discount
it. For instance, a very low fellow hath a desire for a place.
To whom is he to apply? Not to the great man; for to him he hath
no access. He therefore applies to A, who is the creature of B,
who is the tool of C, who is the flatterer of D, who is the
catamite of E, who is the pimp of F, who is the bully of G, who
is the buffoon of I, who is the husband of K, who is the whore of
L, who is the bastard of M, who is the instrument of the great
man. Thus the smile descending regularly from the great man to
A, is discounted back again, and at last paid by the great man.

"It is manifest that a court would subsist as difficultly without
this kind of coin as a trading city without paper credit.
Indeed, they differ in this, that their value is not quite so
certain, and a favorite may protest his smile without the danger
of bankruptcy.

"In the midst of all this glory the emperor died, and Anastasius
was preferred to the crown. As it was yet uncertain whether I
should not continue in favor, I was received as usual at my
entrance into the palace to pay my respects to the new emperor;
but I was no sooner rumped by him than I received the same
compliment from all the rest; the whole room, like a regiment of
soldiers, turning their backs to me all at once: my smile now
was become of equal value with the note of a broken banker, and
every one was as cautious not to receive it.

"I made as much haste as possible from the court, and shortly
after from the city, retreating to the place of my nativity,
where I spent the remainder of my days in a retired life in
husbandry, the only amusement for which I was qualified, having
neither learning nor virtue.

"When I came to the gate Minos again seemed at first doubtful,
but at length dismissed me; saying though I had been guilty of
many heinous crimes, in as much as I had, though a general, never
been concerned in spilling human blood, I might return again to

"I was now again born in Alexandria, and, by great accident,
entering into the womb of my daughter-in-law, came forth my own
grandson, inheriting that fortune which I had before amassed.

"Extravagance was now as notoriously my vice as avarice had been
formerly; and I spent in a very short life what had cost me the
labor of a very long one to rake together. Perhaps you will
think my present condition was more to be envied than my former:
but upon my word it was very little so; for, by possessing
everything almost before I desired it, I could hardly ever say I
enjoyed my wish: I scarce ever knew the delight of satisfying a
craving appetite. Besides, as I never once thought, my mind was
useless to me, and I was an absolute stranger to all the
pleasures arising from it. Nor, indeed, did my education qualify
me for any delicacy in other enjoyments; so that in the midst of
plenty I loathed everything. Taste for elegance I had none; and
the greatest of corporeal blisses I felt no more from than the
lowest animal. In a word, as while a miser I had plenty without
daring to use it, so now I had it without appetite.

"But if I was not very happy in the height of my enjoyment, so I
afterwards became perfectly miserable; being soon overtaken by
disease, and reduced to distress, till at length, with a broken
constitution and broken heart, I ended my wretched days in a
jail: nor can I think the sentence of Minos too mild, who
condemned me, after having taken a large dose of avarice, to
wander three years on the banks of Cocytus, with the knowledge of
having spent the fortune in the person of the grandson which I
had raised in that of the grandfather.

"The place of my birth, on my return to the world, was
Constantinople, where my father was a carpenter. The first thing
I remember was, the triumph of Belisarius, which was, indeed,
most noble show; but nothing pleased me so much as the figure of
Gelimer, king of the African Vandals, who, being led captive on
this occasion, reflecting with disdain on the mutation of his own
fortune, and on the ridiculous empty pomp of the conqueror, cried

"I was bred up to my father's trade, and you may easily believe
so low a sphere could produce no adventures worth your notice.
However, I married a woman I liked, and who proved a very
tolerable wife. My days were passed in hard labor, but this
procured me health, and I enjoyed a homely supper at night with
my wife with more pleasure than I apprehend greater persons find
at their luxurious meals. My life had scarce any variety in it,
and at my death I advanced to Minos with great confidence of
entering the gate: but I was unhappily obliged to discover some
frauds I had been guilty of in the measure of my work when I
worked by the foot, as well as my laziness when I was employed by
the day. On which account, when I attempted to pass, the angry
judge laid hold on me by the shoulders, and turned me back so
violently, that, had I had a neck of flesh and bone, I believe he


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