OCR Interpretation

The Columbia Democrat. [volume] (Bloomsburg, Pa.) 1837-1850, July 15, 1837, Image 1

Image and text provided by Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85025180/1837-07-15/ed-1/seq-1/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for

1 MBF MIlJ)EllimAf t
I have sworn uou the Altar of Cod, eternal hostility to cVory form of Tyranny over the Blind of Mail." Thomas Jefferson.
tdlnmc I.
Firtho C61amtiia Democrat.
I'tiii: vision op coxfrfrcius.
x roLiTiciL ALLrnonr.
"Tis Education forms the common mind."
ffino pleasant afternoon in th6 s'ummcrof
, I walked from my cottage for the pur
pose of amusing myself Vith a ramble in a
aeighboririg gr'6vc, after having read a very
iftMcsfirtg debate in a deliberative body.
The; pleasant season' of the year tho sc-
,ren6 aspect of the heavens the music of
tthejjbirds Hhe verdure of the landscape, &
the murmur ttfthcrifls. snrithnd rav mind
Jntoltfahquilitv, and unbent the tension of
thought, occasioned by my previous read
- ihgA After having walked myself weary
bygaining many a summit for a prospect,
jWiil descending many a Hope to examine
'Ujojbrakcs and the minerals along the brook,
-lljreturnci to a rustic scat near my cot,
shaded with lofty trees and unrobed in the
pendant foliage of a grape vine which twi-
ncdfits tendrils round their stalely branch-
seated myself in the shade, and was
soon in thai indolent mood which is best
japtcd to that species of contemplation
which has no definite object in view. A
state of inaction soon incrcassd mv indo
lence of mind to a ddgrtie beyond that in
ffifuch men are impelled by motive-, and I
instantly found myself in a vision. I saw
ajlong plain or valley extending infinitely
before me, to which I could perceive no
dlf&Uc bound. Throilgh this valley I per
fived two passages or high ways, which
Lplainly perceived had their beginning from
ffnjcomrnori point, and after running a vast
Jdjstancc in a similar direction, though not
precisely parallel, I could indistinctly per
ceive that they were likely to have one
common termination. There were various
passages from one of these roads to the oth
er.jlsoine of which were easy and others
difficult of access sonic were dd'vercd with
blood and bones, cithers desolate and drea
fyjvhilc some were burnished witli gold
andjeurtained with piirple and scarlet) silk
Smnvclvct. I observed that all the irans
Versc paths had an inclinalioil from me, or
Onward, and that there! were an infinite
'number of them arid that they were so
constructed as to admit of being travelled
'only, the one way: There were also appa
rently as many from left to right as in the
opposite direction, but those which led in
course were comparatively abandoned
hndLsolitary, and showed that they had been
buTaeldoin trodden, t observed that bdlh
roads were crowded with people of all ages
nsexes, but that the male part vastly
1 .t .t. l it l i
jjivjiumiuruiuu m uiu luu nunu passage,
Asthc multitude emerged from the common
gqalj; it appeared that a number took tl-o left
hand track from the start, and even some
females wctlt with thom biit the majority
of Uie mass seeiriod by instinct to incline to
thdfright, which was by far the smoother,
greener, arid mdfo shady road though I
thought the othdr the more splendid.
Ujion examining more cldsely, t observ
boUhat the two roads were separated by a
partition of very singular" nlaterial and for
mation. It was more than semi-transpa-rentjand
extended across the collateral pas
Sages in tho samo manner as in thei space
'be'iyccn them. This partition was so form
Was to admit persons to pass through it
t sometimes with, arid sometimes without
sporf, and yet without making any ori
xQk througli it, and without deranging jts
Mparts. I observed that a foW passengers
'tyete forced from the right hand to tho left
, Irand road without their consent, but that
matt mord Were fdrced in the opposlto di
rections. What appeared very singular to
hie was, that when one matt cither by him
self, or through the aid of others,- had passed
the partition, without any laceration, ho
tojptently drew a multitude thrdiigli after
XWrri leaving no passage opoij.- It frequent
JyMiappenod that a multitude who eipected
to "be helped through were left behind
6mc of whom were seen with woful conn-
euanccs using vi !em n."1 -i ' l
n ,
this subtile Wall so as td admit them'; oth
ers, fess 'fctout in heart, contented them'
selves with heaping curses and imprcca
tioiis 'on those who had Vlbtalned a passage,
It was matter of astonishment to me to see
how tho crowd on the right pressed towards
the wall, especially after they had made
considerable progress in their journey
but those on the left almost universally
drew off'from the partition and walked on
the extreme opposite margin of the road
Thoso who entered tho left hand road at the
goal, universally kept aloof from the divi
ding ground, except a solitary individual
now and then, who walked ndar tho parti
tion, more with a view to watch those on
the opposite side than from any sincere de
sire ofgdihg over to them; and if anv one
did go over he was commonly despised by
those he had left. It frequently happened
that individuals who had passed over from
right and left, were murdered before they
had made any considerable advance and
that very few escaped of all the numerous
hosts who passed the partition by violence,
if they ventured to the opposite side and
tried to walk with those who entered at the
beginning-. Notwithstanding that those
who stood behihd could plainly sec all thai
befel thvsc who preceded them and ad
mitted that they had made an unfortunate
stride admitted that they had relinquished
safety for danger pcaco for anxiety hap
pincss for vexation, and aid &, co-operation
for opposition arid distrust, yet they all ap
peared willing and even anxious to arrive at
the same position themselves; observed
too in the formation of this very singula!
party wall, that it was so constructed as to
interpose no obstacle at all to passengers
at certain times and places, and that at oth
er times arid places it was utterly imposs1
bio except by the utmost violence.
Upon looking more closiily I ascertained
that, on 6t)nle occasions, persons obtained
admittance to the left road by violence to
great; that tile fissure in the wall was visi
ble, and on some occasions d fearful chasir
remained. These rents wcro in some in
stances repaired, and so dexterously too.
as to leave no sicatricc. I was much sur
prised to sec that those who forced tile pas
Sage which refused to close iisdlf rarclv halt
ed to assist in closing it, but hurried for
ward to the opposite side, leaving the hole
open for tho convenience of any future ad-
venlurer who should choose to use it. In
some Tew instances those on the left, made
efforts to close the breach, but it was more
commonly Dlosdd by thoso dn thd right and
d chance time by tho united labor of both.
I saw several places where a breach had
been repaired, which left the curtain pos
sessed of all its former elasticity, but from
the traces Bfulbdd surrounding the spot, 1
was led to believe that the act, cither of riia
king or repairing it, had been disastrous to
lite actors. After examining tho dividing
material and the transverse ways, I turned
my attention to tho two paths, and to those
walking iii them. I saw them on either
side frequently loiter itnd examine thd va
rious objects around them sdnie with ap
parent satisfaction, many with anxious de
sires, & still more with disappointment and
despair depicted on thdir countenances.
They very frequently stooped down and
picked up shining sand, glittbririg fossils,
arid mariy other substances with ivlillih the
ground was jir'oftiscly strewed and I ob
served that those who through superior in
dustry, superior Craft, or any other cause,
had secured most of tliesd treasures, seem
ed to value themselves most, and commonly
assumdd to themselves many airs on that
account. They werp evidently much at
tached to theso treasures arid clung to them
with the most tenacious adhesion, but fl!ill
(iidy we're" usually scattered with profusion,
to Sdcury a passage to tho left Ii3nd road.
Sometimes an individual, already in the
much desired path, invited another to come
thfouglt tho party wall to' him", and some
times even parted with his glittering toys,
or lent his hand to assist him m Ids pas
saro. Tli'-pr, in.n vr,-. ,t , ,
'ii hi-' .'i t.i f' 'iu, of tli'" c '-e-,!
that did occur, I concluded the object of this
ap'p'arc7it kindness, was really to subserve
some selfish end, and that the protegee was
introduced more for the convenience of the
master than of himself.
I now observed with astonishment that
nuVnbprs of persons were every 'moment
lost sight of on the leftj hand road, before
they -approached the further end and many
even before they had reached half way. 1
could not clearly perceive the manner in
which they disappeared, but found that
there were numerous elevations and de
pressions, precipices and gulfs, in this road,
and yet I could only perceive them at in
tervals, and "never twice alike or in the
same locality. From this changeable, un
stable quality in this path I was led to sup
pose that many entered it without any
knowledge of these dangers, and all with
out knowledge of their particular location,
or any certain method of shunning them.
To an inattentive observer this patli was as
smooth and even as the adjacent one, and
much better supplied with artificial orna
ments anil accommodations: 1 looked in
tensely on this path, and faintly and imper
fectly discerned that these elevations were
usually supported by arches and some by
pillars but could not ascertain on what
these supports were founded. There were
loors in these arches, or bdtween the pil
lars, and I now saw several persons has
'cning forward dn a lower level and simul
taneously spring up to attain the higher
inc. I almost shrieked when I nhsr.rvnd
that out of the whole number only one
e.xhed the desired spot; several fell against
this door beneath them, which being loose.
wung open with their weight, and they
vere precipitated into the gulf below and
wre never heard of more, One rema:ne,
- taniling on the level which he had before
iccupied. I could plainly perceive chagrin
lepicted oil his countenance at his failure to
noiint the step and he and tho hiultitude
diottt him renewed their preparation for a
second leap with as much assidliity as if
no accident had happened. I saw innu
merablo accidents & attempts of this kind,
uid on examining closely found that tin
failures were frequently caused by tricks
I saw a set of adroit men entangling the
feet of the multitude with vines and other
incumbrances to prevent their success when
they nladc the final leap, and that many of
these toils and fneshes were made by per
sons in the right hand road. Some who
failed to attain tile eminence at which they
aimed fell down to their former level, and
some lower, without nlaterial injury, and
ori reVovering from the shock, walked on
with as much alacrity as bcToro, and fre
qucntly succeeded in a future atteiilpt. I
observed however that there was obvious
dissatisfaction and grief manifested in the
conduct of those vVho failed in any attempt,
and that those who had failed ffequently
grew weaker at every fsilure,
Confolltidc'd with the mystical chart bti.
fore me, I turned toevervrtartofitinsearch
of some data on which to ascertain its mean
ing, its beginning and its end: being disan
pointed in ihy search I exclaimed, 'Oh! for
an Interpreter! when looking up I perceiv
ed bcrore me a supernatural visage, which
appeared to be viewing mo with attention
. -o
and interest. I feared to inuuire his busi
ness, yet I anxiously desired to know and
while I was studying a phrase with which
to address him, lie said with ineffable sweet
ness, "Confucius,- I am the angel of in
struction, and have come iri obedieneo to
thy request to interpret in some degree the
scene beford thee. "The plain before
thee" continued ho. "is that of hn mnn
lifethe left hand road is" that of public
preferment, and the other is that of domes
tic avocations. The goal is the commence
ment of rational facility, ami those taking
the road of p'fdfo'rme'fit fr'cfm the goal are'
those borri to hereditary honors and poyers.
l hose who pass froni tho domestic road to
that of preferment by the collateral passa
ges aro those who wcro born without bo-
,ii I ' ! ! , r ,V r
u,u,4 t 'ii, Dr.i.i"v lu.r.P", iir.o ..tmu.ji
ed d.slinction-and the reason that thou
didst not clearly perceive the plan of the
entrance into these roads, is that rationally
and naturally, unaided by prejudice; all
men would enter on the same track and pass
to the other througli their own exertions,
but owing to powers cither real or supposed,
some families have been permitted to enter
the World with Stlnnrinr nrivilpirnc nnrl
hence the possibility of entcringthe road of
prelcniicnt without any agency of their
own. I he partition is the constitution.
ciiarter of our rights, or frame of govern
ment, cither written or otherwise, that sep
arates the governed from those who govern
and it is more or less transparent in pro
portion to the right reserved to the peo pie
oi inquiring into the conduct of those in
vested with the powers of govcrririknt.
The reason that the collateral passages
leading from left to right arc forsaken, is,
that few men willingly dcfccend from high
stations to assume more humble ones vnlnn.
tarily and those who have be'ch compell
ed to do so, have usually been dealt with
in a more summary manner and sent to in
significance througli tho trap doors. With
this interpretation thou canst understand tho
rest of tho chart thyself now therefore
take this spy glass and examine its struc
ture more minutely."
I took the glass, which my perceptorhad
previously adjusted, and turned it to the
arches and pillars which supported tho el
evated parts of the road of preferment. I
perceived then instantly that some of them
were founded in the affections bf the peopMb
others m some real or imaginary decree
of an oracle, some on superstition and ig
norance, and others stood oil a naked sword;
My preceptor then explained: "The arch
es that stand on the affections bf the peo
pic," said he, "are stronger in proportion
to the equality with which they bear on
an pans anu me eminences which arc
sup'poited by them are usually attained and
occupied by men frbm the tight hand road.
The arches are a firmer suppdr't than tlie
pillars, because the more an arch is pressed
tho iiiore closely its parts adhere, and in
cline to One common centre. The arches
arc those governments which encircle, cov
er artd protdct all their citizens; aiid tho
pillars, are those which build up one order
of society to the proscription of all others.
The pillars are riot so safe a support as the
arches, inasmuch as they consist of but one
patt iri ti detached situation, and all weight
added to It tends to destroy it, because It
tPlllIs (n r ennipifinn mwl ,. .i i .1. -1
tends to a separation and destructioii of thai
unity, riicy are further less safe, because
the foundation is more narrow, bears more
unequally on tho people, (even if the foun
dation be in their affections at all,) and thus
a heavy pressure on the column destroys
the base by reason of its small size. But
the columns are very frequently raised on
nothing better than ancient tradition of he
reditary capability lo sustain it and that
capability sanctioned by no other argument
than a sword's point. Some othercolumns
stand on a naked sword alone, and the mo
ment the weight increases beyditd that
which the strength of a sword will sustain.
it must inevitably fall."' I then turned the
glass towards the termination of the road.
and perceived that the two ended infinitelv
nearer together thari they were in tlfo mid
dle. There were a few splendid recepta
cles at the end of either road, arid I found
numerous individuals arrived at them but
the greater number were landed in the com;
mon depository oblivion. Here. bowcr
er, I discerned one or two places at which
tho doUateral roads leading from left to right
crossed tho path of "domestic avocations"
and enddd their nursuera in an infinit.'lv
worse situation than that which fell to the
lot Of most of the" occupants of the latter
path. Ihis receptacle was calle'd ivp'amv:
While many of the votaries of preferment
ended there, but few of those travelling in
the other path fell lowor than oblivion.
My preceptor reminded mo that I was
spe'idi'i" int'-ht'iui- on tl.n m j t,
- us oi't.m T op- a lyuvd .is u at.
NYimlicr 12
ford a retrospective view of thd plain before
mc. I consented, and he adjusted the
glasscs accordingly. I now perceived the
two roads with the party wall much more
uuuau man neiorc; i observed, a man pro
pelled by popular force from right to left
along a verv nlain. misin'ino.V i
a I T -ViiaVUlill
path, till he arrived at an elevated position
m the path of preferment. He mounted it
without emotion', and sustained his position
with dignified firmness, till having sub
served the end for which he had been thrust
forward, he stepped down to the common
level with cheerfulness, took the first path
which led back to the domestic road, and
never looked back with longing eyes. I
saw this man pass through two or three
evolutions of this kind and finally saw him
repose in the most solid, though plain de
pository at the further end of the way;
"This man is Cincinnatus," said my pre
ceptor. I applied my eye to the glass again: I
saw an old gentleman high in the road of
preferment, vhom 1 took, from his costume
to be a Naval officer, holding out his hands
and interceding with his son, at the thresh
hold of the way, to f:jllov him with all
speed The youth; however, contrary to
custom arid tho advice of his parent, inclin
ed to the right, and after a time I saw him
with ruddy countenance walking fieside his
mother in the domestic road. The old
gentleman showed great dissatisfaction at
this, arid I think did some acts of violence,
hut tho youth press-ed forward, blithe aiid
unassuming. Presently I observed a mul
titude pursuing this boy with darts and
lances, both among the travellers on the
right and left paths. He did not seem to
fear them, yet he suffered sbveral wounds.
I lost sight of him sometimes, and then
found him again. After a time I saw him
mount a high eminence in the path of pre
ferment, though I could nbt teli how he ar
rived there, nor see whero he passed the
party wall. I thought however that his
father had constructed steps by which the
youth wa3 secured against the trap door be
neath him, arid Upoh which he ascended.
t' now saw the party wall in certain places
become niore transparent I saw an ocean,
a wilderness, a tribe of Indians and a church,
pass in the distance before me; after which
my friend bade me listen. I did so, and
keeping my eye to the glass, saw a multi
tude of people of every denomination, sect
and party, on either side the transparent
party wall; I saw them with one accord
1- 1 I. . t
kneel down, and each one raise his voice
at the same moment in prayer to God. I
heard their prayers they were all ad
dressed in different forms and languages,
and for various objects, yet all distinct and
articulate, and what seemed most strange,
was, that they all prayed aloud at once,
and yet I heard ea'-h as distinctly as though
but one had spoken. I observed the lead
ers walk forth and prdclaim universal free
dom, love and g'o'o'd will but I saw, too,
that his countenance betokened anger when
some one laid a sword in his path. He re
plied by holding dp td tho admiring world
a picture of "a lion arid a lamb feeding to
gether.'' After he had suffered considera
bly from tho toils and traps sot for him, I
sa'v him enter a beautiful eminence, hung
round with brown cloth at the furthor end
of the road, where ho has rested over since.
"The last man thou hast seen," said my
precepter, "is William Penn."
"Look again," said niy friend. I did so,
and saw a muScular youth enter the plain
by the right hand path. He was early
pressdd towards the party wall he passed
it ho encountered many dangers, but com
monly reached his object tho wall grew
more opaque in places he returned to his'
first path with' grief solemnly depicted on
his countenance. I saw a band of heroes
with whom he kept counsel. I saw them
assumo a firm attitude, and heard them
proclaim, "all men are by nature equal."
I saw tho first pprsir,;e at'eepi ! u-n ;V
ip i !
- J. ii? -ni': :;. 1
pr.t ..i: -.; ;v , : ' ty
i' c',.aj 1 1 ,i".-.y all minor ctf-
0--..wj ti b

xml | txt