A Memorable Fancy 4 Testo

Testo A Memorable Fancy 4

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[plates 17-20]
An angel came to me and said: 'O pitiable foolish young man! O horrible! O
dreadful state! Consider the hot burning dungeon thou art preparing for
thyself to all eternity, to which thou art going in such career. 'I said:
'Perhaps you will be willing to shew me my eternal lot & we will
contemplate together upon it and see whether your lot or mine is most
desirable. ' So he took me thro' a stable & thro' a church & down into the
church vault. At the end of which was a mill: thro' the mill we went, and
came to a cave: down the winding cavern we groped our tedious way, till a
void boundless as a nether sky appear'd beneath us.& we held by the roots
of trees and hung over this immensity; but I said: 'If you please we will
commit ourselves to this void, and see whether providence is here also: if
you will not, I will? ' But he answered: 'Do not presume, o young-man, but
as we here remain, behold thy lot which will soon appear when the darkness
passes away. ' So I remain'd with him, sitting in a twisted root of an
oak; he was suspended in a fungus, which hung with the head downward into
the deep. By degrees we beheld the infinite abyss, fiery as the smoke of a
burning city; beneath us, at an immense distance, was the sun, black but
shinning; round it were fiery tracks on which revolv'd vast spiders,
crawling after their prey, which flew, or rather swum, in the infinite
deep, in the most terrific shapes of animals sprung from corruption;& the
air was full of them,& seem'd composed of them: these are devils, and are
called powers of the air. I now asked my companion which was my eternal
lot? He said: 'Between the black & white spiders' but now, from between
the black & white spiders, a cloud and fire burst and rolled thro' the
deep. Black'ning all beneath, so that the nether deep grew black as a
sea,& rolled with a terrible noise; beneath us was nothing now to be seen
but a black tempest, till looking east between the cloudes & waves, we saw
a cataract of blood mixed with fire, and not many stones' throw from us
appear'd and sunk again the scaly fold of a monstrous serpent; at last, to
the east, distant about three degrees, appear'd a fiery crest above the
waves; slowly it reared like a ridge of golden rocks, till we discover'd
two globes of crimson fire, from which the sea fled away in clouds of
smoke; and now we saw it was the head of Leviathan; his forehead was
divided into streaks of green & purple like those on a tyger's forehead:
soon we saw his mouth & red gills hung just above the raging foam, tinging
the black deep with beams of blood, advancing towards us with all the fury
of a spiritual existence. My friend the angel climb'd up from his station
into the mill; I remain'd alone;& then this appearance was no more, but I
found myself sitting on a pleasant bank beside a river by moonlight
hearing a harper, who sung to the harp;& his theme was: 'The man who never
alters his opinion is like standing water,& breeds reptiles of the mind. '
But I apose and sought for the mill,& there I found my angel, who,
surprised asked me how I escaped? I answer'd: 'All that we saw was owing
to your metaphysics; for when you ran away, I found myself on a bank by
moonlight hearing a harper. But now we have seen my eternal lot, shall I
shew you yours? ' He lugh'd at my proposal; but I by force suddenly caught
him in my arms,& flew westerly thro' the night, till we were elevated
above the earth's shadow; then I flung myself with him directly into the
body of the sun; here I clothed myself in white & taking in my hand
Swedenborg's volumes, sunk from the glorious clime, and passed all the
planets till we came to Saturn: here I staid to rest,& then leap'd into
the void between Saturn & fixed stars. 'Here', said I, 'Is your lot, in
this space, if space it may be call'd. ' Soon we saw the stable and the
church,& I took him to the altar and open'd the bible, and lo! It was a
deep pit, into which I descended, driving the angel before me; soon we saw
seven houses of brick; one we enter'd; in it were a number of monkeys,
baboons,& all of that species, chain'd by the middle, grinning and
snatching at one another, but witheld by the shortness of their chains:
however, I saw that they sometimes grew numerous; and then the weak were
caught by the strong, and with a grinning aspect, first coupled with,&
then devour'd, by plucking off first one limb and then another, till the
body was left a helpless trunk; this, after grinning & kissing it with
seeming fondness, they devour'd too; and here & there I saw one savourily
picking the flesh off of his own tail; as the stench terribly annoy'd us
both, we went into the mill,& in my hand brought the skeleton of a body,
which in the mill was Aristotele's analitycs. So the angel said: 'Thy
phantasy has imposed upon me,& thou oughtest to be ashamed. 'I answered:
'We impose on one another, & it is but lost time to converse with you
whose works are only analytics. ' Opposition is true friendship.

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I have always found that angels have the vanity to speak of
themselves as the only wise; this they do with a confident insolence
sprouting from systematic reasoning, Swedenborg boasts that what he writes
is new; Tho' it is only the contents or index of already publish'd books.
A man carried a monkey about for a shew,& because he was a little wiser
than the monkey, grew vain, and conciev'd himself as much wiser than seven
men. It is so with Swedenborg: He shews the folly of churches & exposes
hypocrites, till he imagines that all religious,& himself the single one
on earth that ever broke a net. Now hear a plain fact: Swedenborg has not
written one net truth, now hear another: he has written all the old
falsehoods. And now hear the reason. He conversed with angels who are all
religious & conversed not with devils who all hate religion. For he was
incapable thro' his conceited notions. Thus Swedenborg writings are a
recapitulation of all superficial opinions, and an analysis of the more
sublime but not further. Have now another plain fact. Any man of
mechanical talents may, from the writings of Paracelus or Jacob Behmen,
produce ten thousand volumes of equal value with Swedenborg's, and from
those of Dante or Shakespear an infinite number. But when he has done
this, let him not say that he knows better than his master, for he only
holds a candle in sunshine.

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