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181 blish the glorious temple of truth, upon the ruins of those fabrics of prejudice and error which were reared by ignorance, and sanctified by time? Didst thou not, as soon as nature was satisfied, retire with reluctance from the social board, and deny thyself even the slightest indulgence which could interfere for a moment with intellectual pursuits? How many hours hast thou stolen from sleep, in order to devote them entirely to wisdom? How often, when all around thee lay sunk in. careless and profound repose, hast thou stood fhivering with frost, while employed in contemplating the wonders of the firmament? or when clouds and darkness concealed them from thy view, hung over the midnight lamp, anxious to contribute, by thy discoveries, to the glory of the deity, and the instruction of mankind? Poor wretch and what is now the fruit of thy labours?. What recompence hast thou obtained for all thy efforts to glorify thy Creator; and all thy endeavours to illuminate. mankind? Only that the anguish occasioned by thy suf ferings fhould gradually exhaust all moisture from thine. eyes;—only that those faithful allies of the soul fhould be more and more enfeebled every day; -and that now these tears, which thou canst not restrain, should extinguish their scanty light for ever!
Thus, Viviani, did. I speak to myself; and then threw an envious glance upon my persecutors. These wretches, exclaimed I, who hide their ignorance under røysterious forms, and conceal their vices in a venerable garb;; who sanctify their indolence, by imposing on the world the inventions of men for the oracles of God, and join to pursue, with unrelenting fury, the sage who raises the torch.. of truth, lest their luxurious slumbers fhould be broken by its splendor. These vile ones, who are only active for their own pleasures, and the corruption of the world; who laugh at misery in their gilded palaces; whose life
is only one round of difsipation, how have they robbed merit of all, even of glory, the most precious of its rewards! With what blind devotion do the people bow to them, whom they cozen so fhamefully of the fruits of their possessions, and provide for themselves the most luxurious entertainments from the fat of their herds, and the produce of their vineyards! And thou, poor wretch! who hast hitherto lived only to God, and thy own vocation, who hast never permitted a single pafsion to spring up in thy soul, but the pure and holy pafsion for truth; who hast proved thyself a priest more worthy of the deity by discovering the various wonders of his works from the fabric of an universe, to the structure of a worm; must thou be deprived of the only comfort for which thou hast pined and languifhed so long? of that comfort which is not withheld from the beast of the forest, and the fowls of Heaven?-of liberty? What eye watches over the fortunes of men? What righteous and impartial hand, deals cut the blessings of life? thus to suffer those who are unworthy, to plunder their betters, and engross every thing to themselves.
I continued to complain till I fell asleep; and immediately a venerable old man seemed to approach my bedside. He stood and beheld me with silent satisfaction, while my eye was fixed in admiration upon his contemplative forehead, and his silver locks. Galileo, said he at last, what you now suffer, you suffer on account of the truths which I taught you; and the same superstition by which you are persecuted, would also have persecuted me, had hot death procured my eternal freedom. Thou art Copernicus, exclaimed I, and, before he could answer, caught him in my arms. How sweet Viviani are those bonds of alliance established among us, by nature herself; but how much sweeter are the alliances of the soul! How much
183 dearer and nearer to the heart, than even the bands of brotherly affection, are the eternal ties of truth! With what a charming presentiment of that glorious moment, when the sphere of our activity fhall be infinitely enlarged, and our faculties exalted, and rendered equal to a free participation of all the treasures of knowledge, do we hasten to meet a friend, who is introduced to us by wisdom!
See, said the old man, after returning my embrace, I have resumed the garb of flesh which I formerly wore, and will now be to thee, what I shall be hereafter,-thy guide. For in that world where the unfettered spirit labours continually with unwearied ardour, rest is only a change of employment; our own investigation into the mysteries of the Godhead is interrupted only by that instruction which we give to those newly arrived from the earth; and I am to be the first instructor of thy soul in the exalted knowledge of the eternal power. He led me by the hand to a descending cloud, and we took our flight into the immeasurable extent of heaven. I saw here the moon, Viviani, with her mountains and vallies; I saw the stars of the Milky Way, those of the Pleiades, and that of Orion; I saw the spots of the sun, and the moons of Jupiter; all that I first saw here below, I there saw more clearly with unafsisted eyes, and wandered in heaven among my discoveries, full of the sweetest self-congratulation, like some friend of the human race, who wanders upon earth among the fruits of his beneficence. Every hour of my labours here was there fruitful of the highest happiness; of a happiness which never can be felt by him who enters futurity destitute of knowledge. And therefore, Viviani, old and feeble as I am, will I never give over my search after truth; for he who spends his life in the godlike employment, will find my joy spring up for him hereafter,
June 6. from every object on which he turns his eyes,from èvery conjecture which he had laboured to confirm,-from every doubt which he had endeavoured to remove,-from every mystery he had attempted to discover, and from every error he had afsisted to dispell.. All this I felt in those moments of exultation; but the recollection that I felt it, is all that remains; for my soul, too much opprest with happiness, lost every single pleasure in the ocean of them all.
While I thus gazed, and wondered, and lost myself in his greatness, whose omnipotence and wisdom created the whole; and whose love, ever active, upholds and supports it, I was raised by the conversation of my guide, tò still higher and more exalted conceptions. Not the limits. of thy senses, said he, are also the limits of the universe. Numerous indeed, is the host of suns, whose lustre is apparent even to thy view, although from such an inconceivable distance; but there are many thousands more which you cannot discern, fhining through the endless expanse of ether; and each of these suns, is peopled, as well as each of the spheres which surrounded them, with sensible beings and with thinking souls; wherever there was space sufficient for their motions, there worlds were commanded to roll, and wherever intelligent beings could be happy, there intelligent beings were produced. In the whole immensity of the Eternal's existence, there is not a single span to be found which the provident creator has not furnifhed with life, or at least with matter serviceable to life and through all this countless multiplicity of beings, down even to the smallest atom, reigns the most inviolable regularity and order; all is maintained by eternal laws, in ravishing harmony, from earth to earth, from heaven to heaven, and from sun to sun; the matter for contemplation to an immortal sage, is as unfathomable as eternity itself,
and as inexhaustible, the spring of his enjoyments.
why, Galileo, should I thus speak to you at present? such enjoyments cannot be comprehended by a spirit still fettered to a sluggish companion, which can proceed no farther in its labours than that companion is able to go along, and scarcely begins to raise itself aloft, before it is forcibly dragged back to the dust.
It may not be able to comprehend these enjoyments in all their godlike fullness and perfection; but surely, Copernicus, exclaimed I, it knows them in their nature, and in their efsence. For what joys does not wisdom procure us, even in this sublunary life? What rapture is not felt by the soul, even in this frame of mortality, when the dark and doubtful twilight of its understanding begins to give place to the dawn of science, and the secret splendour extends wider and wider, till the full light of knowledge at last arises, and displays before the enraptured eye, regions full of eternal beauty? Call to mind, thou who hast penetrated so far into the mysteries of God, and the plan of his creation,-call to mind that glorious moment, when the first bold conception arose within thee, and summoned together all the faculties of thy soul, to comprehend, to fashion, and to arrange it; but when all the noble harmony was completed, with what intoxicating feelings of love, didst thou not review the labour of thy soul, and feel thy resemblance to that eternal Being, whose sublimest conceptions had been copied by thee. Yes, my guide, even here below, wisdom is rich in celestial joys; had the not been so, could we, from her bosom, have looked with such indifference on all the vanities of the world.
The cloud which supported us, had sunk again to earth, and now it rested, as I thought, upon one of the hills in the neighbourhood of Rome. The great metropolis of the world lay before us but full of the deepest contempt for VOL, ix.