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tect and designer of these various forms of beauty. The credit, I believe, is rather due to Periander, a native Athenian, a man, it is universally conceded, of the highest genius. Yet it is at the same time to be said, that the mind of Longinus presided over the whole. And he took not less delight in ordering the arrangements of these gardens, than he did in composing that great treatise, not long published, and which you must have seen before you left Rome. He is a man of universal powers.

You have not failed to observe his grace not less than his abilities while we were at the tables. You have seen that he can play the part of one who would win the regards of two foolish girls, as well as that of first minister of a great kingdom, or that of the chief living representative and teacher of the philosophy of the immortal Plato.'

* For myself,' I replied, ' I could hardly withdraw myself from the simple admiration of his noble head and form, to attend, so as to judge of it, to what fell from his lips. It seems to me that if a sculptor of his own Greece sought for a model of the human figure, he could hope to find none so perfect as that of Longinus.'

• That makes it the foolisher and stranger,' said Fausta, 'that he should labor at his toilet as he so manifestly does. Why can he not rely, for his power over both men and women, upon his genius, and his natural graces. It might be well enough for the Stagyrite to deck his little person in fine clothes, and cover his fingers with rings- for I believe there must be something in the outward appearance to strike the mere sensual eye, and please it, either natural or assumed — or else even philosophers might go unheeded. I doubt if upon my fingers there be more or more glowing rings than upon those of Longinus. To be sure, one must admit that his taste is exquisite.'

'In the manners and dress of Longinus,' said I, as well as in those of Aristotle, we behold, I think, simply the power of custom. They were both, in respect to such things, in a state of indifference — the true philosophical state. But what happened ? Both became instructors and companions of princes, and the inmates of royal palaces. Their manners and costume were left, without a thought, I will dare to say, on their part, to conform themselves to what was around them. Would it not have been a more glaring piece of vanity, if in the palace of Philip, Aristotle had clothed himself in the garb of Diogenes ? — or if Longinus, in the presence of the great Zenobia, had appeared in the sordid attire of Timon ?'

• I think so,' said Julia.

• Your explanation is a very probable one,' added Fausta, 'and had not occurred to me. It is true, the courts may have dressed them and not themselves. But never, I still must think, did a rich dress fall upon more willing shoulders than upon those of the Greek, always excepting, Julia, Paul of Antioch.'

Ah, Fausta,' said Julia, 'you cannot, do what you will, shake my faith in Paul. If I allow him vain, and luxurious, and haughty, I can still separate the advocate from the cause. You would not condemn the doctrine of Aristotle, on the ground that he wore rings. Nor can I altogether, nor in part, that of Paul, because he rolls through the city in a gilded chariot, with the attendance of a prince. I may blame or despise him — but not therefore reject his teaching. That has a defence independent of him. And that he has always frankness enough to say.

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this moment drinking from, bitterest of all, without this. Of this I incessantly think and dream, and am still tossed in a sea of doubt.'

· You have read Plato ?” said I.

• Yes, truly,' she replied — but I found little there to satisfy me. I have enjoyed, too, the frequent conversation of Longinus, and yet it is the same.

Would that he were now here! The hour is serene, and the air

which comes in so gently from the South, such as he loves.' As Fausta uttered these words, our eyes at the same moment caught the forms of Zenobia and Longinus, as they emerged from a walk very near, but made dark by overhanging and embowering roses. We immediately advanced toward them, and begged them to join us.

We are conversing,' said Julia, upon such things as you both love.' Come and sit now with us, and let us know what you can say upon the same themes.'

• We will sit with you gladly,' said the queen; at least for myself I may say it, for I am sure that with

you

I shall find some other subjects discussed beside perplexing affairs of state. When alone with Longi

as but now our topic is ever the same.' If our topic, however, be ever the same,' said the Greek, 'we have this satisfaction in reflecting upon it, that it is one that in its nature is real and tangible. The well-being of a nation is not an undefined and shadowy topic, like so many of those which occupy the time and thoughts of even the wise. I too, however, shall gladly bear a part in whatever theme may engross the thoughts of Julia, Fausta, and Piso.

With these words, we returned to the seats we had left, which were not within the arbor of Julia, but were the marble steps which led to it. There we placed ourselves, one above and one beside another, as happened — Zenobia sitting between Fausta and Julia, I at the feet of Julia, and Longinus on the same step with myself

, and next to Fausta. I could hardly believe that Zenobia was now the same person before whom I had in the morning, with no little agitation, prostrated myself, after the manner of the Persian ceremonial. She seemed rather like a friend whom I both loved and revered. The majesty of the queen was gone; there remained only the native dignity of beauty, and goodness, and intellect, which, though it inspires reverence, yet is there nothing slavish in the feeling. It differs in degree only, from that sentiment which we entertain toward the gods; it raises rather than depresses.

We were speaking,' said Julia, resuming the subject which had engaged us, ‘of life and of man — how unsatisfactory life is, and how imperfect and unfinished, as it were, man; and we agreed, I believe, in the opinion, that there can be no true happiness, without a certain assurance of immortality and this we are without.'

'I agree with you,' said Longinus, 'in all that you can have expressed concerning the unsatisfactoriness of life, regarded as a finite existence, and concerning the want of harmony there is between man and the other works of God, if he is mortal ; and in this also, that without the assurance of immortality, there can, to the thinking mind, be no true felicity. I only wonder that on the last point there should exist in the mind of any one of you doubts so serious as to give you much disturbance. I cannot, indeed, feel so secure of a future and then unending existence, as I am sure that I am living now. What I am now, I know; concerning the future, I can only believe, and belief can never

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possess the certainty of knowledge. Still, of a future life I entertain no doubts that distress me. My belief in it is as clear and strong as I can well conceive belief in things invisible and unexperienced to be. It is such as makes me happy in any thought or prospect of death. Without it, and life would appear to me like nothing more to be esteemed than a short, and often troubled or terrific dream.

"So I confess it seems to me,' said Fausta. ·How should I bless the gods, if upon my mind there could rest a conviction of immortality strong like yours! The very certainty with which you speak, seems, through the power of sympathy, to have scattered some of my doubts. But, alas! they will soon return.'

• In what you have now said,' replied Longinus, “and in the feeling you have expressed on this point, do I found one of the strongest arguments for the immortality of the soul.' *I do not comprehend you,' said Fausta.

Do you not, Fausta,' asked Longinus, 'intensely desire a life after death ?

• I do indeed. I have just expressed it.'
' And do not you too, Zenobia, and Piso, and Julia ??

' Surely, and with intensity,' we answered; the question need scarcely be asked.'

* I believe you.' resumed Longinus. “You all earnestly desire an immortal life — you perpetually dwell upon the thought of it, and long for it. Is it not so with all who reflect at all upon themselves ? Are there any such, have there ever been any, who have not been possessed by the same thoughts and desires, and who, having been greatly comforted and supported by them during life, have not at death relied upon them, and looked with some good degree of confidence toward a coming forth again from death? Now I think it is far more reasonable to believe in another life, than in the delusiveness of these expectations. For I cannot suppose that this universal expectation will be disappointed, without believing in the wickedness, the infinite malignity, of the Supreme Ruler, which my whole nature utterly refuses to do. For what more cruel, than to create this earnest and universal longing, and not gratify it ? Does it not seem so ??

We all admitted it .

* This instinctive desire,' continued Longinus, 'I cannot but regard as being implanted by the Being who created us. It can proceed from no other being. It is an instinct, that is, a suggestion or inspiration of God. If it could be shown to be a consequence of education, we might refer it for its origin to ingenious philosophers. But it exists where the light of philosophy has never shone. There have been none, of whom history has even preserved obscurest traditions, who have wanted this instinct

. It is then the very inspiration of the Divinity, and will not be disappointed. I trust much to these tendencies of our nature. This is the best ground for our belief of a God. The arguments of the schools have never succeeded in establishing the truth, even to the conviction of a philosophical mind, much less a common one. Yet the truth is universally admitted. God, I think, has provided for so important an article of faith in the structure of our minds. He has not left it to chance. So, too, the determinations of the mind concerning virtue

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and vice, right and wrong, being for the most part so accordant throughout the whole race - these also I hold to be instinctive.'

• I can think of nothing,' said Fausta, 'to urge against your argument. It adds some strength, I cannot but confess, to what belief I had before. I trust you have yet more that you can impart. Do not fear that we shall be dull listeners.'

•I sit here a willing and patient learner,” said Zenobia, 'of any one who will pour new light into my mind. Go on, Longinus.'

• To such a school,' said he, how can I refuse to speak? Let me ask you, then, if

you have never been perplexed by the evils of life, such as either you have yourselves experienced, or such as you have witnessed ?

I have, indeed,' said Fausta, and have deeply deplored them. But how are they connected with a future existence ?'

Thus,' replied Longinus, 'as in the last case, the benevolence of the Supreme God cannot be sustained without the admission of the reality of a future life. Nor only that, but, it seems to me, direct proof may be adduced from the existence and universality of these evils to establish the blackest malignity. So that to me, belief in a future existence is in proportion to the difficulty of admitting the idea of divine malignity, and it cannot therefore be much stronger than it is.'

• How can you make that clear to us?' said Fausta ; ' I should truly rejoice if out of the evils which so darken the earth, any thing good or beautiful could be drawn.'

· As this dark mould,' rejoined the philosopher, ‘sends upward, and out of its very heart, this rare Persian rose, so does hope grow out of evil, and the darker the evil, the brighter the hope, as from a richer and fouler soil comes the more vigorous plant and larger flower. Take a particular evil, and consider it. You remember the sad tale concerning the Christian Probus, which Piso, in recounting the incidents of his journey from Rome to Palmyra, related to us while seated at the tables,

• Indeed, I did not hear it,' said Zenobia ; so that Piso must, if he pleases, repeat it.

· We shall willingly hear it again,' said Julia and Fausta. And I then related it again. Now do you wonder, resumed Longinus, when I had finished, that Probus, when one after another, four children were ravished from his arms by death, and then, as if to crown his lot with evil, his wife followed them, and he was left alone in the world, bereft of every object to which his heart was most fondly attached, do you wonder, I say, that he turned to the Heavens and cursed the gods? And can you justify the gods so that they shall not be chargeable with blackest malignity, if there be no future and immortal state ? What is it to bind so the heart of a parent to a child, to give that affection a force and a tenderness which belong to no other tie, so that anxieties for its life and welfare, and cares and sacrifices for its good, constitute the very existence of the parent, what is it to foster by so many contrivances this love, and then forever disappoint and blast it, but malignity ? Yet this work is done every hour, and in almost every heart; if for children we lament not, yet we do for others as dear.'

Tears to the memory of Odenathus fell fast from the eyes of Zenobia.

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· Are we not then' - continued Longinus, without pausing —'are we not then presented with this alternative, either the Supreme God is a malignant being, whose pleasure it is to torment, or, there is an immortal state, where we shall meet again with those, who, for inscrutable purposes, have been torn from our arms here below? And who can hesitate in which to rest? The belief, therefore, in a future life ought to be in proportion to the difficulty of admitting the idea of divine malignity. And this idea is so repulsive — so impossible to be entertained for one moment - that the other cannot, it seems to me, rest upon a firmer foundation.'

• Every word you speak,' said Zenobia, “yields pleasure and instruction. It delights me, even when thickest beset by the cares of state, to pause and contemplate for a moment the prospects of futurity. It diffuses a divine calm throughout the soul. You have given me new food for my thoughts.'

* I will add,' said Longinus, only one thing to what I have said, and that is, concerning the incompleteness of man, as a divine work, and which has been mentioned by Fausta. Is not this an argument for a future life? Other things and beings are finished and complete — man only is left, as it were, half made up. A tree grows and bears fruit, and the end of its creation is answered. A complete circle is run. It is the same with the animals. No one expects more from a lion or a horse than is found in both. But with man, it is not so. In no period of history, and among no people, has it been satisfactorily determined what man is, or what are the limits of his capacity and being. He is full of contradictions, and of incomprehensible organization, if he is considered only in relation to this world. For while affection finds and rests in its appropriate object, which fully satisfies and fills it, the desire of unlimited improvement and of endless life — the strongest and best defined of any of the desires — this alone is answered by no corresponding object: which is not different from what it would be, if the gods should create a race like ours, having the same craving and necessity for food and drink, yet never provide for them the one nor the other, but leave them all to die of hunger. Unless there is a future life, we all die of a worse hunger. Unless there is a future life, man is a monster in creation - compared with other things, an abortion — and in himself, and compared with himself, an enigma — a riddle which no human wit has ever solved, or can ever hope to solve.'

* This seems unanswerable,' said Fausta; yet is it no objection to all such arguments, which we ourselves construct, that the thing they establish is too great and good almost to be believed, without some divine warrant. It does to me appear almost or quite presumptuous to think that for me, there is by the gods prepared a world of never-fading light, and a never-ending joy.

When,' replied the Greek, .we look at the lower forms of man which fall under our observation, I confess that the objection which you urge strikes me with some force. But when I think that it is for beings like you to whom I speak, for whom another and fairer world is to be prepared, it loses again much of its force. And when I think of the great and good of other times, of Homer and Hesiod, of Phidias and Praxiteles, of Socrates and Plato, and of what the mind of man has in them, and in others as great and good, accomplished, the objection

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