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No. 003 [from The Spectator]
by [?]

After a little Dizziness, and confused Hurry of Thought, which a Man often meets with in a Dream, methoughts the Hall was alarm’d, the Doors flew open, and there entered half a dozen of the most hideous Phantoms that I had ever seen (even in a Dream) before that Time. They came in two by two, though match’d in the most dissociable Manner, and mingled together in a kind of Dance. It would be tedious to describe their Habits and Persons; for which Reason I shall only inform my Reader that the first Couple were Tyranny and Anarchy, the second were Bigotry and Atheism, the third the Genius of a Common-Wealth, and a young Man of about twenty-two Years of Age, [6] whose Name I could not learn. He had a Sword in his right Hand, which in the Dance he often brandished at the Act of Settlement; and a Citizen, who stood by me, whispered in my Ear, that he saw a Spunge in his left Hand. The Dance of so many jarring Natures put me in mind of the Sun, Moon, and Earth, in the ‘Rehearsal’, [7] that danced together for no other end but to eclipse one another.

The Reader will easily suppose, by what has been before said, that the Lady on the Throne would have been almost frightened to Distraction, had she seen but any one of these Spectres; what then must have been her Condition when she saw them all in a Body? She fainted and dyed away at the sight.

‘Et neq; jam color est misto candore rubori;
Nec Vigor, et Vires, et quae modo visa placebant;
Nec Corpus remanet …’

Ov. ‘Met.’ Lib. 3.

There was as great a Change in the Hill of Mony Bags, and the Heaps of Mony, the former shrinking, and falling into so many empty Bags, that I now found not above a tenth part of them had been filled with Mony. The rest that took up the same Space, and made the same Figure as the Bags that were really filled with Mony, had been blown up with Air, and called into my Memory the Bags full of Wind, which Homer tells us his Hero received as a present from AEolus. The great Heaps of Gold, on either side of the Throne, now appeared to be only Heaps of Paper, or little Piles of notched Sticks, bound up together in Bundles, like Bath-Faggots.

Whilst I was lamenting this sudden Desolation that had been made before me, the whole Scene vanished: In the Room of the frightful Spectres, there now entered a second Dance of Apparitions very agreeably matched together, and made up of very amiable Phantoms. The first Pair was Liberty, with Monarchy at her right Hand: The Second was Moderation leading in Religion; and the third a Person whom I had never seen, [8] with the genius of Great Britain. At their first Entrance the Lady reviv’d, the Bags swell’d to their former Bulk, the Piles of Faggots and Heaps of Paper changed into Pyramids of Guineas: [9] And for my own part I was so transported with Joy, that I awaked, tho’ I must confess I would fain have fallen asleep again to have closed my Vision, if I could have done it.

[Footnote 1: The Bank of England was then only 17 years old. It was founded in 1694, and grew out of a loan of L1,200,000 for the public service, for which the lenders–so low was the public credit–were to have 8 per cent. interest, four thousand a year for expense of management, and a charter for 10 years, afterwards renewed from time to time, as the ‘Governor and Company of the Bank of England.’]

[Footnote 2: Magna Charta Libertatum, the Great Charter of Liberties obtained by the barons of King John, June 16, 1215, not only asserted rights of the subject against despotic power of the king, but included among them right of insurrection against royal authority unlawfully exerted.]