Page:The Emperor Marcus Antoninus - His Conversation with Himself.djvu/424

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244
The Mythological Picture

she does not chop him up at a Mouthful like the Sphinx, yet she will be sure to dispatch him by Degrees, sit as close to him as a Consumption; and ride him as the Spleen does a Malefactor under Sentence. But on the other hand, when Folly is understood, then she goes to Pot her self, and the Man is made safe, and happy for his Life-time. Therefore pray take care, and be attentive, and let nothing slip your Observation. In earnest if the Matter stands thus, you make us almost Wild to hear you upon this extraordinary Subject. ’Tis just as I tell you. Well, said I, if we are likely to smart at this rate for being careless, you’l be sure to find us upon our Guard, and therefore begin as soon as you please.

Upon this, pointing to the Picture with his Cane, do you see this Inclosure, or Court, says he? Yes. This then you are to understand is Life, and the Place for Mortals to range in. The Crowd at the Gate, are the People that are just coming into the World; And the Old Man that stands by on rais’d Ground, with a Paper in one Hand, and the other in a Posture of Direction, is the common Genius. This superintending Spirit instructs those that enter, how they are to manage themselves in Life, and which Road they

are