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BISHOP MARTIN ON HIS OWN IN THE HALL OF HIS HOUSE-INSPECTION OF THE EARTH GLOBE AND THE OTHER PLANETS. - MARTIN'S BOREDOM.
39,1. I now leave Bishop Martin apparently, and he commences the following monologue: "So, so, now I am on my own again at long last! Everything here is truly heavenly and sublime. I have eaten my fill, have been blessed, and should be supremely happy. But I am still alone, quite alone! Only my own ideas reflect from the walls, swaying and interweaving, but otherwise, there is not even a gnat that might hum to me.
39,2. I shall have a look at the beautiful globe to pass the time. What a unique work of art! And there I can see the place where I acted as bishop; there is the church, there my residence! And there I can even see the cemetery and my grave with a beautiful monument! What fools men are to erect monuments to the muck and forget about the spirit! If I could destroy this monument with a well-aimed flash of lightning, I would feel much better. But it is up to the Lord to do what is right.
39,3. Let's turn the globe and see what Australia looks like. Oh dear, oh dear, that does not look too good. What darkness, what slavery, persecution and killing of human beings, physically and spiritually. May the Lord bless you, my dear globe, but I do not think we shall spend much time with each other. I would be an ass if I subjected myself to emotions of anger by looking at you, here in the realm of eternal peace! It makes me furious to see how the more powerful men torture and even kill their weaker brothers in the most cruel fashion, as if they enjoyed it! Away with you, miserable demonstration-machine of earthly horrors, we shall not see much of each other.
39,4. Look, there is the whole planetary system with the sun! Let's have a look at one of the planets. There is Venus!
39,5. What do you look like, my dear Venus, whose splendid light, like the morning or evening star, I have often enjoyed in the dark world? Let's now have a close look at you. Ah, mm, quite different from what I imagined. You resemble the earth on which I lived; not quite as large areas of ocean though, but a great number of smaller seas and very high mountains!
39,6. I wonder what the vegetation is like and by what type of creatures this planet is inhabited? I would like to see it somewhat enlarged or be given a sort of spiritual microscope, otherwise I would not be able to see much more than before, since the whole planet is only the size of a hen's egg in the world. To think what the infusoria would be like on this scale!
39,7. I really should look at the white tablet now; there may already be something written on it. Well, there is nothing on this side. Actually, I am glad of it, for I must admit that it fills me with awe. There isn't anything on the other side either, which is even better! And now back to my planetary system!
39,8. There is the Venus once more, but not any bigger yet. All right, since you don't want to enlarge, my beautiful star, there is nothing more I want with you. So push along, my star!
39,9. Ah, there is little Mercury; quite a neat little world, the size of a hazelnut. Seems to have no seas, but all the more mountains instead - if those pin-head-size roughnesses can be honored with the term 'mountain.' My dear Mercury, we have already finished with each other, so take off!
39,10. And what does this coppery chap represent? It wouldn't be the earth again? Oh, I've got it - you fiery hero are Mars! In the world, I had quite a different notion of you - imagined you to be tumultuous and stormy, but you seem to be exactly the contrary, judging by your flat surface which shows only few mountains. Since I cannot see any more details, push along, too!
39,11. Now I can see about seven tiny globules, probably planets, too. Off with you; you wouldn't be of any use to me either!
39,12. There is already the great Jupiter moving towards me! What a fine planet, and with four satellites - most impressive! And what do you look like? Good gracious, what a lot of water! Only in equatorial areas can I see lots of islands; all the rest just water. There are a few mountains, but they do not appear to be high; What about the vegetation and life on this planet? Although it is a few thousand times larger than the previous planets I saw here, I cannot discern any vegetation on you either. The surface seems to be somewhat rough, but to see what it consists of one would require quite different eyes.
39,13. And there are also Saturn and Uranus, and in the background a very large planet with ten moons - three quite big ones and some smaller ones! Could those be moons of moons? Now I can see also numerous comets in the background.
39,14. It is a beautiful sight, but if there is nothing but some oceans and high mountains discernible on these good planets, they will not afford much fun for the whole of eternity! I am already through with them; and in view of the small scale, I shall not have much use for them in future.
39,15. There, in the center, is still the Sun. It is no doubt a big lump, but what's the use if its size compares with the real sun like a grain of sand with the whole of the earth? I wouldn't be able to discern anything on it. Therefore, my dear Sun, you, too, are of no use to me; so farewell!
39,16. I am already through with the inspection of the unique heavenly art-curios adorning my hall. What now? There is no writing on the tablet; I have nothing more to look at on the planets; the globe of the earth I would rather have outside than in here! So what will I do now? If I went across to the Lord? But that would not be the proper thing for me to do just yet.
39,17. Hmm, isn't it an awkward business that a blessed spirit must suffer from boredom in heaven when he is close to the Lord of Glory? There is probably some good in it, but boredom is boredom in heaven just as it is on earth.
39,18. On earth, if the worst comes to the worst, you can console yourself with dear death, which puts an end to everything, at least as far as earth is concerned. But here - eternal thanks to the Lord for this - there is no death and everything assumes an eternal character which fact, unfortunately, makes one fear that such a state might remain permanent. As a result, every experience of monotony makes boredom a thousand times worse than on earth, where everything has an end.
39,19. What shall I do? There is nothing visible on the tablet as yet. Probably the Lord is not too anxious for my services, otherwise He would have given me something to do.
39,20. Ah, ah, it can be extremely boring here in heaven! I wonder whether I shall have to stay forever in this heavenly art museum? Oh, what a prospect!
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