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No. 587. MON D A Y,
MONDAY, AUGUST 30.
- Intus, et in cute novi.
Pers. Sat. iii. ver. 30. I know thee to thy bottom; from within Thy shallow centre, to the utmost skin.
think it may
HOUGH the author of the following vifion
is unknown to me, I am apt to be the work of that ingenious gentleman, who promised me, in the last paper, some extracts out of his noctuary.
• I was the other day reading the life of Mahomet. Among many other extravagancies, I find it re
corded of that impostor, that in the fourth year of « his age the angel Gabriel caught him up while he
was among his play.fellows, and carrying him a< fide, cut open his breast, plucked out his heart, • and wrung out of it that black drop of blood, in ( which, say the Turkish divines, is contained the • Fornes Peccati, so that he was free from sin ever « after. I immediately said to myself, though this • story be a fiction, a very good moral may be drawn
from it, would every man but apply it to himself, sand endeavour to squeeze out of his heart whatever & lins or ill qualities he finds in it.
While my mind was wholly taken up with this - contemplation, I infenfibly fell into a most pleasing sumber, when methought two porters entered my shamber, carrying a large chest between them.
• After having set it down in the middle of the room
which we paint our angels, appeared before me,
and forbade me. Inclosed, said he, are the hearts ( of several of your friends and acquaintance; but • before you can be qualified to see and animadvert
on the failings of others, you must be pure your. self; whereupon he drew out his incision-knife, cut
me open, took out ny lieart, and began to squeeze • it. I was in a great confusion, to see how many • things, which I had always cherished as virtues, " issued out of
heart this occasion. In short, • after it had been thoroughly squeezed, it looked
like an empty blailder, when the phantom, breath
ing a fresh particle of divine air into ir, reilored it • safe to its former repository, and, having lowed
me up, we began to examine the cheit.
"The hearts were all inclofed in transparent phials, " and preserved in a liquor which looked like fpirits of
wine. The firit which I cast niy eye upon I was 6 afraid would have broke the glass whicli contained
it. It shot up and down with incredible swiftnessy • through the liquor in which it swam, and very fre« quently bounced against the side of the phial. The • Fomes, or spot in the middle of it was not large,
but of a fiery red colour, and seemed to be the « cause of these violent agitations. That, says my • instructor, is the heart of Ton Dread-noughi, wlio 6 behaved himself well in the late wars, but has, for " thefe ten years last past, been aiming at fonie • post of honour to no purpose. He is lately retire red into the country, where, quite choked up with « spleen and choler, he rails at better men than bim• self, and will be for ever uneasy, because it is in
poffible he should think bis merit fufhciently re6 warded. The next heart that I examined was re
markable for its firallness ; it lay still at the bot« tom of the phial, and I could hardly perceive that
sit beat at all. The Fomes was quite black, and I had almost diffufed itself over the whole heart. • This, says my interpreter, is the heart of Dick • Gloomy, who never thirsted after any thing but mo
ney. Notwithstanding all bis endeavours, he is • ftill poor. This has flung him into a most.deploi rable state of melancholy and despair. He is a . composition of envy and idleness, hates mankind, • but gives them their revenge by being more uneasy
to himself than to any one else.
· The phial I looked upon next contained a large « fair heart, which beat very strongly. The Fomes
or spot in it was exceedingly small; but I could not
help observing, that which way soever I turned the 'phial it always appeared uppermost, and in the
strongest point of light. The heart you are exa'mining, says my companion, belongs to Will Wor.
thy. He has indeed a most noble foul, and is pof* feffed of a thousand good qualities. The speck (which you discover is Vanity.
• Here, says the angel, is the heart of Freelove, your intimate friend.
Freelove and I, said I, are at • present very cold to one another, and I do not care
for looking on the heart of a man, which I fear is overcast with rancour. My teacher commanded
me to look upon it; I did fo, and, to my unspeak( able surprise, found that a small swelling spot, 6 which I at first took to be ill-will towards me, was < only pallien, and that, upon my nearer inspection, • it wholly disappeared; upon which the phantom « told me, Freelove was one of the best-natured men alive.
This, fıys my teacher, is a female heart of your « acquaintance. i found the Fomes in it of the largest « fize, and of an hundred different colours, which " were ftill varying every moment. Upon my ask. ing to whom it belonged, I was informed that it < was the heart of Coquetilla. • I set it down and drew out another, in which I
• took the Fomes at first sight to be very small, but < was amazed to find, that, as I looked stedfaftly up• on it, it grew still larger. It was the heart of Nolisa, a noted prude, who lives the next door to me.
I show you this, says the phantom, becatle it is • indeed a rarity, and you have the happiness to know • the person to whom it belongs. He then put into
my hands a large crystal glass, that inclosed air • heart in which, though I examined it with the ut.
moit nicety, I could not perceive any blenith. s made no scruple to aflirm that it must be the heart • of Seraphina, and was glad, but not surpris:d, to « find that it was fo. She is indeed, continted my
guide, the ornament, as well as the envy of her • fex; at these last words he pointed to the hearts of • several of her female acquaintance, which lay in • different phials, and had very large spots in them, « all of a deep blue. You are not to wonder, says 6 he, that you see no spot in an heart, whose inno• cence has been proof against all the corruptions of • a depraved age. If it has any blemish, it is too : 6 small to be discovered by human eyes.
• I laid it down, and took up the hearts of other & females, in all of which the Fomes ran in several 6 veins, which were twisted together, and made a • very perplexed figure. I asked the meaning of it, , • and was told that it represented Deceit.
• I should have been glad to have examined the * hearts of several of my acquaintance, whom I knew
to be particularly addicted to drinking, gaming,
intriguing, &c. but my interpreter told me, I must • let that alone until another opportunity, and flung 6 down the cover of the cheit with so much violence, 6 as immediately awoke me.'
No. 588. WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER. I,
Dicitis, omnis in imbecilitate est et gratia, et caritas.
You pretend that all kindness and benevolence is
founded in weakness.
be considered in two views, as a reaM fonabis
, of becoming himself either happy or miserable, and of contributing to the happiness or misery of his fellow
Suitably to this double capacity, the Contriver of human nature hath wisely furnished it with two principles of action, self-love and benevolence; designed one of them to render man wakeful to his own personal interest, the other to dispose him for giving his utmost aslistance to all engaged in the fame pursuit. This is such an account of our frame, fo agreeable to reason, fo much for the honour of our Maker, and the credit of our species, that it may appear somewhat unaccountable what should induce men to represent human nature as they do, under characters of disadvantage, or, having drawn it with a little and fordid aspect, what pleasure they can porjibly take in such a picture. Do they reflect that it is their own, and, if we would believe themselves, is not more odious than the original ? One of the first that talked in this lofty strain of our nature was Epicurus. Beneficence, would bis followers say, is all founded in weakness'; and, whatever be pretended, the kindness that passeth between men and men, is by every man directed to himself. This, it must