Page images

" I shall send you to enrich your paper with on proper ococasions. Oxford, Aug. 20.

I ant, &c. JOHN SHADOW.'

N° 587.

Monday, August 30.

-Intus, et in cute noti.

Perf, Sat. 2. v. 30..

I know thee to thy bottom : from within
Thy shallow centre, to the utmost /kin.



THOUG H the author of the following vision is un

known to me, I am apt to think it may be the work of that ingenious gentleman, who promised me in the last: paper fome extracts out of his noctuary.

Was the other day reading the life of Mahomet.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

cd 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 aside, cut open his • breast, plucked out his heart, and wrung out of it that • black drop of blood, in which, say the Turkish divines, sis contained the fomes 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, and * endeavour to squeeze out of his heart whatever sins or ill qualities he finds in it. "WHILE my

mind was wholly taken with this contemplation, I insensibly fell into a most pleasing slumber, when methought two porters entered my chamber, car‘rying a large chest between them. After having set it • down in the middle of the room they departed. I immediately endeavoured to open what was sent me, when : a shape like that in which we paint our angels, appeared before me, and forbad me. Inclosed, said he, are the






hearts of several of your friends and acquaintance; but before you can be qualified to fee and animadvert on • the failings of others, you mult be pure yourself; whereupon he drew out his incision-knife, cut me open, took

my heart, 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 my

heart on this occasion. In short, after it had been thoroughly squeezed, it looked like an empty bladder, when the phan

tom breathing a fresh particle of divine air into it, re• stored it safe to its former repository; and having fewed me up, we began to examine the cheft.

“The hearts were all inclosed in transparent phials, * and preserved in a liquor which looked like fpirits of • wine. The first which I cast my eye upon, I was afraid • would have broke the glass which contained it. It • shot up and down with incredible swiftness, through the liquor in which it swam, and very frequently bounced

against the side of the phial. The fomes, or spot in • the middle of it, was not large, but of a red fiery co

lour, and seemed to be the cause of these violent agi"tations. That, says my instructor, is the heart of Tom Dread-nought, who behaved himself well in the • late wars, but has for these ten years last past been aiming at some post of honour to no purpose. He has late

ly retired into the country, where quite chocked up ' with spleen and choler, he rails at better men than

himself, and will be for ever uneasy, because it is im

possible he should think his merit fufficiently rewarded. - The next heart that I examined was remarkable for its • smallnefs : it lay still at the bottom of the phial, and I • could hardly perceive that it beat at all. The fomes

was quite black, and had almost diffused itself over the whole heart. This, says my interpreter, is the heart

of Dick Gloomy, who never thirsted after any thing • but money. Notwithstanding all his endeavours, he is • still poor. This has flung him into a most deplorable - 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 himfelf, than to


[ocr errors]


{ any one else.

[ocr errors]

THE phial I looked upon next contained a large fair heart, which beat very strongly. The fomes, or spot in it was exceeding small; but I could not help ob

serving, that which way soever I turned the phial it al'ways appeared uppermost, and in the strongest point of • light. The heart you are examining, says my compa• nion, belongs to Will. Worihy. He has indeed a most

noble soul, and is pofseffed of a thousand good quali* ties. The speck which you discover is l'anity.

· 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

the heart of a man, which I fear is overcast with . rancour. My teacher commanded me to look upon it; ' I did so, and to my unspeakable surprise, found, that • a small swelling spot, which I at first took to be ill-will • towards me, was only passion, and that upon my nearer • inspection it wholly disappeared; upon which the phan• tom told me, Freelove was one of the best-natured men


[ocr errors]


THIS, says my teacher, is a female heart of your acquaintance. I found the fomes in it:of the largest size, and of a hundred different colours, which were • ftill varying every moment. Upon my asking to whom • it belonged, I was informed that it was the heart of Goi. quetilla.

• I set it down, and drew out anoiher, in which I! • took the fomes at first sight to be very small, but was • amazed to find, that as I looked stedfastly upon it, it

grew still larger. It was the heart of Melila, a noted • prude, who lives the next door to me.

* I show you this, says the phantom, because 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 an heart, in

which, though I examined it with the utmost nicety, I • could not perceive any blemish. I made no scruple to • affirm that it must be the heart of Seraphina, and was glad, but not surprised, to find that it was so. She is indeed, continued my guide, the ornament, as well as the

envy, of her sex; at these last words, he pointed to 생 the hearts of several of her female acquaintance, which

• lay

! lay in different phials, and had very large {pots in them,

all of a deep blue. You are not to wonder, says he, • that you fee no spot in an heart, whose innocence has • been proof against all the corruptions of a depraved age. If it has any blemish, it is too linah 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 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 * till another opportunity, and fung down the cover of

the chest with so much violence, as immediately awoke


N° 588.

Wednesday, September 1.

Dicitis, omnis in imbecillitate est et gratia, et caritas.

Cicero de nat. Deor.

rou pretend that all kindness and benevolence is found

od in weaknessi


A N may be considered in two views, as a reason

able, and as a sociable being ; capable of becoming himself either happy or miferable, and of contributing to the happiness or misery of his fellow-creatures. 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 assistance to all engaged in the same pursuit. This is such an account of our frame, so agreeable to reason, so 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 possibly take in suchi a picture. Do they reflect that it is their own, and, if we ihall believe themselves, is not more odious than the original ? One of the first that talked in this lofty Itrain of our nature was Epicurus. Beneficence, would his followers say, is all founded in weakness; and, what. ever be pretended, the kindness that passeth between men and men is by every man directed to himself. This, it must be confefied, is of a piece with the rest of that hopeful philofophy, which having patchcd man up out of the four elements, attributes his being to chance, and derives all his actions from an unintelligible declination of atoms. And for those glorious discoveries the poet is beyond measure transported in the praises of his hero, as if he must needs be something more than man, only for an endeavour to prove that man is in nothing superior to beasts. In this school was Mr Hobbes instructed to speak after the same manner, if he did not rather draw his knowledge from an observation of his own temper ; for he somewhere unluckily lays down this as a rule ; • That from the fimilitudes of thoughts and passions of

one man to the thoughts and passions of another, who' foever looks into himself, and considers what he doth ' when he thinks, hopes, fears, &c. and upon what 'grounds; he shall hereby read and know what are the ' thoughts and passions of all other men upon

the like ococasions.' Now we will allow Mr Hobbes to know best how he was inclined: but, in earnest, I should be heartily out of conceit with myself, if I thought myself of this unamiable temper, as he affirms, and should have as little kindness for myself as for any body in the world. Hitherto I always imagined that kind and benevolent propensions were the original growth of the heart of man, and, however checked and overtopped by counter-inclinations that have since fprung up within us, have still fone force in the worst of tempers, and a considerable infuence on the best. And, methinks, it is a fair step towards the proof of this, that the most beneficent of all beings is he who hath an absolute fulness of perfection in himself, who gave existence to the universe, and so can


« PreviousContinue »