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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 forbade me. “ Enclosed," 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 yourself;" whereupon he drew out his incision knife, cut me open, took out 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 phantom, breathing a fresh particle of divine air into it, restored it safe to its former repository; and, having sewed me up, we began to examine the chest. .
• The hearts were all enclosed in transparent phials, and preserved in a liquor which looked like spirits 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 colour, and seemed to be the cause of these violent agitations. “ That,” says my instructor, “ is the heart of Tom Dreadnought, 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 is lately retired into the country, where, quite choked up with spleen and choler, he rails at better men than himself, and will be for ever uneasy, because it is impossible he should think his merits sufficiently rewarded." The next heart that I examined was remarkable for its small
ness; 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 Aung 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 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 examining," says my companion, “ belongs to Will Worthy. He has, indeed, a most noble soul, and is possessed of a thousand good qualities. The speck which you discover is vanity.”
O“ Here;” says the angel, “ is the heart of Freelove, your intimate friend.” “ Freelove and 1,” 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 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 phantom told me Freelove was one of the bestnatured men alive.
"“ 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 still varying every moment. Upon
my asking 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 steadfastly upon it, it grew still larger. It was the heart of Melissa, a noted prude who lives the next door to me.
(“I shew 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 enclosed 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 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 he, “ that you see 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 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 veins, which were twisted together, and made a very perplexed figure. I asked the meaning of it, and was told 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 down the cover of the chest with so much violence as immediately awoke me.'
N° 588. WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 1, 1714.
Dicitis, omnis in imbecillitate est et gratia, et curitas.
You pretend that all kindness and benevolence is
founded in weakness.
Man may be considered in two views, as a reasonable and as a sociable being; capable of becoming himself either happy or miserable, 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 sordid aspect, what pleasure they can possibly take in such a picture. Do they reflect that it is their own, and, if we will 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 his 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 be confessed, is of a piece with the rest of that
hopeful philosophy, which, having patched 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 these 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 similitudes of thoughts and passions of one man to the thoughts and passions of another, whosoever 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 occasion. 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 sprung up within us, have still some force in the worst of tempers, and a considerable influence 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 cannot be supposed to want that which he communicated, without diminishing from the plenitude of his own power and happiness. The philosophers before mentioned