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Gordian knot, and must have had very irregular and unequal motions, whilst it was employed in its vital function.
One thing we thought very observable, namely, that, upon examining all the vessels which came into it, or issued out of it, we could not discover any communication that it had with the tongue.
We could not but take notice likewise, that several of those little nerves in the heart, which are affected by the sentiments of love, hatred, and other passions, did not descend to this before us from the brain, but from the muscles which lie about the eye.
Upon weighing the heart in my hand, I found it to be extremely light, and consequently very hollow, which I did not wonder at, when, upon looking into the inside of it, I saw multitudes of cells and cavities running one within another, as our historians describe the apartments of Rosamond's Bower. Seve ral of these little hollows were stuffed with innumerable sorts of trifles, which I shall forbear giving any particular account of, and shall, therefore, only take notice of what lay first and uppermost, which, upon our unfolding it, and applying our microscope to it, appeared to be a flame-coloured hood.
We were informed that the lady of this heart, when living, received the addresses of several who made love to her, and did not only give each of them encouragement, but made every one she conversed with believe that she regarded him with an eye of kindness; for which reason, we expected to have seen the im pression of multitudes of faces among the several plaits and fold ings of the heart; but, to our great surprise, not a single print of this nature discovered itself, till we came into the very core and centre of it. We there observed a little figure, which, upon applying our glasses to it, appeared dressed in a very fantastic manner. The more I looked upon it, the more I thought I had
seen the face before, but could not possibly recollect either the place or time; when at length one of the company, who had examined this figure more nicely than the rest, shewed us plainly by the make of its face, and the several turns of its features, that the little idol which was thus lodged in the very middle of the heart, was the deceased beau, whose head I gave some account of in my last Tuesday's paper.
As soon as we had finished our dissection, we resolved to make an experiment of the heart, not being able to determine among ourselves the nature of its substance, which differed in so many particulars from that of the heart in other females. Accordingly we laid it into a pan of burning coals, when we observed in it a certain salamandrine quality, that made it capable of liy ing in the midst of fire and flame, without being consumed, or so much as singed.
As we were admiring this strange phænomenon, and standing round the heart in a circle, it gave a most prodigious sigh, or rather crack, and dispersed all at once into smoke and vapour. This imaginary noise, which methought was louder than the burst of a cannon, produced such a violent shake in my brain, that it dissipated the fumes of sleep, and left me in an instant broad awake L.
I LOOF upon it as a peculiar happiness, that were I to chuse of what religion I would be, and under what government I would
live, I should most certainly give the preference to that form of religion and government which is established in my own country. In this point, I think, I am determined by reason and conviction; but if I shall be told that I am acted by prejudice, I am sure it is an honest prejudice; it is a prejudice that arises from the love of my country, and, therefore, such an one as I will always indulge. I have in several papers, endeavoured to express my duty and esteem for the Church of England, and design this as an essay upon the civil part of our constitution; having often entertained myself with reflections on this subject, which I have not met with in other writers.
That form of government appears to me the most reasonable, which is most conformable to the equality that we find in human nature, provided it be consistent with public peace and tranquillity. This is what may properly be called liberty, which exempts one man from subjection to another, so far as the order and oeconomy of government will permit.
Liberty should reach every individual of a people, as they all share one common nature: if it only spreads among particular branches, there had better be none at all, since such a liberty only aggravates the misfortune of those who are deprived of it, by setting before them a disagreeable subject of comparison.
This liberty is best preserved, where the legislative power is lodged in several persons, especially if those persons are of different ranks and interests; for where they are of the same rank, and consequently have an interest to manage peculiar to that rank, it differs but little from a despotical government in a single person. But the greatest security a people can have for their liberty, is when the legislative power is in the hands of persons so happily distinguished, that by providing for the particular interest of their several ranks, they are providing for the whole body of the people; or, in other words, when there is no part of the people
that has not a common interest with at least one part of the legis lators.
If there be but one body of legislators, it is no better than a tyranny; if there are only two, there will want a casting voice, and one of them must at length be swallowed up by disputes and contentions that will necessarily arise between them. Four would have the same inconvenience as two, and a greater number would cause too much confusion. I could never read a passage in Polybius, and another in Cicero, to this purpose, without a secret pleasure in applying it to the English constitution, which it suits much better than the Roman. Both these great authors give the pre-eminence to a mixt government, consisting of three branches, the regal, the noble, and the popular. They had doubtless in their thoughts the constitution of the Roman commonwealth, in which the consul represented the king; the senate, the nobles; and the tribunes, the people. This division of the three powers in the Roman constitution, was by no means so distinct and natural, as it is in the English form of government. Among several objections that might be made to it, I think the chief are those that affect the consular power, which had only the ornaments without the force of the regal authority. Their number had not a casting voice in it; for which reason, if one did not chance to be employed abroad, while the other sat at home, the public business was sometimes at a stand, while the consuls pulled two different ways in it. Besides, I do not find that the consuls had ever a negative voice in the passing of a law, or decree of senate; so that, indeed, they were rather the chief body of the nobility, or the first ministers of state, than a distinct branch of the sovereignty, in which none can be looked upon as a part who are not a part of the legislature. Had the consuls been in vested with the regal authority to as great a degree as our mon archs, there would never have been any occasions for a dictator
ship, which had in it the power of the three orders, and ended in the subversion of the whole constitution.
Such an history as that of Suetonius, which gives us a succession of absolute princes, is to me an unanswerable argument against despotic power. Where the prince is a man of wisdom and virtue, it is indeed happy for his people that he is absolute; but since in the common run of mankind, for one that is wise and good, you find ten of a contrary character; it is very dangerous for a nation to stand to its chance, or to have its public happiness or misery to depend on the virtues or vices of a single perLook into the historian I have mentioned, or into any series of absolute princes, how many tyrants must you read through, before you come to an emperor that is supportable? But this is not all; an honest private man often grows cruel and abandoned, when converted into an absolute prince. Give a man power of doing what he pleases with impunity, you extinguish his fear, and consequently overturn in him one of the great pillars of morality. This too we find confirmed by matter of fact. How many hopeful heirs apparent to great empires, when in the possession of them, have become such monsters of lust and cruelty as are a reproach to human nature ?
Some tell us we ought to make our governments on earth like that in heaven, which, say they, is altogether monarchical and unlimited. Was man like his Creator in goodness and justice, I should be for following this great model; but where goodness and justice are not essential to the ruler, I would by no means put myself into his hands to be disposed of according to his particular will and pleasure.
It is odd to consider the connexion between despotic government and barbarity, and how the making of one person more than man, makes the rest less. Above nine parts of the world in ten are in the lowest state of slavery, and consequently sunk into the