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sleek, fat, unwieldy periphery is ever attended !'y a mind like itself, tranquil, torpid, and at ease; and we may always observe, that your well-fed, robustious burghers are in general very tenacious of their ease and comfort; being great enemies to noise, discord, and disturbance; and surely none are more likely to study the public tranquillity than those who are so careful of their own. Who ever hears of fat men heading a riot, or herding together in turbulent mobs ?-No-no-it is your lean, hungry men, who are continually worrying society, and setting the whole community by the ears.
The divine Plato, whose doctrines are not sufficiently attended to by philosophers of the present age, allows to every man three souls : one immortal and rational, seated in the brain, that it may overlook and regulate the bodya second consisting of the surly and irascible passions, which, like belligerent powers, lie encamped around the heart--a third mortal and sensual, destitute of reason, gross and brutal in its propensities, and enchained in the belly, that it may not disturb the divine soul, by its ravenous howlings. Now, according to this excellent theory, what can be more clear, than that your fat alderman is most likely to have the most regular and well-conditioned mind? His head is like a huge spherical chamber, containing a prodigious mass of soft brains, whereon the rational soul lies softly and snugly couched, as on a feather bed; and the eyes, which are the windows of the bed-chamber, are usually halfclosed, that its slumberings may not be disturbed by external objects. A mind thus comfortably lodged, and protecteui from disturbance, is mani festly most likely to perform its functions with regularity and ease. By dint of good feeding, moreover, the mortal and malignant soul, which is confined in the belly, and which, by its raging and roaring, puts the irritable soul in the neighbourhood of the heart in an intolerable passion, and thus renders men crusty and quarrelsome when hungry—is completely pacified, silenced, and put to rest : whereupon a host of honest good-fellow qualities, and kind-hearted affections, which had lain in perdue, slily peeping out of the loopholes of the heart, finding this Cerberus asleep, do pluck up their spirits, turn out one and all in their holiday suits, and gambol up and down the diaphragm-aisposing their possessor to laughter, good humour, and a thousand friendly offices towards his fellow-mortals.
As a board of magistrates, formed on this model, think but very little, they are less likely to differ and wrangle about favourite opinions ; and as they generally transact business upon a hearty dinner, they are naturally disposed to be lenient and indulgent in the administration of their duties. Charlemagne was conscious of this, and therefore (a pitiful measure, for which I can never forgive him), ordered in his cartularies, that no judge should hold a court of justice, except in the morning, on an empty stomach. A rule which, I warrant, bore hard upon all the poor culprits in his kingdom. The more on.
lightened and humane generation of the presoras day 'ave taken an opposite course, and have sú managed that the aldermen are the best fed mer: in the community ; feasting lustily on the fat things of the land, and gorging so heartily oysters and turtles, that in process of time they acquire the activity of the one, and the form, the waddle, and the green fat of the other. The consequence is, as I have just said, these luxu. rious feastings do produce such dulcet equanimity and repose of the soul, rational and irrational, that their transactions are proverbial for urvarying monotony; and the profound laws, which they enact in their dozing moments, amid th? labours of digestion, are quietly suffered to remain as dead letters, and never enforced when awake. In a word, your fair round-bellied burgomaster, like a full-fed mastiff, dozes quietly at the house-door, always at home, and always at hand to watch over its safety : but as to electing a lean, meddling can:llate to the office, as has now and then been done, I would as licf put a greyhound to watch the hoʻise, ur a racco horse to drag an ox-waggon.
The burgomasters then, as I have already mentioned, were wisely chosen by weight, and the schepens or assistant aldermen, were appointed to attend upon them, and help them to eat ; but the latter, in the course of time, when they had been fed and fattened into sufficient bulk of body and drowsiness of brain, become very cligible candidates for the burgomasters' chair; have fairly eaten themselves into office, es i
mouse eats its way into a comfortable lodgment in a goodly blue-nosed, skimmed-milk, NewEngland cheese.
AN OBEDIENT HENPECKED HUSBAND.
In that same village, and in one of these very houses (which, to tell the precise truth, was sadly time-worn and weather-beaten), there lived, many years since, when the country was yet a province of Great Britain, a simple, good-natured fellow, of the name of Rip Van Winkle. He was a descendant of the Van Winkles who figured so gallantly in the chivalrous days of l'eter Stuyvesant, and accompanied him to the siege of Fort Christina. He inherited, however, but little of the martial character of his ancestors. I have observed that he was a simple, goodnatured man; he was, moreover, a kind neighvour, and an obedient henpecked husband. Indeed, to the latter circumstance might be owing that meekness of spirit which gained him such universal popularity; for those men are most apt to be obsequious and conciliating abroad, who are under the discipline of shrews at home. Their tempers, doubtless, are rendered pliant and malleable in the fiery furnace of domestic tribulation, and a curtain lecture is worth all the sermons , in the world for teaching the virtues of patience and long-suffering. A termagant wife may, therefore, in some respects, be considered a
tolerable blessing; and if so, Rip Van Wirkus was thrice blessed.
Certain it is, that he was a great favourile among all the good wives of the village, who, as usual with the amiable sex, took his part in all family squabbles; and never failed, whenever they talked those matters over in their evening gossipings, to lay all the blame on Dame Van Winkle. The children of the village, too, would shout with joy whenever he approached. He assisted at their sports, made their playthings, taught them to fly kites and shoot marbles, and told them long stories of ghosts, witches, and Indians. Whenever he went dodging about the village, he was surrounded by a troop of them, hanging on his skirts, clambering on his back, and playing a thousand tricks on him with impunity; and not a dog would bark at him throughout the neighbourhood.
The great error in Rip's composition was an insuperable aversion to all kinds of profitablo labour. It could not be from the want of assiduity or perseverance; for he would sit on a wet rock, with a rod as long and heavy as a Tartar's lance, and fish all day without a murmur, even though he should not be encouraged by i single nibble. He would carry a fowling-piece on his shoulder for hours together, trudging through woods and swamps, and up hill and down dale, to shoot a few squirrels or wild pigeons. He would never refuse to assist a neighbour even in the roughest toil, and was a foremost man at al? Nuntry frolics for husking Indian corn, or building stone