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mind.” “What vision have you had ?" said the good priest. “I was,” replied Montrésor, “at the gate of Paradise, with a crowd of people who wished to enter, and St. Peter inquired of every one what religion he was of. One answered, 'I am a Roman Catholic.' Well,' said St. Peter, 'enter, and take your place there among the Catholics.' Another said he was of the Church of England. Well,' said the Saint, 'enter and place yourself there among the Anglicans.' A third said he was a Quaker. Enter,' said St. Peter, and take your place among the Quakers. At length my turn being come, he asked me of what religion I was.
Alas!' said I, poor Jacques Montrésor has none.' "'Tis pity,' said the Saint; 'I know not where to place you; but enter nevertheless, and place yourself where
AN ARABIAN TALE.
ALBUMAZAR, the good magician, retired in his old age to the top of the lofty mountain Calabut; avoided the society of men, but was visited nightly by genii and spirits of the first rank, who loved him, and amused him with their instructive conversation.
Belubel, the strong, came one evening to see Albumazar; his height was seven leagues, and his wings when spread might overshadow a kingdom. He laid himself gently down between the long ridges of Elluem; the tops of the trees in the valley were his couch ; his head rested on Calabut ag on a pillow, and his face shone on the tent of Albumazar.
The magician spoke to him with raptorous piety of the wisdom and goodness of the Most High; but expressed his wonder at the existence of evil in the world, which he said he could not account for by all the efforts of his reason. “Value not thyself
, my friend,” said Belubel, “on that quality which thou callest reason. If thou knewest its origin and its weakness, it would rather be matter of humiliation." VOL. II.
“Tell me then,” said Albumazar, “what I do not know; inform my ignorance, and enlighten my understanding.” “Contemplate,” said Albumazar, “the scale of beings, from an elephant down to an oyster. Thou seest a gradual diminution of faculties and powers, so small in each step that the difference is scarce perceptible. There is no gap, but the gradation is complete. Men in general do not know, but thou knowest, that in ascending from an elephant to the infinitely Great, Good, and Wise, there is also a long gradation of beings, who possess powers and faculties of which thou canst yet have no conception."
DIALOGUE BETWEEN FRANKLIN AND THE GOUT.
Midnight, 22 October, 1780. FRANKLIN. Eh! Oh! Eh! What have I done to merit these cruel sufferings?
Gout. Many things; you have ate and drank too freely, and too much indulged those legs of yours in their indolence.
FRANKLIN. Who is it that accuses me?
for not only torment my body to death, but ruin my good name; you reproach me as a glutton and a tippler; now all the world, that knows me, will allow that I am neither the one nor the other.
Gout. The world may think as it pleases; it is always very complaisant to itself, and sometimes to its friends; but I very well know that the quantity of meat and drink proper for a man, who takes a reasonable
degree of exercise, would be too much for another, who never takes any.
FRANKLIN. I take - Eh! Oh!- as much exercise - Eh!- as I can, Madam Gout. I
You know my sedentary state, and on that account, it would seem, Madam Gout, as if you might spare me a little, seeing it is not altogether my own fault.
Gout. Not a jot; your rhetoric and your politeness are thrown away; your apology avails nothing. If your situation in life is a sedentary one, your amusements, your recreations, at least, should be active. You ought to walk or ride; or, if the weather prevents that, play at billiards. But let us examine your course of life. While the mornings are long, and you have leisure to go abroad, what do you do? Why, instead of gaining an appetite for breakfast, by salutary exercise, you amuse yourself with books, pamphlets, or newspapers, which commonly are not worth the reading. Yet you eat an inordinate breakfast, four dishes of tea, with cream, and one or two buttered toasts, with slices of hung beaf, which I fancy are not things the most easily digested. Immediately afterward you sit down to write at your desk, or converse with persons who apply to you on business. Thus the time passes till one, without any kind of bodily exercise. But all this I could pardon, in regard, as you say, to your sedentary condition. But what is your practice after dinner? Walking in the beautiful gardens of those friends, with whom you have dined, would be the choice of men of sense; yours is to be fixed down to chess, where you are found engaged for two or three hours! This is your perpetual recreation, which is the least eligible of any for a sedentary man, because, instead of accelerating the motion of the fluids, the rigid attention it requires helps to retard the circulation and obstruct internal secretions. Wrapt
in the speculations of this wretched game, you destroy your constitution. What can be expected from such a course of living, but a body replete with stagnant humors, ready to fall a prey to all kinds of dangerous maladies, if I, the Gout, did not occasionally bring you relief by agitating those humors, and so purifying or dissipating them? If it was in some nook or alley in
? Paris, deprived of walks, that you played awhile at chess after dinner, this might be excusable ; but the same taste prevails with you in Passy, Auteuil, Montmartre, or Sanoy, places where there are the finest gardens and walks, a pure air, beautiful women, and most agreeable and instructive conversation; all which you might enjoy by frequenting the walks. But these are rejected for this abominable game of chess. Fie, then, Mr. Franklin! But amidst my instructions, I had almost forgot to administer my wholesome corrections; so take that twinge, — and that.
FRANKLIN. Oh! Eh! Oh! Ohhh! As much instruction as you please, Madam Gout, and as many reproaches; but pray, Madam, a truce with your corrections !
Gout. No, Sir, no, - I will not abate a particle of what is so much for your good, — therefore —
FRANKLIN. Oh! Ehhh ! — It is not fair to say I take no exercise, when I do very often, going out to dine and returning in my carriage.
Gout. That, of all imaginable exercises, is the most slight and insignificant, if you allude to the motion of a carriage suspended on springs. By observing the degree of heat obtained by different kinds of motion, we may form an estimate of the quantity of exercise given by each. Thus, for example, if you turn out to walk in winter with cold feet, in an hour's time you will be in a glow all over; ride on horseback, the same effect will scarcely be perceived by four hours' round trotting; but
if you loll in a carriage, such as you have mentioned, you may travel all day, and gladly enter the last inn to warm your feet by a fire. Flatter yourself then no longer, that half an hour's airing in your carriage deserves the name of exercise. Providence has appointed few to roll in carriages, while he has given to all a pair of legs, which are machines infinitely more commodious and serviceable. Be grateful, then, and make a proper use of yours. Would you know how they forward the circulation of your fluids, in the very action of transporting you from place to place; observe when you walk, that all your weight is alternately thrown from one leg to the other; this occasions a great pressure on the vessels of the foot, and repels their contents; when relieved, by the weight being thrown on the other foot, the vessels of the first are allowed to replenish, and, by a return of this weight, this repulsion again succeeds; thus accelerating the circulation of the blood. The heat produced in any given time, depends on the degree of this acceleration; the fluids are shaken, the humors attenuated, the secretions facilitated, and all goes well; the cheeks are ruddy, and health is established. Behold your fair friend at Auteuil;* a lady who received from bounteous nature more really useful science, than half a dozen such pretenders to philosophy as you have been able to extract from all your books. When she honors you with a visit, it is on foot. She walks all hours of the day, and leaves indolence, and its concomitant maladies, to be endured by her horses. In this see at once the preservative of her health and personal charms. But when you go to Auteuil, you must have your carriage, though it is no further from Passy to Auteuil than from Auteuil to Passy.
* Madame Helvetius.