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structure of their bodies.” Thus we see, that a lean, spare, diminutive body is generally accompanied by a petulant, restless, meddling mind. Either the mind wears down the body by its continual motion; or else the body, not affording the mind sufficient houseroom, keeps it continually in a state of fretfulness, tossing and worrying about, from the uneasiness of its situation. Whereas, your round, sleek, fat, unwieldy periphery is ever attended by a mind like it. self, 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 careful of their own. Whoever 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 body—a 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 the. ory, 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 half closed, that its slumberings may not be disturbed by external objects. A mind thus comfortably lodged, and protected from disturbance, is manifestly 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 kindhearted affections, which had lain in perdue, slily peeping out of the loop-holes 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-disposing 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 enlightened and humane generation of the present day have taken an opposite course, and have so managed that the aldermen are the best fed men in the community; feasting lustily on the fat things of the land, and gorging so heartily oysters and turtle, that in process of time they acquire the activity of one, and the form, the waddle, and the green fat of the other. The consequence is, as I have just said, these luxurious feastings do produce such a dulcet equanimity and repose of the soul, rational and irrational, that their transactions are proverbial for unvarying mo.
notony; and the profound laws, which they enact in their dozing moments, amid the 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 candidate to the office, as has now and then been done, I would as lief put a greyhound to watch the house, or a race-horse to drag an ox-wagon.
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 have been fed and fattened into sufficient bulk of body and drowsiness of brain, become very eligible candidates for the burgomasters' chair; have fairly eaten themselves into office, as a mouse eats its way into a comfortable lodgement in a goodly blue-nosed, skimmed milk, New-England cheese.
ICHABOD CRANE AND THE GALLOPING
FROM THE SKETCH-BOOK.
It was the very witching time of night that Ichabod, heavy-hearted, and crest-fallen, pursued his travel homewards, along the sides of the lofty hills which rise above Tarry-Town, and which he had traversed so cheerily in the afternoon. The hour was as dismal as himself. Far below him, the Tappan Zee spread its dusky and indistinct waste of waters, with here and there the tall mast of a sloop,
riding quietly at anchor under the land. In the dead • hush of midnight, he could even hear the barking of the watch dog from the opposite shore of the Hudson! but it was so vague and faint as only to give an idea of his distance from this faithful companion of man. Now and then, too, the long-drawn crowing of a cock, accidentally awakened, would sound far, far off, from some farm-house away among the hills—but it was like a dreaming sound in his ear. No signs of life occurred near him, but occasionally the melancholy chirp of a cricket, or perhaps the guttural twang of a bull-frog, from a neighbouring marsh, as if sleeping uncomfortably, and turning suddenly in his bed.
All the stories of ghosts and gobblins that he had heard in the afternoon, now came crowding upon his recollection. The night grew darker and darker; the stars seemed to sink deeper in the sky, and driving clouds occasionally hid them from his sight. He had never felt so lonely and dismal. He was, moreover, approaching the very place where many of the scenes of the ghost stories had been laid. In the centre of the road stood an enormous tulip tree, which towered like a giant above all the other trees of the neighbourhood, and formed a kind of land-mark. Its limbs were gnarled, and fantastic, large enough to form trunks of ordinary trees, twisting down almost to the earth, and rising again into the air. It was connected with the tragical story of the unfortunate André, who had been taken prisoner hard by; and was universally known by the name of Major André's tree. The common people regarded it with a mixture of respect and superstition, partly out of sympathy for the fate of its ill-starred namesake, and partly from the tales of strange sights, and doleful lamentations told concerning it.
As Ichabod approached this fearful tree, he began to whistle: he thought his whistle was answered; it was but a blast sweeping sharply through the dry branches. As he approached a little nearer, he thought he saw something white, hanging in the midst of the tree; he pa used and ceased whistling; but on looking more narrowly, perceived that it was a place where the tree had been scathed by lightning, and the white wood laid bare. Suddenly he heard a groan-his teeth chattered, and his knees smote against the saddle: it was but the rubbing of one huge branch upon another, as they were swayed. about by the breeze. He passed the tree in safety, but new perils lay before him.
About two hundred yards from the tree a small brook crossed the road, and ran into a marshy and thickly wooded glen, known by the name of Wiley's. swamp. A few rough logs, laid side by side, served for a bridge over this stream. On that side of the road where the brook entered the wood, a group of oaks and chestnuts, matted thick with wild grape vines, threw a cavernous gloom over it. To pass this bridge was the severest trial. It was at this identical spot that the unfortunate André was captured, and under the covert of those chestnuts and vines were the sturdy yeomen concealed who surprised him. This has ever since been considered a haunted stream, and fearful are the feelings of the schoolboy who has to pass it alone after dark.
As he approached the stream, his heart began to thump; he summed up, however, all his resolution, gave his horse half a score of kicks in the ribs, and attempted to dash briskly across the bridge; but instead of starting forward, the perverse old animal · made a lateral movement, and ran broadside against the fence. Ichabod, whose fears increased with the delay, jerked the reins on the other side, and kicked lustily with the contrary foot; it was all in vain; his steed started, it is true, but it was only to plunge into the opposite side of the road into a thicket of bram, bles and alder bushes. The schoolmaster now bestowed both whip and heel upon the starveling ribs-of old Gunpowder, who dashed forward, snuffling and snorting, but came to a stand just by the bridge with