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heavy as the other therefore it was the final opinion of the court, that the accounts were equally balanced-therefore Wandle should give Barent a receipt,' and Barent should give Wandle a receipt--and the constable should pay the costs.
This decision being straightway made known, diffused general joy throughout New-Amsterdam; for the people immediately perceived, that they had a very wise and equitable magistrate to rule over them. But its happiest effect was, that not another lawsuit took place throughout the whole of his administration; and the office of constable fell into such decay, that there was not one of those losel scouts known in the province for many years. I am the more particular in dwelling on this transaction, not only because I deem it one of the most sage and righteous judgments on record, and well worthy the attention of modern magistrates, but because it was a miraculous event in the history of the renowned Wouter being the only time he was ever known to come to a decision, in the whole course of his life.
The Grand Council of New-Amsterdam-with Reasons
why an Alderman should be Fat. To assist the doubtful Wouter in the arduous business of legislation, a board of magistrates was appointed, which presided immediately over the police. This potent body consisted of a schout or bailiff, with powers between those of the present mayor and sheriff; five burgermeesters, who were equivalent to aldermen; and five schepens, who officiated as scrubs, sub-devils, or bottle-holders, to the burgermeesters, in the same manner as do assistant alderman to their principals at the present day-it being their duty to fill the pipes of the lordly burgermeesters, hunt the markets for delicacies for corporation dinners, and to discharge such other little offices of kindness, as were occasionally required. It was, moreover, tacitly understood, though not specifically enjoined, that they should consider.themselves as butts for the blunt wits of the burgermeesters, and should laugh most heartily at all their jokes ; but this last was a duty as rarely called in action in those days as it is at present, and was shortly remitted, in consequence of the tragical death of a fat little schepen,
who actually died of suffocation in an unsuccessful effort to force a laugh at one of burgermeester Van Zandt's best jokes.
In return for these humble services, they were permitted to say, yes and no at the council board, and to have that enviable privilege, the run of the public kitchen ; being graciously permitted to eat, and drink, and smoke, at all those snug junkettings, and public gormandizings, for which the ancient magistrates were equally famous with their more modern successors. The post of schepen, therefore, like that of assistant alderman, was eagerly coveted by all your burghers of a certain description, who have a huge relish for good feeding, and an humble ambition to be great men in a small way-who thirst after a little brief authority, that shall render them the terror of the alms-house and the bridewell—that shall enable them to lord it over obsequious poverty, vagrant vice, outcast prostitution, and hunger-driven dishonesty—that shall place in their hands the lesser, but galling 'scourge of the law, and give to their beck a houndlike pack of catchpoles and bum-bailiffs—tenfold greater rogues than the culprits they hunt down!-My readers will excuse this sudden warmth, which I confess is unbecoming of a grave historian; but I have a mortal antipathy to catchpoles, bum-bailiffs, and little great men.
The ancient magistrates of this city corresponded with those of the present time no less in form, magnitude, and intellect, than in prerogative and privilege. The burgomasters, like our aldermen, were generally chosen by weight; and not only the weight of the body, but likewise the weight of the head. It is a maxim practically observed in all honest, plain thinking, regular cities, that an alderman should be fat-and the wisdom of this can be proved to a certainty. That the body is in some measure an image of the mind, or rather that the mind is moulded to the body, like melted lead to the clay in which it is cast, has been insisted on by many men of science, who have made human nature their peculiar study. For as a learned gentleman of our own city observes, "there is a constant relation between the moral character of all intelligent creatures and their physical constitution-between their habits and the 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 house-room, 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 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. 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 irrascible passions, which, like belligerent powers, lie encamped around the heart-ka 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 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, morever, 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 hungryis completely pacified, silenced, and put to rest : whereupon a host of honest good-fellow qualities, and kindhearted affections, which had laid 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 dia. phraghm-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 holda court of justice, except in the morning, on an empty stomach.-X 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 alderman are the best fed men 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 luxurious feastings do produce such a dulcet equanimity and repose of the soul, rational and irrational, that their transactions are proverbial for unvarying monotony; 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 belKied 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 racehorse to drag an ox-waggon.
The burgomasters then, as I have already mentioned, were wisely chosen by weight, and the schepens or assistant Alderman, 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, became very eligible candidates for the burgomasters' chair; have fairly eaten themselves into office, as a mouse eats its way into a comfortable lodgment 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 & 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 goblins 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