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upon a question of such vast importance." “ You have but to look in the man's face, Sir," returned the Magistrate, “to fee whether he is the identical person, by whom you have been robbed; and I do not fee, what any philosopher has to say concerning it.” It would ill become me to instruct your worship upon this point," resumed Mr. Puzzledorf, " but his being identically the same, is in my opinion, altogether impossible. Nor is my opinion singular ; happily, it is fupported by the most respectable authorities. Locke, indeed, makes identity to consist in consciousness, but consciouluess exists in succession, it cannot be the same in any two moments. His Hypothetis, therefore, is not tenable'; in fact, Waits, Collins, Clarke, Butler, Berkely, Price, Priestley, all have, in fome degree differed fronı it.” “ Pray Sir, were these gentlemen Justices of the King's Bench ?" interrupted the Magi. strate; “ if they were not, I must take the liberty of telling you, Sir, they were very impertinent to interfere in such ques rions! I am not to be taught the business of a Justice of Peace, by any of them.And again ask you, whether, that man, who calls himself Tobias, alias Timothy 'Trundle, be the very identical, pera fon, by whom you were robbed on the 18th instant, on bis Majesty's highway?" “ I must again repeat it,” returned the Philosopher, “ the thing is impossible ; it is proved beyond a doubt, that there is no such quality as permanent identity, appertaining to any thing whatever :-and that no one can any more remain one and the same person for two moments together, than that two successive moments can be one, and the same moment. And if you will give me the honour of stating my arguments upon the fubject, which I fhall do in a manner truly philosophical, I make no doubt of convincing you, of the truth of my system. It is, indeed, a fyftem so clear, so plain, fo unanswerable, that nothing but the most wilful blindness and obftinacy, can resist its truth. “ That I deny," said Mr. Axiom, interrupting his friend. “I agree with you, that confciousness, being frequently interrupted, is not strictly continuous, and, therefore, the continuiry of consciousness cannot constitute identity: I also allow, that wherever there is a chemical combination, there is a corresponding change of properties, and that the majority of the particles of wbich the man is composed, are necessarily in fucceflion changed. But, I affert, and will undertake to prove, that there exifts certain stamina which are never carried off. Where this stamina is situated, will, I know, admit of dispute. In the heart, say some ; in the brain, fay others : for my part, I think it is most probable, that it is placed in that part of the brain which approaches the nearest possible to the very top of the nose, which fituation, is, undoubtedly, the most convenient for receiving the notices sent to it from the organs of sight, hearing, smelling, &c. and which may be niore incontestibly proved, from the following arguments : first” " Fire, and fury !” exclaimed the magistrate, “this is more than human patience can bear! But do not think, gentlemen, that I am to be made a fool of in this way; I shall let you know that it is no such easy matter to make a fool of me! And was it not for the sake of my worthy friend, Sir Caprice Ardent, I should let you know the confequences of insulting one of his Majesty's justices of the peace, in the exercise of bis duty. A vile misdemeanour! a high breach of decorum! and not to be suffered to pass with impunity. Once for all, I desire you, Sir (to Axiom) to examine the countenance of the culprit, and, without loss of time, to declarewhether he be actually the person guilty of the alledged crime ???
As for crime," replied Mr. Axiom, “ I absolutely deny the existence of crime in any case whatever. What is by the vulgar erroneously called fo, is, in the enligbtened eye of philosophy, nothing more than an error in judgment. And, indeed, according to my friend Doctor Sceptic (Tim Trundle's former master) we have no right to predicate this much. -For what is right? what is wrong? what is vice? what is virtue? but terms merely relative, and which are to be applied by the standard of a man's own reason. If, for instance, the reason of Mr. Timothy Trundle, leads him to revolt at the unjuft distribution of property, and to think it virtue, to give his feeble aid towards redressing that enormous abufe, who shall dare to call it wrong?” “I can tell you, Sir," cried the Justice, " that the lawwill think it right, that Mr. Timothy Trundle, should be hanged for so doing.--Nor, would it be any loss to the world, if all the promulgators of such doctrines, the aiders and abettors of such acts of atrocity, shared the same fate!” “ That Sir," returned Axiom, with great calmness, “I conceive to be an error of judgment, on the part of your worship.”—“ You, however, declare, that this is the person by whom you were robbed ?" said the Justice. “Yes,” re
plied Axiom, “ I have no scruples on the subject of his personal identity; identity, being, as I said before"-" O fay no more upon the subject, but let the clerk read your affidavit and have done with it,” cried the magistrate. The clerk proceeded, and the folemn' appeal to the Deity-an appeal which so nearly concern. ed the life of a fellow-creature, was made-by the extraordinary, and, to me, incomprehensible ceremony of killing a little dirty-looking book!
The prisoner, who had hitherto maintained a strict filence, now addrefsed hini. felf to Mr. Axiom, to whom, it seems, he was well known, having long been fervant to his particular friend. He began in a fullen tone, as follows:
“ I did not think as how it would have been your honour, that would have had the heart to turn so against me at laft. Many a time and oft, bave I heard you, and my master, Doctor Sceptic, say, that all mankind were equal, and that the poor had as good a right to property as the rich. You said, moreover, that they were all fools, that would not make the most they could of this world, seeing as how there was no other; for that religion was all a hum, and the Parson a rogue, who did not himself believe a word of it.-Nay, the very last day that