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interrupting his friend. “I agree with you, that consciousness, being frequently interrupted, is not strictly continuous, and, therefore, the continuity 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 which the man is composed, are necessa. rily in succession changed.—But, I assert, and will undertake to prove, that there exist certain stamina which are never carried off. Where these stamina are situated, will, I know, admit of dispute. In the heart, say some; in the brain, say others: for my part, I think it is most probable, that they are placed in that part of the brain which approaches the nearest possible to the very top of the nose, which situation, is, undoubtedly, the most convenient for receiving the notices sent to it from the organs of sight, hearing, smelling, &c. and which may be more incontestably proved, from the following argu. “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 consequences of insulting one of his Majesty's justices of the peace, in the exercise of his duty. A vile misdemeanor a high breach of decorum ! and not 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 declare—whether he be actually the person guilty of the alledged crime * “As for crimes,” replied Mr Axiom, “I absolutely deny the existence of crime in any case whatever. What is by the vulgar erroneously called so, is, in the enlightened eye of philosophy, nothing more than an errour in judgment. And, indeed, according to my friend Doctor Sceptick (Tim Trun

ments : first”

: die’s former master) we have no right to pre

VOL. II. 15


dicate this much.-For what is right? what is wrong? what is vice what is virtue 2 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 unjust distribution of property, and to think it virtue, to give his feeble aid towards redressing that enormous abuse, who shall dare to call it wrong * “I can tell you, Sir,” cried the Justice, “that the law—will 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 to “That Sir,” returned Axiom, with great calmness, “I conceive to be an errour 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,” replied Axiom, “I have no scruples on the subject of his personal identity; identity being, as I said before”— “O say 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 solemn appeal to the Deity—an appeal which so nearly concerned the life of a fellow-creature, was made— by the extraordinary, and, to me, incomprehensible ceremony of kissing a little dirtylooking book 1 The prisoner, who had hitherto maintained a strict silence, now addressed himself to Mr. Axiom, to whom, it seems, he was well known, having long been servant to his particular friend. He began in a sullen 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 last. Many a time and oft, have I heard you, and my master, Doctor Sceptick, 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 ever I attended you at dinner, did not you say, again and again, that Kings, Princes, and Prime Ministers, were all worse than pickpockets 2 And yet now you would go for to hang me, for having only civilly asked a few guineas, to make up a little matter of loss, I had had in the Lottery. I wonder you a'nt ashamed to turn so against your own words.” “No, Timothy,” returned the philosopher; “my opinions are not so easily changed. No man, ever yet convinced me, of being in an errour. You have only to regret your having lived in a dark age, when vulgar prejudices so far prevail, as to consider laws as necessary to the well-being of society.— But be comforted, Timothy : The age of reason approaches. That glorious aera is fast advancing, in which every man shall do that which is right in his own eyes, and

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