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her heart. For my part, I never saw any thing but design and falsehood in every one of them; and my blood has boiled in my veins, when I saw a young fellow of twenty kneeling at the feet of a twenty thousand pounder, professing his passion, while he was taking aim at her money. I do not deny but there may be love in a Scotch marriage, but it is generally all on one side.
Of all the sincere admirers I ever knew, a man of my acquaintance, who, however, did not run away with his mistress to Scotland, was the most So. An old exciseman of our town, who, as you may guess, was not very rich, had a daughter, who, as you shall see, was not very handsome. It was the opinion of every body that this young woman would not soon be married, as she wanted two main articles, beauty and fortune.
But for all this, a very well-looking man, that happened to be travelling in those parts, came and asked the exciseman for his daughter in marriage. The exciseman, willing to deal openly by him, asked if he had seen the girl; for, says he, she is hump-backed. "Very well," cried the stranger," that will do for me." "Aye," says the exciseman, "but my daughter is as "brown as a berry." "So much the better," "such skins wear well." says the traveller,
"But she is bandy-legged," says the exciseman. "No matter," cries the other, "her petticoats "will hide that defect." "But, then, she is very poor, and wants an eye." "Your de
scription delights me," cries the stranger, “I "have been looking out for one of her make; "for I keep an exhibition of wild beasts, and "intend to show her off for a Chimpanzee."
THE PHILOSOPHICAL WATCH.
A MAN may be said to live up to the highest perfection of his species, if he has attained to a true knowledge of his duty to the Supreme Being, to himself, and to his fellow creatures, and governs his actions according to the dictates of that knowledge. This may be properly called the rational or philosophical life of man; the length of which my watch has the singular virtue of measuring with the greatest accuracy. It exactly shews how long a person may be said to have lived according to the most perfect acceptation of the word. Whatever the common opinion of the world may be, we cannot properly be said to live the time we spend in dressing, gaming, dancing, prattling, laughing, and the like. We live no longer than while we act according to the dictates of solid reason and sound understanding. At least in this sense it is that my watch shows
how long a man has really lived, with regard only to such perfections as are not common to the vegetable or animal life.
To outer appearance this watch differs from a common pocket watch only in the dial plate and the motions of the hands. The circle which in common watches shews the minutes, is here divided into three hundred and sixty degrees; thirty of which make a philosophical month, and each single division a philosophical day, which is something longer than a natural day, of which three hundred and sixty-five make the year. The inner circle is divided into twentyfour hours, with their subdivisions as in the common watches; but the motions of the hands are just the reverse. The hour hand moves round its whole circle, while that which is called the minute hand in other watches is moving the three hundred and sixtieth part of its circumference; and both move backwards or forwards as circumstances require.
The use of this watch is extremely easy. Whenever I desired to know the philosophical life of any person, I need only hold it within the reach of the effluvia from his body, keeping my finger upon a certain spring which prevents those proceeding from the person who holds it from producing any effect. If he has spent his whole
life in folly, indolence, and a continual neglect of his rational duty, it stands still; but if he has mis-spent any part of it in actions unbecoming a rational creature, the watch shews it, by running as many days, months, and years backwards. Has his life been a medley of good, bad, and indifferent, as most mens are, it shews the balance.
To enter into a discussion of the inward construction of this watch, and the causes which produce these wonderful effects, is foreign to my present purpose, and indeed in a great measure beyond my comprehension. I shall therefore give you an account of some observations and experiments I have made with it.
1. I observe that my watch stands still, not only the whole time that a man has spent in idleness and indolence, which is generally the greater part of his natural life; but all the time he has employed in eating, drinking, sleeping, and whatever may be reckoned in the vegetable or animal, a hindrance to our moral life.
2. As soon as it approaches a man who is engaged in some public spirited generous action, for the good of mankind, it moves forward several days at once, and on the contrary, if any one is about to commit a remarkable act of injustice, it flies backwards with such rapidity as to endanger its safety.