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brought to an issue ; that your petitioners have not been involved in these law-suits out of any litigious temper of their own, but by the instigation of contentious persons; that the young lawyers in our inns of court are continually setting us together by the ears, and think they do us no hurt, because they plead for us without a fee; that many of the gentlemen of the robe have no other clients in the world besides us two; that when they have nothing else to do, they make us plaintiffs and defendants, though they were never retained by any of us; that they traduce, condemn, or acquit us, without any manner of regard to our reputations and good names in the world. Your petitioners therefore, being thereunto encouraged by the favourable reception which you lately gave to our kinsman Blank, do humbly pray that you will put an end to the controversies which have been so long depending between us your said petitioners, and that our enmity may not endure from generation to generation ; it being our resolution to live hereafter as it becometh men of peaceable dispositions.
• And your petitioners, as in duty bound, shall ever pray, &c.'
No 578. MONDAY, AUGUST 9, 1714.
-Eque feris humana in corpora transit,
OVID. Met. xv, 167.
Th' unbodied spirit flies-
There has been very great reason, on several accounts, for the learned world to endeavour at settling what it was that might be said to compose personal identity.
Mr. Locke, after having premised that the word person properly signifies a thinking intelligent be. ing that has reason and reflexion, and can consider itself as itself, concludes, that it is consciousness alone, and not an identity of substance, which makes this personal identity of sameness. · Had I the same consciousness,' says that author, “that I saw the ark and Noah's flood, as that I saw an overflowing of the Thames last winter ; or as that I now write ; I could no more doubt that I who write this now, that saw the Thames overflow last winter, and that viewed the flood at the general deluge, was the same self, place that self in what substance you please, than that I who write this am the same myself now while I write, whether I consist of all the same substance, material or immaterial, or no, that I was yesterday; for as to this point of being the same self, it matters not whether this present self be made up of the same or other substances.'
I was mightily pleased with a story in some mea. sure applicable to this piece of philosophy, which I
read the other day in the Persian Tales, as they are lately very well translated by Mr. Philips; and with an abridgement whereof I shall here present my readers.
I shall only premise that these stories are writ after the eastern manner, but somewhat more correct.
• Fadlallah, a prince of great virtue, succeeded his father Bin Ortoc in the kingdom of Mousel. He reigned over his faithful subjects for some time, and lived in great happiness with his beauteous consort queen Zemroude, when there appeared at his court a young dervis of so lively and entertain. ing a turn of wit, as won upon the affections of every one he conversed with. His reputation grew so fast every day, that it at last raised a curiosity in the prince himself to see and talk with him. He did so; and, far from finding that common fame had flattered him, he was soon convinced that every thing he had heard of him fell short of the truth.
• Fadlallah immediately lost all manner of relish for the conversation of other men; and, as he was every day more and more satisfied of the abilities of this stranger, offered him the first posts in his kingdom. The young dervis, after having thanked him with a very singular modesty, desired to be excused, as having made a vow never to accept of any employment, and preferring a free and independent state of life to all other conditions.
. The king was infinitely charmed with so great an example of moderation; and though he could not get him to engage in a life of business, made him however his chief companion and first favourite.
• As they were one day hunting together, and happened to be separated from the rest of the com. pany, the dervis entertained Fadlallah with an account of his travels and adventures. After having related to him several curiosities which he had seen in the Indies, “ It was in this place,” says he,“ that I contracted an acquaintance with an old brachman, who was skilled in the most hidden powers of nature: he died within my arms, and with his parting breath communicated to me one of the most valuable secrets, on condition I should never reveal it to any man.” The king immediately, reflecting on his young favourite's having refused the late offers of greatness he had made him, told him he presumed it was the power of making gold. “ No, sir,” says the dervis, it is somewhat more wonderful than that; it is the power of reanimating a dead body, by Ainging my own soul into it.”
• While he was yet speaking, a doe came bound. ing by them, and the king, who had his bow ready, shot her through the heart; telling the dervis, that a fair
opportunity now offered for him to show his art. The young man immediately left his own body breathless on the ground, while at the same instant that of the doe was reanimated. She came to the king, fawned upon him, and, after having played several wanton tricks, fell upon the grass ; at the same instant the body of the dervis recovered its life. The king was infinitely pleased at so uncommon an operation, and conjured his friend by every thing that was sacred to communicate it to him. The dervis at first made some scruple of violating his promise to the dying brachman; but told him at last that he found he could conceal nothing from so excellent a prince: after having obliged him therefore by an oath to secrecy, he taught him to repeat two cabalistic words, in pronouncing of which the whole secret consisted. The king, impatient to try the experiment, immediately repeats ed them as he had been taught, and in an instant found himself in the body of the doe. He had but a little time to contemplate himself in this new being; for the treacherous dervis, shooting his own soul into the royal corpse, and bending the prince's own bow against him, had laid him dead on the spot, had not the king, who perceived his intent, fied swiftly to the woods.
• The dervis, now triumphing in his villany, returned to Mousel, and filled the throne and bed of the unhappy Fadlallah.
• The first thing he took care of, in order to secure himself in the possession of his new-acquired kingdom, was to issue out a proclamation, ordering his subjects to destroy all the deer in the realm. The king had perished among the rest had he not avoided his pursuers by reanimating the body of a nightingale which he saw lie dead at the foot of a tree. In this new shape he winged his way in safety to the palace; where, perching on a tree which stood near the queen's apartment, he filled the whole place with so many melodious and melancholy notes as drew her to the window. He had the mortification to see that, instead of being pitied, he only moved the mirth of his princess, and of a young female slave who was with her. He continued however to serenade her every morning, until at last the queen, charmed with his harmony, sent for the bird-catchers, and ordered them to employ their utmost skill to put that little creature in her possession. The king, pleased with an opportunity of being once more near his beloved consort, easily suffered himself to be taken: and when he was presented to her, though he showed a fearfulness to be touched by any of the other ladies, flew of his own accord, and hid himself in the queen's bosom. Zemroude was highly pleased at