Most humble Servant to Command.
I beg of you to burn it when you’ve read it.
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No. 275. Tuesday, January 15, 1712. Addison.
—tribus Anticyris caput insanabile—
I was Yesterday engaged in an Assembly of Virtuosos, where one of them produced many curious Observations which he had lately made in the Anatomy of an Human Body. Another of the Company communicated to us several wonderful Discoveries, which he had also made on the same Subject, by the Help of very fine Glasses. This gave Birth to a great Variety of uncommon Remarks, and furnished Discourse for the remaining Part of the Day.
The different Opinions which were started on this Occasion, presented to my Imagination so many new Ideas, that by mixing with those which were already there, they employed my Fancy all the last Night, and composed a very wild Extravagant Dream.
I was invited, methoughts, to the Dissection of a Beaus Head and of a Coquets Heart, which were both of them laid on a Table before us. An imaginary Operator opened the first with a great deal of Nicety, which, upon a cursory and superficial View, appeared like the Head of another Man; but upon applying our Glasses to it, we made a very odd Discovery, namely, that what we looked upon as Brains, were not such in reality, but an Heap of strange Materials wound up in that Shape and Texture, and packed together with wonderful Art in the several Cavities of the Skull. For, as Homer tells us, that the Blood of the Gods is not real Blood, but only something like it; so we found that the Brain of a Beau is not real Brain, but only something like it.
The Pineal Gland, which many of our Modern Philosophers suppose to be the Seat of the Soul, smelt very strong of Essence and Orange-flower Water, and was encompassed with a kind of Horny Substance, cut into a thousand little Faces or Mirrours, which were imperceptible to the naked Eye, insomuch that the Soul, if there had been any here, must have been always taken up in contemplating her own Beauties.