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minds, as indeed I believe it is; but I do not absolutely deny that dreams may sometimes be suggested by superior spiritual beings. The properest time for such impressions, or infusions, is certainly when the soul is not conscious, nor under her own.command, her powers suspended, and her most vigilant and discerning centinels asleep. The famous Sylla, a man not at all addicted to superstition, gave great credit to dreams; we have instances of several extraordinary dreams in holy writ, and we find all antiquity paid a great regard to them. But such predictive inspired dreams must be very rare, they must be also rational and consistent, and the im pressions strong and lively, and therefore easily dis-. tinguishable from others, and not needing interpretation, so that those instances should afford no encouragement to a weak and superstitious anxiety. and solicitude about every idle fancy that passes: through our heads in sleep, nor induce us to pay any regard to the ridiculous and dreaming rules given by: Artemidorus and other profound personages, for the interpretation of dreams. GENT. MAG 1754.
THAT we are frequently affected in a much more lively manner with joy and grief in our dreams than we ever experienced when awake, is a fact sufficient
lyonotorious. There is often a peculiar glow of colouring in our raptures, and in our distresses, in these imaginary scenes, which no power of language can describe, nor any situation in actual life realize. Few persons, I believe, have ever passed through life without making this reflection. Philosophers, I know, have endeavoured to account for this pheno menon, by supposing, that the soul in sleep, being more abstracted from the body, is more open to those finer sensibilities which the grossness of our material organs either totally extinguishes, or considerably deadens, when we are awake: but, I must confess, the errors, the follies, the absurdities, of dreams are such, that I cannot draw any inference from the superior perfection of the soul in that state, to explain any phenomenon whatever. An intelli gent friend with whom I was conversing on the subject, has given a much more easy, and, as it appears to me, satisfactory, solution of the question. "When we are awake," says he, "we are never entirely oc cupied with the object before us; we are either looking back on the past, or forward to the future; and our attention is always, in some degree, more or less, diverted from the direct impression of the moment; but, in sleep, both memory and foresight are extinguished; we are solely occupied with the object before us; and we receive from that object the full impression it is capable of producing on our minds.”
There are not wanting a variety of topics to illus trate and enforce this opinion of my friend. Sup posing the natural acuteness of feeling the same, a man possesses sensibility in proportion as he is abstracted from the cares of life. A man immersed in business or pleasure can never be a man of sensibility. The man of sensibility is, if I may say so, in a state of perpetual dream; he lives and acts in a world of his own creation; and attends to external circumstances little more than as they coincide with his internal system. He feels more than other men on particular subjects, because he feels on other subjects less. The effect of ebriety is to make us forgetful of the past, and careless of the future: in this state we are particularly open to the impression of the moment; those impressions are generally pleasurable, and a state of moderate intoxication is a state of jollity; but we are highly susceptible on these occasions of grief as well as of joy, and the most affecting scenes I ever witnessed have taken place after a free circulation of the bottle. Madness, that most dreadful and tremendous calamity which afflicts the human species-madness appears often to arise from excess of sensibility. A man of high and acute feelings is deeply struck with some momentous event; he broods over it day and night; his mind at length becomes totally occupied and possessed with this idea; and we behold him a maniac. I speak from observation. That there are
"in madness joys which none but madmen know," has been affirmed by one who was not unacquainted with the sensations of that frightful malady; and I believe him. There appear, too, to be sorrows and anguish in that state, which no sound imagination can conceive. GENTLEMAN'S MAG. 1793,
A WET sheet and a flowing sea,
d; A wind that follows fast,
And fills the white and rustling sail,
You And bends the gallant mast;
And bends the gallant mast, my boys!
Away the good ship flies, and leaves
Old England on the lee.
10 for a soft and gentle wind,
I heard a fair one cry;
But give to me the snoring breeze,
And white waves heaving high;
And white waves heaving high, my boys!
The world of waters is our home,
And, hark! the music, mariners,
The wind is piping loud, my boys!
While the hollow oak our palace is,
Our heritage the sea.
I HAPPENED to be lately rummaging among some old books belonging to a friend of mine, who has a very complete collection of the theological works which appeared in Scotland from the time of the Reformation down to nearly the middle of the last century. The following title-page struck my eye: "The Last Battel of the Soule in Death. By Mr. Zacharie Boyd. Edinburgh, 1629." The author I had often heard mentioned as having exerted his genius in a metrical paraphrase of the Bible; and from what I had heard of that production, I cannot say I anticipated much edification from his "Last Battel." After having perused it, however, I may safely affirm, that it is a very interesting book, and