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quisitions; and like the knowledge which we possess of our mother tongue is, as it were, interwoven and incorporated with all its most essential habits. Accordingly in old men, whose thoughts are in a great measure disengaged from the world, the transactions of their middle age, which once seemed so important, are often obliterated, while the mind dwells as in a dream on the sports and companions of their infancy *.
On this subject Mr. Schwab, who is professor of philosophy in the university Caroline of Stutgard, remarks with ingenious illustration, that the vivacity of strong sensations continues an impression after the cause which gave birth to it is removed, as a circle of fire is presented by a burning coal that is turned round with rapidity t.
* Elements of the Philosophy of Human Mind, C. 5.
+ See Essai sur la Reduction des Facultes de l'Ame dans les nouveaux Memoires de l'Academie des Sciences, et des Belles Lettres a Berlin, A. D. 1785.
In consequence of this recurrence of images in sleep, similar to those which engage our waking attention, it happens that the slumbers of men conscious of integrity are composed and peaceful, while those of persons who are harassed by evil and turbulent passions are perturbed and miserable.
* Scarce can they close their eyes, they wildly start,
Nothing can be more wretched than the sleep of those
^ That feel Those role of scorpions, and those whips of steel Whích Conscience shakes, when she with rage controls, And spreads amazing terror through their souls. Not sharp reverge, nor hell itself can find, A fiercer torment than a guilty mind, Which day and night doth dreadfully accuse, Condemns the wretch, and still the charge renews t.”
• Claud. in Rufin. L, jie
This consideration is the more important if we reflect farther, that circumstances which have strongly interested and affected the mind, are apt frequently to return in dreams; and the same impressions are renewed in many persons almost every night; hence Shakespear makes Aufidius say to Coriolanus when burning with indignant emulation in consequence of the defeats which he had experienced from the Romans,
“ I have nightly since
He then who would not sleep in the affliction of terrible dreams which shake the mind, should be careful to retire with composed sentiments and unruffled passions, and should do well to follow the example of Sir Thomas Brown, who tells us that in his solitary and retired imagination, (Neque enim cum porticus, aut me lectulus accepit, desum mihi.) I remember I am not alone, and therefore forget not to contemplate Him and his attributes who is ever with me, especially those two mighty ones, his wisdom and eternity *.
* Coriolanus, Act iv.
It may be well also to remember, that as a night of terror succeeds a day of wickedness, so the reflections of eternal suffering will necessarily follow a life of misconduct.
It is related that Ptolemy enquired of one of the translators of the Septuagint, what would make one sleep in the night, and received for answer, that the best method was to have divine and celestial meditations, and to perform honest actions in the day t.
If we adopt the notion countenanced by Baxter, who supposes dreams to be the sug
* Religio Medici, Book i. Sect. 11. † Aristæus.
gestions of immaterial beings, we must admit with the ancients that these beings are divided into two classes, since if the office of some appear to be like that of the guardian sylph, whom Pope represents with friendly intentions. of warning his charge against danger, to have prolonged the balmy rest of Belinda, and to bave
« Summoned to her silent bed The morning dream that hover'd round her head.”
The malevolent employment of others must be like that of Satan, as
By devilish arts to reach The organs of the fancy, and with them forge Hlusions as lheg list, phantoms and dreams ; Or if inspiring venom they can taint Th' animal spirits that from pure blood arise, Isike gentle breaths from rivers pure; thence raise At least distemper'd discontented thoughts, Vain hopes, vain aims, inordinate desires Blown up with high conce its engendering pride *."
* Paradise Lost, B. iv.