« السابقةمتابعة »
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.
In consistency with this opinion God may be supposed to render dreams subservient to good purposes, and by his good angels who as represented
“ With gentle dreams have calmed Portending good, and all his spirits composed To meek submission *.”
And so far it may be said
u God is also in sleep, and dreams advise,
Whenever dreams have a bad tendency we may be persuaded that they are not the suggestion of good spirits, or that they are not to be literally followed. There is some instruction in the story of Sabaco, one of the pastoral kings of Egypt, who, when the tutelary deity of Thebes appeared to him in a dream, and ordered him to put to death all the priests of Egypt, very wisely judged that the gods were displeased at his being on the throne, since they advised him to commit an action so contrary to their ordinary will, and therefore retired into Æthiopia *.
* Paradise Lost, B. xii. 595, + Ibid. B. xii, L. 611-613.
Diodorus, L. ü. as cited by Montesquieu.
ON THE INFLUENCE OF THE BODY ON THE
MIND IN SLEEP.
“ The heavy body loaded by excess
Horace. Sat. i. L. ii. Corpus onust.
Although it has appeared in the preceding chapters that dreams are to be regarded as the creation of the mind, it has been admitted that the feelings of the body often interfere in suggesting sensations which affect the character of our thoughts, and are productive of reflections correspondent to the impressions excited.
Much of the composure and satisfaction of our dreams was attributed by the ancients to the sobriety of our bodies when committed to sleep, and no dreams that could be subservient to divination were supposed to arise from the fumes of indigestion. Socrates is represented by Plato to have remarked, that when the intelligent spirit of the mind languishes in a profound sleep, and the fiercer and more sensual affections intoxicated, as it were, by immoderate food exult in ascendancy; the ideas that present themselves are devoid of reason, and full of incestuous and evil fancies; but when we take rest after wholesome and inoderate food, that part of the mind in which there is reason and judgment being erect and capacious of good thoughts, and the body being neither distressed by want, nor loaded by satiety, the mind shines forth fresh and lively, and tranquil, and sure dreams arise *. On similar consideration dreams which obtain towards the morning, as not likely to be the suggestions of heavy sensations, were regarded as most clear and prophetic.