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visions of food * Oppressions from repletion
* It may perhaps be said, that when the hungry man dreams, it is rather the effect of the recollection of his waking thoughts. There are still, however, sufficient proots of sympathy. An ancient writer attributes dreams to the immediate temperament of the body. Hi qui laborant siti cum in soporem venerunt, fumina et fontes videre sibi videntur, et bibere, hoc autem patiuntur aviditate intemperata corporis laborantes. Recog. Clem. L. ii. $. 64.
† Elements of the Philosophy of the human Mind: C.
Considering dreams then principally as the production of the mind ruminating on its own stores, we perceive that the imagination is ever in a state of vigilance; that it can paint and recall to its own view those scenes of nature and of life which it hath admired; and though the corporeal eye be closed, yet
« not the more cease
That the mind retains its full and native energies in sleep, its powers of memory, and of reasoning, is evident from the circumstances of somnambules, or sleep-walkers, in which the will directs the body, though in a state of somnolency, often guiding it by an accurate recollection of accustomed circumstances and local particulars, and acting, as it seems, by its own vigour as an ethereal spirit moving a passive machine. indeed capable of performing some things better than when its attention is diverted by the senses to external objects; it seems left to
It then appears its own reflections, and free to apply to its own views. In some of these cases it has been known to solve difficulties better than when awake, as in the instance of the man mentioned by Henricus ab Heeres, of whom it is related, that when young, being a professor of a distinguished university, and engaged in the composition and improvement of verses, he has been known, after being dissatisfied with his labours in the day, to have risen in the night, to have opened his desk, and to have written and composed, reading aloud his production, and applauding himself with satisfaction and laughter, and sometimes calling to his chamber-fellow to join in his commendation : after which he has been observed to arrange his papers and shut up his desk, and then undress and retire to bed, and sleep till the morning, when he retained no recollection of the transaction of the night*.”
The same conclusion
be drawn from the relation of Cælius Rhodiginus, who informs us, that when he was twenty-two years of age, being busied in the interpretation of Pliny, while as yet the learned emendations of Hermolaus Barbarus on that excellent author had not performed to him all that was requisite, he was reading that place in the seventh book, which treats of those who grow up beyond the usual proportion which Nature has assigned. The word Ectrapali, by which such persons were described by the Greeks, was of some trouble to him. He knew that he had read something concerning it, but not being able to recall the author, nor the book in which the word was mentioned, and fearing the imputation of unskilfulness, he retired with uneasiness of mind to sleep, when his thoughts continuing still to employ themselves on the subject, he recollected the book, and even the page which he wanted *.
* Schotts Phys. Curios. L. iii. C. 25. p. 50. Cæl. Rhod. Antiq. Lect. L. xxvii. C. 9. p. 1250. and Wanley's Wonders, Ch. 23.
Persons are very commonly known to walk in their sleep over ridges and parapets, at which Mad Tom would have shuddered. Upon these occasions it appears, that they often act merely from recollection, since they stumble over objects placed in their way. The recollection, however, is often defective, and however circumspectly and steadily the persons may guard against danger in some parts, they often forget where it exists in others. The imagination is also generally so ascendant, that the judgment is not allowed time to act. The eyes of the person are frequently open, but objects which appear before them are usually unheeded, the mind being so absorbed by its own contemplations, as to be inattentive to impressions conveyed by the senses. Sometimes, however, the eyes continue, even in sleep, to present objects to the mind which engage its attention; as in the case of Johannes Oporinus, a printer, who, being employed one night in correcting the copy of a Greek book, fell asleep as he read, and yet ceased not to read till he had finished not less than a whole