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page, of which, when he awoke, he retained 110 recollection *.
The attention of the mind, in this case, appears to have been gradually withdrawn after the body began to lie. This disposition to walk and act in sleep is usually considered as a disorder occasioned, according to the opinion of some persons, by a plethora, to which young men are chiefly liable: we may conceive in these cases the turgid and foaming blood to excite sensations which affect the mind : the disorder is understood to be curable by purging the primæ viæ t. Whatever be the remote cause which affects the mind on these oc. casions, it certainly affords to it an opportunity of displaying its superior powers of intelligence, raised and excited, as it were, by new sensations, and moving the body only as an incumbrance to which it is chained. A similar but less remarkable effect is displayed, when, by an agitation of the spirits, persons are found to talk in their sleep, or to cry out and move, and even to execute their designs by external actions.
* Plater. Observ. L. i. p. 12.
† Levinus Lemnius describes these night-walkers as men of a relaxed habit of body, and great fervour and activity of mind, as chiefly young persons ; observing that old persons, in whom the vital powers begin to flag, are incapable of the exertion. De Oceult. Nat. Mirac. L. ii. C. 5.
There is another faculty of the mind distinct from those hitherto specified, if we may credit a singular relation of Mr. Halley, who declared to the Royal Society, that being carried by a strong impulse to visit St. Helena, in order to make observations on the southern constellations, being then twenty-four years of age, he dreamed, before he undertook the voyage, that he was at sea, sailing towards that place, and saw the prospect of it from the ship in his dream, which exhibited the perfect representation of that island, as it afterwards appeared on his approach. It is possible, that the picture was formed agreeably to the ideas of the island, which his correct mind had formed from the accounts of others which he might have heard or read. Every one, however, may probably have noticed instances, in which ticular scenes appear, or particular events happen, of which a representation may seem before to have taken place in his mind; a circumstance certainly not easy to be explained, but upon the supposition of some presaging power of the mind; but of which the existence and limits are not sufficiently ascertained or defined, to authorize the ascribing of any prophetic intelligence to it, or to imply any design in Providence thereby to direct us, any farther than by such general intimations of the spiritual nature of the mind.
The unpleasant sensations occasioned by the incubus, or night-mare, are either accidental or habitual, and they appear to affect both mind and body. The former is often occasioned by the distension of the stomach with wind or crudities; and it is apt to prevail when people lie on their backs, for then the stomach, being dilated, presses the midriff
and muscles of the breast most, and by that means encumbers the descent of the one and the expansion of the other, which are necessary to respiration, and thus the blood becomes stagnant in the lungs.
The habitual night-mare is supposed to be occasioned by some acid lymph which disorders the spirits, and creates a paralytic or convulsive disposition of the nerves of the midriff and muscles, which press upon those of the windpipe, and produce the sense of strangling : hypochondriacal and scorbutic persons are particularly liable to these complaints.
It is doubtful, in some instances, whether dreams originate with the mind spontaneously summoning up its own ideas, or with the body prompting some sensation of solicitude. In the case of the existence of disorders in the body, the fearful or oppressive dreams which indicate a disordered habit, need not necessarily be ascribed to the immediate operation of the body on the mind commencing in sleep, since the mind, sympathetically affected when awake *, may by its own reflections generate gloomy phantoms that scare it when the pains of sensation are suspended.
As for dreams which seem to argue a redundancy of health, it is at least disputable, whether they arise from an ardent imagination operating on the mind, or a full constitution of body, suggesting ideas to the imagination. The connexion which subsists between the mind and the body is so intimate, and their reciprocal influence so immediate, that it is difficult to discriminate the boundaries of their respective operations, and the only consideration of consequence, is the necessity of purifying the affections, and of subjecting the body to rules of temperance and self-commanda
* Per consensum et legem consortü. Levin. Lemn, de Occult. N. Mir. L. i. C, 12.