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From this account no satisfactory conclusion can, I think, be drawn subversive of the opinion maintained in these disquisitions, that the human mind is not naturally endowed with any prophetic powers.
It is possible, indeed, that it may experience gloomy presages which are the result of the conviction of the uncertainty of human affairs, or the effect of apprehension and moral feelings. The faculty claimed in the Highlands is peculiar to countries where knowledge and true philosophy have not yet diffused their full light, nor religion put to fight these gloomy superstitions which are apt to linger in retired and secluded scenes, amidst vallies soon overspread with the shades of evening, and where the vapory mists float incessantly on the mour
« tains' brow.”
ON THE RECURRENCE OF
TIONS IN SLEEP, WHICH HAVE ENGAGED
“ And the same image still returns.”
Eademque recurrit imago.
se as are the circumstances, and varied as is the character of our dreams, and difficult as it sometimes is to trace their connection with preceding reflections and events, it appears that, in general, they take their complection from particulars of a recent occurrence, and are tinctured by the colouring of our thoughts before we close our eyes in forgetfulness, however the shades may gradually change, and insensibly assume a different hue.
This connection between our waking and sleeping thoughts was noted by Solomon, who observes “ that a dream * cometh through the multitude of business," and it is alluded to with poetical illustration by Lucretius in the following lines :
• The scenes on which our thoughts have chiefly dwelt;
* The Hebrew word bn sn, a dream, according to Parkhurst, implies broken parts or fragments being composed of ideas or images received by our senses, particularly by our sight, while awake ; it is, indeed, often applied to supernatural dreams, which, like natural dreams, consisted of broken and familiar images, as in Gen. xxxvii. xl. ali. Daniel ii. vii. Other lexicographers, however, derive the .word obr, valuit, qui sani somniant, and suppose it to
note the temperament of the constitution.
And other arts illusively beguile
Ovid avails himself of this renewal of the sensations which engage our waking thoughts, in the following pathetic lines, in which he
• Lucretius, B. is. Et quos quisque,
vented his sorrows when in exile among the Sarmatians.
“ When rest and sleep their medicine prepare,
The learned and engaging Sir Henry Wotton in a survey of education, speaking of a child, says,
“ Let not his very dreams be neglected, for without question there is a great analogy between these apprehensions which he hath taken by day into his fancy, and the nocturnal impressions, particularly in that age which is not yet troubled with the fumes and cares of the world, so as the soul hath a freer and more defecated operation*."
Sce Reliquiæ Wottonjanæ.