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CEREBRAL IRRITATION.

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istic of dreams, but they are not regular even in this. Sometimes the balance of the mind, and the natural and harmonious relation of all its parts, seem to be perfectly preserved. It is then that our thoughts are as coherent and just as in the period of wakefulness. Witness the extemporaneous performances of the sleeping preacher. Witness the instances of persons composing speeches, poems, etc., and solving mathematical problems in their sleep; and when the train of thought has been recovered, finding it singularly happy (often original), connected, and just.

“It is not a little remarkable that persons in their sleep (and in other instances in which the brain is under excitement, as mania, the delirium of fever, etc.) sometimes show themselves capable of mental efforts, which, in point of argument, taste, and the requisites of good composition and execution, entirely surpass anything to which they are known to be equal at other times. Such persons, at such times, seem to rise far above the level of their natures. Powers and gifts which they were supposed never to have possessed, are suddenly brought into exercise. To vulgar minds, in fact, they seem to be inspired. Ignorant persons will converse with great propriety. Those who know little of music will sing delightfully. Their conceptions are quick. The connections and relations of things are caught at a glance. The judgments are rapid. The memory seems to have acquired new vigour. Events which have long been forgotten, scenes of former life which have gradually faded away and finally disappeared in the distance, are brought up once more to the mind, and represented there with all their original truth and freshness. All this, we need not say, is the consequence of cerebral irritation.

“Though the mind in our dreams, and in instances of somnambulism, seems sometimes to act in a regular and connected manner, it very rarely does so for a long period at a time, and perhaps never in reference to different and unrelated trains of thoughts passing through it in succession.

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THE SENSES IN. DREAMS.

Its tendency to fly off and revel in the extravagance of fiction is almost incessant and irresistible. It has a fondness for the ridiculous, the impossible, and the absurd, which is constantly gratified. It is for ever under the influence of some false impression which leads to error and extravagance.

“The preceding remarks, we trust, will be sufficient to show that the distinction between our sleeping and our waking thoughts does not consist in that which has commonly been supposed-in the quiescence or torpitude of one set of faculties, and the continued activity of another. All this we say in reference to the internal powers. The senses, it is true, do not, as a general rule, take part in our dreams; but this law of the senses should not, except for better reasons than we are able to find, be extended to the interior of the mind. Not even are the senses always asleep during the mental occupations of the night. They are sometimes either part or all of them fully awake, and take as active a share in whatever is to be done as any of the faculties.”Christian Spectator, vol. vii. Newhaven, April, 1835.

THE WILL IN DREAMS.

“For our part, we do not see why the will is not as truly active in our dreams as at other times. Those specific mental acts which are the invariable antecedents or causes of muscular motion, and which, more appropriately than any other class of mental operations, come under the appellation of Will, are undoubtedly and indeed almost continually put forth in the dreaming state. We use our hands (or seem to do so), we walk, we run, we speak, we are even busy actors in the scenes in which we conceive ourselves to be engaged. It is true, all this time we are perfectly motionless, lying prostrate upon our beds; but we will, nevertheless, all these muscular acts. That is to say, we go through all the mental part of the process which is concerned in those acts, though the mechanical part QUESTION OF VOLITION.

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of it—that which properly constitutes motion-does not follow. This is the general fact: though there is the long list of cases ccurring in every variety of form, which come under the head of somnambulism and its modifications, in which there is not only will, but obedience to will, or motion. In such cases, we execute the various bodily movements just as we do when awake, evincing to all the entire possession of the power in question, and also that the relation between this power and the muscular motion is unbroken."-Christian Spectator, vol. vi. Newhaven, April, 1835.

REMEMBRANCE OF DREAMS.

JOHN C. COLQUHOUN.

“Sleep appears to be the natural state of repose of the corporeal organism. I say of the corporeal organism, because it cannot be conceived that the soul itself-the immaterial principle-ever sleeps, otherwise it were not sleep, but death. In dreaming, we occasionally perceive the soul—the immaterial and inorganic principle--struggling, as it were, to manifest its independent activity without the co-operation of the bodily organs. It is probable, if not certain, that all sleep is accompanied with dreaming, that is, with the exercise of spiritual energy; but in the case of the soundest sleep, these dreams—the manifestations of this spiritual activity-are not remembered; there has been no co-operation of the corporeal organs, and, therefore, no adequate impression has been made upon

the material part of our constitution; in like manner, as we have seen that the operations performed, and the conversations held, in the state of perfect somnambulism, when the sensibility of the corporeal organs is altogether suspended, are entirely forgotten when the individual awakes, and is restored to his natural state. In sleep, the corporeal organs are merely more or less profoundly dormant, but still sensible to external impressions, when sufficiently strong to affect them. It appears

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INTERRUPTION OF HARMONY.

to be only when the natural sleep is unsound or disturbed, that the dreams are remembered, and that they recur to the recollection with more or less distinctness, in proportion to the degree in which the material organs have been affected. The sound sleeper declares he never dreams; that is to say, he has no recollection of having dreamt, his sleep having been so profound. On the other hand, the unsound sleeper continually dreams, and he has also a distinct recollection of his nocturnal reveries when awake. This circumstance proves that the corporeal organs have only been in a state of partial or imperfect repose.

“Upon the same principles, too, we may explain the frequently fantastic, absurd, and incoherent nature of our dreams. The union and harmony between the soul and the body, although not actually dissolved, is partially interrupted by sleep; the latter is no longer capable of co-operating effectually with the former. Hence, in imperfect sleep, when the sensibility is enfeebled but not annihilated, the soul is still encumbered by the partial wakefulness of the body, and, at the same time, for the same reason, it is incapable of freely exerting its own independent energies. On the other hand, when the sleep is profound, when the corporeal sensibility is completely dormant, the energies of the soul are set at liberty, and freely exercised, without any co-operation or control of the body, but of this exercise there can be no recollection in the waking state, because, as formerly observed, no adequate impression has been made upon any material organ."-Isis Revelata : an Inquiry into the Origin, Progress, and Present State of Animal Magnetism,

CHAPTER VI.

MISCELLANEOUS PHENOMENA.

POETIC PERSONALITY OF DREAMS.

OVID.

In the eleventh book of his “Metamorphoses," Ovid furnishes us with a poetical account of dreams which, as was to be expected, he represents as personal. The occasion is this :Ceyx was a king of Trachinia, and brother to Dædalion, by whose death and that of his niece Chione, he was affected with an almost lethargic melancholy, To recover from this he went to Claros, to consult the oracle of Apollo, and was shipwrecked on his return. Juno now kindly sends Iris to the god of sleep, who, at her request, despatches Morpheus to Halcyone, the unconscious widow of Ceyx, to inform her in a dream of the death of her husband.

“Father Sleep, out of the multitude of his thousand sons, raises Morpheus, a skilful artist, and an imitator of any human shape. No one more dexterously than he mimics the gait and the countenance, and the mode of speaking; he adds the dress, too, and the words most commonly used by any one. But he imitates men only; for another one becomes a wild beast, becomes a bird, or becomes a serpent, with its length. ened body; this one the gods above call Icelos; the tribe of mortals, Phobetor. There is likewise a third, master of a different art, called Phantasos; he cleverly changes himself into earth, and stone, and water, and a tree, and all those

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