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230

SLEEP HATH ITS OWN WORLD.

THE DREAM.

LORD BYRON.

Our life is twofold ; Sleep hath its own world,
A boundary between the things misnamed
Death and Existence: Sleep hath its own world
And a wide realm of wild reality,
And dreams in their development have breath,
And tears, and tortures, and the touch of joy;
They leave a weight upon our waking thoughts,
They take a weight from off our waking toils.
They do divide our being; they become
A portion of ourselves as of our time,
And look like heralds of eternity;
They pass like spirits of the past,—they speak
Like sibyls of the future; they have power-
The tyranny of pleasure, and of pain !
They make us what we were not—what they will,
And shake us with the vision that's gone by,
The dread of vanished shadows. Are they so?
Is not the past all shadow ?-What are they ?
Creations of the mind ?—The mind can make
Substance, and people planets of its own
With beings brighter than have been, and give
A breath in forms which can outlive all flesh,
I would recall a vision which I dream'd,
Perchance in sleep—for in itself a thought,
A slumbering thought, is capable of years ;
And curdles a long life into one hour,

ON DREAMS.

JONATHAN SWIFT, D.D.

An Imitation of Petronius.

“Somnia quæ mentes ludunt volitantibus umbris," etc.

Those dreams that on the silent night intrude,
And with false flitting shades our minds delude,

NOCTURNAL PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITY.

231

Jove never sends us downwards from the skies ;
Nor can they from infernal mansions rise ;
But are all mere productions of the brain,
And fools consult interpreters in vain.
For when in bed we rest our weary limbs,
The mind unburden'd sports in various whims 3
The busy head with mimic art runs o'er
The scenes and actions of the day before.
The drowsy tyrant, by his minions led,
To regal rage devotes some patriot head.
With equal terrors, not with equal guilt,
The murderer dreams of all the blood he spilt.
The soldier smiling, hears the widow's cries,
And stabs the son before the mother's eyes ;
With like remorse his brother of the trade,
The butcher, fells the lamb beneath his blade.
The statesman rakes the town to find a plot,
And dreams of forfeitures by treason got ;
Nor less Tom-t-d-man, of true statesman mould,
Collects the city filth in search of gold.
Orphans around his bed the lawyer sees,
And takes the plaintiff's and defendant's fees ;
His fellow pickpurse, watching for a job,
Fancies his fingers in the cully's fob.
The kind physician grants the husband's prayers,
Or gives relief to long-expecting heirs ;
The sleeping hangman ties the fatal noose,
Nor unsuccessful waits for dead men's shoes.
The grave divine, with knotty points perplext,
As if he was awake, nods o'er his text;
While the sly mountebank attends his trade,
Harangues the rabble, and is better paid.
The hireling senator of modern days
Bedaubs the guilty great with nauseous praise ;
And Dick, the scavenger, with equal grace,
Flirts from his cart the mud in W-1-le's face.

232

AN EASY EXPERIMENT.

NODDING AND DICTATING.

LORD BROUGHAM.

“Let any one who is extremely overpowered with drowsiness—as after sitting up all night, and sleeping none the next day—lie down and begin to dictate; he will find himself falling asleep after uttering a few words, and he will be awakened by the person who writes repeating the last word, to show he has written the whole; not above five or six seconds may elapse, and the sleeper will find it at first quite impossible to believe that he has not been asleep for hours, and will chide the amanuensis for having fallen asleep over his work,—so great apparently will be the length of the dream which he has dreamt, extending through half a lifetime. This experiment is easily tried; again and again the sleeper will find his endless dream renewed; and he will always be able to tell in how short a time he must have performed it. For suppose eight or ten seconds required to write the four or five words dictated, sleep could hardly begin in less than four or five seconds after the effort of pronouncing the sentence; so that, at the utmost, not more than four or five seconds can have been spent in sleep. But, indeed, the greater probability is that not above a single second can have been so passed; for a writer will easily finish two words in a second; and suppose he has to write four, and half the time is consumed in falling asleep, one second only is the duration of the dream, which yet seems to last for years, so numerous are the images that compose it.”—Discourse of Natural Theology.

CHAPTER VII.

ANALOGIES OF DREAMING AND INSANITY.

DREAMERS AND MANIACS.

EDWARD BINNS, M.D.

“We believe that dreaming and insanity are nearly allied; for maniacs are inundated with a flow of thoughts, a superabun. dance of ideas, and a catenation of impressions, which invert order, escape arrangement, and defy control, exactly similar to images in dreams. Their cerebral organs riot in confusion; they exhibit burning and brilliant flashes of wit, but they are lost in the coruscations that follow; they enjoy glimpses of elevated genius, but the prospect is soon obscured; they sometimes reason acutely, but their premises are unfounded; they talk eloquently and write vigorously, but their images are unconnected by detail, their reasoning unsupported by evidence, and their arguments unrestrained by any rule of precedent, mode of thought, or law of logic. Is not this the case in dreams ? How, then, can persons be found who say that we reason, argue, think, and even act, in our dreams with more judgment and acumen than in the waking state? Yet this is the recorded opinion of one great man—nay, of the greatest man of his age-Henry, Lord Brougham! But if his lordship's opinion cannot be admitted, it is at least entitled to respect.The Anatomy of Sleep.

234

TRANSFORMATION OF PERSONALITY.

TIME IN DREAMING AND INSANITY.

M. MOREAU.

“Insanity implies a real transformation of personality. There are cases in which this transformation is so evident that the line of demarcation between the waking and the dreaming state could not be more clear and precise. There are among the insane, for instance, persons whose whole life previously to the delirium offers not a trace of its existence.

“Every act of the thinking faculty, performed without our free and voluntary assent, appertains to the state of dreaming.

“The mind cannot quit its ordinary wakeful condition, without passing into that of dreaming; in any other state its actions must be destroyed or suspended, as in profound sleep

or coma.

Sleep may be compared to the repose of a pendulum, which is still susceptible of new oscillations under the slightest impulse, so long as the machinery by which it is set in motion retains its integrity. Death may be closely represented by this same pendulum, when the destruction of its wheels has put it for ever beyond the possibility of moving Time exists only in its relation to the succession of our thoughts.

“It follows from what has been said, that the impression made upon the thinking faculty by loss of consciousness is the same, whatever may be its duration. Every person can recall that of which he is sensible at the moment of waking; whatever may be the length of time that has lapsed during sleep, the state of mind is the same; there is a feeling of a new existence, the primary parts of which are supplied by the memory. It is perfectly true that in this state there is no difference between a moment and an age; so that, if an individual were to awake at the end of

many
thousand

years,

his first impressions would not differ from what he would have experienced had he slept only a few hours.

“What occurs when an individual has been transformed

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