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HCW FULFILMENT MAY BE A CONSEQUENCE.

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perceive, her image, or material thought, entered into his mind, and caused his dream.

“ Is not this sublime ?

“Now it is clear that these illusions cannot tend to advance the dignity of the mind. Nothing can be more convincing to prove a suspension of judgment. Remember that during this life-the incorporation of the soul-we are conscious of it only through the brain. It is not yet emancipated; and it is an error to think, because sometimes we have a brillant vision, that therefore if the body were more inactive, the soul would be more ethereal." ...

“If dreams are essentially prophetic, why are they not all fulfilled ? and if one is not fulfilled, how know we if all will not be equally fallacious ? The argument for the prophetic nature is merely à posteriori, the shallow 'post hoc, ergo, propter hoc,' of the sophist. On the occurrence of any important event, all the anguries and dreams which bear the slightest semblance to a prophecy are immediately adduced, and stretched and warped to suit the superstition, as the whimsical mother will account for marks on her child by frights and longings. When we know that myriads of enthusiasts and hypochondriacs have, by the failure of their predictions, deserved the stigma of false prophets, we may surely class these phantasies among the popular errors of the time.

“Yet the fulfilment of a prophecy may be a consequence; and that without the imputation of falsehood or imposition, or of any special interference. (I am not recanting my opinions, Astrophel.)

“1. Through the effect of an imparted impetus.
“ 2. Foresight, from the study of events and character.
“3. Constantly thinking on one subject.

“4. Impressions of terror or alarm, from spectres, sybils, etc.

As there are dreams from impressions on the body dur. ing sleep, so there are diseased tissues in the brain, which light ap phantoms of terror and death perfectly prophetic, but

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wherefore so ? Merely because they are induced by that disease which usually terminates in death. Such were the dreams during nightmare which preceded, and I believe, still precede, the epidemic fevers of Rome, and those of Leyden in 1669, when the patient fell asleep and was attacked by incubus before each exacerbation. The impersonation of death was the prevailing phantom of their dream, and in reality death soon followed.

“My friend the late Captain Mott, R. N., used frequently to repeat an anecdote of a seaman under his command. This individual, who was a good sailor and a brave man, suffered much trouble and anxiety from his superstitious fears. When on the night-watch, he would see sights and hear noises in the rigging and the deep, which kept him in a perpetual fever of alarm. One day the poor fellow reported upon deck that the devil, whom he knew by his horns and cloven feet, stood by the side of his hammock on the preceding night, and told him that he had only three days to live. His messmates endeavoured to remove his despondency by ridicule, but without effect. And the next morning he told the tale to Captain Mott, with this addition, that the fiend had paid him a second nocturnal visit, announcing a repetition of the melancholy tidings. The Captain in vain expostulated with him on the folly of such groundless apprehensions. And the morning of the fatal day being exceedingly stormy, the man, with many others, was ordered to the topmast to perform some duty among the rigging. Before he ascended, he bade his messmates farewell, telling them that he had received a third warning from the devil, and that he was confident he should be dead before night. He went aloft with the foreboding of evil on his mind, and in less than five minutes he lost his hold, fell upon the deck, and was killed upon the spot.” (Brande's “Popular Antiquities.")-Philosophy of Mystery.

PHYSICAL CAUSES OF DREAMS.

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INFLUENCE OF DARK BLOOD IN THE BRAIN.

WALTER C. DENDY, 1.R.C.S.

1

I talk of dreams
Which are the children of an idle brain.

Romeo and Juliet.

Evelyn. That I may explain to you the predisposition of a dream,-in other words, the state of broken slumber,-it is essential that I refer to the physiology of the brain ; and I must humble our pride by combining some of the most debasing conditions of our nature, as influential on the divine mind, through the medium of its chambers of marrow; for to the intimate condition and function of the brain and its nerves, and its contained blood we must chiefly look for the physical causes of a dream.

“Yet, I may even grant you, for an argument, Astrophel, the flight of an immortal spirit, and all the amiable vagaries of Sir Thomas Browne, reserving to myself to prove at what moment we become conscious of this flight.

“ In natural actions there are ever three requisites, like the points of a syllogism :

1. A susceptibility of influence;
2. The influence itself ;

3. The effect of this influence. And these I call the predisposing, the exciting, and the proximate causes.

"1. The brain is brought to this susceptibility by excited temperaments, study, intense and undivided thought,--in short by any intense impression.

“ 2. The influence or excitement is applied; congestion o! blood producing impression on extremities, or origin of a nerve at the period of departing or returning consciousness. At these periods the blood changes, and I believe, as it changes the phenomena of the mind, as in the waking state, obey these

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LANGUID ARTERIAL CIRCULATION.

changes ; rational and light dreams being the effect of circalation of scarlet blood ; dull and reasonless visions and nightmare, that of crimson or black blood.

"3. The effect of this influence is recurrence of idea, memory,-more or less erroneously associated, as the blood approximates to the black or scarlet state, or as the brain itself is constituted.

“Now it is essential to the perfect function of the brain, not only that it shall have a due supply of blood, but that this blood shall be of that quality we term oxygenated. If there be a simple deficiency of this scarlet blood, a state of undisturbed sleep (slightly analogous to the condition of syncope, , or fainting). This may be the consequence of any indirect impression, or the natural indication of that direct debility which we witness in early infancy, and in the second childishness and mere oblivion' of old age. But this deficiency of arterial blood

may be depending on a more positive causetenous congestion, impeding its flow; for in sleep, the breathing being slower, the blood becomes essentially darker. Even arterial blood itself will become to a certain degree carbonized by lentor or stagnation. Venous congestion and diminution of arterial circulation are not incompatible; indeed, Dr. Abercombie reasons very ably on their relative nature, imply. ing the necessity of some remora of venous circulation to supply that want or vacuum which the brain would otherwise experience from the deficiency of the current in the arterial system. Thus will the languid arterial circulation of the brain, which causes sleep in the first instance, produce secondarily, that conjestion of blood in the veins and sinuses, which shall reduce it to disturbed slumber and excite the dream. May we not account, on this principle, for the difficulty which many persons experience in falling into a second slumber, when they have been disturbed in the first ?Philosophy of Mystery.

CHAPTER VIII.

PSYCHOLOGY, ETC., OF DREAMING.

PHANTASTICAL POWER OF THE SOUL.

RALPH CUDWORTH, D.D.

“That dreams are many times begotten or excited by the phantastical power of the soul itself which, as it suffers from the body, so it can likewise act upon it; and according to our customary actions or inward affections, inclinations, or desires, may move the spirits variously, and beget divers phantasms in us—is evident from the orderly connection and coherence of imaginations, which many times are continued in a long chain or series ; with the fiction of interlocutory discourses and dialogues, consisting of apt answers and replies made in. terchangeably to one another, and contain such things as never were before printed upon the brain in such a series or order; which therefore could not proceed either from the fortuitous dancings or subsultations of the spirits, or from the determination of their motion, by antecedent prints or traces made by former sensations in the substance of the brain.

“ And the dreams that we have in our sleep, are really the same kind of things with those imaginations that we have many times when we are awake, when the Fancy, being not commanded or determined by the Will, roves and wanders, and runs at random; and spins out a long thread or concatenated series of imaginations or phantasms of corporeal

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