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CHAPTER X.

DREAMS OF ANIMALS.

VIVIPAROUS AND OVIPAROUS ANIMALS.

ARISTOTLE.

“ CONCERNING the sleep and watchfulness of animals :-It is quite manifest that all viviparous animals with feet both sleep and are awake; for all that have eyelids sleep with the eyes closed ; and not only men appear to dream, but horses, oxen, sheep, goats, dogs, and all viviparous quadrupeds. Dogs show this by barking in their sleep. It is not quite clear whether oviparous animals dream, but it is quite plain that they sleep.

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“ Man sleeps the most of all animals.

Infants and young children do not dream at all, but dreaming begins in most at about four or five years

old. There have been men and women who have never dreamt at all; sometimes such persons, when they have advanced in age, begin to dream; this has preceded a change in their body, either for death or infirmity." -History of Animals.

UNDECIDED QUESTIONS.

PLINY.

" Man, just after his birth, is hardly pressed by sleep for several months, after which he becomes more and more wakeful,

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DREAMS INDEPENDENT OF THE SOUL.

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day by day. The infant dreams from the very first, for it will suddenly awake with every symptom of alarm, and while asleep will imitate the action of sucking. There are some persons, however, who never dream ; indeed, we find instances stated, where it has been a fatal sign for a person to dream who has never done so before. Here we find ourselves invited by a grand field of investigation, and one that is full of alleged proofs on both sides of the question, whether, when the mind is at rest in sleep, it has any foreknowledge of the future, or whether this is not altogether fortuitous, as most other things are?

If we were to attempt to decide the question by instances quoted, we should find as many on the one side as the other.

"It is pretty generally agreed that dreams, immediately after we have taken wine and food, and when we have just fallen asleep again after waking, have no signification whatever. Indeed, sleep is nothing else than the retiring of the mind into itself. It is quite evident that besides man, horses, dogs, oxen, sheep, and goats have dreams; consequently the same is supposed to be the case with all animals that are viviparous. As to those which are oviparous, it is a matter of uncertainty, though it is equally certain that they do sleep."— Natural History.

DREAMS OF MEN AND OF ANIMALS.

COUNT DE BUFFON.

“In dreams, one sees perfectly, hears rarely, reasons not at all, feels acutely; images and sensations succeed each other without any comparison or hinging together on the part of the soul. Sensations are experienced, but not ideas, inasmuch as ideas are but the comparison of sensation ; dreams, therefore, reside only in the interior material sense, and the soul has nothing to do with them. They partake only of the animal memory-of the material reminiscence. Memory, on

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ANIMAL INABILITY TO DISTINGUISH.

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the other hand, cannot exist without the idea of time-without the comparison of antecedent with present ideas; and seeing that these ideas do not enter into dreams, it appears to be demonstrated that they cannot be either a consequence, or an effect, or a proof of memory

We remember our dreams for the same reason that we remember the sensations we have only just experienced; and the only difference there is between the animals and ourselves, is, that we perfectly distinguish what belongs to our dreams from what appertains to our ideas, or our real sensations—and this is a comparison, an operation of the memory, into which the idea of time enters. Animals, on the contrary, who are deprived of memory and of this power of comparing spaces of time, are unable to distinguish their dreams from their real sensations, and they believe that what they have dreamed has really happened.

“I believe I have already proved, in what I have written upon the Nature of Man, that animals have not the power to reflect. Now the understanding is not only a faculty of this power of reflection, but is itself the exercise of this power-it is its result, and the means by which it is manifested; only we ought to distinguish in the understanding two different operations, of which the first serves as a foundation for the second, and of necessity precedes it. This first action of the power of reflection is to compare sensations, and out of them to combine ideas; and the second is to compare the ideas themselves, and upon them to found arguments. By the first of these operations we acquire particular ideas, and such as suffice for our knowledge of all sensible objects ; by the Second, we raise ourselves to general ideas, which are necessary to enable us to arrive at the knowledge of abstractions. Animals have neither the one nor the other of these faculties, because they have not understanding; and the understanding of most men appears to have been arrested at the first of these operations."Natural History Treatise upon Animals.

MOST ANIMALS DREAM.

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DREAMING A UNIVERSAL LAW.

ROBERT MACNISH, M.D.

“Man is not the only animal subject to dreaming. We have every reason to believe that many of the lower animals do the same. Horses neigh and rear in their sleep; and dogs bark and growl, and exhibit all their characteristic passions. Probably at such times the remembrance of the chase or the combat was passing through the minds of these creatures ; and they often manifest signs of kindness or playfulness, and of almost every other passion :

The stag-hounds, weary with the chase,

Lay stretched upon the rushy floor,
And urged in dreams the forest race
From Teviot-stone to Eskdale Moor.

Lay of the Last Minstrel. “Ruminant animals, such as the sheep and cow, dream less; but even they are sometimes so affected, especially at the period of rearing their young. If we descend still lower in the scale of life, we shall probably find the same phenomena to prevail; and judging from analogy, we should suppose dreaming to be almost a universal law, nearly as universal as sleep itself."-Philosophy of Sleep.

MEMORY THE TEST.

WALTER C. DENDY, M.R.O.S.

“ Creatures to whom the gift of intellect is not granted, in which innate ideas cannot arise, still evince the faculty of memory. It is, therefore, possible that fish and insects, possessing memory, dream. Of course, the doctrines of Pythagoras and Simonides, and the story of the interpretation of the lar

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AN IMAGINATIVE DUNNOCK.

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guage of birds by the Vizier of Sultan Mahmoud, are mere fables, and the cackling of the Roman geese was accidental; yet the bird does possess the memory of language and the faculty.

'Nightingales' notes (as Bechstein has beautifully recorded them) seem to me like the Mexican language, and to express variety of sentiments of adoration and love.

The parrot, magpie, jackdaw, jay, starling, and bulfinch are prattlers; and the exquisite little canary, the pupil of my friend Mrs. Hthe pet, indeed, not only of its mistress, but of statesmen and learned physiologists, warbled its words in purest melody. From Sir William Temple we learn the faculty of the wonderful parrot of Prince Maurice of Nassau, at the Hague, that responded almost rationally to promiscuous questions. Granting, then, this faculty of memory, it is clear that the bird may dream; and I may add a quotation from the Domestic Habits of Birds,' in proof of this.

“We have, however, heard some of these night-songs which were manifestly uttered while the bird was asleep, in the same way as we sometimes talk in our sleep, a circumstance remarked by Dryden, who says

The little birds in dreams their songs repeat.

We have often observed this in a wild bird. On the night of the 6th April, 1811, about ten o'clock, a dunnock (Accentor modularis) was heard in the garden to go through its usual song more than a dozen times very faintly, but distinctly enough for the species to be recognized.' The night was cold and frosty, but might it not be that the little musician was dreaming of summer and sunshine ? Aristotle, indeed, proposes the question-whether animals hatched from eggs ever dream ? Macgrave, in reply, expressly says that his 'parrot, Laura, often rose in the night, and prattled while half asleep.'” - Philosophy of Mystery.

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