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LITERATURE AND CURIOSITIES
A Commonplace Book
SPECULATIONS CONCERNING THE MYSTERY OF
DREAMS AND VISIONS,
RECORDS OF CURIOUS AND WELL-AUTHENTICATED DREAMS,
AND NOTES ON
THE VARIOUS MODES OF INTERPRETATION
ADOPTED IN ANCIENT AND MODERN TIMES.
FRANK SEAFIELD, M.A.
SECOND EDITION, REVISED.
PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.
The great object of this volume has been to select, from all sources, whatever is most characteristic of the opinions which have been held on the subject of Dreams, and of the examples upon which these opinions have been founded. No amount of research has been considered irksome or irrelevant; and it is believed that there is nothing extant in the way of dreamspeculation or anecdote which is not fairly and impartially represented.
It was not the purpose of the work to throw light merely on one or more corners of the subject; and as there was nothing departmental in the idea, so there has been nothing exclusive in the exposition and the illustration. The crudest opinions of piety or of superstition, from the very twilight of history, are typified, no less than the latest discovery resulting from yesterday's scientific investigation. Thus it is hoped that the work may claim to be as honest in fact as it is here affirmed to have been in intention.
A little praise may perhaps be conceded to it on the score of modesty, when it is seen that the author has foregone such chances of greater credit and importance as would have been
open to him if he had seemed to claim the whole as original, by incorporating the several theories and anecdotes with a textual commentary of his own. In trust, however, of finding readers who can appreciate the bearings and the transitions of an argument, and refer to their several classes the anecdotes, which are, in the main, chronologically arranged, he has not thought it right to occupy space with lengthy and neutraltinted articulations.
For the Author's part of the work, as author, it is sufficient for him to profess that he has done what he could; and that, especially in the chapter devoted to a survey of the various methods of dream-interpretation, he has endeavoured to place before the reader the results of a treatment as comprehensive as possible.
In conclusion, he ventures to hope that his labours in the several departments of his subject, have been prosecuted in such a way as to prepare for him a genial recognition when he next has the honour to appeal to the suffrages of the public.
May 24th, 1865.
Proximate cause of Sleep-Etymology of the word “Dream”-Causes
of Dreams numberless-Dream-suggestiveness -- Dream-prognosis-