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The shape will vanish, and behold!
A silver shield with boss of gold,
That spreads itself, some fairy bold

In fight to cover.
" I see thee glittering from afar;

And then thou art a pretty star,
Not quite so fair as many are

In heaven above thee!
Yet like a star, with glittering crest,
Self-poised in air, thou seem'st to rest ;-
May peace come never to his nest
Who shall



“ Sweet flower! for by that name at last,

When all my reveries are past,
I call thee, and to that cleave fast;

Sweet silent creature !
That breath'st with me in sun and air,
Do thou, as thou art wont, repair
My heart with gladness, and a share

Of thy meek nature !”

Mr Wordsworth calls the daisy “an unassuming commonplace of Nature," which it is; and he praises it very becomingly for discharging its duties so cheerfully, in that universal character. But we cannot agree with him in thinking that it has a “homely face." Not that we should care if it really had, for homeliness does not make ugliness ; but we appeal to everybody whether it is proper to say this of "la belle Marguerite." In the first place, its shape is very pretty and slender, but not too much so.

Then it has a boss of gold, set round and irradiated with silver points. Its yellow and fair white are in so high a taste of contrast that Spenser has chosen the same colours for a picture of Leda reposing :

“ Oh wondrous skill and sweet wit of the man !

That her in daffodillies sleeping made,
From scorching heat her dainty limbs to shade.”

It is for the same reason, that the daisy, being chiefly white, makes such a beautiful show in company with the buttercup. But this is not all ; for look at the back, and you find its fair petals blushing with a most delightful red. And how compactly and delicately is the neck set in green!

“ Belle et douce Marguerite, aimable seur du roi Kingcup !” we would tilt for thee with a hundred pens, against the stoutest poet that did not find perfection in thy cheek.

But here somebody may remind us of the spring showers, and what drawbacks they are upon going into the fields. Not at all so, when the spring is really confirmed, and the showers but April-like and at intervals. Let us turn our imaginations to the bright side of spring, and we shall forget the showers. You see they have been forgotten just this moment. Besides, we are not likely to stray too far into the fields; and if we should, are there not hats, bonnets, barns, cottages, elm-trees, and good wills? We may make these things zests, if we please, instead of drawbacks.



HE materialists and psychologists are at issue upon the

subject of dreams. The latter hold them to be one

among the many proofs of the existence of a soul : the former endeavour to account for them upon principles altogether corporeal. We must own that the effects of their respective arguments, as is usual with us on these occasions, is not so much to sati us with either as to dissatisfy us with both. The psychologist, with all his struggles, never appears to be able to get rid of his body; and the materialist leaves something extremely deficient in the vivacity of his proofs by his ignorance of that Primum Mobile which is the soul of everything. In the meantime, while they go on with their laudable inquiries (for which we have a very sincere respect), it is our business to go on recommending a taste for results as well as causes, and turning everything to account in this beautiful star of ours, the earth, whether body or soul. There is no reason why the most learned investigator of the most subtle mysteries should not enjoy his existence, and have his earthly dreams made as pleasant as possible ; and for our parts we see nothing at present, either in body or soul, but a medium for a world of perceptions, the very unpleasantest of whose dreams are but warnings to us how we depart from the health and natural piety of the pleasant





What seems incontrovertible in the case of dreams is, that they are most apt to take place when the body is most affected. They seem to turn most upon us, when the suspension of the will has been reduced to its most helpless state by indulgence. The door of the fancy is left without its keeper; and forth issue, pell-mell, the whole rout of ideas or images, which had been previously stored within the brain, and kept to their respective duties. They are like a school let loose, or the winds in Virgil, or Lord Anson's drunken sailors at Panama, who dressed themselves up in all sorts of ridiculous apparel: only they are far more wild, winged, and fantastic.

We were about to say that, being writers, we are of necessity dreamers; for thinking disposes the bodily faculties to be more than usually affected by the causes that generally produce dreaming. But extremes appear to meet on this as on other occasions; at least, as far as the meditative power is concerned; for there is an excellent reasoner, now living,* who, telling another that he was not fond of the wilder parts of the “ Arabian Nights," was answered, with great felicity, "Then you never dream :"-which, it turned out, was actually the case. Here the link is totally lost, that connects a tendency to indigestion with thinking on the one hand, and dreaming on the other. If we are to believe Herodotus, the Atlantes, an African people, never dreamt; which Montaigne is willing to attribute to their never having eaten anything that died of itself. It is to be presumed that he looked upon their temperance as a matter of course. The same philosopher, who was a deep thinker, and of a delicate constitution, informs us that he himself dreamt but sparingly ; but then, when he did, his dreams were fantastic, though cheerful. This is the very triumph of the animal spirits, to unite the strangeness of sick dreams with the cheerfulness of healthy

To these exceptions against the usual theories, we may add that dreams, when they occur, are by no means modified of necessity by what the mind has been occupied with in the course of the day, or even of months; for during our two years'


* Hazlitt.-ED.


confinement in prison, we have a strong recollection that we did not dream more than twice of our chief subjects of reflection, the prison itself not excepted. The two dreams were both about the latter, and both the same. We fancied that we had slipped out of jail, and gone to the theatre, where we were much horrified by seeing the faces of the whole audience unexpectedly turned upon us.

It is certain enough, however, that dreams in general proceed from indigestion ; and it appears nearly as much so, that they are more or less strange according to the waking fancy of the dreamer.

All dreams, as in old Galen I have read,
Are from repletion and complexion bred,
From rising fumes of indigested food,
And noxious humours that infect the blood.-
When choler overflows, then dreams are bred
Of flames, and all the family of red.-
Choler adust congeals the blood with fear;
Then black bulls toss us, and black devils tear.
In sanguine airy dreams aloft we bound;
With rheums oppress'd we sink, in rivers drown'd."

DRYDEN's Cock and the Fox, from Chaucer. Again, in another passage which is worth quoting instead of the original, and affords a good terse specimen of the author's versification :

Dreams are but interludes which Fancy makes :
When monarch Reason sleeps, this mimic wakes;
Compounds a medley of disjointed things,
A mob of cobblers and a court of kings.
Light fumes are merry, grosser fumes are sad :
Both are the reasonable soul run mad;
And many monstrous forms in sleep we see,
That neither were, nor are, nor e'er can be.
Sometimes forgotten things long cast behind
Rush forward in the brain, and come to mind.
The nurse's legends are for truths receiv'd,
And the man dreams but what the boy believ'd.
Sometimes we but rehearse a former play ;
The night restores our actions done by day,
As hounds in sleep will open for their prey.

* Perhaps a misprint for

A court of cobblers and a mob of kings.

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