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the gift of presentiment and divination. The Indian Calanus mounting the flaming faggot on which he was about to be burnt; exclaimed O what a fine exit from life, when my body, like that of Hercules, shall be consumed by the fire, my spirit will freely enjoy the light.' And Alexander having asked if he had anything to say, he replied, “ Yes, I shall soon see you," which happened as he foretold, Alexander having died a few days afterwards at Babylon. Xenophon, an ardent disciple of Socrates, relates that in the war which he made in favour of young Cyrus, he had some dreams which were followed by the most miraculous events. Shall we say that Xenophon does not speak truth, or is too extravagant? What! so great a personage, and so divine a spirit as Aristotle, can he be deceived? Or does he wish to deceive others, when he tells us of Eudemus of Cyprus, one of his friends, wishing to go into Macedonia, passed by Pheres, a celebrated town in Thessaly, which at that time was under the dominion of the tyrant Alexander ; and that having fallen very sick, he saw in a dream a very handsome young man, who told him that he would cure him, and that the tyrant Alexander would shortly die, but as to himself, he would return home at the end of five years.
Aristotle remarks that the two first predictions were, indeed, soon accomplished ; that Eudemus recovered, and that the tyrant was killed by his wife's brothers; but that at the expiration of five years, the time at which it was hoped Eudemus, according to the dream, was to return to Sicily, his native country, news were received that he had been killed in a com. bat near Syracuse; which gave rise to another inter
pretation of the dream, namely, that, when the spirit or soul of Eudemus left his body, it went thence straight to his own house.-A cup of massy gold having been stolen from the temple of Hercules, this god appeared in a dream to Sophocles three consecutive times, and pointed out the thief to him; who was put to the torture, confessed the delinquency, and gave up the cup. The temple afterwards received the name of Hercules Indicator.
An endless variety of similar instances, both from ancient and modern history, might be added of the singularity of dreams, as well as their instrumentality in revealing secrets which, without such agency, had lain for ever in oblivion ; these, however, are sufficient for our purpose here; and the occurrence of one of a very recent date, connected with the discovery of the body of the murdered Maria Martin, in the red barn, is still fresh in the recollection of our readers. That there is a ridiculous infatuation attached by some people to dreams, which have no meaning, and which are the offsprings of the day's thoughts, even among persons whose education should inform them better, particularly among the fair sex, cannot be denied ; indeed, a conversation seldom passes among them, but some inconsistent dream or other, form a leading feature of their gossip ; and doubtless is with them an hy
Sometimes in our sleeping dreams, we imagine ourselves involved in inextricable woe, and enjoy at waking, the ecstasy of a deliverance from it. And such a deliverance," says Dr. Beattie,“ will every good man meet with at last, when he is taken
the evils of life, and awakes in the regions of everlasting light and peace; looking back upon the world and its troubles, with a surprise and satisfaction similar in kind (though far higher in degree) to that which we now feel, when we escape from a terrifying dream, and open our eyes to the sweet serenity of a summer morning.” Sometimes, in our dreams, we imagine scenes of pure and unutterable joy; and how much do we regret at waking, that the heavenly vision is no more! But what must the raptures of the good man be, when he enters the regions of immortality, and beholds the radiant fields of permanent delight! The idea of such a happy death, such a sweet transition, from the dreams of earth to the realities of heaven, is thus beautifully described by Dryden, in his poem entitled Eleonora :
“ She passed serenely, with a single breath ;
This moment perfect health, the next was death;
DEFINITION OF DREAMS.
Dreams are vagaries of the imagination, and in most instances proceed from external sensations. They take place only when our sleep is unsound, in which case the brain and nervous system are capable of performing certain motions. We seldom dream during the first hours of sleep; perhaps because the nervous fluid is then too much exhausted; but dreams mostly occur towards the morning, when this fuid has been, in some measure, restored.
Every thing capable of interrupting the tranquillity of mind and body, may produce dreams; such are the various kinds of grief and sorrow, exertions of the mind, affections and passions, crude and undigested food, a hard and inconvenient posture of the body. Those ideas which have lately occupied our minds or made a lively impression upon us, generally constitute the principal subject of a dream, and more or less employ our imagination, when we are asleep.
Animals are likewise apt to dream, though seldom ; and even men living temperately, and enjoying a perfect state of health, are seldom disturbed with this play of the fancy. And, indeed, there are examples of lively and spirited persons who never dream at all. The great physiologist Haller considers dreaming as a symptom of disease, or as a stimulating cause, by which the perfect tranquillity of the sensorium is interrupted. Hence, that sleep is the most refreshing, which is undisturbed by dreams, or, at least, when we have the distinct recollection of them. Most of dur dreams are then nothing more than sports of the fancy, and derive their origin chiefly from external impressions; almost every thing we see and hear, when awake, leads our imagination to collateral notions or representations, which, in a manner, spontaneously, and without the least effort, associate with external sensations. The place where a person whom we love formerly resided, a dress similar to that which we have seen her wear, or the objects that employed her attention, no sooner catch our eye, than she immediately occupies our mind. And, though these images associating with external sensations, do not arrive at complete consciousness within the power of imagination, yet even in their latent state they may become very strong and permanent.
Cicero furnishes us with a story of two Arcadians, who, travelling together, arrived at Megara, a city of Greece, between Athens and Corinth, where one of them lodged in a friend's house, and the other at an inn.
who lodged at the private house went to bed, and falling asleep, dreamed that his friend at the inn appeared to him and begged his assistance, because the innkeeper was going to kill him. The man immediately got out of bed much frightened at the dream; but recovering himself, and falling asleep again, his friend appeared to him a second time, and desired that, as he would not assist him in time, he would take care at least not to let his death go unpunished; that the innkeeper having murdered him had thrown his body into a cart and covered it with dung; he therefore begged that he would be at the city gate, in the morning, before the cart was out; struck with this new dream, he went early to the gate, saw the cart, and asked the driver what was in it; the