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ment, led his men on to victory, and, on returning to his tent, lay down and almost instantly expired.
But again it may be asked-what then do dreams portend? Do they admit of any rational interpretation? This branch of the art of divination, which was called formerly by the name of "Oneiromancy," has been practised in all ages; and there is, perhaps, not a village in Great Britain, or on the great continent of Europe, India, or America, in which some fortune-telling old woman will not be found who professes to be an oracle in propounding their mystical signification. The magicians of old were supposed to be skilful interpreters of dreams, which, like the wiseacres of Christendom, they viewed under very contradictory aspects.
From one of the most ancient Arabic manuscripts on the subject, we learn that if you see an angel, it is a good sign; but if you dream that you converse with one, it forebodes evil to dream you bathe in a clear fountain denotes joy-but if it be muddy, an enemy will bring against you some false accusation. To dream of carrying any weight upon the back denotes servitude, if you are rich-honor if you are poor. There is not an object in nature—not an event that can occur in life-that our modern fortune-tellers have not converted, when seen in a dream, into some sign ominous of good or evil; and many even well-educated persons are in the habit of fostering their credulity by attaching an undue importance to their dreams. It is a curious circumstance, however, which militates against this mystic art, that the same sign in different countries carries with it a very contrary signification. The peasant girl in England thinks, if she dream of a rose, that it is a sure
ign of happiness; but the paysanne in Normandy believes that it portends vexation and disappointment. The Englishman conceives that to dream of an oak tree is a sign of
prosperity but in Switzerland, the same vision is thought to be a forewarning of some dreadful calamity.
The domestic superstitions which are connected with dreams, are sometimes favored by, and perhaps dependent upon, a certain morbid condition or irritability of the nervous system, which suggests the dread of some impending calamity, a painful and indefinite sense of apprehension for which no ostensible reason can be assigned. Strange as it might appear, the influence of our dreams upon our waking state is very remarkable; we may awaken refreshed from a dream which has made us, in our sleep, superlatively happy; or we may rise with melancholic feelings after suffering intense affliction in some dream, and the details of both dreams may alike be forgotten. We cannot, after being so much disturbed, at once regain our composure; the billows continue heaving after the tempest has subsided; the troubled nerves continue to vibrate after the causes that disturbed them have ceased to act; the impression still remains, and checkers the happiness of the future day. Even men of strong mind, who do not believe in the interpretation of dreams, may be so affected. When Henry the Fourth of France was once told by an astrologer that he would be assassinated, he smiled at the prediction, and did not believe it; but he confessed that it often haunted him afterwards, and although he placed no faith in it, still it sometimes depressed his spirits, and he often expressed a wish that he had never heard it. In like manner, dreams, which persons do not believe in, will unconsciously affect the tenor of their thoughts and feelings.
There are many persons who appear to have habitually the most extraordinary dreams, and there is scarcely a family circle that assemble round the domestic hearth, in which some one or other of the party is not able to relate
some very wonderful story. We have ourselves, a répertoire, from which we could select a host of such narratives: but we have preferred, at the risk of being thought recapitulative, to dwell upon those which have been recorded upon unimpeachable authority. The dreams which men like Locke, Reid, Gregory, Abercrombie, Macnish, &c., have attested, come with a weight of evidence before us which the dreams of persons unknown in the scientific or literary world would not possess. The impressions produced by dreams are so fugitive—so easy is it for persons unintentionally to deceive themselves in recalling their dreams' experience—that Epictetus, long ago, advised young men not to entertain any company by relating their dreams, as they could only, he affirmed, be interesting to themselves, and perhaps would, after all their pains, be disbelieved by their auditors. Nevertheless, it would be well for all persons to study, whether waking or dreaming, the phenomena of their own minds. The ingenious naturalist, Dr. Fleming, suggests that persons should, in contradistinction to a "Diary," keep a "Nocturnal," in which they should register their dreams. Doubtless such a journal might turn out to be a very amusing Psychological record.
ERE I a Frenchman, I would barricade myself against the sky, and object to the sun's government. This is hot republicanism, I admit; but what kind of loyalty the Majesty of Light can be expected in the month of August from a man whose weight is fourteen stone? The illuminations got up daily by that extremely powerful luminary, regardless of expense, are rapidly accomplishing my ruin. My "condition" is oozing away under the strokes of the sun's rays, and my fortune is shrinking under the pressure of confectioners' bills. The number of sixpenny and shilling ices required per diem to keep down my own particular and personal temperature, would ice the punch to an alderman's turtle for a whole week. I really cannot afford it. I must organize a cheap revolution. The oppressive rule of the Solar Government must be opposed-hotly I dare not say-but zealously and cheaply, with an icy enthusiasm that ranges several degrees below zero, and at a price that shall be within the means of its humblest subjects. I want to be cool. We all want to be cool. Let us set about being cool systematically, economically. Let us start fair;-from freezing point. We will begin with a course of cold reading, and get up the subject geographi
cally:-how they manage at the Arctics, in Russia, in the East, and at Cape Horn; how wiser people than ourselves, in hotter places, put on armor of ice against the blazing enemy.
"As the cold
Solomon appreciated ice in summer. of snow in the time of harvest," he says, 66 so is a faithful messenger to those who send him; for he refreshes the soul of his masters." My soul wants something colder than a proverb; and I am more refreshed by reading what the Romans did in the ice way. They understood the luxury of ice and snow in summer. They preserved them in pits, and hawked them about their streets. Even now, a little. above Rocca di Pappa (on the ancient Mons Albanus) is a plain, called Hannibal's camp, from which snow is collected annually for the use of Rome. On this dry plain they dig pits, about fifty feet deep, and twenty-five broad at top, in the form of a sugar-loaf or cone. The larger the pit, no doubt the snow will preserve the better. About three feet from the bottom, they commonly fix a wooden grate, which serves for a drain, should any of the snow happen to melt, which otherwise would stagnate, and hasten the dissolution of the rest. The pit thus formed, and lined with straw and prunings of trees, is filled with snow, which is beaten down as hard as possible, till it becomes a solid body. It is afterwards covered with more prunings of trees, and a roof is raised in form of a low cone, well thatched over with straw. A door is left at the side, covered likewise with straw, by which men enter and cut out the ice (for such it becomes) with a mattock. The quantity daily demanded is carried to Rome in the night-time, in carts well covered with straw. It is found by experience that snow, thus pressed down, is not only colder, but preserves longer, than cakes of ice taken from ponds and ditches. This is instructive