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his Address to Cromwell, when he speaks of him as 66 the chief of men, who

To peace aud truth thy glorious way hast plough’d,
And on the neck of crowned Fortune proud
Hast reard God's trophies, and his works pursued,
While Darwen stream with blood of Scots imbrued,
And Dunbar field resounds thy praises loud,
And Worcester's laureat wreath."-

The study of these Sonnets would suggest a chaster and more classical style to our modern poetasters and critics.

But perhaps without his strength of thought such plainness would not be endured.

Dec. 20, 1807.


No. XXI. On Dreams. “ Observe you not sometines, that you wake out of

quite a different sort of world, from that to which your days are accustomed? On your efforts to grasp them by recollection the thin ideas shrink away, and in a few moments are quite vanished.”

Miss TALBOT's ESSAYS. Tur operations of the mind in sleep have never yet been explaine in any manner the least satisfactory. Numerous have been the disquisitions* on the subject; but isofie seem to approach to a clear elucidation of ii. Our dreams are sometimes made


of materials, which have employed our waking

* Baxter's Theory is very interesting and at least plausible. Beattie's Essay on the subject has, I think, been more commended than it deserves.

thoughts; but they are frequently compounded of ideas and images which have no apparent connection with the previous occupation of the brains. But the. degree of vividness with which objects impress themselves on the intellect, during slumber, seems so far beyond the powers of memory or fancy, as to be almost of a different kind. No voluntary effort of the imagination in its most brilliant moments can bring before its view forms and scenes so distinct and forcible as a dream constantly produces.

No part of this astonishing power of the human faculties is more extraordinary than the alternate character which the same mind can thus take on those occasions; when it can carry on a dialogue or argument between contending parties, and assume successively the strength of each, with no more power of anticipating the other's reply than would liappen in reality. How this rapid shifting of character, so much more full of life, than any waking talent can effect; is caused, must be left for our dim knowledge to wonder at in vain !

What scenes of stupendous splendour have I seen in my dreams! What more than mortal music has thrilled on my senses! My sluggish fancy cannot even catch a glimpse of these visions by day; and I try in vain to recall the tones of the heavenly harmony that I have thus heard.

Perhaps it is owing to this acute employment of the intellect in sleep, that its sensibility seems more tender at first waking, than when the body, worn out with fatigue, was consigned to rest. Subjects of regret and sorrow, which had been quieted, before we closed our eyes at night, return, as the morning rouses us, with a double sting. When I go to sleep with an aching heart, the moment of my grief that I most dread, is when I first wake. Then it is that the painful object of my suffering or my fears shews itself to my tremulous nerves in all its horrors.

It was thus that I suddenly waked in the depth of night, not long ago, with the impression of poignant regret at having neglected to make proper returns to the flattering attention of a friend. How my conscience had thus worked, while my body was reposing, I know not; but I endeavoured to soothe myself to quiet again by recording the occurrence in the following Sonnet. Sonnet to a Friend. Written at midnight, Dec. 13.

1807. Methought I heard thy voice, when suuk in sleep, High-sounding thro' still Midnight's silence drear;

Why mute, thou son of song! Why meets my ear No effort of that tongue, which wont to keep Its airy course,


Thro' intellectual realms? No more I hear
Thy plaintive notes, to feeling bosoms dear,

Nor Indignation pour his tones more deep!"
Thereat I trembling woke; and still the sound

Quiver'd upon my nerves; I seiz'd the lyre,

And strove to make its untun'd strings rebound With strains congenial to its former fire!

But thus I prove, by these insipid lays,

The object worthless of thy generous praise ? It must not be admitted then that the hours spent in sleep are all lost; it is at those times that the mind is often employed with the most activity; and

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I do not doubt that many important hints and bright inventions have first arisen, when the body was in that state of quiescence.


No. XXII. On Books.

“ Quæ sunt igitur epularum, ant ludorum aut scortorum

voluptates cum his voluptatibus comparandæ ?" Cic.

ARE books, in truth, a dead letter? To those who have no bright mirror in their own bosoms to reflect their images, they are! But the lively and active scenes, which they call forth in well-framed minds, exceed the liveliness of reality. Heads and hearts, of a coarser grain, require the substance of material objects to put them in motion.

Books instruct us calmly, and without intermingling with their instruction any of those painful impressions of superiority, which we must necessarily feel from a living instructor. They wait the pace of each man's capacity; stay for his want of perception, without reproach; go backward and forward with him at his wish; and furnish inexhaustible repetitions.

How is it possible to express what we owe, as intellectual beings, to the art of printing! When a man sits in a well-furnished library, surrounded by the collected wisdom of thousands of the best endowed minds, of various ages and countries, what an amazing extent of mental range does he command !

Every age, and every language, has some advantages, some excellencies peculiar to itself. I am not sure, that skill in a variety of tongues is always wisdom; bat an acquaintance with various forms of expression, and the operations and results of minds at various times, and under various circumstances of climate, manners, and government, must necessarily enrich and strengthen our opinions.

A person, who is only conversant with the literature of his own country, and that, during only the last ten or twenty years, contracts so narrow a taste, that every other form of phrase, or mode of composition, every other fashion of sentiment, or intellectual process, appears to him repulsive, dull, and worthless. He reads Spenser, and Milton, if he reads them at all, only as a task; and he turns with disgust from the eloquence of Sydney, Hooker, and Jeremy Taylor. The black letter, and coarse and dingy paper, are forbidding; and he flies from the amusing detail, and interesting naivetè of lord Berners, and the copious particulars of Holinshead, to the vapid translations of Voltaire, and the flimsy and superficial pages of Hume.

The weakly appetites of these literary flies excite contempt. The sterling sense of our ancestors is reviving; Elizabethan * libraries are forming; old books are rescued from the stalls, and the pastry

* Among the first of these is Mr. Heber, of Hodnet in Shropshire, and Marton Hall in Yorkshire, a man of ancient family and large fortune, whose spirit and industry in collecting deserves national praise; and whose truly brilliant talents and incredible extent of knowledge, which enable him to penetrate and devour the books which he collects, must necessarily extort the unbounded admiration of every one, who has the opportunity of conversing with him.

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