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say to him, that he may remember it by the token that there was some trouble about procuring change for a double Portugal piece when I settled my account with him.” The vision was correct in all points. The slumbering memory of the ex-attorney was roused by the recollection of the doubloon,_ the writings were recovered,—and the dreamer freed from the prosecution brought against him. This remarkable story we have every reason to believe accurate matter of fact, at least in its general bearings. Now, are we to suppose that the course of nature was interrupted, and that, to save a southland laird from a patrimonial injury, a supernatural warning was deigned, which the fate of empires has not drawn forth 2 This we find hard to credit. Or are we, on the other hand, to believe, that such coincidences between dreams and the events which they presage, arise from mere accident, and that a vision so distinct, and a result which afforded it so much corroboration, were merely the effect of circumstances, and happened by mere chance, just as two dice happen accidentally to cast up doublets 2 This is indeed possible, but we do not think it entirely philosophical. But our idea is different from both the alternative solutions which we have mentioned. Every one is sensible, that among the stuff which dreams are made of, we can recognise broken and disjointed remnants of forgotten realities which dwell imperfectly on the memory. We are of opinion, therefore, that in this and similar cases, the sleeping imagination is actually weaving its web out of the broken realities of actual facts. The
mind, at some early period, had been, according to the story, impressed with a strong belief that the debt had actually been paid, which belief must have arisen from some early convictions on the subject, of which the ground-work was decayed. But in the course of the watches of the night, Fancy, in her own time and manner, dresses up the faded materials of early recollection. The idea of the father once introduced, naturally recalls to memory what the dreamer, at some forgotten period, had actually heard from his parent ; and by this clue he arrives at the truth of a fact, as he might have done at the result of a calculation, though without comprehending the mode by which he arrived at the truth. The subject, if prosecuted, would lead very far, and farther perhaps than is warranted by the subject of these remarks. It is possible, however, we may one day return to it.
VOL. XVIII. z
HAJJI BABA IN ENGLAND.
[The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan in England. 2 vols. By J. MoRIER, Esq. The Kuzzilbash; a Tale of Khorasan. 3 vols. By JAMEs BAILLIE FRASER, Esq. —From the Quarterly Review, Jan. 1829.]
AN old acquaintance of ours, as remarkable for the grotesque queerness of his physiognomy, as for the kindness and gentleness of his disposition, was asked by a friend, where he had been P. He replied he had been seeing the lion, which was at that time an object of curiosity—(we are not sure whether it was Nero or Cato—): “And what,” rejoined the querist, “did the lion think of you?” The jest passed as a good one; and yet under it lies something that is serious and true.
When a civilized people have gazed, at their leisure, upon one of those uninstructed productions of rude nature whom they term barbarians, the next object of natural curiosity is, to learn what opinion the barbarian has formed of the new state of society into which he is introduced—what the lion thinks of his visiters. Will the simple, unsophisticated being, we ask ourselves, be more in
clined to reverence us, who direct the thunder and lightning by our command of electricity—control the course of the winds by our steam-engines— turn night into day by our gas—erect the most stupendous edifices by our machinery—soar into mid-air like eagles—at pleasure dive into the earth like moles?—or, to take us as individuals, and despise the effeminate child of social policy, whom the community have deprived of half his rights— who dares not avenge a blow without having recourse to a constable—who, like a pampered jade, cannot go but thirty miles a-day without a halt.— or endure hunger, were it only for twenty-four hours, without suffering and complaint—whose life is undignified by trophies acquired in the chase or the battle—and whose death is not graced by a few preliminary tortures, applied to the most sensitive parts, in order to ascertain his decided superiority to ordinary mortals? We are equally desirous to know what the swarthy stranger may think of our social institutions, of our complicated system of justice in comparison with the dictum of the chief, sitting in the gate of the village, or the award of the elders of the tribe, assembled around the council fire ; and even, in a lower and lighter point of view, what he thinks of our habits and forms of ordinary life, that artificial and conventional ceremonial, which so broadly distinguishes different ranks from each other, and binds together so closely those who belong to the same grade. In general, when we have an opportunity of enquiring, we find the rude stranger has arrived at some conclusion totally unexpected by his European host. For instance, when Lee Boo, that most interesting and amiable specimen of the child of nature, was carried to see a man rise in a balloon, his only remark was, he wondered any one should take so much trouble in a country where it was so easy to call a hackney-coach. Lee Boo had supped full with wonders; a coach was to him as great a marvel as a balloon; he had lost all usual marks for comparing difficult and easy, and if Prince Hussein's flying tapestry, or Astolpho's hippogryph, had been shown, he would have judged of them by the ordinary rules of convenience, and preferred a snug corner in a well-hung chariot. From the amusing results arising out of such contrasts it has occurred to many authors, at different periods, that an agreeable and striking mode of enquiry into the intrinsic value and rationality of social institutions might be conducted by writing critical remarks upon them, in the assumed character of the native of a primitive country. Lucian has placed some such observations in the mouth of his Scythian philosopher, Toxaris. In modern times, the Turkish Spy, though the subject of his letters did not embrace manners or morals, had considerable celebrity. The interest of the famous political romance of Gulliver turns on the same sort of contrivance. But, perhaps, the earliest example of the precise species of composition which we mean, exists in the Memoranda imputed to the Indian Kings, and published in the Spectator. At a latter period, Montesquieu's Persian Letters, with Lord Little