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see in the day, or meates that we cate, and so the common sense preferring it to be imaginative.” “I dreamed,” says Ismena, “mine eye-tooth was loose, and that I thurst it out with my tongue.” “ It foretelleth,” says Mileta, “ the losse of a friend, and I ever thought thee so full of prattle that thou wouldest thrust out the best friend with thy tatling." Amongst other similar allusions, we may mention Gaule, who in his “ Mag-Astromancers Posed and Puzzel'd” (181), after enumerating various omens, speaks of the “snorting in sleep,” “the dreaming of gọid, silver, eggs, gardens, weddings, dead men, &c." Melton, in his “ Astrologaster," tells us that “ If a man be drowsie, it is a sign of ill-lucke ; if a man dream of eggs or fire, he shall hear of anger ; that to dream of the devil is good lucke ; that to dreame of gold is good lucke; but of silver, ill.” Reginald Scott has given many curious items of folk-lore respecting dreams in his “ Discovery of Witchcraft.” Thus, for instance, he informs us of the art and order to be used in digging for money, revealed by dreams." “ There must be made,” he says,
upon a hazel wand three crosses, and certain words must be said over it, and hereunto must be added certain characters and barbarous names. And whilst the treasure is a digging, there must be read the Psalms, De profundis, &c., and then a certain prayer; and if the time of digging be neglected, the devil will carry all the treasure away.” The belief in dream omens still extensively prevails in this country, being by no means limited to the lower orders. Thus morning dreams are more to be relied on than those of any other time ; and should it happen that a dream is repeated substantially three times, the events are certain to come to pass. Of the numerous rhymes illustrative of dream omens, we are told that it is lucky to dream of bees :
Happy the man who dreaming sees
Fly humming round their hive. Dreaming of misfortune is said to betoken prosperity, and, according to a popular rhyme
Content and happy may they be
It is unnecessary, however, to add further instances, as there are few villages where penny dream books may not be purchased.
Again, another interesting subject of inquiry is the influence of dreams in the formation of myths. It is but natural that the recol
VOL. CCLIII. NO. 1824.
lections of those grotesque visions which haunt the repose of the slumbering hours of the savage should afford ample story material for his imagination as yet untouched by modern culture. As Mr. Farrer observes, “ In all fairy tales and all mythology, a remarkable conformity to the deranged ideas of sleep occurs, and the stories of the lower races; as for instance those of Schoolcraft's · Algic Researches,' read far more uke the recollections of bad dreams than like the worn ideas of a once pure religion, or of a poetical interpretation of nature. The most beąutiful of the Indian legends, that of the Origin of Indian Corn, was in native tradition actually referred to a dream, and to a dream purposely resorted to, to gain a clearer insight into the mysteries of nature:" Impressions printed on the mind, in whatever way they may have been acquired, are sure to be transmitted to other minds ; additions and modifications being made according to the individual dictates of the imaginative faculty. When, too, as we have already pointed out, it is remembered how in his childlike character the rude savage was unable to confront the phenomena of dreams--the incidents of his sleeping moments possessing as much objective reality as the events of his waking hours-we can partly understand how he would be in the habit of narrating the utterances of his dream as if they were purely subjective phenomena. Thus, when relating the experiences of his sleep, the savage tells with minute accuracy "how he saw certain dogs, dead warriors, or demons last night, the implication being that the things seen were objects external to himself.” 2 Considering also how dreams generally represent, although it may be in a distorted form, the incidents of everyday life, this, Mr. Farrer suggests, offers "some explanation of that general similarity which is so conspicuous an element in the comparative mythology or the fairy lore of the world.”
Lastly, according to another theory, which in years gone by was much credited in Scotland, the gift of second-sight is conveyed to some persons by means of dreams. It is asserted that occasionally dreams are used as a vehicle of intercourse between the visible and unseen world, whereby an intimation is made not only of what is actually taking place at a long distance off, but of coming events. Indeed, this belief is still a deep-rooted one; and, it must be acknowledged, many curious instances are on record illustrative of its truth; evidence which, as Sir Walter Scott affirms, neither Bacon, Boyle, nor Johnson could resist. Mr. Hendersons has collected together
| Primitive Manners and Customs, 1879, 261-2, ? Fiske, Myths and Myth-makers, 219. · Folk-lore of the Northern Countries, 1879, 339-48.
some striking cases, two of which we quote. A lady of Truro
O then I see Queen Mab hath been with you !
On the forefinger of an alderman. One way, as we have shown in a previous paper, whereby they terrified sleeping mortals was by nightmare. In "Cymbeline," too (act. ii. sc. 2), Imogen, on retiring to rest, says :
Sleep hath seized me wholly.
T. F. THISELTON DYER. i The Gentleman's Magazine, January 1882.
1 Z Z 2
THE STORY OF L.
OF L. E. L.
NE of the most interesting and even romantic of literary figures
is that of Letitia Landon—whose curious signature of three letters seems always to bring before persons quite unacquainted with her story, poetical associations of a special and interesting kind. There are but few now alive who know it: there are two, however, persons of great age, who are intimately acquainted with her sad story, and who know well the details of the last sad episode of her life. There was something in her history, and a genuine tone of romance in her poems, which fell into the “ Book of Beauty" and “ Annuals” category, attractive to the young and impulsive. Her portrait, too, which was published, invites the same interest.
This pleasing young creature, born at Chelsea in 1802, found herself at Brompton about the year 1814, the neighbour of one who was then an important literary personage, the director of the most influential journal of the day, The Literary Gazette. "My cottage," he says, "overlooked the mansion and grounds of Mr. Landon, the father of L. E. L. ; a narrow lane only dividing our residences. My first recollection of the future poetess is that of a plump girl, grown enough to be almost mistaken for a woman, bowling a hoop round the walks, with the hoop-stick in one hand and a book in the other, reading as she ran, and, as well as she could, managing both exercise and instruction at the same time. The exercise was prescribed and insisted upon: the book was her own irrepressible choice." This presently led to the usual request, modestly made, in such cases, would Mr. Jerdan just cast his eyes over some lines of poetry. He did so, and encouraged the young girl. He became to her a sort of guide and friend and educator, and in a naïve passage the grave editor seems to more than hint that he was regarded as an ideal":
It is the very essence of the being I have so faintly portrayed, not to see thing; in their actual state, but to imagine, create, exaggerate, and form them into idealities ; and then to view them in the light in which vivid fancy alone has made them appear. Thus it befel with my tuition of L. E. L.
Her poetic emotions and aspirations were intense, usurping in fact almost every other function of the brain ; and the assistance I could give her in the ardent pursuit produced an influence not readily to be conceived under other circumstances or upon a less imaginative nature. The result was a grateful and devoted attachment ; all phases of which demonstrate and illume the origin of her productions. Critics and biographers may guess, and speculate, and expatiate for ever ; but without this master key they will make nothing of their reveries. With it, all is intelligible and obvious, and I have only to call on the admirers of her delicious compositions to remember this one fact, to settle the question of their reality or romance--that they are the effusions of passionate inspiration, lighted from such unlikely sources. It was her spirit which clothed them according to her own unreal dreams. Gradually her poems began to excite attention.
She soon became a useful assistant on the Gazette, doing, besides her verses, reviews and essays ; carrying that hod, as it were, which secured, at least, a satisfactory daily wage. She became known and sought. She received good prices for her books, though these were conceived in a spirit of romance that might be called “second hand,” the scenes she describes being laid in Italy, where she had never been. Her friend furnishes the following prosaic but satisfactory table of receipts—“Romance and reality” it might be called :For the Improvvisatrice she received
30 For the Drawing-Room Scrap Book.
105 For Romance and Reality
300 For Francesca Carrara
300 For Heath's Book of Beauty
300 And certainly from other Annuals, Magazines, and 1 Periodicals, not less in ten or twelve years than s
The fair L. E. L. was editress of one of those engravers' books which were then in high fashion, bound in blue or crimson silk, and printed on wove hot-pressed paper, and for which elegant amateurs were glad to furnish verses and sketches; the names of persons of fashion being mingled with those of the professionals. But it took a good many years before she attained to this elevation. Lady Blessington was the successful conductor of another of these publications, and readers of the life of Dr. Madden will gather a good idea of the almost abject lengths to which the literary aspirant would go to secure a place in her venture.
One of the pleasantest views we have of her is a little "junketting”-evidently a great effort-she took to Paris, in 1834, by the somewhat homely conveyance of one of the General Steam Navigation Company's packets from St. Katherine's Wharf. She wrote to her first friend Jerdan regularly, who always seems flattered