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Scoundrel as one of the other Lovers was; and how No. 486. could he think she could condescend so low, after such a
Wednesfine Gentleman as each of them? For the same Epistle
Sept. 17, said the same Thing to and of every one of them." And 1712. so Mr. Secretary and his Lady went to Bed with great Order,
To be short, Mr. SPECTATOR, we Husbands shall never make the Figure we ought in the Imaginations of young Men growing up in the World, except you can bring it about that a Man of the Town shall be as infamous a Character as a Woman of the Town. But of all that I have met in my Time, commend me to Betty Dualls She is the Wife of a Sailor, and the kept Mistress of a Man of Quality: she dwells with the latter during the Sea-faring of the former, The Husband asks no Questions, sees his Apartments furnished with Riches not his, when he comes into Port, and the Lover is as joyful as a Man arrived at his Haven when the other puts to Sea. Betty is the most eminently victorious of any of her Sex, and ought to stand recorded the only Woman of the Age in which she lives, who has possess'd at the same Time two Abused, and two Contented
Thursday, September 18.
-Cum prostrata sopore
as Revelations of what has already happened in distant Parts of the World, or as Presages of what is to happen in future Periods of Time.
I shall consider this Subject in another Light, as Dreams may give us some Idea of the great Excellency of an Human Soul, and some Intimation of its Independency on Matter.
In the first Place, our Dreams are great Instances of that Activity which is natural to the Humane Soul, and which it is not in the Power of Sleep to deaden or abate. When the Man appears tired and worn out with the
No. 487. Labours of the Day, this active part in his Composition is Thursday, still busie and unwearied. When the Organs of Sense Sept. 18,
want their due Repose and necessary Reparations, and the 1712.
Body is no longer able to keep Pace with that spiritual Substance to which it is united, the Soul exerts her self in her several Faculties, and continues in Action 'till her Partner is again qualified to bear her Company. In this Case Dreams look like the Relaxations and Amusements of the Soul, when she is disencumbered of her Machine, her Sports and Recreations, when she has laid her Charge asleep
In the Second Place, Dreams are an Instance of that Agility and Perfection which is natural to the Faculties of the Mind, when they are disengaged from the Body. The Soul is clogged and retarded in her Operations, when she acts in Conjunction with a Companion that is so heavy and unwieldy in its Motions. But in Dreams it is wonderful, to observe with what a Sprightliness and Alacrity she exerts her self. The slow of Speech make unpremeditated Harangues, or converse readily in Languages that they are but little acquainted with. The Grave abound in Pleasantries, the Dull in Repartees, and Points of Wit. There is not a more painful Action of the Mind, than Invention; yet in Dreams it works with that Ease and Activity, that we are not sensible when the Faculty is employed. For Instance, I believe every one, some Time or other, dreams that he is reading Papers, Books or Letters, in which Case the Invention prompts so readily, that the Mind is imposed upon, and mistakes its own Suggestions for the Compositions of another,
I shall, under this Head, quote a Passage out of the Religio Medici, in which the ingenious Author gives an Account of himself in his dreaming, and his waking Thoughts. We are somewhat more than our selves in our Sleeps, and the Slumber of the Body seems to be but the Waking of the Soul. It is the Ligation of Sense, but the Liberty of Reason, and our waking Concep. tions do not match the Faacies of our Sleeps. At my Nativity my Ascendant was the watery Sigo of Scorpius I was born in the Planetary Hour of Saturn, and, I
think, I have a Piece of that leaden Planet in me. I am No. 487. no way facetious, nor disposed for the Mirth and Thursday, Galliardize of Company, yet in one Dream I can com
1712. pose a whole Comedy, behold the Action, apprehend the Jests, and laugh my self awake at the Conceits thereof. Were my Memory as faithful as my Reason is then fruitful, I would never study but in my Dreams, and this Time also would I chuse for my Devotions ; but our grosser Memories have then so little hold of our abstracted Understandings, that they forget the Story, and can only relate to our awaked Souls, a confused and broken Tale of that that has passed.Thus it is observed that Men sometimes, upon the Hour of their Departure, do speak and reason above them selves, for then the Soul beginning to be freed from the Ligaments of the Body, begins to reason like her self, and to discourse in a Strain above Morta.
We may likewise observe in the third Place, that the Passions affect the Mind with greater Strength when we are a-sleep, than when we are awake. Joy and Sorrow give us_more vigorous Sensations of Pain or Pleasure at this Time, than at any other.. Devotion likewise, as the excellent Author above-mentioned has hinted, is in a very particular Manner heightned and inflamed, when it rises in the Soul at a Time that the Body is thus laid at Rest. Every Man's Experience will inform him in this Matter, though it is very probable, that this may happen differently in different Constitutions. I shall con clude this Head with the two following Problems, which I shall leave to the Solution of my Reader. Supposing a Man always happy in his Dreams, and miserable in his waking Thoughts, and that his Life was equally divided between them, whether would he be more happy or miserable ? Were a Man a King in his Dreams, and a Beggar awake, and dreamt as consequentially, and in as continued unbroken Schemes, as he thinks when awake, whether he would be in Reality a King or Beggar, or rather whether he would not be both ?
There is another Circumstance which methinks gives us a very high Idea of the Nature of the Soul, in regard to what passes in Dreams, I mean that innumerable
No. 487. Multitude and Variety of Ideas which then arise in her. . Thursday, Were that active watchful Being only conscious of her Sept. 18,
own Existence at such a time, what a painful Solitude 1712.
would her Hours of Sleep be? Were the Soul sensible
. There seems something in this Consideration that intimates to us a natural Grandeur and Perfection in the Soul, which is rather to be admired than explained.
I must not omit that Argument for the Excellency of the Soul, which I have seen quoted out of Tertullian, namely, its Power of Divining in Dreams. That several such Divinations have been made, none can question who believes the Holy Writings, or who has but the least Degree of a common historical Faith, there being in numerable Instances of this Nature in several Authors, both Ancient and Modern, Sacred and Prophane. Whether such dark Presages, such Visions of the Night proceed from any latent Power in the Soul, during this her State of Abstraction, or from any Communication with the Supreme Being, or from any Operation of Subordinate Spirits, has been a great Dispute among the Learned; the Matter of fact is I think incontestable, and has been looked upon as such by the greatest Writers, who have No. 487. been never suspected either of Superstition or Enthusiasm. Thursday, I do not suppose, that the soul in these instances Sept 18,
1712. is entirely loose and unfettered from the Body: It is sufficient, if she is not so far sunk, and immersed in Matter, nor intangled and perplexed in her Operations, with such Motions of Blood and Spirits, as when she actuates the Machine in its waking Hours. The corporeal Union is slackened enough to give the Mind more Play. The Soul seems gathered within her self, and recovers that Spring which is broke and weakned, when she operates more in concert with the Body,
The Speculations I have here made, if they are not Arguments, they are at least strong Intimations, not only of the Excellency of an Humane Soul, but of its Inde pendance on the Body, and if they do not prove, do at least confirm these two great Points, which are established by many other Reasons that are altogether unanswerable
Friday, September 19.
many of my Readers would be better pleased to pay Three Half-Pence for my Paper, than Two-Pence. The ingenious T. W. tells me, that I have deprived him of the best part of his Breakfast, for that, since the Rise of my Paper, he is forced every Morning to drink his Dish of Coffee by it self, without the Addition of the Spectator, that used to be better than Lace to it. Eugenius informs me very obligingly, that he never thought he should have disliked any Passage in my Paper, but that of late there have been two Words in every one of them, which he could heartily wish left out, víz. Price Two-Pence. I have a Letter from a Soap-boyler, who condoles with me very affectionately, upon the Necessity we both lie under of setting an higher Price on our Commodities, since the late Tax has been laid upon them, and desiring me, when