Mirror of Literature, 9 (1827), 81–84.
Hints on the Science of Dreaming
Psychology, Metaphysics, Associationism, Physiology, Nutrition, Temperance, Quackery, Exploration, Instruments, Race
Offers no account of the author's 'views of the metaphysical part of this subject' which he or she has 'for years endeavoured to analyze, and reduce to rules by personal experiment'. The author observes: 'whether dreams are to be accounted for by the ordinary laws of imagination and association; or whether the theories of Hobbes, Hartley, or bishop Newton, be the more correct, or agreeable to my experience, I need not now explain'. Promises to readers the means to 'control the character' of their dreams. Rejects the notion of 'half-informed physiologists' that unpleasant dreams result from 'repletion of blood in the sinuses of the brain'. Attributes them instead largely to the 'derangement of the sinuses of the stomach and digestive organs' in consequence of inappropriate eating. 'Nature, Providence, Abernethy, and Dreaming, are all against clogging and turnpiking the interior'. (91) Describes as dangerous quackery the advice on procuring pleasant dreams published by 'a ruffian, whom some amusingly call a philosopher, one Dr. Franklin, an American'. Advises against large or small 'bed rooms', reporting: 'In one of the first kind which I had, I dreamed of nothing but being out hunting bears with captain Parry, in nankeens without drawers; and in one of the latter, I was regularly twice a week, a rat in an air pump'. Gives advice on making beds, and continues, 'But where is the use of having a philosophically constructed bed, if you do not study a scientific and accurate method of lying in it?—you may as well put a Troughton's equatorial sector into the hands of an Esquimaux'. (92)
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