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Once more a happy
dressing themselves up as old maids, and driving through And joyous New Year.
the village on a cart en route to the Sterzing Morass, which God the Almighty,
is supposed to be the home of such individuals. There He, too, is near now,
they are forced to spend their time in measuring out the And to your comfort
wet moss with their fingers, until the end of the world. Will grant us our prayer.
Bachelors, on the other hand, are located on the summit of
the Rosskopf hard by, and are condemned to pile up the
clouds, in which the mountain is constantly enveloped. The Star of the East is rudely represented by a sun, cut Winter is now supposed to be over, and in South Tyrol, out of paper and fastened on the top of a pole, which is
the Fashings fires are lit on Shrove Tuesday, to celebrate carried by a boy at the head of the troop. It is believed the beginning of spring, or at Meran on the first Sunday that if anybody strikes one of these Dreikönigskindel in Lent. At Ulten, the people set fire to maize, and strew (Three Kings' Child) during the singing, the hand of the sheaves in the fields, and this is called “awaking the corn." striker will grow out of his grave. The season from Christ
In the Vinschgau, boys parade the village on the 22d of mas to the Epiphany is called the Twelve Nights, and it is February (the marriage of St. Peter) ringing bells and supposed that during this period all spirits, good and bad, shouting“ Peter Langas.” They thus announce the arriare permitted to roam the earth at will, and are visible
val of spring, which is called Langas by the peasants. In even to those mortals who are not Sunday children. 1
North Tyrol, winter has a longer reign, lasting till the end In every peasant's house, bebind the never-failing cru- of March, and in the Lower Inn Valley, “ Ringing out the cifix over the little house-altar, is preserved a bunch of grass," does not take place till the 24th of April, St. palm catkins, branches of mistletoe, and a species of juni. George's Day. per tied to a hazel twig, which must, however, be peeled, It was believed that the beneficial effects of fire, water, or else the witches will nestle between the wood and the salt, bread, meat, etc., became exhausted in the course of rind; and this acts as a talisman against fire and light- the year, and their powers must therefore be renewed at ning.
the commencement of a new year. Consequently, on cerThe Bäuerin carefully treasures in her box a piece of tain days, every fire in the village must be extinguished. walnut-wood, which has been burnt in a fire lighted before The whole population go to the wood in solemn procession, the church on Easter Eve, and likewise a white candle and and there, with numerous symbols and ceremonies, a “needa red wax taper, both consecrated at Candlemas. When a
wild-fire ” is created. Two persons, who may storm comes by day, the fire is kindled and a bit of the
either be young boys or a pair of lovers, rub two pieces of walnut-wood thrown in; if at night, the candle must be dry wood together until a flame is produced, repeating, lighted. The same occurs at a death-bed, and during a con- meanwhile, mysterious rhymes. The head of a household finement the red wax-taper is wound round the woman's then lights his torch at this sacred flame, produced by nathand.
ure herself, and thus bears home new fire for the new year. St. Sylvester's night, December 31st, St. Thomas's night, In many parts, should a tree happen to be struck by lightand the night of the Three Kings, as the Epiphany is called ning, all the fires on the hearths are extinguished and the in Germany, are the four Incense Nights
. The Bauer torches are lit from the genuine “wild-fire." takes down the sacred Sangen from the main beam of the In some valleys water is renewed in a similar manner. roof, where it has been carefully kept during the year. Either at Midsummer or on the 1st of May, the village The Sangen consists of grass, flowers, and certain berbs, youth run through all the houses, upset the pails, and fetch which must all be gathered with special ceremonies either fresh water from the hallowed spring in the wood. on the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, Au- But these customs are fast disappearing throughout Gergust 15th, or during the thirty following days; for a three- many, as well as in Bavaria, and the renewal of the water fold blessing then rests on all the fruits of the earth, and
is now a mere tradition. even poisonous creatures become harmless. The dried leaves, mingled with juniper and other materials for frankincense, are strewn in an iron brazier, which the Bauer carries in his left hand. His wife and children precede HOTEL INCIDENT IN THE RIVIERA. him, bearing the keys and a light, and, if possible, a handful of snow. The master of the house also holds a stick in
No one who has sojourned for a while in the Riviera is his right hand (probably it was a sword in former times), surprised at the crowds of foreigners that are collected and thus, praying and censing, he perambulates the house, from all parts of Europe into its various nooks and retreats. stables, and barn. By this means all evil influences, sick- We English go there to escape mist and fog ; the Russians, ness, and witchcraft are averted. Moreover, on the feast to avoid extreme cold; the invalid Germans, to put a barof the Epiphany, the initials of the Three Wise Men of the rier between themselves and the withering east wind. East are inscribed over all the doors, with a cross between Some, again, visit it for other than sanitary reasons. each letter, C. + M. + B., and the following verse is re- Monaco with its gambling attractions entices and detains cited :
some, and the mere enjoyment of a climate luxurious even The Three Kings come from the Eastern Land,
in winter invites many more. Each bearing gifts in the palm of his hand;
We — that is, my wife and myself — were enjoying a Balthasar drives all foes away,
few weeks at one of the large hôtels that are so numerously Black Caspar hallows the house each day,
dotted along this coast. It might have been at Hyères, While Melchior watches o'er bolt and pin,
Cannes, or Nice, at Monaco or Mentone, Bordighera or To keep the blessing safe within.
San Remo, Savona or Pegli ; or it might have been at no The chalk used for the inscription is consecrated in church one of all these. on the eve of the festival.
We had been staying it is sufficient to say — at the On St. Stephen's Day, the priest consecrates the salt Hôtel du Bon Vivant about a week, wben there appeared and water used for the formation of the blessed “salt- at the table-d'hôte a very striking personage. As soon as stone,” as the square piece of salt is called. Some grains dinner was over, my wife found herself (by accident) near of it are mixed with the food of sick animals, and the trav- the visitors' book, and discovered that the new arrival had eller on leaving his home takes a few morsels in his knap- entered himself as the Baron Monteggiana-Tavernelle. sack.
We were chiefly English at the hôtel, there was no Italian At Candlemas, all the servants in Tyrol change their there, and our acquaintance with the national Burke was situations, and the Fashing takes place with all its attend limited ; so we easily accepted the theory that this lengthy ant merriment. One favorite game consists in youths appellation was one of the most ancient titles in the land.
We were subsequently informed by the baron that it was 1 It is popular belief that children born on Sunday have the power of seeing spirita.
Sicilian, which made our ignorance the more excusable.
I don't think it was his title, or, at least, it was not only from which it appeared that their main topic was the that, which made us all so charmed with him. It must have opera. been “his noble bearing, his perfect manners, his evident " Ah, madame,” – he was interpreted to me as saying, desire to please, his modest evasion of all topics bearing on “ if I could but be honored with your presence in my box his own career, and his handsome face. He appeared to at Florence! The music would be angelic then." be about thirty years of age, his black hair was as glossy as “ The signor does me a great favor in expressing the a raven's plumage, and his black, flashing eyes betrayed a wish.” passionate soul; while his thick moustache framed, rather Yes; it was clear that he was hard hit, and that she than concealed, a smile that irradiated his intellectual coun- knew it, and had no desire to dismiss him. And yet she tenance with sweetness and light.”
was in no single point guilty of indiscretion, forwardness, or Such, at least, was the description given of him in one coquetry, in my opinion. of my wife's letters to my mother-in-law; and I am glad I - That woman,” said my wife, “is abominable! Look happened to look into that letter, as it has saved me some how she hunts that poor man down. suppose she fancies little trouble in attempting to describe him in words of Sicily a nicer country than Siberia, or wherever it is she my own.
comes from." The baron mixed very little with his own countrymen, “ Well, my dear," I replied, “it seems to me that the and, as I ventured to suggest to my wife, seemed rather hunting is mutual. Really, I don't see why he should n't shy of them. He never went to the public amusements, marry her, if they both like it.” and declined to subscribe to the Circolo. She explained " She may be a mere tuft-hunting adventuress, for all we to me in reply, that he was the only nobleman in the know,” said she. I don't believe in her." place, and was, perhaps, a little haughty towards his com- “ Well, but perhaps he knows more than we do." patriots of a lower rank. He had also informed her him- “ I don't believe in her a bit. She's hunting him down self, that he had selected our hôtel for the express purpose for his wealth and title, and is as much a princess as of mixing with the English, as he was expecting shortly to I am !” receive a government appointment, and for the better dis- The season was now at its height, and every room was charge of his prospective duties, a little knowledge of occupied ; the very last attic in the Hôtel du Bon Vivant English was desirable.
being secured by a German count, the Count Sigismund I should have mentioned before, that I only speak my von Borokopek. He put down his name in the visitors' own language ; but my wife can converse in Italian with book like a man, and his whole demeanor was frank, open, ease and fluency, and the baron very naturally talked with and robust. He was extraordinarily fluent in English, as her a good deal, and occasionally condescended to speak to well as in French and Italian ; German, of course, was his me by her interpretation.
mother-tongue, a few dialectical peculiarities noticeable in Shortly after the arrival of the Baron Monteggiana- his pronunciation arising, he explained, from the circumTavernelle, we were further enlivened by ancther. This stance of his being partly of Austrian, partly of Hungatime it was a Russian lady, attended by her maid. There rian origin; the Borokopek estates being in the vicinity of were no other Russians at the Hôtel du Bon Vivant, and Tokay. she appeared to have come there rather from necessity We now numbered about eighty guests, and began to than by choice, as there were no rooms vacant in the inn know one another pretty well; but somehow the count usually frequented by those of her nation. She declined knew us all better than we knew one another, before he to enter her name in the visitors' book, and for the first two had been a week among us. He was a big, burly, fair or three days dined in her own room, and held aloof from man, so thoroughly British in appearance, and in his the rest of us. This, added to the effect produced by a general characteristics, as to render it difficult, but for his stateliness, not to say grandeur, of deportment, and rich proficiency in other languages, to believe that he was not a sobriety of dress, prepared us all for the discovery which Briton born. He had knocked about the world a good in a few days oozed out, that she was a Russian princess, deal, he said. Of the forty years he had passed in it, a widow, who wished to remain incognita, and to live twenty had been spent in travelling, half of which time quietly in the enjoyment of an unconventional freedom had been passed in England, and a good deal of the rest in from the obligations of nobility an enjoyment beyond America. Russia, too, he was acquainted with ; and on her command at home.
the strength of that he introduced himself to the princess, We never fully understood how this oozed out. Her and was evidently as much disposed to admire her as the female attendant could understand nothing, and therefore baron himself. could divulge nothing. The maître d'hôtel assured his Indeed, before very long, the attentions paid by Count guests that he knew no more than the rest of the world ; Sigismund von Borokopek to that lady began seriously to and, by his mysterious shruggings, his self-contradictions, disturb the serenity of the Baron Monteggiana-Tavernelle; and, above all
, by his manner, impressed us all with the and in proportion as their rivalry progressed, so did the firm belief that there was a secret in his possession. interest and amusement of the company progress with it. This, of course, confirmed the truth of the report, and it My dear Charles,” said my wife," is n't she abominable became an established fact that the lady was a Russian now ? She's a regular flirt; and at her age, too ! — forty, princess.
if she's a day. And after entangling the baron, to go and After a few days of seclusion, she vouchsafed to make egg on the count, and all in public too! It's bad enough her appearance at the table-d’hôte, and retired with the to make love in public at all, but to do it to two men, one rest of the ladies to the Salle des Dames afterwards. Then after the other – I say she's simply abominable ! it was that the baron exhibited his inborn as well as inher- “ Well, but, my dear,” I expostulated, “they are both ited nobility. He attended to her little wants, placed her making love to ber at the same time. You see, the count's an arm-chair by the fragrant wood-fire, and, on receiving castles are much nearer to Russia than Sicily is, so perhaps her thanks in his mother tongue, - his parents' pride had she prefers to become Mrs. Count, etc., to the other no doubt prevented him from learning any other, — he thing." entered into a respectful and courtly conversation with her. Those of us who were not in love with the princess beThere were plenty of other men in the room who could gan to wish the absurd affair at an end. The lady was have done it; but the baron was naturally the fittest person most unfairly fair to each ; for she gave each of them to begin; and I will give him credit for boundless self- enough encouragement to make them savagely jealous of possession — not to call it impudence.
one another, without going far enough with either to give The acquaintance thus begun grew with a tropical ra- the other any grounds of complaint. But for her beautiful pidity. The cold northern temperament softly but quickly eyes, I would compare ber to a tableau vivant of Justice thawed beneath the warm rays of Italian sweetness and holding the scales. I can, however, safely liken her to light. Fragments of their talk occasionally reached the Helen; for she was setting by the ears not only the two ears of my wife and others who could understand them, most interested individuals, but also the whole world about
her; and it wanted but a spark to commence a conflagra- screams of women, the shouts of men, the groans of the tion, certainly an explosion, between those two.
maître, and the indescribable cries of astonishment uttered We had an American at the Hôtel du Bon Vivant, a by the whole staff of the hôtel, which had been gathered quiet, thoughtful man, too much of an invalid to talk much, together at the door by the first exclamations of the baron. and very reserved in his manners. We little thought that The Anglo-Saxon nationality having, in spite of the the dreaded spark would be dropped by him; but so it principle of non-intervention, separated the Latin and the
Teuton, the defeated combatant was assisted to his room, The baron was describing to a knot of us, including the and looked to by an English doctor who happened to be at count, as we were lounging in the entrance-hall after the hôtel, and who reported that, with the exception of a luncheon, his Syracusan villa, with its exquisite gardens. couple of broken teeth, nothing of consequence was to be The American was listening with his usual air of abstrac- apprehended beyond a further requisition of his services tion, and quietly interposed a question. “ Did I under- at a rencontre of a different character, which, however, stand you to say that the Villa d'Aosta in the Strada di would not be possible for some little time, owing to a diffiPalermo belongs to you ?".
culty his patient had in seeing. And the next morning we “Sì, signor; the Villa d'Aosta you speak of is the one. found that the maître had given the baron notice to quit It is mine. It has been in my family for several genera- the Bon Vivant forth with ; and so we saw no more of the tions."
Baron Monteggiana-Tavernelle. “You've got a tenant there now who's a friend of In ten days or so, the count received a letter from him,
dated at Florence. In it the baron demanded satisfaction, " No, signor, no: I do not let my villa, nor other of my and required that the count should meet him at Florence, residences.
or, if more convenient, at Rome. In reply, the latter ex“Well, that 's queer, I consider,” said the American. pressed his readiness for an interview, but positively de“I came direct from Sicily last month, and a friend of mine clined to fatigue himself with an unnecessary journey. The was tenant of that villa for the winter, and I stayed a day affair could very well be settled in the place where it beor two with him in that very house. Guess there's some gan. The letter was carefully and fully directed, regisbunkum somewheres !”
tered, and posted by the count himself. Part of these remarks were made in Italian ; some ejacu- In the ordinary course of events, an answer was due in lated in Englisb.
four or five days at the farthest; but a fortnight passed “ Bagatelle!” replied the baron ; "you are mistaken, without any, and at length he received the following, dated signor! It must have been some other Villa d'Aosta." from Rome :
“ No, it was n’t,” returned the American ; " and for my part, I think you are no more baron than I'm Julius
" SIR, - I beg to acknowledge the honor which you have Cæsar."
done me by addressing a letter to me at my house in FlorHe certainly looked offended, though happily the last ence ; and must apologize for my inability to understand sentence was in English ; in fact, he had been so unaccus- it. Your name is strange to me; I was never in the place tomed to be contradicted, that it positively confused him. from wbich you write; I have not been in Florence for And I could not help noticing that the count looked exces- several months; and I must conclude that there is some sively tickled, as well as triumphant.
mistake. It is possible that my name has been assumed by That evening, when the baron advanced to attend the a rascally valet who robbed me last year of several private princess to the salon, she declined his offer to place the papers and a considerable sum of money, but whom I could shawl on her shoulders, as he had always done; and in the not conveniently prosecute." most perfect manner, without snubbing or putting him down, allowed him to discover for himself that she was Then followed a description which tallied exactly with utterly indifferent to him. It was just as if the moon were the appearance of our baron. It seems that the letter, beto take the place of the sun, in a quiet and undemonstra- | ing registered, had been sent on to the real baron at his tive way, with no explanation given.
residence in Rome, instead of being delivered to the false But, of course, an explanation was to be demanded ; and
one at the address given by him at Florence. as soon as the dinner was over, the baron sought, and ob- The princess was, no doubt, overwhelmed with shame at tained, a téle-à-tête in the corner of the Salle des Dames. finding that she had been encouraging a valet instead of We all had the decency to read Galignani, or play bézique, his master; for she at once admitted the count to the privor otherwise to throw a veil over our curiosity, as we anx- ilege of paying her more attentions than ever.
I think too iously watched the development of the plot, and tried to she really liked him. Anyhow, he had proved himself subhedge our bets before it was too late.
stantially able to protect her; and the scuffle with his Suddenly the baron started to his feet, and uttered a loud rival had in no degree lessened him in her esteem. execrative exclamation, which I decline to translate. His
Of course we were not behind the scenes ; and could only soul now most clearly betrayed its passionateness, but there judge of the probable course of events by such little eviwas rather more light than sweetness in his eyes as he dences as chance might throw in our way; but it was ruglared round the room in search of the hapless American. mored that the marriage was to take place from our hôtel
We all sprang to our feet too; the ladies near the door before Lent. rapidly retreated, and the men looked at one another, half- “ The sooner the better,” said my wife: “ if another man amused, half-angrily.
comes forward with better prospects, she 'll throw over the “ If I knew who had poisoned the mind of madame, I count, just as she did the baron.” would dilaniate' him — tear him in pieces,” shrieked the “But you see he was n't a baron, my dear,” I remonbaron. “That viper of an American !”
strated : not a real one, I mean, as the children say.” " It was not the American," answered the count, coming “ Well; and perhaps this is not a real count." quietly out of a recess ; “ I told madame what he had dis
“Dear me! what a joke it would be if he turned out to covered."
be somebody's butler ! I wish some Yankee would come The baron so far forgot the perfectness of his manners, and ask him a little about his place. We want a little life and evident desire to please, as with his open palm to slap here just now." the count on the face. But in another second he found
That day we had another fresh face at the table-d’hôte ; himself in that physical checkmate known as Chancery – this time an Englishman's. He was very taciturn, but he had got his head under his rival's left arm, who was liked to look at the company and to listen to the conversaholding it down to a convenient level for the right hand to tion, and was much struck with the count. It occurred to bob his nose — and there, before the princess, in the Salle me, too, that the count noticed him a good deal, so much so des Dames, was being displayed a scene from the British as to refuse some of the choicest dishes. But no one conring; chairs and tables going everywhere, as the quadru- versed with the stranger, and after dinner he retired to his pedal monster performed its erratic revolutions, amid the
the baron's old room - and we saw no more of him
- he put a
till the next day at dinner. There was the same curiosity It seems to be agreed by the champions of hostile creeds on the part of the count, who, by the way, spoke German in philosophy that the will has no control over this stream exclusively now; but the stranger was absorbed in his of mental images in fantastic combination, welling up dinner. Afterwards he strolled into the billiard-room to from every chamber of the brain when the pressure of outsmoke a cigar.
ward sensation is taken off. This is confessed alike by By and by the count and I went in to have a quiet game, those who would identify “the man himself” with the and there we found the new arrival comfortably lolling in bodily organization, and by those who claim for “the soul ” an ample rocking-chair by the fire.
a potential independence of the brain and nervous system. The count played badly, missing the easiest strokes. The will is felt to be practically inactive in sleep so far as “You're off your play to-night, count," I said ; " what's concerns that power of guiding, checking, or diverting the the matter?'
course of thought which we possess while fairly awake, “ Don't mind me, gentlemen," said the stranger; “ I hope and which may be called the power of mental self-rule. my being here don't make the count nervous,"
What is sometimes called attention is merely the force very remarkable emphasis on the title, — “I don't play the with which the mind applies itself to objects which excite continental way myself, though I do see a good many queer a strong feeling at the time. This engrossing devotion to games at odd times. Now, was you ever in Scarbro', sir ?” the pursuit in which an immediate interest is felt seems addressing the count. “No! Leeds ? No! Hull, where analogous to the momentum of mechanical force. It is the steamers start for Bremen ? No! Manchester, per- frequently in conflict with the voluntary mental action of haps ? No! Not been to Manchester ? Then,” — he self-rule; the one is a servant of principle, wbile the had been sidling gradually nearer and nearer to the door other is too often a slave of passion. Now the latter, in as he talked, and was now between it and the count the mind of a sleeper, has all its own way, whereas the
-“then suppose you and I go back together, Mister Alex- former has lost its hold upon the thinking machinery: ander Jenkinson, on this warrant I've got against you, for The higher moral sentiments, which can only be gratified forgery of a check on Gleeson's Bank at Manchester for by complete efforts of self-command, not by surrender even three thousand five hundred pounds! Oh yes; it 's all right, to noble impulses, are never consciously mingled with the and it's no good making a row. My name 's Inspector Raw- feelings experienced in a dream. There is, indeed, conlings of the detective police, and me and my man here siderable activity of the social affections. But these affechave had a pretty hunt after you ; he and the gens d'armes tions, before their adoption into the sphere of moral deare waiting for you outside the door."
votedness, rest upon a basis of egotism, as their objects Poor princess, with two strings to her bow, and both of have a personal connection with self, and of familiar assothem rotten! Still my wife would n't pity her yet.
ciation with the habits of life cherished in the past. The “ But, my dear,” I expostulated, " the poor thing will dreamer is an utter egotist, but be nevertheless loves and have to marry some Russian now, perhaps a Laplander, or hates his fellow-creatures quite as ardently as in waking one of those fellows that drink train-oil with their dinner. hours. He has no pure benevolence, nor any sense of And she such a monstrous fine woman too, to say nothing equity in the abstract. He is arrogant and quarrelsome, of her rank."
and gets into violent passions for an imaginary cause. However, we had but little further call on our sympathy, Pride and disdain, the desire of social esteem, of rank and for the next day she left the hôtel.
praise, of mastery and victory, with fierce resentment of “ So the princess is off,” I said to the maître the same day, insults and offences, invade the slumbers even of the meek. while paying my weekly bill.
On the other hand, those who are hard and cold-hearted 6 Monsieur said ".
may sometimes have dream-fits of extreme tenderness, and “I said the princess is off gone, allée, sortie, partie, you melt in ecstasies of love and pity. know."
It is consistent with this loosened and partially dark. Oui, oui ; but then, the princesse: who does monsieur ened state of the mind that a certain kind of remorse or wish to say, princesse?”
self-reproach should be felt during sleep. But this bears “ Why, of course the Princess of — well, the Russian no regard to abstract moral principle, the idea of which, princess that did n't marry the baron or the "
and of the bighest responsibility, can only be entertained “Ah, bah! Who would call her a princesse ? ”
by the full power of the waking mind. In general, man“Why, you made us believe she was,” I indignantly re- kind seems to be governed by a twofold conscience. joined, " by making believe she was n't.”
There is the higher and inner conscience, resulting from “But monsieur remembers without doubt that I said she the ideas of absolute and essential obligation and of uniwas not princesse?”
versal law. There is also the external or customary con. you
did; but there's a way of saying no and look- science, formed by recollections of approval or disapproval ing yes.
consequent on particular acts, and this sort of empirical Pardon, monsieur! The lady desired repose and to be conscience belongs to a well-trained dog. Now, during in particular; and I, I assisted that she should so be.” sleep, as we have above remarked, the higher department « Well - now she's gone, in fact, what is she ?”
of moral consciousness appears to be closed. But the ha“ Monsieur, she is teacher of the dance at Marseilles.” bitual association of particular deeds with agreeable or dis.
agreeable effects upon the moral sensibility is still carried
We shall find it worth while to examine its operation
within the range of mental activity left to the sleeper. DREAMS.
It was just now observed that the condition of sleep
takes away from the will all control over the thoughts. The disciple of Lucretius invented by Professor Tyn- | It would be equally correct to say that the will, now dedall at Belfast to impugn Bishop Butler's psychology tached from the supreme guiding faculty of reason, referred to the story of his master's suicide in despair and becomes their sport and prey. Their origin, so far as we disgust at the remembrance of an unworthy dream. This can trace it, seems to lie in the random reminiscences of story has been treated also by Mr. Tennyson, in a poetical sensations formerly impressed on the brain, and linked soliloquy exposing the character of that unwholesome vis
together, by millions of complex and subtle associations, ion, and the revolt of moral and intellectual pride against through the whole past life. Those combinations of senits degrading sway. It is not expedient here to examine sible ideas which bave gained strength by repeated presthe processes of thought and feeling under the application entation, or which excite the passions and affections, of a stimulating drug to that particular capability of emo- predominate in the floating mass. This constitutes the tion. But the attitude of the mind during sleep, with re- idiosyncrasy, or natural disposition, and the direction of gard to the variety of fugitive ideas that present them- the current of thoughts in sleep, as in vacant waking selves to a dreamer's consciousness, is a topic of general hours, is usually determined by this alone. But the ideas and constant interest.
so presented never fail to arouse in sleep the feelings
which they would naturally excite in the waking mind. set the ascetic devotee, and which used to be ascribed to The dreamer must needs surrender his will to these emo- the interference of mischievous demons practising the tions without restraint, since he has nothing else to hold queerest tricks of illusion. But the effect is just as natufast by, nor any fixed point in sight. It is like being in a ral as that of withdrawing pressure from an elastic spring ship without a helm, borne along by wind and wave, the or an air-cushion, to which may be compared the topical shore being distant and the stars obscured. But, for the sources of those currents of nervous action, in the brain dreamer, to will a deed is to dream of instantly doing it, and organs of sensation, already placed en rapport with or striving to do it ; and then, if his previous waking the forbidden ideas. When the restraining power of conceptions of similar deeds were associated with painful rational discernment and moral resolution is absent, as it or shameful consequences, he feels intense mortification. is during sleep, those parts of the cerebral and nervous It never occurs to him, as it so often does to men who are organization which have hitherto been prevented from wide awake, if they are sorry for what they have done, delivering their charge of representative impressions can that the wrongful act may be excused because their will to take their revenge. They send forth an impetuous throng resist was overcome by the impulse of passion. The of concrete imagery grouped around an unperceived cendreamer's consciousness tells him that he had not the slight- tral point, which is precisely the forgotten rule of conduct, est will to resist, and that his whole will, acting with its or ethical principle, for whose sake the will had formerly fullest energy, was bent upon doing the evil deed. He is been exerted to keep those images aloof. The reaction, therefore still oppressed with a sense of responsibility, and which is purely physical
, comes just where the stress of with a vague terror of the consequences, and a feeling of voluntary repression was directly applied. But unhappily profound disgrace, though he does not see any other course this is not the end of the process. As we have seen, the that he could bave pursued. This is because the fatal presence of concrete ideas naturally suggestive of a prochain of ideas leading to the excitement of undue passion hibited action has an instantaneous effect upon the feeland to a corresponding resolve is not intersected or accom- ings; emotion is followed by volition, and by an imaginary panied in the dreaming mind by reflections upon an alter- action, which is attended by a real pang of remorse. native or opposite line of conduct.
There is a less oppressive form of bondage to the nocturEvery person in waking hours, yielding to babit or to nal magician who plays such pranks with the mind shut up feeling or to some outward influence, must nevertheless in its fleshly prison when the doors and windows of sense think somewhat of the possibility of doing otherwise, if are closed. It is not always a malignant Satan, but someonly to reject that possibility. But it is not so with the times a frolicsome Puck or Queen Mab, that slyly touches man in his sleep, inasmuch as the mind is then deprived of the hidden strings of the wonderful instrument gray its faculty of comparing the alternatives, as well as of its jelly and white fibres being all we can see -- by which the power to dismiss an objectionable train of ideas, and to trace of every past impression is preserved, recalled, and commence one preferred by rational judgment. This is wrought into ever new combinations. The greatest of our the exercise of mind guarded by the higher moral sense poets and psychologists, who makes a virtuous hero pray or true conscience.
The secondary conscience, ordinarily God at midnight to “ restrain in me the cursed thoughts proceeding from the fear of censure and contempt, or from that nature gives way to in repose," describes also, with other notions of self-interest, or from mere custom, has no exquisite humor and truth, the ludricrous incidents which. jurisdiction over the thoughts. Its useful office is to re- not less frequently arise in a sleeper's harmless frenzy. He prove the faults of outward action and expression. The has noted more especially how these lighter casual fancies apparent capability of the will to commit these faults dur
are sometimes imported into the dream by an actual touch ing sleep is therefore visited by reproaches from what we - or, it may be, an actual sound – which forces an enmay call the secondary conscience, which is lively enough trance into the receptacle of sensations, and summons a fain dreams. Yet its operation in this instance is blindly miliar troop of allied ideas to join it. Queen Mab's tiny mechanical, and is not more a visitation of justice than chariot is driven across the knee of a courtier, and makes any form of physical suffering caused by accident or dis- him think of bending that knee before the king. It tickles
the band of a lawyer, and he seems to be fingering a fee ; The innocent victims of its severity are a very numer- or it passes over a lady's lips, and gives her the pleasure ous class, and deserve our sincere compassion. It is sad to of a lover's kiss. Experiments have often been tried in know that not only the humiliating sense of moral impo- this way, to the amusement of those who have practised on tence, but the guilt of conscious transgression, is the their sleeping friends, when these are persuaded afterwards nightly portion of many wise and virtuous men. The saint to confess the subjects of their dreams. Even a word or in his sleep is sometimes transformed into a blackguard, two spoken in the sleeper's ear has been known to introthe hero behaves like a speak, and the prudent citizen duce the idea of its proper meaning into the mind without becomes an impertinent fool. The gentlest and kindest breaking the chain of slumber, and to originate a fresh find themselves doing murder among their families and dream, or to mix up this idea with those he had before. friends. The man of honor toils all night to concoct a It is by the observation of such facts that we learn how scheme of fraud. The divine preacher or pastor catches the lapse of a few seconds, or the very moment of waking, himself uttering horrid blasphemy in church. It is prob- may be long enough for a dream that seems to the sleeper ably the persons most averse, by temperament as well as of immense duration. The breaking of a glass at the bedon principle, to any particular kind of vice who are most side, in Tennyson's “ Sea Dreams, raises in the man's liable to dream of it. “And such dreams are quite as likely to laboring fancy a somewhat protracted vision of a fleet of visit their couch after days faithfully employed in the strict glass ships at sea drifting to wreck upon a reef of golden discharge of duty, or in contemplating a noble or sacred rocks. In these hullucinations caused by some actual imideal. This is not inconsistent with our remark concern- pression from without, the emotional activity is less intense ing the effect of dominant ideas upon the set of the current the dream is less profound and less seriously taken to of loosened thoughts. The ideas of piety and holiness, of heart than where the images are evolved wholly from equity, of charity, of sobriety and propriety, have a latent the deep store of old experiences. The affections, having association with their opposites, which may be excluded grown up about the ideas presented in the latter case, are from the waking mind by discipline and culture, but lurk prompt to respond at the instant of their reappearance, somewhere in the heap of stored-up mental conceptions. Both ideas and affections, indeed, may easily be aroused When it seethes and stirs in the unchecked flow of dreaming by a half consciousness of some accidental circumstance in reminiscences, such images as have been repressed by the the posture of the body. But the sleep is lighter upon voluntary exercise of mental self-control, on account of these occasions, as the mind is partially awake to outward their connection with the idea of sin, will often emerge impressions, and the dream is not attended with very earwith a scandalous air of familiarity.
nest feeling. In the deepest and sincerest of our dreams, as Every reader of the “Acta Sanctorum ”must remember in the imaginative genius of the greatest poet, there is, an some curious instances of this trouble which is apt to be- element of the richest humor. Its creations are, however,