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have thought that some disaster was impending. But it occurred to me, that the tempestuous weather I had encountered the preceding day might be the occasion of all those horrors ; and have since, in some medical author, met with a remark to justify the conjecture. A very slight cause may check that insensible perspiration which is so necessary to health ; and when this happers, we cannot expect that our dreams should be so easy as at other times. Let no one, then, be alarmed at an uncommon dream. It is probably ncthing more than a symptom of a trifling bodily disorder ; and, if so, it has nothing more to do with futurity, nor is one whit more supernatural, than a cut finger, or a pang of the tooth-ach.
Concerning the opinion, which some have entertained, of our dreams being suggested by invisible beings, I shall only say, that I think it very improbable. For first, I see no reason for believing that the Deity would employ millions of spiritual
creatures' in such an office as that of suggesting our ordinary dreams. Secondly, I cannot conceive how those creatures should be affected, in such an operation, by the external air, or by the state of our health, which are known to have great influence on our thoughts, both in sleep and when we are awake. And, thirdly, from what we know of the rapidity of our fancy when awake, we need not suppose any foreign impulse necessary to produce the various appearances of dreaming ; as the soul seems to possess in herself powers suficient for that purpose. Madness, melancholy, and many other diseases, give an extravagance to the thoughts of waking men, equal, or even superior, to what happens in sleep. If the agency of unseen beings is not supposed to produce the first, why should we have
recourse to it in order to account for the last? But it is urged, that, in sleep, the soul is passive, and is haunted by visions, which she would gladly get rid of if she could. And it may be urged in answer, for it is no less true, that persons afflicted with anxiety and melancholy, too often find, to their sad experience, that their soul is almost equally passive when they are awake; for that they are, even then, haunted with the most tormenting thoughts, from which all their powers of reason, all the exertions of their will, and all the exhortations of their friends, cannot effectually relieve them.
To conclude: Providence certainly superintends the affairs of men ; and often, we know not how often, interposes for our preservation. It would, therefore, be presumptuous to affirm, that supernatural cautions, in regard to futurity, are never communicated in dreams. The design of these remarks, is not to contradict any authentic experience, or historical fact, but only to shew that dreams may proceed from a variety of causes that have nothing supernatural in them; and that, though we are not much acquainted with the nature of this wonderful mode of perception, we know enough of it to see that it is not useless or superfluous, but may, on the contrary, answer some purposes of great importance to our welfare both in soul and body. I am your's, &c.
N75. TUESDAY, JANUARY 25, 1780.
To the AUTHOR of the MIRROR.
I REMARK, that you meddle not with the high matters of politics. For this, you must answer to yourself, being that you are able to write printed papers. I am a member of eighty-five societies, all zealous for the liberty of the press, in consistency with, and in conformity to, our establishment; and so I think that you are at liberty to write of those things only whereof you have understand ing; and if so be that, by reason of your silence, you abuse, or, as one may say, vilipend the liberty of the press, judge you yourself; as for me I say nothing
But, although you give us no news yourself, perhaps you have something to say with the gentlemen who make the news; and if so, I hope that you
will recommend it to them so to write, as that they may be understood of men who are not booklearned.
They, being book-learned gentlemen, write in divers tongues, whereby we poor simple men are at a loss, and Europe may be overthrown by compacts and associations, or ever we can understand the danger.
Not many days ago, I read in the news, that some good men put up an advertisement on a statue,
with this superscription, pro patria mori, and that the superscription rejoiced all honest hearts. I enquired of our deacon, who received the rudiments of his education at the grammar school of Lesma. hagoe, what was the meaning of the words ? and he made answer, that the words were Latin, and that he thought they would be found in the Latin Dictionary; the which having got, I, on searching, discovered that pro signified for the sake of, and that patria signified a man's native country, and that mori signified foolish and silly persons.
Wherefore, by joining together the words, I conjectured, moreover, that the interpretation of pro patria mori was foolish or silly persons for the sake of their native country, or that they who act for their native country are foolish and silly persons.
Now, Sir, if so be that this is so, I moreover conjecture, that the honest men who put up the advertisement, and they who rejoiced thereat, were deceived through ignorance of the Latin tongue, and that to them there was no cause of rejoicing.
Of that tongue I think no good; it is reported amongst us, that the mass is written in it, the which I renounce, and also abominate, &c. I am, Sir, your Honour's, to serve you at command.
P. S. Weaving performed in all its branches at reasonable rates ; also, cloth taken in for the Dal. quharn bleachfield.
My worthy correspondent Mr. Shuttleworth, in the after-part of his letter, intrųsts me with his set
timents concerning some very momentous subjects ; but I should not deserve the honour of his friendship, were I to impart to the Public what has been communicated to me in confidence.
Not knowing his direction, and not having been favoured with a cypher from him, I can only say, that on. p. had no more influence in the matter of the
c. p. and the pob. than th-m-n of th~m~n; 6 and of this Mr. Shuttleworth may rest assured.'
With respect to the Latin words, which have been the innocent cause of so much uneasiness to him, they are taken from a Roman poet, but no Roman Catholic: in metre accommodated to the course of my friend's studies, they signify,
That for our father's land to die, it is a comely thing.
As, indeed, I meddle not with the high matters of politics, I shall only add, that it is to be hoped that there are very few who consult Shuttleworth's Dictionary
Since I have been desired to advise the Authors of Newspapers to write intelligibly, I must say something on that subject, lest my silence should be construed into an acknowledgment of my little credit with those gentlemen. Of their skill in the learned languages, I pretend not to give any opinion. Thus much, however, I may be allowed to say without offence, that they are the historians of the vulgar; that, in our country,
pass under the name of the vulgar, are not unconcerned spectators of national events; and, ó that what relates * to all, ought to be understood of all.'
A man may write in the native language of his readers, and yet be unintelligible. For example, when contrary propositions are positively asserted,