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their sinis; Matt. i.-À short time after, Josephi was warned, by an
With regard to the cause of dreams, one of the most able and most rational* philosophers whom the present age, or any
nation has produced, demonstrates, absolutely demonstrates, that dreams, even all dreams whatever, proceed, and can proceed only, from the
agency of unembodied spirits on the human mind. Strange as this theory may at first seem, the great author solidly proves his point, and solves (unanswerably, in my opinion) every objection that is, or that perhaps ever can be, alledged to the contrary. To him I refer the speculative reader; and shall conclude the present article, with several very observable, but very authentic, instances of extraordinary and significant dreams.
Alcibiades, a little before his assassination, dreamed t, that an event of that kind had taken place. The ultimate ruin of Pompey was I prediscovered to Petitius in a dream.
About three hundred and thirty-two years beforë Christ, Jaddua, the high priest of the Jews, refused to take the required oath of allegiance to Alexander the Great, who was then besieging Tyre. Alexander had no sooner made himself master of that city, than he bent his course towards Jerusalem : with full determination to destroy both place, priest, and people; and to enrich his forces, by the free plunder of the Jewish capital. Jaddua, on receiving notice of this design, was in great perplexity. He appointed a day of public and solemn humiliation before God: and was, that same night, res lieved from his anxiety, by the following dream. He thought, “ that the Almighty exhorted him to dismiss his fears; to adorn the city, as
* Viz. The late Mr. Baxter. See the second volume of his unequalled Enquiry into the Nature of the human Soul. It is astonishing that so great a man should have lived and died in such obscurity; and that (so far as I can find) not the least memois of him has, hitherto, been published. What a disgrace to this generation! a generation, that prides itself on its love of science, and on the respect it pays to elevated merit!---Even Bishop Warburton acknowledges the surprising excellence of this extraOrdinary person ; on whom, the right reverend critic bestows the following just encomium: “He was truly a great genius. And a time will come, if learning ever revive amongst us, when the present inattention to his admirable Metaphysics, established on the physics of Newton, will be deemed as great a dishonour to the wisdom of this age, as the neglect of Milton's poetry is to the wit of the past." Notes on Pope; vol. by. p. 320. + Plut. in Alcibiad.
Idem in Pomp.
on festive occasions; 'to set open the gates; and, when Alexander drew near, to give him the meeting, at the head of an ecclesiastical procession, robed in their sacerdotal habits.” The next morning Jaddua publicly declared his dream; regulated his measures, agree. ably to the suggestions he had received, and placidly waited the event,
So soon as Alexander came within sight of Jerusalem, the pro. cession from the city began to move. The high priest took the lead, superbly arrayed in scarlet and purple, and wearing the mitre, which bore the name of God engraved on a plate of gold. Next to himn followed the inferior priests, habited in fine linen. A multitude of citizens, cloathed in white, closed the rear. When the venerable trạin came up, Alexander commanded his own soldiers to halt: and, advancing foremost and alone, respectfully accosted Jaddua, and adored the incomprehensible name with which his mitre was adorned, : The Jews uttered their salutations in shouts; and the hostile army stood astonished, at the unexpected behaviour of their prince. Parmenio, who was Alexander's particular friend and favourite, could not help expressing his surprise; and ventured to ask bim, “How is it, that you, who are worshipped by all mankind, are now become a worshipper 'of the Jewish pontiff."-"I worship not the high priest,” returned the king, “but the God whose name he bears. When I was at Dios, in Macedon, concerting the plan I should pursue, in order to subject Asia to my dominion, I saw, in a dream, this very person, habited exactly as he now stands, who ex. horted me to undertake the expedition without delay, and promised me
infallible I now am certain that, under the divine patronage, I shall subdue Darius, and be master of Persia."*
Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, was martyred for the christian faith, A, D. 167. Three days before he was apprehended by the heathen officers, he #dreamt that “his pillow took fire, and was burnt to ashes.” The holy man told his friends, that he considered this dream as significative of his being burnt to death for Christ's sake. And the event was answerable to the presage.
A. M. T.,
VANITY. History preserves the memory of empires and of states, with which it necessarily interweaves that of heroes, kings, and states: men. Biography affords a place to the remarkable characters of private men. There are likewise other subordinate testimonies,
Josephus Antiq. b. xi. ch. 8. + Cave's Apostolici, p. 1118
which serve to perpetuate, at least prolong, the memories of men, whose characters and stations give them no claim to a place in story. For instance, when a person fails of making that figure in the world which he makes in the eyes of his own relations, or himself, he is rarely dignified any farther than with his picture whilst he is living, or with an inscription upon his monument after his decease. Inscriptions have been so fallacious, that we begin to expect little from them beside elegance of style. To inveigh against the writers for their manifest want of truth, were as absurd as to censure Homer for the beauties of an imaginary character. But even painte ings, in order to gratify the vanity of the person who bespeaks them, are taught, now-a-days, to flatter like epitaphs.
Falsehoods upon a tomb or monument may be entitled to some Excuse in the affection, the gratitude, and piety of surviving friends. Even grief itself disposes us to magnify the virtues of a relation, as visible objects also appear larger through tears. But the man, who through an idle vanity suffers his features to be belied or exchanged for others of a more agreeable make, may with be said to lose his property in the portrait. In like manner, if he encourage the painter to belie his dress, he seems to transfer his claim to the man with whose station his assumed trappings are connected.
I remember a bag-piper, whose physiognomy was so remarkable and familiar to a club he attended, that it was agreed to have his pieture placed over their chimney-piece. There was this remarkable in the fellow, that he chose always to go barefoot, though he was daily offered a pair of shoes. However, when the painter had been so exact as to omit this little piece of dress, the fellow offered all he had in the world, the whole produce of three nights harmony, to have those feet covered in the effigy, which he so much scorned to cover in the original. Perhaps he thought it a disgrace to his instrurnent to be eternized in the hands of so much apparent poverty. However, when a person of low station adorns himself with trophies to which he has no pretensions to aspire, he should consider the pic. ture as actually telling a lie to posterity.
I this morning saw a fellow drawn in a night-gown of so rich a stuff, that the expence, had he purchased such a one, would more than half have ruined him; and another coxcomb, seated by his painter in a velvet chair, who would have been surprised at the deference paid him, had he been offered a cushion.
It is too late in the day for me to study trigonometry, but'having lately admired a practitioner in that way, I send you my thoughts on the architect. Perhaps, had I endeavoured to alter the form of my memorandums from what they appear in my book, I should only have got rid of one fault -a homéspun way of telling a story,—without gaining an equivalent. If you should find it worthy of insertion, or any naturalist find himself inclined to set me right where I am wrong, I should feel greatly obliged to both.
Yours, Sir, truly,
REMARKS ON THE GARDEN SPIDER.
Extracted from a Book of Memorandums.
August 14, 1801. « This morning, observed a Garden Spider, who had one of his own species in durance, holding him suspended, but without much appearance of a web. The prisoner was alive, but a mere skeleton. After a while he was suffered to fall, or the wind forced him from his captivity; but, in falling, he unfortunately struck against a halfformed web, the architect of which I had just been watching, and observed, that all the lines leading from the centre to the extremities, were finished; and he was busy, going a continued circle, and joining each with a fresh web, which he drew from his posteriors, at regular strokes, by an extension of his longest legs behind. The beforementioned prisoner fell against his web, and he immediately left work to secure him, being still alive, and having legs not at all diminished, though his body was wasted. His new conqueror seized him, and, rolling him up in a strong web, dragged him to the centre, and there left him secure, and returned to his work, which he soon, completed. I had observed him about a quarter of an hour previous to this adventure, and remarked that he caught a number of very small fies, which abounded on every weed, after much rain in the night; and I was not a little surprised that these minute creatures, did not stop his progress, but were instantly devoured; not as I ex- pected, by sucking their bodies dry: he took them up very orderly, and very distinctly, and devoured them, wings and all, without leava,
ing the smallest appearance of a fragment. He had eaten seven of these flies before the spider fell in his way."
August 20, 1801. " A spider of this kind, of an enormous size, has now a web; of about a foot in diameter, hung with spoils, against a wooden fence in the yard. I have repeatedly seen them working their webs, but never could see them begin it. The insect, here mentioned, has ata tached his work, on one side, to the fence, from which it projects obliquely, and is suspended to a branch of a vine, at the distance of five feet from the circle of the web. As the suspending lines are very strong, and run exactly horizontally, without any intermediate support, it is wonderful to me to think how they could have been carried so far. A double five foot line, which leaves the fence in this direction, must have been a curious work for him.
“ In the outline here given, the upper sketch is looking down on the work; the under one is looking horizontally.
“ The body of the spider being nearly half an inch in length, he has more than twenty-four times bis length in one foot, and, consequently, one hundred and twenty times in his suspending lines. Now, taking the standard of a man at five feet six inches, one hun-' dred and twenty times his length will be six hundred and sixty feet, or two hundred and twenty yards; about three times the height of the Monument. If we were set to tie the tops of the steeples of London together with a cord, without scaffolding, should not we be put to it to hit on the means? We should go to school to spiders, and ants, and bees; but of these the spider does his work alone."
September 9, 1801. « This morning, extricated a bee from a web, but without any signs of life. Another web contained a bee larger than the common honey bee; he appeared completely enveloped in a winding-sheet of the