Dr Neil Stanley Independent Sleep Expert
BACK Charles Gildon, The Post-Boy Rob'd of His Mail . . . (London, 1692), 109.here The full passage is far more nuanced than the single fragment quoted by Ekirch  “Now can't I for my Life (said Summer) find what Analogy this Dream has to the Wedding. Full as much (answer'd Temple) as most Dreams have that pass for Omens. Right (pursu'd Fountain) for what likeness has a Tree to Empire, yet the Dream of Astyages, was so enterpreted to him. I am of Opinion (said Chappel) that most of those Prognostic Dreams we find in History were made after the Event like the Prophecies of these latter days. I'm not of your Opinion (answer'd River) for 'tis certain that Dreams of old were the Informations of Heaven, for when Saul came to the Witch of Endor, he complain'd that God neither spoke to him by Dreams, nor, &c. Fancy the Queen of Dreams (said I) rules most of the World more, than reality when awake, so that I know not whether they may not be as material a part of our Lives as that which is transacted when awake. Job seems to have as great a concern (pursu'd Winter) for it, and puts it in balance with the other, Cap. 7. Vers. 17. I'm sure (said Grave) there is so great a share of our Lives spent in sleep, that we must desire it should be as sedate, and quiet as may be. Nay (pursu'd Brook) the Visionary Bliss, and Happiness, and Treasure of Dreams, for that reason, are as desirablee then, as the real ones when waking. Nay, the truth on't is (concluded Church) if there be so great an un∣certainty in our Knowledge of our being asleep or awake, that it was worth the Disquisition of so great a Philosopher as Des Cartes, with so solemn a face of Seriosity, I know not whether there be so material a Distinction betwixt our Dreams, and being awake, as the generality of the World imagines.” It can be seen that Graves is much more likely to be desiring sleep to be without dreams rather than sleep itself being “sedate, and quiet as may be” It is interesting that Ekirch claims that “most sharing the opinion” and yet he only offers a single source and offers no further evidence that this opinion is shared by others, let alone “most” others. BACK
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