Dr Neil Stanley Independent Sleep Expert
BACK For some reason Ekirch truncates the relevant passage, the full passage from Another Collection of Philosophical Conferences, 419; is here And who makes any doubt but that the greatest perfection of the Heavens consists in their regular motion, the principal cause of their duration? Which order since we are not able to imitate, it is but requisite we should come as near it as we can in our actions, among which sleeping and waking, being the hindges on which all the others of our life do hang, if there be any irregularity in these, confusion and disorder must needs be expected in all the rest, as may be seen in the lives of Courtiers of both Sexes, who turn night to day, and day to night, a course of life much different from that which is observ'd by the Superiours and Members of regulated companies. makes it clear the the irregularity which the author is talking about is “seen in the lives of Courtiers of both Sexes, who turn night to day, and day to night”, so it is not the ‘regularity’ of sleep/wake but the  reversal of the day night cycle which is being discussed. The passage does not talk about ways of improving sleep. Ekirch  gives the examples from Northumberland of two terms that he claims signified light sleep e.g."dover" and "slum," however the source is actual more nuanced  “DOVER, to go lightly to sleep, to fall into a dose. “She's just dover'd, silly thing." " Dinna scranch on the floor ; yor fethor's just dove/t.'; Aa dovered ower."” here  SLUM or SLOOM, a light sleep. "Aa've getten nowtfaer sleep nor slum." Slummin, dozing. here Notice that there seems to be an implied difference between ‘sleep’ and ‘slum’.  The Proverbs of Scotland, Alexander Hislop, comp. (Edinburgh, 1870), 346. here  He sleeps as dogs do when wives sift meal Meaning that a person is very sharp, and that he, figuratively, sleeps with one eye open. This meaning is more obviously expressed in this quote  from 1854 “sleep like a hare, with eyes half-open” here  Thus it is clear that these are much more of an illusion to being alert ‘on guard’ than of light or anxious sleep A dictionary of the proverbs in England in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries : a collection of the proverbs found in English literature and the dictionaries of the period  by Morris Palmer Tilley, Ann Arbor  University of Michigan Press, 1950. D536 He sleeps as Dogs do when wives sift meal (bake) *Apply’d to those who pretend to be asleep,or unconcern’d, who are all the while making their Remarks. here  Note that, in contradiction of Ekirch’s claim, the description explicitly does not talk about sleep but refers to those who “pretend to be asleep” The entry in Wilson is He sleeps as Dogs do when wives sift meal  D536  a.1628 CARMICHAELL no. 1831/ 1644 FERGUSON no 472 Of hypocrites….1721KELLY 127 (when wives bakes; or when Wives sift Meal). Apply’d to those who pretend to be asleep, or unconcern’d, who are a;; the while making their Remarks. Note that, in contradiction of Ekirch’s claim, the description explicitly does not talk about sleep but refers to those who “pretend to be asleep” In the following examples it is clear that they are an illusion to being alert ‘on guard’ rather than of light or anxious sleep  Thomas Dekker, North-Ward Hoe (London, 1607);here  he hath found her fast asleep : marry, it was cat's sleep, for you shall hear what prey she watched for. The Works of Thomas Adams, 3 vols. (Edinburgh, 1861–62), 2: 193; here  The lion is said to sleep with one eye open, the hare with both Thomas Duffett, The Empress of Morocco (London, 1674), 15; here Now he but sleeps Dog-sleep among us  Overbury, "Conceited Newes," “That a jelous man fleepes dog-fleepe”  Statement of Richard Wager, Old Bailey Sessions Papers, October 16, 1728; Martha Potter , Elizabeth Bell and Jane Aubry of St. Margaret's, Westminster , were indicted for privately stealing four Pound Money from the Person of Richard Wager . The Prosecutor depos'd That as he was walking along Peter's-Street he met Jane Aubry , as they being acquainted before, fell into Conversation, and that she persuaded him to give her a Dram, and directed him to a House where they sat very lovingly, and drank a Dram or two; when Aubry said she had no Money, and the Woman of the House said she would not trust, that he flung down a Shilling and drank it out, and that putting him in Humour, they drank to the Tune of fourteen Quarterns of Geneva, when he fell asleep till Three in the Morning, and was then awaked by the Prisoners quarrelling; and as he said, he being Cunning, lay in a Dog's-sleep, and heard they desputed about the Division of his Money; that he felt in his Pocket and found as his Money was gone, every Farthing, which all his Cunning could not find again, tho' he staid till Seven in the Morning. Some People said he, thinks I went with Jane Aubry upon an ill Design; but was Harmless, and I was Civil, and I was Chaste, and I was Honest tho' they were otherwise. The Prisoners said in their Defence, That the Prosecutor was in their Company, but he was Drunk, and knew not what he did; for he went home with Jane Aubry and came back again, and had some Pig and other Dainties, and play'd the D - l, &c. and that they could not tell what he had done with his Money; his Drunkenness and Extravagance being considered, the Jury acquitted them. here  Bartlett J. Whiting, Proverbs, Sentences, and Proverbial Phrases: From English Writings Mainly before 1500 (Cambridge, Mass., 1968), 30. BACK
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