Dr Neil Stanley Independent Sleep Expert
BACK Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, 403–04; Ekirch writes that in  the "Squire's Tale," "Canacee," after she "slept her first sleep," awakened in the warm glow of a dream—"for on her heart so great a gladness broke" However no where in the passage is she awakened in the warm glow of a dream mentioned or alluded to, her “gladness” is due to  “Bothe of hir queynte ryng and hire mirrour” And slepte hir firste sleepe, and thanne awook; For swich a joye she in hir herte took, Bothe of hir queynte ryng and hire mirrour, That twenty tyme she changed hir colour, And in hir sleep right for impressioun Of hir mirrour she hadde a visioun. Wherfore, er that the sonne gan up glyde, She cleped on hir maistresse, hir bisyde, And seyde, that hir liste for to ryse. Thise olde wommen that been gladly wyse, As hir maistresse answerde hir anon, And seyde, Madame, whider wil ye goon Thus erly, for the folk been alle on reste? I wol, quod she, arise, for me leste No lenger for to slepe; and walke aboute. In modern version    and slept her first sleep and then awoke. For she took such a joy in her heart both of her wondrous ring and her mirror that twenty times she changed hue, and in her sleep, for the very remembrance of her mirror, she had a vision. Wherefore, ere the sun gan glide upward, she called on her mistress, who slept hard by, and said that she list to rise. These old women will aye be prudent ; wherefore her mistress answered her anon and said: "Madame, whither will ye go thus early? For all the folk be abed." "I will arise," quoth she, "for I list no longer to sleep ; and walk about." Farquhar, Works, 1: 100–01; Love. Pray call him. Serv. Mr. Club, Mr. Club. Love. What, is the Fellow deaf? Serv. No, Sir, but he's asleep, and in Bed. Mr. Club, Mr. Club. Club. Augh ---- [Yawning] I'm asleep , I'm asleep; don't wake me. ----- Augh. Serv. Here's a Gentleman wants ye. Enter Club, -with his Coat unbutton' d., his Garters unty’d, scraticng and yawning, as newly awaken’d from Bed. Club. Pox  o'your London Breeding; what makes you waken a Man out of his Sleep that way? Love. Where's your Master, pray Sir? Club. Augh.----- 'Tis a sad thing to be broken of ones Rest this way. Love. Can you inform me where your Master's gone? Club. My Master! -----Augh---- [Stretching and yarwning]. Love. Yes, Sir, your Master. Club. My Master! â ----Augh. ---- What a Clock is it, Sir?  I believe 'tis past Midnight, for I have gotten my first Sleep, ----- Augh ----- Love. Thou'rt asleep stilll, Blockhead. Answer me, or --- Where's your Master ? Club. ---Augh. ---- I had the pleasantest Dream when you  call'd me -----Augh.----- I thought my Master's great black Stone-horse had broke loose among the Mares. ---------Augh.----- And so, Sir, you call'd me. -----Augh.---- -And so I waken'd. Love, Sirrah, [Strikes him.]-----Now your Dream's out, I hope. Ekirch states that Mr Club “when awakened from his first sleep” but the text says merely that he had “gotten his first sleep”. January 6, 1677, The Rev. Oliver Heywood, B.A., 1630–1702: His Autobiography, Diaries, Anecdote and Event Books . . . , J. Horsfull Turner, ed., 4 vols. (Brighouse, Eng., 1882), 1: 340 here  21 Jan 6 77 at night after I was gone to bed, at my first sleep, I had a terrible dream concerning my son John, that he was fallen to the study of magick or the black art and that he had books of that sort, and that he plaid some tricks in my sight,—I was so affrighted that I wakened, fell a sweating, trembling,—begun to ponder of it, could not tell how god might leave him, they being in Scotland a great distance from me, it wakened me before 12 and I lay tossing with that dreadful apprehension till almost 2 a clock, and was ready to faint under it, oh what a night had I ! at last god gave me power to resist it, I fell asleep, slept quietly till morning, and the day after being lords day I went on with my work without distraction had a good sabboth, blessed be god This is an example that challenges Ekirch’s assertions that “Typically, descriptions recounted how an aroused individual had "had," "taken," or "gotten" his or her "first sleep." and that “the vast weight of surviving evidence indicates that awakening naturally was routine, not the consequence of disturbed or fitful slumber. Ram Alley, Peter Corbin and Douglas Sedge, eds. (Nottingham, 1981), 56 Ekirch states that  "Sir Oliver" spoke of the hours before cockcrow" however the actual phrase is “Before the time that chanticleer  Shall call and tell the day is near” TAFFETA:  Then here’s my hand. I am your wife, condition we be joyned  Before tomorrow’s sun. SIR OLIVER SMALLSHANKS:  Nay even tonight, So you be pleased with little warning, widow. We old men can be ready, and thou shalt see: Before the time that chanticleer Shall call and tell the day is near; When wenches lying on their backs, Receive with joy their love-stol’n smacks; When maids awaked from their first sleep, Deceived with dreams, begin to weep, And think if dreams such pleasures know, What sport the substance them would show; When Ladies ’gin white limbs to spread, Her love but new stol’n to her bed,   His cotton shoes yet scarce put off, And dares not laugh, speak, sneeze, or cough; When precise dames begin to think Why their gross souring husbands stink, What pleasure ’twere then to enjoy A nimble vicar, or a boy; Before this time thou shalt behold Me quaffing out our bridal bowl. ADRIANA:  Then belike before the morning sun You wil be coupled. TAFFETA:  Yes, faith, Adriana, This is an example that challenges Ekirch’s assertions that “Typically, descriptions recounted how an aroused individual had "had," "taken," or "gotten" his or her "first sleep." and that “the vast weight of surviving evidence indicates that awakening naturally was routine, not the consequence of disturbed or fitful slumber. Peter Motteux, Beautie in Distress (London, 1698), 14 here Fa. You tear my Heart, but shall not tear me from you. Thus you shall drag me, while I suffer Life; And when I've eas'd my wretched Soul with this, 'Twill hover o're you still, to wait for yours. For sure in Death we're equal, and may joyn. Pla. Oh! hold! and rise! fright me not with your Danger, Nor humble me yet more with your Submissions. Fab. Raise then at once a Wretch to Love and You. To rise thus, I'll descend, and mix with humble Swains, In lowly Cottages, and rustick Weeds, And there forget that fatal thing call'd Greatness. Pla. Oh! rise, degrade it not by kneeling thus. Fab. No, let your Answer make me rise or fall. Pla. Alas! my Lord, I know this wou'd but prove A Dream, that might a while indulge your Fancy, While Mem'ry wou'd lye lock'd in the first sleep That Love might lull it too; but too too soon You'd wake to hatred of your self and me. This is clearly not a usage of the phrase ‘first sleep’ that concurs with Ekirch’s conception of segmented slumber  [Thomas Newcomb], The Manners of the Age . . . (London, 1733), 454; here  “In bed by eight --- her blessing ask'd,- at seven-  In her firft ſleep at nine, her-breaft on fire With pleasing raptures---------dreaming of her squire?” This passage speaks of her being “in her first sleep” and not as Ekirch contends “stirred from” her “first sleep”   Robert Bage, Man as He Is, 4 vols. (London, 1792), 3: 85; here   “Last night in her first sleep, she saw three coffins as plain-as plain, Mr. Lindsay, as I see you now."  This passage speaks of her being “in her first sleep” and not as Ekirch contends “stirred from” her “first sleep” William Godwin, St. Leon: A Tale of the Sixteenth Century, 4 vols. (London, 1799), 3: 274–75 “I fell asleep almost instantly. I believe my first sleep was perfectly sound and insensible; but in no long time I was visited with the pleasantest dreams imaginable”. Next paragraph “My sleep was not long; in a few hours I awakened. With difficulty I recognised the objects about me, and recollected where I had been. It seemed to me that my heart had never beat so vigorously, nor my spirits flowed so gay. I was all elasticity and life ; I could scarcely hold myself quiet ; I felt impelled to bound and leap like a kid upon the mountains”. So he did not wake from a dream in his first sleep as Ekirch contends. Praxis Medicinae Universalis, 150 here  Note he talks about ‘ephialtes’ which can refer to both nightmare and sleep paralysis, however from his description it seems that he is describing sleep paralysis rather than nightmare “ephialtes is a fickneffe, when a body is in his firft fleepe lying on his backie, doth suppofe and alfo belieue none other, but that somewhat creepeth vpwards from his feete vnto the breaft  which wingeth,and vereth him there as it were a ghoft, and fo wholy hindeth his breth and voice, that he cannot call for any helpe, yea it feemeth that it would murder him : therefore is otherwilse  heard of them, that be hered there with, fuch a kinde of groning, that as soone as the visittion or torment is past, that they awakgewith great feare and trembling.” BACK
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