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THE ANATOMY OF SLEEP.*
• BLESSED be the man that first invented sleep,' exclaimed
• Sleep, that knits up the ravell’d sleeve of care,
Chief nourisher in life's feast!'
Upon these views the author founds his directions for obtaining spontaneous repose. Before describing his practice, however, he enters, with his accustomed energy and research, into a learned investigation of the bearings of his inquiry-describes the different kinds of sleep in men and animals-the characteristics of life and hibernation—the phenomena of dreams, somnambulism, catalepsy, syncope, and mesmerism: upon all which a vast store of illustrative anecdote has been sedulously collected that helps to make a curious and entertaining volume; interesting to most from its novel and legendary lore-affording much gossip for the profession, and forming a suitable compa
The Anatomy of Sleep; or, the Art of Procuring Sound and Refreshing lumber ut Will. By Edward Binns, M.D., F.S.A. Second Edition. With Annotations and Additions by the Right Hon. the Earl Stanhope. Churchill, London, 1845.
nion for the invalid or winter fireside. The Appendix, which has been enriched by the contributions of Earl Stanhope and the Hon. Mr. Talbot, constitutes not the least valuable portion of the work. We have, however, such a strong impression that dead men do not bite,' that we have still our misgivings about the ghost-story of Lord Lyttleton, despite of Mr. Talbot's narrative upon the viva voce testimony of one who had seen it, or at least seen the person who was an eye-witness of the apparition of his Lordship.
Various suggestions have been offered for commanding at will the drowsy god, but none have been found infallible. Macnish repeated lines of poetry; Sir John Sinclair counted, and Dr. Franklin took his air-bath, that is, walked undressed about his chamber. The following is the somnolent prescription of Dr. Binns, which he says never failed to his knowledge, except in two cases-one a peer of the realm, the other a newspaper editor:
* Let him (the sleepless) turn on his right side, place his head comfortably on his pillow, so that it exactly occupies the angle a line drawn from the head to the shoulder would form, and then, slightly closing his lips, take a rather full inspiration, breathing as much as he possibly can through the nostrils. This, however, is not absolutely necessary, as some persons breathe always through the mouth during sleep, and rest as sound as those who do not. Having taken a full inspiration, the lungs are then to be left to their own action—that is, the respiration is neither to be accelerated nor retarded too much; but a very full inspiration must be taken. The attention must now be fixed upon the action in which the patient is engaged. He must depict to himself that he sees the breath passing from his nostrils in a continuous stream, and at the very instant he brings his mind to conceive this apart from all other ideas, consciousness and memory depart: imagination slumbers; fancy becomes dormant; thought ceases; the sentient faculties lose. their susceptibility; the vital or ganglionic system assumes the sovereignty, and, as we before remarked, he no longer wakes but sleeps. For the instant the mind is brought to the contemplation of a single sensation, that instant the sensorium abdicates the throne, and the hypnotic faculty steeps it in oblivion.'
Should this fail, try Gargantua's specific, mentioned in a previous notice of Rabelais, p. 513.
The monastic life is little better than emasculation ; destroying in the bud human virility and developement. It made me observe to a friend who had inconsiderately, as I thoughi, suffered his daughter to take the veil, probably from mere childish or ephemeral impressions, that I considered the step a virtual extinguishment of life—a snuffing out of the candle as soon as lighted. I made even a stronger remark, but which it would be improper to report. You may have the best place, but not the best right to it.
In the present day, so strong is the controversial spirit, that tales, novels, and romances are now no longer published merely to amuse, but with a view to expound some favourite dogma, or promulgate some new theory. We have Young England and Puseyite novels every other week, while in the present instance the fair authoress seems infected by a craving desire to run a tilt with his holiness the pope. There is little tolerance in Mrs. Fielder-she appears to be what Dr. Johnson so much prized, a good hater; but her sympathies are good, her views elevating and noble, and her dislike of Popery is so sincere, so much the result of conviction, as to be the connecting link of the whole production. A large portion of the work is laid in Ireland, a country which the authoress describes with a truth, vigour, and picturesqueness, that can only be the result of intimate knowledge. As a mere novel it is possessed of much interest—there is a mystery and excitement in the plot, which carry the reader irresistibly to the end. Many of the characters are drawn with much skill, all in fact in a manner to give promise of greater things from the writer's more matured pen. The style, though too ornate, sometimes rising to a height which borders on the ludicrous, requiring only judicious pruning, is precisely that which must improve. Were it meagre and bald, there were little hope for amendment, but being, as it is, rich to exuberance, it may with ease be tamed down to purity and correctness. At all events it gives vent to the thoughts of a very original mind. Merely as a specimen of the opinions of a young lady of rank and fortune we give a brief quotation to which has been called our particular attention :
• Hugh Bourne, the always welcome, and now the most constant visitor at Malvern, was a clergyman of the Church of England ; but entertaining none of those prejudices which render conspicuous, and too often odious, her ministers, who, decrying the intolerance and bigotry of some other persuasions with pharisaic pride, treat with open contempt and deadly hate and persecute all communities of dissenters, those not the least offensively who come nearest to our tenets. And what are those who by such means only obtain the name of high churchmen? Are they immaculate ? Some are the younger sons of nobility and affluence, who, preferred to a living because in the gift of the family, are accordingly sent to college, there to be initiated in all the obscenity of classic lore and the deepest hell of vice that human life, or rather, human infancy, presents. Thus the constitution is under
• Edith Leslie, a Novel, by Mrs. Fielder. London. Newby.
mined by imbibing poison, which the few ethical antidotes commonly used can never thoroughly eradicate. When the boy becomes a premature man in all things but reflection, he is given the charge of immortal souls,- an awfully responsible one to contemplate seriously. He ascends the pulpit to preach to his fellow sinners virtues, of which he has a vague idea,' &c.
SELECT COMMITEE-BOARD OF ORDNANCE.
RIFLE-BALL EXPERIMENT, Act II. The morning of the tenth of April, 1843, on which the trial was to be made, was ushered in by a gale of wind like the blast of a hundred trumpets, announcing in this appropriate manner the feats of arms that were to immortalize the eventful day. On his departure for Woolwich his friend Gill took leave of /. with these words, Now, old fellow, listen to the voice of wisdom. Your gun is worn out, and your eyes are worn out too with poring over your musty books, and you know you have got the rheumatism in the leg. If you offer to shoot you will have less sense than is usually ascribed to the respectable animal that nature has beneficently adorned with ears of an unusual length. And do not contradict anybody, or misconduct yourself, but do exactly what they tell you to do, or else you will be sorry for having invented a new shot.'
* The officers will do nothing unworthy of the Regiment of Artillery, and although we are all at cross purposes, yet the matter may clear itself
when I meet them on the Practice Ground.'
It has been observed by philosophers that every man, every horse, and every gun has some individual peculiarity which the lapse of time only renders more prominent. The
venerable gun which the Select Committee of the Board of Ordnance were about to employ in their experiments on the new shot, had twa faults,-rare is the man or the horse that has only two:-as long as the inside of the barrel was properly cleaned after each shot, and as long as the gun was treated altogether with the degree of respect that is due to old age, it went off in a mild and gentle manner ; but if it were neglected, and suffered to become foul with soot, its indignation at such unworthy treatment was expressed by an energetic and well-directed kick. This was bad enough, yet if the ill-usage was increased and rendered intolerable by ramming tight bullets down the barrel, it became outrageous ;-a jet of fire darted from the oblique touchhole, whisked round the pan, and in its onward course consumed with a devouring flame the front of the marksman's hat; sometimes it set the hair of the victim in a blaze, and, if greatly
exasperated, a flash of fire directed exactly at the centre of his right eye brought him to a due sense of contrition for the neglect of his duties. Often had the bruises and soot that disguised the countenance of its devoted owner induced those who passed him in the street to suspect that he had been engaged in a disreputable personal contest with a chinney-sweep.
As you have been enquiring into the causes and effects of deflection,' observed Mr. Walter, you could not have found a gun better fitted for your purpose. This has most of the qualities that are required to throw the ball wide of the mark. If any body could hit a mark with this gun, he must be a very expert marksman.'
H.-You do not suppose that if a physician intended to study and to write upon the disorder called St. Vitus's dance, he would trouble himself with persons that were in perfect health. No; he would visit people that were labouring under that disorder, and so become acquainted with the disease. One of Mr. Lancaster's best rifles would have been of little use to me, but this old gun, that is full of every cause of deflection, abounds in the disorder that I wish to cure. My object has been to make a shot that will correct all this.
Mr. Walter. It is probable that the officers will fix this unlucky gun to some block and fire from it, alternately, the common round ball and your new winged shot. They will also have their own gun and this also carefully cleaned after every shot, and then its odd peculiarities will not be found out.'
Accordingly H. carried his rifle to Woolwich with the round and winged shot, and after his return in the evening, as he sat by the fire expecting the arrival of Colonel De Beaufort and Mr. Jonathan Buck, Mr. Walter, who loved politics, enquired, • How is the Oregon territory to be defended!
Say rather, how are Canada and the West Indies to be defended ?'
* Not forgetting Ireland,' added H., · but when our friend Jonathan comes we shall hear what he says, and here he is with De Beaufort.'
• What do I behold ?' exclaimed Mr. Buck as he entered the room of the old bachelor. “Tinderbox over the fire-place, with a sprig of laurel in the great touch-hole and a laurel branch in the muzzle!
Fill your glasses, gentlemen. Three cheers for Tinderbox, hip! hip! hip! hurrah!'
• Now for supper while it is hot. Carve away, H., and tell us all about it while we consume these edibles, We'll all take care of ourselves.'
H.- Pass the wine, gentlemen, and then let me impart unto you that, after fortifying exhausted nature at the Barrack Tavern