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whom the day is absolutely free. It brings its unescapable requisitions. It involves work. It involves responsibility.
Neither of these exist amid the happy hours of sleep. You have nothing to do—except to dream, or not to dream. The great question for the philosophic dreamer is how to avoid two things : (1) nightmare; (2) the discontinuous dream. A dream, to be enjoyable, ought to be a poem pleasant and perfect. Hateful is the dream in which you fancy you cannot get on a pair of boots, or in which some unsatisfactory animal (a gryphon or wyvern or rhinoceros) settles itself on your chest. Even more hateful is the discontinuous unsignificant dream, wherein often are mingled all the unpleasant and hideous people you remember or have forgotten, in combinations which defy both Laplace and the kaleidoscope. It seems a pity we can get no science of oneirology—no method whereby sleep might be made the happiest time of life, which it manifestly ought to be. It is the only
time when you have not to sacrifice to vanity in the matter of hats and coats or of gowns and bonnets. It is the only time when you are beyond criticism—when you are monarch of all you survey, as Cowper puts it. The bed is a solitary island, and you are Robinson Crusoe for a third of your life. Sleep separates you from trouble as securely as the untraversed sea. Your servitude or misery, your ambition or avarice, depart when you tread the pathless paradise of Sleep. If you recall those stark spectres, the fault is yours. There are men who will persist in dreaming of their creditors --but it is a mistake.
So little Silvia dreamt unsophistically. She had not been taught how to dream. It is an art not as yet compassed by ladies' seminaries, so far as there is information on the topic. At any rate, it seems not to be named in their prospectuses. Notwithstanding this, your little girl will dream, especially after anything that seems like an event to her giddy little head.
So Silvia dreamt, that night.
She dreamt that she was pursued by a bull with a countenance exactly like that of Walter Nugent. How ungrateful to her heroic deliverer!
She dreamt, further,-only her dream was broken into a series of nightmares,—that the Nugent bull, just as it was about to toss her over a familiar tall green hedge of hawthorn that she saw every day, was seized on the shoulder by an immense dog, that pulled it to the ground. The mighty mastiff had also a human face, but one entirely unknown to her. The bull ran away, and the mastiff roared a mighty bark, and Silvia awoke, pleased to find that she was not in the paddock, but between the sheets,--far, far, far away from both bulls and mastiffs.
“I do hate dreams,” she said next day to the Squire.
“ That is because you don't dream scientifically, child,” said Mr. Silchester.
“ He who can form a magic square
May find employment anywhere;
RE you a Rosicrucian? ” asked Walter
Nugent of Silvester Silchester one fine spring eventide. The western sky was full of ideas. You could see amber skiffs in it, ruby seraphs, golden goddesses, gray poets of the past. The south wind was making holiday, and playing wild freaks with the clouds. It was a regular romp among the sky's minor deities. The Moon, a thin scimitar, looked on so keen and thin that you felt to touch her would cut your finger. No earthly cutler could have set such a blade. It must have been Völund Smith, the famous artificer whose swords would cut men through without their knowing it till they shook themselves. Then they dissolved partnership. Such smiths are not nowaday.
Völund was Vulcan to the great King and sublime Architect who built the imperishable Palace of Stonehenge. Some day, some archæologic Antrobus will dig up that very gold chain which Völund wove for his queen,—so fine that a mile of it could lie in the corner of Her Majesty's eye without her discovering it. Such chains are wholly beyond the skill of the neoteric orfèvre who sells you so few links (and so ugly) for so much money. Völund is said to have made out of a coin the size of a spade guinea a chain that reached from Old Sarum to Camelot. But then the question is, Where was Camelot? According to the best authorities, it was either Carlisle in Cumberland, or Camel