A. Roger Ekirch
is a professor of history at Virginia Tech, where he has taught
since 1977 after working with Jack P. Greene at Johns Hopkins
University. His interest in transatlantic research originated
while a Paul Mellon Fellow in American History at Cambridge
University (19811982). Previous publications include "Poor
Carolina": Politics and Society in Colonial North Carolina,
17291776 (1981) and Bound for America: The Transportation
of British Convicts to the Colonies, 17181775 (1987).
He is currently completing a study of nighttime in the Western
world from the late medieval era to the Industrial Revolution.
This article draws from a book I am writing, At
Day's Close: Night in Times Past, for which I have been fortunate
enough to receive fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial
Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Virginia
Center for the Humanities. I am grateful for research grants from
the Department of History and the College of Arts and Sciences at
Virginia Tech, the American Council of Learned Societies, the American
Historical Association, and the American Philosophical Society.
A previous version of this article was presented to the Charles
M. Andrews Seminar at Johns Hopkins University on February 28, 1998,
the members of which, especially Nuran Cinlar and Amy Turner Bushnell,
I would like to thank for their comments. I also appreciate suggestions
made by Thomas A. Wehr, Philip D. Morgan, Robert J. Brugger, the
anonymous readers for this journal, and the editors.
Robert Louis Stevenson, The Cevennes Journal: Notes on a Journey
through the French Highlands, Gordon Golding, ed. (New York,
Samuel Johnson, The Adventurer (March 20, 1753): 229. Nearly
twenty years ago, George Steiner argued that studies of sleep
"would be as essential, if not more so, to our grasp of the evolution
of mores and sensibilities as are the histories of dress, of eating,
of child-care, of mental and physical infirmity, which social
historians and the historiens des mentalités are
at last providing for us." "The Historicity of Dreams," in Steiner,
No Passion Spent: Essays 19781996 (London, 1996),
21112. More recently, Daniel Roche has implored, "Let us
dream of a social history of sleep." A History of Everyday
Things: The Birth of Consumption in France, 16001800,
Brian Pearce, trans. (Cambridge, 2000), 182. Historical accounts
of dreams have included Peter Burke, "L'histoire sociale des rêves,"
Annales: E.S.C. 28 (1973): 32942; Richard L. Kagan,
Lucrecia's Dreams: Politics and Prophecy in Sixteenth-Century
Spain (Berkeley, Calif., 1990); Steven F. Kruger, Dreaming
in the Middle Ages (Cambridge, 1992); Carole Susan Fungaroli,
"Landscapes of Life: Dreams in Eighteenth-Century British Fiction
and Contemporary Dream Theory" (PhD dissertation, University of
Virginia, 1994); Alan Macfarlane, The Family Life of Ralph
Josselin, a Seventeenth-Century Clergyman (Cambridge, 1970),
18387; S. R. F. Price, "The Future of Dreams:
From Freud to Artemidorous," Past and Present 113 (November
1986): 337; Manfred Weidhorn, Dreams in Seventeenth-Century
English Literature (The Hague, 1970); Dream Cultures: Explorations
in the Comparative History of Dreaming, David Shulman and
Guy G. Stroumsa, eds. (New York, 1999); Charles Carlton, "The
Dream Life of Archbishop Laud," History Today 36 (December
1986): 914. Attitudes toward sleep, from the ancient world
to the twentieth century, are chronicled in Jaume Rosselló
Mir, et al., "Una aproximacion historica al estudio cientifico
de sueño: El periodo intuitivo el pre-cientifico," Revista
de historia de la psicologia 12 (1991): 13342. For a
brief survey of sleep in the Middle Ages, see Jean Verdon, La
nuit au Moyen Age (Paris, 1994), 20317; and for an examination
of key medical texts touching on sleep during the early modern
era, see Karl H. Dannenfeldt, "Sleep: Theory and Practice in the
Late Renaissance," Journal of the History of Medicine 41
(October 1986): 41541.
Charles Gildon, The Post-Boy Rob'd of His Mail . . .
(London, 1692), 109.
For several recent explorations of ordinary life, see A History
of Private Life, Philippe Ariès and Georges Duby, eds.,
Arthur Goldhammer, trans., 5 vols. (Cambridge, Mass., 198791),
esp. vols. 2 and 3; Roche, History of Everyday Things;
Annik Pardailhé-Galabrun, The Birth of Intimacy: Privacy
and Domestic Life in Early Modern Paris, Jocelyn Phelps, trans.
(Philadelphia, 1991). Research devoted to recapturing everyday
realities has included a growing appreciation for the senses.
See, for instance, Alain Corbin, The Foul and the Fragrant:
Odor and the French Social Imagination (Cambridge, Mass.,
1986); and Corbin, Village Bells: Sound and Meaning in the
Nineteenth-Century French Countryside, Martin Thom, trans.
(New York, 1998); Bruce R. Smith, The Acoustic World of Early
Modern England: Attending to the O-Factor (Chicago, 1999).
Robert Wodrow, Analecta: or, Materials for a History of Remarkable
Providences; Mostly Relating to Scotch Ministers and Christians,
4 vols. (Edinburgh, 184243), 3: 496.
Johnson, Adventurer (March 20, 1753): 232. Among poets,
Christof Wirsung echoed, sleep represented "the pleasantess amongst
all goods, yeas the onelie giver of tranquility on earth." Praxis
Medicinae Universalis: or, A Generall Practise of Phisicke . . .
(London, 1598), 618. See also Albert S. Cook, "The Elizabethan
Invocations to Sleep," Modern Language Notes 4 (1889):
The Complete Works in Prose and Verse of Francis Quarles,
Alexander B. Grosart, ed., 3 vols. (New York, 1967), 2: 206. See
also, for example, Thomas Cheesman, Death Compared to Sleep
in a Sermon Preacht upon the Occasion of the Funeral of Mrs. Mary
Allen . . . (London, 1695); William Jones, A
Disquisition Concerning the Metaphorical Usage and Application
of Sleep in the Scriptures (London, 1772).
T. D. Gent, Collin's Walk through London and Westminster,
A Poem in Burlesque (London, 1690), 43; Night Thoughts
among the Tombs . . . (London, 1753), 37. See also,
for example, Michelangelo, "The Speech of Night," and Samuel Daniel,
"A Plea," in Journey into Night, H. J. Deverson, ed.
(New York, 1966), 194, 196; Sir Philip Sidney, Arcadia,
2 vols. (1598; rpt. edn., Delmar, N.Y., 1984), 2: 39697;
"On Sleep," in Four Odes (London, 1750), 1; "To Sleep,"
The Poetical Works of Mark Akenside (New York, 1969), 262.
Burton E. Stevenson, The Home Book of Proverbs, Maxims and
Familiar Phrases (New York, 1948), 2134; Sir Philip Sidney,
Astrophel and Stella (London, 1591). Sancho Panza reflected,
"While I sleep I have no fear, nor hope, nor trouble, nor glory.
God bless the inventor of sleep, the cloak that covers all man's
thoughts, the food that cures all hunger, the water that quenches
all thirst, the fire that warms the cold, the cold that cools
the heart; the common coin, in short, that can purchase all things,
the balancing weight that levels the shepherd with the king, and
the simple with the wise." Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, The
Adventures of Don Quixote, J. M. Cohen, trans. (1950;
rpt. edn., Baltimore, 1965), 906. See also Another Collection
of Philosophical Conferences of the French Virtuosi . . .,
G. Havers and J. Davies, trans. (London, 1665), 3; Elkanah Settle,
Ibrahim the Illustrious Bassa (London, 1677), 51; Jean-François
Senault, Man Become Guilty: or, The Corruption of Nature by
Sinne, Henry, Earle of Monmouth, trans. (London, 1650), 247;
Abraham Cowley, "Sleep," in Minor English Poets, 16601780:
A Selection from Alexander Chalmers' The English Poets, David
P. French, comp., 10 vols. (New York, 1967), 2: 115; Mr. A., "To
Sleep," The Diverting-Post, Made Up into a Packet for the Entertainment
of the Court, City, and Country (January 1706); Christopher
Jones, "Midnight Thoughts," St. James Chronicle (London),
March 22, 1774.
Works of John Taylor the Water Poet Not Included in the Folio
Volume of 1630, 5 vols. (1870; rpt. edn., New York, 1967),
vol. 1. For the "sommeil du juste," see Verdon, La nuit au
Moyen Age, 20306. Earlier, the belief that "the sleep
of a labouring man is sweet" was expressed in Ecclesiastes 5:12.
See also Du Bartas: His Divine Weekes and Workes, Joshua
Sylvester, trans. (London, 1621), 465; Robert Daborne, The
Poor-Mans Comfort (London, 1655); John Collop, "On Homer,"
in Poesis Rediviva (London, 1656), 63; Cheesman, Death
Compared to Sleep, 12; William Somervile, Ocassional Poems,
Translations, Fables, Tales . . . (London, 1727),
275; "The Peasant," General Advertiser (London), November
16, 1751; ballad quoted in Carl Bridenbaugh, Vexed and Troubled
Englishmen: 15901642 (New York, 1968), 84.
"When our spirits are Exhausted," Cowper noted, "we wish for sleep
as old men for Death, only because we are tired with our present
condition." She also complained that her own husband, Sir William,
commonly went to bed early in order to avoid her presence. February
13, July 22, 1712, Diary of Dame Sarah Cowper, Hertfordshire County
Record Office, England; Statement of Elizabeth Israel, The
Proceedings on the King's Commissions of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer,
and Gaol Delivery for the City of London; and also Gaol Delivery
for the County of Middlesex, held at Justice-Hall in the Old Bailey
(hereafter, Old Bailey Sessions Papers), June 711,
Quoted in Philip D. Morgan, Slave Counterpoint: Black Culture
in the Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake and Lowcountry (Chapel
Hill, N.C., 1998), 52425.
July 22, 1712, Cowper Diary; Thomas Nashe, "The Terrors of the
Night," in The Works of Thomas Nashe, F. P. Wilson,
ed., 5 vols. (1910; rpt. edn., Oxford, 1966), 1: 355. For the
latest in luxury bedding available to modern consumers, see Amy
Zipkin, "Counting Sheep, and Dollar Signs," New York Times,
May 31, 1998.
Thomas Middleton, A Mad World, My Masters . . .
(London, 1608). For a sampling of this belief, see Pierre Goubert,
The French Peasantry in the Seventeenth Century, Ian Patterson,
trans. (Cambridge, 1986), 39; Jacques Wilhelm, La vie quotidienne
des Parisiens au temps du Roi-Soleil, 16601715 (Paris,
1977), 70; Maria Bogucka, "Work, Time Perception and Leisure in
an Agricultural Society: The Case of Poland in the Sixteenth and
Seventeenth Centuries," in Labour and Leisure in Historical
Perspective, Thirteenth to Twentieth Centuries, Ian Blanchard,
ed. (Stuttgart, 1994), 50; Barbara and Cary Carson quoted in James
P. Horn, Adapting to a New World: English Society in the Seventeenth-Century
Chesapeake (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1994), 315; David D. Hall,
Worlds of Wonder, Days of Judgment: Popular Religious Belief
in Early New England (New York, 1989), 214.
Thomas Cogan, The Haven of Health (London, 1588), 23233;
Dannenfeldt, "Sleep," 42224.
Henry Davidoff, A World Treasury of Proverbs from Twenty-Five
Languages (New York, 1946), 25. See, for example, Levinus
Lemnius, The Touchstone of Complexions . . .,
T. Newton, trans. (London, 1576), 57; John Northbrooke, A Treatise
wherein Dicing, Dauncing, Vaine playes or Enterluds with Other
Idle Pastimes . . . (London, 1577), 8; William Vaughan,
Naturall and Artificial Directions for Health . . .
(London, 1607), 53; The Workes of That Famous Chirurgion Ambrose
Parey, Thomas Johnson, trans. (London, 1649), 2627;
Henry Hibbert, Syntagma theologicum . . . (London,
1662), 282; Dannenfeldt, "Sleep," 40712.
John Trusler, An Easy Way to Prolong Life, By a Little Attention
to Our Manner of Living . . . (London, 1775), 11.
How widespread this notion was may be seen in such proverbs as
"go to Bed with the lamb and rise with the lark" and "would you
have a settled head, You must early go to bed." Morris Palmer
Tilley, A Dictionary of the Proverbs in England in the Sixteenth
and Seventeenth Centuries (1950; rpt. edn., Ann Arbor, Mich.,
F. P. Wilson, The Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs,
3d edn. (Oxford, 1970), 389.
Baxter quoted in Stephen Innes, Creating the Commonwealth:
The Economic Culture of Puritan New England (New York, 1995),
124; Thomas Elyot, The Castle of Helthe (London, 1539),
fols. 4546; The Schoole of Vertue, and Booke of Good
Nourture . . . (London, 1557); William Bullein,
A Newe Boke of Phisicke Called y Goveriment of Health . . .
(London, 1559), 91; Andrew Boorde, A Compendyous Regyment or
a Dyetary of Health . . . (London, 1547); Michael
Cope, A Godly and Learned Exposition uppon the Proverbes of
Solomon, M.O., trans. (London, 1580), fols. 85, 415v16;
Lemnius, Touchstone of Complexions, 58; Northbrooke, Treatise,
passim; Sir Thomas Overbury, The "Conceited Newes" of Sir Thomas
Overbury and His Friends, James E. Savage, ed. (1616; rpt.
edn., Gainesville, Fla., 1968), 167; The Whole Duty of Man
. . . (London, 1691), 18889; Richard L. Greaves,
Society and Religion in Elizabethan England (Minneapolis,
Boorde, Compendyous Regyment. See also Cogan, Haven
of Health, 237; Tobias Venner, Via recta ad vitam longam
. . . (London, 1637), 27980; Lemnius, Touchstone
of Complexions, 57; Whole Duty of Man, 189.
Lawrence Wright, Warm and Snug: The History of the Bed
(London, 1962), 195; Boorde, Compendyous Regyment.
Bullein, Newe Boke of Phisicke, 91; Boorde, Compendyous
Regyment; Venner, Via recta, 27980; Directions
and Observations relative to Food, Exercise and Sleep (London,
1772), 22; Dannenfeldt, "Sleep," 430.
Wright, Warm and Snug, 194, my italics. The physician Guglielmo
Gratarolo pointedly distinguished slumber of eight hours' duration
according to "common custome" from prolonged sleep in "ancient
time," as Hippocrates had advised. A Direction for the Health
of Magistrates and Studentes (London, 1574). See also Giovanni
Torriano, Piazza universale di proverbi italiani: or, A Common
Place of Italian Proverbs (London, 1666), 194; Gosta Langenfelt,
The Historic Origin of the Eight Hours Day: Studies in English
Traditionalism (1954; rpt. edn., Westport, Conn., 1974), 78,
John Aubrey, Aubrey's Natural History of Wiltshire (1847;
rpt. edn., New York, 1969), 11.
John 9: 4. See, for example, Rev. John Clayton, Friendly Advice
to the Poor . . . (Manchester, 1755), 37; Thomas
Porter, A Witty Combat: or, The Female Victor (London,
1663); Franco Sacchetti, Tales from Sacchetti, Mary G.
Steegmann, trans. (1908; rpt. edn., Westport, Conn., 1978), 22332;
Thomas Dekker, The Seven Deadly Sinnes of London, H. F. B.
Brett-Smith, ed. (New York, 1922), 2930; Richard Baxter,
The Practical Works of Richard Baxter, 4 vols. (London,
183845), 1: 242, 466; Robert Greene, Ciceronis Amor:
Tullies Love (1589) and A Quip for an Upstart Courtier (1592)
(Gainesville, Fla., 1954); Anthony Horneck, The Happy Ascetick:
or, The Best Exercise ([London], 1680), 394, 409; Statement
of Anne Russel, Old Bailey Sessions Papers, January 1621,
1755; A. Roger Ekirch, At Day's Close: Night in Times Past
See, for example, Deposition of Mary Greenwood, August 16, 1772,
Assi 45/31/1/315, Public Record Office, London; Francis Jollie,
Jollie's Sketch of Cumberland Manners and Customs . . .
(Beckermet, Eng., 1974), 45; Robert Bell, A Description of
the Condition and Manners . . . of the Peasantry of
Ireland, Such as They Were between the Years 1780&1790 . . .
(London, 1804), 2021; Jean-Louis Flandrin, Families in
Former Times: Kinship, Household and Sexuality, Richard Southern,
trans. (Cambridge, 1979), 10710; Peter Kalm quoted in English
Historical Documents, 17141783, D. B. Horn and
Mary Ransom, eds. (New York, 1969), 530; Ekirch, At Day's Close.
For the growth in urban entertainment, see Thomas Burke, English
Night-Life: From Norman Curfew to Present Black-out (New York,
1971), 170; Angus McInnes, "The Emergence of a Leisure Town:
Shrewsbury 16601760," Past and Present 120 (August
1988): 6566; Peter Borsay, The English Urban Renaissance:
Culture and Society in the Provincial Town, 16601760
(Oxford, 1989), passim.
B. Stevenson, Home Book of Proverbs, 1686; Robert Morgan,
My Lamp Still Burns (Llandysul, Wales, 1981), 64; Glossary
of Northamptonshire Words and Phrases . . ., Anne
Elizabeth Baker, comp. (London, 1854), 95; Ekirch, At Day's
Norman John Greville Pounds, The Culture of the English People:
Iron Age to the Industrial Revolution (Cambridge, 1994), 12124;
Pardailhé-Galabrun, Birth of Intimacy, 12530;
William T. O'Dea, The Social History of Lighting (New York,
1958), 1721, 3645; Roche, History of Everyday Things,
121; Ekirch, At Day's Close.
November 27, 1705, Cowper Diary; Tusser quoted in Eric Sloane,
The Seasons of America Past (New York, 1958), 26; Hugo
Matthiessen, Natten: Stuier I Gammelt Byliv ([Copenhagen],
1914), 89; February 8, 1756, and December 26, 1763, The
Diary of Thomas Turner 17541765, David Vaisey, ed. (Oxford,
1985), 2627, 283. Similarly, for both sides of the Atlantic,
see the regulations quoted in the Liverpool Mercury, February
7, 1812; January 19, 1711, Jonathan Swift, Journal to Stella,
Harold Williams, ed., 2 vols. (Oxford, 1948), 1: 170; "Letter
of Edward Shippen of Lancaster, 1754," Pennsylvania Magazine
of History and Biography 30 (1906): 86; June 25, 1794, The
Diary of Elizabeth Drinker, Elaine Forman Crane, ed., 3 vols.
(Boston, 1991), 1: 568; Lawrence Wright, Clockwork Man: The
Story of Time, Its Origins, Its Uses, Its Tyranny (New York,
1968), 74. A seventeenth-century proverb instructed, "To sup at
six and go to bed at ten, will make a man live ten times ten."
Vincent Stuckey Lean, Lean's Collectanea, 4 vols. (Bristol,
190204), 1: 503. A French variation, common in the sixteenth
century, counseled: "To rise at five, to dine at nine, To sup
at five, to sleep at nine, Lengthens life to ninety-nine." Lloyd's
Evening Post (London), February 19, 1768.
Steiner, "Historicity of Dreams," 212; Simon B. Chandler, "Shakespeare
and Sleep," Bulletin of the History of Medicine 29 (1955):
25560. See, for example, The True Relation of Two Wonderfull
Sleepers . . . (London, 1646); A General Collection
of Discourses of the Virtuosi of France . . . ,
G. Havers, trans. (London, 1664), 197201; Journals of
Sir John Lauder, Donald Crawford, ed. (Edinburgh, 1900), 84;
"Letter of M. Brady," London Chronicle, July 31, 1764;
"The History of Cyrillo Padovano, the Noted Sleep-Walker," in
Collected Works of Oliver Goldsmith, Arthur Friedman, ed.,
5 vols. (Oxford, 1966), 2: 21418; A Relation of Several
Hundreds of Children&Others That Prophesie and Preach in Their
Sleep (London, 1689); "Somnificus," Weekly Journal: or,
British Gazetteer (London), February 27, 1725; James Boswell,
["On Sleep and Dreams"], September 1781, in The Hypochondriack,
Margery Bailey, ed., 2 vols. (Stanford, Calif., 1928), 2: 110.
Another Collection of Philosophical Conferences, 419; Northumberland
Words, Richard Oliver Heslop, comp., 2 vols. (1892; rpt. edn.,
Vaduz, 1965), 1: 248, 2: 659; The Proverbs of Scotland,
Alexander Hislop, comp. (Edinburgh, 1870), 346. For similar comparisons
to the sleep of animals, see, for example, Wilson, Oxford Dictionary
of English Proverbs, 742; Thomas Dekker, North-Ward Hoe
(London, 1607); The Works of Thomas Adams, 3 vols. (Edinburgh,
186162), 2: 193; Thomas Duffett, The Empress of Morocco
(London, 1674), 15; Overbury, "Conceited Newes," 260; Statement
of Richard Wager, Old Bailey Sessions Papers, October 16,
1728; Bartlett J. Whiting, Proverbs, Sentences, and Proverbial
Phrases: From English Writings Mainly before 1500 (Cambridge,
Mass., 1968), 30.
William Rowley, All's Lost by Lust (London, 1633); Thomas
Shadwell, The Amorous Bigotte (London, 1690), 43; The
Dramatic Works of Sir William D'Avenant (New York, 1964),
146; Boswell, ["On Sleep and Dreams"], 2: 112; Henry Vaughan,
Welsh Proverbs with English Translations (Felinfach, Wales,
1889), 35; Erik Eckholm, "Exploring the Forces of Sleep," New
York Times Magazine (April 17, 1988): 32.
William Harrison, The Description of England, Georges Edelen,
ed. (Ithaca, N.Y., 1968), 201; Lemnius, Touchstone of Complexions,
73; Stephanie Grauman Wolf, As Various as Their Land: The Everyday
Lives of Eighteenth-Century Americans (New York, 1993), 66;
Carole Shammas, "The Domestic Environment in Early Modern England
and America," Journal of Social History 14 (Fall 1990):
169, 158; F. G. Emmison, Elizabethan Life: Home, Work
and Land (Chelmsford, Eng., 1976), 1215; Pounds, Culture
of the English People, 14547; Flandrin, Families
in Former Times, 102; Daniel Roche, The People of Paris:
An Essay in Popular Culture in the 18th Century, Marie Evans,
trans. (Leamington Spa, Eng., 1987), 13031; Roche, History
of Everyday Things, 18285; Robert Jütte, Poverty
and Deviance in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, 1994), 6970;
Pardailhé-Galabrun, Birth of Intimacy, 7381.
Anthony Burgess interpreted the elevated height of bedsteads "as
a symbol of overlordship" for which there was "no utilitarian
rationale." Not only did raised beds remain accessible to vermin,
but it was "easier for your enemies to stab you than if you were
on the floor." Burgess, On Going to Bed (New York, 1982),
84. To be sure, the height of bedsteads dramatically distinquished
men and women of property from other household members, including
children confined to trundle beds and servants, but my experience
as a graduate student without the benefit of a bedstead makes
me skeptical that persons found it no more comfortable to enter
and exit a raised bed. Moreover, medical opinion warned against
resting "upon the ground, nor uppon colde stones, nor neere the
earth: for the coldnesse of stones, and the dampe of the earth,
are both very hurtfull to our bodies." Cogan, Haven of Health,
235. See also Steven Bradwell, A Watch-man for the Pest . . .
(London, 1625), 39.
Boswell, ["On Sleep and Dreams"], 2: 110; Richard Steele, The
Husbandmans Calling: Shewing the Excellencies, Temptations, Graces,
Duties, etc. of the Christian Husbandman (London, 1670), 270.
"We are unable to think of, much more to provide for, our own
Security," observed the eighteenth-century poet James Hervey.
Meditations and Contemplations, 2 vols. (London, 1752),
2: 42. See also Stephen Bateman, A Christall Glasse of Christian
Reformation . . . (London, 1569); Thomas Amory,
Daily Devotion Assisted and Recommended, in Four Sermons . . .
(London, 1772), 15; Benjamin Bell, Sleepy Dead Sinners
(Windsor, Vt., 1793), 8. For Sigmund Freud's influential discussion
of "neurotic ceremonials" pertaining to sleep, see "Obsessive
Actions and Religious Practices," in The Standard Edition of
the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, James Strachey,
ed., 23 vols. (London, 195766), 9: 11718; Barry Schwartz,
"Notes on the Sociology of Sleep," Sociological Quarterly
11 (Fall 1970): 49495; Stanley Coren, Sleep Thieves:
An Eye-Opening Exploration into the Science and Mysteries of Sleep
(New York, 1996), 165.
David Ogborne, The Merry Midnight Mistake . . .
(Chelmsford, Eng., 1765), 34; Statement of Anne Towers, Old
Bailey Sessions Papers, July 1517, 1767; Keith Thomas,
Man and the Natural World (New York, 1983), 101; Pounds,
Culture of the English People, 12829; and Norman
J. G. Pounds, Hearth and Home: A History of Material Culture
(Bloomington, Ind., 1989), 18486.
Peter Earle, The Making of the English Middle Class: Business,
Society and Family Life in London, 16601730 (Berkeley,
Calif., 1989), 243; Oxford English Dictionary, 1st edn.
(Oxford, 18881928), s.v. "bedstaff"; Old Bailey Sessions
Papers, 17161766, passim.
See, for example, September 8, 11, 1794, Diary of Elizabeth
Drinker, 1: 590, 592; December 2, 1766, and February 8, 1767,
The Blecheley Diary of the Rev. William Cole, 176567,
Francis Griffin Stokes, ed. (London, 1931), 161, 184; The Justiciary
Records of Argyll and the Isles, 16641742, John Cameron
and John Imrie, eds., 2 vols. (Edinburgh, 1949, 1969), 2: 466;
Old Bailey Sessions Papers, May 1920, 1743, December
59, 1746; Deposition of Mary Nicholson, February 20, 1768,
Edward Topsell, The History of Four-Footed Beasts and Serpents
. . ., 2 vols. (London, 1658), 2: 95657; The
Goodman of Paris: A Treatise on Moral and Domestic Economy by
a Citizen of Paris (New York, 1928), 6567; John Southall,
A Treatise of Buggs . . . (London, 1730); J. F. D.
Shrewsbury, The Plague of the Philistines and Other Medical-Historical
Essays (London, 1964), 14661; L. O. J. Boynton,
"The Bed-Bug and the 'Age of Elegance,'" Furniture History
1 (1965): 1531.
July 16, 1784, John Byng, 5th Viscount Torrington, The Torrington
Diaries, C. Bruyn Andrews, ed., 4 vols. (New York, 193438),
1: 174. Remarked William Cole while in France, "Certainly the
French are a more hardy People than we are: they never air their
Linnen, but constantly go to Bed in damp, or rather wet Sheets
. . . whereas the same practice would give an Englishman,
if not his Death, at least the Rheumatism." November 28, 1765,
Rev. William Cole, A Journal of My Journey to Paris in the
Year 1765, Francis Griffin Stokes, ed. (London, 1931), 344.
For the prevalence of warming pans, see Horn, Adapting to a
New World, 31819. For their preparation by chambermaids,
see Domestic Management: or, The Art of Conducting a Family;
With Instructions to Servants in General (London, 1740), 56.
The devastating consequences of fires in early modern society
have been well documented in A Gazetteer of English Urban Fire
Disasters, 15001900, E. L. Jones, et al.,
eds. (Norwich, 1984); Bernard Capp, "Arson, Threats of Arson,
and Incivility in Early Modern England," in Civil Histories:
Essays Presented to Sir Keith Thomas, Peter Burke, et al.,
eds. (Oxford, 2000), 197213; Pounds, Culture of the English
People, 13134; Penny Roberts, "Agencies Human and Divine:
Fire in French Cities, 15201720," in Fear in Early Modern
Society, William G. Naphy and Penny Roberts, eds. (New York,
Bradwell, Watch-man for the Pest, 39; Venner, Via recta,
275; Dannenfeldt, "Sleep," 425; Israel Spach, Theses medicae
de somno et vigilia . . . (Argentorati, 1597); Giovanni
Florio, Florios Second Frutes (1591; rpt. edn., New York,
1969), 157; May 17, 1664, Samuel Pepys, The Diary of Samuel
Pepys, Robert Latham and William Matthews, eds., 11 vols.
(Berkeley, Calif., 197083), 5: 152; James Nelson, An
Essay on the Government of Children . . . (London,
1756), 132. Only in the eighteenth century did people begin to
grow less fearful of the "night air." Just as Samuel Johnson,
to Boswell's shock, gladly stood before an open window one fall
night [October 14, 1773, Boswell's Journal of a Tour to the
Hebrides with Samuel Johnson, LL.D., 1773, Frederick A. Pottle
and Charles H. Bennett, eds. (New York, 1961), 297], Benjamin
Franklin horrified John Adams, when sharing a bed in 1776, by
insisting that opening the window would prevent contracting colds.
Bernard Bailyn, "Butterfield's Adams: Notes for a Sketch," William
and Mary Quarterly, 3d ser., 19 (April 1962): 247.
Information is sparse about sleeping garments, but see C. Willett
and Phillis Cunnington, The History of Underclothes (London,
1951), 4143, 52, 61; Almut Junker, Zur Geschichte der
Unterwäsche 17001960: Eine Ausstellung des Historischen
Museums Frankfurt, 28 April bis 28 August 1988 (Frankfurt,
1988), 1078; Norbert Elias, The Civilizing Process,
Vol. 1: The History of Manners, Edmund Jephcott, trans.
(New York, 1978), 16465. For the absence of clothing among
sleepers, see Cheesman, Death Compared to Sleep, 6; Erasmus
Jones, A Trip through London . . . (London, 1728),
5657; Edmond Cottinet, "La nudité au lit selon cathos
et l'histoire," Le Moliériste (April 1883): 2025,
(June 1883): 8689; Edward MacLysaght, Irish Life in the
Seventeenth Century (New York, 1969), 66; Dannenfeldt, "Sleep,"
426. References to "lying rough," that is, wearing "day-clothes"
to bed, may be found in Francis Grose, A Classical Dictionary
of the Vulgar Tongue (London, 1785); [Thomas Deloney], The
Gentle Craft: A Discourse Containing Many Matters of Delight,
Very Pleasant to Be Read . . . (London, 1637); R.B.,
Admirable Curiosities, Rarities,&Wonders in England, Scotland,
and Ireland . . . (London, 1688), 5; Alan Macfarlane,
The Justice and the Mare's Ale (Oxford, 1981), 56; Constantia
Maxwell, County and Town in Ireland under the Georges (Dundalk,
1949), 123. On the necessity of nightcaps, see Venner, Via
recta, 275; J. Nelson, Essay on the Government of Children,
132; October 20, 1763, Boswell's London Journal, 17623,
Frederick A. Pottle, ed. (New York, 1950), 4950.
Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristam Shandy, Gentleman,
Samuel Holt Monk, ed. (New York, 1950), 568; September 22, 1660,
Pepys Diary, 1: 251. Boswell opined, "I have sometimes
been apt to laugh when I contemplated a bed-room with all its
contrivances." ["On Sleep and Dreams"], 2: 111. See also How
They Lived: An Anthology of Original Accounts Written between
1485 and 1700, Molly Harrison and O. M. Royston, comps.
(Oxford, 1962), 12225, 167; The Elizabethan Home Discovered
in Two Dialogues, M. St. Clare Byrne, ed. (London, 1930),
7778; December 12, 1762, Boswell's London Journal,
81; Domestic Management, 5056. Of night-lights, the
Public Advertiser of October 20, 1763, advised, "Every
sensible family, or Person should have a lighted Lamp all Night,
particularly during the Winter, in the House, having many great
Conveniences, as the Prevention of Robberies, Murders, &c.; likewise
is of Use in cases of Fire, and of sudden Sickness." See also
Peter Thornton, The Italian Renaissance Interior, 14001600
(New York, 1991), 278.
See, for example, Wirsung, Praxis Medicinae Universalis,
618; November 1, 1695, The Life and Times of Anthony Wood,
Antiquary, of Oxford, 16321695 . . . ,
Andrew Clark, comp., 5 vols. (Oxford, 18911900), 5: 493;
October 3, 1704, Cowper Diary; September 7, 1771, October 7, 1775,
The Diary of Sylas Neville, 17671788, Basil Cozens-Hardy,
ed. (London, 1950), 113, 191, 230; January 7, 1782, Boswell:
Laird of Auchinleck, 17781782, Joseph W. Reed and Frederick
A. Pottle, eds. (New York, 1977), 418.
Statement of John Gordon, Old Bailey Sessions Papers, September
1520, 1756. See also, for example, Fynes Moryson, An
Itinerary Containing His Ten Yeeres Travell . . . ,
4 vols. (Glasgow, 1907), 4: 44; Edward Ward, Miscellaneous
Writings, in Verse and Poetry . . . (London, 1712),
89; "To the Editor," British Chronicle (London), February
2, 1763; "T.C.," Public Ledger (London), December 5, 1765.
In truth, only sleep's first hours are enhanced by alcohol; thereafter,
people grow very restless. Coren, Sleep Thieves, 138.
Humphrey Brooke, Cautionary Rules for Preventing the Sickness
(London, 1665), 6; Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of
Magic: Studies in Popular Beliefs in Sixteenth and Seventeenth
Century England (London, 1971), 11328; François
Lebrun, "The Two Reformations: Communal Devotion and Personal
Piety," in Passions of the Renaissance, Roger Chartier,
ed., Arthur Goldhammer, trans., vol. 3 of Ariès and Duby,
History of Private Life, 9697. References to the
"lock" of the night may be found in Owen Feltham, Resolves
(London, 1628), 406; October 2, 1704, Cowper Diary; Scottish
Proverbs, Andrew Henderson, ed. (Edinburgh, 1832), 48. For
personal references to meditation and prayer, see, for example,
April 4, 1605, Diary of Lady Margaret Hoby 15991605,
Dorothy M. Meads, ed. (London, 1930), 217; March 4, 1666, Pepys
Diary, 7: 65; Diary of Sir Archibald Johnston of Wariston,
16821693, George Morison Paul, ed. (Edinburgh, 1911),
59; Two East Anglian Diaries, 16411729: Isaac Archer
and William Coe, Matthew Storey, ed. (Woodbridge, Eng., 1994),
51, 267; November 13, 1700, The Diary of John Evelyn, E. S.
De Beer, ed., 6 vols. (Oxford, 1955), 5: 435; February 28, 1704,
May 8, 1712, Cowper Diary; December 25, 1727, The Diary of
James Clegg of Chepel en le Frith, 17081755, Vanessa
S. Doe, ed. (Matlock, Eng., 1978), 24; Old Bailey Sessions
Papers, October 15, 1718; Deposition of William Smith, August
27, 1774, Assi 45/32/1/113.
July 18, 1709, Cowper Diary. See also, for example, The Writings
of John Bradford . . . , Aubrey Townsend, ed.,
2 vols. (Cambridge, 1848), 1: 239; Phillip Stubbes's Anatomy
of the Abuses in England in Shakespere's Youth, A.D. 1583,
Frederick James Furnivall, ed. (London, 1877), 1: 220; Thankfull
Remembrances of Gods Wonderful Deliverances, with Other Prayers
(n.p., 1628); F.S., Schoole of Vertue (London, 1630); Maister
Beza's Houshold Prayers: For the Consolation and Perfection of
a Christian Life, John Barnes, trans. (London, 1607); The
Whole Duty of Prayer (London, 1657), 3132; April 7,
1700, Diary of John Evelyn, 5: 400.
"Mary's Dream," quoted in The Oxford Book of Welsh Verse in
English, Gwyn Jones, comp. (Oxford, 1977), 78; Gervase Markham,
Countrey Contentments . . . (London, 1615), 31;
George Sinclair, Satan's Invisible World Discovered (Gainesville,
Fla., 1969), 21718; Kingsley Palmer, The Folklore of
Somerset (Totowa, N.J., 1976), 45; William Lilly, A Groatsworth
of Wit for a Penny: or, The Interpretation of Dreams (London,
[1750?]), 18; The Oxford Book of Local Verses, John Holloway,
comp. (Oxford, 1987), 8182, 285; Eveline Camilla Lady Gurdon,
Folk-Lore of Suffolk (Suffolk, 1893), 159; Dialects,
Proverbs and Work-lore, George Laurence Gomme, ed. (London,
1884), 131; Marie Nelson, "An Old English Charm against Nightmare,"
Germanic Notes 13 (1982): 1718; N. Bailey, English
Dialect Words of the Eighteenth Century . . . ,
William E. A. Axon, ed. (London, 1883), 121.
William C. Dement, The Promise of Sleep (New York, 1999),
Despite his idealized view of sleep in past ages, Dement himself
notes the ease with which slumber can be broken. Promise of
Herbert's Devotions: or, A Companion for a Christian . . .
(London, 1657), 1. See also, for example, Edmund Spenser quoted
in Deverson, Journey into Night, 133; Quarles, Complete
Works, 2: 206; October 12, 1703, Cowper Diary; Lady Charlotte
Bury, The Diary of a Lady-in-Waiting, A. F. Steuart,
ed., 2 vols. (London, 1908), 1: 31; Richard Brathwait, Natures
Embassie: or, The Wilde-mans Measvres (London, 1621), 120;
Thomas Shadwell, The Miser (London, 1672), 18; George Powell,
The Imposture Defeated: or, A Trick to Cheat the Devil
(London, 1698), 28; April 4, 1782, Journal of Peter Oliver, Egerton
Manuscripts, British Library, London; Benjamin Mifflin, "Journal
of a Journey from Philadadelphia to the Cedar Swamps&Back,
1764," Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 52
(1928): 13031. The supplement to Denis Diderot's Encyclopédie
identified numerous obstacles to sleep: "Hunger prevents sleeping,
indigestion, any irritating cause that constantly agitates some
part of the body, the cold in one part of the body, feet for example,
while the rest is covered, violent sounds, anxieties&annoyances,
a preoccupation, melancholy, mania, pain, shiverings, warm drinks,
drunk from time to time, like tea, coffee, several diseases of
the brain that are not yet well determined, all these prevent
sleep." Supplément a L'Encyclopédie, ou, Dictionnaire
raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers
. . . , 4 vols. (1777; rpt. edn., New York, 1969),
4: 809. For an extended discussion of sleep disturbances, see
Ekirch, At Day's Close.
Kenneth Jon Rose, The Body in Time (New York, 1989), 8788;
Jane Wegscheider Hyman, The Light Book: How Natural and Artificial
Light Affect Our Health, Mood and Behavior (Los Angeles, 1990),
14041; Mary Carskadan, ed., Encyclopedia of Sleep and
Dreaming (New York, 1993), 26970; Gay Gaer Luce, Body
Time (London, 1973), 151, 178. For the common association
of nighttime with heightened discomfort, see, for example, Diary
of the Rev. John Ward . . . , Charles Severn,
ed. (London, 1839), 199; September 24, 1703, October 18, 1715,
Cowper Diary; Vaughan, Welsh Proverbs, 85; Thomas Legg,
Low-Life: or, One Half of the World, Knows Not How the Other
Half Live . . . (London, 1750), 9; "A Night-Piece,
on a Sick-Bed," The British Magazine 2 (1747): 272; The
Autobiography of William Stout, J. D. Marshall, ed. (Manchester,
1967), 238; August 14, November 29, December 30, 1774, The
Diary of Colonel Landon Carter of Sabine Hall, 17521778,
Jack P. Greene, ed. (Charlottesville, Va., 1965), 2: 850, 890,
907; March 10, 1798, Diary of Elizabeth Drinker, 2: 1011;
Richard Cobb, Death in Paris: The Records of the Basse-Geôle
de la Seine, October 1795September 1801, Vendémiaire
Year IVFructidor Year IX (Oxford, 1978), n. 1, 90.
G. C. L. Canali quoted in Piero Camporesi, Bread
of Dreams: Food and Fantasy in Early Modern Europe, David
Gentilcore, trans. (Chicago, 1989), 64; John Wilson, The Projectors
(London, 1665), 18; Coren, Sleep Thieves, 157; Karl Wegert,
Popular Culture, Crime, and Social Control in 18th-Century
Württemberg (Stuttgart, 1994), 7980; Matthiessen,
Natten, 128; Eugen Weber, Peasants into Frenchmen: The
Modernization of Rural France, 18701914 (Stanford, Calif.,
The Works of Monsieur Boileau, 2 vols. (London, 1712),
1: 201. See also The True Narrative of the Proceedings at the
Sessions-House in the Old-Bayly. . . , December
89, 1680 (London, 1680); "Rusticus," St. James Chronicle,
November 12, 1772; Ben Jonson, Volpone: or, The Fox; Epicene:
or, The Silent Woman; The Alchemist; Bartholomew Fair, Gordon
Campbell, ed. (Oxford, 1995), 127.
William Hill quoted in Menna Prestwich, Cranfield: Politics
and Profits under the Early Stuarts (Oxford, 1966), 529; Bridenbaugh,
Vexed and Troubled Englishmen, 13; Collected Works of
Oliver Goldsmith, 1: 432; A. L. Beier, Masterless
Men: The Vagrancy Problem in England, 15601640 (London,
1985), 8384; Jütte, Poverty and Deviance, 6970;
Legg, Low-Life, 18. "Bulkers" are mentioned in the Old
Bailey Sessions Papers, July 5, 1727; Legg, Low-Life,
99; Grose, Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue; Lance Bertelsen,
The Nonsense Club: Literature and Popular Culture, 17491764
(Oxford, 1986), 29.
Torriano, Piazza universale di proverbi, 127. For the prevalence
of communal sleeping, see John Jervis, "Journal of Tour of France,"
1772, Additonal Manuscripts 31192/fol. 40, British Library, London;
Alain Collomp, "Families: Habitations and Cohabitations," in Chartier,
Passions of the Renaissance, 507; Flandrin, Families
in Former Times, 9899; Peter Benes, "Sleeping Arrangements
in Early Massachusetts: The Newbury Household of Henry Lunt, Hatter,"
in Early American Probate Inventories, Dublin Seminar for
New England Folklife, Annual Proceedings, Benes, et
al., eds. (1987): 14547. For the expression "to pig,"
see the OED, s.v. "pig"; Journal of Twisden [Bradboan?],
169394, 1698, Miscellaneous English Manuscripts, Bodleian
Library, Oxford; Edward Peacock, A Glossary of Words Used in
the Wapentakes of Manley and Corringham, Lincolnshire (1877;
rpt. edn., Vaduz, 1965), 191; John Dunton, Teague Land: or,
A Merry Ramble to the Wild Irish; Letters from Ireland, 1698,
Edward MacLysaght, ed. (Blackrock, Ire., 1982), 32.
Dunton, Teague Land, 21; Five Travel Scripts Commonly
Attributed to Edward Ward, Howard William Troyer, ed. (New
York, 1933), 5, 6; The Travel Diaries of Thomas Robert Malthus,
Patricia James, ed. (London, 1966), 188; The Great Dirunal
of Nicholas Blundell of Little Crosby, Lancashire, J. J.
Bagley, ed., 3 vols. (Chester, Eng., 196872), 2: passim;
G. E. and K. R. Fussell, The English Countrywoman:
A Farmhouse Social History, A.D. 15001900 (New York,
July 9, 1774, Philip Vickers Fithian, Journal and Letters of
Philip Vickers Fithian, 17731774: A Plantation Tutor of
the Old Dominion, Hunter Dickinson Farish, ed. (Williamsburg,
Va., 1943), 178.
The New Book of Eighteenth-Century Verse, Roger Lonsdale,
ed. (Oxford, 1984), 343; L'état de servitude, quoted
in Sarah C. Maza, Servants and Masters in Eighteenth-Century
France: The Uses of Loyalty (Princeton, N.J., 1983), n. 61,
183. The working-class author John Younger later derided "toddy-noodled
writers of gentle novels" for "describing the happy ignorance
of the snoring peasantry without any real knowledge of
such people's matters." Autobiography of John Younger, Shoemaker,
St. Boswells (Edinburgh, 1881), 133.
"Of Superstition," American Weekly Mercury (Philadelphia),
December 16, 1742.
April 13, 1719, William Byrd, The London Diary (17171721)
and Other Writings, Louis B. Wright and Marion Tinling, eds.
(Oxford, 1958), 256; October 9, 1647, Yorkshire Diaries and
Autobiographies in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries,
2 vols. (Durham, Eng., 1875), 1: 67; Charles P. Pollak, "The Effects
of Noise on Sleep," in Noise and Health, Thomas H. Fay,
ed. (New York, 1991), 43; Coren, Sleep Thieves, 7274,
286; Lydia Dotto, Losing Sleep: How Your Sleep Habits Affect
Your Life (New York, 1990), 31. A story in the Middlesex
Journal, September 19, 1772, criticized a wealthy widow for
contributing "to the want of rest at night" among her servants,
whose "health" was "totally ruined and destroyed." See also Di
Giacaomo Agostinetti, Cento, e dieci ricordi che formano il
buon fattor di villa (Venice, 1717), 257; Legg, Low-Life,
97; Tim Meldrum, Domestic Service and Gender 16601750:
Life and Work in the London Household (Harlow, Eng., 2000),
168. Little wonder that among the lower classes throughout early
modern Europe the mythical "Land of Cockaigne" exerted wide appeal.
Not only did this utopian paradise overflow with food and drink,
according to popular legend, but men rested in "silken beds,"
and "he who Sleeps most earns the most." "The Delightful Journey
to Cockaigne," quoted in Piero Camporesi, The Land of Hunger,
Tania Croft-Murray, trans. (Cambridge, 1996), 16064; Edward
Peter Caraco, "Pieter Bruegel's Land of Cockaigne" (MA
thesis, University of Virginia, 1978); Herman Pleij, Dreaming
of Cockaigne: Medieval Fantasies of the Perfect Life, Diane
Webb, trans. (New York, 2001), 4243, 36571. (My thanks
to Columbia University Press for allowing me to see the pre-publication
proofs.) For the unconventional view that ample rest among servants
and slaves was desirable because it made them more docile, see
Les serées de Guillaume Bouchet, C. E. Roybet,
ed., 6 vols. (Paris, 187382), 2: 15354.
Quoted in Mechal Sobel, The World They Made Together: Black
and White Values in Eighteenth-Century Virginia (Princeton,
N.J., 1987), 24; The Works of James Pilkington, B.D., Lord
Bishop of Durham, Rev. James Scholefield, ed. (London, 1842),
446. For discussions of a pre-industrial work ethic, see, for
example, Sobel, World They Made Together, 2526; E. P.
Thompson, "Time, Work-Discipline, and Industrial Capitalism,"
Past and Present 38 (December 1967): 5697; Edmund
S. Morgan, "The Labor Problem at Jamestown, 160718," AHR
76 (June 1971): 595611; John Rule, The Experience of
Labour in Eighteenth-Century English Industry (New York, 1981),
Canali quoted in Camporesi, Bread of Dreams, 6869;
Coren, Sleep Thieves, passim.
Herbert's Devotions, 236.
For the term "first sleep," I have discovered sixty-three references
within a total of fifty-eight different sources from the period
13001800. See below in the text for examples. "First nap"
appears in Colley Cibber, The Lady's Last Stake: or, The Wife's
Resentment (London, 1708), 48; Tobias George Smollett, The
Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom, 2 vols. (London, 1753),
1: 73; Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights, Ian Jack, ed. (Oxford,
1981), 97. For "dead sleep," see Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury
Tales (Avon, Conn., 1974), 93; Henry Roberts, Honurs Conquest
(London, 1598), 134; Rowley, All's Lost by Lust; Thomas
Randolph, Poems with the Muses Looking-glasse . . .
(Oxford, 1638); Shirley James, The Constant Maid (London,
1640); Robert Dixon, Canidia: or, The Witches . . .
(London, 1683), 6. The fewer references to segmented sleep I have
found in early American sources suggests that this pattern, though
present in North America, may have been less widespread than in
Europe, for reasons ranging from differences in day/night ratios
to the wider availability of candles and other forms of artificial
illumination in the colonies. Two sourcesBenjamin Franklin,
"Letter of the Drum," Pennsylvania Gazette (Philadelphia),
April 23, 1730, and Hudson Muse to Thomas Muse, April 19, 1771,
in "Original Letters," Willam and Mary Quarterly 2 (April
1894): 240contain the expression "first nap." I have also
found references to segmented sleep in twelve works of American
fiction published during the first half of the nineteenth century.
All the stories take place either in America or in Europe, with
nearly half set before 1800. See, for example, Washington Irving,
The Beauties of Washington Irving . . . (Philadelphia,
1835), 152; Irving, A Book of the Hudson . . .
(New York, 1849), 51; Irving, Bracebridge Hall, Tales of a
Traveller, The Alhambra (New York, 1991), 398, 813; Richard
Penn Smith, The Forsaken: A Tale, 2 vols. (Philadelphia,
1831), 2: 211; James Fenimore Cooper, The Ways of the Hour
(New York, 1850), 276; Nathaniel Hawthorne, Tales and Sketches:
A Wonder Book for Girls and Boys, Tanglewood Tales for Girls and
Boys, Roy Harvey Pearce, ed. (New York, 1982), 293. While
visiting London one winter, Hawthorne, in fact, noted a difference
in the nature of English nights and sleep from his own experience
in New England: "At this season, how long the nights arefrom
the first gathering gloom of twilight, when the grate in my office
begins to grow ruddier, all through dinnertime, and the putting
to bed of the children, and the lengthened evening, with its books
or its drowsiness,our own getting to bed, the brief awakenings
through the many dark hours, and then the creeping onward of morning.
It seems an age between light and light." January 6, 1854, Hawthorne,
The English Notebooks (New York, 1962), 44.
I have found twenty-one references to these terms within a total
of nineteen sources from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries,
including Pierre de Deimer, L'académie de l'art poétique
(Paris, 1610), 260; Honoré d'Urfé, L'astrée,
M. Hughes Vaganay, ed., 5 vols. (Geneva, 1966), 2: 267, 3: 442;
Madame de Sévigné, Correspondance, 2 vols.
(Paris, 1972), 1: 598; [Claude-Phillippe de Tubières, Comte
de Caylus], Féeries nouvelles, 2 vols. ([Paris],
1741), 1: 298, 2: 48; and both the tales and fables of Jean de
For "primo sonno" and "primo sono," the Opera del Vocabolario
Italiano database of early Italian literature, furnished by the
ItalNet consortium (on the World Wide Web at www.lib.uchicago.edu/efts/ARTFL/projects/OVI/),
contains fifty-seven references within a total of thirty-two texts
from just the fourteenth century. See, for example, Giovanni Boccaccio,
Decameron, V. Branca, ed. (Florence, 1976), 229, 270, 353,
542, 543, 568, 591, 592; Franco Sacchetti, Trecentonovelle,
V. Pernicone, ed. (Florence, 1946), 433, 536.
For "primo somno" or some slight variation like "primus somnus"
or "primi somni," for which I have discovered nineteen references
within sixteen texts, half of the latter before the thirteenth
century, see, for example, Henricus Petraeus and Abraham Vechner,
Agonismata . . . (Marburg, 1618), 172; Ugo Benzi,
Scriptum de somno et vigilia, Gianfranco Fioravanti and
Antonella Idato, eds. (Siena, 1991), 4; Christian Philippus Brinck,
Dodecas thesium inauguralium juridicarum de somno (Basil,
). For "concubia nocte," see D. P. Simpson, Cassell's
Latin Dictionary (London, 1982), 128; Cicero, De Senectute,
De Amicitia, De Divinatione, William Armistead Falconer, trans.
(Cambridge, 1964), 287; Tacitus in Five Volumes, Clifford
H. Moore and John Jackson, trans. (Cambridge, Mass., 1969), 2:
446, 3: 310; Livy with an English Translation in Fourteen Volumes,
F. G. Moore, trans. (Cambridge, Mass., 1966), 6: 372; Plautus
with an English Translation, Paul Nixon, trans., 5 vols. (London,
1960), 5: 182; Pliny, Natural History, with an English Translation
in Ten Volumes, W. H. S. Jones, trans. (Cambridge,
Mass., 1963), 8: 254; Paulus Orosius, Historiarum adversum
paganos libri VII, Marie-Pierre Arnaud-Lindet, trans., 3 vols.
(Paris, 199091), 2: book 4, cap. 18; Jacobus Andreas Crusius,
De nocte et nocturnis officiis . . . (Bremae,
1660), 44; Macrobius, The Saturnalia, Percival Vaughan
Davies, trans. (New York, 1969), 42.
OED, s.v. "watching"; Mid-night Thoughts, Writ, as Some
Think, by a London-Whigg, or a Westminster Tory . . .
(London, 1682), A 2, 17; Private Prayers, Put Forth by Authority
during the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, Rev. William Keatinge
Clay, ed. (1851; rpt. edn., London, 1968), 44041.
Bullein, New Boke of Phisicke, 90; Charles Johnstone,
Chrysal: or, The Adventures of a Guinea (London, 1760), 20;
Notes and Queries, 2d ser., 5 (March 13, 1858): 207; Richard
Saunders, Physiognomie, and Chiromancie, Metoposcopie . . .
(London, 1653), 216; Thomas Tryon, A Treatise of Dreams&Visions
. . . (London, 1689), 14.
Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, 403; William Baldwin, Beware
the Cat: The First English Novel, William A. Ringler, Jr.,
and Michael Flachmann, eds. (San Marino, Calif., 1988), 5.
George Wither, Ivvenila (London, 1633), 239; John Locke,
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (London, 1690),
589. See also Francis Peck, Desiderrata curiosa: or, A Collection
of Divers Scarce and Curious Pieces . . . ,
2 vols. (London, 1732), 2: 33. For references to the "first sleep"
of animals, see, for example, James Shirley, The Constant Maid
(London, 1640); Samuel Jackson Pratt, Harvest-Home . . . ,
3 vols. (London, 1805), 2: 457; Caroline Matilda Kirkland, A
New Home . . . (New York, 1839), 140.
Raimundus Lullus, Liber de regionibus sanitatis et informitatis
(n.p., 1995), 107; Harrison, Description of England, 382.
The Dramatic Works of Sir William D'Avenant, 5 vols. (187274;
rpt. edn., New York, 1964), 3: 75; Dittay, December 18, 1644,
in Selected Justiciary Cases, 16241650, J. Irvine
Smith, ed., 3 vols. (Edinburgh, 195374), 3: 642; Noël
Taillepied, A Treatise of Ghosts . . . ,
Montague Summers, trans. (1933; rpt. edn., Ann Arbor, Mich., 1971),
9798. See also, for example, Tristan and the Round Table,
Anne Shaver, ed. (Binghamton, N.Y., 1983), 101, 153; Boccaccio,
The Decameron, Edward Hutton, trans. (New York, 1940),
396, 397; The Facetious Nights of Straparola, W. G.
Waters, trans., 4 vols. (Boston, 1915), 2: 190; Baldwin, Beware
the Cat, 5; George Fidge, The English Gusman (London,
1652), 11, 17; Endimion: An Excellent Fancy First Composed
in French by Mounsieur Gombauld, Richard Hurst, trans. (London,
1639), 74; The Works of George Farquhar, Shirley Strum
Kenny, ed., 2 vols. (Oxford, 1988), 1: 100.
Governal, In His Tretyse That Is Cleped Governayle of Helthe
(New York, 1969); Bullein, Newe Boke of Phisicke, 90; Boorde,
Compendyous Regyment; André Du Laurens, A Discourse
of the Preservation of the Sight: Of Melancholike Diseases . . . ,
Sanford V. Larkey, ed., Richard Surflet, trans. ([London], 1938),
190; Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (New York,
1938), 46465; Vaughan, Naturall and Artificial Directions
for Health, 53; Venner, Via recta, 275; Francis de
Valangin, A Treatise on Diet: or, The Management of Human Life
(London, 1768), 288.
Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, Montaillou: The Promised Land of Error,
Barbara Bray, trans. (New York, 1978), 277, 227. See also Jean
Duvernoy, ed., Le régistre d'inquisition de Jacques
Fournier (Evêque de Pamiers), 13181325, 3 vols.
(Toulouse, 1965), 1: 243.
"Night vigils," declared the twelfth-century scholar Alan of Lille,
"were not instituted without reason, for by them it is signified
that we must rise in the middle of the night to sing the night
office, so that the night may not pass without divine praise."
Best known for advocating this regimen was the Spanish mystic
St. John of the Cross, author of The Dark Night of the Soul,
although in England voices within both the Catholic and Anglican
churches still prescribed late night vigils in the eighteenth
century. Alan of Lille, The Art of Preaching, Gillian R.
Evans, trans. (Kalamazoo, Mich., 1981), 136; Abbot Gasquet, English
Monastic Life (London, 1905), 11112; C. H. Lawrence,
Medieval Monasticism: Forms of Religious Life in Western Europe
in the Middle Ages (London, 1984), 2830; John M. Staudenmaier,
S.J., "What Ever Happened to the Holy Dark in the West? The Enlightenment
Ideal and the European Mystical Tradition," in Progress: Fact
or Illusion? Leo Marx and Bruce Mazlish, eds. (Ann Arbor,
Mich., 1996), 184.
F. G. Moore, Livy, 6: 37273; Virgil, The
Aeneid, Robert Fitzgerald, ed., John Dryden, trans. (New York,
), 43; Pausanias, Description of Greece, W. H. S.
Jones and H. A. Ormerod, trans., 5 vols. (Cambridge, 1966),
2: 311; Plutarch, The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans,
John Dryden, trans. (New York, 1979), 630, 1208; Chapman's
Homer: The Iliad, The Odyssey and the Lesser Homerica, Allardyce
Nicoll, ed., 2 vols. (Princeton, N.J., 1967), 2: 73.
Paul Bohannan, "Concepts of Time among the Tiv of Nigeria," Southwestern
Journal of Anthropology 9 (Autumn 1953): 253; Paul and Laura
Bohannan, Three Source Notebooks in Tiv Ethnography (New
Haven, Conn., 1958), 357; Bruno Gutmann, The Tribal Teachings
of the Chagga (New Haven, 1932); George B. Silberbauer, Hunter
and Habitat in the Central Kalahari Desert (Cambridge, 1981),
111. See also Vilhelm Aubert and Harrison White, "Sleep: A Sociological
Interpretation, II," Acta Sociologica 4 (1959): 1011;
C. M. Worthman and M. Melby, "Toward a Comparative Ecology
of Human Sleep," in Adolescent Sleep Patterns: Biological,
Social, and Psychological Influences, M. A. Carskadon,
ed. (New York, in press).
Thomas A. Wehr, "A 'Clock for All Seasons' in the Human Brain,"
in Hypothalamic Integration of Circadian Rhythms, R. M.
Buijs, et al., eds. (Amsterdam, 1996), 31940; Wehr,
"The Impact of Changes in Nightlength (Scotoperiod) on Human Sleep,"
in Neurobiology of Sleep and Circadian Rhythms, F. W.
Turek and P. C. Zee, eds. (New York, 1999), 26385;
Natalie Angier, "Modern Life Suppresses Ancient Body Rhythm,"
New York Times, March 14, 1995; personal communications
with Thomas Wehr, December 23, 31, 1996. Despite not having access
to artificial light, the subjects in the experiment were permitted
out of bed if they chose to arise in the dark.
Quoted in Warren E. Leary, "Feeling Tired and Run Down? It Could
Be the Lights," New York Times, February 8, 1996; Thomas
A. Wehr, et al., "Conservation of Photoperiod-Responsive
Mechanisms in Humans," American Journal of Physiology 265
(1993): R855. See also Charles A. Czeisler, "The Effect of Light
on the Human Circadian Pacemaker," in Circadian Clocks and
Their Adjustment, Derek J. Chadwick and Kate Ackrill,
eds. (Chichester, Eng., 1995), 254302; Phyllis C. Zee and
Fred W. Turek, "Introduction to Sleep and Circadian Rhythms,"
and Charles A. Czeisler and Kenneth P. Wright, Jr., "Influence
of Light on Circadian Rhythmicity in Humans," in Turek and Zee,
Neurobiology of Sleep, 58, 14980; Dement, Promise
of Sleep, 98101.
[Richard Steele], December 14, 1710, The Tatler, George
Aitken, ed., 4 vols. (1899; rpt. edn., New York, 1970), 4: 337,
339; April 9, 1664, Pepys Diary, 5: 118; March 19, 1776,
Boswell: The Ominous Years, 17741776, Charles Ryskamp
and Frederick A. Pottle, eds. (New York, 1963), 276. Of the Navy
Board, where Pepys, when not socializing, frequently labored at
night in a series of official capacities, it was said in 1700,
"There are very few nights, even in summer, that we do not burn
candles at this office"according to one estimate, well over
one hundred per night during the preceding decade. O'Dea, Social
History of Lighting, 11415. Boswell observed in defense
of his late hours, "My avidity to put as much as possible into
a day makes me fill it till it is like to burst." April 2, 1775,
Boswell: The Ominous Years, 118. See also T. Burke, English
October 9, 1761, "Journeys from Dublin to London, 1761, 1773,"
Additional Manuscripts 27951, British Library, fol. 66; A Description
of the Towns and Villages, &c.; on and Adjoining the Great North
Road, From London to Bawtry (London, 1782), 4, 5.
Boorde, Compendyous Regyment. See also Dunton, Teague
Land, 25; Statement of Samuel Whitehouse, Old Bailey Sessions
Papers, May 2123, 1760.
"Old Robin of Portingale," in The English and Scottish Popular
Ballads, Francis Child, ed., 5 vols. (188298; rpt. edn.,
New York, 1965), 2: 241. See also, for example, Brooke, Cautionary
Rules, 6; Deposition of Thomas Jubb, November 17, 1740, Assi
45/22/1/102; November 12, 1729, November 30, 1726, January 4,
1728, Diary of Robert Sanderson, St. John's College, Cambridge;
Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, Love's Adventures
Venner, Via recta, 272; Donald Woodward, ed., The Farming
and Memorandum Books of Henry Best of Elmswell, 1642 (London,
1984), 124; Deposition of Jane Allison, March 15, 1741, Assi 45/22/2/64B;
Stephen Duck, The Thresher's Labour , and Mary Collier,
The Woman's Labour  (rpt. edn., Los Angeles, 1985),
16. See also "The Peasant's Life, according to William Langland"
[c. 1376], in English Historical Documents, 13271485,
A. R. Myers, ed. (London, 1969), 1190; The Pinder of Wakefield
(London, 1632), 8.
Notes and Queries 5, 2d ser., 115 (March 13, 1858): 207.
See also Tobias Smollett, Peregrine Pickle, 2 vols. (New
York, 1967), 2: 244. Of Bishop Ken, an early biographer wrote
that for purposes of "his study" he "strictly accustomed himself
to but one sleep, which often obliged him to rise at one or two
of the clock in the morning, and sometimes sooner." James Boswell,
The Life of Samuel Johnson, Rodney Shewan, ed., 2 vols.
(London, 1968), 2: 164.
Herbert's Devotions, 237; Statement of Thomas Liggins,
Old Bailey Sessions Papers, January 1518, 1748; Deposition
of Mary Atkinson, March 9, 1771, Assi 45/30/1/3; Deposition of
Jane Rowth, April 11, 1697, Assi 45/17/2/93. Reverend Anthony
Horneck condemned "how High-way-men and Thieves can rise at midnight
to Rob and Murder Men!" Horneck, Happy Ascetick, 414. See
also M. Lopes de Almeida, Diálogos de D. Frei Amador
Arrais (Pôrto, 1974), 19; Deposition of Jane Newham,
December 3, 1770, Assi 45/30/1/16; Statement of Lord Justice Generall
Deputy, August 29, 1722, in Imrie, Justiciary Records of Argyll
and the Isles, 2: 376; Deposition of Thomas Nicholson, June
2, 1727, Assi 45/18/4/3940.
Horneck, Happy Ascetick, 415. See also Almeida, Diálogos
de Amador, 19.
Whole Duty of Prayer, 13; Richard and John Day, A Booke
of Christian Praiers . . . (London, 1578), 44041;
R. Sherlock, The Practical Christian: or, The Devout Penitent
. . . (London, 1699), 32223; Furnivall, Phillip
Stubbes's Anatomy of the Abuses, 221; anonymous parent quoted
in Danielle Régnier-Bohler, "Imagining the Self," in Revelations
of the Medieval World, Georges Duby, ed., Arthur Goldhammer,
trans., vol. 2 of Ariès and Duby, History of Private
Life, 357. See also, for example, Jeremy Taylor, Holy Living
and Dying: Together with Prayers Containing the Whole Duty of
a Christian . . . (London, 1850), 41; Mr. Byles,
The Visit to Jesus by Night, An Evening-Lecture (Boston,
The Deceyte of Women . . . (n.p., 1568); Deposition
of Dorothy Rodes, March 18, 1650, in Depositions from the Castle
of York, Relating to Offences Committed in the Northern Counties
in the Seventeenth Century (London, 1861), 28. See also Geoffroy
de La Tour-Landry, Book of the Knight of La Tour Landry
(London, 1906), fol. 3b; January 4, 1728, Sanderson Diary.
The Waiting City: Paris 178288; Being an Abridgement
of Louis-Sebastian Mercier's "Le tableau de Paris," Helen
Simpson, ed. and trans. (Philadelphia, 1933), 76; Laurent Joubert,
Popular Errors, Gregory David de Rocher, trans. (Tuscaloosa,
Ala., 1989), 11213; Cogan, Haven of Health, 252.
See also Boorde, Compendyous Regyment; The English Rogue
Continued, In the Life of Meriton Latroon . . . ,
4 parts (London, 1671), 2: 367; Statement of Mary Pearce, Old
Bailey Sessions Papers, April 20, 1737; "A Woman's Work Is
Never Done," in The Roxburghe Ballads, William Chappell
and J. W. Ebsworth, eds., 9 vols. (187199; rpt. edn.,
New York, 1966), 3: pt. 1, 305.
Pilkington, Works, 340. Thomas Jefferson before bed routinely
read works of moral philosophy "whereon to ruminate in the intervals
of sleep." Jefferson to Dr. Vine Utley, March 21, 1819, Thomas
Jefferson, Writings, Merrill D. Peterson, ed. (New York,
1984), 1417. See also Girolamo Cardano, The Book of My Life
(1930; rpt. edn., New York, 1962), 82; Timothy Nourse, Campania
foelix (1700; rpt. edn., New York, 1982), 175; Leisure
Hours Employed for the Benefit of Those Who Would Wish to Begin
the World as Wise as Others End It (London, 1759), 10.
Everie Woman in Her Humor (London, 1609). See also May
24, 1595, Richard Rogers and Samuel Ward, Two Elizabethan Puritan
Diaries, Marshall Mason Knappen, ed. (Gloucester, Mass., 1966),
105; July 12, 1702, Cowper Diary.
B. Stevenson, Home Book of Proverbs, 1686. According to
Francis Quarles, "We tire the night in thought, the day in toyl."
Quarles, Complete Works, 3: 58. See also Wilson, Oxford
Dictionary of English Proverbs, 566.
John Aubrey, Aubrey's Brief Lives, Oliver Lawson Dick,
ed. (London, 1950), 131; Gentleman's Magazine (London)
(1748): 108; "To the Printer," Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser
(London), February 11, 1769; Rita Shenton, Christopher Pinchbeck
and His Family (Ashford, Eng., 1976), 29.
Régnier-Bohler, "Imagining the Self," 390; Edmund Spenser,
The Works of Edmund Spenser: A Variorum Edition, Edwin
Greenlaw, ed., 11 vols. (Baltimore, 1947), 2: 249; Richard Brome,
The Northern Lasse (London, 1632); Sir William Davenant,
The Platonick Lovers (London, 1636); July 31, 1704, Wodrow,
Analecta, 1: 53; Statement of John Wragg, Old Bailey
Sessions Papers, February 23, 1732; Taillepied, Treatise
of Ghosts, 9798.
Nathaniel Hawthorne, "The Haunted Mind," in Hawthorne, Tales
and Sketches, 20001; John Wade, Redemption of Time
(London, 1692), 187. See also, for example, Jerome James Donnelly,
"The Concept of Night: Its Use and Metamorphosis in the Poetry
of the Eighteenth Century" (PhD dissertation, University of Michigan,
1966), 81, 89, 10001, 115, 119.
Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, 40304; Farquhar, Works,
1: 10001; January 6, 1677, The Rev. Oliver Heywood, B.A.,
16301702: His Autobiography, Diaries, Anecdote and Event
Books . . . , J. Horsfull Turner, ed., 4 vols.
(Brighouse, Eng., 1882), 1: 340; Ram Alley, Peter Corbin
and Douglas Sedge, eds. (Nottingham, 1981), 56. See also Rudolf
von Schlettstadt, Historiae Memorabiles: Zur Dominikanerliteratur
und Kulturgeschichte des 13. Jahrhunderts, Erich Kleinschmidt,
ed. (Cologne, 1974), 7172; Peter Motteux, Beautie in
Distress (London, 1698), 14; [Thomas Newcomb], The Manners
of the Age . . . (London, 1733), 454; Denis Diderot,
Les bijoux indiscrets (Paris, 1965), 151; Robert Bage,
Man as He Is, 4 vols. (London, 1792), 3: 85; William Godwin,
St. Leon: A Tale of the Sixteenth Century, 4 vols. (London,
1799), 3: 27475. The sixteenth-century medical authority
Christof Wirsung believed that nightmares occurred principally
"when a body is in his first sleepe. Lying on his back." Praxis
Medicinae Universalis, 150.
"To the Rev. Simon Olive-branch," The Looker-On (May 22,
1792): 234; The Works of Sir Thomas Browne, Geoffrey Keynes,
ed., 6 vols. (London, 192831), 5: 185; Tryon, Treatise
of Dreams&Visions, 9; Thomas, Religion and the Decline
of Magic, 28130.
The Weekly Register: or, Universal Journal (London), December
30, 1732; "Somnifer," Public Advertiser, October 24, 1767.
For dream books, see, for example, Nashe, "Terrors of the Night,"
1: 36970; The Art of Courtship: or, The School of Delight
. . . as Likewise the Interpretation of Dreams ([London],
1686); Nocturnal Revels: or, A Universal Dream-Book . . .
(London, 1706); "Somniculus," Worcester Journal, December
21, 1744; Lilly, Groatsworth of Wit; Chap-Books of the
Eighteenth Century, John Ashton, ed. (New York, 1966), 8182;
Price, "Future of Dreams," 32.
Polydori Ripa, Tractatus de nocturno tempore . . .
(Venice, 1602), chap. 9, no. 27; Lemnius, Touchstone of Complexions,
11314; Parey, Workes, 27. For renewed interest in
the link between dreaming and illness, see Robert L. Van De Castle,
Our Dreaming Mind (New York, 1994), 36170.
Feltham, Resolves, 18, 163; Thomas Tryon, Wisdom's Dictates:
or, Aphorisms&Rules . . . (London, 1691), 68.
See also, for example, Philip Goodwin, The Mystery of Dreams
(London, 1658); T. Adams, Works, 2: 1617; George
Chapman, Evgenia: or, True Nobilities Trance . . .
(London, 1614); [Joseph Addison], September 18, 1712, The Spectator,
William Bond, ed., 5 vols. (Oxford, 1965), 5: 22628; William
Enfield, The English Preacher (London, 1773), 214; "Observations
on the Nature of SLEEP: From a Philosophical Essay on Man," Walker's
Hibernian Magazine 4 (1774): 21718; Jones, Disquisition
Concerning . . . Sleep in the Scriptures, 1011;
Jean-Claude Schmitt, "The Liminality and Centrality of Dreams
in the Medieval West," in Shulman and Stroumsa, Dream Cultures,
27487; Fungaroli, "Landscapes of Life," 4882.
Lemnius, Touchstone of Complexions, 114; Tobias George
Smollett, The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom, Damian
Grant, ed. (London, 1971), 109; "A Dreamer," Gazetteer and
New Daily Advertiser, October 21, 1767; Moryson, Itinerary
Containing His Ten Yeeres Travell, 1: 27. Not surprisingly,
talking in one's sleep was thought more revealing of a person's
thoughts than were one's waking opinions, with occasionally embarrassing
consequences. "Don't tell me," wrote a suitor to his lover, "that
I ought to draw no Consequence from what you said in the Night:
It was you that spoke then, and you alone; whereas in the Day
'tis Constraint, 'tis Ceremonty, 'tis Dissimulation that speaks."
The Works of Mr. Thomas Brown, 4 vols. (London, 1708),
3: 114. See also, for example, William Shakespeare, Othello,
III, 3; John Fletcher, et al., The Spanish Curate
(London, 1647), 44; Pont-de-Veyle, The Sleep-Walker (Strawberry
Hill, Eng., 1778), 37, 5556.
August 15, 1665, February 7, 1669, Pepys Diary, 6: 191,
9: 439. The penis routinely becomes erect during a dream, regardless
of its content; in fact, men on average experience "four to five
erections a night (when they are asleep), each lasting from five
to ten minutes." Rose, Body in Time, 54, 95.
Selected Fables, Maya Slater, ed. (Oxford, 1995), 283;
William King, "Of Dreams," in French, Minor English Poets,
2: 259; Jacques Le Goff, The Medieval Imagination, Arthur
Goldhammer, trans. (Chicago, 1988), 234; Jean-Claude Schmitt,
Ghosts in the Middle Ages: The Living and the Dead in Medieval
Society, Teresa Lavender Fagan, trans. (Chicago, 1998), 43.
Torriano, Piazza universale di proverbi, 261; Mum. Bedlove,
"Meditations on a Bed," in Universal Spectator, and Weekly
Journal (London), February 5, 1737. The laborer "Jeffrey"
in Richard Brome's comedy The Queenes Exchange (London,
1657) defiantly insists, "Let work no more be thought on, we will
revel it out Of remembrance, we will not cease our joy to sleep,
for Fear we dream of work again." See also John Cotta, The
Triall of Witch-Craft (London, 1616), 8384; "The Maiden's
Dream," in Chappell and Ebsworth, Roxburghe Ballads, 8:
cxl; L.P., "The Dainty Damsels Dream . . ." (London,
); The Diary of Abraham De La Pryme, the Yorkshire Antiquary
(Durham, Eng., 1870), 21920; Les serées de Guillaume
Bouchet, 2: 142; T. Adams, Works, 2: 13334; The
Journals and Letters of Fanny Burney (Madame D'Arblay), Joyce
Hemlow, et al., eds., 12 vols. (Oxford, 1972 ), 1:
33; Régnier-Bohler, "Imagining the Self," 388; Mechal Sobel,
"The Revolution in Selves: Black and White Inner Aliens," in Through
a Glass Darkly: Reflections on Personal Identity in Early America,
Ronald Hoffman, et al., eds. (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1997),
Michael Craton, Testing the Chains: Resistance to Slavery in
the British West Indies (Ithaca, N.Y., 1982), 250; Mid-night
Thoughts, 34; Patick MacGill, Children of the Dead End
. . . (London, 1914), 11314. A study of the
nineteenth-century community of Lindsey found that villagers still
visited family and friends in their dreamsso often, that
a dreamer would comment the next morning, "I have been a deal
with in the night." James Obelkevich, Religion
and Rural Society: South Lindsey, 18251875 (Oxford,
1976), 293. See also Boccaccio, Decameron, ed. Branca,
373; Thomas V. Cohen, "The Case of the Mysterious Coil of Rope:
Street Life and Jewish Persona in Rome in the Middle of the Sixteenth
Century," Sixteenth Century Journal 19 (Summer 1988): 99;
The Autobiography of a Seventeenth-Century Venetian Rabbi:
Leon Modena's Life of Judah, Mark R. Cohen, ed. and trans.
(Princeton, N.J., 1988), 94, 99; Tryon, Treatise of Dreams&Visions,
74; Adventurer (November 21, 1752): 26; October 8, 1761,
Diary of William Dyer, 2 vols., 1: 107, Bristol Central Library,
England; Lisa M. Bitel, "In Visu Noctis: Dreams in European
Hagiography and Histories, 450900," History of Religions
31 (August 1991): 3959; Sobel, "Revolution in Selves," 18085;
Galit Hasan-Rokem, "Communication with the Dead in Jewish Dream
Culture," in Shulman and Stroumsa, Dream Cultures, 21334.
Steiner, "Historicity of Dreams," 211; Carlo Ginzburg, The
Night Battles: Witchcraft and Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth
and Seventeenth Centuries, John and Anne Tedeschi, trans.
(London, 1983); Achille Mbembe, "Domaines de la nuit et autorité
onirique dans les maquis du Sud-Cameroun (19551958)," Journal
of African History 32 (1991): 89121. See also Gustav
Henningsen, "'The Ladies from Outside': An Archaic Pattern of
the Witches Sabbath," in Early Modern European Witchcraft:
Centres and Peripheries, Bengt Ankarloo and Gustav Henningsen,
eds. (Oxford, 1990), 191207; Erika Bourguignon, "Dreams
and Altered States of Consciousness in Anthropological Research,"
in Psychological Anthropology, Francis L. K. Hsu,
ed. (Cambridge, Mass., 1972), 405.
"The Poore Man Payes for All," in Chappell and Ebsworth, Roxburghe
Ballads, 2: 33438; "The Poet's Dream: or, The Out-cry
and Lamentable Complaint of the Land against Bayliffs and Their
Dogs," in Roxburghe Ballads, 7: 1112. A dream, in
fact, led the Diggers to select St. George's Hill in Surrey for
their egalitarian commune. Thomas, Religion and the Decline
of Magic, 148. See also "Poor Robin's Dream: Commonly Called
Poor Charity" (n.p., c. 1600s); Kagan, Lucrecia's Dreams;
Carla Gerona, "Stairways to Heaven: A Cultural History of Early
American Quaker Dreams" (PhD dissertation, Johns Hopkins University,
1998); Senault, Man Become Guilty, 243; Roy G. D'Andrade,
"Anthropological Studies of Dreams," in Psychological Anthropology:
Approaches to Culture and Personality, Francis L. K.
Hsu, ed. (Homewood, Ill., 1961), 309.
See, for example, Bourguignon, "Dreams and Altered States," in
Hsu, Psychological Anthropology (1972), 40334; Vilhelm
Aubert and Harrison White, "Sleep: A Sociological Interpretation,
I," Acta Sociologica 4 (1959): 4849; Beryl Larry
Bellman, Village of Curers and Assassins: On the Production
of Fala Kpelle Cosmological Categories (The Hague, 1975),
16578; Cora Du Bois, The People of Alor: A Social-Psychological
Study of an East Indian Island, 2 vols. (New York, 1961),
1: 4546. Of the Zulu, for example, Axel-Ivar Berglund has
written, "The important role played by dreams in Zulu thought-patterns
cannot be overstressed. Without dreams true and uninterrupted
living is not possible. There is cause for anxiety when people
do not dream." Zulu Thought-Patterns and Symbolism (London,
"To the Printer," Sussex Weekly Advertiser: or, Lewes Journal,
September 3, 1770; Ashton, Chap-Books of the Eighteenth Century,
85. Benjamin Franklin devoted an essay to the subject in which
he advocated a variety of measures, including moderate meals and
fresh air. "The Art of Procuring Pleasant Dreams," in Writings,
J. A. Leo Lemay, ed. (New York, 1987), 11822. See also
January 5, 1679, The Diary of Ralph Josselin, 16161683,
Alan Macfarlane, ed. (London, 1976), 617; Universal Spectator,
and Weekly Journal, November 19, 1743; "Elegy IV," in The
Works of Tibullus . . . , John Dart, trans.
(London, 1720), 18586; David Simpson, A Discourse on
Dreams and Night-Visions, with Numerous Examples Ancient and Modern
(Macclesfield, Eng., 1791), 59, 89; County Folk-lore . . .
Leicestershire&Rutland, Charles James Billson, ed. (London,
1895), 5859; The Folk-Lore of the Isle of Man . . . ,
A. W. Moore, ed. (London, 1891), 125. Another spell for foretelling
love required that a young woman ingest pills made from nuts,
butter, and sugar, "and then if her fortune be to marry a gentleman,
her sleep will be filled with golden dreams, if a tradesman, odd
noises and tumults, if a traveller, then will thunder and lightning
disturb her." The History of Mother Bunch of the West . . .
(London, [1750?]), 16.
"On Dreams," Pennsylvania Magazine: or, American Monthly Museum
(1776): 11922. A man's dream of an impending earthquake
in Germantown, Pennyslvania, sent several residents in whom he
confided scampering for safety. July 2, 1804, Diary of Elizabeth
Drinker, 3: 1753. See also, for example, A Wonderful Dream
[New York, 1770]; Sobel, "Revolution in Selves," 203.
"Titus Trophonius," October 4, 1712, Spectator, 5: 29394;
The Diary of the Rev. Henry Newcome, From September 30, 1661,
to September 29, 1663, Thomas Heywood, ed. (Manchester, 1849),
220; November 26, 1682, Diary of Ralph Josselin, 640; December
30, 1753, The Diary of Isaac Backus, William G. McLoughlin,
ed., 3 vols. (Providence, R.I., 1979), 1: 317; January 26, 1707,
The Diary of Samuel Sewall, 16521730, Milton H. Thomas,
ed., 2 vols. (New York, 1973), 1: 561; October 26, 1779, Journal
of Peter Oliver; Cowper to Lady Hesketh, 1787, in The Oxford
Book of Dreams, Stephen Brook, ed. (Oxford, 1983), 249; Van
De Castle, Our Dreaming Mind, 86. At London's Old Bailey,
a thief was convicted of stealing a silver tankard, which he purportedly
"dreamed the night before that he must have." Statement of Samuel
Clark, Old Bailey Sessions Papers, June 2829, 1758.
For the personal impact of dreams, see, for example, The Letters
of Dorothy Osborne to William Temple, G. C. Moore Smith,
ed. (Oxford, 1968), 68; Cardano, Book of My Life, 8990,
15661; February 21, 1653, February 2, 1674, Life and
Times of Anthony Wood, 1: 178, 281; Saunders, Physiognomie,
and Chiromancie, 20203; William Hinton, A Survey
or Account of the Most Observable Passages of My Life . . .
(London, 1665), 79; John Webster, The Displaying of Supposed
Witchcraft . . . (London, 1677), 296; October 31,
1684, Journal of the Hon. John Erskine of Carnock, 16831687,
Walter Macleod, ed. (Edinburgh, 1893), 9091; May 12, 1751,
Diary of William Dyer, 1: 90; March 23, 1775, Boswell: The
Ominous Years, 9192; C. J. S. Thompson, The
Hand of Destiny: The Folk-Lore and Superstitions of Everyday Life
(Detroit, 1970), 4243.
August 20, 1737, The Diary of Richard Kay, 171651 of
Baldingstone, Neary Bury: A Lancashire Doctor, W. Brockbank
and the Rev. F. Kenworthy, eds. (Manchester, 1968), 12, 39. See
also Wodrow, Analecta, 1: 63, 34950; Cotton Mather,
Diary of Cotton Mather, 2 vols. (New York, 1957), 1: 372;
December 30, 1753, Diary of Isaac Backus, 1: 317; Barbara
E. Lacey, "The World of Hannah Heaton: The Autobiography of an
Eighteenth-Century Connecticut Farm Woman," William and Mary
Quarterly, 3d ser., 45 (April 1988): 286; D. Simpson, Discourse
on Dreams, 77, 79; Sobel, "Revolution in Selves," 180200;
Gerona, "Stairways to Heaven"; David Hackett Fischer, Albion's
Seed: Four British Folkways in America (New York, 1989), 519.
William Philips, The Revengeful Queen (London, 1698), 39;
The Works of Ben Jonson (London, 1692), 743; January 1723,
Wodrow, Analecta, 3: 374; Fungaroli, "Landscapes of Life,"
92, passim. Claimed a correspondent to the Sussex Weekly Advertiser
in 1770, "How many dreams do we daily hear related, and with such
consequence and plausibility, that the relater himself believes
he was awake." "To the Printer," Sussex Weekly Advertiser:
or, Lewes Journal, September 3, 1770. See also "Of Superstitious
Fears," American Magazine (1744): 374; The English Works
of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury, Sir William Molesworth, ed.,
11 vols. (1839; rpt. edn., Darmstadt, Germany, 1966), 4: 1314;
Charles Hopkins, Boadicea Queen of Britain (London, 1697),
18; Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Aphorisms, R. J.
Hollingdale, trans. (New York, 1990), 94. Some contemporaries
wondered whether dreams represented another realm nearly as real
as one's waking life. "Dreams are as living nights; life as a
dreaming day," opined Phineas Fletcher. "No one," remarked Blaise
Pascal, "can be sure whether he sleeps or wakes, seeing that during
sleep we believe so firmly that we are awake," a sentiment echoed
by others. A contributor to The Spectator queried, "Were
a man a King in his Dreams, and a Beggar awake, . . .
whether he would be in reality a King or a Beggar, or rather he
wou'd not be both?" It was left, however, to Sarah Cowper best
to capture the ambiguous reality of dreams by reflecting, "It
would content mee if you did but dream of me, or if I could dream
that you did so." Giles and Phineas Fletcher, Poetical Works,
Frederick S. Boas, ed. (Cambridge, 1908), 280; Pascal's Pensees,
H. F. Stewart, trans. (New York, 1965), 149; "O.," September
18, 1712, Spectator, 5: 22829; Cowper Commonplace
Book, 322, Hertfordshire County Record Office, England.
Patricia Binnie, The Old Wives Tale (Manchester, 1980),
26; Gwenan Jones, "The Intention of Peele's 'Old Wives' Tale,'"
Aberystwyth Studies 7 (1925): 7993.
John Whaley, "To Miss A.W. a Very Young Lady," in A Collection
of Original Poems and Translations (London, 1745), 257; John
Dryden and Nathaniel Lee, Oedipus (London, 1679), 14; Johann
Wolfgang von Goethe, Italian Journey, 17861788 (New
York, 1968), pt. 1, 113. See also The Complete Works in Verse
and Prose of Samuel Daniel, Alexander B. Grosart, ed., 5 vols.
(London, 188596), 2: 45; Nahum Tate, Brutus of Alba:
or, The Enchanted Lovers (London, 1678), 6.
Marcel Foucault, Le rêve: Etudes et observations
(Paris, 1906), 16970; January 16, 1780, Boswell: Laird
of Auchinleck, 169. See also January 4, 1788, Boswell:
The English Experiment, 17851789, Irma S. Lustig and
Frederick Albert Pottle, eds. (New York, 1986), 179. To remember
one's dreams, advises Robert L. Van De Castle, it is important
upon awakening "during the night or in the morning" not to "open
your eyes immediately. Lie very still and try gently to recall
any imagery that may have been present as you awoke." Our Dreaming
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste: or,
Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy, M. F. K.
Fisher, trans. (New York, 1949), 222; personal communications
with Wehr, December 23, 31, 1996; Wehr, "'Clock for All Seasons,'"
338; Wehr, "Impact of Changes in Nightlength," 26973; The
Plays of John Lyly, Carter A. Daniel, ed. (Lewisburg, Pa.,
1988), 123; The Works in Verse and Prose of Nicholas Breton,
Alexander B. Grosart, ed. (New York, 1966), 2: 12; Thomas Jordan,
"The Dream," in Piety, and Poesy: Contracted, in a Poetick
Miscellanie of Sacred Poems (London, 1643); Jamie Talan, "Light
Sleepers: Artificial Light May Affect Natural Sleep Patterns,"
Gazette (Montreal), January 13, 1994. Although less likely
to be recalled and internalized, dream activity, of course, occurred
during "morning" or "second sleep." Some classical authors even
believed that dreams were more apt to be "true" closer to dawn,
a belief occasionally echoed by early modern writers. Other authorities,
however, disagreed, as did most contemporaries in view of the
credence they attached to visions irrespective of when in the
night they occurred. In fact, a sixteenth-century minister of
Tigurine, Lewes Lauterus, posited that "spirits" most often appeared
in dreams "before midnighte in our first sleep." Of Ghosts
and Spirites Walking by Night . . . , R.H.,
trans. (London, 1572). See also Schmitt, "Liminality and Centrality
of Dreams," 278.
William Mountfort, The Successful Straingers (London, 1690),
22; A Manual of Prayers for the Use of the Scholars of Winchester
College . . . (London, 1695), 33, my italics.
Charles Lamb quoted in Deverson, Journey into Night, 107;
The Journeymen Engineer, The Great Unwashed (London, 1868),
199; George Sturt, Change in the Village (1912; rpt. edn.,
Harmondsworth, 1984), 8, 121; A. Alvarez, Night: Night Life,
Night Language, Sleep and Dreams (New York, 1995), 21; O'Dea,
Social History of Lighting, passim; Peter Clark and R. A.
Houston, "Culture and Leisure 17001840," in The Cambridge
Urban History of Britain, Peter Clark, ed., 3 vols. (Cambridge,
2000 ), 2: 590; Wolfgang Schivelbursh, Disenchanted Night:
The Industrialization of Light in the Nineteenth Century,
Angela Davies, trans. (Berkeley, Calif., 1988).
Dagobert D. Runes, The Diary and Sundry Observations of Thomas
Alva Edison (New York, 1948), 232; Warren E. Leary, "Russians
to Test Space Mirror as Giant Night Light for Earth," New York
Times, January 12, 1993; Terrence Dickinson, "Plan for Space
Mirrors Is Cracked," Toronto Star, June 28, 1998; "Russian
Space Mirror Reflector Prototype Fails," Boston Globe,
February 5, 1999; Murray Melbin, Night as Frontier: Colonizing
the World after Dark (New York, 1987).
Patricia Edmonds, "In Jampacked Days, Sleep Time Is the First
to Go," USA Today, April 10, 1995. See also Avi Sadeh,
et al., "Sleep Patterns and Sleep Disruptions in School-Age
Children," Developmental Psychology 36 (May 2000): 291301.
Ironically, we might be less willing to shortchange our time in
bed were the quality of modern sleep worse. Despite periodic complaints
of insomnia, our sleep today far excels the fitful slumber characteristic
of past centuries. At least in the Western world, no longer does
the sleep of such large numbers of people fall prey to periodic
pain, frigid temperatures, and voracious pests, among other early
modern maladies. But if not the quality, then the quantity of
our sleep continues to diminish.
James Joyce, Dubliners, Hans Walter Gabler and Walter Hettche,
eds. (New York, 1993), 189; Willa Cather, Early Novels and
Stories (New York, 1987), 842; Paul Nizan, The Conspiracy,
Quintin Hoare, trans. (London, 1988), 154; Charles Montagu Doughty,
The Dawn in Britain, 6 vols. (London, 1906), 1: 65, 3:
24, 4: 224; Robert Laurence Binyon, "Awakenings," in Collected
Poems of Laurence Binyon (London, 1931), 1: 287. See also
Marie-Jeanne Durry, Gérard de Nerval et le mythe
(Paris, 1956), 93; Drieux la Rochelle, Rêveuse bourgeoisie
(1937; rpt. edn., Paris, 1975), 179.
Compare, for example, the following English translations with
the same works in their original languages: Denis Diderot, The
Indiscreet Jewels, Sophie Hawkes, trans. (New York, 1993),
174; Prosper Mérimée, Colomba and Carmen,
Lady Mary Loyd, trans. (New York, 1901), 120; "February," in The
Months of the Year: Twelve Sonnets by Folgore da San Gimignano,
Thomas Caldecot Chubb, trans. (Sanbornville, N.H., 1960); Tales
and Novels of J. De La Fontaine (London, n.d.), passim; La
Fontaine's Bawdy: Of Libertines, Louts, and Lechers; Translations
from the Contes et Nouvelles en Vers, Norman R. Shapiro, trans.
(Princeton, N.J., 1992), 67, 12425; Henrik Wergeland,
Poems, G. M. Gathorne-Hardy, et al., trans.
(Westport, Conn., 1970), 137.
Compare the Odyssey's reference to "first sleep" in Greek,
either classical or modern, and the correct early seventeenth-century
English translation by George Chapman (Nicoll, Chapman's Homer,
73) with twentieth-century translations, either in verse or prose,
by A. T. Murray, T. E. Lawrence, E. V. Rieu, Ennis
Rees, Albert Cook, Walter Shewring, Robert Fitzgerald, Allen Mandelbaum,
and Robert Fagles.
In addition to Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie (see above, p. 366), see,
for example, Silvia Mantini, "Per un'immagine della notte," in
La notte: Ordine, sicurezza e disciplinamento in età
moderna, Mario Sbriccoli, ed. (Florence, 1991), 592; L. Gowing,
"Secret Births and Infanticide in Seventeenth Century England,"
Past and Present 156 (August 1997): 100; Franco Mormando,
The Preacher's Demons: Bernardino of Siena and the Social Underworld
of Early Renaissance Italy (Chicago, 1999), 78, 272.
Wehr, "Impact of Changes in Nightlength," 283; Wehr, "'Clock for
All Seasons,'" 339; Joseph Lawson, Letters to the Young on
Progress in Pudsey during the Last Sixty Years (Stanningley,
Eng., 1887), 73; Thomas Middleton, "The Black Book," in The
Works of Thomas Middleton, A. H. Bullen, ed., 8 vols.
(1885; rpt. edn., New York, 1964), 8: 14; Dotto, Losing Sleep,
36. Roger Bastide has written, "In our Western civilization, however,
the bridges between the diurnal and nocturnal halves of man have
been cut. Of course, people can always be foundand not only
in the lower classes of societywho consult dream books,
or who at least examine their dreams and assign to them a role
in their lives. But such vital functions of the dream remain personal
and never become institutionalized. On the contrary, far from
constituting regularized norms of conduct they are considered
aberrant; they are classed as 'superstitions'; sometimes it is
even suggested that people who look for significance or direction
in dreams are not entirely all there." Bastide, "The Sociology
of the Dream," in Gustave Von Grunebaum, ed., The Dream and
Human Societies (Berkeley, Calif., 1966), 20001.