Acompany of intellectual and cultivated men and women were conversing upon some of the more unusual phases of human nature. Various thrilling incidents had been narrated, when a dream was related of such remarkable detail—with which, as was alleged, subsequent events corresponded — that it seemed as though it were not "all a dream"; and during the remainder of a long evening similar tales were told, until it appeared that all except two or three had dreamed frequently. Finally it was proposed to ascertain the opinions of every one present on the subject.

One bluntly said that he did not believe in dreams at all. When he was suffering from indigestion, or was over tired, or had much on his mind, he dreamed; and when he was well and not overworked, he did not, and "that is all there is in it." But he added that there was something he could never quite understand, and gave an account of a dream which his brother had had about the wrecking of a steamer, which led him not to take passage on it, and the vessel was lost, every one in the cabin being either seriously injured or drowned. At this a lady said that she had been in the habit of dreaming all her life, and nearly everything good or bad that had happened to her had been foreshadowed in dreams.

It was soon apparent that three out of four did not believe dreams to be supernatural, or preternatural, or that they have any connection with the events by which they are followed; but nearly every one had had a dream or had been the subject of one, or his mother, or grandmother, or some other relative or near friend, had in dreams seen things which seemed to have been shadows of coming events.

One affirmed that he had never dreamed: he was either awake or asleep when he was in bed; and if he was asleep, he knew nothing from the time he closed his eyes until he awoke.

Some expressed the belief that minds influence each other in dreams, and thus knowledge is communicated which could never have been obtained by natural means. One gentleman thought that in this way the spirits of the dead frequently communicate with the living; and another, a very devout Christian, remarked that in ancient times God spoke to his people in dreams, and warned them ; and for his part he could see no good reason why a method which the Deity employed then should not be used now. At all events, he had no sympathy with those who were disposed to speak slightingly of dreams, and say that there is nothing in them; he considered it but a symptom of the skeptical spirit which is destroying religion. Another agreed with this, and, turning to one of those who had stoutly ridiculed dreams, said, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy".