Last night I had a series of bizarre dreams. They flashed through my sleeping brain and as with most of the dreams I experience my recollection of them is hazy now. As a child I actually tried to physically retain my dreams. I have a clear recollection of waking up, attempting to clench the dream in my hand and lock it away in a drawer in the bedroom. Of course as an adult this recollection makes me smile. Dreams are insubstancial things which it is impossible to grasp. One might as well attempt to confine the wild wind in a sack, it can not be done!
My most recent dreams brought to mind the encounter in Wuthering Heights Between Catherine and Ellen (Nelly) Dean. Where I to attempt to relate some of my dreams would you join with Nelly Dean and remark “I won’t harken to your dreams?” I wonder. I quote the relevant passage below because it is one of my favourite passages in english literature and it is relevant to the above
“‘Nelly, do you never dream queer dreams?’ she said, suddenly, after some minutes’ reflection.
‘Yes, now and then,’ I answered.
‘And so do I. I’ve dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas: they’ve gone through and through me, like wine through
water, and altered the colour of my mind. And this is one: I’m going to tell it—but take care not to smile at any part of it.’
‘Oh! don’t, Miss Catherine!’ I cried. ‘We’re dismal enough without conjuring up ghosts and visions to perplex us. Come, come, be merry and like yourself!
Look at little Hareton! He’s dreaming nothing dreary. How sweetly he smiles in his sleep!’
‘Yes; and how sweetly his father curses in his solitude! You remember him, I daresay, when he was just such another as that chubby thing: nearly as young
and innocent. However, Nelly, I shall oblige you to listen: it’s not long; and I’ve no power to be merry tonight.’
‘I won’t hear it, I won’t hear it!’ I repeated, hastily.
I was superstitious about dreams then, and am still; and Catherine had an unusual gloom in her aspect, that made me dread something from which I might shape
a prophecy, and foresee a fearful catastrophe. She was vexed, but she did not proceed. Apparently taking up another subject, she recommenced in a short
‘If I were in heaven, Nelly, I should be extremely miserable.’
‘Because you are not fit to go there,’ I answered. ‘All sinners would be miserable in heaven.’
‘But it is not for that. I dreamt once that I was there.’
‘I tell you I won’t hearken to your dreams, Miss Catherine! I’ll go to bed,’ I interrupted again.
She laughed, and held me down; for I made a motion to leave my chair.
‘This is nothing,’ cried she: ‘I was only going to say that heaven did not seem to be my home; and I broke my heart with weeping to come back to earth;
and the angels were so angry that they flung me out into the middle of the heath on the top of Wuthering Heights; where I woke sobbing for joy. That will
do to explain my secret, as well as the other. I’ve no more business to marry Edgar Linton than I have to be in heaven; and if the wicked man in there
had not brought Heathcliff so low, I shouldn’t have thought of it. It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how I love him:
and that, not because he’s handsome, Nelly, but because he’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same; and Linton’s
is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire.”