AUTHOR'S Manuscript Poems.
The Author's Birth, and a remarkable Dream of his Mother: Observations on fore|boding Dreams: The Author reciteth a Dream of Sir William Phipps, Gover|nour of Massachusetts, and refereth small Infidels to Mather's Magnalia.
I WAS born on the sixteenth of July, Anno Domini, one thousand seven hundred and sixty two. My mother, some months before my birth, dreamed that she Page 50 was delivered of me; that I was lying in the cradle, that the house was beset by Indians, who broke into the next room, and took me into the fields with them; that, alarmed by their hideous yellings and warhoops, she ran to the window, and saw a number of young tawny savages, playing at foot ball with my head; while several sachems and sagamores were look|ing on unconcerned.
This dream made a deep impression on my mother. I well recollect, when a boy, her stroking my flaxen locks, repeat|ing her dream, and observing with a sigh to my father, that she was sure Updike was born to be the sport of fortune, and that he would one day suffer among sav|ages. Dear woman, she had the native Indians in her mind, but never appre|hended her poor son's suffering, many years as a slave, among barbarians, more cruel than the monsters of our own woods.
Page 51 The learned reader will smile con|temptuously, perhaps, upon my mention|ing dreams, in this enlightened age. I on|ly relate facts, and leave the reader to his own comments. My own opinion of dreams I shall conceal, perhaps because I am ashamed to disclose it. I will venture to observe that, if we inspect the sacred scriptures, we shall find frequent instances, both of direction to duty, and forewarning of future events, communi|cated by Providence, through the inter|vention of dreams. Is not the modern christian equally the care of indulgent Heaven, as the favoured Jew, or the belov|ed patriarch?
Many modern examples, of the fore|boding visions of the night, may be adduc|ed. William Phipps, a poor journeyman ship carpenter, dreamed that he should one day ride in his coach, and live in a grand house near Boston common. Many years afterwards, when he was knighted Page 52 by King William the third, and came from England, governour of Massachusetts Bay, this dream, even as to the situation of the grand house, was literally and minutely fulfilled. If the insect infidels of the day doubt this fact, let them consult, for their edification, the learned Doctor Math|er's Magnalia, where the whole story, at large, is minutely and amply related.—It was the errour of the times of monkish igno|rance, to believe every thing. It may possi|bly be the errour of the present day, to credit nothing.