Saturday, May 24, 2008

On Sleep and the Jewish Question?

For do but consider what an excellent thing sleep is : it is so inestimable a jewel, that, if a tyrant would give his crown for an hour's slumber, it cannot be bought : of so beautiful a shape is it, that, though a man lie with an empress, his heart cannot be at quiet till he leaves her embracements to be at rest with the other : yea, so greatly indebted are we to this kinsman of death, that we owe the better tributary half of our life to him ; and there's good cause why we should do so, for sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together. Who complains of want, of wounds, of cares, of great men's oppressions, of captivity, whilst he sleepeth ? Beggars in their beds take as much pleasure as kings. Can we therefore surfeit on this delicate ambrosia ? Can we drink too much of that, whereof to taste too little tumbles us into a churchyard ; and to use it but indifferently throws us into Bedlam ? No, no ! Look upon Endymion,,the Moon's minion, who slept threescore and fifteen years ; and was not a hair the worse for it. Can lying abed till noon then, being not the threescore and fifteenth thousand part of his nap, be hurtful ?

-John Dekker

Amongst all the wild men that run up and down in this wide forest of fools, the world, none are more superstitious than those notable Ebritians, the Jews : yet a Jew never wears his cap threadbare with putting it off; never bends i' th' hams with casting away a leg; never cries "God save you!" though he sees the devil at your elbow. Play the Jews therefore in this, and save thy lips that labour ; only remember, that so soon as thy eyelids be unglued, thy first exercise must be, either sitting upright on thy pillow, or rarely lolling at thy body's whole length, to yawn, to stretch, and to gape wider than any oyster-wife ; for thereby thou dost not only send out the lively spirits, like vaunt-couriers, to fortify and make good the uttermost borders of the body ; but also, as a cunning painter, thy goodly lineaments are drawn out in their fairest proportion.

- Ibid. (Index - Jews salute no one - What does all that mean?)

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