G.A. Smith's Let Me Dream Again is an excellent example of an early two-shot film, and is particularly interesting for the way it attempts a primitive dissolve by letting the first shot slip out of focus before cutting to the second shot, which starts off out of focus and gradually sharpens. This device works on two levels: both as an effective scene transition and for contrasting two similarly-staged shots for comic effect.
The contrast here, of course, is between the attractive young woman of the opening fantasy (the embodiment of male fantasy: she smokes, drinks and is clearly fond of a laugh, as her clown costume reveals) and the grim reality of being trapped in what is almost certainly a loveless, sexless marriage.
There is no evidence of this in the film itself, but the title may well be a reference to a popular song from 1875, composed by Sir Arthur Sullivan (of Gilbert and Sullivan fame) to lyrics by B.C.Stephenson, whose chorus goes as follows:
Is this a dream? then waking would be pain, Oh! do not wake me, let me dream again.
The film was remade in France by Pathé as Dream and Reality (Rêve et réalité, d. Ferdinand Zecca, 1901), though this time the film-makers used a genuine dissolve.
*This film is included in the BFI DVD compilation 'Early Cinema: Primitives and Pioneers'.