Imatges de pÓgina
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LONDON:
PRINTED FOR G. AND W. B. WHITTAKER,

AVE-MARIA-LANE.

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PREFACE.

The event on which this fiction is founded has been supposed, by Dr. Darwin, and some of the physiological writers of Germany, as not of impossible occurrence. I shall not be supposed as according the remotest degree of serious faith to such an imagination ; yet, in assuming it as the basis of a work of fancy, I have not considered myself as merely

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weaving a series of supernatural ter

The event on which the interest of the story depends is exempt from the disadvantages of a mere tale of spectres or enchantment. It was recommended by the novelty of the situations which it developes; and, however impossible as a physical fact, affords a point of view to the imagination for the delineating of human passions more comprehensive and commanding than any which the ordinary relations of existing events can yield.

I have thus endeavoured to preserve the truth of the elementary

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