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WITH AN ACCOUNT OF
HERBERT |-MAYO, M.D. 1796-1852
FORMERLY SENIOR SURGEON OF MIDDLESEX HOSPITAL; PROFESSOR OF ANATOMY
F.R.S. F.G.S. ETC.
WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS
In the following Letters I have endeavoured to exhibit in their true light the singular natural phenomena of which old superstition and modern charlatanism in turn availed themselves,—to indicate their laws, and to develop their theory. The subject is so important that I might well have approached it in a severer guise. But, slight as this performance may appear, I profess to have employed upon it the keenest and most patient efforts of reflection of which I am capable. And as to its tone at the commencement, and the prominence given to popular and trivial topics, I candidly avow that, without some such artifice, I doubt whether I should have found a publisher of repute to publish, or a circle of readers to read, my lucubrations.
“Cosi allegro fanciul porgiamo aspersi
Di soave licor gli orli del vaso;
It was in the winter of 1846 that the original seven Letters were written, of which the present