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POPULAR SUPERSTITIONS

PRINTED BY WILLIAN BLACKWOOD AND SONS, EDINBURGH,

CONTAINED IN

POPULAR SUPERSTITIONS

WITH AN ACCOUNT OF

MESMERISM

BY

HERBERT |-MAYO, M.D. 1796-1852

FORMERLY SENIOR SURGEON OF MIDDLESEX HOSPITAL; PROFESSOR OF ANATOMY
AND PHYSIOLOGY IN KING'S COLLEGE ; PROFESSOR OF COMPARATIVE ANATOMY
IN THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS, LONDON,

F.R.S. F.G.S. ETC.

THIRD EDITION

WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS
EDINBURGH AND LONDON

MDCCCLI

PREFATORY REMARKS

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;
Succhi amari ingannato intanto ei beve,
E dall'inganno suo vita riceve.”

It was in the winter of 1846 that the original seven Letters were written, of which the present

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