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PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.
The great object of this volume has been to select from all sources, whatever is most characteristic of the opinions which have been held on the subject of Dreams, and of the examples прon which these opinions have been founded. No amount of research has been considered irksome or irrelevant; and it is believed that there is nothing extant in the way of dreamspeculation or anecdote which is not fairly and impartially represented.
It was not the purpose of the work to throw light merely on one or more corners of the subject; and as there was nothing departmental in the idea, so there has been nothing exclusive in the exposition and the illustration. The crudest opinions of piety or of superstition, from the very twilight of history, are typified, no less than the latest discovery resulting from yesterday's scientific investigation. Thus it is hoped that the work may claim to be as honest in fact as it is here affirmed to have been in intention.
A little praise may perhaps be conceded to it on the score of modesty, when it is seen that the author has foregone such chances of greater credit and importance as would have been