Page:Tales of the Dead.djvu/13

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OF THE FRENCH TRANSLATOR.

and supernatural would be improper, at least they cannot be considered as misplaced in the work we are now about to publish: and they cannot have any dangerous tendency on the mind; for the title-page announces extraordinary relations, to which more or less faith may be attached, according to the credulity of the person who reads them. Besides which, it is proper that some repertory should exist, in which we may discover the traces of those superstitions to which mankind have so long been subject. We now laugh at, and turn them into ridicule: and yet it is not clear to me, that recitals respecting phantoms have ceased to amuse; or that, so long as human nature exists, there will be wanting those who will attach faith to histories of ghosts and spectres.

I might in this preface have entered into a learned and methodical disquisition respecting apparitions; but should only have repeated what Dom Calmet[1] and the Abbé Lenglet-Dufresnoy[2] have already said

  1. Dissertation sur les Apparitions; par Dom Augustin Calmet: 3me édition. Paris, 1751, 2 tom. 12mo.
  2. Traité Historique et Dogmatique sur les Apparitions, les Visions, et les Révélations particuliers; avec des Remarques sur la Dissertation du R. P. Dom Calmet: par l'Abbé Lenglet-Dufresnoy. Avignon ou Paris, 1751. 2 tom. 12mo.
    Recueil de Dissertations, Anciennes et Nouvelles, sur les Apparitions, les Visions, et les Songes; avec une Preface historique: par l'Abbé L. Dufresnoy. Avignon ou Paris, 1751. 4 tom. 12mo.