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Strange Story, a — Volume 01 by Baron Edward Bulwer Lytton Lytton
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A STRANGE STORY

by Edward Bulwer Lytton
(Lord Lytton)



PREFACE.

Of the many illustrious thinkers whom the schools of France have
contributed to the intellectual philosophy of our age, Victor Cousin,
the most accomplished, assigns to Maine de Biran the rank of the most
original.

In the successive developments of his own mind, Maine de Biran may,
indeed, be said to represent the change that has been silently at work
throughout the general mind of Europe since the close of the last
century. He begins his career of philosopher with blind faith in
Condillac and Materialism. As an intellect severely conscientious in
the pursuit of truth expands amidst the perplexities it revolves,
phenomena which cannot be accounted for by Condillac's sensuous theories
open to his eye. To the first rudimentary life of man, the animal life,
"characterized by impressions, appetites, movements, organic in their
origin and ruled by the Law of Necessity," [1] he is compelled to add,
"the second, or human life, from which Free-will and Self-consciousness
emerge." He thus arrives at the union of mind and matter; but still a
something is wanted,--some key to the marvels which neither of these
conditions of vital being suffices to explain. And at last the
grand self-completing Thinker attains to the Third Life of Man in Man's
Soul.