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Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
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some trust in preceding navigators--there snow and frost are banished;
and, sailing over a calm sea, we may be wafted to a land surpassing in
wonders and in beauty every region hitherto discovered on the habitable
globe. Its productions and features may be without example, as the
phenomena of the heavenly bodies undoubtedly are in those undiscovered
solitudes. What may not be expected in a country of eternal light? I
may there discover the wondrous power which attracts the needle and may
regulate a thousand celestial observations that require only this
voyage to render their seeming eccentricities consistent forever. I
shall satiate my ardent curiosity with the sight of a part of the world
never before visited, and may tread a land never before imprinted by
the foot of man. These are my enticements, and they are sufficient to
conquer all fear of danger or death and to induce me to commence this
laborious voyage with the joy a child feels when he embarks in a little
boat, with his holiday mates, on an expedition of discovery up his
native river. But supposing all these conjectures to be false, you
cannot contest the inestimable benefit which I shall confer on all
mankind, to the last generation, by discovering a passage near the pole
to those countries, to reach which at present so many months are
requisite; or by ascertaining the secret of the magnet, which, if at
all possible, can only be effected by an undertaking such as mine.

These reflections have dispelled the agitation with which I began my
letter, and I feel my heart glow with an enthusiasm which elevates me
to heaven, for nothing contributes so much to tranquillize the mind as
a steady purpose--a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual
eye. This expedition has been the favourite dream of my early years. I
have read with ardour the accounts of the various voyages which have
been made in the prospect of arriving at the North Pacific Ocean
through the seas which surround the pole. You may remember that a