by OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES
This tale was published in successive parts in the "Atlantic
Monthly," under the name of "The Professor's Story," the first number
having appeared in the third week of December, 1859. The critic who
is curious in coincidences must refer to the Magazine for the date of
publication of the chapter he is examining.
In calling this narrative a "romance," the Author wishes to make sure
of being indulged in the common privileges of the poetic license.
Through all the disguise of fiction a grave scientific doctrine may
be detected lying beneath some of the delineations of character. He
has used this doctrine as a part of the machinery of his story
without pledging his absolute belief in it to the extent to which it
is asserted or implied. It was adopted as a convenient medium of