These are the things of which men think, who live: of their own selves and the dwelling place of their fathers; of their neighbors; of work and service; of rule and reason and women and children; of Beauty and Death and War. To this thinking I have only to add a point of view: I have been in the world, but not of it. I have seen the human drama from a veiled corner, where all the outer tragedy and comedy have reproduced themselves in microcosm within. From this inner torment of souls the human scene without has interpreted itself to me in unusual and even illuminating ways. For this reason, and this alone, I venture to write again on themes on which great souls have already said greater words, in the hope that I may strike here and there a half-tone, newer even if slighter, up from the heart of my problem and the problems of my people.
The original text does not observe the normal convention of placing quotation marks at the beginnings of paragraphs within a multiple-paragraph quotation. This idiosyncrasy has been preserved in this e-text. In the untranslated Italian passage in Day 3, Story 10 , the original is missing the accents, which have been added using an Italian edition of Decameron Milan: Mursia, as a guide. This e-text contains some Greek and Arabic words, which may not display correctly in all browsers. Hover the mouse over the word to see a pop-up transliteration, e. The American edition from which this e-text was prepared is undated.
The Publishers of the Standard Novels, in selecting "Frankenstein" for one of their series, expressed a wish that I should furnish them with some account of the origin of the story. I am the more willing to comply, because I shall thus give a general answer to the question, so very frequently asked me—"How I, when a young girl, came to think of, and to dilate upon, so very hideous an idea? It is not singular that, as the daughter of two persons of distinguished literary celebrity, I should very early in life have thought of writing. As a child I scribbled; and my favourite pastime, during the hours given me for recreation, was to "write stories. My dreams were at once more fantastic and agreeable than my writings.
Some are based upon articles written for various newspapers, while others appear now for the first time. There is a sentence in Dr. Johnson's Life of Gray which might well be written up in all those rooms, too humble to be called libraries, yet full of books, where the pursuit of reading is carried on by private people.