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Frankenstein

Letter 1
TO Mrs. Saville, England
St. Petersburgh, Dec. 11th, 17-
You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an
enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings. I arrived here yesterday,
and my first task is to assure my dear sister of my welfare and increasing confidence in
the success of my undertaking.
I am already far north of London, and as I walk in the streets of Petersburgh, I feel a cold
northern breeze play upon my cheeks, which braces my nerves and fills me with delight.
Do you understand this feeling? This breeze, which has travelled from the regions
towards which I am advancing, gives me a foretaste of those icy climes. Inspirited by this
wind of promise, my daydreams become more fervent and vivid. I try in vain to be
persuaded that the pole is the seat of frost and desolation; it ever presents itself to my
imagination as the region of beauty and delight. There, Margaret, the sun is forever
visible, its broad disk just skirting the horizon and diffusing a perpetual splendour. There-
-for with your leave, my sister, I will put 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
 
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