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Undine

(2 syl.). The water-nymph, who was created without a soul, like all others of her species. By marrying a mortal she obtained a soul, and with it all the pains and penalties of the human race. (La Motte Fouqué: Undine.)

Founded on a tale told by Paracelsus in his Treatise on Elemental Sprites. (See Fairy, Sylphs.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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