After having been rescued from an ice floe on which rests his sleigh with but one dog yet alive, Victor Frankenstein reflects as he speaks with Walton that he had decided to let his evils die with him; however, after he has met Walton, his determination is not so secure. So, he decides to give Walton knowledge; but, he hopes that this knowledge will not be "a serpent to sting you, as mine has been."
Victor hopes that his story will enlighten Walton about the evils that lie in the snow, the evils that lie hidden. Since Walton is heading onto the same course, perhaps Walton will deduce an "apt moral" form Victor's tale. Victor warns Walton to prepare to hear of things that have been deemed fantastic and "marvellous." And, hopefully, they will direct him if he succeeds and console him in case of failure.