LILITH A Fantasy Novel By George MacDonald - online book

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THE RAVEN                                  15
above the middle height with a stoop, very thin, and wearing a long black tail-coat. Again he turned, and I saw him a raven.
I have seen you before, sir,' I said, feeling foolish rather than surprised.
' How can you say so from seeing me behind ? he rejoined. ' Did you ever see yourself behind ? You have never seen yourself at all!—Tell me now, then, who I am.'
'I humbly beg your pardon,' I answered : ' I believe you were once the librarian of our house, but more who I do not know.'
' Why do you beg my pardon ? '
'Because I took you for a raven,' I said—seeing him before me as plainly a raven as bird or man could look.
' You did me no wrong,' he returned. ' Calling me a raven, or thinking me one, you allowed me existence, which is the sum of what one can demand of his fellow-beings. Therefore, in return, I will give you a lesson : —No one can say he is himself, until first he knows that he is, and then what himself is. In fact, nobody is him­self, and himself is nobody. There is more in it than you can see now, but not more than you need to see. You have, I fear, got into this region too soon, but none the less you must get to be at home in it; for home, as you may or may not know, is the only place where you can go out and in. There are places you can go into, and places you can go out of; but the one place, if you do but find it, where you may go out and in both, is home.'
He turned to walk away, and again I saw the librarian. He did not appear to have changed, only to
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