LILITH A Fantasy Novel By George MacDonald - online book

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THE RAVEN
17
the wide garret spaces had an uncanny look. They seemed to have long been waiting for something; it had come, and they were waiting again ! A shudder went through me on the winding stair : the house had grown strange to me! something was about to leap upon me from behind! I darted down the spiral, struck against the wall and fell, rose and ran. On the next floor I lost my way, and had gone through several passages a second time ere I found the head of the stair. At the top of the great stair I had come to myself a little, and in a few moments I sat recovering my breath in the library.
Nothing should ever again make me go up that last terrible stair ! The garret at the top of it pervaded the whole house ! It sat upon it, threatening to crush me out of it! The brooding brain of the building, it was full of mysterious dwellers, one or other of whom might any moment appear in the library where I sat! I was nowhere safe ! I would let, I would sell the dreadful place, in which an aerial portal stood ever open to creatures whose life was other than human ! I would purchase a crag in Switzerland, and thereon build a wooden nest of one story with never a garret above it, guarded by some grand old peak that would send down nothing worse than a few tons of whelming rock!
I knew all the time that my thinking was foolish, and was even aware of a certain undertone of contemptu­ous humour in it; but suddenly it was checked, and I seemed again to hear the croak of the raven.
' If I know nothing of my own garret,' I thought, 'what is there to secure me against my own brain? Can I tell what it is even now generating?—what
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