LILITH A Fantasy Novel By George MacDonald - online book

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196                                LILITH
' I am ready to believe whatever you tell me—a9 soon as I understand what it means.'
' Had you accepted our invitation, you would have known the right way. When a man will not act where he is, he must go far to find his work.'
' Indeed I have gone far, and got nowhere, for I have not found my work ! I left the children to learn how to serve them, and have only learned the danger they are in.'
' When you were with them, you were where you could help them: you left your work to look for it! It takes a wise man to know when to go away; a fool may learn to go back at once! '
'Do you mean, sir, I could have done something for the Little Ones by staying with them ? '
' Could you teach them anything by leaving them ?'
' No; but how could I teach them ? I did not know how to begin. Besides, they were far ahead of me !'
' That is true. But you were not a rod to measure them with ! Certainly, if they knew what you know, not to say what you might have known, they would be ahead of you—out of sight ahead ! but you saw they were not growing—or growing so slowly that they had not yet developed the idea of growing ! they were even afraid of growing!—You had never seen children remain children!'
' But surely I had no power to make them grow! '
' You might have removed some of the hindrances to their growing ! '
' What are they ? I do not know them. I did think perhaps it was the want of water!'
' Of course it is ! they have none to cry with !'
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