A fantasy novel by George MacDonald

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A FAERIE ROMANCE.                       39
stantly imagined, however, that forms were visible in all directions except that to which my gaze was turned; and that they only became invisible, or resolved themselves into other woodland shapes, the moment my looks were directed towards them. However this may have been, except for this feeling of presence, the woods seemed utterly bare of any­thing like human companionship, although my glance often fell on some object which I fancied to be a human form; for I soon found that I was quite deceived; as, the moment I fixed my regard on it, it showed plainly that it was a bush, or a tree, or a rock.
Soon a vague sense of discomfort possessed me* With variations of relief, this gradually increased; as if some evil thing were wandering about in my neighbourhood, sometimes nearer and sometimes further off, but still approaching. The feeling con­tinued and deepened, until all my pleasure in the shows of various kinds that everywhere betokened the presence of the merry fairies, vanished by degrees, and left me full of anxiety and fear, which I was unable to associate with any definite object what­ever. At length the thought crossed my mind with horror: " Can it be possible that the Ash is looking
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