A fantasy novel by George MacDonald

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of night; without which he yet could not be, and whereof he is in part compounded."
As I drew nearer, and she read on, she moved a little to turn a leaf of the dark old volume, and I saw that her face was sallow and slightly forbidding. Her forehead was high, and her black eyes repress-edly quiet But she took no notice of me. This end of the cottage, if cottage it could be called, was destitute of furniture, except the table with the lamp, and the chair on which the woman sat In one corner was a door, apparently of a cupboard in the wall, but which might lead to a room beyond. Still the irresistible desire which had made me enter the building, urged me: I must open that door, and see what was beyond it I approached, and laid my hand on the rude latch. Then the woman spoke, but without lifting her head or looking at me : " You had better not open that door." This was uttered quite quietly; and she went on with her reading, partly in silence, partly aloud; but both modes seemed equally intended for herself alone. The prohibition, however, only increased my desire to see; and as she took no farther notice, I gently opened the door to its full width, and looked in. At first, I saw nothing worthy of attention. It
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