A fantasy novel by George MacDonald

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Now the children, there, are not born as the chil­dren are born in worlds nearer to the sun. For they arrive no one knows how. A maiden, walking alone, hears a cry: for even there a cry is the first utter­ance; and searching about, she findeth, under an overhanging rock, or within a clump of bushes, or, it may be, betwixt grey stones on the side of a hill, or in any other sheltered and unexpected spot, a little child. This she taketh tenderly, and beareth home with joy, calling out, " Mother, mother"—if so be that her mother lives—"I have got a baby—I have found a child!" All the house­hold gathers round to see;—" Where is it ? WJiat is it like? Where did you find it?" and such-like questions, abounding. And thereupon she relates the whole story of the discovery; for by the circum­stances, such as season of the year, time of the day, condition of the air, and such like, and, especially, the peculiar and never-repeated aspect of the heavens and earth at the time, and the nature of the place of shelter wherein it is found, is determined, or at least indicated, the nature of the child thus discovered. Therefore, at certain seasons, and in certain states of the weather, according, in part, to their own fancy, the young women go out to look for children. They
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