A fantasy novel by George MacDonald

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finding their circumference in the corridor. Round this corridor I now went, entering all the halls, of which there were twelve, and finding them all simi­larly constructed, but filled with quite various statues, of what seemed both ancient and modern sculpture. After I had simply walked through them, I found myself sufficiently tired to long for rest, and went to my own room.
In the night I dreamed that, walking close by one of the curtains, I was suddenly seized with the desire to enter, and darted in. This time I was too quick for them. All the statues were in motion, statues no longer, but men and women—all shapes of beauty that ever sprang from the brain of the sculptor, mingled in the convolutions of a complicated dance. Passing through them to the further end, I almost started from my sleep on. beholding, not taking part in the dance with the others, nor seemingly endued with life like them, but standing in marble coldness and rigidity upon a black pedestal in the extreme left corner— my lady of the cave ; the marble beauty who sprang from her tomb or her cradle at the call of my songs. While I gazed in speechless astonish­ment and admiration, a dark shadow, descending from above like the curtain of a stage, gradually
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