A fantasy novel by George MacDonald

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214                          PHANTASTES:
I had turned to go away as I gave my reply, but now I stopped and looked at her. As a rough unsightly bud might suddenly blossom into the most lovely flower; or rather, as a sunbeam bursts through a shapeless cloud, and transfigures the earth; so burst a face of resplendent beauty, as it were through the unsightly visage of the woman, destroy­ing it with light as it dawned through it A summer sky rose above me, grey with heat; across a shining slumberous landscape, looked from afar the peaks of snow-capped mountains; and down from a great rock beside me, fell a sheet of water mad with its own delight
" Stay with me," she said, lifting up her exquisite face, and looking full in mine.
I drew back. Again the infernal laugh grated upon my ears; again the rocks closed in around me, and the ugly woman looked at me with wicked, mocking hazel eyes.
" You shall have your reward," said she. You shall see your white lady again."
" That lies not with you," I replied, and turned and left her.
She followed me with shriek upon shriek of laughter, as I went on my way.
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