A fantasy novel by George MacDonald

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300                           PHANTASTES:
" After walking for two or three hours, (how the little girl found her way, I could not imagine) we came to a part of the forest, the very air of which was quivering with the motions of multitudes of resplen­dent butterflies; as gorgeous in colour, as if the eyes of peacock's feathers had taken to flight, but of infi­nite variety of hue and form, only that the appearance of some kind of eye on each wing predominated. 1 There they are, there they are !* cried the child, in a tone of victory mingled with terror. Except for this tone, I should have thought she referred to the butterflies, for I could see nothing else. But at that moment an enormous butterfly, whose wings had great eyes of blue surrounded by confused cloudy heaps of more dingy colouring, just like a break in the clouds on a stormy day towards evening, settled near us. The child instantly began murmuring: ' Butterfly, butterfly, give me your wings;' when, the moment after she fell to the ground, and began crying as if hurt. I drew my sword and heaved a great blow in the direction in which the child had fallen. It struck something, and instantly the most grotesque imitation of a man became visible. You see this Fairy Land is full of oddities and all sorts of incredibly ridiculous things, which a man is com-
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