A fantasy novel by George MacDonald

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308                           PHANTASTES:
it in another, much less in a multitude such as this, and surrounded with such appearances of solemnity, I was certain it was the really grand accompaniments that overcame him; that the stars overhead, the dark towering tops of the yew-trees, and the wind that, like an unseen spirit, sighed through their branches, bowed his spirit to the belief, that in all these cere­monies lay some great mystical meaning, which, his humility told him, his ignorance prevented him from understanding.
More convinced than before, that there was evil here, I could not endure that my master should be deceived; that one like him, so pure and noble, should respect what, if my suspicions were true, was worse than the ordinary deceptions of priestcraft. I could not tell how far he might be led to countenance, and otherwise support their doings, before he should find cause to repent bitterly of liis error. I watched the new procession yet more keenly, if possible, than the former. This time, the central figure was a girl; and, and at the close, I observed, yet more indubi­tably, the shrinking back, and the crowding push. What happened to the victims, I never learned; but I had learned enough, and I could bear it no longer. I stooped, and whispered to the young girl who
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