LILITH A Fantasy Novel By George MacDonald - online book

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BULIKA                                   l6l
to say love, was wildly impossible between us ! But her presence had had a strange influence upon me, and in her presence I must resist, and at the same time analyse that influence ! The seemingly inscrutable in her I would fain penetrate : to understand something of her mode of being would be to look into marvels such as imagination could never have suggested! In this I was too daring : a man must not, for know­ledge, of his own will encounter temptation ! On the other hand, I had reinstated an evil force about tojperish, and was, to the extent of_my opposing' faculty, accountable for what mischief might ensue ! I had learned that she was the enemy of children : the Little Ones might be in her danger! It was in the hope of finding out something of their history that I had left them; on that I had received a little light: I must have more; I must learn how to protect them !
Hearing at length a little stir in the place, I walked through the next gate, and thence along a narrow street of tall houses to a little square, where I sat down on the base of a pillar with a hideous bat-like creature atop. Ere long, several of the inhabitants came sauntering past. I spoke to one: he gave me a rude stare and ruder word, and went on.
I got up and went through one narrow street after another, gradually filling with idlers, and was not surprised to see no children. By and by, near one of the gates, I encountered a group of young men who re­minded me not a little of the bad giants. They came about me staring, and presently began to push and hustle me, then to throw things at me. I bore it as well as I could, wishing not to provoke enmity where I wanted to remain for a while. Oftener than once
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