LILITH A Fantasy Novel By George MacDonald - online book

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The strife of thought, accusing and excusing, began afresh, and gathered fierceness. The soul of Lilith lay-naked to the torture of pure interpenetrating inward light. She began to moan, and sigh deep sighs, then murmur as holding colloquy with a dividual self : her queendom was no longer whole ; it was divided against itself. One moment she would exult as over her worst enemy, and weep ; the next she would writhe as in the embrace of a friend whom her soul hated, and laugh like a demon. At length she began what seemed a tale about herself, in a language so strange, and in forms so shadowy, that I could but here and there understand a little. Yet the language seemed the pri­meval shape of one I knew well, and the forms to belong to dreams which had once been mine, but refused to be recalled. The tale appeared now and then to touch upon things that Adam had read from the disparted manuscript, and often to make allusion to influences and forces—vices too, I could not help suspecting—with which I was unacquainted.
She ceased, and again came the horror in her hair, the sparkling and flowing alternate. I sent a beseeching look to Mara.
' Those, alas, are not the tears of repentance ! ' she said. ' The true tears gather in the eyes. Those are far more bitter, and not so good. Self-loathing is not sorrow. Yet it is good, for it marks a step in the way home, and in the father's arms the prodigal forgets the self he abominates. Once with his father, he is to himself of no more account. It will be so with her.'
She went nearer and said,
' Will you restore that which you have wrongfully taken ? '
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