H
?&'

BLACKWELL'
Oxford, Englan

LILITH

GEOEGE MAC DONALD'S WORKS.
10 vols. blue cloth, gilt edges, in an elegant cloth case, 21*. or the volumes may be had separately, handsomely bound in Grolier-pattern cloth, at 2*. Gd. each. Vol. I. WITHIN AND WITHOUT. THK HIDDEN LIFE. Vol. II. THE DISCIPLE. THE GOSPEL WOMAN. BOOK OF SONNETS. ORGAN SONGS. Vol. III. VIOLIN SONGS. SONGS OP THE DAYS AND NIGHTS. A BOOK ov DREAMS. ROADSIDE POEMS. POEMS FOR CHILDREN. Vol. IV. PARABLES. BALLADS. SCOTCH SONGS. Vols. V. & VI. PHANTASIES a Faerie Romance. Vol. VII. THE PORTENT. Vol. VIII. THE LIGHT PRINCESS. THE GIANT'S HEART. SHADOWS. Vol. IX. CROSS PURPOSES. THE GOLDEN KEY. THE CARASOYN. LITTLE DAYLIGHT. Vol. X. THE CRUEL PAINTER. THE Wow o' RIVVEN. THE CASTLE. THE BROKEN SWORDS. THE GRAY WOLF. UNCLE CORNELIUS. 'George Mac Donald is one of the few living authors, who, while they enjoy a considerHis books are well known, are largely read, able reputation, are greater than their repute. and are highly esteemed but, much as they have been praised, there is matter in them These ten little blue-and-gold volumes, enclosed which has never been praised enough. in a handsome case, contain all the author's poems, including "Within and Without." " Phantasies." "The Portent," and a charming collection of tales under the head of " Works of Fancy." They abound with a pure, a delicate, and yet a vigorous fancy.' PALL MALL GAZETTE.
;
:

WORKS OF FANCY AND IMAGINATION.

;

.

.

.

PHANTASIES
Crown
'

:

a Faerie Romance.
3s. 6d.

With 25

Illustrations

by

J.

BELL.

8vo. cloth extra,

some years since we read Dr. Mac Donald's charming romance of fairy-land, and it is a pleasure to revive our recollections of the adventures of the shadow-haunted Anodos in the pretty edition before us, which Mr. Bell has illustrated with considerable sympathy and grace. The spell still holds, and here is still the ethereal land of moonlight and fantasy. In the language of sensibility, it all comes back again. While we may envy those who read " " Phantastes " for the first time, it is one of those books which is delightful to read apres tant de jours," as Mr Swinburne sweetly sings.' SATURDAY REVIEW.
It is

Crown 8vo. cloth extra, 3s. Gd. 'All the figures in Dr. George Mac Donald's story stand out with admirable distinctness on his canvas. Kirsty Barclay, whom we may call the heroine, is a specially fine creation ..." Heather and Snow " is a book that no one, we venture to say, having once taken it up, will lay down. No one, we may add, but will feel his better self invigorated by it.' SPECTATOR.

HEATHER AND SNOW.

POETICAL
;

WORKS OF GEORGE MAC DONALD.

Author with many new Poems. 2 vols. crown 8vo. buckram, 12*. 'The publication of a new edition of Dr. Mac Donald's Poems is an event which will be hailed by many with great satisfaction. Dr. Mac Donald was a poet before he was a novelist, and although his poems are not nearly so well known as his prose writings, those who have read them carefully have ever found in them a charm of their own. His poems of child life are especially delightful, and in certain regions that of eerie imagination, for instance he occupies" an almost unique position. A large proportion of his verse partakes, of course, of a religious character, and through it all there breathes the same hopeful spirit, and firm faith that good will be the final goal of ill. It has been said of George Mac Donald that he is one of the few writers of the present day who is greater than his reputation. This no doubt is the case as regards his prose, but it is also to a certain extent true with regard to his poetry. We trust that this edition of his poems will do much to spread the knowledge of a poet very much of whose verse is instinct with beauty and power, and WESTMINSTER GAZETTE. is calculated to be eminently helpful to many.'

Arranged by the

A THREEFOLD CORD Poems
:

Post 8vo. cloth boards, 5s. There is a quaint and subtle mysticism about his poems, a wayward but delightful fancy and deep surmisings, which help the soul in its quest of the chief good, as well as genuine lyrical strength. . . There is truth in the assertion of a recent critic of George Mac Donald who has described him as a poet who is as earnest as Milton and as fanciful ae
'
.

MAC DONALD.

by Three Friends.

Edited by

GEORGE

Spenser.'

LEEDS MERCURY.

London

:

CHATTO

& WINDUS,

Piccadilly.

L

I

L
A

I

T H

ROMANCE

BY

GEORGE MAC DONALD
AUTHOR OF 'PHANTASTES*

Off, Lilith

t !

Thg Kabala

SECOND EDITION

LONDON

CHATTO & WINDUS, PICCADILLY
1896

PRINTED BY

SPOTTISWOODE AND

CO.,

NEW-STREET SQUARE

I

tools

saw

the setting

a walk on Spaulding's Farm the other afternoon. I sun lighting up the opposite side of a stately
Its golden rays straggled into the aisles of the

pine wood.

wood as
ancient

into

some noble

hall.

I was impressed

as if some

and shining family had settled there in that part of the land called Concord, unknown who had not gone into to me, to wJiom the sun was servant, who had not been called on. I saw society in the village,
and
altogether admirable
their park, their pleasure-ground,

beyond through the wood,

in Spaulding's cranberry -meadow.

with gables as they grew.
vision
;

The pines furnished them Their house was not obvious to

their trees

I heard
seemed

the sounds of
to

grew through it. I do not know whether a suppressed hilarity or not. They recline on the sunbeams. They have sons and

They are quite well. The farmer's cart-path, daughters. which leads directly through their hall, does not in the least put them out, as the muddy bottom of a pool is sometimes
the reflected skies. They never heard of and do not know that he is their neighbor, Spaulding, notwithstanding I heard him whistle as he drove his team

seen

through

through the house. Nothing can equal the serenity of their lives. Their coat of arms is simply a lichen. I saio it painted on the pines and oaks. Their attics were in the tops
of the trees.

of labor.

I

They are of no politics. There was no noise did not perceive that they were iveavirw or

If it were not for such families as this. I think I should move out of Concord. as of a distant hive in May. But I find it difficult to remember them. and recollect myself. They fade irrevocably out of my mind even now while I speak and endeavor to recall them. when the wind lulled and hearing was done away.' . the finest imaginable sweet musical hum. THOBEAU ' : Walking. without could see their work. It is only after a long and serious effort to recollect my best thoughts that I become knots again aware of their cohabitancy. They had no idle thoughts. for their industry was not as in and excrescences embayed.Yet I did detect. and no one spinning. which perchance was the sound of their thinking.

CONTENTS .

.. XL. 228 238 246 253 XXXIV.. XXXVIII.. THE SILENT FOUNTAIN I AM SILENCED THE PERSIAN CAT ADAM EXPLAINS THE SEXTON'S OLD HORSE THE LOVERS AND THE BAGS LONA'S NARRATIVE . XXXVI. .. XXXVII. . . PREPARATION XXXV.. .VI 11 CHAPTER LiLITII PAOH XXVI. t XXXIX. .. XXVII. 94 *99 2O8 214 .221 t ... XLII. .. XLV. t 1^9 J .. . XLVI.. XLIII. THE LITTLE ONES IN BULIKA MOTHER AND DAUGHTER ... 259 263 2 74 . XLV1I.. XXVIII. * 337 . . .. A BATTLE ROYAL *3 . 343 . 3*9 33 . THE SHADOW TO THE HOUSE OF BITTERNESS THAT NIGHT THE HOUSE OF DEATH I AM SENT I SLEEP THE SLEEP THE DREAMS THAT CAME . . .. XXXIII. . . THE WAKING THE JOURNEY HOME THE CITY THE BNDLESS ENDING * . . XXX. XXXI. 349 ..* .* ' .. . XXIX. 289 35 3 11 * XLIV. XLI.. XXXII.

I had myself so far inherited the ten- my dency as to devote a good deal of my time. or between physical and metaphysical facts. though. find himself. not only between the facts of different sciences of the same order. B . I was constantly seeing. after a somewhat desultory fashion. strange analogies. and was taking a brief holiday from work before assuming definitely the management of the estate. father died when I I My was yet a child my mother followed him within a year and I was nearly as much alone in the world as . that a notable number of them had been given to study.. It was chiefly the wonder they woke that drew me. . LILITH CHAPTEE THE LIBEABY I HAD just finished my studies at Oxford. and on the outlook to see. but between physical hypotheses and suggestions glimmering out of the metaphysical dreams into which I was in the habit of I was at the same time much given to a prefalling. I confess. a man might I ancestors. to the physical sciences. little had made acquaintance with the history of Almost the only thing I knew concerning them was.

by changes of taste and pursuit. narrative. The by by open arches. had nevertheless. like an encroaching state. and shapes. and had continued to my own time. occasion to say more. Dante. In the evening of a gloomy day of August I was sitting in my usual place. . but no description of it is necessary to It contained a fine library. my back to one of the . In the great room I mainly spent my time. and the walls of it were covered with books almost to the ceiling the rooms into which it overflowed were of various sizes library. and Boyle were even more to me than Darwin or Maxwell. old as well as new for the history of doors. reading books of science. although duly considered in many house and additions to it.2 LILITH mature indulgence of the impulse to turn hypothesis Of my mental peculiarities there is no into theory. absorbed one room after another until it occupied the greater part of the ground floor. and communicated in modes as various the human mind in relation to supposed knowledge was what most of all interested me. Its chief room was large. by steps up and steps down. Ptolemy. of course. and is now slowly flitting from ! before my own. Nothing surely can more impress upon a man the transitory nature of possession than his succeeding to an ancient Like a moving panorama mine has passed property from before many eyes. the two Bacons. standing of my whose growth began before the invention of printing. by short passages. as so much nearer the vanished van breaking into the dark of ignorance. greatly influenced. alterations of the . The house as well as the family was of some anti- the underquity.

when my glory on the one picture in the room sort of niche or little shrine sunk for of book-filled shelves. I cannot tell what. I looked all about the spot but in vain. having occasion a moment after to consult a certain volume. and the same instant remembered that just there I had seen. I rose and looked out of the window. In the centre of the great lawn the feathering top of the fountain column was filled with his red glory. the clouds parted in front of him. however. of eye was caught by the same a portrait. but had never even wondered why it there alone. or fancied I saw. the old man in search of a book. a tall figure reaching up a hand to a bookshelf. to find it ! there it was. when I saw. but just as the sun was setting. I turned to re- sume nay seat. With my eyes the light reflected from it. and he shone into the room. I saw no one. and concluded that my optic nerves had been momentarily affected from within. The direct sunlight brought out the painting wonderfully for the first time I seemed to see it. and not in the gallery. time full of seemed to respond to my look. and for the first great rooms. evanescent impression. in a it in the expanse I knew it as the likeness of one my hung ancestors. or seemed to see. . made me turn and cast a glance to the farther end of the room. my vision apparently rectified by the The com- parative dusk. reading. The next morning. just where I had thought I knew of no one in the house likely to be interested in such a book. and would doubtless have forgotten the vague.THE LIBRARY 3 windows. I found but a gap in the row where it ought to have stood. It had rained the greater part of the morning and afternoon. something. I resumed my reading. or one of the among the other family portraits. it next instant. had it not been that. B2 .

In the afternoon I was again reading in the library. I could less easily doubt his word than my own eyes. and it had been the fancy of some ancestor to In one closet. if book it may be called. cross only. he turned pale. I rang the bell. LILITII another and yet odder thing took of the walls was the low. Angrier than any worth I knew in it justified. and at once I saw that the book described. or those of books lost beyond hope of recovery. I had a great liking for the masked door.4 Three days place. some inventive workman apparently had shoved in. and fixed the remits open corners projecting beyond the book-backs. filled with book-backs The harmless trick may be excused by the fact that the titles on the sham backs were either humorously original. He left on me the impression. and one could open the corner far enough to see that it was manuscript upon parch- ment. . that he could have said something more. after. and the butler appeared. To complete the illusion of it. a part of a volume thin enough to lie between it and the bottom of the next shelf: he had cut away nant with one of diagonally a considerable portion. and a more faithful servant never lived. my glance fell upon this door. narrow door of a containing some of the oldest and rarest of the books. The binding of the mutilated volume was limp vellum. was gone. with a projecting frame. Happening. to raise my eyes from the page. and assured me he did not. it with shallow shelves. When I asked him if he knew what had befallen it. on the top of one of the rows. for he had been all his life in the family. nevertheless. It was a very thick door. as I sat reading.

found the door shut. seeing nobody. was ' it ? I said. ' The place was haunted by an old gentleman. He had heard a good deal about him when first he served in the house. but by degrees he had ceased to be mentioned. Naturally. in a long. and he told butler came me all he knew. dark coat. I questioned him as to what he had seen said. that the old gentleman was going to be forgotten it was well no one but myself had seen him. I could not help feeling a little nervous.TIIE LIBRARY 5 and coming to a point which demanded reflection. of the old gentleman. started again to my feet. in the act of disappearing through the masked door into the closet beyond. but the fact that I had never heard of it seemed to imply that the thing had come to an end and was forgotten. ful not to allude to him. I The lowered the book and let my eyes go wandering. and ran to the masked door ! for there was the mutilated I laid hold of it and pulled volume in its place it was firmly fixed as usual I was now utterly bewildered. he said. and. looked into the closet. however. that I had had a recurrence of my former and sat down again to my reading. He had never seen him. . not without uneasiness. concluded. pulled it open. illusion. same moment I saw the back of a slender old man. and he had been very care: ! . and presently glancing up to assure myself that I was indeed alone. he although he had . . shiny as from much wear. He had hoped. I rang the bell the I told him all I had seen. He answered that at one time everybody believed it. which had no other issue. I darted across the room.

dead but both he and the old woman held it easier to believe that a dead man might revisit the world he had left. Suddenly they both disappeared. but he might perhaps consider . himself privileged in regard to the books. He had never heard that Mr. enof . who was probably the devil himself. for running into the arms of the men but old Sir Kalph believed Not one in nothing he could not see or lay hold of. exactly with the figure I had just seen. than that one who went on living for hundreds of years should be a man at all. ' I hope it was but a friendly call on the part of he concluded. and Sir Upward was never after seen or heard of. long time librarian to that Sir Upward whose portrait hangs there among the Sir Upward was a great reader. but Mr. forbidden. with a troubled smile. Raven. but of strange. but a footman had left the place because of it. couraged him. declaring that whoever alluded to it should be dismissed without a moment's warning: it was My nothing but a pretext of the maids. he said. of the maids ever said she had seen the apparition. ! An ' ancient woman in the village had told him a legend concerning a Mr. Mr. How the old woman had learned so much about him he could not but the description she gave of him corresponded tell . the old gentleman I told him I had no objection to any number of ' ! . she said not books. Haven. Raven continued to show himself at uncertain intervals in the There were some who believed he was not library. Raven meddled with anything in the house.6 LILITII been in the house from the day my father was eight years old. grandfather would never hear a word on the matter.' such books only as were wholesome for men to read. and evil books and in so doing.

: . Kaven. . With that he went to it. and had always thought it a fixture. Then I asked him if he had ever seen the mutilated volume out of its place he answered that he never had. and gave it a pull it seemed immovable. but it would be well he should keep to his resolution of saying nothing about him to the servants.THE LIBRARY visits 7 from Mr.

its atmosphere stooping man. slipper-like shoes. and large feet in wide. in a shabby dress-coat reaching almost to his heels. He went out of the library into the hall. But I had for overhauling causing me uneasiness as to their condition. I think it was about a week after. One day the intention suddenly became a resolve. revealed thin legs in black stockings. when what I have now to tell took place.LILITII CHAPTEE II THE MIBBOB NOTHING more happened for some days. but in vain : fast. but I never doubted I was following something. disparting a little slight. the tails of which. At once I followed him I might be following a : shadow. I had often thought of the manuscript fragment. then up the stairs . and across to the foot of the great staircase. and I was in the act of rising from my chair to make a beginning. and repeatedly tried to discover some way of releasing I could not find out what held it it. as he walked. when I saw the old librarian moving from the door of the closet toward the farther end of the room. I ought rather to say only that I caught sight of something shadowy from which I received the impression of a of the some time intended a thorough books in the closet.

and long vistas whose gloom was thinned by a few lurking cobwebbed windows rafters over and small dusky skylights. which we ascended. I never had brother or sister to incite to such romps as make children familiar with nook and cranny I was a mere child when my guardian took me away and I had never seen the house again until. I gazed with a strange the wide expanse of mingling of awe and pleasure garret was my own. I returned to take possession. as if it found itself of no use. I following close. and from the top visible. Up that he went also. : ! The small chamber was full of light. Through passage after passage we came to a door bottom of a winding wooden stair. a door here and there in sight. about a month before. great spaces around me. shadowy shape was nowhere saw him. Every step creaked under my foot. I found myself in a region almost unknown to me. and unexplored In the middle of it stood an unpainted inclosure of rough planks. Thinking Mr. Eaven might be there. with huge beams and of it the I could not even imagine I my head. and regretted : having come. Past these rooms. and entered. and when I reached the top. 9 where lay the chief rooms. through a wide corridor. but such as dwells in places deserted it had a dull. but I heard no sound from that of my guide. marking their . the door of which was ajar. I pushed the door. to the foot of a narrower stair leading to the second floor. A few rather dim sunrays. he continued his way. Somewhere at the in the middle of the stair I lost sight of him. disconsolate look. place I was in the main garret. The was full of shadows. strange as it may seem. . but he was not one of them. .THE MIRROR to the first floor.

flat and melan: . . stumbled over something doubtless the frame of the mirror and stood nose to beak with the bird I was in the open air. It had an ebony frame. He seemed looking for worms as he came. in his beak a golden chain.10 LILITH track through the cloud of motes that had just been stirred up. but somehow of strange along the appearance. fell upon a tall mirror with a dusty face. occupied the middle distance horizon stretched the tops of a f ar-off mountain range nearest me lay a tract of moorland. I became aware that it reflected neither the chamber nor my own person. I stepped closer to examine the texture of a stone in the immediate foreground. Desolate hills of no great height. old-fashioned and rather narrow in appearance an ordinary glass. broken and heathy. a large and ancient raven. on a houseless heath ance of a : I . I took another step forward to see him better. choly. I have an impression of having seen the wall melt away. from whose end hung a black ball. whose purply black was here and there softened with gray. when suddenly had been looking at rather than into the mirror. and in the act espied. on the top of which stood a black eagle with outstretched wings. but what followed I is could I enough to account for any uncertainty have mistaken for a mirror the glass that protected a wonderful picture ? I saw before me a wild country. hopping toward me with solemnity. Nowise astonished at the appearlive creature in a picture. Being short-sighted.

. I stretched in this direction and that. between cloud and mountain-side. overwhelmed with bewilderment. One fact only was plain that I saw nothing I knew. not unmingled with fear. as TUKNED and looked behind me all was vague and when one cannot distinguish between fog and field. and that touch would correct me. the raven. Then the absurdity of seeking counsel from such a one struck me. felt the ground under my feet.II CHAPTEK III THE HAVEN 1 uncertain. if haply. ! ' ' for the question was immediately answered. and become the sport of the lawless ? Yet I saw the raven. arms and felt about sight. I turned to then. walking . where my I could see nothing. I might yet come in contact with but my search was vain. which stood a little way off. Had I wandered into a region where both the material and psychical relations of our world had ceased to hold ? Might a man at any moment step beyond the realm of order. regarding me with an expression at once respectful and quizzical. Instinctively something as to the only living thing near me. and heard a sound as of wind in the lowly plants around me How did I get here ? I said apparently aloud. Imagining : myself involved in a visual illusion. and I turned again.

for he stood looking up at me with an air of The sun was not shining. yet the bird seemed waiting. I beg my reader to aid me in the endeavour to make if here understanding be indeed I possible between us. The terror that madness might be at hand laid hold upon me must I henceforth place no confidence either in my senses or my consciousness? The same instant I knew it was the raven that had spoken. I looked behind. . even a greater claim. I begin indeed to fear that I have undertaken an impossibility.12 * LILITH You came through the door/ replied an odd. Already I have set down statements I would gladly change did I know how to substitute a truer utterance but as often as I try to fit the reality with nearer words. myself intelligible of things. with the thing that seemed familiar gradually yet swiftly changing through a succession of forms until its very nature is no longer recognisable. undertaken to tell what I cannot tell because no speech at my command will fit the forms in my mind. . and feel like one in process of awaking from a dream. then all about me. but saw no human shape. an economy I bethought me that a bird capable of addressing a civil man must have the right of a man to a as a bird. answer . was in a world. or call it a state an idea of existence. this world that the best choice I can make of word or phrase is but an adumbration of what I would convey. I find myself in danger of losing the things themselves. so little correspondent with the ways and modes of which we are apt to think the only world. perhaps. of conditions. and the shadow seemed part of himself. : to cast a shadow. rather harsh voice.

and what he said. and the sooner you begin the better! you are at home. You know nothing about whereness. positively but own ancient eyes his speech.' That is impossible. I saw you come through it saw you with my asserted the raven. and may. he returned Of course not had yet seen and you haven't seen ' ! ' the doors you many were doors ' all in . Whether you have ' remains to be seen. found once out I shall not try again ' ! it too easy to get in . although conveying little enlightenment. the farther you get in Oblige me by telling me where I am. .THE RAVEN 13 tendency to croak caused a certain roughness in was not disagreeable. but not often. but his voice * ' ! ' ! A not disrespectfully. you will find it as difficult ' to get out as it is to get in. or for long. that the more doors you go out of.' ' for until 'Anything. ' sir ? When Your world I please I do. will be. I did not come through any door. I never saw any door ' ' ! I persisted.' I rejoined.' I have. here you came upon a door out ! The ' strange ' ! he went on thoughtfully. ' You have stumbled in.' * 1 are is 1 to begin to ' How am By doing What ? ' make yourself at home.' Do you never go out. unfortunately. is such a half-baked sort of place. it is at . possibly. The only way to come to know where you thing to you. stumble got in unfortunately out again. did not sound rude.' I to begin that where everything is so strange ? ' something.

who Look at me.' As he spoke. had no grounds on which to determine that I was one and not another. pray ? or.14 LILITII self-satisfied once so childish and so sufficiently developed for ' an old raven at I wrong.' he said. and did not care to recall it. what should I say to a creature such saw through accident into entity ? ' ' as this raven.' How should I help knowing ? I am myself. and it was my wisdom for If are not . that there it was a custom for everybody to have a name So I held my peace. and tell me who I am. that you can do so ! You have in the fact he rejoined. but take man or bird as ' we find ' ! him. it is not your service ' ! lects in generalising. and what it might be was plainly I had indeed almost forgotten of no consequence here. but a man . and instantly I knew him. "We do not waste our intel' ' Am in fact. you know that you somebody else but do you know that you are ? Are you sure you are not your own father ? yourself Who are you. then. Tell me. for it meant nothing. then. He was no longer a raven. your own fool ? I became at once aware that I could give him no notion of who I was. did not know what I was. and * ! * Well answered ' ' must know ' ' ! you know you are yourself. ' ! ! . excuse me. ' I think it is now my turn ' to ask you a question the best of rights. he turned his back. in presuming that a man is to a bird ? superior That is as it may be. who was I ? It would be no answer to say I was who Then I understood that I did not know myself.' I replied. As for the name I went by in my own world. Indeed. I had forgotten it. who you are if you happen to know.

and places you can go out of but the one place. wrong. There are places you can go into. me one. . only to . in return. if you do but find it. but none the less you must get to be at home in it for home. or thinking beings. got into this region too soon. and then what himself is. and I saw him a raven. then. In fact. and again I saw the librarian. can see now. Again he turned. as you may or may not know. No . and wearing a long black tail-coat. I will give you a lesson one can say he is himself. How can you say so from seeing me behind ? he You Did you ever see yourself behind ? rejoined. is the only place where you can go out and in. but not more than you need to see. ' ' ' * ! who ' I am.' he returned. nobody is himThere is more in it than self. you You have. You did me no a raven. He did not appear to have changed.THE EAVEN 15 above the middle height with a stoop. have never seen yourself at all Tell me now.' I said.' I answered were once the librarian of our house. but you I do not know. feeling foolish rather than surprised. sir.' He turned to walk away. you allowed ' Calling me me which is the sum of what one can demand existence.' ' I believe more who Why do you beg my pardon ? ' him 'Because I took you for a raven. is home. and himself is nobody. where you may go out and in both. of his fellow: Therefore. very thin.' I said seeing before me as plainly a raven as bird or man could 1 look. until first he knows that he is.' * : I humbly beg your pardon. I fear. I have seen you before.

received a slight shock.1 6 LILITH I have taken up his shadow. I spied me something with a shine. Terror seized me. sense. only the form beyond seemed strangely unI would have passed between the stems. It had no colour. I saw before me the wooden wall of the garret chamber. from the sun-baked ground. in a radiant summer noon. and I fled. I thought. and I made haste to bury myself it ? How said I : ! in it. and fell. Outside the chamber . but certain. but I cannot help it. but was like the before translucent trembling of the hot air that rises. my place in The raven was I to find myself at home ? must do something what could I do here? And would that make me somebody? for now. I cannot tell. I was nobody I took the way Mr. I ceased to and colour of the trees perched. When I rose. alas. and did not know it ? Was I in what we used to call the world beyond the grave ? and must I wander about seeking . met me on my way. and there was the mirror. on whose top the black eagle seemed but that moment to have close came up. What it was grew no plainer as I went nearer. know this seems non- I gazed after him until I saw him no more but whether distance hid him. or he disappeared among the heather. Could it be that I was dead. and when I see it. I turned. vibrant like the smitten chords of a musical instrument. standing between two of the stems. and went slowly after him. Plunged at length in its twilight glooms. Raven had gone. and turned toward it. Presently I saw a wood of tall slender The odour of it pine-trees. stumbled.

. next floor I lost my way. and I seemed again to hear the croak of the raven. and had gone through several passages a second time ere I found the head of the At the top of the great stair I had come to stair. ' If I is know nothing what it of my own me now garret. rose and ran. and in a few moments I sat recovering : ! ! my breath in the library. it was mysterious dwellers. and they were waiting again went through me on the winding stair the house had grown strange to me something was about to leap I darted down the spiral. and was even aware of a certain undertone of contemptuous humour in it but suddenly it was checked. in which an aerial portal stood ever open to I would creatures whose life was other than human The brooding brain full of ! ! ! purchase a crag in Switzerland. myself a little. guarded by some grand old peak that would send down nothing worse than rock ! a few tons of whelming I knew all the time that my thinking was foolish. seemed to have long been waiting for something it A shudder had come. upon me from behind On the struck against the wall and fell. and thereon build a wooden nest of one story with never a garret above it. go up that last pervaded the threatening to crush me it me of the building.' I thought. one or other of whom might I was any moment appear in the library where I sat nowhere safe I would let.THE RAVEN the wide garret spaces had an uncanny look. I would sell the dreadful place. I 1 7 They . Nothing should ever again make terrible stair ! The garret at the top of whole house out of it ! ! It sat upon it. 'what there to secure is against my own brain? Can I tell even generating? what c .

where the mutilated volume. appeared to beckon me. non-existent books. what am the raven put it I? ' I could no more answer the question to me in at ' now than when Where in ? where at ? ' I said. of course. hold or suggest. and was . some of the senseless half-lines. I got up again. and peeping as into a pair of reluctant jaws. some musical impossible. hurried across the room to the masked door. get at the beginning and end of a single line. bodiless. but could see nothing. what I could read. from their strangeness. however. and gave myself up as knowing myself or the universe. even yet in their mutilation. : individual words affected me in similar fashion as with the aroma of an idea. Beginnings of lines were visible on the left-hand page. some poems. lighted a taper. . Some dreams. as it were. and opened it as far as its position would permit. in the sense. woke in me feelings which to describe was. perceived that the manuFurther I could not carry discovery. some of the phrases. and ends of lines on the other but I could not. to make any guess at The mere words. some even of the unable. the next month. wake feelings such as one never had before. went down on my knees. script was verse. sticking out anything of from the flat of soulless. I copied out a few of the larger shreds attainable. new in colour and form spiritual sensations. some pictures. rousing in me a great longing to know what the poem or poems might.1 8 LILITH thought it may present me the next moment. or a year away ? What is at the heart of my brain ? What is behind my think ? Am I there at all ? Who. phrases. hitherto unproved here. I started to my feet.

when I went and all but within the to bed.THE EAVEN and tried 19 lines. effort was The only thing I gained much weariness that. that horror of the empty garret c 2 . slept soundly. I fell asleep at once In the morning spaces bad left me. hard to complete some of the so out the least success.

and went to the window to glance at the stone again. and looked into the milky sapphire I wore. and utter disregard of the falling deluge. but I doubted if the day would long be fine. It was even less defined than I had expected. The air had grown A moment sultry. to see whether the star in it was clear. and on the lawn was a thrush breaking his way into the shell of a snail. I spied a keen black eye gazing at out of the milky misty blue. I rose from the breakfast-table. As I was turning my ring about to catch the response of the star to the sun. more and there was a flash of lightning. when I descried a raven walking toward me over the grass. and . I had opened the window. and stood there looking out at the precipitous rain. so that I dropped the ring.2O LILITH CHAPTEE IV SOMEWHEEE OE NOWHEEE ? THE sun was very bright. I congratulated myself that I was safe on . There had been heavy rain in the night. Suspecting who he was. The same moment the sun was obscured a dark vapour covered him. The sight startled me me when I picked it up the eye was gone from it. sharp thunder-clap. and in a minute or two the whole sky was clouded. and a gust of wind came suddenly. with a single Then the rain fell in torrents. with solemn gait.

if he went up the stair.' They . room. that I remarked almost involun' ' tarily. The second came. He turned. all the last week should that make it a grand time ? I asked. apparently with approbation. He turned his head over his shoulder and looked at me. as much as to say. So human were his pose and carriage and the way he kept turning his head.' he answered. and walked to the door. Fine weather for the worms. and was followed by a lengthened roll of more distant thunder. and followed him.' Because the animals there are all burro wers. ! ' ' ' answered. and anew contemplated the weather. He came nearer and nearer. determined. if I were not careful. I thought he was on his way to the library. in the rather croaky voice I had learned to know. I made haste to open it for upon a grass-patch him.' he like the field-mice and the moles here. not to take one step after him. made a profound bow. with a glance upward I believe 1 ! ' ' ' ! ' ' ! . At the same time I had a conviction that. and with a sudden winged leap stood on the windowsill. the ground will be nice for them to It must be a grand time on the steppes get out and in of Uranus he added. but to a little door that gave in a nook between two portions of the rambling old house. it is ' Why raining there too . Eaven Yes.SOMEWHERE OR NOWHERE? 21 the ground-floor. neither toward the library nor the stair. and stood looking cataract flash stepped out into its creeper-covered porch. Mr. it was. which fell like a huge thin I stood in the door behind him. something would happen. at the rain. jumped down into the. however. will be. for ages to come. Then he stepped over the ledge. You hear that ? then swivelled it round again. He .

I replied. and Now we should be going ' ' ! stepped to the front of the porch.' ' ' ' ' ! ' * ' * ' ! ' ' You think so. and turned. until you get used to it. I was almost frightened myself the first time I saw the dry-bog-serpent come wallowing out such But the shower is a head and mane and such eyes nearly over. Going where ? I asked. said the raven.' 'I give in so rejoined the raven. and out conies a beast. ' You might think it a hairy elephant or a deinotherium but none of the animals are the same as we have ever had here.22 ' LILITH How ' do you know that. did not surely think you had got home ? I told you there was no going out and in at pleasure until you were at home I do not want to go.' the porch on the grass.' he answered. As any one would who had been there to see. ' You will come into far. . and in about half a minute the thunder.' he It is a great sight. Then the rain ceased. and stepped from the ! the garden ' porch. if I may be so bold ' ? I rejoined. You Going where we have to go/ he answered. There ' it is ! A flash came with the words. That does not make any difference at least not This is the way much. waiting. 'I will not leave the house to-day.' I said with obstinacy. He hopped from but you are not. Come along. It will stop directly after the next thunder! ! clap. replied.' I said. I am quite content where I am. when the earth gives a heave.

as you have just seen answered. ' ' ! ' ! : ! ! ' ! ' Why ? ' said the raven. I exclaimed tut Tut you ' ! ! . it ' Because will grow proud. and beak. you must dig something up you Only you should mind what it is before you make it No creature should be allowed to forget what and fly where it came from : are not the larvae of butterflies ' . last it from first replied. ! Raven worms it will do for once Never mind. and the and sparkled on the feet ' ! grass. but sexton at the at a certain graveyard cemetery. if ' Why. looking up. but could see nothing save a little . and soared aloft. It spread great wings. ' gorgeous and black.' he croaked I'm not a reading man at present. I looked up also. for that will he ' But they can't have come he never go back to it ' ! added. ' ! Mr. and cease it to recognise idiot of its superiors. immediately plunging it deep in the sod. ' ! as suddenly grown the earth. he answered. mistake.' And mire my tossed in red ' it in the air. more properly in no matter where at I see you can't keep your spade still and when have nothing to bury. He threw back his head. from ' ! I ' Yes. and drawing out a great wriggling red worm. said the raven.SOMEWHERE OR NOWHERE? The sun broke through the drops flashed ' 23 rain- clouds. 1 when he is making an ' Where do the worms come from ? curious to know.' No man knows himself. You will wet your * I cried. The raven was walking over it.

' make himself. struck with amazement.' ' You wrong me ! in the very essence of my duality 'If I persisted.24 LILITF if dark cloud. have no right to make me do things against my will ' When ' you have a will. therefore you were an individual I could . surely. the edges of which were red. as light of the sunset. am I not.' * ! ' That red belongs forget 'You see J ! what comes of making creatures I cried with some warmth. you will find that no one indivi- can. Haven ? * I said with deep offence. a free agent ? ' A man is You ! ' as free as he chooses to freer. no to the worm. * Surely the' sun is not going with the down * ' ! I exclaimed. and already I was a stranger in the strange : land! ' What ' right have you to ' treat me or so. if it be to rise higher ' larger find it 4 ' ! he returned. returned the raven. Mr. their origin ' It is well. ! If only the rest of the clergy understood it as well In went his beak again through the soft turf. Am I. came the wriggling worm. not. never an atom ' answered the raven. ' and grow But indeed I only teach them to full of ' ! Would you have That is the air worms ' ? ' the business of a sexton. and out air. and away it flew. Oh. and gave a cry of dismay I had but that moment declared I would not leave the house. He tossed it in the I looked behind me.

and now you 'I do. and even the garden I could not keep inside ! ! I suppose I looked discomfited. Perhaps it may comfort you. with a curious noise in his throat.' Where do you think ' it stands ? ' ' Why there. ' I am you ! . or you inhabit it I do not understand you. and so finding my way home. * flutter of his You had lest better follow me carefully ' ! now for a you should hurt some one There is nobody to hurt but yourself. to be told that you have not yet left your house. ' ! ' ! ' ' yards away ? Of course I do ' : why should I not see ' ? I answered testily. neither has ' ' your house ' left you. Kaven I confess I should rather like to hurt you That you see nobody is where the danger lies. alas how could I any longer call that house home. 25 You are but beginning to become an individual. in the hope of discovering an unaccountable glimmer. ' do not ' Ten minutes ago you did not know where it stands ' ! it. -But. where you know ' it is I ' ' Where is there ? You bother me with your growing tired of ' ' silly questions ! I cried. in which my eyes were already searching deep.' All about me was a pine-forest. where every door.' said the raven. Mr. every window opened into Out. At the same time ' ! it cannot con' tain you.SOMEWHERE OR NOWHERE? now I do not.' I replied. But you see that large tree to your left. about thirty moment. * Where am I ? 1 In the region of the seven dimensions.' he answered. and a tail.

That rosebush is close by her. ' Mr. but never mind ' ! You mean you have been making turning from him. and the liveries one and multitudinous She cannot use the piano. You would give her a terrible ' ' ' ' start ' ! There is no lady in the house Is not your housekeeper a lady ? She Indeed is counted such in a certain country where all are servants.' 'How?' ' one can do that but yourself I decline to do it. the lady at the piano in the breakfast-room. with a laugh of scorn. and grows nearly straight up its chimney.' he said. however.' : me no ' You make for that ' In declining to acknowledge yourself one already. anyhow Her niece can she is there a well-educated girl and a capital musician. if I walk to the other side of that tree.' Then. a fool of me ' ! ' ! I said. again ? ' By believing what not true. ' me ' Was I making game of you when you discovered looking out of your star-sapphire yesterday ? That was this morning not an hour ago ' ' ! 'I have been widening your horizon longer than that. ' ' ! .' ! 1 ! ' ' ! ' ' ! ' : . Vane . yourself such by refusing what is true. ' Excuse 1 And You mistake.26 1 LILITH That tree stands on the hearth of your kitchen. I shall walk through the kitchen fire ? You would first. and you will sorely ' punish is yourself. Now I know you are making game of me I answered.' How. walk through Certainly.

did not read many of the books in your Plainly. Will you kindly show me my way I must go. and talk such rubbish I cried. suppose. and give that peculiar sweetness to her ! I forgot your deafness Two objects/ I said. When I looked up. you * ! ' ! You ' charge I went through all in your library at Oh. there was the bird by my side. I cannot help ' ! it : you seem me to be talking sheer nonsense ' Those great long If you could but hear the music heads of wild hyacinth are inside the piano. for I have an appointment with my One must not break faith with his servants ' ! . home bailiff. but when I came to wiser. know it. but could since I ! ' ! not hear the thinnest ghost of a sound I only smelt something I had never before smelt in any rose. among the strings of it. I woke among the butterflies. It was still rose-odour. There I smell Grieg's March in the quiver of those rose-petals Wedding I went to the rose-bush and listened hard. Kaven. yes the time. I . To be sure I have given up reading for a good many years ever ' ! was made sexton.SOMEWHERE OR NOWHERE? ' 27 to Excuse me . by the Wedding March. and came out at the other side not much the I was a bookworm then. only a man of the world could have said ' Can they not ! ! so ' ' ! a librarian. cannot exist in the place at the same time playing'! ' : Pardon me ' ! ' same ' ! now ? I did not know I remember they do teach that with you. but with a difference. It is a great mistake one of the greatest ever wiseacre made No man of the universe. forgive me for being so rude ' ' : I was ? irritated. Mr.' I said. caused.

I must earn. I must accept my fate life to be lived in a world of which I had all the laws to learn ? There would. and could eat again. and that ' To go back. however. however.' he returned. garding me the sooner one begins to do what has to be done. who stood re! ! we do not go much by the clock here.' But Entreaty was vain. Let us go I answered. I will take you to my wife. ! my sojourn in it : some way find. my former world was nothing the better for how was ! .' said the raven. . and im' . upon this world I had a claim because I must eat when it would in return have a claim on me ' There is no hurry. Still. as I now saw.28 ' LILITH You cannot break what was broken days ago the way/ I pleaded.' the better Thank you. and in it I had found myself heir to a large property! If that world. or in But I reasoned that. 1 Do show me I cannot. I might expect to be I had had nothing taken care of here as well as there to do with getting into the world I had just left. I should at least have the rare advantage of knowing two worlds I had never yet done anything to justify my existence. as I ! here. through yourself. be adventure that held consolation and whether I found my way home or not. ! 1 ' ! mediately he led the way. had a claim upon me because I had eaten. you must go way no man can show ! another. ' ' ! he answered. my bread was not to blame in being here.

The season for the hawthorn to blossom. some of them grotesque forest grew thinner. older. ' We into the pine-forest. the morning of the thunder? I was going to tell him I wanted it turned into a wilderness of rose-trees. ' ! objected.' he replied. Then the You hawthorn ? said my guide at length.' It seems indeed an ancient hawthorn but this is not the season for the hawthorn to blossom I ' Look again. ' and more see that with age. he rejoined it is a hawthorn. were you not.CHAPTEE V THE OLD CHURCH I FOLLOWED him deep us said much us round. That tree is in the ruins of the church on your home-farm. when the hawthorn blossoms. Neither of while yet the sacred gloom of it closed came to larger and yet larger treesindividual.' ' ' . of I looked where the wood melted away on the edge an open heath.' : ' . with a great white head/ ' ' I answered. I see a gnarled old man. You were ' ' is going to give some directions to the bailiff about its churchyard. pointing with his beak. and that the plough must never come within three yards of it.

the big thought ' . ' ! ! ! sunshine flashed quivering from its wings.' they not pray as well as sing ? they have found that each can best pray in his own silent heart. I see a pigeon Of course you see a pigeon. What makes them floats out of their hearts like a great ship out of the river at high water. and heard was it the sighing of a far-off musical wind or the ghost of a music that had once been glad ? Or did I indeed hear anything ? They go there still.' rejoined the raven. ' ' Do No ' . I see a prayer on its way. how it should be a fit symbol or understand. I think. How ' ! ' heart .' go now ? They need help from each other to get their thinking done. seeming to hold his breath. with quick and yet quicker The wing-flap. A snow-white pigeon was mounting. Who goes there ? and where do they go ' ' ' ? I asked. But they will not go much ' longer.30 ' ' ! LILITH Listen said the raven. so they talk and sing together and then. go to the ruins ' still. Some people are always at their Look look There goes one prayers. and their feelings hatched. 1 Some of the people who ' used to pray there. He pointed right up into the air. they say.' said the raven. but a live pigeon to come out of a likeness for one . I for there is the pigeon Some wonder now what heart is that dove's mother ' ' ! ' ' ' ! ! one ' may have come awake in my ' cemetery ' ! I said. I can a pigeon be a prayer ? of course. I said.' he replied. I listened. the unseen spiral of an ethereal stair.

trusting form. it .THE OLD CHURCH 1 31 fail It must puzzle you ! ! It cannot to do so ' ! ' ! 1 A prayer is a thought. When some pray. this or that. and whose very dreams are lives.' . There is no other such. Look.' said the raven. you if you do not. happy creatures. and its was yet the old. its colour. If you know More know it. like it before. When one says " Here is one of to the great Thinker thy thoughts : : that is a prayer a word to thinking it now the big heart from one of its own little hearts. and had a golden heart. There is one heart all whose thoughts are strong. and cannot utter the feeling it woke in to me by its gracious. they lift heavy thoughts from the ground. I I had never seen one looked. ' it. you do not. All live things were thoughts to begin with. I can only say that it suggested an anemone. and are fit therefore to be used by those that think. the nearest likeness to each. ' By the expression of than that I cannot tell you. was of a pale rose-hue. . Not one prayer-flower is odour as of a that 1 new world * ' ! ' ever quite like another/ he returned. you would understand your own if ' But much is better. only to drop them on it again others send up their prayers in living shapes.' he answered. How do you know it a prayer-flower ? ' ' I asked. then it able to think live things. That is a prayer-flower. and saw a little flower. When a heart is really alive. you understood any world besides your own. I never saw such a flower before I rejoined. a thing spiritual Very true I pursued. there is another I ! am " ' ! This time the raven pointed his beak downward something at the foot of a block of granite.

great awe came over to the flower. me to think of the heart listening . . I could not.32 ' LILITII Could you not teach I see ? ' me to know a prayer-flower better when ' it ? I said. it what you be you would not know the of yourselt would and ^self ! name of a thing when the thing itself Why do not know ? Whose work is it but your own to you know open your eyes ? But indeed the business of the universe is to make such a fool of you that you will know yourself for one. But if I could. and so begin to be wise But I did see that the flower was different from any flower I had ever seen before therefore I knew that I must be seeing a shadow of the prayer in it and a ' ! .

the plumb-line you call gravitation. and call it the sexton's cottage ' ! ! ' ! But where is your churchyard your cemetery where you make your graves. but he was wrapt in a gray cloud. and let the up But here is my world spin round under your feet wife's house She is very good to let me live with her. who never came back to Noah Dear dear it is almost 1 ' * ! ! ! ! ! winter ' ' ! ' ! Winter I cried ' l . it seems but half a day since we left ' home ! That is because we have travelled so fast.33 CHAPTEK VI THE SEXTON'S COTTAGE WE had been for some time walking over a rocky moorland covered with dry plants and mosses.' In your world you cannot pull answered the raven. when I descried a little cottage in the farthest distance. I mean ? said I. What a In half the time I could have gone to long way it is Paradise and seen my cousin him. held out his beak D . Here we are at last said the raven. seeing ' ' nothing but the flat heath. you remember. The heath looked as if it had never been warm. The raven stretched his neck. The sun was not yet down. as if from some region where it was always night. and the wind blew strangely cold.

smile. ghosty night. its ! ! ! The day might tained the well be long in that region. still. turned it slowly round to all the points o! the compass. through. set it up against the wall but it opened. and rushed at the door Then all was as with difficulty I closed it behind me. with . and he sank while same instant threshold as The yet a few yards from the door. church or graves. and here I was already verse . and a woman entered. and said nothing. the slow-changing afternoon. and I struggled across the I we were if from the clutches of an icy death. was assailed by a cold that seemed almost a material presence. autumn and sunshine behind me. for it conseasons. and the first thing I saw was the lid of a coffin. as I thought. and I looked about me. and come to the mer. old Autumn crept in. without all was a churchyard Wherever the ! ! dreary wind swept. Winter slept there.34 LILITH horizontally. Spring came awake in the dawn Summer blazed abroad in her gorgeous beauty. for was a door. its wall the gray I had left spring and sumlow and starless horizon. and her face was as . there was the raven's cemetery He was sexton of all he surveyed lord of all that was ! laid aside ! I stood in the burial-ground of the uni- compass the unenclosed heath. the night . I followed the beak with my eyes. in his winding-sheet of ice with childlike at noon. and died at the first breath of the vaporous. and lo. She was all in white as white as new-fallen snow . As we drew near the cottage. the clouded sun was rushing down the steepest slope of the west. A candle burned on a deal table in the middle of the room. A wind swelled up on the moor. I had set out in the prime winter that waited for me But I mistook. . of my youth.

but not like snow. Will he sleep ? she asked. gentle welcome. A whole night-heaven lay condensed in each pupil. and flashed while round it for a horizon lay coiled an iris of the eternal face trated in her eyes. but the eyes had life in them for a nation large.' I do not quite understand you. and could not speak.' I said. in a low. heavy laden/ ' Why then have you brought ' him ? ' I have my fears it may ' prove precipitate. with an uneasy foreboding as to what she meant. eyes still What any eye is. but a vague ' hope of some ' ! escape. entered. The life of her and her whole person was gathered and concenwhere it became light. but her eyes made me forget them. . were a continuous creation. I fear not. Vane.' Treasures of immortal sound seemed to lie ! ' buried in ' it. wife ' 1 He is voice. I gazed. I knew you would be glad to see him ' ! added the raven. It might have been coming death that made her face luminous. and dark with a darkness ever deepening as I gazed. said the raven.THE SEXTON'S COTTAGE 35 white as her dress. she answered. 1 ' She stood in front of the door by which she had and did not come nearer. twilight. Here is Mr. for at once it suggested warmth. Surely a man must do a day's D 2 work first . I thought her features were perfect. all the stars were in its blackness.' he replied he is neither weary nor ' ' . rich. God only knows her must have been coming direct out of his own the face might be a primeval perfection the live eyes : ! .

I had seen only his back before now for the first time I saw his face. sleep ! ' 1 ' ! he can do anything Men. turning to her husband. They cannot empty an egg but they turn into the shell. Let me first go home. haze about them as if they had done ' ' ! which yet had a much weeping.' I resumed. large in the body and long in the tails. and I saw you dig worms out of * ' ! ' ' ' the earth with your beak. and flew away. sugthe skulls his last-claimed profession must have gesting made him familiar with. and She returned my gaze in silence. and lie down The words drew my eyes from the woman to the ' Tell 1 him he must rest before ' ' ! ' ! raven. ' . or a look so keen or so that it showed the shape friendly as that in his pale blue eyes. and come again after I have found or made. You knew I was not a raven I knew you were Mr.Jtf LILITH I gazed in the white face of the woman. that they fall asleep upon it. But in truth I had never before seen a face so alive.' And then ? ' ' ' They grew butterflies. think so much of having done.' .' I replied but somehow I thought you a bird too What made you think me a bird ? You looked a raven. It was so thin elderly . he said with a smile. Kaven. ' ' my heart fluttered. in a rusty black coat. of the bones under it.' < And then ? ' Toss them in the air. I saw no raven.' he answered. invented. or at least discovered something He has not yet learned that the day begins with said the woman. but the librarian the same slender man.

very pale. like his wife's. and about them quivered a thin.' I ' saw one do You saw me do it 1 never f it ! ! your house. and a creeping serpentself.' turned to his wife. books are but dead bodies to you.' said the sexton at length. stood silent also ' The woman. ay. for I never I up the office. Except you are a true sexton. He was above the ordinary height.' Now am ' But you have just told me you were sexton here ' ! So I am. less as a statue. self too In which it takes a deal of crushing to kill truth he has also a tree-self and a crystal-self. ' by the Upon occasion. has a beast-self and a birdand a stupid fish-self. Every you ought to know. movecoffin-door. know how many selves more all to get into You can tell what sort a man is by his creature that comes oftenest to the front. were very their and even they had no colour. . and I one. and stood more erect than when last I saw him. But I am still librarian in was dismissed. its nose handsomely encased the beak that had retired within it its lips . His face He was. and a library nothing but a catacomb ' ' ! ' You bewilder all me ' ! ' ! 1 That's right A few moments he stood silent. and turn them ! ' into butterflies ? ' * Yes.THE SEXTON'S COTTAGE I ' 37 Did you ever see a raven do that ? I told you I was a sexton Does a sexton toss worms in the air. but curves were beautiful. and never gave librarian here as well. as ! don't harmony. It is much the same profession. and I considered him more closely. it is more convenient to put one's bird-self in front.

the sat down to the perfect meal bread and wine seemed to go deeper than the hunger We . ' we can give She turned her unchanging face and radiant eyes upon mine. is.' ' she answered.' she replied ' ' . ! You know.38 L1LTTH shadowy smile that had humour in it as well as love and pity. wife. I grew very sleepy. and now first felt weary. Mrs.' he said we have come a long way * ' ' . : jumped on his knee as He patted it go to sleep he seemed a grave patting it lovingly.' She went to a cupboard in the wall.' only to him that asks. for it is a But it would be perilous to use this house necessity. Please give me something to eat. Raven/ I said. and as I ate.' I and something what yon will to quench my said. and set them on the table.' A wild-looking little black cat he spoke. Anxiety and discomfort vanished . but you have given me the one freely. hushand. that ' ' ' . and now I hope you will give me the other. Baven. as a half-way hostelry for the repose of a night. as one pats a child to make it to me patting down the sod upon . Mrs. for I sorely need it. expecta- tion took their place. merely. ' I have earned neither food nor sleep. and thirst. I will gladly. 1 ' thirst. We are in want of something to eat and drink. brought from it bread and wine.' Your thirst must be greater before you can have but what I can give what will quench it.' Sleep is too fine a thing ever to be earned/ said the sexton it must be given and accepted. you. with an inward lullaby.

* house no one wakes of himself.' he said I will show you your couch. Then perhaps you ' me ! 1 We cannot. behind her. and answered. and led the way. She took up the I candle. 'If you would have the rest of this house. Raven would kindly I said. altogether and outright/ soul sank within me. seemed to say. closing the door I to How then am By In make use full. You must go to sleep heartily. the woman came in.' ' dare I then go to sleep ? I cried. ' How My The sexton sat looking ' me in the face. me ? ' His eyes I returned Then come. Will you not trust his gaze. and the sexton followed. but feeling afresh that vague foreboding. . yourself no more than you can make call or Mrs. * ' accepting it to the I do not understand. gave it a little and went out with it.' ' ' . 'I will. went close behind her.' this he answered.THE SEXTON'S COTTAGE ' 39 Here ' : wife one of Mara's kittens he said to his will you give it something and put it out ? she is ! ' may want it The woman ! ' piece of bread. ' took it from him gently.' 'Why?' ' You can wake yourself.' of your hospitality ? ' I asked. you must not trouble yourself about waking.' ' Because no one anywhere ever wakes of himself. turned to the inner door.' As we rose. still nowise understanding.

The sexton said something to his wife that made her turn toward us. I could see nothing of the place. Even her hands shone with a white radiance. from the floor. What a change had passed upon her It was as if the splendour of her eyes had grown too much for them to hold. life eternal. . every Her pearl-shell helmet gleaming like a moonstone. A few paces brought us to the first it was a human form under a sheet. immortal. however.40 LILITH CHAPTEK VH THE CEMETERY of an ice-house met me crossing the The door fell-to behind us. . a little raised ! . straight and still whether sently. Life itself. . ! with a loveliness like that of Beatrice in the white rose of the redeemed. Was it a bed ? Could live thing sleep in such a mortal cold ? Then surely it was no wonder it should not wake of itself Beyond that appeared a fainter shine and then I thought I descried uncertain gleams on every side. flash ' ' beauty was overpowering it from me. sinking into her countenance. made it THE air as threshold. streamed from it. an unbroken lightning. and. Pre- it fell on something that glimmered. I was glad when she turned But the that at first light of the candle reached such a little way.

for the light passed. and shone through other openings. but I could never see enough of the place at once to know its shape or character. Even as she spoke the moon looked in an opening in the wall. sounded at of ancient sorrow long bidden adieu. vanishing. I soon perceived that we were walking along an aisle of couches. I could see only a few of them at once. Was it here lay my choice bed ? Must I go to sleep among the unwaking. The moon rose higher. silent seemed. in the infinite. For along the far receding narrow ways. but I soon saw it was something a something I did not know. and her rising . on almost every one of which. They stretched away and away. this chamber of the dead One of the cellars I am placed to watch remarked Mr. for all the disparted world to sleep upon.THE CEMETERY of 4! seemed man or woman I could not tell. and a thousand gleams of white responded But not yet could I descry beginning or to her shine. soul grew to avoid the face as we My with dread. among couches innumerable. with no one to rouse me? Was this the sexton's library ? were these his books ? Truly it was no half* as it of a way ' house. Through aisle after aisle we went. as if fearing to disturb hia Much wine is set here to ripen But silent guests. I thought at first was deeper still death. covered "With a sheet white as snow. every couch stood by itself. now it would resemble . ! ' ! ' ! it is ' dark for a stranger ' ! he added. with its head to the passage. low and sweet. but they were on all sides. The moon is his wife. Eaven in a low voice. she will soon be here/ said clear voice. and on each slept a lonely their sleep sleeper. end as if of the couches. lay something asleep or dead.

an assurance. The most beautiful of all was a lady whose white hair. and where she shone direct upon them. and that alone. the marrings of hopeless loss.42 LILITH a long cathedral nave. all unlike in the character and history recorded upon them. it was long charmed asleep. Here lay a man who had died for although this was not death. now a huge barn made into a dwelling of tombs. almost obliterated scars of On some faces lingered the yet quite melted them away j but those faces were few. On the next couch The lay the form of a girl. . but a right noble acquiescence. icy gleam on the white sheets and the pallid countenances but ! it might be the faces that made the moon so cold Of such as I could see. Many were the beautiful that there lay very still some of them mere children but I did not see one infant. that to give . . but absolute submission possessed the placid features. firm as the foundations of the universe. ' ' : . of killing care or grief of heart pain had been there. On her stately countenance rested not submission. cast a bluish. passing lovely to behold. sadness left on her face by parting was not yet absorbed in perfect peace. which bore no sign of if wasting disease. all strife. all were alike in the brotherhood of death. I have no other name in the prime of manly strength it his dark beard seemed to flow like a liberated stream from the his forehead was glacier of his frozen countenance smooth as polished marble a shadow of pain lingered about his lips. She looked colder than any moon in the frostiest night of the world. the fading shadows of sorrows that had seemed inconsolable the aurora of the great morning had not : was as it should be. suggested her old when first she fell asleep. never again to wake. but only a shadow. .

and all my guests are not laid in vaults out there on the moor they lie thick as the leaves of a the old world. wife ? whispered the sexton. 'I cannot answer you. and you would imagine another. Are they not dead ? I asked softly.' he went on. Will you hold the candle nearer. a little past the prime of life. ' : forest after the first blast of your winter thick. but by something for which I have neither word nor symbol. let me rather. as I thought he must clenched on the grip of a sword. This is but one of my treasure vaults. 1 ' : ' ! ' ' If I said a person was dead.* it. plead. One of her arms was outside the sheet. if ' ' It heals well. and . bending down to examine the woman's hand. the strong hand almost closed. not merely by their unutterable repose. His arm too was outside the sheet. and her hand lay with the palm to 1 ' : ! ' : ! upward. Pardon me I died but a century ago That some had been dead for ages I knew.THE CEMETERY ' 43 and every one that bore such brand of pain seemed Pardon me I died only yesterday or. We came at last to three empty couches. Next to her was the stalwart figure of a man of middle age. be a king who had died fighting for the truth.' he replied in a subdued 'I almost forget what they mean by dead in voice. immediately beyond which lay the form of a beautiful woman.' he murmured to himself the nail found in her nothing to hurt At last I ventured to speak. in its centre a dark spot. as if the great white rose of heaven had say shed its petals over smiles. All night the moon reads their faces. my wife would understand one thing.

begun die. long before they came to us are indeed dead. Your sexton looks at the clock to know when asleep. old cinder of a burnt-out world the dead. and wake those that are still few under it ! . perception ' None of those you see/ he answered. he buries very In your world he lays huge stones on them. ' my in your dead to see differences beyond I ventured to remark. Almost every night some rise and not say more. to come is that to and when such wake and leave go.' he answered. not corrupt them. why not twenty or ten thousand? But I dared not think further in that for direction. for I find my words only and die. that instant they will us. the raven and his wife were the only living I had yet seen whither should I turn ! : I was lost in a space larger than imagihelp? nation . ' Our moon. " and arise from the dead ! : * in truth I began to conclude that the self-styled sexton was an insane parson the whole thing was too mad : ! But how was I to get away from it ? I was helpless In this world of the dead. thou that sleepest. for if here two things. . I hearken for the cock on the spire to crow " Awake. could occupy the same space. to ring the dead-alive to church . the sexton lays his dead on the earth not like yours the her beams embalm You observe that here . or any parts of them. is . But I will f mislead you * . as if to keep them down I watch for the hour to ring the resurrection-bell. ' are in truth ' ! You seem quite dead yet.44 ' LILITH But why leave them in the corrupting moonlight ? ' ' I asked. and alive some have but just Others had begun to come alive.

' not rejoined the sexton with a smile." ' said the librarian. Blessed be the true life that the nearly enough! pauses between its throbs are not death ' Not much/ ' ! ' The ' Do place is too cold to let one sleep these find it so ? he returned. Why not know them now ? That also you will know when you wake/ I objected. Vane. beginning to tremble. with the candle in her hand. Would they have me make . Mr. I will lie abroad on the heath it cannot be colder there I have just told you that the dead are there also. and anxious by parley to delay. you cannot foreknow. Of cold they feel not a breath heals their wounds. at the foot of it. ! ' " Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks In Vallombrosa. but a good rest indeed. But these are all dead. pointing to one of the three. and I am alive ' ' ' ' ' ! shuddering. of a still whiteness ' ' . but her face was again may come. . Do not be a coward. ' ' ! I said. ' Why ' 'For reasons which one day you will be glad to know/ he answered.' The sexton and I stood by the side of the couch. ' They sleep : well it or will soon. of a charnel-house ' my bed-chamber ? I cried aloud. just this ? I said. it was no longer ' radiant. and your face to whatever Give yourself up to the night. Turn your back on fear. and you will Harm will not come to you. I will not. his wife.THE CEMETERY 45 This is the couch that has been waiting for you/ he ended. Her eyes were full of light.

I fled wildly. each stood still and Be of good comfort . hast brought into chamber the odours of death. callest thyself alive. and fell asleep. we watch the flock of the great shepherd.46 1 LILITII dark. or what I had just ceased to see ? both be interpenetrating yet unmingling ? I threw myself on a couch. It closed with an awful silence. Then he turned to me. I answered. I stood in my ? library. and his voice was stern. on the dead neither answered sad. and was aware of the dim light of a lamp. ' me .' said the sexton to his wife. and. this ' ! What At the first still I turned to escape. I stood in pitch-darkness. with loud offence to the gracious silence. flung-to the door behind me. Feeling about me. Had I come to myself out by going back to one real. . afraid. and I was left alone in the moonlight with the dead. opened it. bursting out. so cold * ' * ' . the and in the compassing 1 will not' I cried again two gleamed out like spectres that waited . of a vision ? my- "Which was the real what Could I now saw. I ran. Didst thou not find the air of the place pure and sweet when thou enteredst it ? he asked. Yes but oh. At last. but as I grew calm. . ! ' Then know/ he ' that thou who returned. and looked at the other. a long way I found it back through the dead"! I was too angry to be shapes grew terrible. and its air will not be wholesome for the sleepers until thou art gone from it They went farther into the great chamber. with the handle of or lost the self masked door in my hand. I found a door.

some length. at this time of the year. like an eager hound. there they : shone. and seemed more than full. shot before me into the closet. flung I saw that one of them was half open. I cried. reflecting the light a second on a nest of drawers in a dark corner. and pounced upon the gilded edges of a large book. I sprang to my feet. . I perceived that it was in my father's writing and of The words on which first my eyes fell.' I cried. and read what follows. would not close. and opened it. With the feeling that' behind it must lie the boundless chamber I had left by that door. through which. and time. Taking the topmost one out.THE CEMETERY 47 In the library was one small window to the east. I carried it to the library. The light. and thither they drew my eyes. the first rays of the sun shone upon a mirror whence they were reflected on the masked door when I woke. and went to close the More meddling * ' ! drawer. sat down in one of the western windows. 1 What idiot. ' ' has put that book in the shelf the wrong way ? But the gilded it edges. for it It contained old papers. at once made me eager to learn what it contained.

be lifted to reveal have breathed from my infancy . I had taken a book from the shelves and begun to read.48 LILITH CHAPTEE AM filled VIII MY FATHER'S MANUSCRIPT I with awe of what I have to write. at once reminding me of a certain jug my sisters used to call Mr. in a ' Your honoured peculiar but not disagreeable voice. and Then wishing I could learn something of its original. Crow. Mr. which I knew only as that of a distant ancestor. Finding myself in your vicinity. but between me and the portrait a thin pale man in rusty black. somewhat listlessly. I was seated one morning in the library. like the drop-scene of a stage. I had been. the same world sends its growing things up is to the sun. regarding the portrait that hangs among the books. Shortly after my father's death.' he said. The sun shining golden above me. and that at any moment it may. I have 1 given myself the pleasure of calling. and its flying things into the air which I butl know the outspread splendour a passing show. Vane. more wonderful things. . and had a notable nose. I saw coming toward me ?io between me and the door. the sea lies blue beneath his gaze . Glancing up from it. He looked sharp and eager.

1 ' You have seen me it I before. him. Will you not sit down ? 1 There is memory ' 1 ' He 1 seated himself at once. having known me from childhood as his father's librarian. however. It is very kind of you to come and see me. ' You knew my father. You were quite a child.' I said.' he answered with a curious smile. then. how- ever I I could not be sure that I remembered him. strange one. was in his day a friend of mine yet more inti- ' mate than ever your grandfather became' Then at length I began to think the interview a. but he did not care about my acquaintance. for marvellous tales had brought it me.' It did not strike me at the time how old the man must ' be. and we That gentleman. Mr. But in truth it was hardly stranger that E . pointnever met.' he added.MY FATHER'S MANUSCRIPT 49 grandfather treated me I may say it without presumption as a friend. his people called ing to the portrait. For my name which you have near enough it used to be Raven.' he rejoined.' he remarked. ' but only once. I presume ? 'I knew him. cognising the 1 such a thing as remembering without rein it. He smiled an amused smile. ' May 3 ask where you live now. and I begged him to set me right as to his name. Crow ? I said. which ' ' shows the family insight. but for a moment I fancied I did.' I had heard the name. You nearly hit my name. * old Sir Upward. and could not then have heard Where was that ? ' In ' this very room.

and said. A II at once my vision seemed to come right. and now and then to this day Many . The door of this room had a tremendous lock.' he answered and ' went 1 on. had read many more books than he. I recognised the country. my pen and followed him with the tops of blue mountains beyond him. That across the great hall. to my eyes. than that he great-grandfather's librarian 'for." I laid down looked in at the door. working at a catalogue of them. he was able to inform me of a certain relation of modes which I should never 'I owe him much. through the special direction of his studies. down a and along an underground passage steep rough to a tower he had lately built. for printing was not then invented. In a minute more he was the merest speck in the distance. years after.' he continued. I had scarcely crossed the threshold after him.50 L1LITII visitor should my remember Sir Upward. when the tower had long disappeared. and I saw that he was moving swiftly away from me. 'By no means as much at least as I am able : there are not such things as wilful secrets. and less. ! should have been my although I yet. which he undid with the smallest key I ever saw. consisting of a stair and a room at the top of it. I taught one of his descendants what Sir Upward had taught me . although I had never ' known this way to it. and grew less when. and could hardly have learned from any one else' ' Would you mind telling me all about that ? I said. have discovered of myself. One morning I sat there. he began to dwindle. for I had gone there and come again many a time. when he " Come. descent. clear against a sky of paler blue. r closet held his library a hundred manuscripts or so.

Mr. probably You do not look like one. his head resting on his hand. I must indeed without your leave. they must ' of its everywhere be fundamentally the same. ' heedless of disparting space ? That I go through it is an incontrovertible acknowledgment of space. and his eyes on the books before him. but so much another that most physical.' ' A better ? ' Not throughout . He sat silent for a moment. one step through which carries me into a world very much another than Please ' to take is There this.' in your house a door. but from bottom ' ' to top ! You ' ivould have me said. and many of its mental laws are different from those of this world. 'Please do not quibble.' I my house into another world. his elbow on the table. The only door out is the door in ! I began to think he must be crazy. Raven.' I rejoined.' ' ' ' You try my power of belief ! I said. my question as you know I mean it. ' that you go through then understand. As for moral laws. for which I ask your pardon have by this time well established a right of ivay through it not from front to back. Mr.' : Only you do not believe me ?' 1 will go out of that door with you if you like believe in you enough to risk the attempt.' I ' ' I The blunder all my children make ! he murmured. ' ' .' ' ' ? ' A liar then ? ' f I You give me no ground to think you such. Eaven.MY FATHER'S MANUSCRIPT 51 7 use your house when I want to go the nearest way home. You take me for a madman.' returned the old librarian.

studying his back. and went ' straight up to the garret. and therefore I see old Sir Up'ard. His coat His shoes seemed through at the edges of the and showed us parts where was no flooring. In the garret a light came glossy.52 ' LILITH A book. about it that made me uneasy. than you will think of in many years ! He rose. ' a door world I his eyes. and we must step from joist to joist : in the middle of one of these spaces rose a partition.' he went on. His hair hung down long and dark. whose top contracted as it rose. went slanting through the roof.' he said. except by getting into that world ? little Think a The thought is beyond you. It looked something to an oblong mirror that stood on the floor it.' ' did anything farther. There is one world then at least on which your halldoor does not open ? 1 grant you so much . I followed. That is the door I spoke ' of. familiar evidently with every turn. and great roofing slabs. at present ! I tell you there 'are more worlds. against the wall.' he rejoined : ever become yours. with a door : through it I followed Mr.' he said louder. left the library. straight and was wide and reached to his heels. however. pointing and leaned and saw our There was figures dimly reflected in its dusty face. is is a door in. but the things in that world ' I are not things to have ' and to hold.' ' ! I ' replied . out. crossed the hall. and more doors to them. that is. too large for him. closing and my heart swells with love to him : what ' ' he in ? ' the The world of your heart idea of him is there. obscure chamber. Eaven into a small. I went in front of .

They now perhaps. the chamber grew much clearer : a patch of sunlight had fallen upon a mirror on the wall opposite that against which the other leaned.' ' ' 'As a ' Light I I ' rejoined . but. looked at his watch. telling me there were many more . He spoke much about dimensions. there was nowhere in the chamber a second patch of light ! Where are the sunrays gone ? I cried. now this. but that is no matter : its doorness depends bn the light. to where they came from first. whence he went on to yet stranger things which I could not at all apprehend. ceased pulling. I The top went creaking and revolving for a minute Then he pulled two other chains.' He then talked of the relations of mind to matter.' returned Mr. they seemed to go clean through . and returned to the first. back.' said the librarian. but began to pull at a chain on the opposite wall. belong. in a way I could only a little 1 ' ' f understand. But from the latter none were returned . and on the dust I saw the path of the reflected rays to the mirror on the ground. now A moment more and that. it has grown mirror. and of senses to qualities. to a sense not yet developed in us. I fancy. notwithstanding its ordinary seeming. perched with outstretched wings on the top. dingy with age . 1 heard a creaking top of the chamber was turning slowly round.MY FATHER'S MANUSCRIPT 53 old-fashioned and neglected. the eagle. Haven. That I cannot tell. 'it is on the very stroke of noon or so. appeared threatful. ' We arrive almost to the ' moment ! he said . little : the He pull and began ' to again. there is no light here ' ! He did not answer me.

which seemed full of a white mist. at some distance. he was no longer by my side. the tops of a range of mountains. for I thought he hardly knew what he was saying. but of which as yet we knew abso- His words. I confess. place. however. uncovering the face of a wide heath. Suddenly I was aware that our forms had gone from As I the mirror.54 LILITII than three. some of them concerned with powers which were indeed in us. the Hack hair lifting in a wind to that did not touch me. lutely nothing. looked again at the form in the mirror. growing gradually visible beyond the mist. little gazed I saw. which became clearer and clearer. I address my companion . and recognised the wide coat flying. on which. I rushed in terror from the . Soon the mist vanished entirely. I turned ivas the figure of a man moving swiftly away. took more hold of me than the light did of the mirror.

and wept. share their holy rest was an honour of which I had What harm could that sleepproved myself unworthy Why ! ing king. Raven. the more disgusted I became with . ! ! ! ! ! should I have feared such dead ? To myself. knew Mr. and began to believe that he must at last have followed Mr. as harbourThe more I thought of my ing a design against me behaviour to them.55 CHAPTER DC I BE PENT father I LAID the manuscript down. and not come back whereupon I speedily grew ashamed of my flight. and my that he that I had never heard the cause or any circumstance of my father's death. consoled to find that had had a peep into that mysterious world. Then I remembered Raven. What wondrous facts might I not by this time have gathered concerning life and death. . but it was faculty in which the one was peculiar. have done me ? I fell a longing after the sweet and stately stillness of their two countenances. and beauty in which the other was marvellous And I had not believed in them had treated them as unworthy of my confidence. that lady with the wound in her palm. Weeping I threw myself on a couch. and wide regions beyond ordinary perception Assuredly the Ravens were good people. and suddenly fell asleep. and a night in their house would nowise have hurt me They were doubtless strange.

pipling wind Suspecting polarisation as the thing required. It was nearly noon. cerned. and now the sun was near the horizon. and the sun would be a little higher than when first I came I must raise the hood a little. things came right between them. ' ever they would have me do ' ! I rose. by chance. I said to myself. until at last. in a great degree. so far as I was con' ' ! shapes of the former vision . I will go and tell them I am ashamed. I shifted and shifted the mirrors. I turned then to the other there were the ! ! : distinguishable indeed. to my delight. and the air had begun to grow chill with the coming winter. The wooden chamber was when I saw the mirror dimly reflecting everything before it. and just as went straight first up the it. continually fancying afresh that I recognised something of the country . changing their relation. feeling as if some one had called The house was still as an empty church. but tremulous like a landscape in a pool ruffled by a small I touched the glass it was impermeable. but I had come upon no forest. I passed through many thickets and several small fir-woods. I stepped forward. and let the light fall on the first mirror. All I knew of the way to the cottage was that we had gone through a pine-forest.56 LIL1TH As suddenly I woke. : ! . and will do whatme. and my feet were among the heather. : and adjust the mirrors accordingly If I had but been in time to see Mr. Eaven do it I pulled the chains. when. A blackbird was singing on the lawn. stairs to the garret. and I saw the mountains blue and steady and clear. 1 saw a little black object coming toward me it was indeed the raven I hastened to meet him.

' he She regrets that we at all encouraged your ! ' ' staying last week. both are up and ' ! ' ' ! 1 ' ! ' ! ' . Will you take ' me it. 57 last I said. Mr.' ' asleep.' ' Tell me ' one thing. My wife does not expect you to-night. I beg of you. coverlet. ' I beg your pardon. Yes he is with us. Your night was not come then.' he went on. 1 would have lain down at once had I known I doubt it. you would have known him Old Sir Up'ard. I do not know and do not care ages yet ! to know. he answered. and I cannot show you the way. but that cannot be for spring how many. dead were rejoicing under their daisies they all lie among the roots of the flowers of heaven at the ' It is of ' use. Had you been ready to lie down. and looked up. he returned. and not know And turn your back on him corrected the raven. his That was he you hand half Why did you not tell me ? That I should have been so near him.' I begged humbly.' ' Take me no to her that I may tell her how sorry I am. or you would not have left us. Then.' thought of your delight when be past. It is not The come now.' my rudeness with you now ? for night/ I heartily confess I do not deserve Ah ' brief said. they shivered in their beds. and the morning with left the winter should its birds come : ere them.I ' REPENT sir. fast saw with his arm on the closed. Raven : is my father with you? Have you seen him since he left the world ? ' . and your twice great-grandfather. after a pause. When the you of the universe arrives.

it is because God there is not enough of them to be understood. the wood. one who will not sleep can ever wake. away long us for Your great-grandfather has been with .' answered the raven. though of not know him. alone can understand foolishness. please. he is in the Evil Wood.' I said.58 LILITII ago. I know.' There are indeed many ways/ ' ' Tell me. sleep. 'will you be so good as show me the nearest way home ? There are more ways than one.' ' I cannot understand you ! 'Naturally not. that I may find him? not find him but you will hardly miss . how to recognise the nearest. and would not understand I held my peace. feeling naked and very worthless. 'you and I use ' . When my wife and I do not understand our children. But if I did not say something. fighting the ' dead. ' ' ' ! * ' ! he would go ' ! And my grandfather is still is he also with you ? ' I asked. ' No . You saw him last night. to kill their dead and bury ' them. many a year I think he will stir. I can read neither your heart nor your face. Neither do I understand you.' 'I cannot. for I have gone by two already.' I do not at all understand you You turned away.' ' soon begin to course you did Why of course ? ' No Because he is so much neare'r waking than you.' Then.' 'Where ' the Evil You will Wood. wake It is the place where those who will not up at night.

Everybody who is not at home.I REPENT different 59 meanings.' I said bitterly. or the way to it ? ' ' ' ' If I of my ' am not to go home. Home is palm of your hand. you What you call riddles are truths. You thought you were at home where I found you if that had been your home. the same words with We are often unable to tell people what they need to know. and found the riddles waiting Indeed you are yourself the only riddle. and how to no use to tell you. which blinded me. at least direct me to some kind/ I do not know of any. you must get there. and would therefore only misunderstand what we said. you could not have left it. The beings most like you are in that direction/ He pointed with his beak. and seem riddles because you are not true. I cannot help feeling hardly ' ' . Well. because they want to know something else. But you will get there. will go on asking themselves until you underThey for ' ' ! ' ! ' stand yourself. has to go home.' I exclaimed. Nobody can leave home. you have to get there. out. I could see nothing but the setting sun. ' I did not ' come here . Worse and worse 'And you must answer the riddles he continued.' Will you not in pity tell me what I am to do where I must go ? Plow should I tell your to-do. ' The universe is a riddle trying to get and you are holding your door hard against it. ! to be asked riddles/ No but you came. And nobody ever was or ever ever so far away in the get there' it is of : will be at 1 home without having gone Enigma treading on enigma ' ! there.' I cried.

60 treated L1LITH taken from ' my home.' : ! He turned and walked slowly away. hope nor desire. the modes in which they affected me not the things themselves. and something shot from his bill. and in my brain was neither quest nor purpose. and refused instruction as to where I or what I am to do ! am to go 'You forget. however. Then with a flutter of his wings he threw back his head. but the feelings they woke in me. but with a much larger and a yellower I turned and followed it. that. you reached what you call home in safety now you are come of yourself Good night. It was true I had come of myself. that I can present them only by giving. All at once he pounced on a spot. in the forms and language of life in this world. abandoned in a strange world. light. when I brought you and you declined my hospitality. Here I interrupt my narrative to remark that it involves a constant struggle to say what cannot be said with even an approach to precision. I gazed after the raven. and came pulsing toward me like a fire-fly. I stood dazed. throwing the whole weight of his body on his bill. That moment the sun set. cast high in the air. and the air at once grew very dusk. I do with a con- .' said the raven. but had I not come with intent of atonement ? My heart was sore. but the something opened into a soft radiance. with his beak toward the ground. Even this much. so inexpressibly different from any possible events of this economy. and for some moments dug vigorously. the things recorded being. in their nature and in that of the creatures concerned in them. but felt it useless. and would have followed him. It flew over my head.

for instance. finding it impossible to present more than one phase of a multitudinously complicated significance. which kept constantly altering their look. that I was actually regarding a scene of activity. I am indeed often driven to set down what I know to be but a clumsy and doubtat. Even to one who knew the region better than myself. . While without a doubt. ful representation of the mere feeling aimed none fit of the communicating media of this world being to convey it. in its peculiar strangeness. with even an approach to clearness or certainty. with an uncertain identity at the heart of them. A single thing would sometimes seem to be and mean many things. I should have no in assurance of transmitting the reality of my experience it. in my consciousness aware that I was perusing a metaphysical argument. at the same moment. or one concentric sphere of a graduated embodiment. I might be.I REPENT 61 tinuous and abiding sense of failure.

I rose became so low the the and and went on. it seemed to have grown larger.62 LILITII CHAPTEE X THE BAD BUEEOW As the air grew black and the winter closed swiftly around me. the fluttering fire blazed out more lumiSo nous. Its wings were very large. I sat down to my my my watch the little glory. rock. with multitudinous gradations some kinds of colour I had never before seen. Plainly a bird-butterfly. it flew with a certain swallowy double. unable to take eyes off the shining I struck foot against a to look to steps. creature was hovering over my head. Every time I looked up. and flashed all the colours of the rainbow. it flew slowly on. but. growing larger as it came nearer. Wondering at their splendour. soon as I came under its radiance. Fearing then another fall. I absorbed in their beauty that I stumbled over a When I came to myself. hovered waiting. it began to sink toward me. Slowly at first. then swiftly I felt as if sank. . and lay stunned. radiating whole chord of light. nearly square. and arresting its flight. thing stone. lingering now and then above spots where the ground was rocky. and a great longing awoke in me To my unspeakable delight. and at length gave me an attendant shadow. it to have it in my hand.

as at the rudeness of a fellow creature but soon I saw or fancied a certain wondering pity in her gaze why was I out in her night ? Then first I knew what an awful thing it was to be awake in the . and had it. and a great pang of hope shot through me. a faint up. light She could but would not wait on my faltering steps offer me an ignorant choice With a full face she rose. Alas. a range of low hills broke the horizon-line I set out ! ! ! : for it.THE BAD BUKROW 63 the treasure of the universe were giving itself to me put out my hand. ! no it was the edge of a moon peering up keen and sharp over a level horizon! She brought me but no guidance She would not hover over me. Her look was indeed icy-cold. and I began to see a little about me. I found her staring at me with all her might At first I was annoyed. ! ! . for she stared at me oddly. and not far from me. and her light yet stranger. fearing to be frozen. : universe : I was. I sat in motionless misery. but full of interest. She was not the same moon I had known on the earth her face was strange to me. ' ' I got The moment I was on my feet. cried. ! But what a night I had to pass ere I reached it The moon seemed to know something. . Is it coming to life ? I sense of light awoke in me. Burying my face in my hands. . But the cold grew so bitter that. Perhaps it came from an unknown sun Every time I looked up. and could not help it ! . I threw it in the air only to hear it fall among it. the heather. "Westward of her. But the instant I took a dead all was dark as pitch its light went out book with boards outspread lay cold and heavy in my hand. or at least curiosity.

shadowy in the low moon. with a scramble and a bound. . it lay . showing his white teeth in a soundless snarl. What life can be here but the phantasmic the stuff of which dreams are made ? ' I indeed walking in a vain show Thus I strove to keep my heart above the waters of fear. LILITH my feet lost the heather. while yet I stared after wave rose up. A two away it burst. the head of a worm began to come slowly out of the earth. with a white mane to its red neck. and his eyes winked and flamed as he rushed at a single yard or me. unconscious of either courage or He turned his head to the ground. The drawing tricated itself wriggles with which its huge length exwere horrible. and plunged fear. nor knew that she whom I distrusted was indeed ! am ' my defence from the realities I took for phantoms \ her light controlled the monsters.64 As I walked. and trod a bare spongy soil.' I said as I resumed my journey. 'That moon is affecting my brain. . About his mouth and ears hung clots of mould. The moment its tail was free. a step fishes disported themselves below. something like dry. I stood fascinated. else had I scarce taken I will not be a second step on the hideous ground. as big as that of a polar bear and much resembling it. into it. and from it. yet I dared not turn my eyes from them. ! ' or two from me. passed into the distance it. issued an animal like a tiger. * I said to myself. powdery peat. but. and came slowly toward me. To my dismay it gave a momentary heave under me then presently I saw what seemed the ripple of an earthquake It running on before me. appalled by that which only seems yet felt it a terrible thing to walk on a sea where such With that.

every individual of it it as terrible as before had but seemed ! Fool of ignorance. solemn. beauty shape one large serpent was covered from head to distant tail with alike. never suspecting that I owed each moment of life to the staring moon. I should that moment be at the mercy of such as had no mercy. with no worse uneasiness than the dread of losing indeed no I my way I where as yet I had way to lose. ' ' no two of In some of them.THE BAD BURROW as if 65 exhausted. why do they leave me unharmed ? I know now it was that the moon paralysed them. if still within their range when her lamp ceased to shine on the cursed spot. threatened me. if but series of reflections ! How would not my feet have carried me over the restless soil. the last of a countless swiftly so hampered the evil things. slowly walking over F . hideous creatures. the centre of a writhing heap of hideousness. their sky-line. I became at length so accustomed to their hurtless menaces that I fell to beguiling the way with the invention of monstrosities. colour enhanced loathliness of : feathers of glorious hues. when the soundless wallowing ceased. Though hers was no primal radiance. I watched the descent of the weary. Does it live on the dead/ I wondered. anxious moon down the widening vault above me. had I known that. For light is yet light. was drawing near the hills and she was now not far from motionless and bare. All the night through as I walked. it that I walked in safety. and the burrow lay Then I saw. wallowing in feeble effort to burrow again. ' and is it unable to hurt the living? If they scent their prey and come out. had made my goal.

vainly endeavouring to lay hold of the mist and wrap it around her. the only sound I had heard cry. and when I looked again. sped away From her shoulders fled her arms as in serpents. saw many dark objects bounding after me. the form of a woman. and on her left side was a dark spot. now assuming. She was beautiful. she to the ground. against which she would now and then press her hand. hurrying from her body. The eyes in the beautiful face were dead. I turned. and made for the crest of fell . . . leaving me in Behind me rose a waste and sickening its shadow. Then something flew up from her terror. when the moon sank behind one of their summits. sometimes the wind would so mix it with the mist that I could not distinguish the one from the other but when . as if to stifle pain Her hair hung nearly to her feet. . it shone a pale gold in the moonlight. and or sickness. Suddenly pressing both hands on her heart. as of frustrate desire since the fall of the dead butterfly it made my heart shake like a flag in the wind. The ground rose like the sea in a storm terror laid hold upon me I turned to the hills and ran. like a bat. it fell gathering together again.6G LILITH the light soil. I ran to her. and the mist rose from her and melted in the air. I was already on the slope of their base. serpents also. she was gone. but with such a pride at once and misery on her countenance that I could hardly believe what yet I saw. A moment more and her legs. Up and down she walked. But she began to writhe in such torture that I stood aghast. A white mist floated about her. now losing to reassume the shape of a garment. as it gathered to her or was blown from her by a wind that dogged her steps.

far away shone I climbed to the top of the ridge . I came in sight of her. Strength came to me. F 2 . they dropped with a howl and I saw or fancied a strange smile on the round face above me. sinking to a low horizon. She flashed out an angry light. Crossing the shadow of a rock. and I turned on the rest. and he fell from me a bodiless blotch. The air was pure and strong. I descended a little way.THE BAD BURROW 67 a ridge on which the moon still shone. found it warmer. She seemed to Soon linger there that I might see to defend myself. and sat down to wait the dawn. we rushed into the moon together. But just as the foremost threw himself upon me with a snarl of greedy hate. I heard the creatures panting at my heels. But one by one as they darted into the light. and the world again was dark. The moon went below. : the moon. and climbed the faster.

Sign of presence. of rock. I descended. Could it be that the calm expanse I FELL : me swarmed with creatures of devouring greed ? I turned and looked over the land through which my way must lie. on this side of it could : not well be anything When I reached the plain. without a trace of moisture in them. there humped and pinnacled evidently the wide bed of a vanished river. and some of the rocks a few lichens almost as hard as themselves. and looked back rising. Not a cloud floated in the clear heaven no thinnest haze curtained any segment of its circling rim.' was silent as death. Some of the channels bore a dry moss. It took me the whole day to reach the patch. which I found indeed a forest but not a rudiment ! . and set out for the imaginable forest something alive might be there . human or animal. I found it. here flat and channeled.68 LILITH CHAPTEE XI THE EVIL WOOD fast asleep. It seemed a wide desert. and when I woke the sun was I went to the top again. was none before smoke or dust or shadow of cultivation. scored by innumerable water-runs. as far as my sight could go. once 'filled with pleasant noise of waters. with a patch of a different colour in the distance that might be a forest. . The air. the hollow I had crossed in the moonlight lay without sign of life.

Again what a night I found it ! How shall I make my reader share with me its wild ghostiness ? The tree under which I lay rose high before it branched. The sun was approaching the horizon when I left Sunk below the and sending his rays between their pillar-like tree-tops. the varied outlines of the clumpy began to assume or imitate say rather suggest other shapes than their own. and entered the forest. hearing so plainly the voice of many waters that I could hardly believe the opposing testimony of my eyes. blow it set the boughs of a neighbour tree rocking. The night was about me. he revealed a world of blessed shadows waiting to receive me.THE EVIL WOOD ! 69 of brook or runnel had I crossed Yet through the glowing noon I seemed haunted by an aural mirage. and instant and sharp the after cold. deep of the forest. to my listless foliage roving gaze. A light wind began to . some with strong resemblances to trees I knew. however. Presently. but here were trees of many sorts. Soon. but the boughs of it bent so low that they seemed ready to shut me in as I leaned against the smooth stem. the top of which rose like a lid to let the froth-like bloombrain overfoam its cup. others with marvellous differences from any I had ever seen. shutting up aisle and corridor and roomier glade. and all their branches aswing. I had expected a pine-wood. From beneath the shadow of its falchion-leaves my eyes went wandering into deep : the river-bed. its doors and windows began to close. I threw myself beneath the boughs of what seemed a eucalyptus in blossom its flowers had a hard calyx much resembling a skull. every twig and every leaf . boles. and let my eyes wander through the brief twilight of the vanishing forest.

mingled with faint cries. how strange several of them bare skulls one with the skin tight on its bones One had lost the under jaw and hung low. with an impatience that augmented as the growing wind broke their vertical rhythm with a wilder swaying from side to side. fancy with a group of horses' heads and caparisoned from their stalls. and came . floated erect the form of a woman. Above them. waving her forequarters projecting ! ! ! arms in imperious gesture. Another mass presented my of foliage. On all sides at once the sounds drew the spot where I lay seemed the centre of a commotion that extended throughout the forest. Their necks kept moving up and down. and their motions life. It grew and grew until a tumult as of gathering multitudes nearer scarce the wood. What heads they were how gaunt. The definiteness of these and other leaf masses first surprised and then discomposed me what if they should overpower my brain with seeming reality ? But the twilight became darkness the wind ceased every shape was shut up in the night : .70 LILITH blending its individual motion with the sway of its branch and the rock of its bough. It off. moved hand or foot lest I should betray my pre- sence to hostile things. at the end of a branch. . Among its leafy shapes was a pack of wolves that struggled to break from a wizard's leash greyhounds would not have strained so savagely I watched them with an interest that grew as the wind : ! gathered force. I filled . rushing noise. was still dark when I began to be aware of a far- confused. looking unutterably weary but now and then hove high as if to ease the bit. larger and more compact. . I fell asleep. The moon at length approached the forest.

and I began to see dim shapes about me. shattering them hideously not one fell or ceased to fight. the noises furious battle became yet louder. came huddling Skeletons and phantoms in chaotic interpenetration. Maces crashed on the skeletons. shock of onset. a pair would sit for a minute side by side. snarls and sneers. mingled with words articulate. Wearied out. The Truth ! The Truth ! still his One I noted who wheeled ever in a circle. laughter and mockery. Swords swept through fought in maddest confusion. A was raging around me. all ears. bad or good. surged in my Curses and credos. most hating blow. then rise and renew the fierce combat. struggle prolonged. Lie-distorted truths flew hurtling in the wind of javelins and bones. while skeleton jaws and phantom-throats swelled the deafening tumult with the war-cry of every opinion. The holiest words went with the cruelty in any world. . . . and the shapes clearer. so long as a single joint held two : : bones together. Wild cries and roars of rage. the phantoms they only shivered. and cry. Bones of men and horses lay scattered and heaped grinding and crunching them under foot fought the skeletons. Every moment some one would turn against his comrades. and fight more wildly than before. injustice. Everywhere charged the bonegaunt white steeds everywhere on foot or on windblown misty battle-horses. sacred names and howls of hate. smote on all sides.THE EVIL WOOD : 71 slowly into it with her first gleam the noises increased to a deafening uproar. and crushed . raged and ravened and raved the indestructible spectres weapons and hoofs clashed . As she ascended and grew brighter. None stooped to comfort the fallen. that had bred strife. or stepped wide to spare him.

a breeze went through the forest. I saw her dead eyes and her dark spot.72 LILITII The moon shone till the sun rose. Just before sunrise. my attempted line. now on this front now on that. and a voice cried. and the trees were silent. the other pressed against her side. Such was the battle of the dead. But as I went I kept watch over myself. and recalled what I had seen the night ' : ' ! before. not a squirrel. he saw never a bone. one outstretched arm urging the fight. mouse. to appear. sounds of mattock and spade and hurtling bones any moment my eyes might open on things I would not see Daylight prudence muttered that perhaps. Let the dead bury their dead At the word the contending thousands dropped noiseless. and all the night long I had glimpses of a woman moving at her will above the strife-tormented multitude. ' ' ! I rose and resumed my journey. For the wind of the morning had ceased when the sun appeared. and concluded presently that I had . not a belated moth flew athwart my path. ten thousand phantoms awaited only my cona as ever : ! wood senting fancy. nor dared let my eyes rest on any All the time I seemed to hear faint forest-shape. which I saw and heard as I lay under the tree. Ye are men slay one another she shouted. but here and there a withered branch. and reversed my direction . or weasel showed itself. In the middle of the afternoon I came out of the a second net of dry waterI thought at first that I had wandered from courses. and when the sun looked in. through as quiet grew out of the quiet earth. but I soon to find before wood me saw it was not so. Not a bird sang.

' ' man or woman now at was athirst for a human presence. Hitherto I had loved my Arab mare and . The veiled melody of sang me into a dreamless sleep.THE EVIL WOOD come to another branch at 73 I began of the same river-bed. The moment my head was down. and sorts of it seemed as if ness that had oozed out of the rocks were re-absorbing the darkthem during the night. and growing sleepy. I kept wearily travelling north-west and by south. and I than live . and mind haunted by a doubt whether I was going in any direction at all. once to cross it. I fear. I heard the sounds of rushing streams all the molten music sweet watery noises. With heavy yet hoping heart. and when I woke the sun was already up. stretched myself on the moss. my soul longed even after those inhabitants of this alien world whom the raven had so vaguely described as nearest my sort. my books length more. Covered with shadows it lay striped and mottled like the skin of some wild animal. I sat down to await the moon. and was in the bottom of a wide channel when the sun set. and the wrinkled country widely visible. As the sun rose the shadows diminished.

They stood on the edge of a hollow. I feared to little gather and eat. in one XII FBIENDS AND FOES of the channels. I came next to some large fruit-bearing trees. then to another larger still. which.74 LILITH CHAPTEE COMING. of a multitude of birds from an ivied wall. It bore a small fruit. of an army shrub. Before I reached the bank of this second branch of the river-bed. but while the trees above were of many sorts. Little I thought that I was watched from behind the rocks by hundreds of eyes eager with the question whether I would or would not take it. which evidently had once been the basin of a lake. as as I could not jump. I found the channels so full of them that it was with difficulty I crossed such In one I heard a great rush. but saw . From the left a forest seemed to flow into and fill it. I trusted. as I did not recognise it. I knelt to look at it closer. those in the hollow were almost entirely fruitbearing. behind it. upon what seemed a the outlying picket. I came to another plant somewhat bigger. nothing. I went a few yards down the slope of grass mingled . but what they bore looked coarse. and at length to clumps of a like sort by which time I saw that they were not shrubs but dwarf-trees.

rather big. ! isn't everything It but littleness won't keep you from growing big ' ! ' and stupid except you take care I rose on my elbow and stared. and were less excited than the rest. for I was afraid of frightening them. startled me with delight. . and more sense. Finding it delicious. I did not see. mingled with laughter clear and sweet as the music of a brook. Three or four seemed older. better manners. A farther down stood a tiny tree full of rosiest apples no bigger than small cherries. I did not open my mouth.' assented another. nor wondered that one of them at least should suggest caution. its top close to my hand . declaiming and contradicting. apparently of all ages. a little apart. He likes our apples He likes our apples He's ' ! ! a good giant voices. I gathered that. when a sudden shouting of children. like a crowd of grown people in a city. They stood in a small knot. some just able to run alone. I was in the act of taking another. There came a movement and slight dispersion. and sure I should learn more by listening than by asking questions. The many were chattering in groups. and stretched myself upon little it 75 weary. only with greater merriment. by the approach of my hand to a second apple. they knew that I liked the first but how from that they argued me good. 4 ! He's a good giant ' ! ' ! cried many little He's a giant ' He is objected one. For I understood nearly all they said at which I was not surprised: to understand is not more wonderful than to love.FRIENDS AND FOES with moss. . and some about twelve or thirteen. I pulled and ate one of them. Above and about and below me stood a multitude of children.

smiled thanks. and ever the jubilant shout would rise anew from hundreds ' ' ' ! ' ! ! of clear little throats. but I saw no reason to fear myself. I was on my feet. overwhelmed with the lovely little goblins. took the apple. and lovingly roguish Silence apple. fellow handed me a huge green among them. clownish. Get up. hope of better . him. strong giant The babble of their talk sprang up afresh. I came to the ground at last. little fell on the noisy throng. bad-looking fellow. and would have eaten. and I. Again rose a shout of delight they flung themselves upon me. good giant said a little girl. so as nearly to smother me they kissed my face and hands they laid hold of my legs they clambered about my arms and shoulders. . good. I sat up.76 LILITH presently a sweet. Upon their sweet faces.' he said. Again came a sudden silence. good giant they cried. concern had taken the place of merriment. Make haste much haste He saw you throw his apple . my little in the friends had He began to descend. ' Eat. . innocent-looking. for he had no weapon. would come Oh you dear. I flung it away. good giant. embracing my head and neck. . ' ' ' ! ! ! ' away ! Before she ended. . She stood On the brow of it was a pointing up the slope. Those around me drew back those atop of me got off and began trying to set me on my feet. but the moment I bit into it. a few inches taller than He looked hostile. all waited expectant. and vanished every one. far We knew you Good.

A woman was present. and held it out again. and kicked pushed me. with just enough mind to give them motion and the exTheir food.FRIENDS AND FOES footing and position. Then I threatened a blow. eat ? ' ' answered with a howl of rage that seemed to tell 'Do you dare me my apple was not fit to One bad apple may grow on the best tree. He much delayed his assault. which conpressions of anger and greed. 77 like a beast He growled Beaching a more level spot. understood him to claim the apple I had flung away. when he rushed upon me. Whether he perceived my meaning I cannot tell. built of fallen branches and a few stones. but the other struck me on the back of the head. but he drew it back. of rejection.' I said. Into one of these they me. where their tribe lived in wretched huts. they differed so little. who had been stealing up behind me. Often I wondered whether had not come upon a sort of fungoid people. He say. like him. who looked on with indifference. and between them I was wood above the valley. I would have taken it in friendly fashion. I met him with a good blow in the face. and I stood on my guard. there threw me on the ground. until a second giant. he held out his hand. as he turned toward me. I stood and waited for As he came near. I . to go up. was close enough. They dragged me into the I may here mention that during my captivity I hardly learned to distinguish the women from the men. however. whereupon I made a grimace of dislike and a gesture him. soon overpowered. but he made a stride nearer.

saw-like edge in . bulbs. with a long rope. I was cuffed by the women and swallow it. put a flat stone with a my left hand. In the morning they dragged me to the valley. and left me. . but nothing offended them so much as to show dislike to it. but I slept a good deal. gave me to understand that I was to scrape the bark off every branch that had no fruit on it kicked me once more. I set about the dreary work in the hope that by satisfying them I should be left very much to myself to make my observations and choose my time for escape. . to a tree. and tying my feet. I shifted it to the right they kicked me. and put it again in the left. which wonderfully refreshed and strengthened me. and woke a little refreshed. and fruits. and every other minute I plucked and ate a small fruit. was to me inexpressibly disagreeable. kicked by the men because I would not I lay on the floor that night hardly able to move.78 LILITII sisted of tubers. Happily one of the dwarf-trees grew close by me.

' they said. and told me the wind was quite clean. They then made me delicious little fruits . like a ' Do you I multitude of sheep-bells. In a minute there were scores and scores about me. and laughed . One of the bigger girls got down on her knees untie the clumsy knot. when I heard small voices near me. he danced with merriment. to I smiled.79 CHAPTEE THE I XITI LITTLE ONES HAD been at work but a few moments. so that . sit after down. thinking those pretty could do nothing with it. and presently the Little Ones. They can scarcely see their own feet he rejoined. ' ! ' Walk with short steps and they will think the rope is all right. They are too blind to see us. as I soon found they called themselves. and were not far off but they laughed. ' ' want them to think I cannot take it off.' As he spoke. like that rope about your ankles ? ' asked one. and fed me with which the smaller of them began to play with me in the wildest fashion.' I replied. came creeping out from among the tiny trees that like brushwood filled the spaces between the big ones. I made signs that the giants 1 had but just left me. but in a moment it fingers was loose.

a crush of one of their horrid ' ! stumpy ' feet might a very little one ' * Can they not perceive you at all then ? They might see something move and . others took their places. I But from the moment there them again ' ' ! was silence in the huts until I fell asleep. . When first grew tired. that I must see more of them to be seen or heard. ! them was better ' ! shall see To-morrow/ I said to myself with delight. it would be terrible Not that they are live thing but themselves. and .80 it LILITH the was impossible for me to resume my work. It was my master. and heavy steps were heard approaching. Now I might at once have made my escape but at length I had friends. . The next instant not one and the girl herself had disappeared. and I made haste to put the rope round my ankles. . every much of alive either ' ! She whistled like a bird. and dragged me to the door of his hut there he threw me on the ground. again tied my feet.' said the girl who had freed ' me kill ' . The little people started from me. they hardly ever left me quite alone. and this went on until the sun was setting. so full of winsome I must know them ways. as doubtless he counted himself. as they were for they hate a moment ago. They were so charming. I think lovingly watched by a multitude. gave me a kick. We must have a care. and knew that I was After that.. I heard them whispering all about me. He freed my ankles. I did not come to know the giants at all. and could not think of leaving them. if the chil- dren were in a heap on the top of you. come to take me home. and left me.

THE LITTLE ONES
I believe there

81

was scarcely anything in them to know. They never became in the least friendly, but they were

much

too stupid to invent cruelties. Often I avoided a bad kick by catching the foot and giving its owner a fall, upon which he never, on that occasion, renewed
his attempt.

But the little people were constantly doing and saying things that pleased, often things that surprised me. Every day I grew more loath to leave them.
work, they would keep coming and and delighting me, and taking all the going, amusing misery, and much of the weariness out of my monotonous toil. Very soon I loved them more than I can tell. They did not know much, but they were very wise, and seemed capable of learning anything. I had no bed save the bare ground, but almost as often as I woke, it was in a nest of children one or other of them in my arms, though which I seldom could tell until

While I was

at

the light came, for they ordered the succession among themselves. When one crept into my bosom, unconsciously I clasped him there, and the rest lay It is hardly close around me, the smaller nearer.

necessary to say that I did not suffer
nightly cold
!

much from

the

thing they did in the morning, and the last before sunset, was to bring the good giant
first

The

plenty to eat.

One morning

I

was surprised on waking

to find

As I came to my senses, however, I myself alone. heard subdued sounds of approach, and presently the girl already mentioned, the tallest and gravest of the
community, and regarded by all as their mother, appeared from the wood, followed by the multitude
in jubilation

manifest

but silent

lest

they should

G

82

LILITH

She rouse the sleeping giant at whose door I lay. hitherto a girl-baby, carried a boy-baby in her arms apparently about a year old, had been the youngest. Three of the bigger girls were her nurses, but they shared their treasure with all the rest. Among the
:

Little Ones, dolls
smaller, with.

were unknown the bigger had the and the smaller the still less, to tend and play
;

Lona came to me and laid the infant The baby opened his eyes and looked closed them again, and fell asleep.
arms.
*

in
at

my
me,

said the girl. you already 'Where did you find him ? I asked. In the wood, of course/ she answered, her eyes where we always find them. beaming with delight, We've been out all night looking Isn't he a beauty ? Sometimes it is not easy to find for him. How do you know when there is one to find ? I

He

loves

'

!

'

*

'

'

!

'

'

asked.
tell,' she replied. 'Every one makes the other, but we never find out who told Sometimes I think one must have said it first. When there asleep, and another heard it half-awake. is a baby in the wood, no one can stop to ask questions

'I cannot
tell

haste to

;

and when we have found
'

it,

then

it is

too

late.'
'

Do more boy
They

'

or girl babies come to the wood ? don't come to the wood ; we go to the wood
'

and find them.' Are there more boys or girls of you now ? I had found that to ask precisely the same ques1

tion twice, made them knit their brows. ' I do not know,' she answered.
'

You can

count them, surely

'
!

THE LITTLE ONES
never do that.
counted.'
'

83

We

shouldn't like to be

Why ?
It

'

'

wouldn't be smooth.

We

would rather not
'

know.'
' '

Where do the babies come from first ? From the wood always. There is no

other place

they can come from.'

She knew where they came from last, and thought nothing else was to be known about their advent. How often do you find one ? Such a happy thing takes all the glad we've got,
'
'

'

and we forget the last time. You too are glad to have him are you not, good giant ? I answered. But how do Yes, indeed, I am
'

1

'

'

!

you feed him ?
'

'

I will

show

you,' she rejoined,

and went away
little

to

return directly with two or three ripe put one to the baby's lips.
'

plums. She

would open his mouth if he were awake,' she and took him in her arms. She squeezed a drop to the surface, and again held the fruit to the baby's lips. Without waking he began at once to suck it, and she went on slowly squeezing until nothing but skin and stone were left. There she cried, in a tone of gentle triumph. A big apple it would be with nothing for the babies We wouldn't stop in it would we, darling? We would leave it to the bad giants
said,
' '
!

He

'

!

'

!

But what if you let the stone into the baby's mouth when you were feeding him ? I said. 'No mother would do that/ she replied. 'I
'
'

shouldn't be

fit

to

have a baby

'
!

G'2

84

LILITH

I thought what a lovely woman she would grow. But what became of them when they grew up?

Where
'

question
'

That brought did they go ? where did they come from

me

again to the
'

first ?

Will you tell me where you lived before ? Here/ she replied.

I said.

'

Have you
Never.

'

We

never lived anywhere else ? all came from the wood.
trees.'

'

I ventured.

Some think
'

we dropped
'

out of the

How
I

is it

there are so

'

I don't understand.

many of you quite little ? Some are less and some are

bigger.
'

am
will

Baby

1

^ grow bigger, won't he ? Of course he will
'
!

very

big.'

'

'

you grow bigger ? I don't think so. I hope not.

And

'

will

I

am

the biggest.

It frightens
1

me

sometimes.'
'

Why should it
me no

frighten you ?

She gave
'

answer.
'

How
I

'

you ? I resumed. do not know what you mean.
old are
will the
'

We

are

all just

that.'
'

How big
I cannot
'

baby grow ?

tell. Some,' she added, with a trouble begin to grow again after we think they have stopped. That is a frightful thing. don't talk about it

'

in her voice,

We

'

!

1

What makes

'

She was
*
'

We fear they may be beginning to grow giants.'
Why
'

frightful ? silent for a moment,
it

then answered,

should you fear that ?
it

'

'Because
about
it
!

is

so terrible.

I don't want to

talk

THE LITTLE ONES

85

She pressed the baby to her bosom with such an anxious look that I dared not further question her. Before long I began to perceive in two or three of the smaller children some traces of greed and selfishness, and noted that the bigger girls cast on these a not infrequent glance of anxiety. None of them put a hand to my work they would But they never relaxed do nothing for the giants their loving ministrations to me. They would sing ta me, one after another, for hours; climb the tree to reach my mouth and pop fruit into it with their dainty and they kept constant watch against the little fingers
:

!

;

approach of a giant. Sometimes they would sit and tell me stories mostly very childish, and often seeming to mean hardly Now and then they would call a general anything. to amuse me. On one such occasion a moody assembly little fellow sang me a strange crooning song, with a
refrain so pathetic that, although unintelligible to me, it caused the tears to run down face. This pheno-

my

regard me with much I bethought myself that I had not once, in that world, looked on water, falling or Plenty there had been in some long lying or running. vanished age that was plain enough but the Little

menon made

those

who saw

it

perplexity.

Then

first

Ones had never seen any before they saw my tears They had, nevertheless, it seemed, some dim, instinc!

tive

child

for a very small perception of their origin went up to the singer, shook his clenched pud
;

in his face, and said ze juice out of ze
'

'Ou skeeze something like this Bad good giant's seeberries
: !

'

giant
'

!

How

is it,'

I said one day to Lona, as she sat with

86

L1LITH
*

the baby in her arms at the foot of my tree, never see any children among the giants ?
'

that I

She stared a little, as if looking in vain for some sense in the question, then replied, They are giants there are no little ones.'
'

;

I asked. there are never any in the wood for them. They do not love them. If they saw ours, they would stamp them.'
children ?
'

'

Have they never any

'

No

;

then

'Is there always the same number of the giants ? I thought, before I had time to know better, that they were your fathers and mothers.'

She burst into the merriest laughter, and said, No, good giant we are their firsters.' But as she said it, the merriment died out of her, and she looked scared. I stopped working, and gazed at her, bewildered.
4 ;

can that be ? I exclaimed. I do not understand,' she answered. But we were here and they not. They go from us. I am sorry, but we cannot help it. They could have
'

How

'

*

I do not say

;

*

helped
'

it.'
'

long have you been here ? I asked, more and more puzzled in the hope of some side-light on the matter.
I think somebody Always, I think,' she replied. made us always.' I turned to my scraping. She saw I did not understand. The giants were not made always,' she resumed. If a Little One doesn't care, he grows greedy, and then lazy, and then big, and then stupid, and then bad. The dull creatures don't know that they come from
1

How

'

*

THE LITTLE ONES
us.

87

of them believe we are anywhere. Nonsense ! Look at little Blunty he is They say He will be the next eating one of their apples Oh oh he will soon be big and bad and ugly, and not

Very few

:

!

!

!

!

way off, eating head. I had often big apple nearly thought he did not look so good as the rest now he looked disgusting. I cried. I will take the horrid thing from him
little

know it The
an

' !

child stood

by himself a
as
his

as

;

'

'

!

'

It is

no

use,'

she answered sadly.
it

'

all

we
;

can,

and

is

too late

!

We

We have done were afraid he

was growing, for he would not believe anything told him but when he refused to share his berries, and said he had gathered them for himself, then we knew it He is a glutton, and there is no hope of him. It makes me sick to see him eat Could not some of the boys watch him, and not let him touch the poisonous things ? He may have them if he will it is all one to eat the apples, and to be a boy that would eat them if he No he must go to the giants He belongs to could.
! '
!

1

'

'

:

;

!

them.
first
*

You can
!

see

how much
is

bigger he

is

than when

you came

He

is

bigger since yesterday.' as like that hideous green lump in his
'
!

He

hand

as boy could look
1

It suits

what he
it

1

His head and

making himself.' might change places
is
' !

'
!

Perhaps they do Does he want to be a giant ? He hates the giants, but he is making himself one all the same he likes their apples Oh baby, baby, he was just such a darling as you when we found him
1

'

'

'

:

!

'

!

I understand your world so little I come from a world where .' 'He will wake one morning and find himself a gaint not like you. no he will like it well enough worst of it. Peony says.' What bad giant. or bad because they are not glad. * ! That makes it something Never mind about the word tell me what next will happen to Blunty. making one attempt more.' Do tell me how it will come about. good giant. ! ' ' ' . But I they can't be glad when they have no babies wonder what bad means. and that is why they never smile. The giants have lost themselves.' followed. What is it ? more but a word in your beautiful big mouth ? * ' . He will think he has been a giant always. and will not know you.' Will he hate the Little Ones ? He will be like the rest . but I will tell you which. But I try to be good.88 ' LILITII He ' ! will be very miserable when he finds himself a giant ' That is the Oh. You will hardly know him.' 1 So do I and that is how I A long pause know you are good. He will not care he will eat his apples. he will not remember us most likely will not believe there are Little Ones. and mean to keep on ! ' ! ' ' ! ' trying. is different. but like any other ' ! everything I do not know about world. or any of us. good giant I wish I knew no more about it than you I returned. . ' 'Then you do not know where the babies come from into the wood ? I said. I wonder whether they are not glad because they are bad.

' continued Lona. sucking her thumb. and when they they cannot grow any bigger. they try to grow fatter.' I said only they do not say/a there.THE LITTLE ONES 'There ' ' 89 is nothing to . The bad giants are very proud of being fat. could fancy it might be Blunty staring through a fog He does look stupid ' ! ' ! . She knitted her brows and was silent a moment ' : They're not there till they're finished.' she said. The next morning Lona came to me and whispered.' So they are in my world. sits the so proud that nobody can biggest and fattest of them see him and the giants go to his house at certain times.' In one of their houses. looked she had something to tell. they say rich. They are in the wood they grow there. and tell him how fat he is. It is a pity the little sillies can't speak till they've I remarked. and call out to him.' Then how is it you never find one before it is quite grown ? I asked. fat like him. but she hadn't. the last before this baby. I Never.' I answered. at length reached my ears that Blunty I saw a few grave faces among the bigger ones. forgotten everything they had to tell ' ' ' ! Tolma. know there/ she answered. and beg him to make them strong to eat more and grow only looked up at ! ! * * . 1 ' . ' The rumour Look ! look there ! giant that ' was Blunty by that quince-tree that is the Would you have known him ? : ' But now you tell me.' had vanished. ' Little as if me oh. when I found her under She a beech-tree. so sweetly Ske will never bad and grow big When they begin to grow big go care for nothing but bigness. but he did not seem to be much missed.

little ' That what comes Ones that won't be ' They call it growing-up in my world me ! ! I said to myself. and had flung it from me He did not know his loss. and grow the become a Little One Shall I ever be able to laugh like them ? I had had the chance. Blunty and I were alike and I had to be taught mine 'If only she would teach ' to ! ! ! . other way.90 1 LILITH He ' ' ! is for ever eating is those apples of Little now ' ! she said.

I must learn more about them than they could tell me. .CHAPTEE XIV A CEISIS FOE had no desire save to spend riy life with But soon other thoughts and feelings First awoke the vague sense to influence me. and to that end must be free. no suppression of their growth can be essential to their loveliness and truth and Not in any world could the possibility exist purity of such a discord between constitution and its natural Life and law cannot be so at variance outcome that perfection must be gained by thwarting development But the growth of the Little Ones was arrested Lona something interfered with it what was it ? seemed the eldest of them. and had been long in charge of a multitude. who regarded Were they growing at all ? her as their mother I doubted it. of which to discover the ways it was assuredly my business and laws and that. Surely. in semblance and mostly in behaviour merest children. ! . if I would do anything in return for the children's goodness. ! ! ! ! : ! . their own age they knew nothing ! Lona herself . yet not more than fifteen. Of time they had scarcely the idea of a time I the Little Ones. began that I ought to be doing something that I was not Then it came to meant for the fattening of boors me that I was in a marvellous world. I thought.

as by one accord. that I must rise and continue ! . and some knowledge of their history. To prepare them for my temporary absence.92 LILITH ! Full of wisdom and thought she had lived always empty of knowledge. I was not theirs my presence but brought them more in danger of their idiotic neighbours I longed to teach them many things I must first understand more of those I would teach Knowledge no doubt made bad people worse. . she was at once their Love and their Law ! But what seemed to me her ignorance ! might in truth be lack of insight Her one anxiety plainly was. and change into bad giants ' ' ! my own was bound to do his best for them without more know: ledge of their nature. . With three very little ones in my arms. and must therefore leave them They would only be as they were before they had in no way become dependent on me they were still my protectors. he could do nothing. that her Little Ones should not Their good giant grow. in the hope of coming upon some elucida- of the fortunes and destiny of the bewitching little creatures. but that I loved the Little Ones so much when. design. ! : ! I was convinced they would learn good people better mathematics and might they not be taught to write down the dainty melodies they murmured and forgot ? The conclusion was. I was My one day telling them while at work that I would long ago have left the bad giants. until I was nearly smothered. would not so soon have passed into action. one on each shoulder clinging to . they came rushing and crowding upon me they scrambled over each other and up the tree and dropped on my head. . my tion travels. however. but for what now occurred. but it must make ! .

and the soft noises made me groan with At once I was amid a multitude of silent longing. 'When . they flew from me up the tree like squirrels. I When came to myself it was night. instantly heaped to feet. . lips. not one of them saw my tyrant coming until he was almost upon me. much pushing and who were wonderfully giant. they dropped from giant me like hedgehogs. four or five holding me fast by the legs. The chil' ' ! dren told me many bumps frightened. children. With just one cry of Take care. one standing straight up on my head. I thought I was alone. and delicious little fruits began to visit my They came and came until my thirst was gone. good they said. of small bodies Then I struggled my 1 Little Ones. I heard the gushing and gurgling of water. of big apples afterward that they sent him 'such a and stones that he was ' and ran blundering home. I turned wearily on my side. others grappling body and arms. with itself at A pile my back. Above me were a few pale stars that expected the moon. Absorbed in the merry struggle.' pulling from the strong for their You must go away. My head ached badly. and dealt me such a blow on the head with a stick that I fell to the ground. I was helpless as one overwhelmed by lava. size. good they ran from me like mice. Then I was aware of sounds I had never heard there before the air was full of little sobs. and a multitude climbing and descending upon these. and the same moment. sharp round the stem came the bad giant. and I was terribly athirst. The moment my ear touched the ground. I tried to sit up.A my my CRISIS 93 neck.

looking We are very serious. some walked with me helping me. they tried to kill him.' said one of the bigger and heard the bad giant say to his wife that he ' had found you idle. ' You They kept feeding me as we went.' I replied and sat down. and much red juice : has run out of you put some in.' I said. and moved .' When we reached the edge of the valley. ' She has come to take care of you.' they answered. and come back as soon as I have found out what is wanted to make you bigger and stronger. I will. 'We won't grow bad giants ' * ' ! strong now . the rest followed. strong.' they said.' they said.94 LILITH all the bad giants see you hurt. and show you walked. and now knelt beside me. 'I listened at his door. or they would have no peace. I think I ' Go and grow ' ' ' ! boys. there was the moon just lifting her forehead over the rim of the horizon. you don't know how much strong ! ' ! It was no use holding them out a prospect that had I said nothing more. and when he beat you. At once they formed themselves into a long procession some led the way. and they must knock you. and come again. ' are broken. who had been supporting me. and the way.' said Lona. He said you were a wizard.' ' trample on must/ I answered. I questioned those about me as we .' We don't want to be bigger. talking to a lot of moles and squirrels. Indeed you must go at once whispered Lona. but not any attraction for them rose and slowly up the slope of the valley. they will you.' I will go at once.

they stopped to return.' giant-woman that lives in the desert/ said one of the bigger girls as they were turning. no she will kill you. the giant-girl's name all they knew was. the smaller had begun to run back. they said they what . said. that she hated the Little Ones. without rocks or trees. I suppose you have heard of her may ' see inside your eyes of the And beware ' ' ! 1 ' No/ I answered. The others now looked at me gravely . When was a great place with a giant-girl for I asked if it was a city. only she could not Lona find them. They told me that. awfully ugly and scratches' As soon as the bigger ones stopped. she will an awful bad-giant witch I asked them where I was to go then. direction . pleasant to the But when I asked how I feet. ' We ' how to come back to us.A learned there CRISIS 95 Neither could they tell how far off. When I told them I should go and ask her why in queen. away where the moon came from. If the giantshe girl came to look for them. or what was. beyond the baby-forest. that you they said. The moon will tell you. Then take care not She is to go near her. did not know. they cried out. they must hide hard. No. and would like to kill them. lay a smooth green country. kill you ! She ' is ! was ' to set out for it. I asked how they knew that answered that she had always known it. have never gone so far from our trees before/ Now mind you watch how you go. She is called the Cat-woman. or it was. They were taking me up the second branch of the when they saw that the moon had reached river bed : her height. we think/ they said. good giant 1 ! . she hated them.

: But Lona walked apart with her baby. discomfort or greed. they knew of nothing amiss and. and must/ begin by pulling the own eye. like sheep-bells innumerable. : ! one . and go with me to find But that would be to not another. they answered. ' turned and. except their babies. while.' and went without another word. gazing after them through the moonlight.woman will not hurt I stood a you. and then walked slowly away. they had never had a How were chance of helping any one but myself to grow? But again. took me.96 for a LILITH moment. Pondering as I went. began my solitary Soon the laughter of the Little Ones overjourney. The Cat. with a heavy heart. whispered. many traits of my Once when I suggested that they should leave the country of the bad giants. and echoing in the rocks about me. might I not do them harm. . Why should they grow? they In seeking to improve their conditions. again. gazed in my eyes. ourselves so strong in them was the love of place ' ' ! that their country seemed essential to their very being Without ambition or fear. Last to Lona held up the baby to be kissed. I recalled little friends. and again gazed after them they went gamboling along. rippling the I turned air. with never a care in their sweet souls. then leave me. and the first must study man who would do his how not to do him beam out of his neighbour good evil. and only harm ? To enlarge their minds after the notions of my world might it not be to Their fear of growth as a distort and weaken them ? possible start for giant-hood might be instinctive The part of philanthropist is indeed a dangerous . they had ! no motive to desire any change .

and had lain for a while gazing at them. Almost immediately the moon was gone. me and the sky. way I being across a close succession of small ravines. saw above me constellations unknown to my former world. and my . When her under edge was a little below the horizon. and was soon asleep. made I stretched myself. there appeared in the middle of her disc. a cottage. in a sandy my supper off the fruits the children had me at parting. . I was given I startled. hollow.97 CHAPTEK XV A STEANGE HOSTESS TRAVELLED on attended by the moon. through the open door and window of which she shone and with the sight came the conviction that I was expected there. H . woke suddenly. when I became aware of a figure seated on the ground a little way from and above me. so that I The it saw the hollow. therefore. and the cottage had vanished the night was rapidly growing dark. As usual she was full I had never seen her other and to-night as I she sank I thought I perceived something like a smile on her countenance. as one is on discovering all at once that he is not alone. as if it had been painted upon it. where I lay low in seemed larger than human. figure was between From its outline well. resolved to remain where I was and expect the morning.

but the in these parts are not such as a sleeps. mellow ' ' voice. People are frightened if I come on them They call me the Cat-woman. That is very kind of you How came you to know was here ? Why do you show me such favour ? I saw you/ she answered. The my house would have hidden you. but both its doors were open. but I am not uncomfortyou have me go? I like ' ' sleeping in the open There is no hurt in the creatures that roam the night air/ she returned . in the light of the moon.' ' man would willingly have about him while he I have not been disturbed/ I said. you ' ! . shadow of name. I have been sitting by you ever since you lay down.98 LILITH It moved its head. 1 unmistakably a woman's.' I remembered what the children had told me that she was very ugly. But her voice was she could not gentle. just as she went down. to learn Wishing able here. still with her back to me. and I was not willing to disturb you. ' ! I ' ' ' I see badly in the day. and saw into this hollow. You were asleep. ' more of 1 thank you/ I replied. I was out on the waste. and its tone a little apologetic : be a bad giantess ' ! You shall not hear I it ' Please tell me what may call from me/ I answered. Where would air.' my hostess. however. and then first I saw that its back was toward me. you go before I could reach you. It is not my suddenly. Will you not come with me ? said a sweet. but at night perfectly. and scratched.' * No .

That she never turned her face to me made me curious nowise apprenhensive. Why was she so careful not to be seen ? Extraordinary ugliness would account for it she might fear terrifying me Horror of an inconceiv: : ! able monstrosity began to assail me : was I following through the dark an unheard-of hideousness ? Almost I repented of having accepted her hospitality. and I will direct you. then. I could see her just well enough to follow. and sometimes their sleep is sweet to them. I must break it I want to find my way.A STRANGE HOSTESS ' ' 99 When you know me.' I said. Neither spoke. but failed when I quickened my pace she quickened hers. I suppose. to a place I have heard of. She rose at once.' she replied what sort you are.' right one. you live in the cottage I saw in : ' the heart of the 4 moon ? ' 1 do. At length I did begin to grow a little afraid. her voice rang so true. madam. rising. but I do what I can for my guests. than myself. and kept easily ahead of me. but not so tall as I had thought her. The H stupid 2 .' I said. call me by the name that that will tell me seems to you to fit me.' into me. but whose name I have not yet learned. Her ' voice entered still. I live It is a visitors. madam. except when I have poor place. and made me feel strangely I will go with you. People do not often give me the It is well when they do. and the silence grew unbearable. But how was I to fit her with a name who taller She was could not see her ? I strove to get alongside of her. Perhaps you can tell it me ! ' ' ' ! ' Describe it. there alone. and without a glance behind her led the way.

pleasant Yes ? she returned. ' my name What now do you fancy yours ? she went on.' Where do those live ? ' ' Lovers ' You I * come from them never heard those names before are just ! * ! its You would own name ' ! not hear them. I could not even recall the first letter of it This was the second time I had been asked my name and could if I not tell it ' ! Never mind/ she said it is not wanted. 'But. but no sign of the cottage yet appeared. ' The Little Ones told me. 1 ' to the feet ' ! . is written on your forehead. beginning to wonder what be. of a ' We smooth green country. ' Neither people knows ' ' Strange * ! Perhaps so ! ! but hardly any one anywhere knows It his own name ' ! would make many a fine is gentleman really his stare to hear himself addressed by what name might ' I held my peace. Your real name.' I said at length. as aware of my thought. indeed. pardon me. when I discovered that my name was gone from me. I hope. I will do my part to steady it. had left the channels and walked a long time.100 LILITII careless little Bags know nothing. settle at last. but at present it whirls about so irregularly that nobody can read it. slower. and the forget almost everything. Soon it will go ' . and. it is a matter of no consequence/ I had actually opened my mouth to answer her.' This startled me. and I was silent.

and doing what she can to keep them . closed it in an egg. of which you have crossed so many. as her own heart. where now the Bags and the torrents Lovers have their fruit-trees. . and prevails much with the Prince of the Power of the Air. The city is called Bulika. and made them give up tillage and pasOne day they found a huge turage and build a city. and lap. were then overflowing with live and the valley. The name of the country at that time was The Land of Waters for the dry channels. princess has lived in Bulika. which is not over yet. leaving the country as dry and dusty : ' 1 ! . and carried it away. where a woman is princess. was a lake that received a great part of them. She is older But certainly the princess is not a girl than this world. the it. . snake and killed it which so enraged her that she declared herself their princess. tilling the ground and pasturing sheep. Ever since then. She taught them to dig for diamonds and opals and sell them to strangers. . no springs rise. and came to it from yours with a She is an evil terrible history. and became terrible to them. person. however. But the wicked princess gathered up in her lap what she could of the water over the whole Her country. holding the inhabitants in constant terror. would not hold more than half of it the instant she was gone. no rain falls and where no rain falls. . and they received her hospitably.A STRANGE HOSTESS * ' IOI They told me too of a girl-giantess that was queen somewhere is that her country ? There is a city in that grassy land.' she replied. Were it not for the waters under it. what she had not yet taken fled away underground. among them. The people of Bulika were formerly simple She came folk. every living thing would long ago have perished from For where no water is.

which of course no one there can read. there to see. interest. .102 LILITH Yet they boast and believe them- from multiplying. get some light on those matters. madam I rejoined. even to grow by means of not growing Your words are strange. never doubting themselves the most honourable of all the nations. and certainly are a self-satisfied people good at bargaining and buying. both at once grow. perhaps.' 1 thank you. they will fill the land. will they not * ' ? I said. There is an ancient poem in the library of the palace. Yes. Who and what are they ? and how do they come to be there ? Those children are the greatest wonder I have found in this world of wonders. and each man counting himself better than any other. ' who has not learned to know the miserable misgoverned and self-deceived creatures.' In Bulika you may. 'But will not ' ! * ' ! . they will have grown yet I think too they have grown. . I am told. And now.' By that time they will have ' grown a little. and make the you tell Lovers ? me ' giants their slaves. madam. good at selling and cheating holding well together for a common and utterly treacherous where interests clash proud of their princess and her power. It is possible to grow and not to to grow less and to grow bigger. and despising every one they get the better of. but in which it is plainly written that after the Lovers have gone through great troubles and learned their own name. selves a prosperous. if you please. The depth of their worthlessness and height of their vainglory no one can understand who has not been . yes. will something about the Little Ones the I long heartily to serve them.

when I lay down to wait for the moon and ! 'once when I woke the sun was shining and once when I fell. the princess of Bulika if she heard what the very all day long ' ! silence of the land is shouting in her ears But she is far too clever to understand anything. because they ' mean more. they will have water. woman's Much of what she I did not understand. Then I suppose. To grow. appear It mean less ! That true. it is flowing still. and going straight to the farthest thicker walls.A STRANGE HOSTESS I have heard ' 1 03 it said that to some words. all but killed by the bad giant. But I forgot that I had ever been afraid of her. and therefore cannot remember. And. and crossed yet a wide tract of sand before reaching the cottage. We went on and on. and healed me. me of the said. but had The door. they will grow. In character the cottage resembled the sexton's. and kept alwaj^s a little before me.' 'I have heard that water twice/ I said. without glass. they must have water.' when the little Lovers are grown. their land will * ' : beneath. My hostess walked in at the open door out of which the moon had looked. Its foundation stood in deep sand. Both times came the voices of the water. . have water again ? Not exactly so when they are thirsty enough.' The woman never turned her head. which was heavy and strong. which had two little windows opposite each other. and when they have water. were well for is and such words have to be understood. opened immediately into a large bare room. and her voice much reminded in the house of death. but I could see that it was a rock. but I could hear every word that left her lips.

' 'I thank you heartily. madam/ I replied. ' I remembered the sexton and the people. Mr.' I said. with one wide. weeping for her children but I am neither . it is better you should be Here you will be safe. on your floor till the morning ? 1 ' * May I lie here ' At the top of that stair. and some have waked all the night and ' find a It is not a very soft one. but. little Then cat. better than the sand and there are no hyenas sniffing about ' it ! The stair. as the night is not far spent. low dormer window. Then she closed the other door.' ' she answered. the sight of which with its white . will ' Your entertain- ment be scanty. and turned to receive me.' she answered. and about her head and face. may I not ' now know yours ? My name is Mara. LILITH took a long white cloth from the floor. trimmed a small horn lantern that stood on the hearth. Mara. 'But. ' take me for Lot's wife. in at which the moon had looked. and a little lack is not indoors. and the day not at hand.104 corner. Close under the sloping roof stood a narrow bed. narrow and steep. a great misery.' 1 thank you again. but it is slept all the next day. lamenting over Sodom. Vane she said. of those. led straight up from the room to an unceiled and unpartitioned garret.' black Some she went on. You are very welcome. seeing you know the name I could not tell you. and some think I am Rachel. you will bed on which some have slept better than they expected. calling wound it ' ' ! me by the name I had forgotten.

in the full radiance of the moon. who had tasted nothing but fruit for months. Before the door of the cottage. Instantly the creawith amazing swiftness in the direcFor a moment my eyes followed it. and there are things to do to-night. must leave you in the dark. between the warrior and the I ate : night. ture darted off tion indicated.' I returned. to lie down and sleep. and I sprang from my bed to see what sort of beast uttered it. On the table was a dry loaf. .' she said. and beside it a cup of cold water. drank the water every drop. The bed was hard. thinking I heard low noises of wild animals.' my hostess called This lantern is all the from the bottom of the stair. would pose ' ' ! lady with the healing wound. To me.' Best in peace. with her back toward me. ' laid up the loaf. and myself down. then drew a perpendicular line to the horizon. I woke in the middle of the have gone to sleep again. patting and stroking it with one hand. clothed in white.A STRANGE HOSTESS coverlet 1 05 made me shiver. knowing I was safe. purring rose to a howl under But that my instant a rough window. while with the other she pointed to the moon half-way up the heaven. She was stooping over a large white animal like a panther. I have. are 1 1 ' ' things that can be done in the dark. madam. I supI said to myself. they were a feast.' light 'It is of no consequence. a tall woman stood. Creatures of the desert scenting after me. and. To eat and drink. and the night cold I dreamed that I lay in the chamber of death. the covering thin and scanty. so vividly it recalled the couches in the chamber of death. thank you.

which I might spend a my until I I must cross that at right angles. My my fast. the loaf so large that I ate only half of it. she said. She then told me . and go so straight and so indicated. woman but she was gone. in the morning. to go up the bank of the river-bed until it disappeared then verge to the right until I came to a forest in with night. I was astonished to see her messenger understand her so well. after. I found bread and water waiting me. until I reached a running stream. looking out of the window in the night. heavenly bodies ' ' ! the a few hours ! Everything is uncereven the motions of the ' I learned afterward that there were several moons in the service of this world.106 then sought the LILITH . I could not tell. I thanked her. that. but the laws that ruled their times and different orbits I failed to discover. Keeping in the same direction. and slept undisturbed. yet here she was. when I lay down in the sandy hollow moon was setting. What did it mean ? What was the monster-cat sent off to do ? I shuddered. never opened her mouth until I asked her to instruct me how to arrive at Bulika. and went back to my bed. Again I fell asleep. shining in all her glory tain here. and ventured the remark that. but which I must leave face to the rising moon. and not yet had I seen her face! Again I looked after the animal. hostess sat muffled beside me while When I went down I broke and except to greet me when I entered. and go straight on saw the city on the horizon. but whether I saw or only fancied a white speck in the distance. Then I remembered outside. fast in the direction she had .' I said to myself.

' ' her ? ' ' Are they hard to teach ? They need no teaching. of yours to guide me.' may She opened the door. like Have you many messengers As many as I require. but you take it if you will. It was to Bulika she went ' ' the shortest way. saying as she went.' ' 1 ' May I not know ' it ? 'A new one came to head while you slept. and in this form she embodies the small fact Then the creature is mine I cried. I rose. I to learn something of its mission. origin is so natural it would seem to you incredible.' I laughed. and was silent. but she interrupted me. Not at all That only can be ours in whose existence our will is a factor. It has nothing to do with to-morrow. I rejoined. ' me last night from your seem to love mystery I said to Some chance word of mine suggested an idea myself. ' You 1 ' ! ' .' Ha a metaphysician too I remarked inside. May I take what is left of the loaf ? I asked All in this world ' ! ' ' ! ' ' ! ' ' ' ! 1 ' ! ! ' ' presently.A STRANGE HOSTESS ' 1 07 ' If I had but that animal hoping went ' on. but not one of the breed is like another. and stood holding it. They are all of a certain Their breed.' wonderfully intelligent she looked Astarte knows her work well enough to be sent How it. she answered.' she replied. To-morrow I may She rose and went to the door. will want no more to-day.' ' ! to do ' she answered. saying.

when a sudden . I had stopped under one of the windows. and the other as if she wept constantly behind the wrappings of her beautiful head. thank you. on the point for a night. I found myself outside a doorless house. I said to myself that she was right I would not willingly be her guest a second time but immediately my heart rebuked me. 1 Willingly. one sleeps in house my two nights together ' ! she answered.' for a moment. ' Nay. her white garments lay like foamy waves at her feet. but joy I had bowed my head of calling aloud my repentant confession. then ? I asked. and among them the swathings of her face it was lovely as a night of stars. I went round and round it. not willingly ' ! she answered. Weeping may endure little me not a looked as if * cometh in the morning. then. of the sexton's wife. The time will come when you must house with me many days and many nights/ she murmured sadly I farewell ' ' ! through her muffling. ' much desiring to Must ' No 1 I go. when. She reminded : . but could find no entrance. although the one she had not wept for thousands of years.108 taking up the bread see her face. for your hospitality. Yet something in the very eyes that wept seemed to say. I LILITH but lingered. and I had scarce crossed the ! threshold when I turned again. looking up in the act. about to kneel and beg her forgiveness. Her great gray eyes looked up to heaven tears were flowing down her pale cheeks. She stood in the middle of the room.' I replied. and turned to go. and bid you I said.

and seemed river-bed. its hair on end.A STRANGE HOSTESS wailing. . and saw a large gray cat. shooting toward the I fell with my face in the sand. who suffered but did not repent. and lighted beyond me. howling scream invaded 109 my ears. to hear within the house the gentle sobbing of one stood still. I turned. and my heart from the window above Something sprang my head.

and the air had By begun to grow dark. and walked many a I longed for a mountain. the third time I heard below me : it. many waters. else surely the prophecy latent in man would come oftener to the surface his vision. my desire to climb greenest moss.1 10 LILITH CHAPTEK XVI A GRUESOME DANCE 1 EOSE to resume desert mile. is the : main factor in him the operation upon him is ! The sun was half-way before to the horizon . for. the moment my head was down. playing broken airs and ethereal harmonies with the stones of their buried channels. Loveliest chaos of music-stuff the harp aquarian kept What might not a Handel sending up to my ears ! have done with that ever-recurring gurgle and bell- . or even a tall rock. that time the sun was almost set. couch for a king I threw myself upon and weariness at once began to ebb. At my feet lay a carpet of softest. Foreseeing is not understanding. not that which lies beyond ! what is about to befall the event. when I saw it me a rugged rocky ascent but ere I reached was over. journey. and I longed to lie down. from whose summit I might see across the dismal plain or the dried-up channels to some bordering my How Yet what could such foresight have availed me ? hope That which is within a man.

filling the channels that had led heart swelled at the thought of the splendid tumult. nothing but a desert of finest sand Not a trace was left of the river that had woke ! plunged adown the rocks filled its ! The powdery drift ! had As course to the level of the dreary expanse I looked back I saw that the river had divided into two branches as it fell. but far to the right I could see a hope of the forest to which lift I sat down. down the rocky my eyes went wandering up and abrupt above me. to a stone About noon I came to a few tamarisk and juniper As I went on. to mass their music in one organ-roar below. and at length I was in just such a forest of pines and other trees as : ! . and then to a few stunted firs. and set out again. between the two on the far horizon. and eagerly climbed to see what lay beyond. III to the mingling and mutually destructive melodies their common slope refrain ! As I lay face listening. Alas. ages ago. the record that My where the waves danced revelling in helpless fall. the desert stretched beyond my vision. before the sun. trees. cataract. that whose bank I had now followed to the foot of the rocky scaur.A GRUESOME DANCE like drip. But soon the hidden brooks lulled me to sleep. closer thickets and larger firs met me. and their lullabies mingled with I my dreams. pocket the half-loaf I had brought with me then first to understand what my hostess had meant concerning it. Before me and to the left. and sought in my my in the sky-line. reading on its me down there. and that which The wood I descried first I crossed to the Evil Wood. Verily the bread was not for the morrow it had shrunk and hardened I threw it away. giving hostess had directed me. rushed a to its foot.

Now and then. nothing I said to myself that if in this forest I should fact catch the faint gleam of the mirror. ! I dreamed. by doing someI was not thing in it. I would turn far aside lest it should entrap me unawares. There was little undergrowth. it is true. But what mattered where while everywhere was the same as nowhere I had not yet. with roomy spaces between. ! Truly I had been but now I knew the left. ! almost geometric. some swift thing. . and again some slow thing. and I could see a long way in every direction. and stood in regular. made anywhere into a place I was only dreaming I lived I was but a yet alive ! . with so many beginnings and thought not an end achieved. . The trees were now large. would cross the space on which my eye happened that moment to settle but it was always at some distance. and would rest in it. fashion. I heard a few birds. The Little Ones would meet of what fate was appointed them. and only enhanced the sense of wideness and vacancy. for I met nothing on two feet or four that day. some of . and had returned upon a farther portion of the I same. and saw plenty of butterflies. and that all my going was nowhither would rather go on and on than come to such a close I went deeper into the wood: I was weary.112 LILITII believed I that in which the Little Ones found their babies. The forest was like a great church. solemn and silent and empty. and give me back to my old existence here I might learn to be someI could not endure the thing by doing something consciousness with an outlook else in the ! world I had ! : ! going back. the awful witch I should never meet the dead would ripen and arise without me I should but wake to know that I had .

lying an eternal prisoner in the dungeon of its own being I began to learn that it was impossible to live for ! oneself the presence of others then. bound with the cords of its poor peculiarities. but. to wander alone. I had not cared for my and now I was left without ! ! ' even the dead to comfort me The wood thinned yet more.A GRUESOME DANCE 1 13 marvellously gorgeous colouring and combinations of colour. is more ' ! than the greatest of books live brothers and sisters. I took the direction where yet more and more roses grew. rather than the living. which I might in some soul. would wish him away that I I had chosen the dead might return to his story. here I thought without singing there I had never had a bosom-friend here the affec. fearfully possible selfishness but a parasite on the tree of life In my even. some of a pure and dazzling whiteness. What a hell of horror. ! ! without tion of thinking . measure understand. save in ! ! ! own world a crooning I had the habit of solitary song here not murmur ever parted my lips There I sang . If only I would be divinely welcome had a dog to love I sighed and regarded with wonder my past self. never widening its life in another life. Coming to a spot where the pines stood farther it apart and gave room for flowering shrubs. and the pines grew yet I .' I said now. indeed. for I was hungry after any live after the voice and face of my kind human or not. evil was only through good alas. I thought. a bare existence never going out of itself. the thing thought rather than the thing thinking 'Any man. and hoping a sign of some dwelling near. which. which preferred the company of book or pen an idiot ' ! ' ! to that of man or woman . if the author of a tale I was enjoying appeared.

LILITH sending up huge stems. Again and again I seemed to descry what must be building. with its tracery of branches and twigs. A the hall. that the ivy had embraced a huge edifice and consumed it. As I drew nearer. the night was warm. More trees of other kinds appeared port the forest was growing richer The roses were now . it certainly was not might be a ruin overgrown with ivy and roses Yet of building hid in the foliage. and their flowers of astonishing splendour. I pondered. its lines yet held together. There could be no better place in which to pass the ni^ht! I gathered a quantity of withered leaves. its floor covered with grass and flowers. mingled with roses. I remained as doubtful of its nature as .114 larger. Suddenly I spied what seemed a great house or castle but its forms were so strangely indistinct. My eyes went . Before me was a rectangular vacancy the ghost I stepped through it. but it always vanished before closer inspection. and peeping patches of loftier roof. not the poorest wall-remnant could I discern. Could it be. of a doorway without a door : and found myself in an open space like a great hall. and its interlaced branches retained the shapes of the walls it had assimilated? I could be before. laid in a corner. like columns eager to supthe heavens. its walls and roof of ivy and vine. ! trees. House or castle habitable. . ! sure of nothing concerning the appearance. them couch its red sunset restful and threw myself upon them. that I could not be certain it was more than a chance combination of tree-shapes. filled . clouds of foliage. and my I lay gazing up at the live ceiling. it . but neither they nor the body of it grew at all more definite and when at length I stood in front of it.

A GRUESOME DANCE

115

wading about as if tangled in it, until the sun was down, and the sky beginning to grow dark. Then the red roses turned black, and soon the yellow and white alone were visible. When they vanished, the stars came instead, hanging in the leaves like live topazes, throbbing and sparkling and flashing many colours I was canopied with a tree from Aladdin's cave Then I discovered that it was full of nests, whence
: !

tiny heads, nearly indistinguishable, kept popping out with a chirp or two, and disappearing again. For a while there were rustlings and stirrings and little but as the darkness grew, the small heads prayers became still, and at last every feathered mother had her brood quiet under her wings, the talk in the little beds was over, and God's bird-nursery at rest beneath the
;

waves

Once more a few flutterings made me an owl w ent sailing across. I had only a glimpse of him, but several times felt the cool wafture of his silent wings. The mother birds did not move saw that he was looking for mice, not they again
of sleep.
:

look up

r

;

children.

About midnight I came wide awake, roused by a whose noises were yet not loud. Neither were they distant; they were close to me, but attenuate. My eyes were so dazzled, however, that for a while I could see nothing at last they came to themselves. I was lying on my withered leaves in the corner of a splendid halL Before me was a crowd of gorgeously dressed men and gracefully robed women, none of whom seemed to see me. In dance after dance they vaguely embodied the story of life, its meetings, its passions, its partings. A student of Shakspere, I had learned something of every dance alluded to in his plays, and hence
revelry,
;

i

2

Il6

LILITH

the partially understood several of those I now saw the pavin, the hey, the coranto, the lavolta. minuet, The dancers were attired in fashion as ancient as their
dances.

had risen while I slept, and was shining through the countless- windowed roof but her light was crossed by so many shadows that at first I could distin; ;

A moon

1

guish almost nothing of the faces of the multitude I could not fail, however, to perceive that there was something odd about them I sat up to see them better. Heavens could I call them faces ? They were skull fronts hard, gleaming bone, bare jaws, trun:

!

!

cated noses, lipless teeth which could no more take part in any smile Of these, some flashed set and white and murderous; others were clouded with decay, broken
!

and gapped, coloured of the earth in which they seemed Fearfuller yet, the eye-sockets so long to have lain were not empty in each was a lidless living eye In those wrecks of faces, glowed or flashed or sparkled eyes of every colour, shape, and expression. The beautiful proud eye, dark and lustrous, condescending to whatever
!

;

!

?

it

rested upon, was the more terrible the lovely, languishing eye, the more repulsive ; while the dim, sad eyes, less at variance with their setting, were sad exceed;

ingly,

and drew the heart in spite of the horror out of which they gazed. I rose and went among the apparitions, eager to understand something of their being and belongings. Were they souls, or were they and their rhythmic motions but phantasms of what had been ? By look
nor by gesture, not by slightest break in the measure, did they show themselves aware of me; I was not present to them how much were they in relation to
:

A GRUESOME DANCE
each other ?
!

H7

Surely they saw their companions as T saw them Or was each only dreaming itself and the rest ? Did they know each how they appeared to the

Had they used others a death with living eyes ? their faces, not for communication, not to utter thought and feeling, not to share existence with their neighbours, but to appear

conceal

what they wished to appear, and what they were ? and, having made their faces

masks, were they therefore deprived of those masks, and condemned to go without faces until they repented ?
long must they flaunt their facelessness in How long will the I wondered. faceless eyes ? endure ? Have they at length begun frightful punition Have they yet yielded to the to love and be wise ?
1
'

How

'

shame that has found them ? I heard not a word, saw not a movement
naked mouth.

'

of

one

they because of lying bereft of With their eyes they spoke as if longing speech? to be understood was it truth or was it falsehood
:

Were

that spoke in their eyes ? They seemed to know one another did they see one skull beautiful, and another plain? Difference must be there, and they had had
:

long study of skulls

!

no obstacle was I a body, My and were they but forms ? or was I but a form, and were they bodies ? The moment one of the dancers came close against me, that moment he or she was on the other side of me, and I could tell, without seeing, which, whether man or woman, had passed through my house. On many of the skulls the hair held its place, and however dressed, or in itself however beautiful, to my eyes looked frightful on the bones of the forehead and temples. In such case, the outer ear often
to theirs
:

body was

1 1

8
also,

LILITH

and at its tip, the jewel of the ear as it, would hang, glimmering, gleaming, or Sidney sparkling, pearl or opal or diamond under the night of brow n or of raven locks, the sunrise of golden ripples, or the moonshine of pale, interclouded, fluffy cirri lichenous all on the ivory-white or damp-yellow naked bone. I looked down and saw the daintily domed instep I looked up and saw the plump shoulders basing the spring of the round full neck which withered at
remained
calls
r ;

half-height to the fluted shaft of a gibbose cranium. The music became wilder, the dance faster and
faster;

eyes flared and flashed, jewels twinkled and glittered, casting colour and fire on the pallid grins that glode through the hall, weaving a ghastly rhythmic

woof in intricate maze of multitudinous motion, when sudden came a pause, and every eye turned to the same
in the doorway stood a woman, perfect in form, spot in holding, and in hue, regarding the company as from
:

the pedestal of a goddess, while the dancers stood like one forbid/ frozen to a new death by the vision of a Dead things, I live said her scornful life that killed.
'
' !

'

Then, at once, like leaves in which an instant glance. wind awakes, they turned each to another, and broke
in their eyes, late solitary,
'

afresh into melodious consorted motion, a new expression now filled with the inter'

Thou also/ they change of a common triumph. seemed to say, wilt soon become weak as we thou I turned mine again wilt soon become like unto us and saw upon her side a small dark to the woman shadow. She had seen the change in the dead stare she
! '
!

;

looked down; she understood the talking eyes; she pressed both her lovely hands on the shadow, gave a

A GRUESOME DANCE
smothered

119

The birds moved rustling cry, and fled. in their nests, and a flash of joy lit up the eyes of the dancers, when suddenly a warm wind, growing in
strength as
light.
'

it

swept through the place, blew out every
'

But the low moon yet glimmered on the horizon with sick assay to shine, and a turbid radiance yet gleamed from so many eyes, that I saw well enough what followed. As if each shape had been but a snowimage, it began to fall to pieces, ruining in the warm wind. In papery flakes the flesh peeled from its bones,

dropping like soiled snow from under
these
fell

its garments and strips, and the whole white skeleton, emerging from garment and flesh together, stood bare and lank amid the decay that littered the floor. A faint rattling shiver went through the naked company; pair after pair the lamping eyes went out and the darkness grew round me with the For a moment the leaves were still swept loneliness. all one way then the wind ceased, and the fluttering owl floated silent through the silent night. Not for a moment had I been afraid. It is true that whoever would cross the threshold of any world, must leave fear behind him but, for myself, I could claim no part in its absence. No conscious courage was operant in me simply, I was not afraid. I neither knew why I was not afraid, nor wherefore I might have been afraid. I feared not even fear which of all is the most dangerous. dangers I went out into the wood, at once to resume my Another moon was rising, and I turned my journey.
;

fluttering in rags

;

;

;

;

face

toward

it.

120

LILITH

CHAPTEE XVII
A GBOTESQUE TEAGEDY

HAD not gone ten paces when I caught sight of a strange-looking object, and went nearer to know what it might be. I found it a mouldering carriage of ancient form, ruinous but still upright on its heavy wheels. On each side of the pole, still in its place, lay the skeleI

ton of a horse from their two grim white heads ascended the shrivelled reins to the hand of the skele;

ton-coachman seated on his tattered hammer-cloth both doors had fallen away within sat two skeletons, each leaning back in its corner. Even as I looked, they started awake, and with a cracking rattle of bones, each leaped from the door next One fell and lay the other stood a moment, its it. structure shaking perilously then with difficulty, for its joints were stiff, crept, holding by the back of the
;
;

;

;

carriage, to the opposite side, the thin leg-bones seeming hardly strong enough to carry its weight, where, kneel-

ing by the other, it sought to raise again in the endeavour.

it,

almost falling

itself

The
turned

effort, to

prostrate one rose at length, as by a sudden the sitting posture. For a few moments it

its yellowish skull to this side and that ; then, heedless of its neighbour, got upon its feet by grasping

A.

GROTESQUE TRAGEDY

121

the spokes of the hind wheel. Half erected thus, it stood with its back to the other, both hands holding one
of its knee- joints.

With

little less difficulty

and not

a few contortions, the kneeling one rose next, and addressed its companion. 'Have you hurt yourself, my lord?' it said, in a
voice that sounded far- off,
aside
*

and

ill- articulated

as

if

blown

spectral wind. I have,' answered the other, in like but rougher Yes, tone. 'You would do nothing to help me, and this cursed knee is out
'
!

by some

'

I did

'

No

should
soul,

my best, my lord.' my lady, for it was bad I never find my feet again! But,
doubt,
! !

thought I
bless

my

madam

are

you out

in your bones?

'

'

She cast a look at herself. r l have nothing else to be out in,' she returned; and you at least cannot complain But what on
!

earth does
(

it

mean ?

Am I dreaming ?

'

You may be dreaming, madam I cannot tell but knee of mine forbids me the grateful illusion. Ha I too, I perceive, have nothing to walk in but bones Not so unbecoming to a man, however I trust
;

this

!

!

!

to goodness they are not my bones every one aches worse than another, and this loose knee worst of all
! !

The bed must have been damp know it
'
!

and I too drunk to
'
!

'

Probably,
'

my

lord of
!

Cokayne

What

!

what

You make me
all
!

dreaming

aches and

How

think I too am do you know the title

my roistering bullies give me ?
Anyhow, you have no
is

I don't

remember you
!

!

I

am

lord

right to take liberties What do you call tut, tut
!

My name me when

my dancing days . I never saw the woman ! for ' ' ! ! ! before * * ' ! You knew me I do seem well enough to lie to. ' He you ? ' It is not easy to tell Tie leg on. who is to tell who you may not be ? One thing I may swear that I never saw you so much undressed before By heaven. my lord to begin to dream I have met you before. turning once more to him. there is nothing to know you by your clothes.' said the * What can I do for lady.122 LILITH I'm I mean when you are sober? I cannot at the moment. my lord but I may take your word for that ! ' ! 1 ' ' . madam ' You are just as heartless as as any other woman. clacking. that I do not know. I have no recolupon Out of ! lection of ' ' you ! glad to hear it my recollections of you are Good morning. Where in this hell of a place shall I find my valet ? What was the cursed name I used to call the ' ! fool ? turned his bare noddle this way and that on its creaking pivot. ! ' my you fool ! Can't you see ' ! it is all but off? Heigho. a few paces. hobbled. Why. my lord the less distasteful She turned away. still holding his knee with both hands. of course. ! ! ' but. I : ' ! ! am and stood again. ' I hope so if ' ! ' 1 ' ' nothing else I never told you a lie in my life toity Hoity You never told me anything but lies/ Upon my honour Why. my lord. what is my name ? I must have been I often am very drunk when I went to bed You come so seldom to mine. I will be your valet for once. my oath.

thank goodness I wish I could believe ' it ! Why were we It sitting there in that carriage together? sion ! wakes apprehen' ! ' I think ' ' A divorced. it's over now.' ! ' We ' 'Was ' that the way of it? ' ! Ha! ha! Well. Eh? what Now I look at you again. madam ! I trust you will . to ' ! ' You used my it ' lord ! seems to me I used to hate you ' ! Eh ? ! ' people ' You hated a good many my lord your wife.A GROTESQUE TRAGEDY 123 She looked about with her eyeless sockets and found a piece of fibrous grass. ! ' ! ! ! ! your damned. that is. of course. with which she proceeded to bind together the adjoining parts that had formed the knee. I be-gin There I really forget a long time somewhere Naturally. as she rose from her knees. my lord. miserable bit of grass is breaking used to get on pretty well together eh ? Not that I remember. stamp rather differently. The only happy moments I had in your company were scattered over the first week of our marriage. To judge by your figure and complexion you have lived hard since I saw you last I cannot surely be quite so naked as your lady! ' ' ! ship ! I beg your pardon. she said. but capable of remedy : we were my ' ! : the forest seems of some extent 'I doubt! I doubt!' I am sorry I cannot think of a compliment to pay you without lying. he gave one or two carefully tentative stamps. When she had done. lady Hardly enough we are still together sad truth. among the rest But I must have been Ah. I begin.

is ' should ! ! ! ! not the question are in the other world. ' You mean Not at to ' all. merest appearance Life and that's as good as knowing there is nothing ! am sequence. I presume but in which or what sort of other Granted ! ' ' We ? ' ! ' ! world ' This can't be hell : ' ! You and I are there's marriage in it It must damned in each other.' cried her late husband want it more than you. damned in a fair wife Oh. tossing I Give that stick to me. walked away.124 take it LILITH I It is of no conbut jesting in a dream all or waking. there was your mistake. my lord ! ' a little at ! one time ' 1 You Ah. loved me devotedly. all's one dreaming You can't be certain of anything.' Then I'm not like Othello. continuing her slow departure. her little skull. madam She picked up a broken branch that had fallen into ! ' ! ' ! it. . make me beg for it ? my lord. loved me Then I should have savagely loved me eternally tired of you the sooner. I remember my Shakspere. and not hated you so much Where are But let bygones be bygones afterward we ? Locality is the question To be or not to be. however . ! ! may ' teach any fool that It has taught me the fool I was to love you Women You were not the only fool to do that I had forgotten had a trick of falling in love with me ! ' ! ' * ! : that you were one of them 1 I did love you. and steadying herself with ' ' . my lady have loved me much. I mean to keep ' it/ she replied. a bush.' She returned him no answer.

and knelt once more at his side first. . I mean to have I re- quire ' Unfortunately. and where to find string enough to tie up all your crazy joints. 'I shall not tie ' ! comes loose she threatened. is more than I can tell. She turned and looked at him. up properly he would have thunbut he only piped and whistled dered. grasping ' ! his leg again. I think I require it myself returned the lady. Come and tie it up instantly he repeated. the hair * a grab at her. then ' ! he answered. apparently. She walked a step or two farther from him. thinking.' it me at once . fell : his knee- had and with an oath he stopped. my lord there is no one here to believe tie it ! Come and * ' ! ' ' ! * ! you. I swear I will not touch you he cried. looking up from her * ' ! knees. but nearly burst. to seize her by but his hard fingers slipped on the smooth . You will break it she said. pray. But. with a sharper cracking of her joints and clinking of her bones. or you will shake yourself to pieces. however. Swear on. walking a little quicker. The instant she had finished retying the joint. and laid hold of her Disgusting upper arm-bone. ! ' He grass ' started to follow her. 1 1 will. ' ! he muttered.' She came back. he made poll.A GROTESQUE TRAGEDY ' 125 it ! Give it. laying the stick in dispute beyond his reach and within her own. do not lose your temper. and began to strain your leg again the next time it at it.

' I looked about. What can come of it ? I said to myself. and ever is another. with long nose a gentleman. not all ungracefully. The same hell. and this cannot be hell. The lady laughed.126 LILITI1 He gave her arm a vicious twist. Neither am I in You are not in hell. He fell. there. stood of the library. but could not see the speaker. choking with curses. I thought. but happily her bones were in better condition than his. the thin old coat. and the sleepers What can it all mean ? Can things ever come too ' ' : ! ' ' ! ' ' . But those skeletons are in hell Ere he ended I caught sight of the raven on the bough of a beech. Now you will have to wear splints always she said such dry bones never mend You devil he cried. She brought it round with such a swing that one of the bones of the sounder leg snapped. but lay and groaned. right over my head. ! ' ' ! ' ! ' ! ' ' * ! right for skeletons ? There are words too big for you and me all is one of them. and did not answer. That's right reach me the stick he grinned. I marvelled he had not gone The lady rose and walked away to pieces when he fell. She stretched her other hand toward the broken branch. At your service. I fear He turned his bone-face aside. my lord Shall I fetch you a couple of wheel-spokes ? Neat but heavy. These are too wretched for any world.' it resumed. The male was never .' he went on. for the Little Ones are in it. ! ' moment he and long ' left it. man and alighting on the ground.' said a voice near ' : ' me which ' I knew.

! changes have roots of hope in them. and his character outside his manners. You saw that those could even dress themselves a little 1 ! ' It is true they cannot yet retain their clothes so long as they would only. but they lord have already begun to feel rather pinched . is deepest in what Love : ! loved into being. but not of their sort. at present.' he answered. the restraints of society removed. and they see none else of their own kind they must at last grow weary of their mutual repugnance. they seem to regard their former repute as an inalienable possession to see their faces. and now. For many years these will see none such as you saw last night. what will become of them/ I ' ! ' said. Raven. not hate. with his skeleton through his skin. does not look like one. ' We shall see.' he * replied. and . The female is less vulgar. in I said. . the hall close by ' ' ! " ' Of their kind. But. Besides. even in the handsomest couple at court their dry bones. Mr. for he was tired of her beauty and had spent her money now he needs her to cobble his joints for him These . for a part of the night but they are pretty steadily growing more capable. In their day they were . and begin to love one another for love." I saw many more of their kind an hour ago. may yet do something for them They felt themselves rich too while they had pockets. you see them now just as they are and always were Tell me. ! ! My used to regard my lady as a worthless encumbrance. however. they cannot now get far away from each other.A GROTESQUE TRAGEDY ' 127 and in the bony stage of retrogression. and has a little heart. Those are centuries in advance of these.

Your consciousness of yourself and my knowledge of you are far apart The lapels of his coat flew out. I cannot make who am I such as ? ' I said. please. I urged. is yet imthem/ answered Mr. I was like a child. with a smile. But the coat closed again in front of him. and the lappets lifted. Above all.' ' and whatever ' is must Are they upheld by this hope ? I asked.128 will LILITII by and by develop faces . * . Such as you always come back to us/ you. and I thought the metamorphosis of homo to ' as if ' ! was about to take place before my eyes. constantly wondering. I have no anxiety about Not at all/ he replied. Nothing but truth can appear seem. but they do not in the least know their hope to understand it. measurably beyond His unexpected appearance had caused me no astonishment. sir ? I asked. and surprised at nothing. my ' ' ! 'I decline the * ' more strongly/ he rejoined. and he added. corvus with seeming inconsequence. But when that friend asks you I persisted. never do anything such a one may ask you to do/ * . Then most positively I refuse/ he returned. ' ' * ' ' friend the subject of conversation/ he answered. Eaven. fulness adds a fibre to the show . Did you come to find me. In this world never trust a person who has once deceived you. ' ! 'Why?' Because he and I would be talking of two persons they were one and the same. They are upheld by hope. But when that friend is present ' Tell me. for every grain of truthof their humanity.

' And if I remember ? Some evil that is not good for The old man seemed to sink ' you. will not follow. but I may forget ' ' Then some evil that is ' good for you will follow. flying low and fast. and immediately I saw the raven several yards from me.A GROTESQUE TRAGEDY ' 1 29 I will try to remember. .' to the ground.' I answered ' ! ' .

We did not commune much. caught ' ' ! though as nearly one as body could well be. but cold like that which was once alive. and looked dispirited and weary. : r shadow. yet through the wood we went a long way together. it. Vague as it was in the shadow of the foliage. and no skeleton. like a battered disc of old copper. know what ailed her. and was very cold not cold like a stone. She was going to last for ever ? she seemed to say. . and I turned toward it. Not a cloud was nigh to keep her company. my eye with its whiteness. under a spreading tree. a human body. kneeling and laying my skeleton hand upon it. however. I and the moon. Something on the ground. for my eyes were on the ground but her disconsolate look was fixed on me I felt without seeing A long time w e were together. I said to myself. as I drew nearer. not yet was staring straight into the forest. A body it was. one way and I was going the other. I did not high. it Another suggested. and is alive no more. and I the live ' ' . who. still facing the moon. she the dull shine.LILITil CHAPTEE WENT walking XVIII ? DEAD OK ALIVE I on. Is this going and the stars were too bright for her. It lay on its side. but she was dark and dented. walking side by side.

could she be thus emaciated ? And how came she to be naked ? Where were the savages to strip and leave her ? or what wild beasts would have taken her garments ? That her body should have been left was not wonderful I rose to my feet. have counted. I must It How had ! . and so worn that. even so. gleamed ghastly through the dark. 131 it. and black as night. stood. almost solid with interlacing roots. and perished in the strange night of an out-ofdoor world It was quite naked. and I had but my bare hands At first it seemed plain that she had not long been not. I fancied it one of the wild dancers. the oftener I touched the seemed possible it should be other than dead. a ghostly Cinderella. ! ! could not let her lie exposed and forsaken Even the garment of Natural reverence forbade it. that had lost her way home. every rib in its side. and already Her strength must in such wasted condition. unseemly disclosed by the retracted lips.DEAD OR ALIVE? The closer I looked at it. was the body of a tall. perhaps. she come there ? Not of herself. less it ! without touching them. probably graceful woman. Its beautiful yet terrible teeth. ! ! ! ! ! E 2 . a woman claims respect her body it were impossible Irreverent eyes might look on to leave uncovered Years would it Brutal claws might toss it about ere the friendly rains washed it into the soil pass But the ground was hard. ! . All its bones. and lain there until she died of hunger But how. even in the shadow. thick and very fine to the touch. were as visible as if tight-covered with only a thin elastic leather. Its hair was longer than itself. For one bewildered moment. I could. indeed. surely have failed her she had fallen. peering close. and considered.

when I found the pine-needles beneath it warm she could not have been any time dead. and might still be alive. but could perceive no * Doubt.' I said to myself. I passed my arm under the shoulder on which it lay. hoping an increase to it when I tried another grape. slightest movement of mouth or throat. though I could discern no motion of the heart. eating as I came a few were yet left on the stalk. and clothes and a great heap of little warmth the sun in her. ' Then came back. One of her or any indication that she breathed! hands was clenched hard. but I must know she was dead before I buried her As I left the forest-hall.132 : LILITH ! dead there was not a sign of decay about her But then what had the slow wasting of life left of her to decay ? Could she be still alive? Might she not? "What if she were Things went very strangely in this Even then there would be little chance world strange of bringing her back. lifted her upon it. To do over it. but ! ! ! : ! ! : no swallowing followed. to move the body. apparently inclosing something small. I squeezed a grape into her mouth. of pine-needles for her all I could. but the head was in such an awkward position that. but it is a bad reason for . I had spied in the doorway a bunch of ripe grapes. laid one of thick layer my garments left warm from my leaves covered her with my I would save the : body. may be a poor en- couragement to do anything. I spread a and dry leaves. and brought it with me. and their juice might possibly revive her Anyhow it was all I had with which to attempt her rescue The mouth was happily a little open.

heat left in me. I lay with the dead. others of chargers. The light was now growing so rapidly that when. and watched for the dawn. each on her dim. and the eastern horizon ' ' ! : ! clearer. It was the low undulating of a large snake. ' Dwarf Why are the children not here ' ! I said to myself. with three or four smaller ones behind them. but what I had I would share with her ! I spent what remained of the night. I could see that. a few minutes after. what I took for a roebuck-doe and her calf. . so perfect were they in form. and close to the ground. they must yet be fullgrown. and longing for the sun. They were of many breeds. The darkness had given way. sleepless. Her cold seemed to radiate into Thus me. cattle and small elephants followed. got as close to her as I had not much I could. hunters. Presently appeared. Some seemed models racers. I thought. I crept into the heap of leaves.' So tight was the skin upon her bones that I dared not use friction. slow-setting moon. which passed me in an unswerving line. when I caught sight of a motion rather than of anything that moved not far from me. of cart- horses. straight silver couch. although the largest of them were no bigger than was growing dimly the smallest Shetland pony. and so much had they all the ways and action of great horses. and two creatures like bear-cubs came. Had I fled from the beautiful sleepers. and took her in my arms.DEAD OR ALIVE? 133 doing nothing. Again a while. making as it seemed for the same point. a troop of horses went trotting past. to lie alone I had refused a lovely priviwith such a bedfellow I was given over to an awful duty Beneath lege the sad. but no heat to pass from me to her.

or a morning habit ? I must wait for the sun Till he came I must not leave the woman I laid my hand on the body. strong great ! against death. I rose full of life. and set out to follow the creatures. might yet awake to motion and song But the sun was shining on her face I re-arranged the handkerchief. was the face. and soon the sun came peering up. and must have long been used likewise many of the tracks that. Removing the handkerchief I had put to protect the mouth and eyes from the pineneedles. I saw how drawn and hollow the bones under the skin. The trees retreated as I went. Then first. or but its empty case. and the grass grew thicker. and could not help thinking it felt a trifle warmer. but the bird of heaven might yet be nestling within. The human garment was indeed worn to its threads. I looked anxiously to see whether I had found a priceless jewel. in the morning light. laid a few leaves lightly over it. joining it from both sides. Presently the forest was gone. as if to see for the first time what all this stir of a new world was about. I must go back and fetch them Where were the creatures going ? "What drew them ? Was this an exodus. At sight of his innocent splendour. It might have gained a little of the heat I had lost it could hardly have What reason for hope there was had generated any 1 ' ! ! ! ! ! not grown less The forehead of the day began to glow. and a wide expanse of loveliest green stretched . Their main track was ! ! well beaten. how sharp were how every tooth shaped itself through the lips. The body lay motionless as when I found it. merged in.T 34 LILITII The moment I am free of this poor woman. and broadened it.

but nowhere more than a few mist rose from it. and drown ' ' ! my desolation ! Tall as she was. This blessed water would expel the cold death. A bluish the brim. : ! began to bathe the pitiful form. 135 Through it.DEAD OR ALIVE? away to the horizon. I found her marvellously light. So wasted was it . flowed a small river. and I grew yet more hopeful when so little covered them. At sight of the water a new though undefined hope sprang up in me. and was it full to yards wide. The water was too hot to lay her at once in it the I shock might scare from her the yet fluttering life laid her on the bank. along the edge of the forest. Apparently they slept in the forest. her bones were so delicate. but the water was hot. and to this the track led. motion. swimming the river to reach it. dreading even the wind of my I bore her to the stream. I shall at least be lonely no I had found myself such poor company that more now first I seemed to know what hope was. The stream looked everywhere deep. 'Prove what she may. Without well considering my solitude. I went softly. and dipping one of my garments. vanishing as many On the opposite side. in the plentiful grass. no one will understand what seemed to lie for me in the redemption of this woman from death.' I thought with myself. I knelt and would have drunk. rose. and had a strange metallic taste. like a sleeping child. leaning against my shoulder. I leapt to first my feet : here was the warmth I sought ! the necessity of life I sped back to my helpless charge. I found her so far from stiff that I could carry her on one arm. and in the morning sought the plain. small animals were feeding. and glad there was no other.

that at last I ventured to submerge it I got into the stream and drew it in. and ran for more freight. that. warmer. I lifted it out and laid it again on the bank. . and covered it as well as I could. LILITH save from the plentifulness and blackness of the hair. Her eyelids were just not there shut. the my hope that they would ever again be clothed with strength. at which no sun : shone through ! less longer I went on bathing the poor bones. and letting the swift. After about ten minutes. I could now leave it and go to explore. it was impossible even to conjecture whether she was young or old. which made her look dead the more was a crack in the clouds of her night. but was able to conclude nothing from the fact. To my fancy it seemed to have run down a stair inside. allowing no part time to grow cold while I bathed another and gradually the body became so much lift. The grass and soil were dry and warm . . dried it. the shut : hand never relaxed . its hold. I found the river issuing full grown from a rock at the bottom of one of them. then ran to the forest for leaves. . I noted. for all the heat. holding the face above the water.136 that. that ever those eyelids would The grew and a soul look out still I kept bathing continuously. steady current flow all about the rest. I ran up the stream toward some rocky hills I saw in that direction. which were off. not far When I reached them. and when I returned I thought it had scarcely lost any of the heat the water had given it. in the hope of discovering some shelter. I spread the leaves upon then for a third and a fourth it.

it rose from the ground at the back. and ran along one side. life. I crossed the boughs with smaller branches. with smaller branches and plenty of leaves. I laid it down. instead of hurrying tumultuously down a stair. and arranged them at her feet and on both sides of her. soft couch. after not a few journeys to the had completed a warm. Eunning again to the wood. make upon them a comfortable couch. Then I ran back to see how my charge fared. The heat had but neither had it developed any- thing to check farther hope. dry. nearly filling a I considered the place. interlaced these with twigs. like the base of a large column. their dry yellow leaves yet clinging to them. and I crept through into a little cave. deep. She was lying as I had not brought her to left her. I took the body once more. rather narrow channel. and saw that. if I could find a few fallen boughs long enough to lie across the channel. I When thus at length. and buried all deep in leaves and dry moss. I should find at last I did lay it it a skeleton after and when gently on . where I learned that. feared lest. and set out with it for the cave. It did not fill the opening whence it rushed. and large enough to quietly bear a little weight without bending much. at every landing wild to get out. It was so light that now and then as I went I almost forest. but only at the foot finding a door of escape. when all . With these I had soon laid the floor of a bridge-bed over the torrent. I might. I got a few boulders out of the channel.DEAD OR ALIVE? 137 an eager cataract. which the stream under would keep constantly warm. I had not to search long ere I found some small boughs fit for my purpose mostly of beech.

I sat or lay. The grape. day after day. indeed. and every morning felt thereupon as if I had eaten and drunk which experience gave me courage to lay her in it also every day. if she were alive. it was a greater relief to part with that fancy than with the weight. but the next morning it had vanished. Every morning I went out and bathed in the hot stream. I had read of one in a trance lying motionless for weeks ! In that cave. at all. after her bath. angel. Every time I slept. a shadow of discoloration on her left side gave me a terrible shock. might find its way down. unable to fly. night after night. remained with me until at and last she loved me and would not leave me. found to my joy that I could open the mouth a little farther. I dreamed of finding a wounded who. now waking now sleeping. but always watching. with my daily bath in that river. and I continued the treatment every morning. but I hoped some of the juice . lay in it unheeded. Once more I covered the body with a thick layer of leaves and trying again to feed her with a grape. not. I too ate of the grapes and other berries I found in the forest but I believed that. seven long days and nights. The warmth of the brook had interpeneand she trated her frame truly it was but a frame ! was warm to the touch. but with a warmth which rendered it more possible. Once as I did so. she was no longer cold. . probably. that she might live. After an hour or two on the couch. with the warmth of life. putting a fresh grape in her mouth.138 LILITH the pathless bridge. I could have done very well without eating .

I saw now that a man alone is butjajbejng. a being must be an eternal. nowhere but in other lives can he breathe. To be enough for himself. but there would be small reason why there should be more than two or three such . for the development of the large differences which make a and lofty unity possible. neither moved nor spoke. and upon me ! ! look out of them knew what solitude meant now that I gazed on one who neither saw nor heard. he saw her asleep. instead of an angelvisage with lustrous eyes. Only by the reflex of other lives can he ripen his specialty. all men each would have an individu- secured by his personal consciousness. Adam knew nothing of himself. it was to see. an alien from my fellows. while. I should have I nothing in me but a consuming hunger after life even the Little Ones things were not amiss forgot with them here lay what might wake and be a . first Now I bnt. that no atmosphere will comfort or nourish his life.DEAD OR ALIVE P 139 every time I woke. ! ! : ! woman might actually open eyes. wasted But Adam himself. motionless. the white. had learned to love what I had lost Were this one wasted shred of womanhood to disappear. develop the idea of himself. could not have looked more anxiously for Eve's awaking than I watched for this woman's. Were ality. him from every still other. perhaps nothing of his need of another self I. he rises from and stands upon such a pedestal of lower physical organ- isms and spiritual structures. the individuality that distinguishes alike. ^ fore a possibility. so simply complicate is man . less divine than that offered by other souls. self-existent worm ! So superbly constituted. when first face upon the couch. .

Better to go about with them infinitely But with the faintest better than to live alone and universal growth. Save for the hope of the dawn of life in the form beside me. poorest of crea- . woman to was yet a possible my friend. man ! I.1^0 L1L1TH endless and measureless and which alone can make millions into a church. I should have fled for fellowship to the beasts that grazed and did not speak. indispensable. that is. A man to be perfect in having reached the spiritual condition of persistent inherits the infinitude of his the mode wherein he Father must have the education of a world of fellow-men. which is ! prospect of a tures. an influence and reaction are complete.

never opened its eyes. her. The back of it was much swollen. and still the body never moved. and by the evening the hurt my hands was all but healed. and in the centre of the swelling was a triangular wound. . for assuredly it manifested no sign of decay. It could not be dead. As the day went on. if the rising ripples of life's ocean were indeed burying under lovely shape the bones it had all but forsaken Twenty times a day I looked for evidence of progress. but discovered nothing I could imagine capable of injuring me. Slowly the days passed. like the bite of a leech. hope revived. and twenty times a day I doubted sometimes even despaired but the moment I recalled the mental picture of her as I found : ! ! ! . I searched the cave. with one very painful. that the form was everywhere a little rounder. life must be there the tide which had ebbed so far toward the infinite. turning over every stone of any size.CHAPTEK XIX THE WHITE LEECH I of WOKE one morning from a profound sleep. must have begun again to flow Oh joy to me. and that the skin had less of the parchment-look if such change was indeed there. I could imagine that the sharpest angles of the bones had begun to disappear. the swelling subsided. Moreover. and the air about it was quite pure.

142

LILITII

after lying a long

Several weeks had passed thus, when one night, time awake, I rose, thinking to go
;

out and breathe the cooler air for, although from the running of the stream it was always fresh in the cave, the heat was not seldom a little oppressive. The moon
outside
'

was

full,

rally I cast a lingering look

the air within shadowy clear, and natuon my treasure ere I went.
' '

I cried aloud, do I see her eyes ? Great orhs, dark as if cut from the sphere of a starless night, and luminous by excess of darkness, seemed to shine amid the glimmering whiteness of her face. I Bliss eternal
1

'

stole nearer,

my heart
!

of

it

were mutual

startling her. close shut
illusion
!

beating so that I feared the noise I bent over her. Alas, her eyelids
heart's desire

Hope and Imagination had wrought

my

would never be

!

I turned away, threw myself and wept. Then I bethought

on the

floor of the cave,

me that her eyes had
:

been

a

little

open, and that

now the awful chink out of which
!

nothingness had peered, was gone it might be that she had opened them for a moment, and was again asleep it might be she was awake and holding them close! In either case, life, less or more, must have shut them I was comforted, and fell fast asleep. That night I was again bitten, and awoke with a
!

burning thirst. In the morning I searched yet more thoroughly, but
again in vain. The wound was of the same character, I conand, as before, was nearly well by the evening. cluded that some large creature of the leech kind came
' But, if blood be its occasionally from the hot stream. I said to myself, so long as I am there, I need object,' hardly fear for my treasure
'
'
!

usual and taken

That same morning, when, having peeled a grape as away the seeds, I put it in her mouth,

THE WHITE LEECH
her lips made a slight knew she lived
!

143
and I

movement

of reception,

My hope was now so much stronger that I began to think of some attire for her she must be able to rise I betook myself therefore to the moment she wished
: !

the forest, to investigate

what material it might afford, and had hardly begun to look when fibrous skeletons,

like those of the leaves of the prickly pear, suggested themselves as fit for the purpose. I gathered a stock of them, laid them to dry in the sun, pulled apart the

reticulated layers,

and of these had soon begun to fashion two loose garments, one to hang from her waist, the other from her shoulders. With the stiletto-point of an aloe-leaf and various filaments, I sewed together
three thicknesses of the tissue.

During the week that followed, there was no farther

But indeed

more evidently took the grapes. the signs became surer plainly she was growing plumper, and her skin fairer. Still she did not open her eyes and the horrid fear would at times
sign except that she
all
:

;

invade me, that her growth was of some hideous fungoid nature, the few grapes being nowise sufficient to account for it.

Again I was bitten
it

;

and now the thing, whatever

regular visits at intervals of generally bit me in the neck or the arm, invariably with but one bite, always while I slept, and never, even when I slept, in the daytime. Hour after hour would I lie awake on the watch, but never heard
three days.
It

was, began to pay

me

now

it

coming, or saw sign of

its

approach.

Neither, I

believe, did I ever feel it bite

so hopeless of catching it, myself either to look for it by day, or
night. I

At length I became that I no longer troubled
me.
lie

in wait for

it

at

knew from

my

growing weakness that I was

144

LILITH

losing blood at a dangerous rate, but I cared little for that in sight of eyes death was yielding to life ; a soul was gathering strength to save me from loneliness ;
:

my

we would go away
cover
!

together,

and I should speedily

re-

The garments were
plating

at length finished, and,

contem-

my handiwork

with no small

satisfaction, I pro-

ceeded to mat layers of the fibre into sandals. One night I woke suddenly, breathless and faint, and longing after air, and had risen to crawl from the cave, when a slight rustle in the leaves of the couch set me
listening motionless. I caught the vile thing,' said a feeble voice, in mother-tongue ; I caught it in the very act
' ' '
!

my
my

She was
'

alive

!

she spoke
'

!

I dared not yield to

transport lest I should terrify her. What creature ? I breathed, rather than said.

The creature,' she 'What was it?'
1 ' '
'

answered, that was biting you.'
'

A great white leech.' How big ? I pursued,
Not
far

forcing myself to be calm.

'

from

six feet long, I should think,' she

answered.

But how could You have saved my life, perhaps touch the horrid thing How brave of you I cried. you I did was all her answer, and I thought she
'
!

'

!

!

'

'

!

shuddered.

'Where
monster ? I threw
' '
'

is

it?

What

could you do with such a

it

in the river.'

Then

it

will

come

again, I fear

'
!

'

I do not think I could have killed
!

it,

even had I

known how
what

I heard you moaning, and got up to see disturbed you saw the frightful thing at your
;

THE WHITE LEECH
neck, and pulled it away. was hardly able to throw
splash in the water
'
!

145

But I could not hold it, and
it

from me.
'
!

I only heard

it

I said; but with that I 'We'll kill it next time turned faint, sought the open air, but fell. When I came to myself the sun was up. The lady
little way off, looking, even in the clumsy attire had fashioned for her, at once grand and graceful. I had seen those glorious eyes Through the night they Dark as the darkness primeval, they now had shone outshone the day She stood erect as a column, regardme. Her pale cheek indicated no emotion, only ing

stood a

I

!

!

!

question.
'

I rose.

We
'

must

be

'

going

!

I

said.

'

The white

leech

I stopped: a strange smile had flickered over her
beautiful face.
1

Did you

find

me

there ?

'

she asked, pointing to
replied.

the cave.
'

No

;

I brought

you there/ I
'

'

You brought me ?
Yes.'
'

'

'

'

'

From where ? From the forest.' What have you done with my
'

clothes

and

my

jewels ?
' '

You had none when I found you.' Then why did you not leave me ?
'

'

Because I hoped you were not dead.' Why should you have cared ? Because I was very lonely, and wanted you to live.' 'You would have kept me enchanted for my she said, with proud scorn. beauty
*

*

'

'

!

L

146

LILITH
look roused

Her words and her
1 '

my indignation.
I said.

There was no beauty

left in you,'

Why,

then, again, did you not let
'

me

alone ?

'

'

'

'

I

'

Because you were of my own kind.' Of your kind ? she cried, in a tone of utter contempt. I thought so, but find I was mistaken Doubtless you pitied me Never had woman more claim on pity, or less on
'
! ' ! '

any other

feeling

!

expression of pain, mortification, and unutterable, she turned from me and stood silent. anger Starless night lay profound in the gulfs of her eyes hate of him who brought it back had slain their
:

With an

was gone from them. me, what would you have done ? she asked suddenly without moving. 1 would have buried it. It What ? You would have buried this ? she exclaimed, flashing round upon me in a white fury, her arms thrown out, and her eyes darting forks of cold
splendour.
'
'

The

Had you

light of life failed to rouse
5

I

<

'

!

lightning.

Nay that I saw not That, weary weeks of watching and tending have brought back to you,' I answered for with such a woman I must be plain Had I seen the smallest sign of decay, I would at once have buried you/
;
!
!

'

1

I was but in a trance Samoil what a fate Go and fetch the she-savage from whom you borrowed this hideous disguise.' I made it for you. It is hideous, but I did my best.' She drew herself up to her tall height. How long have I been insensible ? she demanded. ' A woman could not have made that dress in a day

'

Dog of
!

a fool

'

!

she cried,
!

'

!

'

'

'

f

!

TIIE
'

WHITE LEECH
'

147
'
!

Not

in
!

'

Ha

twenty days/ I rejoined, hardly in thirty How long do you pretend I have lain un-

conscious ?
'

Answer me

at once.'

long you had lain when I found you, but there was nothing left of you save skin and
I cannot tell

how

bone

:

that

is

more than three months
nothing else
' !

was
1

beautiful,

Your hair ago. I have done for it what I

could.'

she said, and brought a great armful of it round from behind her it will be more than a three-months' care to bring you to life again I suppose I must thank you, although I cannot say I

My

poor hair

!

'

;

!

am

'

grateful
'

!

There is no need, same for any woman
'

madam
is

:

I would have done the

yes, or for

any

man
'

either

'
!

How is
it.

it

my

hair

not tangled ?

she said, fond-

ling
* '

always drifted in the current.' "What do you mean ? I could not have brought you to life but by bathing you in the hot river every morning.' She gave a shudder of disgust, and stood for a while with her gaze fixed on the hurrying water. Then she turned to me
It

How ?

'

'

:

"We must understand each other she said. You have done me the two worst of wrongs compelled me to live, and put me to shame neither of them can I
'
'

'

!

:

'

pardon She raised her left hand, and flung it out as if repelling me. Something ice-cold struck me on the forehead. When I came to myself, I was on the ground, wet and
!

shivering.
L 2

148

L1LITII

CHAPTEE XX
GONE
!

BUT HOW ?

L EOSE and looked around me, dazed at heart. For a moment I could not see her she was gone, and loneliShe ness had returned like the cloud after the rain
: !

whom

I brought back from the brink of the grave, had I dared fled from me, and left me with desolation
!

not one moment remain thus hideously alone. Had I indeed done her a wrong? I must devote my life to sharing the burden I had compelled her to resume I descried her walking swiftly over the grass, away from the river, took one plunge for a farewell restorative, and set out to follow her. The last visit of the white leech, and the blow of the woman, had enfeebled me,
!

but already strength was reviving, and I kept her in sight without difficulty. ' Is this, then, the end ? I said as I went, and

my

'

my

Her angry, hating eyes heart brooded a sad song. haunted me. I could understand her resentment at
having forced life upon her, but how had I farther "Why should she loathe me? Could injured her? itself be indignant with true service? How modesty should the proudest woman, conscious of my every

my

action, cherish against

me

the least sense of disgracing
!

How reverently had I not touched her wrong ? As a father his motherless child, I had borne and

but the sense light to the world. and ! it came in My with fresh life My body seemed to become ethereal. walking straight and steady as one that knew whither. it must be there buried. I com! ' ' ' ! mand you 1 Not to stop where you stand. Swiftly she moved.GONE! BUT tended her ! HOW? all 149 Had ' all ray labour. my ! despairing redeem only ingratitude? 'No. . and stood. I summoned my veins filled strength. but without was within three yards of her. haste. yet with grace unbroken. Not once had she looked behind. Fatigue Her paleness was not pallor. when she turned sharply. following like an easy wind. when I became aware that she was increasing the distance ! between full tide. but a pure whiteness. as if she had never before seen me. I rapidly overtook her.' I replied. that I must want to see them again You will not be spared she said coldly. the stronger and truer will it wake at last in To rouse that heart were a better its beautiful grave It would be to give to her than the happiest life gift gone to . It was nearly noon. ! ! ! her a nobler. I do you follow me ? she asked.' I answered. like a Greek goddess to rescue. was upon me as of a great night in which an invisible dew makes the stars look large. and. us. or heat she showed none. her breathing was slow and Her eyes seemed to fill the heavens.' I anhope However swered myself beauty must have a heart The deeper profoundly hidden. quietly but rather sternly. and give deep. a higher life She was ascending a gentle slope before me.' until I see you in a place of safety will I leave you. I have lived so long. on the mere ' Why of ' ' ' hope ' your eyes.

I said. .150 ' LIL1TH Then take the consequences. There was yet Did I her. but could not avert my own. : ! : light enough to show that she was I stood behind her. Her scorn had she would kill me with her beauty Despair restored my volition . and threw herself upon it. and laid my hand on her arm. ' ' ! ' ' ! ' sky. She gave no heed.' she said. slave She turned as if a serpent had bit her. The sun went below. her for a moment.' I cried again. it would be for ever All day long we had been walking over thick soft grass abruptly she stopped. and I stood as if run through with a spear. I kept close to her if I lost sight of her for a moment. and gazed down on utterly weary. its summit. Have pity upon me I cried. went down the Not a moment did she pause. But as she turned she cast on me a glance. I followed her like a child whose I will be your mother pretends to abandon him. seemed to pause on other side. Pity me. and overtook her. never relaxed her pace. 1 love her ? I knew she was not good ! ! Did I hate her ? I could not leave her I knelt beside Begone ! Do not dare touch me.' she cried. The whole day I followed her. the spell broke I ran. The sun climbed the failed : ! . and the night came up. She resumed her walking. I cowered before the blaze of her eyes. She never turned her head. not a moment did I cease to follow. and resumed her swift-gliding walk.

she was but a bright thing set in blackness. I received as it were a blow from an iron hammer. She took one step back. rigid as those and her lips clung to my cheek. She drew down my face to hers. and my people ' ! they do not love beggars I was deaf to her words. and with the clenched hand seemed will stone you : to strike me on the forehead. my neck. A sting of pain shot somewhere through me. my city. A slumberous weariness. for the moon was no higher ! ! . : ! ! ' ' ! ' ' ! ' I will ' ! I ' Set foot within the gates of murmured. as to a rebellious Follow me a step if you dare dog. HOW? sides as if 151 para- lay on the grass by her Suddenly they closed about of the torture-maiden. and pulsed. and half awake. My smarted I put My neck ached my hand : and found a wet spot. I did not know that I moved. a shimmering nimbus Down she cried imperiously. cheek nothing. Had the blow revived me ? it had left neither wound nor pain But how came I wet ? I could not have lain long. but spread no radiance . cold and wet. raised her left arm. around me and saw what had become of the light of the moon it was gathered about the lady she stood in I rose and staggered toward her. and felt very tired.GONE! BUT Her arms lyzed. a dreamy pleasure stole over me. but the distance grew less between us. I could not stir a hair's breadth. and then I knew little came to myself. The moon was a the horizon. but clear-headed and strong. Gradually the pain ceased. I sprang to my feet. I sighed there again was a wet spot to it. ! I turned my eyes listlessly heavily. Weak as water. and fell. All at once I way above . with an agonised effort.

pure white. low-curved bounds over the grass. rending and slaying. ' It was well/ I thought. and I saw that the streak was a moon long-bodied thing. instant the full recovered herself. I the spot I sprang forward pursuing the beast. the monster would have been upon her!' But when I reached the place. ' is the terrible creature ' and I seemed to speeding to the night-infolded city ? hear from afar the sudden burst and spread of outcrying terror. rushing in great. lay. her back She was doing something. and stood white in the dazed moon. I could not distinguish what. But in a moment made for was far behind it. I stood staring after the second beast. past me from behind. all but noiseless arrow. as the pale savage bounded from house to house. One moment she stood and fell forward. as I thought. While I gazed after it fear-stricken. and. My tongue clave to the roof of my mouth. like a swift. It tore over the ground with yet greater swiftness than the former . Dark spots seemed to run like a stream adown its back. The me. ' God of ' mercy ! I cried. that I could not cry out if she had risen. and catching the shadows of the leaves. Its path was straight for the spot where the lady had fallen. shining flash. as if it had been fleeting along under the edge of a wood. shot a second large creature. moonlight. A streak The same out with a of white shot away in a swift-drawn line. no lady was there only the garments she had dropped lay dusk in the ' : . Then by her sudden gleam I knew she had thrown off her garments.152 LILITTI toward lady stood some yards away.

the very embodiment of It followed the line the other had speed. . level. I set out in the track of the two animals. until it disappeared in the uncertain distance. taken. After a Could ! it ! thorough but fruitless search. and borne her to its den ? So laden it could not have run so away fast and I should have seen that it carried something Horrible doubts began to wake in me. creeping upon her noiselessly ? I had heard no shriek and there had not been time to devour her ! have caught her up as it ran. HOW? 153 skimming leaps.GONE! BUT in long. and I watched it grow smaller and smaller. wasteless But where was the lady ! ? Had the first beast sur- prised her.

behind me came a swift. something sprang over my head. for it came slowly. I ran after blood trickling from my forehead few steps. though I night. ! ' of this terrible night is after ' ! : the dusk. but did not perceive me as she hurried along. terror and anxiety in every ' movement is Some prowler her To follow would have added to her fright I stepped into her track to stop her pursuer. struck me sharply on the forehead. and ere I could turn. As I stood for a moment looking after her through She chased ' of her driven speed. when a shriek of despair I ran the faster. with strange. In a minute or two I spied a low white shape It approaching me through the vapour-dusted moonlight. but all I saw of my assailant was a vanishing whiteness. must be another beast. almost crawling. a cloud came over the moon. and knocked me down. with the but had run only a tore the quivering could not but fear it must already be too late. floundering leaps. clasping a child to her bosom. I thought at first. I was up in an instant. . She was on a line parallel with my own. the beast. . and stooping as she ran.LILITH CHAPTEB XXI THE FUGITIVE MOTHER As I hastened along. I said to myself. and from the gray dark suddenly emerged a white figure. soft-footed rush.

with her child in her lap. and asked what had become of her champion. such a pity seized me at sight of the suffering creature. carrying its left fore paw high from the ground. and was attended by a low rushing sound. ! ' some readier But. ' go on bleeding like that. Can I do anything for you ? I asked. its blood. strange champion than I has wounded the beast to tell. streaming from the lifted paw. You need not be frightened/ I said. for I might yet be useful to the woman. Now I had certain strange suspicions. as which kept * If it flowing back softly through the grass beside me. agony and waited. oval spots on a shining white skin. I was following the beast when happily you found a nearer proIt passed me now with its foot bleeding so tector much that by this time it must be all but dead There is little hope of that she answered. and would have risen.THE FUGITIVE MOTHER as of a creature in ! 155 I drew aside from its path. I threw myself on the ground. still issuing in a small torrent. it will soon be seemed. hurtless ' ! I went on. as of water As it went by me. but I answered that I knew nothing of the brute.' I thought. though an axe had been in my hand I could not have struck at it. At the sound of my voice she started violently. As it neared me. ' It is blood ' ! I said to myself. seated on the grass. I saw it was going on three legs. I saw something falling upon grass. I descried her a little way off. In a broken succession of hobbling leaps it it ' went out of sight. and hoped also to see her deliverer. It had many dark. ' ' ' ' ! ' ! ' ' ! ' ' . tremDo you not know whose beast she is ? bling. that.

: ' You are in no danger of any sort from me. foot. ' I will trust you them. know about her if you are going to Now. Clouds had by this time gathered so thick over the moon that I could scarcely see my companion I feared she was rising to run from me. * to see the Have are a care ! you had better not go is ! But perhaps you The princess a very good. .' she replied . you are a brave woman it was you gave the cry thought It was the leopardess.' I never heard such a sound from the throat of an animal it was like the scream of a woman in torture My voice was gone I could not have shrieked When I saw the horrid mouth at to save my bahy strike.' I said. ' ' ! ' ! ' ' ' ! ! ' . What oath would you like me to take ? I know by your speech that you are not of the people 1 ' ' of Bulika.' * You ' ! ' I will soon Bulika there she answered. kind woman ' ! I heard a little movement.156 1 LIL1TH What champion ' ? she rejoined.' I said.' I caught up a stone ' . Well.' ' am going to Bulika. ! my ' darling's little white neck. and mashed her lan\e Tell me about the creature. I must never go back ' 'Yes. I princess.' I said I am a stranger in these parts. ! If only I could see you ! your voice There. either. ' I have seen ' no one/ 1 Then how came the monster I pounded ' to grief ? her foot with a stone as hard as I could ' ' Did you not hear her cry ? I I answered. my darling is asleep But I The like foul . else I should not be able ! : I am not of they never ! trust any one.

would have torn her mother to pieces for carrying her Some say the princess has two white leopardoff! after ! esses. only they do not always work. I blood. is watching to get in. and been on her way home when I left. the house where a baby door. and lie awake and shiver. they say. But here I sit talking. She sends witches around to teach the women spells that keep babies away. ! ' ! ! ' ' Where are you taking her ? Where no one ever tells ' ! ' ' Why ' the princess so cruel ? There is an old prophecy that a child will be the is is ' death of her. and then would have gone away with my baby.' ' why she will listen to no if offer of But what ' will become of her country she kill all the babies ? 1 She does not care about her country.THE FUGITIVE MOTHER beast has not hurt her ' ! 157 Yes : it was my baby she was ' And then she she went on. hear of a baby. But she must have taken the beast with her. That marriage. and ran die There is no mark on her track. At night we hear the questing beast. and lies down at the There are words that have . caressing the child. power to shoo her away. and come across my she sends her immediately to suck either dies or grows up an idiot. how I ran me.' she continued ' : I know Everybody knows her it \ If the princess its only one with spots. Some say she is in league with the Shadows to put an end to the race. but the princess was from home. . and I thought I might wait until I was a little stronger. and give them horrible things to eat. and the beast may by She can tell at once coming. I heard the sniff-snuff of the leopardess behind But my darling will not oh.

and heard her footsteps die away on the grass.' she ' ' ! answer.158 LILITII this time have got home. Plainly she did not want more of my company so I stood still. There are sounds in it at night as if the dead were trying to shriek. ' ! ' carry the baby for you ' ! She returned taken ' me no it. walking by her side. only clasped it I cannot think. and her mistress be sending the other after us As thus she ended. ! ' . Let me I do not think she will ever get home. when I would have ' answered. she rose in haste. I said. . how the brute could be bleeding so much Take my advice. and the closer. as I rose also. but could not open their ' mouths She bade me an abrupt farewell. and don't go near the palace.' I said.

and I got out of it with the more quickly because of an unshaped suspicion in my mind as to whose blood it might be. without channel. the force of a small brook. and was walking about in pure. helpless impatience. for it would guide me in the direction of Bulika. and at once satisfied myself that it was not. had so refreshed me. In truth. wading in It ran against my ankles the blood from her paw. that no leopardess. could keep such a torrent flowing. no elephant. it was a softly murmuring rivulet of water that ran. The mere wetting my feet in it. walking up the side of the stream. however. when suddenly I found myself in the path of the leopardess. But I kept close to the sound of it. over the grass But sweet as was its song.159 CHAPTEB XXII BULIKA I HAD lost all notion of my position. however. however it might have come there. sound so long unheard for that of the hot stream of was very different. except every artery in its body were open. and its huge system went on filling its vessels from fields and lakes and forests as fast as they emptied themselves : it could not be blood ! I dipped a finger in it. that I went on without . hoping after the light. and listening to the familiar ! . no hugest animal that in our world preceded man. I soon began to reflect. I dared not drink of it I kept walking on.

its hinges. no flowers. each leading up to a gate I would not re-enter until some of the inhabitants should be stirring. and crossed several roads. to get a sight of the brook. if but once more. and with scarce an indication in it of life present. I looked back Near where I stood. and I the sun was drawing nigh. and found it but halfnowise secured. : ! To judge by : . and without guard or sentinel. the woman I had I did not desire her society she had brought to life waked in me frightful suspicions and friendship. sound growing but at : last had ceased to the grass in its course lay bent as it had flowed. no sign of animals. . there was no trace of attend to it. Had I come upon a dead city ? I turned and went out again. the walltowers of a city seemingly old as time itself. Toward the city. the flow of its fountain ! must have paused Around the city were gardens. and here and there glimmered a small pool. I looked down a long ancient street. and I could discern. but were separated from them by huge heaps of gravel and refuse thrown from at least the battlements. It was utterly silent. hardly one of which I recognised. I had indeed for a long time noted fainter. closed. I sawno water. toiled a long way over the dust-heaps. not or shut closer. A few minutes more. against the pale aurora. The gardens came very near the walls. growing many sorts of vegetables. What was I there for ? what did I expect or hope to find ? what did I mean to do ? I must see.160 fatigue LIIJTII till the darkness began to grow thinner. I went up to the nearest gate. Then I knew looked It its down was gone. it. it could not be farther opened Passing through.

wishing not to provoke enmity where I wanted to remain for a while. and in her presence I must resist. well as I could. gates. and was not By and by. I encountered a group of young men who re- minded about me not a little of the bad me staring. I walked through the next gate. several of the inhabitants came sauntering I spoke to one he gave ruder word. gradually filling with idlers.BULIKA ! l6l But to say love. Jiojaerish. : . of his own I other hand. and went on. was wildly impossible between us her presence had had a strange influence upon me. and thence along a narrow street of tall houses to a little square. and presently giants. where I sat down on the Little ! . Ere long. and at the same time The seemingly inscrutable in analyse that influence 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. Oftener than once M . for know! : ! : ledge. past. They came began to push and I bore it as hustle me. : me a rude stare and I got up and went through one narrow street after another. had reinstated will encounter temptation On the an evil force about ! and yrnij to thr r^T?rrt_nf^ niy accountable for what mischief might ensue faculty. ! base of a pillar with a hideous bat-like creature atop. I had learned thai-she was the enemy of children the : 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. then to throw things at me. near one of the surprised to see no children.

as to house-dogs. poverty was an offence Deformity and sickness were taxed and no ! . appeared. the citizens of Bulika. but it did not chill me. . and slept soundly in the grass. however. and disI turned down the next opening. for the sun had plenished me with warmth. I crept again into the city. and no one followed me throw after threw. eager to get almost too narrow to pass sight of it again. bringing with it an evil odour. The moon looked down on me in friendly fashion. in his stupid eagerness. just before me. I took to beyond the gate. and the same moon. with a single flash in the moonlight. threw myself down. There I found first the few that were still in the open air crouched in corners to escape the shivering blast. A lumbering fellow. A cold wind blew from the gate. who sat by it eating a hunch of bread. and it: beyond the I went off a few hundred yards. It was night when I woke. ate the bread. a huge white thing bounded across it. I took it. She was very bright. he did not dare follow to reclaim walls they were cowards every one. It was a narrow lane. and that was enough to listen to me. me. seeming to claim with me old acquaintance.1 62 LILITH or twice I appealed to passers-by whom I fancied more : benevolent-looking. I was walking slowly through the long narrow street. I thought. where the hot sunlight renewed my strength. fell asleep. picked up a stone to my heels at last. but none would halt a moment to I looked poor. not the stone but the bread. legislation of their princess was more heartily approved of than what tended to make poverty subserve wealth. when. that saw me through the terrors of my night in that strange world. and happily.

When they passed from the shadow into the moonlight.BULIKA 163 through. my bare feet sounding on the flat stones the leopardess never turned head or twitched ear the shadow seemed once to look at me. The moment I entered the latter. and was himself but a flat superficial shadow. I saw that he cast no shadow. the animal flashed into radiI was at the moment walking abreast of them ance. He was. of two dimensions. in the shadow. drew her own gliding shadow black over the ground by her side. and saw for a second only a sharp upright line. the creature I had followed. invisible. At a place where he had to cross a patch of moonlight. That instant the wind found me and blew through me I shuddered from head to foot. but rendered it. like a pebble in a child's : . he glanced at the animal behind him. the Shadow together deepened in blackness. M 2 . for I lost his profile. which followed so close at his heels as to seem the white shadow of his blackness. itself following like what I took for a man. I saw on the opposite side. but it led me into a wider street. : rattle. on the opposite side. an opaque shadow. nor attempted to drive it away. in In the shadow he was blacker than the fact. and my heart went from wall to wall of my bosom. every moment. and which I now saw to be a leopardess. but neither spoke to it. for he not merely darkened any object on the other side of him. Over his shoulder. moved him while the gleaming animal. shadow in the moonlight he looked like one who had . beside or under for not a suspicion of . drawn it his shadow up about him. nevera dog other theless.

then a huge leopard. its white skin dappled with same .' she murmured. ' ' But is she. Thank you Have you ever seen it before ? ' ' ' I asked. instant a woman many put ' ' blots. allowed to run loose ? She is kept in a cage. Chained she is too but she gets out often. my heart I If the brute come ' ! here. and arm round her. darted across the archway. ' ! . turned.' she answered. are a stranger. and her . The came gliding in after me.1 64 LILITII CHAPTEE XXIII A WOMAN OF BULIKA I TURNED aside into an alley. looked out at the moonlight which filled the alley. A few seconds passed trembling. filled The woman with pity. and sought shelter in a In the mouth of it I stopped. and small archway. then. I will lay hold of it/ I said. and you must run. her ' mouth muzzled. Happily there are not many mothers in Bulika Here she burst into tears. and looked out also. pressed close to my ' me. is * She Several times. and sucks the blood of any child she can lay hold of. You ' ! would know her 1 1 am a stranger. feet in gloves of crocodile leather. or you a pet of the princess's.' I answered. still trembling.

knows that ' ! how they were rich if none of them earned She replied that their ancestors had saved money. and there is the leopardess am I to get into the house ? It is out already She will be lying at me she is after. but we never think of such one goes poor. ! How ! my door. That is how we keep rich.' she answered. She told me the people never did anything except dig for precious stones in it/ their cellars. and they never spent. I know own I wish I were at ! home ' she sobbed. ' Why ? Because is ' Everybody I asked in Bulika a disgrace to work. You are happy to have a shall not stranger All strangers are not bad touch you ! till house to go to ' What ' a terrible wind ' it is ! Take me home safe.' 'But when you have dug up all your precious stones and sold them. I asked her many questions. . ' watching for ' ! me ! But I am ' ! a fool to talk to a ' I said. and I will give you shelter from ' ! But we must wait a little she rejoined. for They were rich. The beast she has done with me. that that day will never come.' she replied. ' ' ! must be. for them. and there are so many still in * I suppose there people. We mean to be rich always. and by that time you will be in. you will have to spend your money. When ' ! 1 the ground. and one day you will have none left We have so many. we forget him. and had everything made I asked. it them 1 ' in other towns. But there must be some poor I said.A WOMAN OF BULIKA ' 165 ' The princess returned only last night. When they wanted money they sold a few of their gems.

between two tall up which . we always turn strangers out before night.' How.' she replied. houses. free She it is who they are all horribly keeps us safe and and rich ' ! Every now and then as she spoke. and was answerable to nobody. can you take ' me into your house ? ' I asked.1 66 ' LILITH fall were to Suppose a strange people and take everything you have ' ! upon you. we took our way through lanes and narrow passages. and owner purity to be preserved except by low people at a proper distance ? Dignity is keeping such a delicate thing burned. How is ' ! She told me that their princess had reigned for thousands of years that she had power over the air and the water as well as the earth and. Therefore. then. ' No strange people will dare . It was in a wider street. . creature. How is that ? ' I said. When at length she was willing to risk the attempt. city for the taking in of its strangers ? Such a place would be pulled down. I asked why her people had such a hatred of the presence of a stranger strangers. She answered that denied the ' ' city. afraid of our princess. and reached her door without having met a single live . over the fire too that she could do what she pleased. steep stair. she would stop and look behind her.' she added. at the top of a narrow. * Because we are more ancient and noble than any other nation. she believed. ' I will make an ' ' Is there no place in the exception of you.

however. poor as . Ere we reached the top. and darted up the rest of the steps I arrived just in time to have : and stood confounded on where was about length enough. my face. and I followed. between the opposite doors of the two houses. and not scrupling was. she seemed to take fright. for a man to lie the door closed in the landing. down.A WOMAN OF BULIKA 167 she climbed slowly. to defile Bulika with my it presence. I took advantage of the shelter. Weary.

she threw herself backward. rose and slid softly in. up and down the street. and I could hear the unwholesome. and I resolved to keep watch at that door the all ! rest of the night. head over tail. slow. I sprang up whereupon. having no room to turn. and in a moment was down the stair and gone. and one without spots inclined to risk much for man or woman in Bulika. caught tail foremost. she stopped and began to retire. not the woman I had befriended. scrambled to her feet. I went back to my hard couch. With- . and looked sight of . just The moment she rising above the uppermost step ! my eyes. but the muffled woman of the desert. and there was the head of the shining creature I had seen following the Shadow. slow: I looked up. but the life of a child might well be worth such a poor one as mine. two evil creatures prowling about I was not the city. Presently I heard the latch move. and seeing the door half-open. one with. Not seeing her. There were. when suddenly my eyes opened.168 LILITII CHAPTEE XXIV THE WHITE LEOPAEDESS AT the foot of the stair lay the moonlit street. and I was composing myself to rest. inhospitable wind blowing about below. Behind it stood. But not a breath of it entered my retreat. I followed her to the bottom. then.

took up the child. opened the door. and once more lay down. fearing she would spring on my back. : At the cry appeared the muffled woman. she was I stooped and stroked her lovely crouching at my feet she responded by licking my bare feet white skin with her hard dry tongue. carrying it like a cub of her own. followed the leopardess. but she followed me quietly. she lifted me off the animal. She stepped over us. I sprang up and darted into the passage from another door in it came the white leopardess with a new-born baby in her mouth. and pushed me gently out. and then came the cry of a child. my heels thought I given me But up to the beast to be settled with at her leisure we shall have a tussle for it I ran down the stair. the beast and myself. r . and I heard the outer door open and close again. and compelled her to drop the infant. Keturning. It went on for a good while. At the foot I turned to lay hold of her. There was no light save what came from the moonlit air. ' At ' . and pointed to a rug on the floor. but she sprang over my head and when again I turned to face her. Then I patted and fondled She too has failed me ' ! ! ' ! . and carried it away. As I lay sleepless. followed by a terrible shriek. where we lay struggling in the narrow passage. ! . I threw myself upon her. a well of tenderness overflowing in might be treacherous show of love lest it my heart she but if I turned from every should be feigned. how w as I ever : too. I began to hear a stifled moaning. I wrapped myself in it. her. She shut the door of the room.THE WHITE LEOPARDESS 169 out a word she led me a few steps to an empty stonepaved chamber. which fell on the stone slabs with a piteous wail.

LILITII
to find the real love

which must be somewhere in every

world?
she rose, and stood beside me. bulky object fell with a heavy squelch in the middle of the street, a few yards from us. I ran to
I stood up
;

A

and found a pulpy mass, with just form enough left It must have been it the body of a woman. I looked thrown from some neighbouring window around me the Shadow was walking along the other side of the way, with the white leopardess again at his
it,

to

show

!

:

heel!
for the leopardess

I followed and gained upon them, urging in my heart that probably she was not a free

When I got near them, however, she turned agent. and flew at me with such a hideous snarl, that instincdrew back instantly she resumed her place behind the Shadow. Again I drew near; again she flew at me, her eyes flaming like live emeralds. Once more I made the experiment she snapped at me like a dog, and bit me. My heart gave way, and I uttered a cry whereupon the creature looked round with a
tively I
: :

;

glance that plainly

meant

'

Why would
:

you make

me

do

'

it ?

away angry with myself I had been losing time ever since I entered the place night as it was, my I would go straight to the palace From the square I had seen it high above the heart of the city, compassed with many defences, more a fortress than a palace But I found its fortifications, like those of the city,
I turned
! !

!

much

and partly ruinous. For centuries, had been of no account It had great and clearly, they strong gates, with something like a drawbridge to them over a rocky chasm but they stood open, and it was
neglected,
!

;

THE WHITE LEOPARDESS

17

1

hard to believe that water had ever occupied the hollow before them. All was so still that sleep seemed to interpenetrate the structure, causing the very moonlight to look discordantly awake. I must either enter like a

break a silence that rendered frightful the mere thought of a sound Like an outcast dog I was walking about the walls, when I came to a little recess with a stone bench I took refuge in it from the wind, lay down, and in spite
thief, or
! :

of the cold fell fast asleep.

I
*

was wakened by something leaping upon me, and

licking

my face with the rough tongue of
' !
!

a feline animal.
'

white leopardess I thought. She is come and why should she not have it ? to suck my blood So it would cost me more to defend than to yield it
It is the
' !

I lay

expecting a shoot of pain. But the pang did not warmth instead began to diffuse itself through me. Stretched at my back, she lay as close to me as she could lie, the heat of her body slowly penetrating mine, and her breath, which had nothing of the
still,
;

arrive

a pleasant

wild beast in

atmosphere.

swathing my head and face in a genial A full conviction that her intention toward
it,

me was

good, gained possession of me. I turned like a sleepy boy, threw my arm over her, and sank into profound unconsciousness.

When
'

I

began to come to myself, I fancied I lay
'
.

warm and soft in my own bed. Is it possible I am at home ? I thought The well-known scents of the garden
seemed to come crowding in. I rubbed my eyes, and looked out I lay on a bare stone, in the heart of a
:

hateful city I sprang from
!

the bench.

leopardess for

my

bedfellow, or

Had I indeed had a had I but dreamed it ?

1

72
left
!

LILITH
me,
for the

She had but just was with me yet
I
left

warmth

of her

body

the recess with a

new hope, as strong

as
:

it

One thing only was clear to me shapeless. find the princess Surely I had some power
!

I

was must

if

not over her

!

Had

I not saved her

life,

with her, and had she

it at the expense of my vitality ? The gave me courage to encounter her, be she what she might.

not prolonged

reflection

CHAPTEK XXV
THE PBINCESS

MAKING
the open
intervals

a circuit of the castle, I came again to gates, crossed the ravine-like moat, and

found myself in a paved court, planted at regular In the with towering trees like poplars. centre was one taller than the rest, whose branches, near the top, spread a little and gave it some resemblance to a palm. Between their great stems I got
glimpses of the palace, which was of a style strange It was long and to me, but suggested Indian origin.
low, with lofty towers at the corners, and one huge dome in the middle, rising from the roof to half the height of

the towers. the front

The main entrance was

in the centre of

one was

a low arch that seemed half an ellipse. visible, the doors stood wide open, and I
hall, in

No
went

unchallenged into a large
ellipse.

Toward one

side

stood

the form of a longish a cage, in which

couched, its head on its paws, a huge leopardess, chained by a steel collar, with its mouth muzzled and It was white with dark oval spots, its paws muffled.

and lay staring out of wide-open eyes, with canoeIt appeared shaped pupils, and great green irids. to watch me, but not an eyeball, not a foot, not a whisker moved, and its tail stretched out behind it rigid

174
as an iron bar.

LILITH
I could not tell

whether

it

was a
;

live

thing or not.

From this vestibule two low passages led I took one of them, and found it branch into many, all narrow and irregular. At a spot where was scarce room He started for two to pass, a page ran against me. back in terror, but having scanned me, gathered impudence, puffed himself out, and asked my business. To see the princess,' I answered. A likely thing he returned. I have not seen her highness this morning myself I caught him by the back of the neck, shook him, and said, Take me to her at once, or I will drag you with me till I find her. She shall know how her servants
' '
'

'

!

'

!

'

receive her visitors.'

He gave a look at me, and began to pull like a blind man's dog, leading me thus to a large kitchen, where were many servants, feebly busy, and hardly awake. I expected them to fall upon me and drive me
not at me, out, but they stared instead, with wide eyes but at something behind me, and grew more ghastly as they stared. I turned my head, and saw the white
leopardess, regarding feared stouter hearts.

them

in a

way

that might have

Presently, however, one of them, seeing, I suppose, that attack was not imminent, began to recover himself
' ;

'

I turned to him, and let the boy go. Take me to the princess,' I said. She has not yet left her room, your

lordship,'

he

replied.
'

Let her know that I

am

here, waiting audience of

her.'

THE PRINCESS
'

175
*

Will your lordship please to give me your name ? 'Tell her that one who knows the white leech
desires to see her.'
'

She

will kill

me
'

if

I take such a message

:

I

must

not.
'

I dare not.'

You

refuse ?

my attendant, and went. others continued staring too much afraid of her to take their eyes off her. I turned to the graceful
cast a glance at

He

The

where she stood, her muzzle dropped to my white as milk, a warm splendour in the gloomy She looked up at place, and stooped and patted her. me the mere movement of her head was enough to scatter them in all directions. She rose on her hind I threw my legs, and put her paws on my shoulders arms round her. She pricked her ears, broke from me,
creature,
heel,
;
;

and was out

The man
*

of sight in a moment. I had sent to the princess entered.

Please to come this way, my lord,' he said. My heart gave a throb, as if bracing itself to the encounter. I followed him through many passages, and

was
its

at last

shown

into a

room

so large

walls were invisible.

A

single spot
at

and so dark that on the floor
all

reflected a little light, but I looked up, and black.

around that spot

was

saw

a great height an

oval aperture in the roof, on the periphery of which appeared the joints between blocks of black marble.

The

light

on the

floor

showed

close fitting slabs of the

same

material.

wall as well

was

I found afterward that the elliptical of black marble, absorbing the little

The roof was the long half of an light that reached it. ellipsoid, and the opening in it was over one of the foci of the ellipse of the floor I fancied I caught sight

LILITII
of reddish lines, but

when

I would have examined them,

they were gone.
All at once, a radiant

form stood in the centre

of

darkness, flashing a splendour on every side. Over a robe of soft white, her hair streamed in a Her cataract, black as the marble on which it fell.

the

like

feet eyes were a luminous blackness; her arms and warm ivory. She greeted me with the innocent smile of a girl and in face, figure, and motion

seemed but now to have stepped over the threshold of womanhood. Alas,' thought I, ill did I reckon my
'

'

danger

!

Can

this

be the

struck me, scorned me, out of the darkness; she stood gazing into

woman I rescued she who I stood gazing at her left me ?
it,

as

if

searching for

me.
'

She disappeared.

She

will not

acknowledge

me

'
!

I thought. But the next instant her eyes flashed out She had descried me of the dark straight into mine. and. come to me
!

'

You have found me

'

at last

!

she said, laying her
' !

hand on

my

shoulder.

'

I

knew you would

to analyse which I had attracted and repelled
'
'
!

frame quivered with conflicting consciousnesses, no power. I was simultaneously each sensation seemed either. You shiver This place is cold for she said. Come.' you I stood silent she had struck me dumb with beauty she held me dumb with sweetness.
:

My

'

!

:

;

Taking

me by

the hand, she drew

of light, and again flashed stood there.
'

upon me.

me to the spot An instant she
saw
you,' she

You have grown brown

since last I

said.

I had surely earned and might accept that at least until I came to a definite judgment concerning her . exist in the same person? Unable to answer the could. and such wickedness If they as I suspected. I shall be in the room to your left at the foot of the stair.' I replied. how was it possible ? former question. Beyond white stair. who behaved to me like a sister? marvellous change in her ? She left me with a blow She had she received me almost with an embrace she said she knew I would follow and find reviled me Did she know my doubts concerning her her how much I should want explained? Could she exCould I believe her if she did ? As to plain all ? her hospitality.' I stood as she left me. up which she conducted me to a ' ! beautiful chamber. ' ' I do not know the woman's name. ! . accusing presumption my : how was I to treat this lovely woman as a thing of Whence the evil. and led me through many steps to a curtain of black. was the other ? she rejoined. When you come down.' ! I would gladly learn it The instinct of hospiis not strong in my people tality ' ' ! She took it the darkness was a ' me again by the hand. ! ! Could such beauty as I saw.THE PRINCESS ' 177 This is almost the first roof I have been under since ' you left Whose me. At the foot of your couch you will find leeches in it ' ! How a garment. she you must miss the hot flowing river But there is a bath in the corner with no white said. I must let the latter wait Clear as crystal. the water in the great white bath sent a sparkling flash from the corner where it lay sunk ! .

which yet I It made me doubt the princess afresh had she like. again I heard the howl. soft. Vague shadowy forms went flitting about over the walls and Jow dome. Immediately my brain was filled with an odour did not altogether strange and delicate. all of alabaster. The princess stood waiting me. embrace. like loose rain-clouds over a gray-blue a sky. and leaving : sprang from the bath. the wounded leopardess. medicated it ? had she enchanted it ? was she in any way working on me unlawfully ? And how was there water in the palace. But what matter whence it flowed? was not the water sweet ? Was it not very water the pitcher-plant secreted from its heart. two draughts in the and the pools in the track cottage of the veiled woman. I plunged in. rectangles and lozenges. that lay ready for me. in a robe embroidered with argentine rings and discs. I been bathing in? Again I saw the fleeing mother. It was round.LILITH in the marble floor. close together a silver mail. and not a drop in the city ? I remembered the crushed paw of the leopardess. and seemed to invite me to its Except the hot stream. again I saw the What had limping beast. I put on the robe of white wool. and stored for the weary traveller ? Water came from heaven : what mattered the well where it gathered. and without a single window: the light came through everywhere. embroidered on the neck and hem. and went down the stair to the room whither my hostess had directed me. I had not seen water since of home it looked a thing celestial. or the spring whence it burst ? But I did not re-enter the bath. pearly shimmer rather than shine. It fell unbroken from .

but as the men of my city seek gems of price. the nearer we are to our perfection.' she went must do what I can to make myself intelligible on. Our natures. : . comes soon. Your perfection is a poor thing. She poured me out a bowlful of milk. may ' ' And now I . Men and women live but to die we. and a white loaf. are so different. every flower of Hybla and its ghost to swell the soul of like this ! ' that you will be able to listen.' she said but I think you will like what I can give you.' I told her I could desire nothing better than what I saw. feet. however. Many lovers have sought me I have loved none of them they sought but to enslave me they sought me . She seated herself on a couch by the table. and lasts but a little while ours is a ceaseless ripening. and. and she said. is Old age to you a horror to me it a dear desire : grow. 179 left but its long open sleeves In the room was a table of ivory. Then she filled from the wine-jug two silver goblets of grotesquely graceful workmanship. will not ' The everlasting I never cared to note. and have lived thousands of your years the older we . begged me to break from it such a piece as I liked. to you. live to live on.THE PRINCESS her neck and hid her her arms bare. be measured. ' ' . a crystal jug of wine of a pale rose-colour. made me a sign to sit by her. When N 2 . handing me the loaf. that is such as I is we are but a few . bearing cakes and an ivory jug of milk. Here we do not kill to eat. that this not be easy. how many. ' You have never drunk wine : wondered Hymettus must have sent that wine ! I drank. and fruit. I am not yet ripe.

you must follow me. : ! ! ! : ! To satisfy the prove yourself priceless or worthless of my love. I found It was. There are many things so hidden from you that you cannot even wish to know them but any question you can put. is hateful love for pity ? I knew that. ! ' Beautiful princess/ I said. and be content with merest presence.' She looked hands. with ! ! scantest forbearance ! I. looking for hunger follow nothing. but not with true love. ! .' There are things I cannot explain/ she replied. not gratitude. not you. Pity has. ingratitude.1 80 LILITH ! I put you to the test a man you found me. 'until you have become capable of understanding them which can only be when love is grown perfect. loved Therefore did outmeasured indifference. but is not love. . I can in some measure answer. however. have failed . ' let me understand how you came * to be found in such evil plight. . far from ideal You loved me truly. and did not believe her. not even pity in return and find me. stood it your love was genuine you far from such love as I would have. "What woman of any world would return Such love as yours was then. I had shown myself such as you could at least no longer follow from pity I was no longer in need of But you must satisfy my desire or set me free you . love me like the rest of them to have and to hold I would be otherwise I would none of that either I would have a love that outlived hopelessness. scorn When I left I put on cruelty. if you saw me as I am. She laid herself out to secure and enslave me she only fascinated me . despite. and hid her face in her a flash and a sparkle behind the tenderness. at me But I had caught tenderly. I yield the contest. hate. you. you would to me.

THE PRINCESS 'I l8l a part of my dominions a savage dwarf-people. reached the stream. had cast what you call a spell is merely the setting in motion of a force as natural as any other. Checked for the merest moment. I buried myself among the leaves. By sheer force of I dragged myself to the wood nor knew anything will more until I saw you asleep. ' of the mortal who makes use of the I set out on my journey. and knew ' : : ' ! me but temporarily. . a certain woman. A shadow of embarrassment darkened her cheek I understood it. and the horrible worm at it could affect your neck. you as never yet did woman love are your own take them. laid her arms across my knees. my power. 1 I rose. gress had set out to visit aware of the least necessity for precaution. unan< evil race. by no means so powerful as mynot being immortal. strong and fierce. and looked up in my face.' She flashed. and laid I crept out. bounded across it. occupied by enemies to law and order. her eyes flashing as never ! human ' eyes cried. she What you have made me is yours ! 1 will repay my beauty. dragged the monster from you.' My : She dropt kneeling beside me. You began to wake . an indescribable cold invaded me. which beyond the ken force. she went on But in the you know what a step it is in parts very act. but operating primarily in a region self. I recognised at once the nature of the assault. my lips to the wound. and threw her arms high over her head. fearing nothing. opposed to every kind of proI went alone. but showed no sign. I did not know that upon the hot stream beside which you found me.

1 do not wonder that roar startled you she said. why meant to for however I could not tell come from the white leopardess. I My wine ! ' ! ' . a hand shut hard perhaps badly it. down. looking ' ! She started to her feet. but I knew it was I glanced at the other it was lovely as hand bruised. With . I confess : for a moment I feared she had escaped. For a moment I was tempted to love a An odour. but as she turned I read anxiety on her beautiful face. I glanced up. and I felt that. a smile she left me at the door of my room. was fanning me. To me she may be true * said lie.' As she preceded me up the stair. if I did less than loathe her. rather than the gentlest of airy pulses. She stood erect before me. in a I ought not to have let you take a quavering voice full draught Go and sleep now.1 82 LILITH first on her left hand a large clumsy mind's eye I saw hair and claws under my glove. I turned Not to dally with usurping emotions. and when you wake ask me what you please. could be. and to be me. I will go with you come. shake into shivers.' The roar seemed to me. waving her lovely arms in seemingly mystic fashion. I Then I noted In : should love her. was too strong for you she said. my vanity. The alabaster trembled as if it would The princess shuddered visibly. I sat motionless. my eyes aside. : I ' ! ' It startled me. not the princess. A frightful roar made my heart rebound against the walls of its cage. But that is impossible.

by a single incautious word. Surely I was dying pleasure. cast a clear. herself. suspended from the ceiling. No pain ah. and began to turn over in She had forgotten tale she had told me. something kept it down ! . A lamp. upon folded me. I seemed floating.CHAPTEE XXVI A BATTLE BOYAL I my mind the myself on the bed. When I opened my eyes. removed one perplexity as to the condition in which I found The leopardess bounded over the her in the forest princess lay prostrate on the bank the running stream Her own account had dissolved her self-enchantment of the object of her journey revealed the danger of the Little Ones then imminent I had saved the life ! THREW . it was night. far from land. : ! : of their one fearful enemy I had but reached this conclusion when I fell The lovely wine may not have been quite asleep. what a shoot of mortal pain was It went right through that what a sickening sting my heart! Again! That was sharpness itself and so I could not move my hand to lay it on my sickening ! ! ! ! ! heart . although soft A delicious languor inlight through the chamber. ! innocent. I ! Existence was in itself had no pain. the bosom of a twilight sea. and.

I sprang after it. She caught my gaze. I felt her showed me ! . Some evil thing was upon me I would have struggled. Her mouth wore a look of satisfied passion she wiped from . I opened my eyes. Her great eyes were clear and calm. sunblanched moon. and lay passive. the weight was gone from my chest I opened my eyes. with the air of one who dreamed. I must in her presence I might protect myself out find her of it I could not I was a tame animal for her to feed She upon a human fountain for a thirst demoniac : . The princess was not there. pressing my became head into the pillow. The princess was standing above me on the bed. The creature had vanished quite. and the place like the inside of a faint. it a streak of red. and of a heavy weight lying across me. assert itself. My will agonised. to Then I I desisted. and struck me on the eyes with the handkerchief in her hand it was like drawing the edge of a knife across them. I began to breathe more freely.1 84 LILTTII The pain was dying away. I heard a dull heavy sound. but they would close. but could something hateful ! ! not reach a struggle. as of a large soft-footed animal alighting from a little jump. but in vain. high. . I shot down the The moon was stair. aware of a soft hand on my face. and into the hall of alabaster. looking out into the room. but my whole body seemed paralysed. ! favour the more easily to use me My waking eyes did not fear her. and she would come! Not seeing her. ! . and saw the great swing of a long tail as it disappeared : through the half-open doorway. bent down. and for a moment or two I was blind.

A BATTLE ROYAL now 185 everywhere. confused dance. independent apparently of originals. and looked again. All was a dim. glorious eyes looking out of a skull figure on a skeleton horse . order and the hideous burrowing phantasms. and confusion prevail. I could trace no little relation in the mingling and crossing If I currents and eddies. I looked everywhere for the princess. but what I saw would not grow distinct. but throughout the wildly With changing kaleidoscopic scene. penetrated and divided. it seemed was but to catch the shape to see it break. although not a few of the individuals in the mass intervaguely. There I found a great silent assembly. the shifting colours of the seemingly more solid shapes. At last I felt a curtain. and 1 had my way along with hands and feet.will. could not see her nor . by the darkness. filled with recurrent glimpses of shapes not unknown to me. the floor. for she might be anywhere might even be waiting me in some secret cavern of sleep Only with my eyes upon her could I feel safe from ! her! Outside the alabaster hall it was pitch-dark. and rhythm of a dance. How it was visible I neither saw nor could imagine. and entered the black hall. were shrouded in what seemed an infinite blackness. as well as surrounded. each moving after its own free shadow. now an armed now one now another of . to grope yet my eyes could separate. blacker than the blackest of moonless. put it aside. with starless nights . It seemed as if my eyes would never come I pressed their balls and looked quite to themselves. Now appeared a woman. for the walls. mingled a multitude of shadows. the roof. silence and undefined motion possessed the wide space. Blackness mingled with form.

I and clear . swinging her tail. I followed. heard a cry something soft and heavy between me and the stair. and at my feet lay a body. The moon. Dimly moonlighted. discover Where was she ? least What might notice of me she not be doing ? No one took the as I wandered hither and thither seeking her. The Shadow took his way straight to the stair at the top of which I had lain the night before. human and bestial. . couching motionless as when I saw her first. the cage of the leopardess was the arena of what seemed a desperate although silent struggle. Finding the wall. with entangled confusion of mingling bodies and limbs. was shining round : the bodiless shadow I had seen the night was walking through the trees toward the gate and after him went the leopardess. half-way up the sky. Through the open gate we went down to the city. after. groping along. but quickened of horror. lasted but an instant when I saw the leopardess out As I of the cage. and its stillness looked like that of expectation. to a curtained opening into the vestibule. It had writhed and wrestled in closest embrace. Without a pause he went up. a little way off. but. and keeping to it with my hand. a moment Then came the fall of . lying quiet as the moonshine upon it.1 86 indication of LILITH her presence. Two vastly differing forms. my pace. The face of the moon was very still. walking quietly to the open door. At length losing hope. I came. and neither of them once looked round. frightfully blackened and crushed. before. I turned away to look elsewhere. for even then I could not see it. hastened after her I threw a glance behind me there was the leopardess in the cage. and the leopardess followed. as silently as they.

off her silvery disc save that. hurrying. a whimpered cry. ! . and I was anxious for my friend but I soon saw that. and rose on her hind legs. turn at the foot dropped the child I caught the battle between them. struggled for foothold on the pavement The spotted leopardess was larger than the white. The white one relaxed her jaws the spotted one drew herErect in the self away. changing. where merging they vanished. Not once did she lose her hold on the neck of the other. outsped and belated. . a thread of blood still trickled from every wound of her adversary's . the spotted leopardess came bounding down the stair with me home I darted to seize her ere she could but that instant. fleeing to the refuge of her eyes. the white leopardess. From the spotted throat at length issued a howl of agony. As I stood petrified. worrying and pushing and dragging. . from behind me. the white leopardess had the greater endurance. into the longdrawn crescendo of a woman's uttermost wail. wind-hunted. . mingled with the cloud of her streamy hair. The last few. and stood to watch What a sight it was now the one. it up. both too intent for any noise beyond a low growl. though neither stronger nor more active. adown the white column of her throat. as each. stood the princess. like a great bar of glowing silver. by swift-crowded gradations. leaving her radiant as the moon when a legion of little vapours has flown. and had her by the neck. She a baby in 'her mouth. a confused rush of shadows moonlight careering over her whiteness the spots of the leopard crowding. or a snarl of hate followed by a quicker scrambling of claws. now the other uppermost. shot through the moonlight.A BATTLE EOYAL still 1 87 recognisable as that of the woman who had led and shut me out.

covered afresh with her spots. The white leopardess turned also. caught the baby as it flew with it along the street toward the gate. and fled at a long. fell. sprang upon me. stretching gallop. fell. She turned away. took a few steps with the gait of a Hecate.1 88 LIL1TII terrible teeth. pulled my arms asunder. and .

and she turned her head aside. catching but one glimpse of her as she tore up the brow of the hill to the gate of the palace. the princess was just throwing the robe around her which she had left on the floor. and had its claws in my neck before I could strike it She gave a shiver. When I reached the entrance-hall. she looked at me. and I could not help pitying her. with an at' ! tempted smile. and I suppose I looked the compassion : ' ! I felt. When she saw me. But she had one of her horrid creatures with her it sprang upon me. with another attempted not crying. surely W^ait for me here I smile. a flash of anger crossed her face. . ! ' ' ' ! . The blood had ceased to flow from her wounds. My heart began to reproach me that I had let her fight unaided. for her wounds were real. Child of folly she said. Then. and said. I have met with a small accident Happening to hear that the cat-woman was again in the city. and had dried in the wind of her flight.189 CHAPTEE XXVII THE SILENT FOUNTAIN I TURNED and followed the spotted leopardess. I went down to send her away. and her face reminded me of how she looked in the cave. although I knew she lied.

I want you to get me something for But I followed her close. and so had the princess present with every one of them I now saw her. and trying in vain to wrap the vapour around ! her Then . It settled at last on the hollow in the heath. then standing like a statue in front of me. The skull-headed : dancers footed the grass in the forest-hall there was the The fight went on princess looking in at the door there was the princess urging it in the Evil Wood Yet I was close behind her all the time. the assembly began to be shiftingly illuminated. startled at what I saw : the old walked up to her. my scratches. her head sunk on her bosom. walking up and down.' of Out my sight I feared The instant the princess entered. and there was the princess. I turned at once and went out not again : . fell heavily. her. the princess herself. looked on them. Some of the actions going on when thus illuminated. fused murmur continued. she standing : ! : ! The conmotionless. and stood for a moment regarding her she fell her limbs forsook her and fled her body vanished. and with the fall of her eidolon. one portion after another.190 LILITII am going into the black hall for a moment. and lay still. I heard a buzzing many low voices. and. till librarian . Group after group would shine out for a space. were not unknown to me I had been in them. first I was . as by a ray that went travelling from spot to spot. or had the vast . the confused commotion of colours and shapes. and still the ray went shifting and showing. A wild shriek rang through the echoing place. then sink sound as of back into the general vagueness. while another part of company would grow momently bright.

'Come now. saying with one of her fetch it. All the way up to the branches. made a clump that looked from beneath like a fir-cone. The moon was near the the rest. face to to and her and suffering. the one in the centre. silver court.' show you what I She led the way into the compliance. for its branches. as but I see a little snake in the leaves whose bite would be worse to a dove than the bite of a tiger to me How I hate that cat-woman She turned to me quickly.' she said. . I followed in dazed zenith. 'I will want you to do for me. It was not quite like of them. I heard the voice of the princess beside me. drawing their ends together at the top.THE SILENT FOUNTAIN would I seek to restore her ! IQ I be- As I stood trembling ! side the cage. gazing talking to herself. and her present seemed brighter than the gold of the absent She brought me through the trees to the tallest sun. On the summit of that tree grows a tiny blossom I might be which would at once heal my scratches if ! said. brief question. While still endeavouring to compose myself. Can you climb ? The smile vanished with the ' ' to a look of sadness I considered the tree. and ' The princess stood close under it. up. ' ! a dove for a moment and ! sweetest smiles. I knew that in the black ellipsoid I had I saw the tail of the been in the brain of the princess leopardess quiver once. I ought changed have left her to suffer. were projections on the stem like the remnants on a palm of its fallen leaves. but the way she put her hand her wounded neck went to my heart.

grew . princess I cannot let * ' ! * ' ! ' ' ' \ 1 ' ! said. that there was any snake. Wait a It would not hurt you moment. and began to climb.' she replied.' I said ' disappearing. and bound them about with the thick embroidered strips. top with a murmurous sound as of water falling softly like silvery little The moon shone and a into water.' She tore from her garment the two wide borders that met in front.192 ' LILITII I can climb that tree. I You have left the ends hanging. and kneeling on one knee. I answered So would a bite from the snake not believing. ing up the stem until and my eyes went wandermy sight lost itself in the branches. I confess. and became coldest of all when . ' I approached the tree to begin my ascent ' The princess stopped me. of it. I have nothing to cut them off with but they are not long enough to get entangled. foam here and there on the rush of wind went through the rugged bole. made me put first my left foot. then my right on the other. I turned to the tree. Not with bare feet ' ! ' In had ' left my haste to follow the leopardess my sandals in my room. she returned. she replied.' I answered. I have long gone bare- foot Again I looked at the tree. ! you attempt it with your feet bare A fall from the top would kill you she insisted. no matter. great as in certain other parts of the country espeyet when I had cially about the sexton's cottage climbed a little way. I began to feel very cold. I It is ' ! . Now in Bulika the cold after sundown was not so ' . still colder as I ascended.

Tossed up and down. There was hardly any wind. rolled over and over. tossed this way and tossed that way. rolled the other way and tossed up again. and the branches did : not sway in the I least. I fell at last ' I told upon a solid bottom. as if plunged in a stormy water. croaked a voice in you so ' ! my ear. checked. seemed to have lost my hands and feet. that instant I found myself drenched from head to foot. When my head rose above the branches near the top.THE SILENT FOUNTAIN I got 1 93 Then I shivered. I was sinking lower and lower. Gasping and gurgling and choking. seemed on the point of giving way. and in the open moonlight I began to look about for the blossom. yet. became aware of a peculiar unsteadiness every branch on which I placed foot or laid hold. The next. and among the branches. and felt myself sinking. I was flung about wildly. as I approached the summit. .

I took * it. With the cold his glossy plumage. I I was in the basin of the large just lifted my face. back in water. I RUBBED the water out of a on the edge fountain constructed by my father in the middle of the lawn. above which. High over me glimmered the thick. wetting does not signify where you come from . ' I told you to do nothing any one you distrusted asked you ' Tut ! how was mortal ' ! to remember that consequences ' ? ' You will not forget the of having forgotten it replied Mr. 1 A You must change your he said. he light of the dawn reflected from I lay on my stood calmly looking down upon me. who stood leaning over the margin of the basin. ' You told me nothing ' ! ' ! I said. Raven. and saw the raven huge stone basin. with a torrent uprush. Nettled at the coolness of the raven's remark. shooting. dripping and streaming. a hundred feet into the air.194 LILITH CHAPTEE XXVIII I AM SILENCED of my eyes. steel- shiny stalk. and stretched his hand across to me. to spread in a blossom of foam. leaning on my elbows. and was immediately beside him on the clothes at once ' ! lawn.

! A making ' I of it.' .' ' That is true also but you are to blame that you o 2 did not.I AM ' SILENCED 195 has at present such an accident is unusual . It is a long time since I moulted a feather the raven. As I entered. the door of which though its ! stood open. spoke. the librarian came from the closet. toward the house. for I ' ! had said flung aside my robe to climb the tree. For a minute or two neither I was the first to break the silence. Kaven drew a chair to my side and sat down. In the house no one seemed awake.' I have made no use . depends on the use he is ' . ' of anything yet ! Not much but you know the fact. found a dressing-gown. I mean.' I know you did and started the ' ' wrong way ! I did not know the right way. 1 What does it all mean ? ' ! ' I said. here it inconveniences He was again a raven. I have not ' 4 much to ' change ! I laughed . I threw myself on a couch. with something stately in his step. and descended to the library. and that is Most people take more than a lifetime to something learn that they have learned nothing. Mr. I went to my room. and done less ! ! At least you have not been without the desire to be of use!' I 1 did want to do something for the children ' the precious Little Ones. walking. ' : he rejoined nobody knows good question what anything is a man can learn only what a thing means Whether he do.

you would have known the right way. ! ! ! seen children growing remain children But surely I had no power to make them grow You might have removed some of the hindrances afraid of ! You had never ' ! ' ' ! ' to their growing What are they ? ! ' I did I do not know them.' When you were with them. I could have done something for the Little Ones by staying with them ? ! ' ' ' Could ' you teach them anything them ? by leaving them ? ' No .' 'Indeed I have gone far. they would be ahead of you out of sight ahead but you saw they were not growing or growing so slowly that they had not yet developed the idea of growing they were even to begin. they were far ahead of me That is true.' Had you accepted our invitation. not to say what you might have known. But you were not a rod to measure them with Certainly. if they knew what you know. sir.196 ' LIL1TI1 I ready to believe whatever you tell me as soon as I understand what it means. you were where you : ! could help them you left your work to look for it It takes a wise man to know when to go away . and have only learned the danger how he is. a fool may learn to go back at once 'Do you mean. and got nowhere. ! they are 1 in. but how could I teach I did not know ' ! how ' Besides. When a man will not act where am ' he must go far to find his work. think perhaps it was the want of water Of course it is they have none to cry with ' ' ! ' ' ! ! . for I I left the children to learn have not found my work to serve them.

less lovely. . all the time you sub- mitted to be the slave of bestial men ! You gave ! the darlings a seeming coward for their hero wrong you could hardly have done them. hut for the weeping philanthropists in it. ' ' That was giants for them. Vane. A ! worse They gave You you their hearts you owed them your soul might by this time have made the Bags hewers of wood and drawers of water to the Little Ones I fear what you say is true. Mr.1 AM SILENCED them from 197 requiring any ' I would gladly have kept ' for that ' would the aim of all stupid Why. your world would never have become worth ! No purpose doubt you ! You confess you thought it might be water wanted why did not you dig them a well or they two ? That never entered my mind Not when the sounds of the waters under the earth saving ' ! : ' ' ! ' entered your ears ? I believe it did once.' a fear ' knowledge a dangerous thing ? That is one of the pet falsehoods of your world Is man's greatest knowledge more than a little ? or is ' ! Is not a little ' it therefore dangerous ? in itself a great thing. The fancy that knowledge is would make any degree of know- . Eaven But indeed I was afraid that more knowledge might prove an ' ! ' ! injury to 1 them render them They had given you no reason to harbour such ' ! less innocent. Mr. much from the brutes myself ' But I was afraid of the what made me bear so ' ! Indeed you almost taught the noble ! little creatures to be afraid of the stupid While they fed and Bags comforted and worshipped you.

all things would not be greatness. not from ' ! cowardice that I served the giants Granted. But you ought to have served the Little You ought to have given the Ones. not the giants Little Ones water . Vane ! You ' ! speculated about them instead of helping them . ! Mr. In the meantime you could yourself have made the giants cut down two. then they would soon have taught the giants their true position.' 'At least it was for love of them.198 ledge LILITH To know more dangerous than any amount of ignorance.thirds ' ! of their coarse fruit-trees to give room to the little delicate ones You lost your chance with the Lovers.

given them with a stick from one of their own trees. For them slavery would have been proTo them a few such lessons as you could have gress. I fear * ! ' ! ! except a disreputablecat that bolted into the shrubbery.' looking ' ! No living creature did I see .199 CHAPTEE XXIX THE PEBSIAN CAT I SAT in silence I and shame. through your relations laughed at them with her. What he said was true had not been a wise neighbour to the Little Ones Mr. I cried. But Not even to her have you been faithful hush we were followed from the fountain. not to say the giants they were always fit enough for that as it was they but now. Eaven resumed You wronged at the same time the stupid creatures themselves. I hate her Did you let her know you hated her ? . is essentially a coward himself. ! ' ' ' ! ' ' Again I was silent.' I did not know they were cowards : ! : ' ' ' ! * What difference does that make ? The man who ! grounds his action on another's cowardice. I fear worse will come of it By this time the Little Ones might have been able to protect themselves from the princess. would have been invaluable.

worse than disrepu' table ' ! What do you mean.' he said or two. He ! ' slowly turned this also. Mr. There is one present who. as to look what ' so wet and draggled. only the impression it made upon me. a fresh horror taking Persian about the house. but she fled at the Could she have been after the sound of water very ful blue ! me by the throat. But what follows represents not what he read. ' I is know a little about cats of several sorts. Kaven ? I cried. entire and sound ' ! ' Where was the other half of it ? I gasped. and seemed looking for a certain passage in what appeared a continuous poem. The parchment was discoloured with age. : whole book. I imagine. which yet I . Somewhere about the middle of the book he began to read. and there I held my A ' might be no time I am going to read a stanza Listen. and there that in the room which will unmask this one. ' There was a beauti- ' goldfish ? ' We ' shall see ! returned the librarian. or I am mistaken in her/ He from it rose. went to the door of the closet. single question more would have been a plunge into a bottomless sea. The poem seemed in a language I had never before heard. and turned a leaf or two. and sat down again I stared at the book in his hand it was a beside me. ' Sticking through into my library/ he answered. brought the mutilated volume.200 ' LILITH It was a magnificent Persian she was though. will ! ' : hardly enjoy the reading He opened the vellum cover. and one leaf showed a dark stain over two-thirds of it. peace.

THE PERSIAN CAT 2OI understood perfectly. ' For I. though hope were evermore deferred. every part : That I at last into his sense might dart. I had power : Over the soul of every living man. the woman. or can All women. Outsoared. a bodiless thing . I. again turned a began : ' leaf. . From him I should take substance. Nor with his hand could touch finger of mine. Giving him nothing where he gave his whole Being to clothe me human. saw not. ' A song that had no sound into his soul . Such as no woman ever had in dower Could what no woman ever could. could trammel brain and spine With rooted bonds which Death could not untwine Or life. . only thought. in hall or bower. still outran. though me he neither saw nor heard. although I could not write the words.' Again he paused. then. felt not. Then should I clothe me in the likeness true But Of that idea where his soul did cleave ' 1 He 1 In turned a leaf and read again me was every woman. outreigned. and receive Firmness and form relate to touch and view . Thus first into his living mind I stole. outsank. felt not. are the shapes which those he read have finally taken in passing again through my brain 1 : if I found a man that could believe In what he saw not. . I lay a heartless thing against his heart. and yet knew. and again For by his side love me with a hungering After he knew not what if it was aught Or but a nameless something that was wrought By him out of himself for I did sing And made him I lay. or give their meaning save in poor approximation. I breathed not. These fragments. Although not once my breath had ever stirred A hair of him.

Mr. but saw neither shape nor motion. corrupt. with a gladsome cry Waking. Raven looked. and drear. My entire I knew. : I ! I was once a queen I knew right well. life's tremor through me throbbing ran Who else did ever ' I A strange. but again turned several pages. who was ever conquering Love but I ! throne in heart of man 1 To visible being. and breast and brain throughout being lay motionless in sickening doubt. Kaven turned several leaves. my hair of golden hue Fouled my fair hands to have it swiftly shorn I had given my rubies. A life that flouted life with mop and mow My past I . For one blue breath. Again I Mr. and went on 4 : Sudden I woke. Nor dared to ask how came the horror here. yet live Despair . and resumed : 4 Hideously wet. seemed to listen a moment. I had given my sapphires blue : ! . repulsive feline wail arose somewhere in the room. dead. But like a vapour moist. That killed the diamond in its silver cell. still on my brow I knew what I had been I felt the touch of what no more was there I was a fainting.' Again I heard the ugly cry of feline pain.202 4 LIL1TII Ah. nor knew the ghastly fear That held me not like serpent coiled about. all for me dug new No eyes had seen. Filling heart. . but not my now understood nor what I was. soul. nor where . and such no waist had worn ! For a draught of water from a drinking horn. I started up on my elbow and stared about me. And sometimes wore a splendour on my head Whose flashing even dead darkness could not quell The like on neck and arms and girdle-stead And men declared a light my closed eyes shed That . but could see nothing.

and made for the chimney. Came back an answer like a ghostly mock. But his voice went on as if still he read. 1 But now. I had given my opals for a smock. that ne'er touched earth. 1 thought some foul thing was 1 said the librarian. Or mole.THE PERSIAN CAT Nay. casting room a glance around him but in the ! ' . With a fearsome yell. instantly he turned a leaf or two. her tail thick as a cable. . I would sit alone Not in the sun I feared his bronzing light. And ointed me with nard of amber hue Never had spot me spotted from my birth. She crouched instantly. Dulled by space between. her distended claws entangling themselves so that she floundered across the carpet. or fret of dearth Never one hair superfluous on me grew. her clammy fur staring in clumps. dark all within . In rain from roses shook. My skin I tinted slow to ivory tone. ' Fleeing cold whiteness. and his eyes seemed also fixed on the book : .' Once more arose the bestial wail. 1 and again read : For I had bathed in milk and honey-dew. But in his radiance back around me thrown By fulgent mirrors tempering his might Thus bathing in a moon-bath not too bright. . her eyes fixed on the book. a huge white cat rushed from somewhere. . 1 My eyes not even gave out a phantom -flash My fingers sank in pulp through pulpy skin My body lay death-weltered in a mash Of slimy horrors ' . coarse and clean My shroud was rotting Once I heard a cock ! 203 : Lustily crow upon the hillock green Over my coffin. her eyes flashing green as a chrysoprase. Quick as thought the librarian threw the manuscript between her and the hearth. A peasant-maiden's garment. or scar of hurt. all round was dark.

wrought her will. when you came here on little ! the way to your you thought into whose hands you were Mr. pointed his finger at her for a moment. when God created me delivering yourself not out of Nothing. that we both stopped it ceased.2O4 4 LILITH Ah. but out of His own endless glory He brought me an angelic splendour For her first thought my wife there she lies was power she counted it slavery to be one with me. returning to the cat. but I know also. Kaven walked to the our ears. a half-burnt stick from the hearth. in a still. indeed. would have me fall down and worship her Finding. stood over her and solemn voice : Lilith. fled to the army of the aliens. and bear children for Him who gave her being. I think ' ' ! said. and made her queen of Hell. How it is with her now. bore then. 'Now we have her. as say the unwise. When took up the book. had I lived the bodiless alone And from defiling sense held safe my heart. put the manuscript back in its place. such a prolonged yell of agony burst from the cat. however. The . that I would but love . never obey and worship her. One to be : ! . the two worlds And so strangely are they one. He took fire-place. Scaped life-in-death. scaped misery's endless moan * ! At these words such a howling. yet so measurelessly wide apart 1 1 Oh. drew with it some sign on the floor. standing between the creature and the chimney. that he became her slave. she poured out her blood to escape me. and. evil will. Vane. with a look that seemed to say. and. puffed with the fancy that she had created her. and soon had so ensnared the heart of the great Shadow. ! child. Mr. She lay perfectly still. Then had I scaped the canker and the smart. she and honour. she best knows.

Then God gave me another wife not an angel but a woman who is to this as light is to darkness. she lives by the blood and lives and souls of men. my and is now beautiful as never was woman or angel. and am blessed. hast not yet repented but thou must. She consumes but is powerless to destroy as to create. . hoping imHer hated daughter lives also. I do not think Mr. knows no more than the crystal that takes its allotted kill. her ' master now whom while ! she would not have for her hus- Eve yet lives. my human wife plunged herself and me in despair. but beyond mortally her evil ken. and would asserting a right.THE PERSIAN CAT 205 one child of her body she fears and hates. is the great Shadow beautiful? Knowest .' slays. over what God Of creating. Vilest of G-od's creatures. travailing world is the nursery of our Father's children. shape.' he said. which is a lie. Lilith. Tell me. she sent through her into His new world. one day to be what she counts her der struction for even Lilith shall be saved by her childband ! my beautiful bearing. It is but her jealousy that speaks. I sprang to my feet. cat gave a horrible screech. while her groaning. I too have repented. Thou. and has borne me a countless race of miserables but Eve repented. : and 1 The bigger. Raven started even with his ' eyelids. Meanwhile she exults that . or the worm that makes two worms when it is cloven asunder. for here I am.' The animal lay motionless. foiled and fruitless . jealousy self-kindled. its beryl eyes fixed flaming on the man his eyes on hers held them fixed that they could not move from his. At last the spotted leopardess uttered a roar that made the house tremble. and began to grow She went on growing and growing.

A swift pang contorted her beautiful face. and passed. . I am beautiful * ' and immortal she said and she looked the goddess she would be. was Eve.' Then at last I understood that Mr. and shivered. ! ' ' ' It is but a leopard-spot that lingers it will quickly follow those I have dismissed. hear me. the flickering and fleeing of her spots began the princess at length stood radiant the mother of us The . ' ! ' ! Nor .' answered What is that under he who had been her husband. thy right hand ? For her arm lay across her bosom. and his tone had changed to a tender beseeching. and her hand was pressed to her side. 'Lilith. Eaven was indeed Adam. and is consumed. Thou art beautiful because God created thee. and repent.' said Adam. the old and the new man and that his wife.20 6 thou LILITH how long thou wilt thyself remain beautiful ? Answer me. As a bush that burns. leopardess reared .' she answered. : He ' gazed a * moment at the spot. all.' Her hand sank away. and as it dropt she looked him in the eyes with a quailing fierceness that had in it no surrender. and thy beauty hath flowed from thee through the open wound She gave a glance downward. the lady of the New Jerusalem. if thou knowest. ministering in the house of the dead. It is not on the leopard it is in the woman ' ! he will it leave thee until it hath eaten to thy heart. but ! ' ' thou art the slave of sin take thy hand from thy side. in her perfect shape. and He who made thee will cleanse thee said. .

Down he cried ' . bore her to the closet. but it must end how will it fare with thee when Time hath vanished in the dawn of the : morn ? Repent. He described a strange figure on the threshold.' Adam resumed. and be again an angel of God She rose. and his ' ! was terrible.' She flung herself on the floor. I will drink the blood of thy child. and furtively wiping tears from his eyes.THE PERSIAN CAT 207 Her hand returned quivering to her side. The evil thou meditatest. dwindled and dwindled. Adam caught her up by the skin of her neck. I turned to him . the form of his visage was altered. ' ! and ' said. Her face grew dark. a leopardess covered with spots. locked it. Lilith. for Good and not Evil is the Universe. looking sad and worn. and was again a gray cat. She lay writhing on the floor. I beseech thee repent. will and closing the door. thou shalt never compass. I will not repent. She gave the cry of one from whom hope is vanishing. eternal . Then he returned to my side the old librarian. : above her . and threw her in. a woman once more. The cry passed into a howl. or by the power given me I melt thy very bones. . she stood upright. The battle between them may last for ' ' countless ages.' My Adam voice ' eyes were fastened on the princess but when he stood towering spoke.

open channel through which her immortality which : yet she counts self-inherent is flowing fast away to fill it up. My and would have been to her as a mother to her first-born. and had young angels for her nor did she ever know care until she playmates found a baby in the wood. or she will again She would befool the very elect outwit us. hates her child. One by one she has found many children Her family is since. She fears. How are we to be on our guard ? I asked. and for ages we knew nothing of her fate. and is in this house on her way to ' < ' ! WE must be on our 1 ' * ' The birth of children is in her eyes the death of their parents. to which that daughter is heart and head and sheltering wings. . But the result of her machina- that in the region she claims as her own.208 L1LITH CHAPTEK XXX ADAM EXPLAINS guard/ he said. tions hitherto is. almost from her birth she has pursued her with an utter enmity.' he answered. has appeared a colony of children. and the mother-heart in her awoke. . therefore Every way. and that heart is not yet full. Her daughter appears to her an destroy her. but we were then after the child. Eve longed unfit to train her : she was carried into the wilderness. But she was divinely fostered. and every new generation the enemy of the last.

she is now watching to leave it as soon as ever she may. will 1 ' and make your way to my wife's cottage. the first of the family. and never children were better mothered. But there was yet a way to the blessed little colony through the world of the three dimensions only. every step as you climbed. and she would have died had you not come to her aid. Her hand. but it is unknown to herself. by the slaying of her former body. with lightest touch. I remain to keep guard over her. Mr. with uplifted hand she can hear through anything You must go ' . and except in personal contact with one belonging to You provided the opportunity it.ADAM EXPLAINS 209 her absorbing charge. Hush. and never comes to the surface except in watchfulness and service. Vane. You did and ere now she would have been raging among the Little Ones. : ' ! ' ! . in all her long years. . ' ' ! ' . princess was on her way to destroy them. from that. and ' ! do as she tells you.' She cannot know anything about the dootf she I said but my cannot at least know how to open it heart was not so confident as my words. vengeance overtook her. had she had one before. and thinks she came herself from the wood. . she had excluded herself. could not re-enter it. was on one or other of your muffled feet. but as she crossed that stream. hush whispered the librarian.' p . had she dared again cross the stream. Go to my wife. In that little chamber. She has forgotten the time when she lived without them. You have saved the life of her and their enemy The therefore your life belongs to her and them.' Let me go to the Little Ones I cried. ! at once. never. Her authority over them is without appeal. Beware of that.

You accept them. Mr. you take from that same door a whole book where I saw and felt only a part of one ? The other part. Kaven.2io LILITII itself : why baste to not to protect the Alas. but cannot understand. therefore. At the same time you are constantly experi- encing things which you not only do not. you have just told me. or nowhere ? I am sorry I cannot explain the thing to you. is the phenomenon inexplicable to you. Indeed I but partially apprehend it myself. how is it then that. and the other out of space. hard to persuade where I could not understand. and therefore not surprised at them. standing it. will it not again stick through into that ? Must not then the two places.' I returned. stuck through into your library when you put it again on the shelf. in which parts of the same volume can at the same moment Or can one part of the book exist.' he but there is no provision in you for underanswered ! ' ' ' : ' ' ' .' I said. You think you understand them. when you please. not to obey him encounter measureless delay? If ! His advice did not recommend ' Tell me first. or somewhere. but your understanding of them is only your being used to them. not because you understand them. even now I believed children. than any or every other place. ' The night I ran from you have shut her up there it was immediately into that closet your house. but the very nature of it is inapprehensible by you. and have unavoidable relations with you The fact is. The closet is no nearer our cottage. and no farther from it. of ' ! all places. but because you must accept them they are there.' But. Not merely. no man understands : ! . why go at all ? him only enough to ask him questions. lie close together ? be in space. why.

I with you as far as the mirror.ADAM EXPLAINS anything is . thence drop to Mr. Why did you whistle ? I asked. that his first tottering step not toward understanding. Only by the motions of their two heads could I tell that they were talking together I heard nothing. and Mr. 211 when he knows he does not understand. A when suddenly she was not there. and lay her head against his cheek. but toward the capability of one day understanding. Surely sound here is not sound there I whistled that you You are right. To such things as these you are not used.' he answered. . I heard. perhaps. Neither I nor any man can here help you to understand but I may. or seemed to hear. will off.' You can otherwise effect nothing. know I called her. -Haven came back to his seat. he said will sleep to-night at hostelry not as a question. therefore you do not fancy you understand them. and moved ' ! for the door. ' But if you ' I do insist. There is not a minute eyes from them. a soft whir of wings. p 2 . looking up. Not the whistle. ' ' ' ' ! ' ' to lose 4 : you must go ' ! ' ! 1 will at once I replied. saw a white dove perch for an instant on the top of the shelves over the portrait. help you a little to believe He went to the door of the closet. He There came a sudden shock in the closet.' I replied. and see you go rose. moment after. but what might the whistle meant reached her. Neither had I moved my . and. ' You my ' My heart insist is ' with the children. ' ! and stood listening. but in a tone of mild authority. gave a low whistle. Eaven's shoulder.

with that terrible wound 'Nothing will ever close that wound. and I have disarranged the ' ' mirrors. heavy Come come he said. If she should break loose ' ' ! ' the Make haste moment you ! I shall hurry down he rejoined. That alone is the slaying of it chooses to be good. mingled with the noise of I hesitated. Only good An evil thing must live with its evil until evil dead. mist. the huge bulk of the spotted leopardess. Ere we reached the door of the library.' "We ran. I cast a look of dismay at my companion. and came beside me in front of the standing one. a howling claws that yell came after us. Already I saw the mountain range emerging from the less.' I held my peace until a sound I did not understand overtook us.' I murmured. and sprang through to follow her. swift Between gallop. is itself is no death to evil. Then he set the mirrors in their proper relation. yell of a us. even. darted.2 i 2 LILITH the Apparently the leopardess had flung herself against I looked at my companion. with the demon. ' ' . . He came after me leisurely. and reached the wooden chamber breathMr. It must eat into her heart where evil was. I cried. door.' he answered. To think of her lying there alone. and half turned. Annihilation with a sigh. Eaven seized the chains and adjusted the hood. are gone. She leaped through the mirror as through an open window. scored at the hard oak. and settled at once into a low. wedging us asunder. ! * * ' ! ' ! evil.

that it is indeed hard to kick against the Come come goad. See did I not tell you Mara would do her part ? I looked whither he pointed. and saw a white spot moving at an acute angle with the line taken by the ! ' ! * ! ' leopardess.ADAM EXPLAINS ' 213 You need This is her. But my wife has warned Mara. surely. ' ! must do what we can I said. stopped. and went back to him. She has more magic at her finger-ends than I care ' to know ' ' ! he added quietly.' ' . ' : ! ' not the first thing Surely.' such eyes tell which have never slept ? princess did not confess herself beaten that she never does but she fled When she confesses her last How should The ! hope gone. you cannot overtake As he spoke he turned in the opposite direction. but the white is stronger I have seen them fight the combat did not appear ' : ' decisive as to that. but sickening as I saw her dwindle in the distance. then will her day begin to dawn who cannot act must make haste to sleep He ! . ' The ! spotted leopardess ' is strong.' he answered.' he called our way. not run. and she will do her part you must sleep first you have given me your word Nor do I mean to break it. and ran on. Doubtless we must. action takes precedence of repose A man can do nothing he is not fit to do. J ' ! . ' There she ' is ! he cried. But surely sleep is ' ' We .

and I walked silent as he. The librarian walked on in silence. and noon into night.214 LILITII CHAPTEE XXXI THE SEXTON'S OLD HOESE I STOOD and watched the last gleam of the white my guide but reluctantly. The sun set it began to grow dark. and lower. long-coated no more hear his swishing But then I heard instead the slow-flapping wings of the raven and. for I knew not what else to do. slow crossing the far horizon. and how could I be certain of waking early of leopardess melt away. By and by the moon appeared. at intervals. now a firefly. nor ever stirred I murmured. now a gleaming butterfly rose into the . figure. What had I to do with sleep? Surely reason was the same in every world. I began to lose sight of the lean. and at length could stride through the heather. then turned to follow waking at all ? the sleepers in that house let morning glide into noon. and what reason could there be in going to sleep with the dead. no one would wake me. My heart sank lower ! . Time and space glided past us. and I felt in the air the spreading cold of the chamber of death. when the hour was calling the live man? Besides. but followed. . rayless air.

and the whisk of his tail kept blinding the Nineteen hands he seemed. torn seaward in hoary spray. but I loved horse I saw. and in a minute or two. and stroked the protuberant bones that humped a hide smooth and thin. alighting on a stone. Terrifically large. possess him. Mr. and breathed into his red nostrils the breath . but that. I in so shiny that the very shape of the moon was reflected it . hard of muscle a steed the holy Death himself might choose on which to ride abroad and slay The moon seemed to regard him with awe in her scary light he looked a very skeleton. and shiny as satin place. To my spot appeared on the face of the half-risen ears came presently the drumming of swift. Vane ? said the You must make acquaintraven. I do not mean that I could have stolen him. regardless of his proper It was pure would have bought him if I could. As he drew near. low-thundered the terrible horse. he moved with the lightness of a winged insect. His mane flowed away behind him like the crest of a wind-fighting wave. his speed slackened. I was not merely a lover of horses. I laid my hands on him. out of the very disc of the moon. and his mane and tail drifted about him settling. an evil thing in all the worlds. are you not.THE SEXTON'S OLD HOESE * 215 ' are tired. A moon. rank covetousness. and had never sold a horse. soft-galloping hoofs. woke in me longing to greed. tight of skin. I fondled his sharp-pointed ears. whispered words in them. of bone. I had never spent money except upon every The sight of this horses. roped together. terrible to look at. nay. Now mighty one. huge eye of the moon. ance with the horse that will carry you in the morning He gave a strange whistle through his long black ' ' ! You beak. loosely ! .

Mount. Kaven ? I cried. I confess. hands in his mane and scrambled on his back. What life. ! ' ! ' Not that way I sat silent. ' The horse stood ' Why do ' you linger 'I long so much answered.' The horse bent my ' ! cried. Mr. answered the raven the road is difficult. asked the raven. to ride after the leopardess/ I ? ' ! You have promised ' ! debt to the Little Ones appears. looked on pleased at my love-making to his man's life. ' ! his head over my shoulder lovingly.' greater thing than Yield to the temptation and you will mischief ' My my 1 bring upon them and on yourself also.2i6 of a LIL1TII mine the and we loved one another. with wings half each was a glowing coal extended. behind The raven. that I can scarce restrain myself 1 like a block of marble. not without aid from certain protuberant bones. He in return breathed into breath of a horse's ! ! magnificent horse. Go on. and its meed is the fuller. loss now will be gain then To wait is harder than to run. my son straight to the cottage. But come.' he said: 'he Now we must will carry you all the better to-morrow ! hurry ' home ' ! My desire to ride the horse ' had grown passionate.' . He would outspeed any leopard in creation I I twisted ' him home. a bond to you. It will rejoice my wife's heart to see son of hers on that horse at night. 'That is well! be friends with him. and ride By all means he answered. I shall be there as soon as you. eyes he had Blue-filmy like the eyes of the dead.' ' . ' May I not mount him at once.

works no Eyes flashed through the darkness. not knowing she was evil But you never brought any one to life How could you. was to run from our dead.' he said.' he The most nearly the only foolish gently. now you talk foolishly done otherwise than you did. like a cat when scratchingly she wheels about after a mouse. Mr. as you refuse to die/ 1 Back ' to the old riddling ' ! I returned scornfully. and he went about in a sharp-driven curve. close to the ground. evil.' But the truth was. and he was ' sudden wind. I gave him a pat on the side of the neck. Vane.' he answered ! ! ' < ' .' leaning sideways tops of the heather. infatuate with the horse. till his mane swept the .' ! You could not have Nay. yourself dead ? I dead? 'I cried.' I pressed the horse's ribs. so long Yes.' I answered. and go home with me. do you not know have not yet done anything worth doing ? Because I have been a fool. ' and you will be dead. What matters it for me ? I love them and love I will go. and I I Adam stood in his own shape beside me. I forgot the children.' do you count your most indiscreet action ? Bringing the princess to life I ought to have left ' : her to her just ' fate. Be persuaded. ' ' why you ' ' ' Wherein ' ? 4 ' Which ' In everything. knew that knew also by his voice that he repressed an indignation almost too strong for him.THE SEXTON'S OLD HORSE ' 217 . ' continued thing you off like a ever did.

and went a few paces in a slow. rendered me too stupid to listen to anything ' he said ' ! Would you ' take from will tion ? It is ' I cried. a sense which had no root and was merely vibrated into me from the strength ' I tell if of the horse. and ride to failure May it be to humility if duty. Take the horse.' you once more you will do them other than you go to-night. it is a crime. foolish boy his croak. lean ribs under me. Vane. up Mr. cided walk. unde. Five quick flaps I heard. had. and in a few moments his speed . I will return. and I ' I perish for ' it ! ' ! ! ' ! He spread his wings and flew. then. turned his head this way and that. and he perched on the horse's The horse checked himself instantly. think what you are Twice already has evil befallen you once from doing breach of word is far fear. ' Again I pressed the ' ! After the spotted leopardess I whispered in his ear. . with anger in Go. snuffing the then started. a trot Suddenly he quickened his walk broke into began to gallop. ploughing head.' croaked the raven. me my last chance of reparaThis time there shall be no shirking ! my go he returned. alas. and spend what days what years you in your house what nights please. and I I cried. But indeed I will upon them brought not break my word to you. good But a false sense of power.2 1 8 LILITH Through the dark I heard the wings of the raven. the ground with his feet. He air .' he insisted. and once from heedlessness ' ' ! : worse .' 'The it Little Ones are ' ! in frightful ' peril.

that not once did he jar me. half-way up the heaven. 219 He seemed to see in the dark never not once faltered. Like our own moon. we shot rocky chasms held on over them his their farther slopes . Then came a wonder and a We were near the middle horse every other she began to descend rolling like the nave of Fortune's wheel bowled by the gods. No monster lifted its neck all knew the . and : his every movement glided so into the next. The wind met and passed us like a tornado. hoofs that thundered over their heads ! We rushed up . I felt under me the play of each individual muscle his joints were so elastic. Across the evil hollow we sped like a bolt from an arblast. and thirsty nostrils exulting in the wind his career created. when the moon reached the key-stone of her arch. . ! . gazed with a solemn trouble in her pale countenance. my moment clearing one. this one had a human terror : face. of the many channels.THE SEXTON'S OLD HORSE was tremendous. and now and then gathering himself for a great bounding leap. I gazed aghast. with ears pricked forward. terrible gallop. and went faster and faster. as on the ridge of a wave. sometimes two in his stride. Across the ravines came the howling of wolves. An ugly fear began to invade the hollow places of my heart my confidence was on the wane The horse maintained his headlong swiftness. His growing swiftness bore him along until he flew rather than ran. not once hesitated. and now the broad forehead now the chin was uppermost as she rolled. from the he of the river-bed he did not swerve fierce. the hills. I sat stumbled. Rejoicing in the power of my steed and in the pride of my life. . I sat like a king and rode. down The moon.

carrying all her light with her. kneeled beside him. with awful boding She rolled at last over the horizon-edge and disappeared. and where he fell he lay. I got up. His head dropped its impetus carried his helpless bulk across. ! . . Not a bone could I find broken. but he was a horse no more. and felt him all over. The mighty steed was in the act of clearing a wide shallow channel when we were caught in the net of the darkness. and buried my face in my hands. but he fell in a heap on the margin. I sat down on the body.220 LILITH But there was the moon jolting like an old chariotwheel down the hill of heaven.

quick panting filled the air. ! ! ! . moment they With a sound of swiftness all but silence. The body froze under me. I night. Alas. The cry of the wolves came nearer I heard . me. I : could see nothing of him but his eyes. terrific battle A whose tale alone came to me through the would have fled. and the caterwaulfollowed. their black throats agape to devour I stood hopelessly waiting therm One halted over the horse then came at me. yet I knew him and so knew his colour and bigness. I My time in was come stick ! ! I sprang to my feet. their feet soft-padding on the rocky ground. their eyes flashing with fury of greed. and by the cry I knew them they were cats. for surely it was but a fight which should have me only where was the use ? my first step would be a fall and my foes of either kind could both see and scent me in the dark All at once I missed the howling. their . had not even a They came a rush.221 CHAPTEK XXXII THE LOVEES AND THE BAGS BITTEELY cold grew the night. led by a huge gray one. The heads that bore them flew at the wolves with a cry feebler yet fiercer than their howling snarl. Through the darkness I saw the many glowing eyes their half-circle contracted around me. a cloud of green eyes came down on their flank.

Without cease they kept disthey covering upon me space for fresh mouthfuls hauled at my skin with the widespread. fell. and the cats had defeated the it meant flight In a moment the sharpest of sharp teeth Then came the : knew ! wolves were in my legs a moment more and the cats were all over me in a live cataract. they flew afresh at my legs. in my despair. All that miserable night they . caught them in jaws stronger than theirs. but could not rid myself of one. but tormenting me no more. every finger instinct Madly with destruction. and immediately they left it. horribly curved . now rubbing. When at length the morning appeared. furiously scratching me anywhere and everywhere. They accompanied me in a surrounding torrent. passing the Evil Wood in the dark. now leaping up When I against me. and without seeing it. cleaving the solid dark. they clung to my hands them under my feet. the more to occupy themselves with my legs. I LILITH soft padding. A . I threw face myself on the ground. pincers of clutching claws they hissed and spat in but never touched it until. I tore them off me. I rose. and . left it behind . and on the verge of the me by a comparatumbled into no gully. them in vain : when I would have flung them from like limpets. which was often. me. I throttled at bite. thrust I trampled my fingers in their eyes. when they forsook my body. kept tively me running but they drove for I smooth path. careless whither. In an agony I broke from them and ran. biting wherever they could . my darted at my face. I could not flee. I was beyond the channels. they gave me time to rise when from fear of falling I slackened my pace. multitude clung to my body I fell on the hateful swarm.222 ing grew wilder.

and thus recurrently assisted by my captors. 223 In my joy I would have made friends with my persecutors. and fell fast asleep. attached a rope to each of them. leg-ropes to a tree. bringing company. whereupon they always kicked me up Straight to my old labour they took me. They undid the rope that tied my legs together. when I heard a sudden commotion the morning my and their bestial in the brushwood. to once more the thrall ' find myself bound of the giants ! hand I said to myself to whom else should I belong ? and I laughed in the triumph of selfA second kick stopped my false merriment disgust. me with fallen fruit and stones. but seldom hit me. as they frequently pulled both ropes at once. and dragged me away. they tied my With their kicks enemies reappeared. and put the hateful Then they lay down and pelted flint in my left hand.THE LOVERS AND THE BAGS orchard valley. at night ! When the darkness came. I slept a good deal. It was about noon. If I could have freed my legs. was waked by a kick. and every time from a dream of lying in the heart of a heap of children. and I was nearly failing from fatigue and hunger. followed by a burst of the bell-like I gave a loud cry of heart. and left me fast to the tree. and was comforted. and got hold of a stick I spied a couple of yards from me. laughter so dear to my . but not a cat was to be seen. I would have fallen But the Little Ones will come upon all six of them ' ! ' at length in rising to Six of them were my feet. worked hard. I walked as well as I could. I fell repeatedly. but woke often. but. about me. . I succeeded What fitter ? ' * . tied my again. I and ' foot. hands. All day I I said to myself. I threw myself on the moss. undid my arms.

Then they brought up two of the largest of their elephants. pulled them down. the whole colony mounting guard until I had done. Immediately as of baby-elephants. The horses charged their legs the bears rose and hugged them at the waist. hooked their trunks and tied their tails together. but never In a moment my ropes were undone. of the Little Ones. on little bears . I got up. when the wise animals. and having placed them side by side. and my Lona came. I sat and ate. and through the bushes came a crowd of Little Ones. For some time I saw no more of the giants. seemingly innumerable. The docile creatures could have untied their tails with a single shake. and without a word began to feed me with the loveliest red and yellow fruits. feet. stood that they must keep their bodies parallel.224 LILITI1 rose a trumpeting delight and welcome. but were the instantly saluted with a storm of sharp stones . and made for me a most comfortable litter. giants sprang to their lumbering feet. the riders. and laid myself in the hollow between their two backs . round their necks. among the latter a woman with a baby crowing in her arms. leaned against each other. and unhooked their trunks by forgetting them but tails and trunks remained as their little masters had arranged them. and gave them such a trampling as they had sometimes given. Mingled with the mounted ones walked the bigger of the boys and girls. not the animals. on small but the noises came from elephants. it is My . a neighing as of foals. received before. They made me sit down. and I was in the arms. the elephants threw their trunks . on diminutive horses. and a bel- lowing as of calves. counteracting the weight that pushed them apart. and it was clear the elephants under.

' she said. . and shut Certainly I will ' ! ! my eyes close. and then a silence silences are heard. the rest seeming make a petisson to king. almost as happy as they. We coaxingly for a while. ' then ' ' ' Sut eyes one minute/ she answered. Whither they were carrying me. mounting for a bodyguard. they became still as judges. and which. the moment they ing glad . saw I was going to sleep. We A ' tiny girl sat with her at little feet close to my face. stretched all the way from the valley to the hot stream. ' ' ! ' ' The I heard a soft scurry. a little for in that world some rustle. . I did not try to conjecture I yielded myself to their pleasure. projected 225 beyond their tails. she cried. and looked down me spoke. to hang on her words.THE LOVERS AND THE BAGS true. Here goes I replied. Then some of the smaller pillowed children. No. but my head lay on an ear of each. What is it. a sudden musical uproar greeted the I woke : opening of my eyes. Close eyes she said suddenly. my darling ? I asked. as I had suspected. I closed my eyes. no not fore I tell oo I opened them again. and we talked and laughed ' ! ' ! together for quite another hour. Q . elephants stood still. Chattering and laughing and playtricks innumerable at first. were travelling through the forest in which they found the babies. ranged themselves in a row along the back of each of my bearers the whole assembly formed itself in train and the procession began to move. and kept them close.

I left my litter.LILITH twenty voices a little way off shouted Open eyes once but when I obeyed. I could hardly believe it But. except the elephants in getting out of the way children marvellously quick the giants had taught them that but when I raised in the open shrubless forest. myself. the hiders would soon come out again. With stately composure the elephants walked spots full came out in : of children ! away ' to bed. I lay presently down to listen. when their uproarious gladness had had scope for a while. pretty sure that. The sun was ' it Surely the children must have something to do with And yet how could they set the birds singing ? ' ! I said to myself as I lay and listened. some dropping from bough to bough so rapidly that I could scarce believe they had not fallen. I. spots appeared in the dark foliage. Soon. and looked more keenly.' set. happening to look up into the tree under which my elephants stood. and it was fast getting dark. and was instantly surrounded a mark for all the artillery of their jubilant fun. not a creature was visible ' 1 ! at . I stared in blank .' said ' ' ! . the music died down. if I left them alone. a gale of childish laughter rippled the air. I thought I spied a little motion among Sudden white the leaves. I knew the that bore me. however. and looking about could descry neither hand nor heel. The singing grew to a little storm of bird-voices. ' astonishment. yet a multitude of birds began to sing. and white the trees were every direction In the wildest merriment they began to descend. how is it that I never before heard you sing like the birds ? Even when I thought it must be you.

' said one of the wildest. ! ' but we were not birds ! then not fly-creatures had our hide-places in the bushes then but when we came to no-bushes. I can get up without wings and ' ! carry straws in my ' ! mouth too. and are real birds now we Come and see my nest. for enough for king.THE LOVERS AND THE BAGS ' 227 Ah. his thumb. and they taught us. I way up a walnut tree of ! enormous ! size. only trees. A moment a great ' after. We When we were birds. we grew ! birds. I added. king I heard no more of him till he woke me in the Q 2 . to build my nest with Oo knows he answered. and went away sucking heard him calling out of his nest. Kings seldom have wings cried one.' 'That ' is true. oo knows none of us King king Arms and legs hasn't no wings foolis feddery tings . I would try. and when we asked them to we had ! to do birds We teach us their noises. ! We were run-creatures. ' ' ! ' ' ' ! ! ! is better. ' ! Up And morning Dood night I seepy adain. we had to build nests . built nests. but it's big ' ! enough not big king to see It's me in it I told him I could not get up a tree without the sun to show me the way when he came.

She came at length. was not half mother enough.228 LILITH CHAPTEK XXXIII LONA'S NARK ATI VE I LAY down by a tree. How such a child should have been born of such a mother such a woman of such a . expressed mainly by stroking my face and hands. through the leaves. that they were equally glad to go to sleep and to get up again. sat down beside me. and after a few moments of silent delight. and now and then. at night and so rested in the : morning. Lona had not bid me also. tell me everyap- The moon peared as we talked. the dazzling beauty of Lilith was softened childlikeness. lay awake and I was sure she good night. and could not doubt her the daughter of whom Adam had told me . the moment I saw her again. with the child of the woman I met fleeing who. the children left me They were always so tired and climbed to their nests. She is occupied probably. I. but in Lona ' 1 ' ! she had already told me. lighted for a quivering moment her beautiful face full of thought. with her resemblance to the princess. and a care whose love redeemed and glorified it.' I said to myself. and deepened by the sense of motherby hood. began to thing that had befallen since I went. I had been struck. although tired would come. and one and one or in little groups.

Sometimes the Little Ones would see them trampling furiously. The Little Ones must remove into ! beyond the range of the giants. could only become the more a child. perceiving or imagining some indication of their presence. and I loved her as one who. ! she had two parents say rather. I knew now that I loved her when I left her. their animosity assumed rage. This drove the mother of them all to meditate counteraction. intending.LONA'S NARRATIVE princess. as soon as I recovered my strength. and that the hope of seeing her again had been my main comfort. but then. and became in conse- itself. while they indeed stood beside. and laughed at their foolish By and by. grow to what perfection she might. which they must visit by night The main objection to the plan was. there the Little . Every word she spoke seemed to go straight to my heart. however. that the forest had little or no undergrowth to shelter or conceal them if necessary. like the truth it purer. but within reach of their own trees. three She drew my heart by what in me was likest herself. to come in the dark and kill them sleeping. Setting the sharpest of them to listen at night. 229 was hard to understand . But she reflected that where birds. that after I left the orchard valley. Thereupon she concluded that the only way to stop the destruction : was to give abandoned the the forest them ground for believing that they had place. happily. the giants began to believe a little more in the actual existence of their neighbours. a more practical shape they began to destroy the trees on whose fruit the Little Ones lived. and. she learned that the giants thought I was hidden somewhere near. make She told me quence more hostile to them.

the Little Ones could learn She spoke to them on the subject. and the Little Ones would them let till the little ! . and eagerly adopted Lena's suggestion with the result that they were soon as much at home in the tree-tops as the birds themselves. They had eager symand could learn of the wildest creatures: why should they not take refuge from the cold and their enemies in the tree-tops? why not. in the top of the tallest. for never by any chance did one throw back his dull head to look up Then the bad giants would be sure they had left the country. and spread out their arms them down as if inviting them to come and live with ! ! them find Perhaps. indeed. and they had often watched the birds building their nests The trees of the forest. to fly do. although large. and again almost ceased to believe in the existence of their small neighbours. and sat upon ! they were ripe. . and that the giants came ere long to the conclusion that they had frightened them out of the ! country whereupon they forgot their trees. ! gather their own apples and pears and figs and mesples and peaches when they were asleep Thus reasoned the Lovers. having lain in the low brushwood.230 Ones could pathies with LILITH find habitation. all modes of life. and they heard ! with approval. they might the bird that laid the baby-eggs. where no giant would see them. seek now the lofty foliage ? why not build nests where it would not serve to scoop hollows ? AJ1 that the birds could except. They could already climb the trees. did not look bad They went up much nearer the sky than those of the some even stretched giants. then tumbled them down to ones out Yes they would build sleephouses in the trees.

except watch it through ' ' ! . Most of them would have nothing to do with a caterpillar. : them personally. Knowing therefore how as well as wise and docile some of them were. Little Ones found that fruit gathered in the night was not altogether good the next day. until before long they had an individual name for each.LONA'S NARRATIVE 231 Lona asked me whether I had many of the children were grown. they would have extinguished her. from the first addressing horse or elephant as Brother or Sister Elephant. had soon made more than friends of most of them. Sister Serpent played with it too roughly. She assured me it was so. she said. : . . made acquaintance with the animals in it. and the other day she had heard one little fellow cry. It was some little time longer before they said Brother or Sister Bear. not observed that I answered I had not. to a snake that bit him as he Ah. and with loving. and later when the moon was shining. so the question arose whether it would not be better. They had already. but that came next. they now most of set themselves to secure their aid against the giants. and with their migration upward. instead of pretending to have left the country. and strong how swift as well as manageable many others. in exploring the forest. and gathered fruit enough to serve them the next day for the giants never went out in the twilight that to them was darkness and they hated the moon had they been But soon the able. had grown since mitigation of the alarm the discovery In the last of the short twilight. but said the certain evidence that their minds too had gone far in had occasioned her. Brother or Sister Horse. to make the bad giants themselves leave it. playful approaches. they went down to the valley. but could readily believe it.

once yielded the baby. they brought the mother fruit. Lona appeared. They took her for a giantess that had stolen one of their babies. as they were going to gather they came upon a woman seated on the ground with a baby in her lap the woman I had met on my way to Bulika. she recognised in her whose hospitality she sought. beating her after a childish. Recovering her wits. for they regarded all babies as their property. not daring to go back to the city. as she surrendered her. the Little Ones noted that. congratulating it on its metamorphosis for which they used a word that meant something like repentance and evidently regarding it as something sacred. but a boy threw himself down and held her by the feet. Sister Butterfly. She would have yet sufficiently bewildering fashion. evening. fled. she hugged and kissed her just as they wanted to do. But while the woman noted that in striking her they were careful not to hurt the child. Filled with anger they fell upon her multitudinously. and came to the conclusion that she must be a giantess of the same kind as the good giant. she resolved to remain with them for the present she would have no trouble with her infant. LILITII its retirechanges but when at length it came from all would immediately address it as ment with wings. Now the woman had been in perplexity whither to betake herself. One moonlit their fruit. The moment Lona had the baby. assailants the children and at : : . because the princess was certain to find out who had lamed her leopardess delighted with the friendliness of the little people. and carried it away in her bosom. therefore. and began to show her every sort of childish attention.232 its .

and could certainly be . For what seemed more probable than that the fate foretold lay with these very children? They were marvellously brave. and very seldom unkind to her. and there lying hidden. while they were yet ! ! flushed with victory. they were unfit for warfare they hardly ever quarrelled. Now arose in the mind of the woman the idea of furthering the fulfilment of the shadowy prediction. partly from conjecture. they took the apparent increase of her hostility to children for a sign that she saw her doom approaching. in abject terror of animals in the Little Ones the ambition of taking the city. This. or of using the myth at least for her own restoration to her husband. to suggest the loftier aim By disposition.LONA'S NARRATIVE and might find 233 some way of returning to her husband. await the result Should the children now succeed in expelling the giants. she was aware of the tradition that the princess lived in terror of the birth of an infant destined to her destruction. who was rich in money and gems. she would escape from the little army. and never fought loved every live thing. and her deteriorating physical condition requiring a larger use of those means. and hated either to hurt or to suffer. indeed. what Lona told me about the woman. and the Bulikans If she could rouse cowards. Here I must supplement. they were easily influenced. With the rest of the inhabitants of Bulika. then in the confusion of the attack. reach her house unrecognised. . Still. ! . nourished in them hopes of change. she would begin at once. however. They were all unacquainted. although no one dreamed of any attempt against her. with the frightful means by which she preserved her youth and beauty.

stupid as they They are. talkative as usual. were not so The woman of Bulika no doubt felt encouraged. chiefly about the growth of the children. that. I should have wondered less. talked the greater part of the night. indicate. It was yet far from morning when I became aware of a slight fluttering and scrambling. had I been more of a child myself. was their use of stones While gathering fruit. over their victory. and they are gone to gather stones with which to receive them. they found me asleep. saw many Little Ones descend from their nests. overwhelmed the few giants watching me. and carried me off. They disappeared. ' Knowing their habits. Jubilant The first practical result in my rescue. and growing skilful in it. although their eyes flashed more. and in a few moments all was again still. the smaller boys were childishly boastful. the bigger boys less ostentatious. and from the trees attack the giants as they come within reach. I rose on my elbow. and what it might We With Lona's power of recognising truth I had long been familiar now I began to be astonished at her practical wisdom. went home. while the girls. Probably.234 LILITH ! At once taught any exercise within their strength she set some of the smaller ones throwing stones at a mark and soon they were all engrossed with the new . held a council. they do not expect them . Stones are not plentiful in the forest. . ' What are they doing ? think. They will carry them to their nests. and looking about me. and they have to scatter far to find enow. game. ' answered Lona. the giants will search the wood.' ' I asked. came the next day with their elephants and horses.

the spotted creature must have been climbing a tree when the other sprang upon her. watching two huge leopardesses. it will be the before the morning. and in a moment our trees glittered with staring little eyes.LONA'S NARRATIVE 235 If they do come. and were asleep in our nests. when we were roused ' ' ! by the horrid noises of beasts fighting. ' ! remember him beyond three days 1 the children then throw so well that the thing might happen ? I asked.' she touch of pride. with a Wait till you see them ' Do ' ' ! But I have not yet told you. which worried and tore each other with I do not know how many teeth and claws. The moon was bright. The children enjoyed the and saw them perfectly. But when the children saw the blood pouring from their flanks and . rolling over and over each other. their skulls are not that we could ! would do them much harm they are so little If one were killed. so thick that I do not think indeed. and heartily wished neither might be left able to climb a tree. spectacle. some with that. they were just under my own tree. When first I saw them. of a strange thing that happened the night before last We had come home from gathering our fruit. and I saw that they were in deadly earnest. But by degrees their roaring and growling almost ceased. I got down on the lowest branch. : We do killing alive ! not mean to kill them . his giantess would not . is hardly doubtful. the other covered with black spots. she answered. and thought they were only at play. for we had never seen such beasts before. however. one perfectly white. The result. To judge by her back. siding some with this one. went on. one or the other people of a war of expulsion opening must go.

and lay pondering. what do down to comfort LILITH you think they did ? They scurried them. for they had no care to keep quiet now that they were at open war with the giants. and every time I looked out. for they were much too absorbed to heed my calling to them but before I could reach them. I waked often. and with much noise. and would kill every one of them. until . But in a minute or two she was up again. and sprang among them with such a hideous yell that they Before I got back flew up into the trees like birds. lest Spotty should get hold them. began to pat and stroke them. and gathering in a great crowd about the terrible creatures. In the morning she went away. . I woke soon after the sun. the white one stopped fighting. She hates the children. I lay where I was. in straggling companies of three and four. and walking about as if she thought Spotty might be lurking somewhere. Spotty ran claw. and then in truth the giants began to appear. Then I got down as well. But Whitey loves them. I saw her. Spotty is a bad beast. into mine. Lona retired to her only to frighten of of ' ! tree. away as fast as she could run. She ran at them ' I know both ' them away.236 throats. and in a minute were fast asleep. though with difficulty because of their burdens. They mounted to their nests again.' I said.' the beasts. No one needs be afraid of Whitey any By this time the Little Ones were coming back. and laden with good stones. and slept the better that I thought most likely the white leopardess was still somewhere in the wood. the wicked beasts were at it again tooth and Then Whitey had the best of it. Two hours passed. and Whitey came and lay down at the foot of my tree.

LONA'S NARRATIVE I counted over a still 237 hundred asleep. He fell and the range of a garrisoned tree. and the children the trees like monkeys. fallen. and a storm as of hail instantly came on. and thus loaded. and the storm extended. silent Until night the bad giants remained where they had and motionless. began to walk over the giants. I sprang to my feet. as he entered a stone struck me. the elephants gave Many elephants came them a few blows of their trunks. I thought he would pass heedless. fell. and rose again. lay. Losing patience at length with their noise. and : to call of them. tops of fifty trees. But by and by one came blundering upon me. They removed to the other end of the orchard valley. and the children saw no more of them. The children were them would draw the attention of the giants I would keep quiet so long as they did not discover me. and left them. in a moment every descending elephant had three or four of them on his back. but he began to search about. of which not and not one missed the giant. hurrying up. and never after ventured into the forest. stumbled. The next morning they had disappeared every one. . Others drew near. and a jubilant paean of bird-song rose from the trate. and struck him in the middle of his huge body. a target for converging In a short time almost every giant was prosstones. each purblind creature becoming. The roar he gave roused the children. who lay and roared.

The greatly to Lona children were now so rapidly developing faculty. In a few days the children chattered of nothing but Bulika. was not not without . pardess. of taking possession of the place. would they not be the redemption to confess that I of At the same time. the woman of Bulika began to speak about the city. that I could see no serious obstacle to the success of the enterprise. whose government and influence would be all for righteousness ? Ruling the wicked with a rod of the nation ? iron. The idea mended itself and to me also. of the cowardice of its inhabitants. was worth taking and who could doubt their success ? must Successful. from a crowd of children. speedily become a youthful people. ! not the Little Ones. I For the terrible Lilith woman or leo- vulnerable point.238 LILITII CHAPTEK XXXIV PBEPAKATION VICTORY thus gained. her doom through her daughter. and talked much of its defenceless of the wickedness of its princess. although indeed they had not the least notion of what a city was. I became aware its of the design of the woman. I have without views of personal advantage. and the influence the ancient prophecy had upon the citizens surely whatever in the : knew her one enterprise could be called risk. Then first condition. although recom- not yet of motive.

it would almost certainly subject them to a new necessity. development of a noble state ? I confess also to an altogether foolish dream of opening a commerce in gems between the two worlds happily impossible. constantly reviewing the merry troops and companies. I would spend my life in her service and between us. that Lona should take her seat on the throne that had been her mother's. It was just. Lona Calling to mind the appeal of Adam. however. exer- them the use of some could to make w arriors of them. and natural that she should make of me her consort and minister. she said water We began. I suggested to that to find them water might perhaps expedite the growth of the Little Ones. and pushed forward our preparations. . to leave that alone for the present. with such a core to it as the Little Ones. while I drilled the cised r little soldiers. and did all I aloe-spikes. duty was the charge of such as were too small to fight. Most of them were armed with slings. it seemed to me. for the . for it could have done nothing but harm to both. we will search ' ' for ' ! commissariat. . She judged it prudent. The main difficulty was to get them to rally to their flag the instant the call was sounded. For me. as we did not know what its first consequences might be while. Lona gave her attention chiefly to the it ! : ' They are what they are without when we have the city. therefore. some of the bigger boys with bows and arrows. what might we not do.PREPARATION 239 ambition in the undertaking. strong as steel and sharp as needles. fitted to Their sole longish shafts rather formidable weapons. in the course of time. The bigger girls carried them in stone-throwing. taught other weapons.

any more than she. sprang To see her with any thoughtless. the splendour of whose . but was almost always within sound of my voice. seemed. and rejoiced to believe that. and clung to me silent. . would like to do.240 LILITII herself it : Lona had seem aware ! of Her the tallest become almost a woman. hair was much longer. but inseparable. while doing her work in absolute independence. Her love overflowed upon me not in caresses. she was most at home by my side. before time began but in my mind's eye she now looked like Lona and if I imagined sister or child. and she was she laid down her infant. or could care about anything except what must be done. but in a closeness of recognition which I can compare to nothing but the devotion of a divine animal. as she still was. or irritable I little one. and my love only quickened my sense of duty. Never for me did she neglect the smallest child. but not one beauty of childhood had she outgrown. What I did or thought. The wood was full of birds. grown a good deal. and had him in her bosom instantly. her she was She hardly ever sought me. seemed to have known her for ages for always from I hardly remembered my mother. arms round my neck. When first we met after our long separation. my heart's wife do my duty. She might suggest something I should do she might ask me what she ought to do but she never seemed to suppose that I. . was to think of a tender grandmother. I never told her anything about her mother. not indeed one. her face the child whimpered she glowing with gladness to him. I referred constantly to her. To love her and to of ! Lona My every imagination flew to ! . put her . invariably she had the face : ! . but did not she had always been. obstinate.

on the outskirts of the forest. it came into my heart to make from them a garment for Lona. I put it on at once.PREPARATION 241 plumage. with which. At length she came to me one morning wearing it. she carried it the appearance of scale-armour. I had soon made friends. took it off. In a week or two it was finished a long loose mantle. never asking what I was fashioning. and showed her where my feet to put her arms through. When she left with her. appaTheir glorious rently. feathers being everywhere about in the forest. with openings for the arms. While I gathered. while it took nothing from their song. and bound them in overlapping rows. with evident appreciation of my choice and arrangement. again on her shoulders. but evidently waiting expectant the result of my work. seemed almost to make up for the lack of flowers which. and carrying another garment which she had fashioned similarly. could not grow without water. She smiled. and and laid it down. but of the dried leaves of a tough evergreen. She rose. Already accustomed to ride a small one. had appeared one day a troop of full-grown horses. and we always thereafter wore those garments when on horseback. looked at the feathers a little and stroked them again took it off time by her side. her delight was great when first she looked down from the back of an . to fasten at the throat and waist. and at it I put I imagine from a sense of propriety. this me. and two of the finest I had trained for Lona and myself. as they were nowise alarmed at creatures of a shape so different from their own. For. I rose and put laid it she watched me it on her. It had the strength almost of leather. and I saw no more of it for some days.

muster. it will be found among the ! women ' ' ' ! You must not encumber . and I must be there encourIf there be a remnant aging them to make a stand of hardihood in the place. would prove powerand as to any force she might less against the children . from carrying all the children with us. animal of the giant kind and the horse showed himself he bore. The undertaking did indeed at times appear to me a foolhardy one. The princess's magic. She confessed to encounter any two men of Bulika. always overcame my hesitancy. and even on horseback she had almost always one in her arms.' I said. she said. that you remained in the forest with your baby and the smallest of the ' ' Little Ones ? She answered that she greatly relied on the impression the sight of them would make on the women. 'When they see the darlings/ she said.242 LILITH . however. ready. their hearts will be taken by storm . : to not a little fear of the leopardess. with a good stick.' I said to with any of the children you will be Lona. I shrank. wanted every- where For there were two babies besides the woman's. real or simulated. but the confidence of the woman of Bulika. ' ' especially the mothers. Would it not be better. but I was myself ready for her. she insisted. We exercised them every proud of the burden until they had such confidence in us as to obey day rode instantly and fear nothing after which we always . our animal-allies alone would assure our superiority she was herself. ' ! yourself. . them at parade and on the march.

and I gave myself heartily to her purposes. there was no need to take food for the horses. it shall ' ! . ' knew We did not come from anywhere. with the supplement of what we would gather fresh every time we haloed. and now where they came from. therefore. For the bears we stored nuts.PREPARATION 1 243 child to 1 do not remember ever being without a she answered ' . We had caught and tamed several more of the big horses. and now having loaded them and the elephants with these provisions. and I I began by telling them that I had learned a good deal about them.' they are here ' ! cried. nor had I any ground for opposing it I had no choice. we them that every one of them had a mother B 2 . take care of. the be as you wish Her confidence in one who had failed so unworthily.' but when we reach city. I was ready to live or die with Lona. they could not pick . we were prepared to set out. of which the to last elephants themselves could carry a quantity sufficient them several days. True. or the two cows which would accompany us for the infants but the elephants had to be provided for. enough for a single meal. the grass was as good for them as for those other animals. Then Lona and I held made them a little speech. but must give it the best help I could For myself. set the whole colony to gather grass and make hay. a general review. Her humility as well as her trust humbled me. But neither had I initiated the movement. shamed me. and with their one-fingered long noses. inter- rupting I told me ' . ! Our way lying across a grassy plain. but it was short. We had. and for ourselves dried plenty of fruits.

every one.' That we will they cried with jubilant. that there is before us. for. draw it to the head when you sling a stone. boys ? ' 'Not a bit!' . : Yes.' I continued. as you know.' 1 ' But We can fight ! we are ready ' ' ! cried the boys. like the mother of the last baby.' 'Yes. . that t believed they had all been brought from Bulika when remember they were so small that they could not now it. babies. ' I must tell you.244 of his LILITH own.' they one of us but his own mother ' ' ! You must mind. to do immediately what ' your ' officers tell We will. fearless when you . when you shoot an arrow. we'll ' answered. yes.' I went on strike. ' Perhaps you will be hurt ' ! ' We don't mind that ! Do we. we may have to danger fight hard to take the city. ' ! you will ! we ! Now we're quite ready ! Let : us go ' Another thing you must not forget. be sure you make it a downright swingeing blow. you must keep together. Nobody shall touch take care of each other. that the wicked princess there was so afraid of and so determined to destroy them. that their mothers had to carry them away and leave them where she could not find them and that now we were going to Bulika. mothers are worth fighting for all ' ! and I know you will Only mind. to find their mothers. and deliver them from the bad giantess. sling it strong and straight. ' ' ! shout.' I returned. you can.

I don't either ! I don't either ' ! came from sister of : all sides. But I could not draw back it would be moral ruin to the Little Ones . ' little bull. We're going Come along. queen and mother and all. Then Lona. them spoke from her big horse by my side 'I would give my life.' she said. 'to have my I should She might kill me if she liked mother just kiss her and die cried a girl. I don't mind being killed cried one of the finest ' ! : he rode a beautiful of the smaller boys which galloped and jumped like a horse. boys ! ! ' ! 1 ' ' ! to our mothers ' ! A pang went through my heart. ! .PREPARATION ' ' ! 245 ' Some of you may very possibly be killed I said.

and be already inside the gates . Some rode first real was our shaggy. which yet made speed enough. a gallant show on the wide plain. shambling bears. These last. the leading division great companies of butterflies and other insects played about our heads and a crowd of four-footed creatures followed us. We halted and slept soundly through the afternoon it : march. the wasps and the dragon-flies. between the blue sky and the green grass. and rest the afternoon rest the next day. left us almost all but the birds and the butterflies. The latter part of our journey we would fcwilight. making. and start again in the short night. went with us to the very gates of the city. endeavour so to divide as to arrive at the city with the first of the morning. . all seemed as if migrate with us. because it was cold. when It discovered. when night came. . We would travel all the then go on at morning. . but none were tired. imagining themselves. arid woke in the morning quite fresh. no doubt.246 LILITH CHAPTEK XXXV THE LITTLE ONES IN BULIKA IT was early in the morning when we set out. None tumbled off. In the night we went faster. Many fell asleep on the backs of their beasts. the inhabitants of the forest would A multitude of birds flew in front. .

such a padand in We ding of paws and feet been heard on its old pavement The horses started and looked scared at the echo of their ! own steps . the sun and the city rose. I believe many of : me too. some plunged wildly . rode through the sounding archway. ringing far over the silent levels. I heard a little fellow. I saw apprehension and dislike at once invade their hearts for the first : them long little lives they knew fear. commune thus with his darling beast Nosy dear. but when I told them the was full of nests of stone. ! we ' will ! The same night there burst out such a tumult of elephant-trumpeting. and would have been racing all the way had I not prevented it. ' ' : ' : . when we had halted to feed. I am digging you out of the mounbe patient I'm tain. that. and then we'll kiss like good elephants. and child-imitation. unable to see the animals below them. 247 going as fast as the elephants. Suddenly. as it seemed. would keep talking to them as long as they were awake. I quickly stilled the uproar lest it should give warning of our approach. uncertain how near the city might not be. little as I deserved it. and shall soon get down to you a coming soon now you'll send up your nose Very to look for me.THE LITTLE ONES IN 1JULIKA. Those atop of the hay on the elephants. together. one morning. To the children the walls appeared inside only a great mass of rock. Once. The place looked to them bad how were they to find mothers in such a place ? But they went on bravely. Sure never had such a drumming of hoofs. Others were mounted on different kinds of deer. as he drew out the hay to give him. for they had confidence in Lona time in their lives. some halted a moment. horse-neighing.

248 . not a whit afraid We were nearly in the heart of the city before any But of its inhabitants became aware of our presence. ! ! innocents ! I was myself but a left slave. who looked about five years old. now windows began to open. which. of the leaving open the middle way. and all were still as death. LILITH and wheeled about but they were soon quieted. In spite of their fear. unfaithful obstinacy had set me at the head of that army of its loving. like any king in the world I had pleases him therefore a free ! ! who does or would do only what But Lona rode beside me a child indeed. watchful. But for a time all of them kept close to the houses. with the bad giants its slaves. and went on. woman calm. silent. Every face wore at first a dull stare of wonderless astonishment. when they saw that their invaders were almost all children. I who dreamed thus. Some of the Little Ones shivered. On the countenance of the woman lay a dark anxiety nor was I myself unaffected by the general dread. At length a boy. for they durst not approach the animals. as soon as the starers perceived the animals. and the animals obedient friends Alas. and sleepy heads to look out. full of and was the idea of his mother. and the men followed. . had not myself learned to obey "[Intrusting. spying in the . however. for the whole army was on my hands and on my conscience I had brought it up to the danger whose shadow : But I was supported was now making itself felt the thought of the coming kingdom of the Little by ! Ones. flies manifested fear. the women came running into the streets. The three girls held closer the All except the bears and butterinfants they carried. changed to one of consternation.

but slunk aside. He dared not abide the shock. stepped suddenly. between me and the boy who rode behind me. We turned at once. struck by several stones. Instantly a girl ran her sharp spear into the fellow's arm. and the next moment went down. and trampled on not attempt to get up until hundreds of feet had walked over him. stood barring her way with a club.THE LITTLE ONES IN BULIKA crowd a 249 woman whose face attracted him. and immediately stabbed by two or three more. avoiding my charger. threw himself her from his antelope. one of the boy told . and the army elephants behind laid him so that he did him women what a dismay clouded Hardly one of them was even Were her darlings to find pleasant to look upon mothers among such as these ? Hardly had we halted in the central square. with a speech whose rudeness alone was intelligible. however. little prostrate. But the hand of a man came over her shoulder. and seized him by the neck. having stirred up the little manhood in him. Another huge fellow. and then first discovered that the woman we befriended had disappeared with her baby. But at sight the face of Lona ! . of the ! was gone by. fled yelling. and he fell. and clung about her neck . when two girls rode up in anxious haste. He sent forth a savage howl. her eyes flashing as she drove her horse against one of unusual height who. The him to address the king the giant struck his horse on the head with a hammer. Before the brute could strike again. with the tidings that two of the boys had been hurried away by some women. upon nor was she slow to return his embrace and kisses. ( They are just bad giants ' ! said Lona.

250 But at LILITH the same moment we descried a white come bounding toward us down a narrow lane leopardess that led from the square to the palace. and stood fast. threw herself at the door the boy was dashed against it. when suddenly a stopped to see the result small boy. The Little Ones had not forgotten the fight of the two leopardesses in some of them looked terrified. I had just given them. and at sight of her he stood still. The leopardess. Before I could reach him. We . and had begun to batter the door with his heels. But she too had heard the cry. My horse came and pushed me away with his nose. and ran to meet her. courage. set him on the back of his bear. which had still followed him. and fell senseless. who had heard me speak of the goodness of the white leopardess. and she darted in. leaped from the back of his bear. Who could doubt the subjugation of a people which saw an urchin of the enemy bestride an animal of which they lived in daily terror ? Confident of the effect on the whole army. : . called Odu. pulled herself up so suddenly that she went rolling over and over when she recovered her feet she found the child on her back. turned about. As we stopped at the house to which our guides led I sprang down. and thundered us. to avoid knocking him down. we rode on. Lona had him in her arms. we heard a scream at the door. and their the forest ranks began to waver but they remembered the order : . and as soon as he came to himself. . it gave way. which went shambling after him. when up came little Odu on the leopardess. trembling. When the leopardess threw herself the third time against the door. and forgetting the child on her back. remarkable for his speed and We .

: ! ! When we army. told us that the He Following in search of the other boy. and charged into the crowd. we spied a door under the stair. there Let us leave the horrible place. The slaves cried out and ran. to find no one. we found it as and ready. we got into the next house more easily. but she 251 sprang up had already vanished. the princess gave no plotting we did not know Watch and ward must be kept the night that they through The Little Ones were such hardy creatures . ! livering. when we met the leopardess with gone a and went We the child we sought across her back.' The leopardess dropped her burden. down again. dragged him into the street. ! The leopardess sprang upon his murderer. from which worst of fates death had saved him. took him by the throat. and followed Lona with him. had not far. wherever it was thickest. woman he took for his mother threw him into a hole. and took him out. and what she might be left it.THE LITTLE ONES IN BULIKA followed. Darting and got into a labyrinth of excavations. that we were too late one of the savages had just killed the little : It consoled Lona. to learn which captive he was. stair. saying she would give him to the leopardess. like a cat with a great rat in her jaws. But the leopardess was a good one. however.' said Lona This people is not worth deare no mothers here * ' . tumbling over each other in heaps. we had got back to the standing in order But I was far from easy sign. however. alas. this way and that. but to find. for she had been expecting him to grow a bad giant. all We over the house.

Their animals The slept more lightly. In one moment they were down. their animals .2S2 j could repose anywhere : LILITH we told them to lie down with where they were. a sound as of water over grass. ever on the edge of waking. and in another lapt in the music of their sleep. the whole wicked place appeared at rest. or a soft wind among leaves. and sleep till they were called. All was still. and girls walked softly hither and thither bigger hoys among the dreaming multitude.

From the top of one of its great towers. while the city yet . in the early morning. felt very strongly that to do so would be to fail wilfully where success . palace. I should be there between them that I had no other power over her. LONA was was and. I was ready. for the sake of my Lona. on the contrary. to weaken the hearts of possible the Little Ones. it was certain the princess . and so bring them into much greater danger. I stated the case to Lona as it appeared At once she agreed to accompany me to the to me.253 CHAPTEK XXXVI MOTHER AND DAUGHTER so disgusted with the people. Mother and the hope of the prophecy went with us must meet it might be that Lona's loveliness daughter would take Lilith's heart by storm if she threatened If I found violence. ! ! would not leave us unassailed if we encountered her. that she wished to abandon the place as soon as possible I. far worse. If we retreated. to strike her pitilessly on the I knew she was doomed most likely it closed hand was decreed that her doom should now be brought to : ! ! ! : pass through us Still ! without hint of the relation in which she stood to the princess. and especially with the women. the princess had.

she descended to the black hall. Many a shadow moved about her in the darkness. . a mirror to receive the full sunlight For the resulting vision of reflected from her person. but. she refused to regard it. . herself in the splendour of her beauty. . she had suspended. ! ! . The vision passed. a little way from and above her. but dared not leave it because of the beasts of the Little Ones all night long the princess sat motionless she must see her beauty again she must try : ! . but she sat on. Close under the mirror stood the Shadow which attended her walks. The city was taken the inhabitants were cowering in terror the Little Ones and their strange cavalry were encamped in the square the sun shone upon the princess. and they were upon her about to be fulfilled When she came to herself. the servants shivered and shook. him she did not see. under the opening For she must think Now what she called thinking required a clear consciousness of herself. and darkness clothed and filled the glass. but as she chose to believe herself and to aid her in the realisation of this consciousness. wallowed in the palace . itself invisible in the darkness of the hall. not as she was. self-occupied. The night was now come. descried LILITH the approach of the army of the Little sight awoke in her an over-mastering ! Ones.254 slept. but as often as. and for a few minutes she saw herself glorious. : The she had failed in her endeavour to destroy terror The prophecy was them. ellipse. she caught sight of one. with a certain inner eye which she had. . A gloom that swarmed with shadows. yet she did not move. and seated herself in the north focus of the in the roof. she sat waiting the meridional sun.

As we climbed the steep way dome of and. writhed in quivering spasms. ! 255 But courage and will had grown weary and would dwell with her no more In the morning we chose twelve of the tallest and bravest of the boys to go with us to the palace. and lay motionless. to the palace. Little Ones She leaped up The horses reared and The the elephants retreated a step. and they small horses and ! elephants. : ! ! pardess. We found the gate open as usual. he climbed the He looked in at the eye of it her sudden radiance the princess flashed upon But she sprang to her feet with a cry of despair alas her whiteness the spot covered half her side. We of The princess yet leaned back in her chair in the shaft sunlight. rode into the great hall. apparently asleep or lifeless. but until the up the shore sun stood over- head. She started. and was black as the marble around her She clutched her robe. never had such sound been heard listened. of her The princess sat waiting the sun to give her the joy own presence. passed through the paved grove up to the palace door. ! . The next instant she fell supine. and entered the vestibule. There in her cage lay the spotted leowith own sight. He rose to our eyes. rampant against the plunged . We rode our great horses. and fell back in her chair. not a ray could enter the black hall. and swiftly ascended. and shook in her palace She pressed her hand to her side. its great hall. The tide of the light was creeping of the sky. and she saw him go.MOTHER AND DAUGHTER again to think of her. cage. paused a moment to look at her. when from the stones of the court came to : her ears the noise of the horses' hoofs. The Shadow glided out.

entered the hall moving figures that were not ! shadows approached her through the darkness For us. and bounded to her. .256 and gasped. shivering and wild-eyed. Lona sprang from her horse. but love of the child was stronger than hate of the mother. hung my precious burden. With indignant hate I glanced at the princess she answered me with her sweetest smile. . I sprang from mine. and strangled her. the horrible sound of her fall At my feet she fell. and followed Lona. a glorious woman centring the dark. her eyebrows met on her forehead. The princess sat down with the smile of a demoness. and I clasped closer ones. and dashed ! ! on the marble floor. as she leaped on the dais. Oh. and pressed her to my bosom. and her clear. then the small helpless . Mine reared. lovely Mother mother voice echoed in the dome. and flung her arms around the 1 ! ! ' princess. raised her from the stones. and stood. with the little horses after him. She rose to her feet. The horses scented it mine first. I dropped on my knees beside Lona. and thundered blindly down the dark hall. and fell on the floor with soft. we saw a splendour. it LIL1TH The trampling came nearer and nearer itself . Lona's stood gazing down at . An instant in that instant I more and I should have reached them saw Lona lifted high. Mother mother cried Lona again. went about. I would have sprung upon her. she cried. ' ' ! ! The princess shivered her face grew almost black with hate. and lay still. slow little plashes. Her arms her blood trickled over my hands. . taken her by the throat.

not seeing the black wall before them. The doors and windows I Little forgot the were crowded with brute-faces jeering at me. and stopped. her face that of a corpse. But as I sat gazing on the still countenance. it seemed to smile a live momentary smile. She was dead as earth. ' Mother ! mother ' ! she sighed. and wandered princess.' Ones. The boys flung themselves from their horses' backs. I carried her into the court ' the sun shone upon a white face. . She was again . and her side was as if a great branding hand had been laid upon it. for they saw the white leopardess behind me. She held back a moment. but not daring to speak. I never I doubted it an illusion. her Little Ones ? I had lost her children stared helpless about me. Her head hung back. and followed me again. forgot away. looking for my Lona. wildly trumpeting the Little Ones sprang upon it. to pieces against it. staggered to the pillar. and her breathing : ceased. hanging her head close at my heel. yet believed what it said I reached the : ! ! : s . and I saw but Lona. her eyes alone alive. withered and wasted to what I found in the wood. and stood horrified the princess lay back in her seat. and they. The elephants came on to the foot of the da'is. forgot the murdering the body in my arms. I Ones. 257 and trembling all over. I spurned her with my foot. But Lona saw nothing. and sank upon its base.MOTHER AND DAUGHTER his mistress. and the pitiful shadow of a ghostly smile. Its the little army was gone square Where were the Little emptiness roused me. dashed themselves. wickedly flaming. with mine.

I held on heedless. I clasped my treasure closer. I tively sought the gate by which we looked around me. and she would find me I rose to go after the Little Ones. but saw nothing of the leopardess. however. elephants bound hand and foot. . commotion arose in the street behind me the crowd broke and through it came the Little Ones I had left Ten of them were upon four of the in the palace. they had gathered courage. . What an end to the hopes with which I entered the evil We had captured the bad princess. on the two other elephants lay the princess. a and freed my right arm. But the crowd pressed upon me. however. and instinchad entered. and fearing for the dead that was beyond hurt. The two other Little Ones rode behind her on Lena's horse. and quite still. I walked on in front. it was I who should yet see her alive lost. but for a time dared not assail me. and out of the city.LILITH It was not she. Ere I reached the gate. Every now and then the wise creatures that bore her threw their trunks behind and felt her cords. : That instant. save that her eyes rolled in their ghastly sockets. ! ! ! 1 . and lost place our all-beloved queen My life was bare my heart was empty . ! was ! The street was rapidly filling with a fierce crowd. A man pushed against my sacred burden with a kick I sent him away howling. The women began to hustle me. They saw me encumbered with my dead.

and held out their arms dire When I came among them. the sound of their ately died away. . In vain were their sobs over their mother-queen . I yielded it the tender hopelessness of the smile with which they received it. made my heart swell with pity in the midst of its own desolation. as many as could get near. put their arms under her body . those who could not. in vain they sought to entice from her some recognition in vain they kissed and fondled her as of their love On each they bore her away she would not wake side one carried an arm. I saw : had befallen them to take my burden. gently stroking it . They ! A MUBMUE of were greeted with a wavering shout which immediAs we drew near. crowded around the bearers.259 CHAPTER XXXVII THE SHADOW pleasure from my companions roused me : they had caught sight of their fellows in the distance The two on Lona's horse rode on to join them. that something on their childish faces was the haggard look left by some strange terror. sobs reached us like the breaking of tiny billows. all the Little Ones gathered s 2 . On a spot where the grass grew thicker and softer they laid : ! her down. No A few possible grief could have wrought the change. and there sobbing. . of them came slowly round me.

Odu was the I have seen that woman before ' first ' to speak. shrinking aw ay. r ' ! ! She ' ' is the wicked princess ! ' ! That cannot be 1 Indeed it is Wickedness has made her ugly She heard. I know she is Look at her eyes a bad giantess. but she is a wild beast all the same.2 60 LILITII Outside the crowd stood the elephants. She would eat you up in a moment It was her shadow ' ! with a sharp pull. and I near them. ' ! I was frightened It was a man that came down the ' hill from the palace. ' What made you run away ? you where I ' ' I asked. and what a look was hers It was very wrong of me to run away ! ' they said she was beautiful the princess I interposed. ' did he frighten How you ? * ' I don't know. ! ' ' ! ! ' ' ! said Odu thoughtfully. the night they woke us with their yelling returned his companion. leopardess. ' I expected to find left you ! He * ' did not reply at once.' answered another. gazing at my Lona over the many little heads between. yet fascinated by the hate-filled longing in her eyes. Don't look at her ' he cried. ' ! ' ' ' ! ' ! ' ' ' ! ' ! . Those next me caught sight of the princess. That was a Silly wild beast. he whispered to It was she who fought the white his next neighbour. I know she is the spotted one The other took a step nearer Odu drew him back ' ! and stared trembling. I don't know what made me run. with spots insisted Odu.' said a third.' .

And then I suppose I ran away. he began to spread and spread. 'he was a shadow. walking like a bad giant. but spread flat.' 1 ' He came down the hill very black. ' How He did you know he was inside you quite different. tear Sozo to pieces not really. and grew bigger and bigger. ! ' ' but I never thought of it until I was out of the gate Then I knew that I had run among the grass. but I did not know I had run away until I found myself running.' . thought Then came a horrible laugh that had heard my think. Sozo. away from a shadow that wanted to be me and wasn't. and we saw him no more. I must kill myself to get out of the black. fast as could. it was Odu. ' ! He came do you mean by that ? 'He was all black through between us. But before he reached us.' he sobbed. and then he was upon us him. were frightened the moment we saw him. It wasn't me. I ' not not the Odu I knew. Odu any more I was wanted to ! Really. and that I was the Odu that loved Sozo. It was the . on as if he would walk over us. He was nothing but blackness. ' ? ' did me I felt like bad. but like He turned and hugged Sozo. loving you always I grew sick. till at last he was so big that he went out of our sight. but we did not run away we stood and watched We . and all the rest running too. deep And Odu came down. and it set the air trembling about me. and up. and knocked Naughty away. and could not see one another and then he was inside ' ' What we us.THE SHADOW ' 26 1 He wasn't a man/ said ' ! Odu. he had no thick to him Tell me more about him. I would have stopped.

took the dead thing in my lap. Where are you. I told the rest of the army to go to sleep. When the moon rose I caught a glimpse of something white it was the leopardess. Before the sun went down. ! ! : ! ! ! ' ! legs. 'I suppose he 'I do not know. * What became of the ' * ' ! appointing a guard over of it. and stretched myself beside the body of Lona. and There Naughty legs forgot me. : . and sentinels round it intending to walk about it myself all night long. went home into the night where there is no moon. rose to provide for the safety Lona's people during the night. Lona ? I But its lips gave no answer. and them. with a kick to each of his naughty me ! . shadow ? I asked.' I fell a wondering where Lona was gone. .262 L1LITII shadow that got into me. They threw themselves on the grass and were asleep in a moment. I had set a watch over the princess outside the camp. Thereupon I made the watch lie down with the others. laid the hody down again. and ran away and there Thus ended Odu. I kissed love you not quite cold. and I saw her pass three times between the princess and the Little Ones. I think they grew frightened. and hated him from inside And now I know it was not my own self me But indeed I did that I ought not to have run away not quite know what I was doing until it was done My legs did it. and whispered in its ear.' he answered. and dropping on the grass. She swept silently round the sleeping camp.

I saw a little girl go up to her. on the way. lips of the princess. as we were camping for the night. Her fiery eyes kept rolling to and fro.263 CHAPTEE XXXVIII TO THE HOUSE OF BITTERNESS IN the morning we fast as set out. how bitterly must I not humble myself before him! to To Adam I must make her repent ! take Lilith also. for surely she had died long ago Alas. and made : for the forest as we could. I he would would watch ! mouldered away But I ! believed he would. nor ever closed. and carried her take it to her father he would give it ! or. until we reached the other side of the hot stream. One evening. and ran to prevent mischief. I believe. seeing she had not it in the desert until I rode Lona's horse. I would a couch in the chamber of his dead not. the child had After that they never opened until put something to the scream of pain. and given a . body. I less a right to I scarce merited being made for ever her gaoler surely Again and again. ! much I had no power had hardly a right to slay her and let her loose in the world ! . if come it of herself. But ere I could reach them. we came to the House of Bitterness. I offered her food but she answered only with a look of hungering hate.

and that day we went no farther than the ivy-hall. when the eyes of the came open. bounding and skipping. The child's name was Luva.' she whimpered. with did not sleep. night after night. Lona by my side. and the fruit fell to the ground. ' ! Bad ' Well now ' ! she cried. The spectres seemed to see and welcome them perhaps they knew all about the Little Ones. and whether I should not one day have to join them I The night came. and a minute after was holding a second fruit to a mouth greedy of other fare. king. Hoping again to see the and expecting the Little Ones to sleep through dance. wide caught hold of a dancer. because of its grapes. I had resolved to spend the night. and in a few minutes were all fast asleep on the green floor and in the forest around the hall. giantess make hole in it I sucked the tiny finger. but the company was was wondering with myself whether. ! how. ate eagerly. bring refreshment to weary souls who. When them good. and suddenly because of children my stiff-neckedness. I I lay down among them. The next day we crossed the hot stream. Immediately every one and away they went. and they sprang awake.264 LILITII 'Please. they would thus go on dancing to all eternity. Again on their own ground. But this time she snatched her hand quickly away. their innocent gambols must. there. 'suck finger. they saw the great clusters. But their nests were still at a great distance. rushed it. the Little Ones were jubilant. where. at once they knew upon them. had made them leave a wide space in the middle. I thought. their present taken from . for they had themselves long been on their way back to childhood Any: to their feet.

I followed . laying hold of their arms. The princess too had disappeared. future dark. as I sprang to my feet. Just ere the morning began to break. and ran to them. The two seemed on Their ! excellent terms with each common them ! deprivation had drawn them together of a new the loss of everything had been the beginning life to Perceiving that they had gathered handfuls of . A cry of join the dance. without or ligature. although now walking at ease. as we started. fear broke from the children. I darted to the spot where I had left her she lay with her eyes closed. kindly. two skeletons moving about in a thicket. a little way from us. as if she had never moved. at least : were already on the floor. and stroking the bones of their long fingers and it was plain the poor creatures took their attentions once . I was able to recognise the pair I had splint The children at before seen in that neighbourhood. prank did the children play cause a and momentary jar in the they did at times rhythm of the dance. The Little Ones broke their ranks. had no life save the shadow Many a merry but never a rude . the stood for a fearful spot black on her side. I started to see the skeleton-princess in the doorway. we spied. The next morning. made friends with them. if the poor spectres. and. if She she moment. composing themselves to sleep. and I saw would The ghosts were gone they were no longer visible. I returned to the hall. at least manifested no annoyance.TO THE HOUSE OF BITTERNESS 265 them and their of their vanished past. The Little Ones them clinging to each other. other. and the lights repugnant vanished. her eyes open and glowing. But the low moon looked in. then came gliding in. who had nothing to smile withal.

and She bit into it so laid my bare arm upon her lips. but of the sweetest and merriest. "When we came to the nest-village. to see them resettled for Lona still looked like one just dead. gathered of the same sorts. and her eyes remained shut fearing she might die ere we reached the end of our journey. I remained there a night with them. Choosing twelve Little Ones. saying to each other they had not known there were such nice people living in the same forest. wrapt in her cloak before me. the latter for the children. I went to her in the night. and resumed bye. and took two more of the wise clumsies. haste. as the children called them. promising their journey. and there seemed no need of ment reach their . having keenly examined those they held. and were looking for more their bones with. It was then morning. where I hoped to learn how best to cross the broader and rougher branch. to bear the prinI still rode Lena's horse.266 LILTTII herbs. but I came to myself lying beyond her reach. and carried her body cess. for in what other presumably to rub way could nourish- system so rudimentary ? the Little Ones. I had one terrible night on the way the third. that I cried out. and immediately I set : about our departure. : . not of the biggest and strongest. across the left branch of the riverbed. and how to avoid the basin of monsters I dreaded the former for the elephants. to the House of Bitterness. to come and see them again. How I got away from her I fiercely do not know. I mounted them on six elephants. The princess had eaten nothing. and filled the hands the skeletons Then they bid them goodheld out to receive them. As nearly as I could judge I took the direct way.

The film swept a little aside. torn and hooked. and there let the princess slip down between them. but sending forth no light a thick. and struck her on the hand. Came a cold wind with a burning sting and Lilith was upon me. and fixed them in my flesh. She seemed quite I laid myself a little dead. remaining shadows. but with her teeth she pulled from my shoulder the cloak Lona made for me. I lay as one paralysed.' I answered.TO THE HOUSE OF BITTERNESS 267 passed in the desert between the two branches of the dead river. ' ! . A second blast of hot-stinging cold enveloped us the moon shone out clear. Her hands were still bound. besmeared with red. mottling the desert with Of a sudden she was eclipsed. thoughtful moon. thus to keep watch at once over the dead and the We dangerous. way from her. ' * Where are voice of a dull ' you taking me ? she asked. . but I did not think she was. with the echo from a sepulchre. and sprang to my feet. and I felt her shiver. and I saw the edge of the jagged outline of a batit against her clearness like wing. had stopped the elephants in a sheltered place. to lie on the sand until the morning. devil ' ! I cried. she moaned. when I remembered. and rocked herself to and fro. She was on her knees. She raised her head with a gurgling shriek. The moon was half-way down the west. film covered her patient beauty. diaphanous visible. To your first ' He will kill me husband. with the body of Lona by my other side. and she looked troubled. I flung her from me. and I saw her face gaunt and ghastly. ' Down. a pale. : Already the very life seemed flowing from me into her.

' 1 I know the lady. and in the morning she again seemed dead. I spent a night ! at her house. ' there. ! ! ' * grinding her teeth.268 * LILITH At least he will take you off my hands Give me my daughter/ she suddenly screamed. and the next moment one of the elephants came alongside ' of my horse.' did they say about her ? ' ' 1 What ' That she had claws It is not true. and her claws be folded up inside cushions . discontented people : ! ! Who ' taught you to call her the cat. to her toes.' log. please. you are not going to that place ? whispered the Little One who rode on his neck. ' Please. don't lives ' ! That must be where the her. king.' ' But she may have claws ' ! to her toes You might their see her feet.woman ? I heard the bad giants call her so. ' I am in torture. Never 'Loose 1 Your doom hands is upon you ' ! at last ' ! my for pity's sake ' she groaned. on the ground like a The rest of the night passed in peace. Before evening we came in sight of the House of Bitterness. She threw herself Lie down I said. ' The cords are sunk in ! my flesh. ! We ! are going to stay the night Oh.' I ' Indeed I am answered. I dare not. cat- woman ' If you had ever seen ' ! you would not call her by that ' name Nobody ever sees her is head ' she has lost her face Her back and side all round.' She hides her face from dull.

while he waited for his companions.' ' Then why do you believe them about her ? ' I know the lady is good she cannot have claws.' I said. ! ! Oh. but she will always be She will good. and They hastened * I after me.' If I ' they answered. they love . in that cottage. ' When you see the woman is good. even she do hurt you I ' ! They were ' silent for a while. but answered one. I'm not afraid of being hurt a little ! a good . no that can't be ' ! ' ! ' ' No . The giants might have told you so We shouldn't believe them about you Are the giants good ? . and when they came up. ' ' ! ' ' ' ! ' Just so ' ! I answered. I know her better than you know me.' Please how do you know she is good ? How do you know I am good ? ' ' ' told I rode on. You may wonder at what she does. Ah. them what I had said. you will know that she not hurt you. they never hurt us That was before we knew them added another. would not take you to her house if I did not believe her good. king dear ! You if 1 am sure she will never be unkind to you.TO THE HOUSE OF BITTERNESS ' 269 Then perhaps you think ' that I have claws to ' my toes ? ' * 1 ' you are good I pursued. were to do something that frightened you what would you say ? The beasts frightened us sometimes at first. you are not sure about think she may hurt us or if ' ! ' it. ' she does. ' We know you would not. lying.

! the dark ' The But I should not like scratches in giants say the cat-woman has claw* ' ! feet all over her house I am taking the princess to her. more than ' ! once. ' you may go home . and put his hands over his eyes. trying to feed her with grapes ' Little Tumbledown is good Luva ! ' is very good ! That is why they are her friends.' 'Will the cat-woman I mean the woman that isn't the cat. afraid ! one.270 deal ' LILITH ! cried Odu.' I saw them both.' How can she be good then ? Little . or one who will call a ' good lady the king. and has no claws to her toes give her grapes ? She is more likely to give her scratches ' Why ? You say she is her friend That is just why.' I said. Fear is not your master Laugh in his face and he will run away/ There she is in the door waiting for us cried one. ' ' ! . and the princess is sorely in need of a ' ' ' ' ! ' ! ' terrible scratching.woman. 'Why?' ' ' Because she is her friend.' I answered. But I cannot take one with I shall not prevent you. ' ' answered Tumbledown so is Luva ' is : I a friend of the princess.' said cat. A friend is one who gives us what we need. me who believes the giants rather than me.' They were silent again. The only harm in doing no harm what Fear in being tells you.woman ' ! 'Please. is ! there is afraid.' I said. 'I'm ' so afraid of being ' My boy. ' If any of you are afraid.

is ' ' ' her face not see her. Little Ones. she said. Mr. and you. carried it into the house. She has a very beautiful face. I must do what I can ' ' ! The We unbound . ' ! said a girl . Lilith's hour has been long At last on the way. the Little Ones looking very grave. * I will call then perhaps she will show me ! name ' Mara. please ? ' ' Mara. she has some good ! ' ' ' ' : reason for ' ' ' it ! ' cat-woman she is frightful You cannot like. indeed as beautiful as Lona's Then what makes her hide it ? I think I know anyhow. drest and muffled in white. took the ! ' princess. I thank you This woman would not yield to gentler measures harder must have their turn. ' and did the same. and returning. but it is come Everything comes. Thou' ' ' ! ! sands of years have I waited and not in vain She came to me. you must not call her the cat-woman I don't like the ! ! ' ! * What Lady That " are we to call her then. her. followed our She laid hostess. beasts lay down by the door. to make her ' repent ! . ' ! covered once. was indeed standing in the doorway to receive us. took my treasure from my arms. Once more. the room. Lilith shuddered. ' ! it It is I added with a sigh. and turned to us. Vane.TO THE HOUSE OF BITTERNESS ' 271 How ugly You do she ' is ! cried another.' is * her lady Mara her beautiful face a pretty " .' I said She has no face they answered. and you ought not to dislike what you have never seen. but made no resistance. the princess on a rough settle at one side of.' she said. I saw .

' ' "Will the shadow that came down the hill be with her?' The great Shadow will be in her. my child. 'It would be cruel to hurt her too little. putting her warm little hand in mine.' Will you scratch her very deep ? asked Odu. You must eat and drink before you go to sleep.2/2 LILITH pitiful-hearted Little Ones began to sob sorely. . For one moment he stared. or with any one. I saw in it what he saw. you have had a long journey ' ! . therefore she cannot be with any one. and putting his hand in hers. going ' ' ' near. There is One who will be with her. he stood looking up at her. only worse. but that will not comfort her. and he cannot tell. turned her back to the rest of ' ' ! drew the muffling down from her face.' ' ' . turned to the other children. lost in contemplation then ran to us with the face of a prophet that knows a bliss Mara rearranged her mufflings. and held him at arms' length that he might see her. I fear. Please. and For a minute he then she set him down. Yet a moment gazed entranced. She loves no one. ! 1 May I stop with her ? ' 'No. Will you hurt her very much. ' she said ' .' swiftly changed to intense delight. then a divine wonder arose in his countenance. . his little mouth open us. but he cannot be with her. lady Mara ? said the girl I have just mentioned. but she will not be with Him. * ' The Yes I am afraid I must I fear she will make me answered Mara. don't make the red juice come She caught him up. She will know I am beside her. It would have all to be done again. As if his face had been a mirror.

and the rest went trooping after her. and this was hard . but they ate it without sign of distaste. she put them to bed on the floor of the garret. With her own gentle hands. and a They had never seen bread before. jug of cold water.TO THE HOUSE OF BITTERNESS She set the 273 bread of her house before them. but they drank without demur. they told me. They had never seen water before. Then she led away the smallest. and dry. one after the other looking up from the draught with a face of glad astonishment.

they said. and swelled up until the garret was full of it to the very roof. inside and out. so that it quivered and trembled like a horse shaking himself but it was a silent wind that made not even a moan in their chamber. They swarmed up and down. They felt their claws trying to get through . and they brought a strange report of it into the day. They thought the house was filling with water such as they had been drinking. awake or All night asleep they were never at rest from it. everywhere about the room. and the silence was the terror. and shook its inside. something they were not to know. or their waking sank with them into their dreams. and when it sank away. But it made no more sound than the wind. was full of cats. Never a sound awoke the darkness was one with the silence. . and passed fear . Once. It came from below. The next time they woke. a frightful wind filled the house.274 LILITH CHAPTEK XXXIX THAT NIGHT THEIR night was a troubled one. But they woke again with a great start. away like a soundless sob. They fell asleep. along and across. they said. something terrible. Whether the fear of their sleep came out into their waking. they fell asleep dry and warm. all the air. seemed going on in the house something something silent.

slowly ! crossed the clay floor. It was a fearsome waiting. huge great-grandmother-cat in the desert she must have been calling her little ones. then sat down opposite me. cowering in a corner. and seemed never to have moved hand or foot. A lamp stood on the high chimney- and sometimes the room seemed full of lampshadows. the princess all through the night something of what and there was took place I saw much I only felt more which eye could not see. and all was still. and heart only could in a measure understand. The princess lay on the settle by the wall. We T 2 sat . came the only sound they heard the night long the far-off howl of the . The something came nearer. but they could not and in the morning not one of them had a scratch. . Between us burned a small fire. and did not wake till the sun was rising. As soon as Mara left the room with the children. : left her behind us. my eyes fell on the white leopardess I thought we had : : . piece. at the other side of the hearth. but there she was. A silvery creature like a slowworm came crawling out from among them. sometimes of cloudy forms. The cloudy Something terrible was on its way presences nickered and shook.THAT NIGHT 275 the night-gowns lady Mara had put on them. Through the dark suddenly. motionless. When Mara returned. and crept into the fire. for that instant the cats stopped. she drew the settle with Lilith upon it to the middle of the room. Apparently she was in mortal terror of what she might see. Such was the account the children gave of their But I was with the veiled woman and experiences. they thought. Once more they fell fast asleep.

Mara put the question again. inviting tone. and she wept no more. severe. its corpse opened its mouth and words appearing to frame themselves of . 'Will you turn away from the wicked things you have been doing so long ? said Mara gently.276 LILITH But the hours passed. not a crack from board or beam. She laid her hand on the head of the princess on the hair that grew low on the forehead. The night was very still. and turning. not a rustle from the fire. Then I saw her face. Still there was no sign of hearing. The feet of the princess were toward the hearth Mara went to her : . and I knew it never could be unhappy. rose. Not a sound broke the silence. whether in my own body or whether it was anywhere. and there was no change. : she wiped them away with her robe her countenance grew very still. Great tears were running down her cheeks head. But for the pity in every line of her expression. but whether in the earth or in the air or in the waters under the earth. midnight drew nigh. and stooping. but not unhappy. in the same soft. She spoke the words a third time. and she stepped over them. and slowly unwound the tell. was lovely beyond speech white and sad. for I had ceased to care for aught save the thing that must be done. stood behind It it. breathed on the sallow brow. A was not long swathes that hid her face they dropped on the ground. The muffled woman Suddenly it was midnight. But I afraid. she would have seemed . heart-andsoul sad. I could not in my soul dread sense of judgment was upon me. ' The princess did not answer. turned toward the settle. The body shuddered. Then the seeming answered. Now and again I felt a sort of heave.

yet they were words to me. no one can take myself You are not the Self you imagine. What I choose to seem to myself makes me ' ' from me My own thought makes me me my own thought of myself is me. what I am. Another shall not make me But another has made you.' ' ! Will you 'If you were restored. and ' ' ' : you do evil ' ! 'I will do as my ' Self pleases as my Self desires. ' ! . your hour I ' ! ' I care not.' You have killed your daughter.' So long as I feel myself what it pleases me to think I am content to be to myself what myself.' 1 am not another's I am my own. not yourself not be your real self ?' I will be what I mean myself now. and my daughter ' ! ' ! . She is my own She was never yours as you are another's. I will not. I would be. overshadowing your Self inclines ' ' ' 4 you ? I will do what I will to do. I cannot shape the thing sounds they were not. Lilith I have killed thousands. would you not make what amends you could for the misery you have caused ? I would do after my nature.THAT NIGHT 277 something else than sound. I care not. you are another now.' You do not know it your nature is good.' ' Then. is mine. ' . alas. am come what I am is ! ' .' 'You ' will do as the Shadow. and can compel you to You will not be able see what you have made yourself. I will be myself and not further ' : ' another ' ' ! Alas.' she said.

every will. " I am free. will slave ' ' ! I am no slave. for I love that light. I will not be what you think me what you foolishness ! : ! ! eay I ' ' am I am ' ! sorry free : you must ' ! suffer ' ! But be She alone is free who would make free she loves not freedom who would enslave she is herself a slave." yet cannot cease ' to exist ' ! You speak You imagine me from a cowering heart over to you I defy you I hold given What I choose to be. and so redeem it That light shall not enter me I hate it itself : ! ' ! Begone. I defy that Power to unYou are his slave. Into the created can that lights another's up the darkness behind will. : Every life. Who is a slave but her who cries. but you shall not compel me to anything against defy you will ' ! You may my ' ! there Such a compulsion would be without value. a light it that light can can make it truly yours and not not the Shadow's. : change your pour ' the creating will. you cannot myself against you change. you have sought to subdue you are the slave : . but the creature that wills against its creator. and I make me from a free woman ! aware ' of the ' ! be able to torture me I do not know. But is a light that goes deeper than the will. ' .278 LILITII much sees he longer to look to yourself anything but what You will not much longer have satisfaction At this moment you are in the thought of yourself. you ! coming change No one ever made me. and with There is no slave the deeper will which created mine. every heart that came within your ken.

as one that waits an event foreknown. Slowly. I presume. itself. soundless presence as of roaring flame possessed the house the same. and ! ! went two backward paces from her. and drew aside the closed edges of the robe no serpent was there no searing trail the to snatch the : worm from . neither was the settle scorched where the worm had lain. very slow. on the dry. The princess gave creature had passed in by the centre . I darted forward the poor withered bosom. where it disappeared among the folds. and was piercing through the joints and marrow to the thoughts and intents of the heart.THAT NIGHT 279 ' of every slave you have made such a slave that you do not know it See your own self She took her hand from the head of the princess. the eyelids closed as over dead eyes and for some minutes nothing followed. : vivid as incandescent silver. At length. going Yet more slowly it crept up on it. Involuntarily I turned to the A hearth its fire was a still small moveless glow. : . But Mara. to appear drops as of the finest dew in a began moment they were as large as seed-pearls. very slowly. and crush it with my foot. : and began to pour down in streams. parchment-like skin. stepped between. Mother of Sorrow. the live heart of essential fire. and laid as unwilling to go further. The face of the princess lay stonily calm. cess. But I saw the worm-thing come creeping out. white-hot. it crept along her robe until it reached her bosom. at the feet of the prinI rose and stole nearer. The shining crawled on to a bare bony foot it showed no thing suffering. ran together. of the black spot. Along the floor it crawled toward the settle. Mara stood motionless. that was to the children a silent wind.

away The central fire of the universe is radiating into her the knowledge of good and evil.' It may have been five minutes or five years that she what she stood thus I cannot tell to her. but she does not is the heart of that fire. and laying her said Mara She is seeing herself hand on my arm. Why did he make me such ? gasped Lilith. . She sees at last the good she is not. . then sprang to the floor. and poured the sweat of her torture on the floor. contorted shudder.' she said. She knows that she is herself the fire in which she is burning. from us. the knowledge of what she . and would not weep. I would have thrown my arms about her. is. she drew me three paces from the was ' ' ! . but at last she flung herself on her face. Will you change your way ? she said at length. settle. I tears fell ' Mara went ' ' ' . No gentler way to help her was left. Of a sudden the princess bent her body upward in an arch. know that the Light of Life Her torment is that she is . and the sight of them overwhelm me. The horror in her face made me tremble lest her eyes should Her open. hair hung and dripped then it stood out from her head and emitted sparks again hung down. She is far You cannot go near her.LIL1TH one writhing. and I knew the worm in her secret chamber. Wait and watch. the evil she is. Her bosom heaved and sank. but Mara stopped me. and stood erect. afar in the hell of her self-consciousness. Large ' and stood looking down upon her. ' ' is. from her eyes on the woman who had never wept. but no breath issued. Do not fear for her she is not forsaken.

Gently it bore her. * How ' You know it. and mock me ! Alas. You have made yourself what you are. Unseen and noiseless It smote no sense in me. blowing without sound or impact and a water began to rise that had no lap in its ripples. gently and But he did not slowly. but the tyrant ! keeps me being I curse him ! Now let him kill me ' ! The words came in jets as from a dying fountain. and left rather than laid her on the settle. I cannot often have I not agonised to cease. A wind seemed to wake . unable to resist.THAT NIGHT ! 28 1 it I am glad would have made myself oh. yet I knew it rising. If you are willing. so different He alone was he that made me and not I myself Never would I have made is to blame for what I am ! ! might know any longer ! such a worthless thing! He meant me such that I I will not be made it and be miserable ! ' ' Unmake yourself.' said Mara.' ' : ' I will not be remade ' ! ' He will not change you . then. Then it sank swiftly away.' 1 will not be aught of his making.' said ! Mara. but it did not benumb. . put yourself again on the settle.' I will not. I saw it lift at last and float her. forcing the words through . he will only restore you to what you 1 ' were. ' ' her clenched teeth. Be of better cheer he can remake you. inside the house. you could not even hate him. Had he not made you. no sob in its swell. It was cold.' she answered. it came. make you such.' Are you not willing to have that set right which ' you have set wrong ? She lay silent her suffering seemed abated.

Those are said. murmur as holding colloquy with a dividual self her queendom was no longer whole it was divided against One moment she would exult as over her worst itself. I sent a beseeching look to Mara. ' alas. I could not help suspecting with forces which I was unacquainted. and often to make allusion to influences and vices too. are ' ! Will you restore that which you have wrongfully taken ? 1 ' . Yet it is good. the sparkling and flowing alternate. The tale appeared now and then to touch upon things that Adam had read from the disparted manuscript. Yet the language seemed the primeval shape of one I knew well. accusing and excusing. Self-loathing is not sorrow. then light. embrace of a friend whom her soul hated. thought. far more bitter. but refused to be recalled. in a language so strange. and in the father's arms the prodigal forgets the self he abominates. and sigh deep sighs. not the tears of repentance she The true tears gather in the eyes. and in forms so shadowy. tale about herself. he is to himself of no more account. She ceased. ' Those. and again came the horror in her hair. and laugh At length she began what seemed a like a demon. and the forms to belong to dreams which had once been mine.282 LILTTII strife of The afresh. that I could but here and there understand a little. began fierceness.' She went nearer and said. and not so good. and weep the next she would writhe as in the enemy. . and gathered The soul of Lilith lay naked to the torture of pure interpenetrating inward She began to moan. : . for it marks a step in the way home. It will be so with her. Once with his father.

and for one ghastly instant I seemed alone with Death Absolute It was not the absence of everything I felt. touched me.' answered the princess. ! ' For let but me pity's sake. forcing out the words in spite of pain. and : beside it a form of splendent beauty. live ' ! ' tear my heart out. and saw before her. head. and sank again on the floor helpless. tion positive infolded her the border of its being that was yet no being. The princess dashed herself from the settle to the floor with an exceeding great and bitter It was the recoil of Being from Annihilation.' ' Mara ness. a left her. with the air of a conqueror more. cast from unseen heavenly mirror. cry. stood the reflection of herself. of an invisible darkthan aught that had A horrible Nothingness. Dareful she had met her she had won the battle had withdrawn defeated She foes they spiritual raised her withered arm above her head. but the presence of Nothing. that I had not the right to take. With that there fell upon her.' she shrieked. and a hand had emptied it A moment half rose. a Negayet made itself felt.THAT NIGHT ' 283 I have taken nothing. Suffering had all but reached the brim of her life's She raised her cup. a poean of un! : ! . the perfect calm as of a summer night. Gradually my soul grew aware terrible something more . My power to take manifested my right. She trembled. What was she seeing ? I looked. She knew the one what God had intended her to had made herself. be. and upon us also who watched with her. and she stood erect. and looked around her. the other what she . ! holy triumph in her throat when suddenly her eyes fixed in a ghastly stare.

* not indeed at once. It seemed to me plain that she could it.' 'I know not how. Let me go into the wilderness and bewail myself. With the gray dawn growing in the room. and set right in the place of wrong. but you can open it. and said.' I have no longer the power.284 LILITH The rest of the night she lay motionless altogether. then. but ' she kept it prisoned.' . she rose. gather your strength. Open it for me.' she replied with the look of one who foresaw and feared the answer. and open it wide.' Mara saw that her submission was not feigned. it and I a little way. turned to Mara. ' Open thy hand. You have conquered.' rejoined the princess with a flash of insolence. I cannot.' seemed to struggle for passage. I dare say. you do not yet wish undone do not yet intend to undo You think so. ' ! I have told you I cannot persistent effort. She looked at her a moment. It was more a a hand. and fierce refusal A ' let that which is in it go.' she said quietly. You have often opened I yourself. but I know that I cannot open my if ' You can you will What you have ' ! ' hand ' ' ! know you better than you know know you can. At worst you could beat it open I pray you. in prideful humility. yourself. ' neither was : it real. ! Without trouble and pain you cannot open it quite.' she said. but by done. Mara did not even You must open it ' look at it. paw than not open ' She held out the offending hand. and returned 'Begin.

her misery. and was again reflected in us she was . and I about to be left with nought but the consciousness that I had been alive. yet existent and I knew that Lilith had had gine it . The lamp of life and the eternal fire seemed dying together. : caused her. not into. Mercifully. saying. and my thought went back to Lilith.THAT NIGHT 1 ' 285 It would 1 will not try what I know impossible. and pervaded it. but only glimpses of it before : it had never sat been with her until now. nor shall you succeed shall yet find me stronger than you think I will yt-be ! ' ! ' ! ' ! ! ! mistress of myself ! I am still what I have always known ' ! and mistress of the worlds Then came the most fearful thing of all. what we call cold. glimpses. Something began to depart from me. and I Fearing to stand alone with the went also sat again by the hearth. She stood as she had turned. I did not know what it was I knew myself unable to imamyself queen of Hell. the fire. We knew we did not feel what she felt. I ! . Something was taking place in her which we did not know. knew only that if it came near me I should die of terror I now know that it was Life in Death life dead. you are hard to teach Defiance reappeared on the face of the princess. it its reflex. She turned her back on Mara. not in us . bereavement did not go so far. A sense of cold. Mara went and down by princess. I know what you have been tormenting me for You You have not succeeded. crept. but we yet not knew we felt something of the misery The thing itself was in her. be the part of a fool Which you have been playing all your life Oh. but out of my being. reached us. .

spacelessly. I gazed on the face of one who knew existence but not love knew nor life. we could not have been with her . Something was gone from her. in her. It was not merely that life had ceased in her. and was dead for ever and ever She had tried her hardest to unmake she was a dead life she could herself. nor joy. She must death it life. but that she was consciously a dead thing. and understands it. whose coffin would never come to pieces. which then first. ! ! ! ! only the light knows None but God hates evil ! \ . She had killed her and knew it. never set her free Her bodily eyes stood wide open. Mara buried her head in her hands. should have been timelessly. She stood rigid. we . as if gazing into the . nor good with my She knew life only eyes I saw the face of a live death to know that it was dead. and behold. and could not In her face I saw and read not cease she must be beyond its misery saw in its dismay that the dismay behind it was more than it could manifest. and her part had undone His She saw now what she had made. it was not good! She was as a conscious corpse. absolutely apart. and that. The darkness knows neither the light nor itself itself and the darkness also. God could not have created. who was in we been. She had usurped beyond her share in self-creation. all that was left her of conscious being was the dregs of her dead and corrupted life. she knew to have been with her every moment of her wicked years. we present with her were not in the outer darkness had it ! We . ! ! . It sent out a livid gloom the light that was in her was She .was what darkness.286 LILITH in the outer darkness. death lived. by its absence. The source of life had withdrawn itself. and after its kind it shone.

worst of the created. Mara put her arms around Lilith. in whom lay the motherhood of all the world.' You have wronged I will take you to my father. that I am am ' I capable of I have no a slave I acknowledge it. I cannot open my hand. . without sign of purpose. Lilith walked toward Mara. ! power over myself Let me die. thou shalt die. The Lady of Sorrow went to the door and opened it. shalt die out of death into ! life. ' ' will forgive you. and bore her to her own bed in a corner of the room. Now was against thee Like her mother. is Thou for.' can he help me ? How He Ah. She ' felt her coming. I yield. therefore he best of the created can help you. laid her softly upon it. Not the less. but not as thou ' A ' thinkest.THAT NIGHT heart of horror essential 287 indestructible evil.' Have you 1 ' tried ? 1 ' him ' am trying now with all my might.' if ' he would but help ! me to cease ! Not even . and kissed her on the forehead. and meet her. ' I I cannot hold out. Verily. She lifted. and their fountains filled. and closed her eyes the Life that never with caressing hands. Lilith lay and wept.' ! slave thou art that shall one day be a child answered Mara. her own Her right hand also was now clenched ! upon : existent Nothing her inheritance all But with God even the rich ! things are possible He can save Without change rose to ' of look.' said the princess. The fiery-cold misery went out of her eyes. am defeated.

dry sandy shore to wither. and ebb no more. the hush It bedewed the that lives between music and silence. It flowed and flowed about Lilith. returned to sit than the rain.wounded grass soothing it with the sweetness of all music. wind with reviving breath. rippling the unknown. and the sands of "When Mara Lilith' s heart heard it. Morn. waited Softly they stole in at the opened door. with the Spring in her arms. with a gentle wind in the skirts of their garments. by her bed. and began to listen. desert places around the cottage. upwaking sea of her life eternal rippling and to ripple it. For in the skirts of the wind had come the rain the soft rain that heals the mown. softer .288 LILITII outside. until at length she who had been but as a weed cast on the . and drank it in. henceforth to flow into her for She answered the morning ever. should know herself an inlet of the everlasting ocean. her tears were flowing and soon she was fast asleep. the many.

Merrily down the stair they followed her. and They slept as if all the they had not moved. Oh. ' ! ' ' ! how down to wake up the waters under the Soon will the rivers be flowing everywhere. and she brought them where the princess lay. from whom alone he had heard of rivers. how glad they will make you. flowing as she slept. ing See Look at the rivers of the sky said Mara. The sky is falling said one. muffled went to call the Little Ones.' answered Mara. like thousands and thousands of happy they come ! earth children.289 CHAPTEE XL THE HOUSE OF DEATH her face. and rushed. fresh as if new-made. Little u . with an awed look. like a lot he returned. The white juice is running out of the princess cried another. Is it rivers ? asked Odu. then They of THE Mother Sorrows rose. her tears yet Their glad faces grew grave. the most wonderful of 'Yes. merry and loud. looked from the princess out on the rain. gazing at the little streams that flowed adown her hollow cheeks. lookloud noises making at me. ' I thought rivers was ' of Little Ones. but the moment she spoke night they sprang to their feet. ' ' ! ' ' ! ' ' ' all rivers. back at the princess.' bigger.

' answered Mara. a very big nest.' ! ' But her rivers are ' ' ' ! ' ' . now we must take her nearer home. Those rivers are so clean that they make the whole world clean. 1 No ' But ' ' she will never do that again.' replied Mara.' 'We shall be ready in a minute.' But we must take her to another place ' What is that?' But I It is the biggest room in all this world. think it is going to be pulled down it will soon be too full of little nests.' said Odu. ' Is that a nest ? asked Sozo. and do not ' ! know how ' lovely is the water That will be the glad of the ground that the prinSee the glad of the cess is grown good.' answered Mara. and shook ' ' ' ' ! ' his head. and listening with a sad ' for smile. Go and get your clumsies. ' sky!' Are the rivers the glad of the princess ? asked Luva. looked at it. for they are not red They are the juice inside the juice. running so fast who stood by her side and seemed unable to take her Her robe is all I don't know eyes from her face. said Luva. what. Odu put one finger to his eye.' ' : ' Please are there any cats in it ? ' Not one. They are not her juice. The nests are too full of lovely dreams one cat to get in. Lilith was now awake. first. followed by all except Luva. Yes .' said Odu.' . ' Princess will not bite now ' ! said Luva. Clumsies won't like it They won't mind it. and ran out.2QO Ones ! LILITH You have never seen any.

' she answered more through the monsters. She wants to go. To go where she will get more help help to open her hand. Mara helping. and now rose. one round her body and one round her knees. but for some time had been awake and listening.' she rejoined. the boys forgot to receive the princess from her but the elephants took Lilith tenderly with their trunks. which has been closed for a thousand years. I We 'Fear will not once come nigh them.' will ' an easy way across the river-bed.' answered Mara. When she came out again with the princess. mounted Lona's horse Mara brought her body. left the cottage. Odu was already on the neck of one of the two that were to carry the princess. Mr. which I but you must pass once ' . Why does the princess want to go ? asked a small She would keep good if she staid here boy. Vane. and entranced with her loveliness. please. a cry of delight arose from the . ' ' ' ' ! ' : ' good ' here. It is time to mount. and gave it me in my arms. is there not a way by which to avoid the channels and the den of monsters ? ' ' ' 1 There is show you.' I said. ' Tell me. and she does not want to go we are helping her.' So long ? Then she has learned to do without it are ' ' : What ' why ' should she open it now ? Because it is shut upon something that is not hers/ ' u 2 .THE HOUSE OF DEATH 291 I had fallen asleep by the fire. laid her along between them. She will not keep children : ! . The beasts stood waiting about the door. and.' I said.' you helping her to do ? he went on. I fear for the children.' said our hostess. she was no longer muffled Gazing at her.

not a movement my horse. will eat as we go. the moon looked up and showed the shallow basin lying before us . but they did brightest. I have no burden to carry/ she said. The Lady of Sorrow now led the way by my side the elephants followed the two that bore the princess in the centre the leopardess brought up the rear and just as we reached the frightful margin. I think. very dry Mara smiled. it must be ' Please.' remarked one of them. ' ' We ' ' elephant-juice ! It makes me so strong ' ! Sorrow walking with us. But they drank the water with delight. and brought them four loaves and a great jug of water. . may we have some of your bread before we go ? said Luva. I thought she meant but to put us in the path across the channels.' It was the loveliest of mornings the sun shone his and the wind blew his sweetest. for it had no water. Mara stepped answered her tread or the feet of into it. but she would not let me. for We tho moon might be anxiety about them. but I soon found she was going with us all the way. the "We Lady of following her.' they said. ' ' . not comfort the desert. and the white leopardess set out. The children and I will walk together.LILITII lady Mara. the children gamboling about Mara all the way. late. more beautiful than the sun. Then I made the Little Ones mount their elephants. Then I would have dis- mounted that she might ride. and I could not help some . But the . but did not roach the top of the ridge over the bad burrow until the sun was already in the act of disappearing. crossed the channels without difficulty. untroubled.

it gave itself a rapid rotatory twist. was elsewhere beheld such a crew accursed Mara still went in front of me. and would have seized it.' What will not touch us ? We don't know what . with frightful contortions of visage and a loathsome howl. the seemingly solid earth began to heave and boil. Whether the hideous things even saw the children. every neck at full length. could not hurt them. Mara was But the hideous forms I saw that night a few paces in front of me when a solitary. The leopardess came rushing under the elephants from behind. lay keep your elephants close about the princess. although never. knotty tentacles innumerable. ! ! regarded them all unmoved. shivering often. ' they answered and I perceived they were unaware of one of the deformities around them. every beak and claw outstretched.' I cried. nor dared stir a finger. went out after Lilith. sure. .' I returned only keep close. and the leopardess now walked close behind her. sprang from her. Monsters uprose on all sides. horribly jawed faces.THE HOUSE OF DEATH 293 moment that the elephants carrying the princess touched it. but. Be brave they will not touch you. I to be brave at * ! ' . member ' passed the live rampart of her body-guard. and buried itself in the ground. for it was ! . to hold of her. bodiless head bounced on the path between us. every mouth agape. The death in my arms assoiling me from fear. ' Little Ones. ' . and the whole dread brood of the hellish nest was commoved. I doubt certainly not one of them touched a child not one loathly . be aware of. She lay in an agony of fear. Never mind then.' IncaThey were panoplied in their blindness What they could nowise pacity to see was their safety. Long-billed heads.

Trembling with fright. between us and the border of the basin. . like the blossom of some Stygian lily. The arc she made was very low. Again the leopardess rushed to the attack. an instant I saw the leopardess and the snake-monster convolved in a cloud of dust then darkness hid them. snapped at me. leopardess sprang. its mouth half open. arose a long neck. and a low wave of earth came It rose higher as it drew near slinking toward us. on the top of which. were almost over. but found nothing. left LILITII when suddenly the ground before me to my began to heave. The with the princess and the children. I went on it retreated. and flew I remained where I was at the throat of the terror. For leopardess. and now she had . then drew . We lady stepped on the firm land. on the bank. Then I turned to look after the That moment the moon went down. Almost under our feet.294 very cold. and opening a great oval mouth. turned. to see the elephants. But I understood the peril and hastened the crossing the rather that the moon was carryEven as she rose she seemed ing herself strangely. and full of canine teeth. roused once more. to drop and give up the attempt as hopeless and ready since. my horse wheeled. I saw her sink back once fully her own breadth. aside. when. but fell baffled beyond it. . shot up the head of an enormous snake. and like failure phantom-horde. safe . At a third monster she darted with like then sullenly ceased to heed the fury. but the leopardess between us. and in three bounds overtook the elephants. The begun to descend rapidly. with a lamping wallowing glare in its eyes. sat what seemed the head of a corpse. out of it slouched a dreadful head with fleshy tubes for hair.

long.' I said. Adam stood in the door. for all must sleep in my house It is well with those that go to sleep and willing My husband is even now preparing young her couch for Lilith.' I heard no more. She is neither young nor quite willing. Then I heard squelching.' answered the mother. 295 shapeless jelly dropped white dove dropped immediately It made a jelly. and I knew the voice. bread and wine on the table within. stabbing it with its beak.' she answered.' we Mother. But why. a princess. Mother and daughter had gone ' ' ! ! away together through the in the distance. Yet I would not have her live beyond her hour She has gone down with the wicked she will rise with the righteous. We shall see her again ere very on the on the A ' ' ! ' ' ' . Mara. 1 Happy children. sound.' I heard her ' say. and talking with his wife. I will send and find her. and fell off. it and toward But we saw a light we went stumbling over the moor. sucking the voice of a woman talking with Mara. ' ! ' . but it is well indeed that she is come. I fear she is dead said Mara.' I shall miss her sorely she is good and wise. although I did not see her. come to you many. who. dark.THE HOUSE OF DEATH As we came up with them. behind him. Will you be able to receive us all ? ' ' ' You are welcome every one. to have . Sooner or later all will be little ones. shouldst thou at all fear for her or for any one ? Death cannot hurt her who dies doing the work given her to do. holding the candle to guide laid us. but most of us are Little Ones.

He set the candle on the threshold.296 LILITH ! looked already on the face of my daughter Surely it is the loveliest in the great world When we reached the door. and pushing her elephants asunder. and ' ! turned. where I would have thee go to Him from whom thou earnest ! In thy agony didst thou not cry out for Him ? ' . in his eyes that shone through their severity. Mara. Adam welcomed us almost merrily. Lilith ' ! She returned him no answer. would have taken the princess to carry her in but she repulsed him. he said. ' Trust her not hastily. They walked from beside her.' said Mara she has turned from evil. stood erect between them.' said Adam.' ' ' . and left her with him who had been her husband ashamed indeed of her gaunt uncomeliness. and abide in it She consents to open her hand and restore will not the great Father restore her to inheritance with His other children ? I do not know Him murmured Lilith. He stood with a wel. ' ! and going to the elephants. Eve and her daughter came to the door. ' ' ! standing radiant in her beauty. Yoiir children are no longer in her danger. it is Therefore I 1 will go back that thou art miserable. come ' We have long waited for thee. but unsubmissive. mother. ' But you ! will open to her the mirror of the Law : of Liberty.' answered her mother she has deceived a multitude ' ! I . in a voice ' ' ' ! of fear * and doubt. The mortal foe of my children murmured Eve. whence I came she cried. ' That is indeed what I would have thee do. wringing her hands. to depart. that she may go into it.

not food This food will help thee to die. It is death I would have. Adam turned and led the way. but silent both. there together.' I will walk. .THE HOUSE OF DEATH ' 297 ' ! Death to escape Him and thee Death is even now on his way to lead thee to Him. I am dead. took her from me. I dismounted. She led us into the cottage. Thy beauty slays me said Lilith.' said the princess.' answered Eve. Then Eve came out to me where I sat with Lona my bosom. She reached up her arms. and turned from her. in .' said Mara. carry her to her couch. and would see thee dead. and There she will open her hand. shivering Mara patted and stroked them every one they lay down and fell asleep. where she had laid Lona down. Thou knowest neither Death nor the Life that dwells in Death Both befriend thee. and the The horse and the elephants stood children also. for I live and love thee. feebly after The princess walked him into the cottage. Eve came from the chamber of death. ' ! ' ! ' . Thou art weary and heavy-laden art thou not ashamed ? Is not the being thou hast corrupted become to thee at length an evil thing? Wouldst thou yet live on in disgrace I cried out for ' ! : eternal ? Cease thou canst not ' : wilt thou not be restored and be ? She stood ' silent Father. and carried her in. with bowed head. and offered of the bread and wine to the princess. and gave the Little Ones of the bread and Adam and Lilith were standing wine on the table. ' and ' die into life. take her in thine arms. But Lilith would not taste of it.

' said Adam. The great Shadow. Nor have you either ever hurt a child. way through the door of death. you us shall sleep together. and died away in a moan. To kill you would not serve you. threshold she drew A ' It is he ' ! said her voiceless lips ' : I read their motion. Beautiful Eve.' first ' ! Wife.298 ' LILITII If thou wilt nor eat nor drink. back to fetch them.' she said. and at the word the heart of Eve began to love her. the place where Lilith. clasped her knees. ' Here he cannot enter. wild blast fell roaring on the roof. and But when her foot crossed it she the back.' Are the children in the house ? asked Lilith.' thou shalt in He led the followed submissive. that she may them safe He came gone. lie 'come and see peace. Your own daughter you have but sent into the loveliest sleep. princess ? I whispered. She stood ghastly with terror. He never dared touch a child.' she murmured. Over him also is power given me. struck through with the cold immortal. persuade your husband to ! me : Indeed I would but cannot you he will listen open my hand.' You cannot die without opening it.' said Adam. But indeed he cannot no one can kill you but the Shadow and to ' ' ! . Here he can hurt no one.' said Adam. And now Death ' ' ' * ' shall ' be the atonemaker . . ' 1 Who.' answered Eve. As soon as he was the princess knelt to Eve. for she was already a long time dead when you slew her. and pressed her hand to her bosom. see ' let put the children to bed. kill and ' said.

and as he : The woman beside him looked younger.' I heard Eve Even now is his head under say. could not understand She struggled to rise. and went farther in. and Mara and the children into the chamber of death. 'You shall not go to the Shadow. The darkness. The very air seemed dead was it because none of the sleepers breathed it? Profoundest sleep filled the wide place. It was as if not one had waked since last I was there. him. the silence. but lives to her own. hushed voices. . but you will not be cold in your sleep. the darkness closed over them. but fell at the feet of Eve. * Yes. save that he seemed yet nearer to a perfect peace. the still air.* doing Show me then to my grave I am so weary I can live no longer. The Mother I followed Adam ' my heel ' ! Adam's hand glimmered on the went on. as we passed them. We passed Eve with Lilith in her arms. ' ! ! and carried her inward. but their little tongues would talk with low. light in The dim sleeping faces. the cold. I must go to the Shadow yet I would not She did not. the faces of the lovely dead.' Where are our nests ? asked more than one. looking ' ' 1 round and seeing no couch unoccupied. it is cold/ answered our host . and thinks she . I What a curious place to sleep in said one. kills is he never knows she is will. lifted.THE HOUSE OF DEATH 299 whom do his * dead. ' ' * ! would rather be in ' my nest ' ! It is so cold ' ! said another. for the forms I had then noted My father was just as I had left lay there still. made the hearts of the children beat softly.

her. and there was another who had climbed up on the couch of a woman.' she said softly : ' will you ? Eeceiving no reply. his . went a little farther.' but I will soon make her ' . smiling an absolute content. and not ' ' ! wake .300 ' LILITII Find places. Oh. Mother mother he cried. Each of the Little Ones had by this time. looking ' ! up to us She's so cold she can't speak. head His eyelids softly under the sheet. found at least an unobjecting bedfellow.' answered the voice of us and we came to the couch while the Eve behind little fellow was yet creeping slowly and laid his still. We ' My own ' mother wouldn't have me. came to a third Little One. put his In an instant he too was asleep. fell he was asleep. she looked up at Eve. it was Luva. and He was We ' ' ! ! face close to hers.' replied Adam. The great mother lifted her to the couch. kneeling over her. looked up at us. and she got at once under the snowy covering. and sleep where yon choose. leaning over the edge of a couch. and lay still and white beside a still. you may. but we still heard their gentle voices. She stood on tiptoe.' 'Yes. warm little He arm over lay down. and it was plain they saw where I could not.' cried one. except three of the boys. white woman. here is such a beautiful lady may I sleep beside her ? I will creep in quietly. The little orphans had adopted mothers! . her. advancing fearlessly beyond the light. and pressing close to her. Instantly they scattered. beside the lady's. ' he said.

! ' . Adam pointed to the vacant couch on Lona's right hand. When Shadow conies here.' she said. soon begin to find comfort in the it is ! ' cold. dares not disturb one dream in this quiet chamber I shall dream then ? ' ! me whom ' ' 'You ' ' will dream. and shuddered from head to foot. it will be to lie down . Now I have slept. I am dead I believed you dead long ago but I see you alive More alive than you know. and was mine. and live ' ' ! 1 ' : ! ' ' . I fear the Shadow ! he will be ' wroth with He at sight of the horses of heaven start and rear. Lilith. I was scarce alive when first you knew me.THE HOUSE OF DEATH One 301 tiny girl had chosen a father to sleep with. On the middle that one of the three couches hitherto unoccupied.' ' What dreams ? That the I cannot tell. lay Lona. but none he can enter into. indeed * ' ! 'I fear that ' child. ' ' ! ' How You cold will ' she murmured. pointing to Lona: she will rise and terrify me ' ! She is dreaming love ' ! to you. is the bed I have prepared for you She glanced at her daughter lying before her like a statue carved in semi-transparent alabaster. There. and am awake I am dead.' answered Adam. But I know it I too have slept. and said. or are able to understand. Promises to the dying are easy she said.' ' But the Shadow she ! moaned ' ' . A boy lay by the side of the beautiful matron with the slow-healing hand. Eve set Lilith down beside it.

302 and sleep will. and the shadows of death are ' ' gathering about me. Mara took it.' she answered.' They will gather and gather. but they cannot infold while yet your hand remains unopened.' The moment you open your hand.' I pray you put forth the strength of your will. ' you will not sleep. draw together your forces and break its bonds ' ' ! I have struggled in vain lies . . and he knows it How long 1 You and he shall I sleep ? will be the last to wake in the morning of the universe. indeed 'I ' am then wake indeed. but the fingers have grown together and into the palm. ' LILITH also.' I cannot.' The princess lay down.' sleep. She drew near. and make an end.' said Mara. for I am weary. Adam turned to his daughter. stretched herself out straight. For the love of life. drew the sheet over her. and sought to aid her. but it will still be only a dream. . until you have opened your hand. and sleep 1 heavy upon my lids. and gladly. A tinge of colour arose in the parchment-like face the contorted hand trembled with agonised effort. I would if I could. I can do no more. but it will be only a dream you may think you have come awake.' trying hard. I am very weary. and lay still with open eyes. You may you think you are dead. His hour will ' come. you will Open it. if you lie there a thousand years. and you will sleep ' . ' Lilith. Open your hand. and yielded that which is not yours to give or to withhold.

' ! ' ' We heard a childish voice behind us. she will wake with but one ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ! hand 'Where the dead deformity clung. shuddered.' ' ! ' ' ' Bring this ' it. and he laid the severed hand Lilith had given one moan. The sword gleamed once.' replied Mara.' hands. In a few minutes Adam returned with an ancient like weapon grown dark with in his hand. ' There was a sword I once saw in your husband's she murmured. Mara ' ! cried her father. ' There is danger ! The princess turned her eyes upon Eve. there was one little gush of blood. and was in Mara's lap.' said [Adam. Mara covered the arm with the already sheet. 'I fled when I saw it. and cut me off hand that I may I will. it me when he left the gate. Adam took it. fast asleep. The princess closed her eyes. but the hilt shone like gold He drew out the blade. and turned .' ' Lilith. Will you not dress the wound ? I said.' answered Adam. beseechingly. and went. I heard him who bore it say it would divide whatever was not one and indivisible The angel gave I have the sword. lovely hand is already growing. and the light of it made the princess open her eyes.THE HOUSE OF DEATH ' 303 ' Hold. needs no dressing. the true.' pleaded sleep.' he answered. It flashed like a pale blue northern streamer. It is healing and not hurt. A wound from that sword. He gave the candle to Eve. Adam. The scabbard looked vellum years. She saw the sword. and the three turned away.' Poor lady I said. and held out her hand. that nothing could tarnish.

' said the third. We turned once more to was very sad.' she went on to her it ' husband.' I followed Adam to the door. Eve covered him with the sheet. offered I no one had me a place in the house of the dead. and Mara still carrying There we laid the beauty across the feet of the princess. I will go on her other side. Eve joined us as we went. Poor princess said another I will sleep with her. and her head the hand.' said Eve. and led the left ! ' And I am alone ' child away. and between us we took the white creature from the elephants. and walked on before with her husband. to look for Mara's leopardess : they have brought her. couching between them. The door stood open through ' two elephant-trunks came out of the night beyond. She shall have two to kiss her when she wakes ! ' How beautiful ' ' ' ' ! . for go back to the cottage.304 LILITH again. ' ! Ah. she is grown said one of them. . her fore paws outstretched. the women preceding us. The candle in Eve's hand shone on the sleeping face of Lilith. She will not bite any more As he spoke he climbed into her bed. we heard Eve say as we stepped into the cottage. 1 1 will put you to bed. Eve with the light. and was immediately fast asleep. Mara by my side carried the ' hand of Lilith in the lap of her robe. and carried her to the chamber we had just left. grouped on the other side of her couch. I sent them with the lantern. and the waking faces of the three Little Ones. ' ! ' ' ' ! ' said the first mournfully. you have found her . She gave the candle to her husband.

the sleep ! my self-confidence.' Lona is ' for you. Let us go to the cottage. * ' : ' ' From my Then tell heart. my child. Because you require it.' . but may I not sleep this night in your chamber with my dead ? Will you not pardon both ' : THEN my cowardice and I ' I give me up. Give me that hand. Mara.' I replied. and take me in ? am sick of myself. there I will instruct you.' 1 Adam ' to do/ turned to his daughter. husband ? ' I am 'How ready. 1 1 him what he has He ' took it tenderly.305 CHAPTEE XLI I AM SENT I turned and said to Eve.' he said to me . What is it ? She turned to Adam Is he forgiven.' I answered. one couch next to Lona is empty I know I am unworthy.' she answered the one already prepared but something waits to be done ere you ' do you know you can do it?' she asked with a smile. Mother. and would fain sleep to . She held it out to him in her lap. ' The couch next sleep.

Adam seated himself. in what place of seeming safety soever let nothing touch it stop nor turn aside for any attempt to bar your way never look behind you. He gave me the hand. and listen again.' .306 LILITH arose a sudden stormful blast. "When the door of the death-chamber was closed As we went. and careful not to retrace your steps. again behind him. and brought me a spade. If you hear the murmur of water beneath. and come home. If. and I stood before ' remember/ he said. . you climbed that rock. but it died mingled away as before in a deep moan. Never lay it down. speak to no one. and from its summit walk deep into the desert. distant. and must hearken in every direction until you hear it again. and listen with your head on the sand. with a great flapping on the roof. you will soon hear it louder. you are in the right direcEvery few yards you must stop. ' us. cover it to the level of the desert. and hearken. will : You still hear the sound. : : in it lay the hand. lie down. how. Keeping with the sound. and dig until you come to moisture If you tion. and carry the hand with care. and the growing sound will lead you to where it is loudest There dig with the spade I that is the spot you seek. listening thus. But give good heed. will give you. bearing the marks of an ancient cataract. and the morning is far straight on. at any time you hear no sound of water. answer no one. you came to a dry rock. . you are out of the way. But go not many steps ere you lie down. but you must set out at once. and found a sandy desert go to that rock now. . after leaving my daughter's house. go a little farther. walk It is yet dark.

To fall would be a dread thing. and the minute I started I learned that I was left to no chance a pale light broke from the : ground at every step. Give your left hand. I judged. and showed me where next to set my Through the heather and the low rocks I walked without once even stumbling.' I took it. and herself showed me the easy toward morning I was almost over the dry channels of the first branch of the river-bed. myself. and the way I had to go was a difficult one even in the broad sunlight But I had not set ! myself the task.' he said have brought many a lovely thing to the sun. and the sun not yet up. I walked straight You meant then ! chre Do you ' to leave me in that horrible sepulnot yet understand that where I please to be. not a head appeared it. The moon was very low. ' I neither hesitated nor answered . burrow quite as I crossed still . when I saw before me in the path. The figure threw aside its veil. and not far. way: came.I ' AM SENT ' .' but bethought steadily advanced. there I am ? Take my hand ' : I am me alive as you ! I was on the point of saying. and pitch-dark. ' already ? said the princess or on. of moonlit mist. 307 it with gardening spade. not a wave arose. and went out into the night. here narrowed by rocks. held my peace. I found the bad foot. from Mara's cottage. ' A moon Have you forgotten me what seemed she. a figure covered from head to foot as with a veil I kept on my way as if I saw nothing. and . This is my I It was very cold.

With measured tread along the path. seated where the path was so narrow that I could not pass her.308 ' LIL1TH Give hand. A little farther on. neither to all men Her words were terrible with temptation. to trample under ! the very person of the Lady of Sorrow heart grew faint at the thought. then beat as if it would burst my bosom. through or were bodiless things. came a body of armed men. . and the sound of their steps and the clash of their armour died away. for I was ' ! very weary. between my teeth lest I should unawares answer.' she said. and I saw her no ' me my ' will tear : ! more. . a woman with muffled face. I descried. but did not falter. and Nevertheless heart. and lay your head in my lap I will take good care of both until the sun is well risen. And what more likely to be true If I were. you are come at last You have done waited here for you an hour or more ' * ! ! well ! Your trial is over. the moon being now close to the horizon and the way in deep shadow.' she suddenly shrieked. Nothing touched me. them nor know whether they gave way to me. I have Ah. . I am not bitterness always. But they turned and followed me I heard and felt their march at my very heels some . filling it for I walked distance. I shuddered. but I cast no look behind. My father little rest sent me to you that you might have a on the way. through slavish obedience to the letter of the command and lack of pure insight. or I in pieces you are mine you She flung herself upon me. meet Give me your charge. my feet ! My my will hardened itself against my I took my tongue and my step did not falter.

for I had to make a large There at last. I seemed to pass through him. and before me arose the dawn. cottage I was as one of the I river. If Adam had sent her. firmness forsook limbs trembled as if they would drop my joints. but I think now that he passed through me for a moment : damned. and went on into the desert. and my in a helpless heap. I had almost reached the other side when a Shadow He I think it was The Shadow. A cold wind smote me. and began It was a long labour. he could not Nor would the complain that I would not heed her of Sorrow love me the less that even she had not Lady been able to turn me aside Just ere I reached the phantom. Then a soft wind like the first breath of a new-born spring greeted me. where the hidden water was hung Lilith's hand about my neck. to dig. dank and sickening kept on ! ! : ! ! repulsive as the air of a charnel-house . much listening to and fro.I AM SENT 309 my way. I determined the spot loudest. came to the precipice that testified to the vanished I climbed its worn face. after hole because of the looseness of the sand. and upon the table I saw a tage. In or around the loaf of bread and a pitcher of water. seemed to have a helmet upon his head. was neither howl nor wail. barred my way. My way now led me past the door of Mara's cotIt stood wide open. but those were not Mara's eyes no lie could truly or for long imitate them I advanced as if the thing were not there. and my foot found empty room. but as I drew so discloser I perceived it was the head itself I saw torted as to bear but a doubtful resemblance to the human. she pulled the covering from her face great indeed was her loveliness. but at .

little water was already oozing from under its fingers. and fell asleep. . I dropped beside it. Then. utterly fatigued.310 LILITH I flung the length I threw up a damp spadeful. and laid down the hand. A sexton-tool on the verge. I sprang out. and made haste to fill the grave.

Soon it would be roaring down the precipice. and I went my way. . rushing with one branch to resubmerge the orchard valley. the bread and the water were still on the table and deep silence was within and around it. 'because they will not let I have been to the house of death.' he answered. I came where ' sat a grayheaded man ' on the sand. What ails you.CHAPTEB XLII I SLEEP THE SLEEP was moist about me. But when I reached it. I stopped and called aloud at the door. sir ? I asked. with the other to drown perhaps the monster horde. and its die. and now knew where to cross the channels. weeping. divided in its fall. to the precipice. I took When came my way be: twixt the branches. lest she should have returned I longed to see her once more ere I went to sleep . but no voice replied. and between them shove at to isle the Evil to those Wood. the door stood open still . the ground my In its track to the grave was growing a quicksand. A little ' farther. even if the river should have overtaken me and filled them. for I would pass again by the cottage of Mara. and. ancient course the river was swelling. and had begun to its burden. * Are you forsaken ? me 'I weep. I . I set out at once on my return who I sent me. and WHEN I woke.

cease your riddles Did not then the Mother tell you something of the same sort ? ' ! ' ' In truth I believe she did her excuses. for she refuses my ' none whom it is lawful for her to receive. eat of the bread what sh She is . but I am Therefore I young enough to desire to live indeed young ' again. but her door stands open. Yonder lies her not in it now. and there is bread and water on her table. that I cannot . I presume to offer and " take with both hands cottage. . refuses me. I pray you.' ' Nay. I am indeed young. it is but too plain you have not yet learned to die. then. if you know her.' It ill becomes your youth to mock a friendless old man. but I have wept many tears . You she will not does not who live.' ' this of her? You have never sought death you are much too young to desire it I fear your words may indicate that. sir. were you ! 'How know you ' ! would you desire it. drink of the water and sit down . sir. and I am heartily grieved for you. for no one can die long to * me : in. young sir. therefore. : if counsel Go " * to the Lady of Sorrow. ' ' pardon me. Intercede for me. Pray. will give you. Go in . * William Law.' ' .' I may not be old enough to desire to die. .' I rejoined. Such had I too been but for the Lady of Sorrow.' Indeed.' I replied. but I gave little heed to Ah. sir. I would not and certain I am that you cannot.3 1 2 LILITH mistress. neither ! ' ! go now to learn if she will at length take wish to die because you do not care to live open her door to you. notwithstanding years.

and I What I said. saying the solitude was but a seeming I was awake. Then I heard a noise of many waters. and a great cry behind me. not one was with me True. for she is true. when I reached the abode of the monsters. the cold was bitter and the darkness dense and the cold and the darkness were one. Then ask counsel of her. and helpers I had none to lay me beside them Never before had I known. and the dull sound of its fall on the clay floor seemed reverberated from the ! . as I sat. ! : ! ! : ! ! I should be with them I dropped Adam's old spade. but I was not dead enough even to know them alive doubt would come. The door stood open. far from me. But Mara would him The sun was down. They were. whether by their life or by my death. and the moon unrisen. but I did not turn my head. it was I who was dead. not they but. or truly imagined desolation In vain I took myself to task. there ness as never yet in And grew in me such a sense of loneli- my wanderings had I felt. at best. and they slept that was all it was only that they lay so still and did not speak they were with me now. and the cottage lay empty. I . guided me. and her wisdom is great. find ! left him weeping. we were divided They were alive. I fear he did not heed. But the candle of Eve. soon ! . but it was still as a stone till I passed over. shining from the window. Ere I reached the house of death. and kept both frost and murk from my heart. Thousands were near me.' He fell to weeping afresh. sat down disconsolate. and entered into my bones together. and soon.I SLEEP THE SLEEP 313 wait there until she appear.

and seemed to see me.314 chamber beyond Eve. sister : LTLITII a childish terror seized me . like a sleepy night. and a face came into the was Lena's. king ? it said. feebly about me. so white. my darling thought you were dead She lay on my bosom cold as ice frozen to marble. mother Mara would soon come to me. Its eyes were closed.' of lovely things * ' : ' I cried. but quivering in every spiritual sense ? I knew without hearing. and ' ' ' ! ! ' ! sighed . She threw her arms. Something did move in the chamber of the dead There came from it what was like a dim. The ! ! noiseless thrill reached the coffin-door became sound. but opening. white as Mara's. far-off sound. ! was opening soft creaking I ceased to listen. but did not She spoke. and loved my dead. yet was not what I knew as sound. and then ! welcome the cold world and the white neighbours I forgot my fears. and little way.wind in the grass. without feeling it ! The something was coming it drew nearer In the bosom of my desertion awoke an infant hope. the face itself was upon me. The door began stared expectant. opened a It Are you coming. Was it a mere thrill of the dead air. and her voice was shine like their faces. Had I but known I Ah. lived a little. to move with a low. It my It ear. It was white as Eve's. The sleepiness is full come and see them. I cannot rest until are with me. My soul sprang into my ears. and smote on of its hinges. gliding down the river to the great sea. But father Adam. you and the beautiful dream-land. ! too slight to be heard. I sat and stared at the coffin-door.

At the side of Lena's couch. sweet cold. wedding. I did. holding her tight Unaware lest she should dissolve out of my arms. He had not the candle.' She was already asleep.' you had looked ere you laid her down. Your bed is there.' he said. laid her down. you would have seen her asleep on the couch.' That would have been terrible ' ' ' ! .' And did you not see that her eyes were closed ? ! ' ' ' ' 1 Now If I think of it. I shall see you when I wake. yet I saw him.' she said. We have been to the ' top of the ' ' She ' is fast Yes. They will be in the den of the monsters to-night.' But there came instead a glimmer of light in the chamber.' I answered. my that I saw.' bed. . but she was awake ' when ' I he insisted. king. next ' ' . But why did you not await our return ? My child could not sleep. and I saw the face of Adam approaching.I ' SLEEP THE SLEEP 315 I want to sleep. ' and still my heart speedily. ' and then greeted me across ' it. Carry me back to I bore her to the death-chamber. I carried her straight to her couch. he looked down on her with a questioning smile. Lay me down.' I said.' ' ' now ' ! asleep I said ! he ' rejoined. She was asleep all the time She was perhaps dreaming about you and came to you ? She did. I threw myself on my couch blessed as never was man on the eve of his to mine. ' Come. and cover me from the warm air it hurts a little. hill to hear the waters on their way.

' I said. her song soared aloft. lain You must have food ere ' you sleep.' he You do not feel cold. and soft and low.' ' Dear how that I ' am not sleepy ? * I thought I should go to sleep like the Little Ones the moment I laid my head down ! Your hour is not quite come. but to see is it it would not have troubled you. I heard every word she sang. I ought not to have ' ! down without your ! leave. to think of father. and her song was sweet Mother's. . For all the world to win ' 1 and I thought I had heard the song before.' 1 That would have been worse It is. Then the three came to my couch together. and many an inn Boom to roam. bringing . But ' : ' Not too cold to lie still. and I thought she sat by my bed in ' ! ' the dark . There is no need we will serve you here. do you ? answered. and its curing song Many a road. all the region larks. but perhaps too cold to eat He came to the side of my couch. I heard a voice. 1 perhaps. ' . and knew it was the She was singing. for I cannot sleep without your help up at once I will get I found my own weight more than I could move. bent over me. At once I was warm.316 ' LILITH You would only have found that she was no longer ' ! in your arms. and breathed on my heart. and of a woman-angel.' Ah. but only one home . As he left me. but ere it seemed to come from the throat high above ceased. higher than man had ever yet lifted up his heart. but could keep only this : ' Many a wrong.

are good indeed. but here is no are not haste.I SLEEP THE SLEEP 317 bread and wine. The former may well make haste. born to look after my brothers and sisters answered Mara with a smile. ' I asked. lays himself coming home fast women are A desert. true time then first begins who .' I said. wide and dreary. she will be up and away long ere your morning is ripe. then. ! ' ' him the down. creature must one night yield himself and Every lie down. ere all have lain down I said. you were coming all the time we knew Mara would find you. Your ' father will wake when his morning comes.' glad. mother Eve. How could you know it ? I returned. coming who lies down to die from him who lies down to live. Eve and Mara on the other.' he assented. Ah.' answered Adam he was made for liberty. it is my mother 'Yes she with the wounded hand. ! 1 ' 1 ' ' ' ' ! ' ' : ' ! ' It will be is ' There I fear. parts him faster. no early or late here. next to whom you are lying. Adam stood on one side of me. have told you that years are of no consequence in this house.' ' ! 1 I 1 am sorry. ' Your mother.' he rejoined.' answered Adam 'we do not heed them. For late. I exclaimed. me ' You In my soul I am ashamed and sorry We knew you would come again answered Eve.' said Eve. and must not be left a slave sister Mara. and you must I ' : come ' ' ' ! How long is it I since my father lay down ? .' 1 Eather be . and I sat up to partake of it. father to receive me ' : ! Adam.' Men To our eyes. Because here was I.

you will not at first know her. a sight that makes her Maker glad He sees of the travail of His soul. ' 'But when you see your mother again. until she reaches the perfection steadily growing younger of her womanhood a splendour beyond foresight. behold on one side her husband. ' ! ' Even Lilith already begins to look younger I lay down. but I was asleep also. blissfully drowsy. but already the cold caused me no suffering. Then she will open her eyes. Then I The night about me was pale with forgot everything. . to go to a father and a brother more to her than they. ' is satisfied ! Look at her He let the rays of his candle ' ! once more.318 ' LILITII It must be a sight for ' ! God Himself to see such a woman come awake ' ! It is indeed a sight for God. and sleep.' he conShe will go on tinued. I was very cold. I felt them put on me the white garment of the dead. nor knew that I slept. sleeping faces. She is much younger.' I heard as one in a dream.' fall on her beautiful 1 She looks much younger I said.' he replied. on the other her son and rise and leave them. and face.

breathing the damp odours of Earth's bountiful bosom. : ! . cold. but could not remember how. I had neither made it nor prayed for it it was mine in virtue of existence and existence was mine in virtue of a Will that dwelt in mine. The cold had soothed every care. I grew continuously less conscious of myself. aware also of the profound.CHAPTEK GEEW aware infinite XLIII THE DEEAMS THAT CAME I of existence. continuously more conscious of bliss. daisies and ! a hundredfold snowdrops. yet conI had no more to stand up had only scious sleep to lie stretched out and still How cold I was. aware of the souls of primroses. dissolved every pain. comforted every sorrow. full of the quietest expectation. I knew that I had enjoyed it. unimaginable yet felt. imagining. suggestion of pleasure. words cannot tell yet I grew colder and colder and welcomed the cold yet more and more. the I was intensely blessed more blessed. How convey the delight of that frozen. can now I could not think of warmth with the least recall. Comforted ? Nay sorrow was swallowed up in the life . Then the dreams began to arrive and came crowd! ! ! . I know. drawing nigh to restore every good and lovely thing I lay at peace. than my heart. patiently waiting in it for the Spring.

and above the moon and me the colder sky. but not once troubling my conscious bliss. agonising I wept at to cast from between us the clinging offence. but. the wind and the welter of a torrent growing in my ears. farther in. confessing. of a sudden. higher up than the seven dimensions. I dreamed : demption drawing nigh. lamenting the atonement with each person I had injured. the feet of the mother whose commands I had slighted . and I humbled myself before it. the ten senses I think I was where I am in the heart : away dim cycles in the centre of a melting glacier. I dreamed cycles. was now grown unspeakably dear to me. they were the solemn. heaved below me like a billowy sea. pregnant with eternity. ing. abjuring. Every human soul to which I had caused a troubled thought. I was Adam. The cold moon was in the air with me. Then. in which the moon and I dwelt. I lay and heard them the wind and the water and the moon sang a peaceful waiting for a reof God. or only one long night ? But why ask ? for time had nothing to do with me I was in the land of thought I . waiting breath of life. or offended. from far beyond my earthly memory down to the present moment. I was a youth on a white horse. for aught I knew or can tell. were with me. but a child in the bosom of a mother white with a radiant whiteness. Fully in every wrong lived deed. the conscious I. . hasting calmly to some blessed For centuries I dreamed or was it chiliads ? goal. for God to breathe into my nostrils the was not Adam. seonian march of a second.320 LILITH The white mist I lay naked on a snowy peak. the spectral moon drawing nearer and nearer. leaping from cloud to cloud of a blue heaven. making hurt. I say. all the wrongs I had ever done.

all in all ! wonder! Love to Love was solid me. Countless services I devised to render them! For this one I would build such a house as had never grown from the ground for that one I would train such horses as had never yet been seen in any world For a third I would make such a garden as had never bloomed. long had remembered them. but still ripening sheaves of the harvest of the great husbandman. and tales to make them glow I would turn the forces him two : ! ! ! ! of the world into such channels of invention as to of ! possessed make them laugh with the joy me Love was my life as to him that made me. and alive with running waters I would write songs to make their hearts swell. or swept ! away by My chaotic storm. ! Suddenly I found myself in a blackness. not a sacred sheaf dead were gone I was alone In was there desolation dread lay depths yet deeper than I had hitherto known Y ! . of light that dwells in the caverns of the eyes could not cast one fancied glimmer. horizontal. I lay imagining what the light would be when it came. and kept them in memory to crush at last at his feet. across the fallen. suddenly. I was the eager slave of all whom I had thus or anyhow wronged. But my which feared nothing and hoped infinitely. upon which the ghost heart. and what new creation it would bring when. crypt-like windows of the death-chamber.THE DREAMS THAT CAME with bitter shame I confessed to told 321 my father that I had and long forgotten them now for lies. her long light it with sat slanting. without conscious volition. haunted with still pools. I and stared about me. up The moon was looking in at the lowest. But no . that harvest was gone ! ! Gathered ! in. I thought. was full of peace.

mingled with a huge cenotaph : ! ! ghostly murmuring music. with hot. No moon was there Even as I left the chamber. filling the : little mere. and had forgotten me Tenfold more and alone ! all they were No they those empty couches ? all abroad in the new eternal . with still pools wide How the moon flashed on the water how the ! ' quiet air. I ran out into the night. brightest water.322 LILITH Had I there never been any ripening dead? dreamed them and their loveliness? Why then but Had these walls ? why were They had left me behind. was alive with a river deep and streams. and very still. and her dead with ghastly gaze from the fearful place. But the musical murmur went on. tain top in now I had no friend. I walked round the border of the ' ! ! . full of clearest. and found a lovely lake. eyes 1 had crossed and recrossed the deep-scored channels and ravines of the dry river-bed. seeking I sprang to my feet. What a sight rose to my The whole expanse where. aching feet. and drawing me after it. I ran stumbling across the moor. and my lovers were A moment I sat and stared horrorhad been alone with the moon on a mounthe sky now I was alone with her in a . with torrents. a cloudy rampart had risen and covered her. staggered The cottage was empty. But a broad shimmer came from far over the heath. terrible ! blissful peace far from me I stricken. margined with reeds and rushes the moon behind the cloud was gazing upon the monsters' den. was the tomb its The quiet ones had made me quiet inhabitants away with their presence had pervaded my mind with their ! ! up day. as if the moon were raining a light that plashed as it fell. she too was staring about. ! . and climbed the range of hills.

only to as if merge again in the consorted At moments the world of waters would invade to overwhelm me not with the force of its seaward rush. . clothed in a white robe. with the moon in his hair. Y 2 He . . ! moment life was not ! my gazing. and to hearken to the multi- waded tudinous broken music. incipient air roar. Every now and then some would seem about to draw itself clear of the dulcet confusion. the song of new-born liberty. : him who cannot grow old. or the shouting of its liberated throng.THE DREAMS THAT CAME 323 water answered the moon with flashes of its own white flashes breaking everywhere from its rock-enAnd a great jubilant song arose from countered flow I stood a its bosom. . it laid no hold upon me The next I sprang across the third I swam the next : . beautiful as if fresh from the heart of the As glad creator. I stopped to gaze on the wondrous loveliness of the ceaseless flash and flow. young like looked it was Adam. and saw a man in the prime of strength. and my heart also began to exult all a failure I had helped to set this river : ! I had but to go after lost would follow and follow until I came whither they had gone Our meeting might be thoufree My dead were not ! ! and find them I ! sands of years away. but with the greatness of the silence wandering into sound. a hand was laid on my I turned. but I must go and go till I found my living dead A torrent ran swift and wide at the foot of the range I rushed in I waded through it. shoulder. but at last at last I should hold them Wherefore else did the floods clap their hands ? ! I hurried down the hill : my pilgrimage ! was begun ! In what direction to turn my steps I knew not. I stood lost in delight. I again. I stood large and grand.

' : . father. how am I to distinguish betwixt the true and the false where both alike seem real ? Do you not understand ? he returned.' I faltered. I do indeed believe you. Whither shall I go to find them ? 'You mistake. with a smile that might have slain all the sorrows of all his children. You cannot perfectly distinguish between the true and the false while you are not yet quite dead. And because even in a dream you believe me.324 ' LILITII Father/ I ' cried.' Alas when I but dream how am I to know it ? The dream best dreamed is the likest to the waking ' ! truth ' ' ! When you are quite dead. quite At alive. without dead ? my my .' v$V*) U&/\$l 'I am trying hard to believe you. you are on your bed in the * ' ' ' ' ' house of death.' But. you will dream no false dream.' You are not to blame that you cannot. my son. who lies asleep where dreaming you are awake. The soul that is true can generate nothing that is not true. ' Put you lie forth your left will clasp the hand open. neither indeed will you when you are quite dead that is. with the dead around you. in a voice whose very breath was consolation. neither can the false enter it. You are still in the chamber of death. asleep and ' ' dreaming. this moment. still upon your couch. where is she ? Where are the The Is the great resurrection come and gone ? I could not sleep loneliness was upon me terror of dead I ran from the desolate chamber. believe me. and close it gently it hand of your Lona.' he answered. although I can neither see nor feel the truth of what you say. for then the false will never present itself. I will help you. . sir.

firm and soft and deathless. when thou wilt no longer be able to doubt it. Some : would willingly believe life but a phantasm. But to him who has once seen even a shadow only of the truth.' I said. Scarce. being true.THE DKEAMS THAT CAME I put forth my hand: it closed on the Lona. indeed. ever. and art blameless in doubting seest not. healthful. and. Father. then know that which thou canst not now dream. tries to obey will come. when.' I cried. Neither she nor you are yet of home.' in the fields Cold is a thing to hers. and depart no more. even but hoping he has seen it when it is present no longer. then. * she is warm ' ! ' Your hand unknown in our country. if only it might for ever afford them a world of pleasant dreams Be content for a while not to thou art not of such know surely. and never didst see save in a glass darkly that which.' it to him the real vision. hast as yet That which thou at best but seen him through a cloud. thou shalt behold the very truth. until thou seest it face to face. the Truth himself. Thou hast not yet looked the Truth in the face. but each to each is alive and is as warm warm and Then ' my heart was glad. and that ere long. never can be known save by its innate splendour shining straight into pure eyes that thou canst not but doubt. The hour will come. and doubt will be for ever dead. father. forgive me. ' 325 hand of But. ' But immediately super- vened a sharp-stinging doubt. but how am ' I to know in surely that this also is not a part of the lovely which I am now walking with thyself ? ' dream Thou doubtest because thou lovest the truth. wilt thou be ! Thou wilt able to recall the features of the phantom. but abide with him for .

of rock channels I crossed. father ? I said. but I dreams believed I was in a dream. whose Many . and recall. I Now that a in the dreams of my childhood I had found when invariably woke me. I was about to rise and resume my journey. the dreamer must do something he cannot sit down and refuse to stir until the dream grow weary of him and depart I took up ! ! : my wandering. and raised my with the question for I had been listening with eyes downbent head.' ' lies. and longed to be awake. father. I stretched forth my hands to find him. * Then remember. mouth was like that of a grave. heavy. because he had told me so.' I said ' . however. in their that be. truth of things seeming. . therefore. and would. of a nature thou knowest not now. . aware of nothing but the voice of Adam. seek some emifall : nence whence to cast myself down that I might wake . Truly thou knowest not those things. but thou knowest what they have seemed.326 ' LILITH I think I see. How can He was gone. in my ears was nought but the sounding silence of the swift-flowing waters. Eemember also the what they have meant to thee things thou shalt yet see. I laid myself down. Even in a dream. and went on. Bemember the things thou hast seen. I think I understand/ Trials yet await thee. when I discovered that I lay beside a pit in the rock. desiring to discontinue a dream. and came to a wider space dreaming I was weary. I was alone alone in the land of To myself I seemed wide awake. It was deep and dark could see no bottom. Truth is all in all and the ! . there. but no answering touch met their seeking. at once hid ' and revealed.

hopelessness blank and dreary. and listlessly sought the library. and one at the rushing waters. and could no longer hope to awake from it with her For truly ! ! I was much to blame I had fled from my dream The dream was not of my making. which alone could open for me the mirror-door. and by the pale. shut me in from that gulf True. I rolled myself over the edge of the pit. the sun. starry night betwixt me and wooden chamber of the : ! ! ! . any more than was my : ! : I ought to have seen it to the end and in fleeing from it. threw myself on and passed a dreamless night. I met no one I rose.THE DREAMS THAT CAME 327 with one glance at the peaceful heavens. On the way the house seemed dead. I had left the holy sleep itself behind me I would go back to Adam. I was parted from that chamber only by a wide heath. For a moment consciousness left me. invaded me with the knowledge between me and my Lona lay an abyss impassable stretched a distance no chain could measure Space and Time and Mode of as with walls of adamant unscalable. I sat down with . : a book to await the noontide not a sentence could I offered itself understand! The mutilated manuscript . and journey back to the chamber of the dead and if so. trable. impeneBeing. and bow life ! ! to his decree ! I crept to my chamber. I stood in the garret of little my own house. and was now far away on the other side of the world ! but an immeasurably wider gulf sank between us in this that she was asleep and I was awake that I was no longer worthy to share with her that sleep. in the cowl and the mirror. my bed. tell him the truth. it might yet be in my power to pass again through the door of light. When it returned. Unspeakable despair.

There the books were hateful to me for I had once loved them. adjusted and re-adjusted the hood arranged and re-arranged the mirrors no result followed. . I took another book. . I went up the stairs to the dumb. and went on waiting. Do what . I went back to the library. My heart died within me. In the morning I went for the last time to the chamber in the roof. and for the last time sought an open door I : there lost was none. all was fruitless. and the next day renewed my endeavours with the mystic door. not a creature was to be seen. That night I lay awake from down-lying to uprising. about me. The sun sat in its feathery top. How the hours went I cannot think. morning. But all was yet in vain. devilry It was a hrilliant a great rush the fountain shot high. . what to me was the princess with her I rose and looked out of a window. I passed a second sleepless night. I pulled the chains . Not . Noon was near. had my Lona! . Not a bird sang. I might. and fell roaring back. shadowy wooden chamber. and turned I closed behind me the door into the to open the door out of a dreary world. Kaven With The world was dead nor librarian came near me. drearily desolate. . I left the chamber with a heart of stone. I waited and waited the mirror to give the vision time it would not come stood blank nothing lay in its dim old depth but the mirror opposite and my haggard face. No one came nigh me not a sound from the house below entered my ears.328 from the masked door : LILITH the sight of it sickened ! me . once did I feel weary only desolate. sat down again. roof.

straight from my death-bed. I pray thee ! : ! . I ' ' Was will set out to find her ' If she is not. I will go to the Father and say " Even thou canst not help me let me " cease. save in the I must die one day. and then.THE DREAMS THAT CAME 329 she anywhere ? had she ever been.' mouldering cells of my brain ? I thought.

At last I ' ' ! and it leaped for joy. that I lay in the house of death. and in a few moments Adam and Eve and Mara were with us. waiting for me never lost her only for a little time lost the sight of said to rny heart. with a wondering smile. and knew that I ' lived indeed. for her death-dress. and that every moment since there I fell asleep I had been dreaming. was white as snow and glistering. ! ! It ! was : . although all was dark around me. Lona ! ! her Truly I needed not have lamented her so sorely she was not dark. but I saw her dark Her eyes shone with the radiance of the Mother's. The candle came floating toward us through the dark. and the same light issued from her face nor from her face only. my love. a girl she awoke a woman.330 LILITII CHAPTER XLIV THE WAKING THE fourth night I seemed to fall asleep. ' ! and woke me I only looked at you and waited. and that night woke indeed. They greeted us with a quiet ' You did. eyes . ripe with the loveliasleep ness of the life essential. I turned my I had stood by my couch. filled with the light of her body now tenfold awake in the power of its resurShe fell rection. ' ! I woke first she said. as I say. ' . and now first was awake. I folded her in my arms.' she answered. I opened my eyes and knew.

' ' * ' and the strength is there said the Mother. but the waking from it is ! ' ' ! 1 ' heavenly. ' looking first at meet you two again before Lona. keep never have done dying. we understand each other ! will not die. Now you have only to live. ' long.' But shall I not grow weary with living so strong ? What if I cease to live with all my might ? I said. 'We are mother and son. wardness and love and gladness.' said Adam. die Between us no farewell is possible. then at me. here all is updying deeper. and that you must. . Once dying as we die here.' She ceased with a smile and a look that seemed to say. all the dying is over. ! who many times. you are hardly yet awake ' at least clothed-upon with Death. Pure life has no weakness to grow weary withal. and will die no more you have ' . the stronger you become to live. Those ' It needs but the ' ' will. put an arm around me.' she rejoined is * . die constantly. ' I think we shall he said. looked a moment or two inquiringly at the princess.' .THE WAKING : 331 they were used to such good-morning and a smile wakings said the I hope you have had a pleasant darkness Mother. The more you live.' ' It is ' ! but begun. Not very. with all your blessed might. only to keep dead.' I answered. and patted the head of the leopardess.' Have we to die again ? I asked. He which is He embraced Lona his child. the radiant garment of Life. The Life keeps generating ours. with a smile like the Mother's you have died into life.' he answered. ' No.

and whispered. I told you.' I answered. my heart ? said Lona.332 LILITH kissed me on the forehead. all would be well When next " you would comfort.' replied he counts his own ! ' ! ' I asked. and kiss them ere we went their couches were empty save of the Little Ones who had with love's For an inboldness appropriated their hospitality stant that awful dream of desolation overshadowed me. never more can she be his I turned to look on the faces of my father and mother. I she ended. say." ' . is even Mara * ! now well. brother. ' What is that flapping of wings I hear ? hovering. " They kissed you ere they went. Their empty places frightened me." ' She gave a ' little sigh. ! and I thought ' ' ! it meant.' said Adam. and then I shall be glad with the gladness of the great shepherd who sent me. and said. ' But they will not believe you like ' You know me now her mother's.' 'All the night long the morning is at hand.' said ' Adam. Come But ours : ! ' ' ' 1 1 soon. and I turned aside. with a smile ' : know you ' ! I answered you are the voice that ! cried in the wilderness before ever the Baptist came you are the shepherd whose wolves hunt the wandering sheep dark ! home ' ere the shadow rise and the night grow ' My work will one day be over/ she said. What will be well. ' : ' The Shadow is Adam there is one here whom once. gayly. They are up and away long ago. What is it.

chord of a hundred harmonies. my child. they Adam and Eve stood before me the angels of change the resurrection. ' ' ! A wind began to moan in pulsing gusts. and Mara was the Magdalene with them at the sepulchre.' She turned and laid her hand in mine. I kneeled and humbly thanked the three for helping me to die. My father/ answered Adam. Lo. he was coming with the rush as of a thousand times ten thousand far-off wings. must come and find you The hour of our departure was at hand. ' Who were her parents ? asked Lona. and kissed her tenderly then laid herself in her father's arms.THE WAKING ' 333 ' ! And I neither to ! feel nor hear them I murmured. The countenance of Adam was like lightning. ! Hark I hear the sun/ said : Adam. and Eve held a napkin that flung flakes of splendour about the place. Lona knelt beside me. and that smile went floating heavenward a three-petaled flower. The three looked at each other and smiled. I listened the family's morning thanksgiving. with the roar of a molten and flaming world millions upon His approach was a crescendo millions of miles away.' could you far away in he added. Lona went to the couch of the mother who had slain her. . turning to Lona. Ere I could say. That kiss will draw her homeward. Your parents. and they all breathed upon ' us. is her father ' ' also. 'How house more ! your dreary old You thought the dreadful place had you once Now go and find them. my Lona ' ! ' ' ' ! said ' Adam. From their mouths and their faces it spread over their bodies and shone through their garments.

as if they had Crow crow again.334 ' LILI ' ! You hear his wings now said Adam and I knew he did not mean the wings of the morning. The black bat is flown Amen. ' he has himself within him. then ! called out. now at last he is flapping his wings now will he begin to crow until the ! and at intervals will eternal. silence. or without a light behind the sub- He ' listened for a moment. sang infinite hope. with a glad smile. It was the expectation I listened.' he went . ' ' ! ! . and went up into the airy regions. and coming calm. calling aloud. ' and cannot But is there not in him something deeper ' yet ? I asked. the cry of a chaos that would be a kingdom Then I heard a great flapping. At his Amen like doves arising on wings of silver from among the potsherds. ' 1 said Mara.' men hear him dawn of the day Far away as in the heart of an seonian heard the clear jubilant outcry of the golden It hurled defiance at death and the dark throat. golden cock both seen and heard him in their dreams. golden cock. Hark to the golden cock Silent and motionless ! for millions of years has he stood on the clock of the universe . It is the great Shadow stirring to depart. I . ' Without a substance/ he answered. * on. bird of God ! ' ! ' cried Adam. ' ' Wretched rest ! creature. ' ! a shadow cannot be stance yea. and the words rang through the house of silence. ' of the creature ' finding at last a voice ! . up sprang the Little Ones to their knees on their beds.

But soon he began to look troubled. . darling he cried it is time with bliss. Ones who had lain down beside my father and mother gazed blank and sad for a moment at their empty places. this one. to wake The leopardess ! ' did not move. and pushed and pulled. gazed a moment with loving eyes. ' He ' stretched across. and laid his hand on her face. assured they were alive and awake. wake up. two of his companions. now that. fondled and kissed it. Wake up. And why are they so cold ? ' They too are waiting for the princess. She is waiting for the princess to wake. looked at the princess.' I answered. with slept herself cold upcast look of appealing consternation.THE WAKING 335 Then each turned and looked at the sleeping bedfellow. to ' ' ' ! . and saw beside her. Odu. ' ! an he said to Mara. They will not wake ' he said. catching sight of the on the feet of the princess. She is cold too What is it ? he cried and ! looked round in wondering dismay. then slid slowly to the floor. There they companion The Little fell each into the other's arms. kissed the silent of the night. ' ! and turned ' to me ' with misty eyes. as if then first.' ' She has ' my said Mara. asleep. He flew at them. Suddenly spying Lona. they came running. Adam went to him. each by the other's eyes. Odu still 1 Wake up now ! wake up ' ! he cried. and throwing an arm over the great sleeping head. child. radiant embrace her. bounded to her leopardess next. and sprang from the couch.

There she offered followed Eve to the cottage. Wake up.' argued the ' ! child. So is the leopardess. neither would Crispy. You Let them sleep. though now first he had tears wherewith to weep soon to be ! ' ' ' ' ! wiped altogether away. with never a word of farewell.' he said she is busy she has forgotten enough to rememforgetting. not like the princess to wake and find nobody ? would They are quite happy. and Odu wept outright at last. The horse and the elephants were at the door.' He was comforted. but stood radiantly desiring our departure. and wake. and they followed . Crispy Peter wake up. we went out.' is ' : Her wake When ' ' And remember ? Yes not too much ' at But the golden cock has crown and fell again upon his companions. then she will soon be ripe. Crispy are all awake but you The gold cock has crown so loud The sun is two ' ' ' ! ! ! ! ! We ! ! awake and coming Oh. darling said Adam.336 * LILITH not ripe yet. waiting for us. * once though. and wiped his eyes as if he had been all his life used to weeping and wiping. us neither bread nor wine. too happy to mount them. We We were us. So. Peter Peter he cried. why won't you wake ? But Peter would not wake. ber enough.

The microcosm being. to know whence we came.337 CHAPTER XLV THE JOUENEY HOME IT had ceased to be dark . everything entered me. its life and mine. and macrocosm were at length atoned. every blade of grass was perfectly visible either by light that went out from it. which was its being. by its shape and colour. and sent it out. Nothing cast a shadow all things interchanged a little light. every heather-bush. because no correspondent lived in ! z . breathing through the dimness the breath of the spring. were one. awoke in me sense after sense indescribable. harmony and ! I lived in everything . A wondrous change had passed upon the world or was it not rather that a change more marvellous had taken place in us ? Without light enough in the sky or the air to reveal anything. its indwelling idea the informing thought. hitherto asleep. because Another is what he is Sense after sense. and where we were at home was to know that we are all what we are. was to know its life at once and mine. every small shrub. at length in that . that is. we walked in a dim twilight. or by light went out of our eyes. To be aware of a thing. as fire from the bush Moses saw in the desert. My bare feet seemed to love The world and my every plant they trod upon. Every growing thing showed me.

no likenesses or imaginations exist. I was myself in the joy of the bells. Life was a cosmic holiday. . went I lived. a lovely lake. ! ever making room to receive was the conscious being where things kept entering by so many open doors When a little breeze brushing a bush of heather set its purple bells a ringing. Now not I knew that is life mere and pure bliss. To the eternal joy. Del Paradiso. words. 142. ration of the dark out a sigh of and nothing could touch beside me. . A whirlpool had swept into its pellucid depths. it is in itself bliss and truth were one that life that where being is . being wherein to everything glad I lent the hall of my I was a peaceful ocean upon revel. thanksgiving.338 LILITH to describe them. x. out the soil in which the abortions burrowed. with tens of thousands of changing forms. but life-in-death. wherewithal Full indeed yet ever expanding. which the ground-swell of a living joy was continually yet was the joy ever the same joy. ! life. and of the soul that received all the joys " together. and at : ! : darling walked were on our way home to the my life ! My * Tin tin sonando con si dolce nota d' Che '1 ben disposto spirto amor turge. At last I was not ! and we Father So much was ours ere ever the first sun rose upon our freedom what must not the eternal day bring with it We came to the fearful hollow were once had walit was indeed. Every inspiwind that blew where it listed. myself in the joy of the breeze to which re* myself in the joy of sponded their v sweet tin-tinning the sense. lifting new waves . as lowed the monsters of the earth I gazed I had beheld it in my dream.

that lake will still be peopled with loathsomenesses. would have looked to him innocence beside such incarnations of hatefulness every head the wicked flower that. the auroral wind. its stalk. is coming.' they weltered in motionless heaps shapes more fantastic in ghoulish. White-raving storm of molten metals. is coming none the What less surely coming that it is long upon the road matters to-day. tumid bulges. Not one of them moved as we passed. z 2 . lift its : ! Life himself. or exspires. and looks down on the world. But hark the herald of the sun. as if new launched from the urging hand of his maker into the upper sea pauses. folded in layers. But they were not dead. knotted on themselves. The master-minister of softly trumpeting his approach ! the hand Heaping before his prow a huge ripple-fretted wave of crimson and gold. Maelstrom saw none to perfected its evil significance. or to-morrow. greater than the light. to Love himself ! He is coming. So long as exist men and women of unwholesome mind. * tended long and large. and Coiled in revealed every hideous form beneath it. is coming. he is but a coal from the altar of the Father's nevertabernacle is at ! human ending See every little flower neck. blasting dismay. or ten thousand years to sacrifice to his children. and with outstretched up straighten head stand expectant something more than the sun. glaring orbs of sepian deformity. than ever wine-sodden brain of exhausted poet fevered into misbeing. bursting from an abominable stalk.THE JOURNEY HOME : 339 the bottom lay visible the whole horrid brood a dim greenish light pervaded the crystalline water. He who dived in the swirling : compare with them in horror tentacular convolutions. he rushes aloft.

lightnings that took shape as they flashed from him him come ! . than ever man that had not died found summer-day in any world. We came to the channels. a cloud of colours and flashes. Fluttering butterflies. once so dry and wearyful they ran and flashed and foamed with living water that shouted in its gladness Far as the eye could see. I was going to him. now rising into the humid air like a rolling vapour of embodied odours. more ideal. we breathed homeward our longing desires. telling me we came from the same. and the beasts came after us. I walked on the new earth. For thanksgiving. and whom they always meant they were. darting dragonflies hovered or shot hither and thither about our heads. smoke. and sent out the living. . they said. It was a summer-day more like itself. Earth breathed heavenward her sweet-savoured to his. with whom they always were. will he indeed find them watching thus ? The night It was a glorious resurrection-morning. every evening will they droop and wait Is this but an air-drawn vision ? until he comes. and I saw into them. our very consciousness was that. had been spent in preparing it The children went gamboling before. save that now they opened their minds to me. Now. under the new heaven. The dark rocks drank like sponges the rays that showered upon them the great world soaked up the Two joy-fires were Lona light. and meant the same. all : ! .340 and the necks ! LILITH of all humanity are stretched out to see Every morning will they thus outstretch themselves. that is. and found them the same as the old. now descending upon us like a snow-storm of rainbow flakes. the soul of everything I met came out to greet me and make friends with me. they said. and I. When he comes.

by its 341 roaring. and hearing them trumpet their replies. Instinctively they plunged and swam. still Beyond place of the buried hand gave no sign. The desert rejoiced and blossomed as the rose. wide. fuller of messages. Then first to the Little Ones was revealed the glory of God in the limpid flow of water. between grassy banks. and through them went scrambling and leaping in a land of bloom. now along grassy margin. and now through forest of gracious trees. and the beasts followed them. where. The grass grew sweeter and its flowers more lovely and various the trees grew larger. silent river full to the brim. and the wind as we went . the river divided into its did not cross it. gave birth to a rivulet. The conversations between them Lona understood. walked in glory and in joy up its right bank. came at length to a forest whose trees were greater. until we reached the great cataract at the foot of the sandy desert. beam betwixt whose leaves and blossoms hardly a sunfiltered. . roaring and swirling and dropping sheer. shouting to the unseen elephants below. We roof. We ' but ' two branches. flowed the deep. grander. beyond. Wide forests had sprung up. their whole undergrowth flower- Every thicket ing shrubs peopled with song-birds.THE JOUKNEY HOME was a rushing. dashing river of water made vocal rocks. and every rivulet to its watersong. The and afar. the river came in full volume from Up and up we went. and more beautiful than any we had Their live pillars upheaved a thick embowed yet seen. found no desert : There we climbed the height and through grassy plains. Into the rafters of this aerial vault the children climbed.

while spots in them gyrated like whirlpools. Once more the cloud flashed all kinds of creatures horses and elephants. contrariant motions. along I had seen the lightning. and dark gray. a dazzling flash. ' ' I see lots mothers ! said Luva. but through it we heard their voices. they writhed in confused. and purple. A third flash came its substance and radiance were human.344 LILITH around a lofty tower or was it a rock ? that stood above the city. ' I see my mother o' ' ! I cried. Blinding darkness followed. . though not my ears.' I heard him speak ' ! < I didn't : what did he say ? ' Here answered the smallest and most childish voices ' of the that of said. such beasts And such birds great birds whose wings gleamed ! ! singly every colour gathered in sunset or rainbow little birds whose feathers sparkled as with all the precious ! . They lamped themselves visible. A second flash came. 'ickle ones : come . and my eyes. which seemed for a At length issued moment to play about the Little Ones in front of us. low with delight. ' Luva : He " ! " 'Ou's all mine's. The great quivering light was compact of angel-faces. nearer the crest of the mountain. lions and dogs oh. and vanished. ' Did you see I saw. Gray.' ' ? ' * ' 'What did you see?' The beautifullest man. and tossed up a vaporous foam. were opened. but heard no words Lona saw and heard with the children.

yielding channel. river gleam that ascended Drawing nearer to the mountain. rain. a starry multiand bright through the brilliant water. . grass in which grew primroses and daisies. out with stronger strides. waited Thunder. that died when I was a child. we saw that the came from its very peak. mingled . It descended to the gate by a stair of deep and wide steps. as caterpillars remarked Lona. the rain . large The river had gathered no turbid cloudiness from the narcissi. radiant its the river swept onw ard. the hoarding earth . and rushed in full volume through the main street of the city. pimpernels and anemones. used to grow butterflies I saw my white pony. . The falling drops flashed the colours of all the waked up gems of the earth. crocuses filling to the and tude. it flowed over For.THE CITY stones of 345 . the delicate mass shone with the pale from its deep. I needn't have been so sorry I should just have I said. ! red silvery cranes in gold and peacocks gorgeous ! . clap or roll. roll. margin instead of rock or shingle or sand. soft. ' ! We a mighty rainbow spanned the city. not even a tinge of yellow or brown berylline . And now came a sweet rain. fell in the children exulted and ran it was all we could do to keep them in sight. and stepped caressing coolness. there had been none. filling the atmosphere with a breathed deep. dainty bed. r smooth. heavenly flash ' ! I see that serpents grow ' birds here. With silent. The blue clouds gathered thicker torrents . and ! ' . flamingoes opal pigeons green and blue jewelly humming birds great-winged butterflies lithe-volumed creeping things all in one .

came down to meet and receive them. The children rushed upon her. There arriving we found shallower steps on both banks. attended by side of the descending a company of shining ones. continuing his descent meet us who were now almost at the gate and ! ' Ah ' within hearing of his words. The radiants carried them away. A great angel. and along the of the ascending street. on the landing. a group of woman-angels descended upon them. up still they ran. forest/ ' Welcome home ' ! he said to us. and ere she understood. and were already in the city. which stood open. and in a moment they were fettered in heavenly arms. which continued to the foot mountain. ' . they had taken heaven by surprise. a woman- angel of dark visage. this is well these are I hear of a soldiers to take heaven itself by storm horde of black bats on the frontiers these will make short work with such Seeing the horse and the elephants clambering up behind us Take those animals to the royal stables/ he added there tend them then turn them into the king's ! ' ! : ' ! ' . Outside. sat the portress. the Little Ones ran straight up the stair to the gate. still mounting the stair by the torrent. leading up to the gate. bending low with the sweetest smile. Without the briefest halt. covering her with caresses. but merrily evading them all. however. to said the mighty angel. leaning her shadowed brow on her idle hand.346 of LILITH porphyry and serpentine. . Immediately he turned and led the way higher. In merry dance. and I saw them no more.

but among them I saw the knew not. I held hand of my Lona. the operant outsender . disappearing in a cloud white as snow and above the steps I saw. thus received by the officers of heaven. of broken rocks. rocks The great angel could guide us no we must ascend alone ! farther : those beating with hope and desire. the river came billowing out. . must be on ! We stood for a prototypes of all the gems I had loved on earth far beautiful than they. for these were living stones such in which I saw. ii. upsloping like the moraine of an and through the openings between the eternal glacier On their top I rocks. . more nothing in this kingdom was dead nothing was mere nothing only a thing. the river of the water of Days. scales of his 347 like flakes of light- armour flashed Thought cannot form itself to tell what All I I felt. as it were a grand old chair. unceasingly new-born. but with my mind's eye only. * Oma' vedrai di si fatti uficiali. not the intent alone. Over and under and between those steps issued. Del Purgatorio. and we began to climb but soon we let each other go. but a huge pile : present. of life. I know not whence came the stones that fashioned it. There was no wall on the upper side. 30. but the intender too not the idea alone. but the imbodier . the throne of the Ancient . .THE CITY The ning. My heart faster the . plenteously.* wanted and its way to me moment at the gate whence issued roaring the radiant river. to use hands as well as feet At length in the toilsome ascent of the huge stones. We went up through the city and passed out. could dimly discern what seemed three or four great steps of a stair.

and saw the board of a large book in the act of closing behind me. and pushed me gently through. A hand. we drew . and entered the deep folds. passed through the fringe. I turned quickly.348 LILITH near the cloud. I stood alone in my library. The door opened the hand let mine go. like the borders of a . warm and strong. which hung down the steps garment. laid hold of mine. and drew me to a little door with a golden lock.

yet I have not found Lona. surely it was a dream of a better waking yet to come.349 CHAPTEE XL VII THE 'ENDLESS ENDING* As me. and I have not been the Such a dream must have yet sport of a false vision ! lovelier truth at the heart of its dreaming In moments of doubt I cry. asleep and dreaming. My brain was its mother. and the fever in thy blood the bow that drew it forth. me many things. but Mara is much with is She has taught more.' suggests Hope. my dark self. and teaching me Can it be that that last waking also was in the dream ? that I am still in the chamber of death.' Say rather.' ' ' But whence first into thy dark self ? rejoins Hope. Could God Himself create such lovely things as I ! ' dreamed ? ' ' ' Whence then came thy dream ? Out of ' answers Hope. thy brain was the violin whence it issued. and so have come awake too soon ? If that waking was itself but a dream. and the fever in my blood ' its father. But who made the violin ? and ' . into the light of ' my conscious- ness. not yet ripe enough to wake ? Or can it be that I did not go to sleep outright and heartily.

and startled each in its order from its perch ? Whence came the fantasia ? and whence the life that danced thereto ? Didst thou say. notwithstanding. they seem to waver as if a wind rippled their solid mass. through misty windows of the past. he gives it is the sport dream when Another him. I know not whether these things rise in my I do not seek them brain. the trees and the grass appear for a moment to shake as if about to pass away then. which will not abide identification. the heavens and the earth. when I look round on my books.' Now and then. who set the song birds each on its bough in the tree of life. quickens. and truth but seemed ? Man dreams and desires God broods and wills and ' . Sometimes when I am abroad. they have settled again into the old familiar face At times I seem to hear whisperings around me. often. a like thing takes place . look out upon me in the broad daylight. and another world were about to break through. . would distinguish the words. but I never dream now. when most . they come.350 LILITII guided the bow across its strings? Say rather. It may be. ! . that Other is able to I fulfil it. as if some that loved me were talking of me but when I . The hand sent me back I will not go out again by that door All the days of my appointed time will I wait till my : ! ' change come. that. his own dream. or enter it from without. and I let them go. lo. ! who and straightway beauty was. and all is very still. have never again sought the mirror. Strange dim memories. in the dark of thy own unconscious self. they cease. " Let beauty be let truth seem " again . When of his a man dreams .

I shall know that I wake. ! am at last into that life shall doubt no more. I 351 wake and But when I only dreaming the more as a mother her child. NKW-S'IIIKKT SQUAJIB LONDON . ' Novalis says.. carries this life in its bosom. but it should and will perhaps become one.' THE END. Our life is no dream. which. nturaoi BY BI'OTTISWOODB AND CO. I wait. .THE 'ENDLESS ENDING' awake. I wait asleep or awake.

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PR 4967 . . .L55 1896 SMC MacDona d George Lilith 47081072 \ .

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