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MALLOCK W.
In an enchanted island
page 263

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as if this strange and yet familiar building were utterly alone in the heart of some endless solitude. The landscape of the mind, against which our thoughts and expectations move, when the wind of the imagination is active changes as quickly as the clouds ; and indeed it consists often of several landscapes, semi-transparent and showing through one another. A few minutes later I had a curious illustration of this. Instead of returning home through the gate of the town we descended a flight of secret stairs in the wall, and through an aperture, that might once have been a drain, we struggled out into the fosse. I had seen in the morning that the rock here was covered with asphodel. It seemed asphodel now no longer ; it was northern docks and nettles. There was here and there a pool of standing water, with tall grasses near it, that took the likeness of reeds ; and as we went along our coming disturbed some waterfowl. How or why I am not prepared to say, but a sense came over me that I was in some marshes in the East Eiding of Yorkshire. I felt that in front of us must be the broad-shouldered keeper, with his leggings and his velveteen jacket ; and I fancied that soon I should be nearing the lights and the avenues of a house which, except in memory, I had not entered for years. Eooks cawing in the elms, grooms in the stable yard, figures standing about the fire in the hall or in the drawing-room, of whom half are dead, and every one of them 260 IN AN ENCHANTED ISLAND

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