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Adela Cathcart, Volume 1 by George MacDonald

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ADELA CATHCART

Volume I.

BY

GEORGE MACDONALD M.A.

Me list not of the chaf ne of the stre Maken so long a tale as of the corn.

CHAUCER.--_Man of Lawes Tale_.

ADELA CATHCART

Originally published in 1864

With appreciation to Mrs. Morag Black for the master copies of Volumes II and III, to the Bodleian Library for the photo-copies of Volume I, and to Miss Tracy Samuel for type-copying Volumes I, II, and III for this Edition.

To John Rutherfurd Russell M.D.

This book is affectionately dedicated by the author.

Contents of the First Volume

Chapter

I CHRISTMAS EVE II CHURCH III THE CHRISTMAS DINNER IV THE NEW DOCTOR V THE LIGHT PRINCESS VI THE BELL VII THE SCHOOLMASTER'S STORY

ADELA CATHCART.

Chapter I.

Christmas Eve.

It was the afternoon of Christmas Eve, sinking towards the night. All day long the wintry light had been diluted with fog, and now the vanguard of the darkness coming to aid the mist, the dying day was well nigh smothered between them. When I looked through the window, it was into a vague and dim solidification of space, a mysterious region in which awful things might be going on, and out of which anything might come; but out of which nothing came in the meantime, except small sparkles of snow, or rather ice, which as we swept rapidly onwards, and the darkness deepened, struck faster and faster against the weather-windows. For we, that is, myself and a fellow-passenger, of whom I knew nothing yet but the waistcoat and neckcloth, having caught a glimpse of them as he searched for an obstinate railway-ticket, were in a railway-carriage, darting along, at an all but frightful rate, northwards from London.

Being, the sole occupants of the carriage, we had made the most of it, like Englishmen, by taking seats diagonally opposite to each other, laying our heads in the corners, and trying to go to sleep. But for me it was of no use to try any longer. Not that I had anything particular on my mind or spirits; but a man cannot always go to sleep at spare moments. If anyone can, let him consider it a great gift, and make good use of it accordingly; that is, by going to sleep on every such opportunity.

As I, however, could not sleep, much as I should have enjoyed it, I proceeded to occupy my very spare time with building, up what I may call a conjectural mould, into which the face, dress, carriage, &c., of my companion would fit. I had already discovered that he was a clergyman; but this added to my difficulties in constructing the said mould. For, theoretically, I had a great dislike to clergymen; having, hitherto, always found that the _clergy_ absorbed the _man_; and that the _cloth_, as they called it even themselves, would be no bad epithet for the individual, as well as the


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