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The House Of Death
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"We have long waited for thee, Lilith!" he said.
She returned him no answer.
Eve and her daughter came to the door.
"The mortal foe of my children!" murmured Eve, standing radiant in her beauty.
"Your children are no longer in her danger," said Mara; "she has turned from evil."
"Trust her not hastily, Mara," answered her mother; "she has deceived a multitude!"
"But you will open to her the mirror of the Law of Liberty, mother, that she may go into it, 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, in a voice of fear and doubt.
"Therefore it is that thou art miserable," said Adam.
"I will go back whence I came!" she cried, and turned, wringing her hands, to depart.
"That is indeed what I would have thee do, where I would have thee go--to Him from whom thou camest! In thy agony didst thou not cry out for Him?"
"I cried out for Death--to escape Him and thee!"
"Death is even now on his way to lead thee to Him. Thou knowest neither Death nor the Life that dwells in Death! Both befriend thee. I am dead, and would see thee dead, for I live and love thee. 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 eternal? Cease thou canst not: wilt thou not be restored and BE?"
She stood silent with bowed head.
"Father," said Mara, "take her in thine arms, and carry her to her couch. There she will open her hand, and die into life."
"I will walk," said the princess.
Adam turned and led the way. The princess walked feebly after him into the cottage.
Then Eve came out to me where I sat with Lona in my bosom. She reached up her arms, took her from me, and carried her in. I dismounted, and the children also. The horse and the elephants stood shivering; Mara patted and stroked them every one; they lay down and fell asleep. She led us into the cottage, and gave the Little Ones of the bread and wine on the table. Adam and Lilith were standing there together, but silent both.
Eve came from the chamber of death, where she had laid Lona down, and offered of the bread and wine to the princess.
"Thy beauty slays me! It is death I would have, not food!" said Lilith, and turned from her.
"This food will help thee to die," answered Eve.
But Lilith would not taste of it.
"If thou wilt nor eat nor drink, Lilith," said Adam, "come and see the place where thou shalt lie in peace."
He led the way through the door of death, and she followed submissive. But when her foot crossed the threshold she drew it back, and pressed her hand to her bosom, struck through with the cold immortal.
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