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Black Magic:  A Tale of the Rise and Fall of Anti-Christ
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Black Magic: A Tale of the Rise and Fall of Anti-Christ

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Author: Marjorie Bowen
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton, 1912
Alston Rivers, 1909
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Book Type: Novel
Genre: Horror
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Synopsis

In the large room of a house in a certain quiet city in Flanders, a man was gilding a devil. The chamber looked on to the quadrangle round which the house was built; and the sun, just overhead, blazed on the vine leaves clinging to the brick and sent a reflected glow into the sombre spaces of the room. The devil, rudely cut out of wood, rested by his three tails and his curled-back horns against the wall, and the man sat before him on a low stool....


Excerpt

CHAPTER I. SUNSHINE

In the large room of a house in a certain quiet city in Flanders, a man was gilding a devil.

The chamber looked on to the quadrangle round which the house was built; and the sun, just overhead, blazed on the vine leaves clinging to the brick and sent a reflected glow into the sombre spaces of the room.

The devil, rudely cut out of wood, rested by his three tails and his curled-back horns against the wall, and the man sat before him on a low stool.

On the table in front of the open window stood a row of knights in fantastic armour, roughly modelled in clay; beside them was a pile of vellum sheets covered with drawings in brown and green.

By the door a figure of St. Michael leant against a chair, and round his feet were painted glasses of every colour and form.

On the white-washed wall hung a winged picture representing a martyrdom; its vivid hues were the most brilliant thing in the room.

The man was dressed in brown; he had a long dark face and straight dull hair; from the roll of gold leaf on his knee he carefully and slowly gilded the devil.

The place was utterly silent, the perfect stillness enhanced by the dazzle of the blinding sun without; presently the man rose and, crossing to the window, looked out.

He could see the sparse plants bordering the neglected grass-grown paths, the house opposite with its double row of empty windows and the yellowing vine-leaves climbing up the tiled roof that cut the polished blue of the August sky.

In between these windows, that were all closed and glittering in their golden squares, busts of old and weary philosophers were set; they peered out blindly into the unfathomable sunshine, and the dry tendrils of the vine curled across their leanness.

In the centre square of grass was an ancient and broken fountain; some tall white daisies grew there, and the pure gold of their hearts was as bright as the gilding on the devil within.

The silence and the blaze of the sun were one and indescribable.

The man at the window rested his elbows on the sill; it was so hot that he felt it burning through his sleeve; he had the air of one habitually alone, the unquestioning calm that comes of long silences; he was young and, in a quiet fashion, well-looking, wide in the brows and long in the jaw, with a smooth pale skin and cloudy dark eyes, his hair hung very straightly, his throat was full and beautiful.

Copyright © 1909 by Marjorie Bowen


Reviews

Black Magic: A Tale of the Rise and Fall of ...

- Crowgirl
  (1/27/2013)

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