About this bookHe who hath Imagination is blessed or cursed with a fearful magic whereby he may scale the heights of Heaven or plumb the deeps of Hell.
"I went at a good, round pace, being determined to cover as much distance as possible ere dawn, since I felt assured that so soon as my indomitable aunt Julia discovered my departure she would immediately head a search party in quest of me; for which cogent reason I determined to abandon the high road as soon as possible and go by less frequented byways. A distant church clock chimed the hour and, pausing to hearken, I thrilled as I counted eleven, for, according to the laws which had ordered my life hitherto, at this so late hour I should have been blissfully asleep between lavender-scented sheets. Indeed my loved aunt abhorred the night air for me, under the delusion that I suffered from a delicate chest; yet here was I out upon the open road and eleven o'clock chiming in my ears. Thus as I strode on into the unknown I experienced an exhilarating sense of high adventure unknown till now. It was a night of brooding stillness and the moon, high-risen, touched the world about me with her magic, whereby things familiar became transformed into objects of wonder; tree and hedgerow took on shapes strange and fantastic; the road became a gleaming causeway whereon I walked, godlike, master of my destiny. Beyond meadow and cornfield to right and left gloomed woods, remote and full of mystery, in whose enchanted twilight elves and fairies might have danced or slender dryads peeped and sported. Thus walked I in an ecstasy, scanning with eager eyes the novel beauties around me, my mind full of the poetic imaginations conjured up by the magic of this midsummer night, so that I yearned to paint it, or set it to music, or write it into adequate words; and knowing this beyond me, I fell to repeating...."