53 THE PRINCESS AND CURDIE.
"Ah, that indeed ! How can you tell ? Or how could I expect you should? But those who know me well, know me whatever new dress or shape or name I may be in; and by-and-by you will have learned to do so too."
"But if you want me to know you again, ma'am, for certain sure," said Curdie, "could you not give me some sign, or tell me something about you that never changes —or some other way to know you, or thing to know you by?"
"No, Curdie; that would be to keep you from knowing me. You must know me in quite another way from that. It would not be the least use to you or me either if I were to make you know me in that way. It would be but to know the sign of me—not to know me myself. It would be no better than if I were to take this emerald out of my crown and give it you to take home with you, and you were to call it me, and talk to it as if it heard and saw and loved you. Much good that would do you, Curdie! No; you must do what you caji to know me, and if you do, you will. You shall see me again—in very different circumstances from these, and, I will tell you so much, it may be in a very different shape. But come now, I will lead you out of this cavern; my good Joan will be getting too anxious about you. One word more: you will allow that the men knew little what they were talking about this morning, when they told all those