THE BAKER'S WIFE. 103
interest, they said, had got the better of violence, and the troubles of the past were whelmed in the riches that flowed in at their open gates. Indeed there was one sect of philosophers in it which taught that it would be better to forget all the past history of the city, were it not that its former imperfections taught its present inhabitants how superior they and their times were, and enabled them to glory over their ancestors. There were even certain quacks in the city who advertised pills for enabling people to think well of themselves, and some few bought of them, but most laughed, and said, with evident truth, that they did not require them. Indeed, the general theme of discourse when they met was, how much wiser they were than their fathers.
Curdie crossed the river, and began to ascend the winding road that led up to the city. They met a good many idlers, and all stared at them. It was no wonder they should stare, but there was an unfriendliness in their looks which Curdie did not like. . No one, however, offered them any molestation : Lina did not invite liberties. After a long ascent, they reached the principal gate of the city and entered.
The street was very steep, ascending towards the palace, which rose in great strength above all the houses. Just as they entered, a baker, whose shop was a lew doors inside the gate, came out in his white apron, and