THE KING'S KITCHEN. 139
over such a sty. The mine was a paradise to a palace with such servants in it
Leaving the kitchen, he got into the region of the sculleries. There horrible smells were wandering about, like evil spirits that come forth with the darkness. He lighted a candle—but only to see ugly sights. Everywhere was filth and disorder. Mangy turn-spit dogs were lying about, and gray rats were gnawing at refuse in the sinks. It was like a hideous dream. He felt as if he should never get out of it, and longed for one glimpse of his mother's poor little kitchen, so clean and bright and airy. Turning from it at last in miserable disgust, he almost ran back through the kitchen, re-entered the hall, and crossed it to another door.
It opened upon a wider passage, leading to an arch in a stately corridor, all its length lighted by lamps in niches. At the end of it was a large and beautiful hall, with great pillars. There sat three men in the royal livery, fast asleep, each in a great arm-chair, with his feet on a huge footstool. They looked like fools dreaming themselves kings; and Lina looked as if she longed to throttle them. At one side of the hall was the grand staircase, and they went up.
Everything that now met Curdie's eyes was rich—not glorious like the splendours of the mountain cavern, but rich and soft—except where, now and then, some rough