The Princess and the Goblin - online book

A Children's Fantasy Book By George MacDonald - illustrated version.

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132 The Princess and the Goblin
than had passed upon their owners. They had altered — that is, their descendants had altered —into such creatures as I have not attempted to describe except in the vaguest manner—the various parts of their bodies assuming, in an apparently arbitrary and self-willed manner, the most abnormal developments. Indeed, so little did any distinct type predominate in some of the bewildering results, that you could only have guessed at any known animal as the original, and even then, what likeness remained would be more one of general expression than of definable con­formation. But what increased the gruesomeness tenfold, was that, from constant domestic, or in­deed rather family association with the goblins, their countenances had grown in grotesque re­semblance to the human. No one understands animals who does not see that every one of them, even amongst the fishes, it may be with a dim­ness and vagueness infinitely remote, yet shadows the human: in the case of these the human re­semblance had greatly increased: while their owners had sunk towards them, they had risen towards their owners. But the conditions of subterranean life being equally unnatural for
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