12 THE PRINCESS AND CURDIE.
but ridiculous nonsense. Why, to them the very word " great-great-grandmother" would have been a week's laughter! I am not sure that they were able quite to believe there were such persons as great-great-grand≠mothers; they had never seen one. They were not companions to give the best of help towards progress, and as Curdie grew, he grew at this time faster in body than in mindówith the usual consequence, that he was getting rather stupidóone of the chief signs of which was that he believed less and less of things he had never seen. At the same time I do not think he was ever so stupid as to imagine that this was a sign of superior faculty and strength of mind. Still, he was becoming more and more a miner, and less and less a man of the upper world where the wind blew. On his way to and from the mine he took less and less notice of bees and butterflies, moths and dragon-flies, the flowers and the brooks and the clouds. He was gradually changing into a commonplace man. There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others : in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. One of the latter sort comes at length to know at once whether a thing is true the moment it comes before him; one of the former class grows more and more afraid of being taken in, so afraid of it that he takes himself in altogether, and comes at