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

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156             . THE PRINCESS AND CURDIE.
"Things are in a bad state enough," he said in conclusion; —"lying and selfishness and inhospitality and dishonesty everywhere; and to crown all, they speak with disrespect of the good king, and not a man of them knows he is ill."
" You frighten me dreadfully," said Irene, trembling.
"You must be brave for your king's sake," said Curdie.
" Indeed I will," she replied, and turned a long loving look upon the beautiful face of her father. " But what is to be done ? And how am I to believe such horrible things of Dr. Kelman ? "
" My dear princess," replied Curdie, " you know nothing of him but his face and his tongue, and they are both false. Either you must beware of him, or you must doubt your grandmother and me ; for I tell you, by the gift she gave me of testing hands, that this man is a snake. That round body he shows is but the case of a serpent Perhaps the creature lies there, as in its nest, coiled round and round inside."
" Horrible ! " said Irene.
" Horrible indeed ; but we must not try to get rid of horrible things by refusing to look at them, and saying they are not there. Is not your beautiful father sleep­ing better since he had the wine ? "
" yes."
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