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The Princess and Curdie George MacDonald

Curdie's Mission

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'I will provide you a servant,' she said, 'for your journey and to wait upon you afterward.'

'But where am I to go, ma'am, and what am I to do? You have given me no message to carry, neither have you said what I am wanted for. I go without a notion whether I am to walk this way or that, or what I am to do when I get I don't know where.'

'Curdie!' said the princess, and there was a tone of reminder in his own name as she spoke it, 'did I not tell you to tell your father and mother that you were to set out for the court? And you know that lies to the north. You must learn to use far less direct directions than that. You must not be like a dull servant that needs to be told again and again before he will understand. You have orders enough to start with, and you will find, as you go on, and as you need to know, what you have to do. But I warn you that perhaps it will not look the least like what you may have been fancying I should require of you. I have one idea of you and your work, and you have another. I do not blame you for that - you cannot help it yet; but you must be ready to let my idea, which sets you working, set your idea right. Be true and honest and fearless, and all shall go well with you and your work, and all with whom your work lies, and so with your parents - and me too, Curdie,' she added after a little pause.

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The young miner bowed his head low, patted the strange head that lay at the princess's feet, and turned away. As soon as he passed the spinning wheel, which looked, in the midst of the glorious room, just like any wheel you might find in a country cottage - old and worn and dingy and dusty - the splendour of the place vanished, and he saw but the big bare room he seemed at first to have entered, with the moon - the princess's moon no doubt - shining in at one of the windows upon the spinning wheel.

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The Princess and Curdie
George MacDonald

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