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BROWNIES AND BOGLES

BY

LOUISE IMOGEN GUINEY
Author of
Songs
at the Start

Goose-Quill Papers

The White

Sail

Fifty Illustrations by

Edmund H

Garrett

BOSTON
D

LOTHROP COMPANY
FRANKLIN ANH HAWLEY STREETS

Copyright,
BY

1888,

D. LoTHROP Company.

PRESSWORK BY BbRWICK d SMITH, BOSTPft,

CONTENTS.
CHAPTER
WHAT
FAIRIES

I.

WERE AND WHAT THEY DID

.

.

II

CHAPTER
FAIRY RULERS

II.

22

CHAPTER
THE BLACK ELVES

III.

33

CHAPTER
THE LICHT ELVES

IV.

46

CHAPTER
DEAR liROWNIE

V.
63

CHAPTER
OTHER HOUSE-HELPERS

VI.

79

CHAPTER
WATER-FOLK

VII.

g6

VI

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER
MISCHIEF-MAKERS

VIII.
IO9

CHAPTER
PUCK; AND poets' FAIRIES

IX.
I23

CHAPTER
CHANGELINGS

X.
133

CHAPTER
FAIRYLAND

XI.
I46

CHAPTER

XII.
.

THE PASSING OF THE LITTLE PEOPLE

.

.

1

59

LIST .OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

The
"

little

river-neck of

Sweden
"
!

Frontis.

God speed

you, gentlemen
fairy

i6

The Neapolitan

25
court-fool

The elf-monarch who was made

29

The

Isle of

Riigen Dwarfs that give presents
31

children

The Dwarf
The

that

borrowed the

silk

gown

35 38

The Black Dwarfs

of Riigen planning mischief

Troll's children

40
42
"
!

A

Coblynau

" I can't stay any longer

45
48

An

elle-maid of

Denmark
Lady
.

Bertha, the White

49
51

Some Greek

fairies

An

elf-traveller

Brownie's delight was to do domestic service

65 70 73

Brownie relishes
All that

his

bowl of cream

Puck demanded
.
.

" Wag-at-the-wa' "

75 84

An

Irish Cluricaune

Japanese children and Brownies

86
87

A

little

Fir-Darrig

.

VIU

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

The
The

persistent

Xobold

of

Kopenick

93
98

Mer-folk
old Nix near

Ghent

100
lOI

The work

of the Nickel

Hob
The

in

Hobhole

106
III

Irish

Pooka was a horse too

Will o'-the-Wisp

"3
118
.

Pisky also chased the farmers' cows

Red Comb was

a tyrant
.

119

The Welsh Puck
"

126
127

A merry night-wanderer
By
the

moon we
whose

sport and play

"

129
132 ^37

The
"

elves

little

eyes glow
.

There was an

Irish changling

The acorn before

the oak have

I

seen

"

139
143

She heard a
" Ainsel "
.

faint voice singing

under a leaf

144
148

Gitto Bach and the fairies

Kaguyahime, the moon-maid

149
152

The

little

hunchback

Taknakaux Kan
" Al was this loud fulfilled of faeries "

•56
161

Fairy stories

163

The

capture of Skillywidden

Good-bye

....

i6s
171

BROWNIES AND BOGLES.

BROWNIES AND BOGLES."

CHAPTER
WHAT
FAIRIES

I.

WERE AND WHAT THEY

DID.

A
live in

FAIRY

is

a humorous person sadly out of

fashion at present,

who has

had, neverthe-

less, in the actors'

phrase, a long and prosperous

run on this planet.

When we

speak of

fairies

nowadays, we think only of small sprites who
a kingdom of their own, with manners, laws,

and

privileges very different from ours.

But there

was a time when

" fairy " suggested also the knights

and ladies
tales

of romance, about

whom

fine

spirited

were told when the world was younger.

Spenser's Faery Queen, for instance, deals with

dream-people, beautiful and brave, as do the old
stories of

Arthur and Roland

;

people

who

either

I

"brownies and bogles."

never lived, or who, having lived, were glorified

and magnified by

tradition out of all kinship with
fairies are fairies in the

common men.
ern sense.

Our
will

mod-

We

make

it

a rule, from the be-

ginning, that they must be small,

and we

will

put

out any

who
the

are

above the regulation height.
Melusina,

Such as
wails

charming famous
at the

who

upon her tower

death of a Lusignan,
is

we may
lady, alas!

as well skip;

for she
tail,
if

a

tall

young
thus,

with a serpent's
half-monster;
in

to

boot,

and

for

we should accept any
is

like her

our plan, there

no reason why we

should not get confused

among mermaids and
down great

dryads, and perhaps end by scoring

Juno
lin,

herself as a fairy
shall

!

Many

a dwarf and gobis

whom we

meet anon,

as big as- a

child.

Again, there are rumors

in

nearly every

country of finding hundreds of them on a square
inch of oak-leaf, or beneath the thin shadow of a

blade of grass.
little

The

fairies of

popular belief are

and somewhat

shrivelled,

and quite as apt to

be malignant as to be frolicsome and gentle.
shall find

We

that

they were

divided into several

WHAT
classes

FAIRIES

WERE AND WHAT THEV
;

DID.

13

and families

but there

is

much analogy
By and by
;

and vagueness among these
you may care
present,
to

divisions.

study them for yourselves

at

we

shall

be very high-handed with the

science of folk-lore, and pay no attention whatever
to

learned gentlemen,

who
it is

quarrel so foolishly

about these things that
funny, to listen to them.
is

not helpful, nor even

A

widely-spread notion
forefathers went to
soldiers,

that

when our crusading

the Holy Land, they heard the Paynim

whom

they fought, speaking

much

of the Peri, the
in the East.

loveliest beings imaginable,

who dwelt

Now, the Arabian language, which these swarthy
warriors used, has no letter P, and therefore they
called their spirits Feri, as did the Crusaders after

them
rope,

;

and the word went back with them
into general use.
too,

to

Eu-

and slipped

"Elf" and "goblin,"
trace.

are interesting to
feud, in the

There was a great

Italian

twelfth century,

between the German Emperor and

the Pope,

whose separate partisans were known as
and the Ghibellines.

the Guelfs

As time went
was
still

on,

and the memory

of that long strife

fresh,

14

"brownies and bogles.
would put upon anyof Ghibelline

a descendant of the Guelfs

body he disliked the odious name and the
latter,

generation after generation, would

return the compliment ardently, in his

own

fashion.

Both terms,
for

finally,

came

to be

mere catch-words
the fairies, falling

abuse and reproach.

And

into disfavor with

some bold mortals, were angrily
and
" goblin "
;

nicknamed
you
will

" elf "

in

which shape

recognize the last threadbare reminder of

the once bitter and historic faction of Guelf and

Ghibelline.
It is likely that the tribe

were designated as fairfair to

ies

because they were, for the most part,

see,

and

full

of grace
;

and charm, especially among

the Celtic branches

and people,

at all times,

had

too

much

desire to

keep

their good-will,

and too
spite, to

much
give

shrinking from

their rancor

and

them any but the most

flattering titles.

They
little

were seldom addressed otherwise than " the
folk,"

"the kind folk," "the gentr)%" "the

fair

family," "the blessings of their mothers,"

and "the

dear wives "

;

just as, thousands of years back,

the noblest and cleverest nation the world has ever

WHAT

FAIRIES

WERE AND WHAT THEY

DID.

15

seen, called the dreaded

Three " Eumenides," the
and
fast
its

gracious ones.

It is a sure

maxim

that

wheedling human nature puts on

best manners

when

it is

afraid.

In Goldsmith's racy play, She

Stoops to Conquer, old Mistress Hardcastle meets

what she takes
of course,

to be a robber.
is

She hates robbers,
five wits

and

scared half out of her

but she implores mercy with a cowering politeness
at

which nobody can choose but laugh, of her "good
fairies,

Mr. Highwayman," Now,

who knew how

to

be bountiful and tender, and who made slaves of
themselves to serve
see,

men and women,

as

we

shall

were easily offended, and wrought great mis-

chief

and revenge
;

if

they were not treated handin the habit of
is

somely

all

of

which kept people

courtesy toward them.

A

whirlwind of dust

a

very annoying thing, and makes one splutter, and
feel in

absurdly resentful

;

but in Ireland, exactly as
that
it

modern Greece, the peasantry thought
fairies

betokened the presence of

going a journey
:

so they lifted their hats gallantly, and said

"

God

speed you, gentlemen
Fairies

"
!

had

their followers

and votaries from

i6

BROWNIES AND BOGLES.
Nothing
in the Bible hints that they

early times.

were known among the heathens with
Israelites

whom

the

warred

;

nothing in classic mythology

has any approach to them, except the beautiful

"god speed

you,

gentlemen!"

wood and water-nymphs.

Yet poet Homer, Pliny

the scientist, and Aristotle the philosopher,

had

some notion

of them,

and

of their influence.

In old

China, whole mountains were peopled with them,

and the coriander-seeds grown

in their

gardens

WHAT

FAIRIES

WERE AND WHAT THEY
those

DID.

1

gave long

life

to

who

ate of

them.

The

Persians had a hierarchy of elves, and were the
first to set

aside Fairyland as their dwelling-place.
their

Saxons, in

wild

forests,

believed in

tiny

dwarves or demons called Duergar.
tries,

Celtic coun-

Scotland,

Brittany,

Ireland,

Wales, were

always crowded with them.

In the " uttermost
of

mountains of India, under a merry part

heaven,"

or by the hoary Nile, according to other writers,

were the Pigmeos, one cubit high, full-grown
three years,

at

and old

at seven,

who fought with

cranes for a livelihood.

And

the Swiss alchemist,

Paracelsus (a most pompous and amusing old bigwig), wrote that in his day
all

Germany was

filled
little

with fairies two feet long, walking about in
coats

Their favorite color, noticeably in Great Britain,

was green
grudged

;

the

majority of them wore
Sir

it,

and

its

adoption by a mortal.
it

Walter

Scott tells us that

was a

fatal

hue to several

families in his country, to the entire gallant race of

Grahames

in particular

;

for in battle a Gra-

hame was almost always

shot through the green

i8

"brownies and bogles."
plaid.

check of his

French

fairies

went

in

white;

the Nis of Jutland, and
in

many

other house-sprites,
;

red and gray, or red and brown

and the plump
also white,
all.

Welsh goblins, whose holiday dress was
in

the gayest and most varied tints

of

In

North Wales were " the old elves of the blue
coat";
in

petti-

Cardiganshire was the familiar green
it

again, though
of

was never seen save

in the

month

May

;

and

in

Pembrokeshire, a uniform of jolly
caps.

scarlet

gowns and

The

fairy

gentlemen

were quite as much given and their general
ful

to finery as the ladies,

air

was one of extreme cheer-

dandyism.

Only the mine and ground-fairies
Indeed, their idea
;

were attired in sombre colors.
of clothes

was delightfully

liberal

an

elf

bespoke

himself by what he chose to wear; and fashions

ranged
Islands,

all

the

way from

the sprites of the

Orkney
little

who

strutted about in armor, to the
of Cologne,

Heinzelmanchen

who scorned

to

be

burdened with so much as a hat
People
origin.

accounted in

strange

ways

for

their

A

legend, firmly held in Iceland, says that

once upon a time Eve was

washmg

a number of

WHAT

FAIRIES

WERE AND WHAT THEY

DID,

I9

her children at a spring, and when the Lord ap-

peared suddenly before her, she hustled and hid

away those who were not already clean and
sentable
;

prein-

and that they being made forever

visible after,

became

the ancestors of the "little

folk,"

who pervade

the hills and caves

and ruins

to this day.

In Ireland and Scotland fairies were
of the fallen

spoken of as a wandering remnant
angels.

The

Christian

world

over,

they were

deemed

either for a while, or perpetually, to be

locked out from the happiness of the blessed in
the next world.

The Bretons thought

their

Korre-

rigans had been great Gallic princesses,

who

fused the

new faith, and clung

to their

pagan gods,

and

fell

under a curse because of their stubbornof

ness.

The Small People
to

Cornwall, too, were

imagined

be the ancient inhabitants of that
born, not good
to

country, long before Christ was

enough

for

Heaven, and yet too good

be con-

demned

altogether,

whose

fate

it is

to stray about,

growing smaller and smaller,

until

by and by they

vanish from the face of the earth.

Therefore the poor

fairy-folk,

with

whom

the-

20

"brownies and bogles."

ology deals so rudely, were supposed to be tired
waiting,

and anxious
•,

to

know how they might

fare

everlastingly

and they waylaid many mortals,
tell

who, of course, really could

them nothing,

to

ask whether they might not get into Heaven, by
chance, at the end.
It

was

their chief cause of
little

doubt and

melancholy, and ran in their
to year.

minds from year
vert

And

since

we

shall re-

no more

to the sad side of fairy-life, let us of

close with a

most sweet story

something which

happened

in

Sweden, centuries ago.
river,

Two
Neck

boys were gambolling by a

when a

rose

up

to the

air,

smiling,

and twanging

his harp.

The
:

elder child watched him, and cried
!

mockingly
ting there

"

Neck

what
.''

is

the good of your

sit-

and playing

You will never be saved

"
!

And

the Neck's sensitive eyes filled with tears,

and, dropping his harp, he sank forlornly to the

bottom.

But when the brothers had gone home,

and

told their wise

and

saintly father, he said they
;

had been thoughtlessly unkind
hurry back to the
spirit.

and he bade them
little

river,

and comfort the

water-

From

afar off they

saw him again on the

WHAT
surface,

FAIRIES

WERE AND WHAT THEY
bitterly.

DID,

21

weeping
!

And they called to him
;

:

" Dear

Neck

do not grieve

for our father says

that your

Redeemer

liveth also."

Then he threw
sang

back

his bright head, and, taking his harp,

and played with exceeding gladness was long
past,

until sunset

and the

first

star sent

down

its

benediction from the sky.

CHAPTER

II.

FAIRY RULERS,

THE
You
will

forming of character among the

fairy-

folk

was a very simple and sensible matter.

imagine that the Pagan, Druid and Chrisgreatly.

tian elves varied
their morals

And

they did;
it,

still

had nothing

to

do with

nor pride,
;

nor patriotism, nor descent, nor education

nor

would

all

the philosophy you might

crowd

into a

thimble have
different

made one

bee-big resident of Japan

from a

man

of his

own

size in Spain.

They saved themselves no end
setting

of trouble

by

up the

local

barometer as their standard.

The only

Bible they
it

knew was

the weather, and

they followed
was, whatever nation

stoutly.

Whatever the climate
to

it

had helped
under
it,

make

the grown-up

who

lived

that,

every time, were
the land

the " brownies

and bogles."
22

Where

was

FAIRY RULERS.

23

rocky and grim, and subject to wild storms and

sudden darknesses, the
too,

fairies

were grim and wild

and

full of

wicked

tricks.

Where

the land-

scape was level and green, and the crops grew
peacefully, they were tame, as in central England,

and inclined

to

be sentimental.
traits of the

And
race
fairy

they copied the distinguishing
dwelt.
;

among whom they

A

frugal Breton

spoke the Breton dialect
for fruits

the Neapolitan
;

had a tooth

and macaroni
;

the Chinese

was ceremonious and stern
fee
fore

a true

Provengal

was as vain as a peacock,
her,

flirting

a mirror belittle

and an
!

Irish

elf,

bless his

red

feathered caubeen

was never the man

to

run

away from a
If

fight.

you look on the map, and see a section

of

coast-line like that of Cornwall or

Norway, a sun-

shiny, perilous,

foamy

place,

make up your mind

that the fairies

thereabouts were fellows worth
all

knowing

;

that

you would have needed

your wit

and pluck to get the better of them, and that they
would have made
in
live,

hearty playmates, too, while
girl.

good humor,

for

any brave boy or

24

" BROWNIES

AND

BOGLES.

We

do not know nearly so much about the gen-

uine fairies as

we should

like.

They must have

been, at one time or another, in every European
countr)'.

Most

of the Oriental spirits were taller,
;

and of another brood

they figured either as decall angels.

mons, or as what we should now
in

But
days,

the

Germanic
was

colonies,

from very old

fairy-lore tribe

finely developed,

and we count up and mer-

on

tribe of necks, nixies, stromkarls

maids,
(little

who were

water-sprites

;

of

bergmannchen

men of the
;

mountain), and lovely wild-women
of trolls

in hilly places

around the woods and

rocks; of elves in the

air,

and gnomes or duer-

gars in caverns or mines.

Yet from Portugal, and
from our own North
little

Russia, and Hungary, and

American Indians, we learn so
not worth counting.
If the

that

it

is

good dear peasants who were acquainted

with the fairies had

made more rhymes about them,
attentively
;

and handed them down more

if it

had

occurred to the knowing scholar-monks to keep
diaries of elfin doings, as
it

would have done had
were

they but

known how soon

their little friends

FAIRY RULERS,
be extinct,
like

25

to

the glyptodon
!

and the dodo,
^

how wise should we not be

But again, though there were hosts of supernat-

THE NEAPOLITAN FAIRY.

ural beings in the beliefs of every old land,

we

have no business with any but the wee ones.

And

as

these were

settled

most thickly
countries,

in the

Teutonic, Celtic and

Cymric

we

will

26

"brownies and bogles."

turn our curiosity thither, without farther grumbling,

and be glad

to get so

much

authentic news

of

them as we may.
Fairies, as a whole,

seem
all

at

bottom rather weak

and disconsolate.

For

of their

magic and cun-

ning, for all of their high station, and. its feasting

and

glory, they could not

keep from seeking human men, resent
in-

sympathy.

They

did, indeed, hurt

trusions, foretell the future,

and
in

call

down

disease

and storm, but they stood

awe

of the weakest

mortal because of his superior strength and size
they

came

to

him

to

borrow food and medicine, and
of his

even to ask the loan

house for their
invisible,

revels.

They rendered themselves

but he had

always at his feet the fern-seed, the talisman of
four-leaved clover (or, as in Scotland, the leaf of
the ash or rowan-tree), with v.'hich he could defeat
their design,
of

and protect himself against the attacks

any witch, imp, or fairy whatsoever.
Their government was a happ3^-go-lucky
affair.

The
ests

various tribes of fairies had no

common

inter-

which would make them sigh for

post-offices,

or cables, or general synods.

Each

set of

them

FAIRY RULERS.
got along, independent of the
rest.

2J

Once

in a

while a mine-man would live alone with his wife,

pegging away
of

at his daily

work, without any idea
or,

hurrahing for his King
;

more

likely, his

Queen

or even of hunting

up

his

own

cousins in

the next county.
If

we had

elves in the United States nowadays,

they would no doubt be American enough to elect
a President and have him as honest, and steady,

and sound-hearted as needs be.

But dwelling as

they did in feudal days, they set up thrones and
sceptres
all

over Fairydom.

According to the poets,
the crowned rulers of the

Mab and Oberon
people.

are

little

In

reality,

they had no supreme head.

Among many parties
who was no

and
its

factions,

each small agreeing community had

own

chief, the tallest of his race,
all,

chief at
east.

mind you,

to the airy neighbors a mile

The
Si

delicate yellow Chinese fairy-mother
in the

was

Wang Mu; and
who was
also

Netherlands, the

elf-queen,

queen

of the witches,

was

called

Wanne

Thekla.

We

snatch an item here and there of the royal

28
histories.

"

RROWNIES AND BOGLES."
find that the sweet-natured Elberich
is

We

in the

Niebelungen

the

same as Oberon.

In

Germany was

a dwarf-king

named Goldemar, who

lived with a knight, shared his bed, played at dice

with him, gave him good advice, called him Brother-in-law very fondly,

and comforted him with the
But Goldemar, though the

music of his harp.

knight loved him and could touch and feel him,

was unseen.

He was

like

a wreath of blue smoke,

or a fragment of moonlight, and you could run a

sword through him, and never change his kind
smile.

His royal hands were

lean,

and

soft,

and

cold as a frog's.

After three years, perhaps

when

Brother-in-law was dead, or

when he was married,

and needed him no
disappeared.
Sinnels, Giibich,

longer, the gentle dwarf-king

and Heiling were other dwarfand ready
Their

princes, probably rivals of Goldemar,
to have at
little

him

till

their breath

gave out.

majesties were quarrelsome as cock-sparrows.

The

elf-monarch Laurin was once conquered by
;

Theodoric
in

and because he had been treacherous
at all, despite the

war (which was not "fair"

FAIRY RULERS.

29

proverb), he got a very sad rebuff to his dignity,
in

being made fool or buffoon

at

the

court of

Bern.

We
the

are told in

Mabinogion
the

how
ter of

daugh-

Llud Llaw

Ereint was " the

most splendid

maiden
three

in

the
of

islands

the mighty,"

and

howforherGwyn
a

p

N u d d,

the

Welsh

fairy-king,

battles every

THE ELF-MONARCH WHO WAS MADE
COURT-FOOL.

M ay
dawn

-

d a y from
until

sunset.

Gwyn

once carried her
;

off

from Gwythyr, her true

lord

and both lovers

were so furious and cruel against each other that
blessed King Arthur
bitter fight

condemned them
till

to

wage

on each first-of-May

the world's

end

;

and

to

whomsoever

is

victorious the great-

30
est

"brownies and bogles.
number
of times, the fair lady shall then be
will

given.

Let us hope the reward

not

fall

to

thieving

Gwyn.

We

have said that we should do pretty much as
in

we pleased

ranging the myriad fairy-folk into
If,

ranks and species.

as

we prowl about, we

see

a baby in the house of the Elfsmiths,

who has

a

look of the Elfbrowns, we will immediately kidnap

him from

his

fond parents, and add him to the

family he resembles.

Now

that might

make

wail-

ing and confusion, and bring

down vengeance on

our heads,

if

there were any
;

Queen Mab

left to
it

rap us to order

but as things go, we shall find
difficulties.

a very neat way of smoothing

Of course there

are certain pigwidgeons too ac-

complished, too slippery, too
to

many

things in one,
;

be ticketed and tied down

like the rest

such

versatile fellows as the

Brown Dwarves

of the Isle

of Riigen, for instance. called the Vine-hills,

They

lived in

what were

and were not
little

quite eighteen

inches high.

They wore

snuff-brown jackets
invisible,

and a brown cap (which made them and allowed them

to pass through the smallest key-

FAIRY RULERS.
hole), with one

31

wee

silver bell at its peak, not to

be

lost for

any mone}-.

But they did some roguish
fell

things;

and children who

into their
!

hands

had

to serve

them

for fifty years

With caprice

THE

ISLE OF

RUGEN DWARVES THAT GIVE PRESENTS TO
CHILDREN.

usual to their kin, they

will,

on other occasions,

befriend and -protect children, and give them presents
lead
;

or plague untidy servants, like Brownie, or
travellers

astray

by night into bogs and

32

"brownies and bogles."

marshes, like the Ellydan and the Fir-Darrig, and

mischievous double-faced Robin Goodfellow himself.

An

ancient tradition says that while the grass-

blades are sprouting at the root, the earth-elves

water and nourish them;

and the moment the

growth pierces the
it

soil,

affectionate air-elves take

in charge.
;

Therefore we borrow a hint from
after first going

the grass

and

down among

the

swarthy fairies

who burrow underground, we
little

shall

pass up to companionship with

beings so

beautiful that wherever they flock there is starlight

and song.

CHAPTER
THE BLACK

III.

ELVES.

ACCORDING
Light or

to the very old

Scandinavian

notion, land-fairies were of

two sorts; the
air,

Good Elves who

dwelt in

or out-of-

doors on the earth, and the Black or Evil Elves

who dwelt beneath

it.

We

will follow the

Norse

folk.

If

we were

re-

quired to group

human beings under two
that

headings,
Evil, be-

we should choose

same Good and

cause the division occurs to one naturally, because
it

saves time, and because everybody comprehends

it,

and sees

that

it

is

based upon law

;

and so do
the

we deal with our

wonder-friends,

who have

strange moral sorcery belonging to each of us their
masters, to help or to harm.

The
ground

evil fairies, then,

were the scowling under-

tribes,

who

hid themselves from the frank

33

34
daylight,

"brownies and

bogles.**

and the open reaches

of the fields.

Yet

just as the

good

fairies

had many a sad

failing

to offset their grace

and charm, the grim, dark-

skinned manikins had sudden impulses towards

honor and kindness.

In

fact, as

we noted

before,

they were astonishingly like our fellow-creatures,
of

whom

scarce any

is

entirely faultless, or en-

tirely

warped and ruined.
in Switzerland,

For instance, the Hill-men,
very generous-minded
;

were
stray

they drove

home

lambs

at night,

and put berry-bushes

in the

way

of poor children.

And

the

more modern Dwarves
clefts of rocks,

of

Germany, frequenting the

were

silent, mild,

and well-disposed, and apt
those

to bring

presents to

who took

their

fancy.

Like

others of the elf-kingdom, they loved to borrow

from mortals.

Once a

little

bowing Dwarf came

to a lady for the loan of her silk

gown

for a fairy-

bride.

(You can imagine

that, at the

ceremony,

the

groom must have had

a pretty hunt

among

the

wilderness of finery to get at her ring-finger!)

Of course the lady gave

it

;

but worrying over
hill

its

tardy return, she went to the Dwarves'

and

THE BLACK
asked for
it

ELVES.

35

aloud.

A

messenger with a sorrowful
it

countenance brought

to

her at once, spotted

over and over with wax.

But he told her that

THE DWARF THAT BORROWED THE SILK GOWN.

had she been

less

impatient every stain would
!

have been a diamond

The huge,

terrible, ogre-like

Hindoo Rakshas,
and the an-

the weird Divs

and Jinns

of

Persia,

^6
cient

"brownies and bogles."
demon-dwarves of the south called Panis,
the foster-parents of our dwin-

may be considered

dled minims, as the glorious Peris on the other

hand gave
to a little
cestry.

their

name, and some of their

qualities,

European family

of very different an-

The Black Elves
for dwarves

will serve as

our general name
closely

and

mine-fairies.

These are

connected

in all legends, live in the

same neigh-

borhoods, and therefore claim a mention together.

They have
short,

four points
;

in

common
and

:

dark skin

bulky bodies
occupations

fickle

irritable natures

and

'

as

miners,

misers,

or

metal-

smiths.

And

because of their exceeding industry,
all

on the old maxim's authority, where

work and

no play made Jack a dull boy, they are curiously
heavy-headed and preposterous jacks; and, waiving their plain faces, not in any wise engaging.

Yet perhaps, being largely German, they may be
philosophers, and so vastly superior to any
little

gabbling, somersaulting ragamuffin over in Ireland.

In the Middle Ages, they were

described

as

withered and leering, with small, sharp, snapping

THE BLACK
black eyes, bright as gems
;

ELVES.

37

with cracked voices,
it
!

and matted
as
if

hair,

and horns peering from

and

that were not

enough adornment, they had

claws, which

must have been filched from the
pussycats, on
their fingers

ghosts

of

mediaeval

and

toes.
first

The

Duergars belonging to the Gotho-Ger-

man

mythology, were muscular and strong-legged
erect, their

and when they stood
the ground.
lers of metal,

arms reached

to

They were
and made

clever and expert handof gold, silver

and

iron,

the finest armor in the world.

They wrought
Thor
his

for

Odin
and

his great spear,

and

for

hammer,

for

Frey the wondrous ship Skidbladnir.
ago, too,

Long

armor-making Elves, black as
bowels of the

pitch, lived in Svart-Alfheim, in the

earth,

and were

able,

by their glance or touch or

breath, to cause sickness

and death wheresoever

they wished.
Still

uglier were the Black

Dwarves

of the

mys-

terious Isle of Riigen;

nor had they any

frolic-

some or

cordial

ways which should bring up our
Their pale eyes ran water, and

opinion of them.

38

RROWNIES AND BOGLES.

every midnight they
ribly

mewed and

screeched

hor-

from their holes.

In idle summer-hours they

sat

under the elder-trees, planning by twos and
to

and threes

wreak mischief on mankind.
if

They,
;

as well, were once useful,

not beautiful

for in

THE BLACK DWARVES OF RUGEN PLANNING MISCHIEF.
the days

when heroes wore a panoply
fair

of steel, the

Black Dwarves wrought
of

helmets and corselets
pierce,

cobwebby mail which no lance could
flexible as silk
foe.

and swords
the

which could unhorse

miglitiest

The

little

blackamoors
for ore

fre-

quented mining

districts,

and dug

on their

THE BLACK

ELVES.

39

own

account.

They were

said to be very rich,

owning unnumbered chests stored underground.

The most

exciting tales about

gnomes

of all na-

tions were founded on the
tals to get

efforts of

daring mor-

possession of their wealth.

To
of

the mining division belong the dwarf-Trolls
(for there

Denmark and Sweden

were giant-

Trolls as well), and the whimsical Spriggans of

Cornwall.
hills,

The

Trolls burrowed in

mounds and

and were called

also Bjerg-folk or Hill-folk;

they lived in societies or families, baking and brewing,

marrying and

visiting,

in the old

humdrum

way.
of

They made

fortunes,

and hoarded up heaps

money.
;

But they were often obliging and beit

nevolent
to lend

gave them pleasure to bestow
!

gifts,

and borrow, and sometimes, alas
prettily

to steal.

They played
were very
little

on musical instruments, and

jolly.

People used to see the stumpy

children of the genteel Troll
in

who

lived at

Kund

Jutland,

climbing up the knoll which

was the roof of

their

own

house, and rolling

down

one after the other with shouts of laughter.
Trolls were famous gymnasts, and very

The

plump and

40
round.

BROWNIES AND BOGLES.

Our word

" droll "

is

left

to us in

merry

remembrance

of them.

They were
from the

tractable creatures, as you

may know

tale of

the farmer, who, ploughing an

THE troll's children.

angry Troll's land, agreed, for the sake of peace,
to

go halves

in the crops

sown upon

it,

so that

one year the Troll should have what grew above
ground, and the next year what grew under.
the sly farmer planted radishes and carrots,

But

and

THE BLACK

ELVES.

41

the Troll took the tops; and the following season

he planted corn

;

and

his

queer partner gathered
off

up the roots and marched
deed,
it

in

triumph.

In-

was so easy

to outwit

the simple Troll
pla3'ed
little

that a generous farmer

would never have
lost

the

game
It

out,

and we should have
to take

our

story.

was mean

advantage of the sweet

fellow's trustfulness.

There was an English schoolwise, firm,

master once, a

man

and kind, and

of

vast influence, of

whom

one of his boys said to

another

:

" It's a

shame

to tell a lie to

Arnold

;

he

always believes
alry.

it."

That was a ray

of real chiv-

The Spriggans were fond
and loose
stones, with

of dwelling near walls
it

which

was unlucky to

tamper, and where they slipped in and out with
suspicious
If a

eyes, guarding

their buried

treasure.

house was robbed, or the cattle were carried

away, or a hurricane swooped
village, the

down on

a Cornish

neighbors attributed their trouble to

the

Spriggans; whereby you
fine reputations for

may

believe

they

had

meddlesomeness.

Their

cousins, the Buccas, Bockles or Knockers, were

42

BROWNIES AND BOGLES.
and
rap-

gentlemen who went about thumping

ping wherever there was a vein of ore for the

weary workmen, cheating, occasionally,
the monotony.

to

break

The Welsh Coblynau

followed the same profession,

and pointed out
places
in

the

desired

mines and quarries.

The Coblynau were
per-colored,

cop-

and

very
all

homely, as were
pigmies

the

who

lived
;

away

from the sun
busybodies,
high,

they were
half-a-yard

who

imitated

the

dress of their friends the miners, and pegged away
at the rocks, like

them, with great noise and gusto,

accomplishing nothing.

Their houses were

far-

removed from mortal

vision,

and unlike certain

proper children, now obsolete, the Coblynau themselves were generally heard, but not seen.

Their German relation was the Wichtlein
wight) an extremely small fellow,

(little

whom

the Bohe-

THE

BLACK. ELVES.

43

mians named Hans-schniledlein (little John Smith
because he makes a noise
anvil.

!)

like the stroke of

an

Dwarves and mine-men went about,
with a purseful of gold.
it

unfailingly,

But

if

anyone snatched
of

from them, only stones and twine and a pair
it.

scissors were to be found in

The Leprechaun,
meet
later as the

or Cluricaune,
fairy-cobbler,

whom we
was an

shall

Irish

celebrity

who knew
car-

where pots of guineas were hidden, and who

ried in his pocket a shilling often-spent and ever-

renewed.

He

looked, in this banker-like capacity,

a clumsy small boy, dressed in various ways, some-

times in a long coat and cocked hat, unlike the

Danish

Troll,

who kept
red cap.

to

homely gray, with the

universal

little

Even

the

respectable

Kobold, who was,

virtually, a house-spirit,

caught

the fever of fortune-hunting, and often threw
his domestic duties to

up

seek the fascinating nug-

gets in the mines.

There

is

a funny anecdote of a Troll who, as
his race, cunningly concealed

was common with

his prize under the shape of a coal,

Now

a peas-

44
ant

"brownies and bogles.
on his way to church one bright Sunday
to

morning saw him trying vainly
of crossed straws which

move

a couple
his coal to

had blown upon

for anything in the shape of a cross

seemed

shrivel

up an

elf's

power

in

the

most

startling

manner.

So the

little

sprite turned, half-crying, to

and begged the peasant
him.

move

the straws for

But the

man was

too shrewd for that, and
all,

took up the coal,

straws and

and

ran, despite

the poor Troll's screaming, and saw, on reaching

home, that he had captured a lump of
All

solid gold.

Black Elves were particular about their

neighborhoods, and a whole colony would migrate
at

once

if

they took the least offence, or
got

if

the

villagers

about

"too

knowing"

for

them.

(An American poet once wrote a sonnet "To
Science," in which

he

berated her for having

made him

" too

knowing," and for having driven

— " the Naiad from her flood
The
elfin

from the green grass "
his very

and

it

was

in

consequence of

knowiugness,

no doubt,

that, beauty-loving

and marvel-loving

as were his sensitive eyes, they never saw so much

THE BLACK
as
the vanishing
told

ELVES.

45

shadow

of

a

fairy.)

A

little

dwarf-woman

two young Bavarians that she

intended to leave her favorite dwelling, because
of the shocking cursing

and swearing
all

of the coun-

try-people

!

But they were not

so godly.
his

Ever since the great god Thor threw

ham-

mer
as

at the Trolls, they

have hated noise as much
who,
however,

Mr. Thomas

Carlyle,
in the

made They

Thor's own bluster

world himself.

sought sequestered places that they might not be
disturbed.

The

Prussian mites near Dardesheim

were frightened away by the forge and the factory.

Above

all

else, church-bells distressed

them, and

spoiled
pers.

their

tem-

A huckster

once

passed a Danish Troll,
sitting

disconsolately

on a stone, and asked

him what the matter
might be.
" I hate to

leave

this

country,"
fat

"i can't stay

any longer

I"

blubbered the
there
is

mourner, " but

I

can't stay

where
"
!

such an eternal ringing and dinging

CHAPTER
THE LIGHT

IV.

ELVES.

OVER
god Frey
;

the beautiful Light Elves of the Edda,

in old Scandinavia, ruled the

beloved suncalled

and they lived
it

in a

summer land

Alfheim, and

was

their office to sport in air or

on the leaves of
thrive.

trees,

and

to

make

the earth

But they changed character as centuries passed

and they came

to

resemble the fairies of Great

Britain in their extreme
ness.

waywardness and
fair

fickle-

For though they were

and benevolent
it

most of the time, they could be, when
them, ugly and hurtful
they very often were
to
;

so pleased
be,

;

and what they could

for fairies
their

were not expected

keep a firm rein on

moods and tempers.
of
;

Norwegian peasants described some
Huldrafolk as tiny bare boys, with
46
tall

their

hats

and

THE LIGHT
in

ELVES,

47

Sweden, as

well, they

were slender and delicate.

When
to

a Swedish

elf-maid or

moon-maid wished

approach the inmates of a house, she rode on

a

sunbeam through the keyhole, or between
in a shutter.

the

openings

The German wild-women were
about alone, and having
feet.

like

them, going

fine hair flowing to their
traits,

They had some odd

one of which was

sermonizing! and exhorting stray mortals who had

done them a

service, to lead a godly

life.

The

elle-maid in

Denmark and

in

neighboring
graceful,

countries was always

winsome and

and

carried an enchanted harp.
best,

She loved moonlight
But her
evil

and was a charming dancer.
in

element was

her very beauty, with which she en-

trapped foolish young gentlemen, and waylaid them,

and carried them

off

who knows whither

?

She
it

could be detected by the shape of her back,

being hollow, like a spoon

;

which was meant

to

show that there was something wrong with

her,
fit

and that she was not what she seemed, but
only for the abhorrence of passers-by.

The

elle-

man, her mate, was old and

ill-favored, a disa-

48

"brownies and bogles."
;

greeable person

for

if

any one came near him

while he was bathing in the sun, he opened his

mouth and breathed

pestilence

upon them.

AN ELLE-MAID, OF DENMARK.

A common
at

trait of the

air-fairies

was

to assist

a birth and give the
gifts.

infant, at their will,

good
of

and bad

Dame

Bertha, the White

Lady

THE LIGHT
Germany, came

ELVES.

49
certain

to the birth of

princely

babes, and the Kerrigans

made

it

a general prac-

BERTHA, THE WHITE LAUY,
tice.

Whenever they nursed

or tended a new-born

mortal, bestowed presents on
his destiny,

him and foretold
people was almost

one of the

little

50

"BROWNIES AND BOGLES.

always perverse enough to bestow and foretell

something unfortunate.

You

all

know Grimm's
in

beautiful tale of Dornroschen,

which

English

we

call

The Sleeping Beauty, where
the

the jealous

thirteenth fairy predicts

poor young lady's

spindle-wound.

Around

the famous

Roche des

Fe'es in the forest of Theil, are those

who

believe

yet that the elves pass in and out at the chimneys,

on errands

to little children.
fairies

The modern Greek
rounds,

haunted

trees,

danced
off

bathed

in

cool

water,

and carried

whomsoever they coveted.
them
in their

A

person offending

own

fields

was smitten with disease.
a foot high, lived
afraid of nothing.
if

The Chinese Shan Sao were

among
They,

the mountains,
too,

and were
;

were revengeful

for

they were

at-

tacked or annoyed by mortals, they " caused them
to sicken with alternate heat

and cold."

Bonfires

were burnt to drive them away.

The innocent White Dwarves
Riigen
in the Baltic Sea,

of

the

Isle

of

made

lace-work of silver,

too fine for the eye to detect,

all

winter long

;

but

came

idly out into the

woods and

fields with re-

THE LIGHT

ELVES.

SI

turning spring, leaping and singing, and wild with
affectionate joy.

They were

not allowed to ram;

ble

about

in

their

own shapes
to

therefore
butterflies,

they

changed themselves

doves and

and

SOME GREEK

FAIRIES.

winged

their

way
all

to

good mortals,

whom

they

guarded from

harm.
of Brittainy,

The Korrigans

mentioned a while

ago, were peculiar in
tiful

many

ways.

They had beau-

singing voices and bright eyes, but they never

52

"

BROWNIES AND BOGLES.
to
sit
still

danced.
like

They preferred

at twilight,
hair.

mermaids, combing their long golden
tallest of
lily,

The
as a

them was nearly two

feet high, fair
itself,

and transparent as dew

yet able
terrify-

as the rest to
ing.

seem dark, and humpy, and
passed
the

He who

night with

them, or

joined in their sports, was sure to die shortly,
since their very breath or touch
again, as in the case of

was

fatal.

And

Seigneur Nann, about

whom

a touching Breton ballad was made, they
to

doomed

death any who refused to marry one of

them within three days.

Of

the

American Indian
In Mr.
is

fairies

we do not know
Indian

much.

Schoolcraft's

books of

legends there

a beautiful

little

Bone-dwarf,

who

may almost be considered
the Sioux they
tell

a fairy.

In the land of

the pretty story of Antelope
warrior-folk,

and Karkapaha, and how the wee
thronging on the
hill,

clad in deerskin, and

armed

with feathered arrow and spear, put the daring
heart of a slain
lover,

enemy

into the breast of the timid
to

Karkapaha, and made him worthy both

win and keep his lovely maiden, and

to deserve

THE LIGHT ELVES.
homage
for his bravery, from her tribe

53

and

his.

Some

of

you

will

remember one thing
is

against the

Puk-Wudjies, which

an Algonquin name mean-

ing "little vanishing folk," to wit: that they killed

Hiawatha's friend, " the very strong man Kwasind," as our Longfellow called him.
cited their envy,

He had

ex-

and they flung on

his head, as he

floated in his canoe, the only thing

on earth that

could

kill

him, the seed-vessel of the white pine.
fair-

The
ies

Scotch, Irish and English overground
thing,

were, as a general
the

very

much

alike.

They had
ble,

power

of

becoming

visible or invisisize,

compressing or enlarging their

and taking

any shape they pleased.

When

an Irish Shefro
to get a

was disturbed or angry, and wanted
or a

house

person

off

her grounds,
:

she

put

on the
fire,

strangest appearances
slap a
tail

she could crow, spit

or a hoof about, grin like a dragon, or

give a frightful, weird, lion-like roar.

Of course
it

the object of her polite attentions thought
to oblige her.
If

best

she and her companions were
lifted the spryest of

anxious to enter a house, they
their

number

to

the

keyhole, and

pushed him

54
through.

BROWNIES AND BOGLES.

He

Ci)rried a piece of string,

which he

fastened to the inside knob, and the other end
to a chair or stool
;

and over

this perilous bridge
in

the whole giggling tribe

marched

one by one.

The

Irish

and Scotch fays were more mischievous

than the English, but have not fared so well, having had no memorable verses

made about them.

The

little

Scots were

sometimes dwarfish wild
their
;

creatures,

wrapped

in

plaids,

or,

oftener,

comely and yellow-haired

the

ladies

in

green
little

mantles, inlaid with wild-flowers; and dapper

gentlemen
of silk.

in

green trousers, fastened with bobs
carried arrows, and went on tiny

They

spirited horses, as did the

Welsh

fairies, " the sil-

ver bosses of their bridles jingling in the night-

breeze."

An

old account of Scotland says that

they were "clothed in green, with dishevelled hair
floating over their shoulders,

and faces more bloom-

ing than the vermeil blush of a

summer morning."

Their Welsh cousins were many.

A native

poet

once sang of them

:

In every liollow,

A

huiidred vvrv-mouthed elves.

THE LIGHT ELVES.

55
of

They were queer

little

beings,

and had notions

what was decorous, for they combed the goats'
beards every Friday night, " to make them decent
for

Sunday

!

"

They were very quarrelsome

;

you

could hear them snarling and jabbering like jays

among

themselves, so that in some parts of Wales
:

a proverb has arisen

"

They can no more agree
inhabitants believed that

than the fairies

1

"

The

the midgets never had courage to go through the
gorse, or prickly furze, which
in that country.
is

a

common

shrub

One

sick old

woman who was

bothered by the Tylwyth Teg
souring her milk

(" the fair family ")

and

spilling

her tea, used to

choke up her room with the furze, and make such
a hedge about the bed, that nothing larger than a

needle could be so

much

as pointed at her.

In

Breconshire the Tylwyth
peasantry, which,
if

Teg gave

loaves to the

they were not eaten then and

there in the dark, would turn in the morning into
toadstools!

When Welsh

fairies

took

it

into their

heads

to

bestow food and money, very lazy people
in

were often supported
stroke of work.

great

style,

without a
to

And

the Tylwyth

Teg loved

56

"brownies and bogles."

reward patience and generosity.

They played

the harp continuously, and, on grand occasions,
the bugle
;

but

if

a bagpipe was

heard among

them, that indicated a Scotch visitor from over
the border.

King James
Dcemonology a "

i.

of

England mentions

in
:

his
sic

King and Queene

of Phairie
!

a jolie courte and traine as they had

"

Nothing

could have exceeded the state and elegance of
their

ceremonious

little

lives.

According

to
all

a
of

sweet old play,

they had houses

made

mother-of-pearl, an

ivory tennis-court, a

nutmeg
cham-

parlor, a sapphire dairy-room, a ginger hall;

bers of agate, kitchens of crystal, the jacks of
gold, the spits of Spanish needles
in
!

They dressed

imported cobweb

!

with a four-leaved clover,

lined with a dog-tooth violet, for overcoat;

and
deli-

they ate (think of eating such a pretty thing

!)

cious rainbow-tart, the trout-fly's gilded wing,
the broke heart of a nightingale

and

O'ercome with music.

But we never heard that Chinese or Scandinavian
elves could afford such luxury.

THE LIGHT

ELVES.

57
in the

Their English dwellings were often
ble-castles of

bub-

sunny brooks

;

and the bright-jack-

eted hobgoblins took their i^leasure sitting under
toadstools, or paddling about in egg-shell boats,

playing jew's-harps large as themselves.
the freehold of

Beside

blossomy hillocks and dingles,

they had dells of their own, and palaces, with

everything lovely in

them

;

and whatever they

longed for was to be had for the wishing.

They

had

fair

gardens

in clefts of

the Cornish rocks,

where vari-colored

flowers, only seen

by moonlight,

grew

;

in these

gardens they loved to walk, tossing
if

a posy to

some mortal passing by; but

he ever

gave
after.

it

away they were angry with him forever

They

liked to fish

;

and the crews put out

to sea in

funny uniforms of green, with red caps.

They

travelled

on a

fern, a rush, a bit of

weed, or

even boldly bestrode the bee and the dragon-fly

and they went

to

the

chase, as in the Isle of

Man, on
them
mies
!

full-sized horses
it

whenever they could get
to time of war, their ar-

and when

came

laid-to like

Alexander's own, with mushroomfor

shield

and bearded grass-blades

mighty spears,

S8

BROWNIES AND BOGLES.
honeysuckle
trumpets
braying
furiously

and

!

There are traditions

of battles so

vehement and
the

long that the cavalry trampled

down

dews

of

the mountain -side,
and
sent

many
fellow,

a
at

peerless

every charge, to the
fairy

hospitals

and

cemeteries.

Their chief and

all

but universal amuse-

ment, sacred to moonlight

and music, was

AN ELF-TRAVELLER.

dancing hand- infairy-ring

hand

;

and what was called a

was the

swirl of grasses in a field taller

and deeper green
to
it

than the

rest,

which was supposed
Inside these rings

mark

their

circling path.

was consid-

ered very dangerous to sleep, especially after sun-

down.

If

you put your foot within them, with a
elfin tribe

companion's foot upon your own, the

became

visible to you,
;

and you heard

their tink-

ling laughter

and

if,

again, you wished a

charm

THE LIGHT

ELVES.

59

to defy all their anger, for they hated to be over-

looked by mortal eyes, you had merely to turn
your coat inside out.

But a house

built

where the

wee

folks

had danced was made prosperous.
deftly old

Hear how

John Lyly, nearly four hun-

dred years ago, put the dancing in his lines
Round
about, round about, in a fine ling-a,

Thus we dance,

thus

we

prance, and thus

we

sing-a

Trip and go, to and

fro,

over this green-a

All about, in and out, for our brave queen-a.

For the
erally

elves, as

we know, were governed gen-

by a queen, who bore a white wand, and

stood in the centre while her gay retainers skipped

about her.
Irish

Fairy-rings were

common
in

in

every

parish.
in
;

At Alnwick

Northumberland

County
tiquity

England, was one celebrated from anit

and

was believed that
it

evil

would

befall

any who ran around

more than nine
running
it

times.

The
often

children
;

were

constantly

that

but nothing could tempt the bravest of
to

them

all

go one step
fairies

farther.

In France, as in

Wales, the
care,

guarded the cromlechs with
to hold revel near them.

and preferred

6o

"brownies and bogles."
At these merry
festivals, in the

pauses of action,

meat and drink were passed around.
ballad tells

A

Danish

how Svend-Falling drained a horn

presented by elf-maids, which
as twelve men, and gave

made him

as strong
of twelve

him the appetite

men, too
It

;

a natural but embarrassing consequence.

used to be proclaimed that any one daring
to rush

enough

on a fairy

feast,

and snatch the
it,

drinking-glass,

and get away with

would be
the

lucky

henceforward.
of Edenhall,

The famous

goblet,

Luck

was seized
;

after that fashion,
little

by one of the Musgraves

whereat the

peo-

ple disappeared, crying aloud

If that glass

do break or

fall,

Farewell the Luck of Edenhall

Once upon

a time the

Duke

of

Wharton dined

at

Edenhall, and came very near ruining his

host,

and
from

all

his race

;

for the precious

Luck slipped

his

hand

;

but the clever butler at his elbow
it

happily caught

in his napkin,

and averted the

catastrophe

:

so the beautiful cup and the favored

family enjoy each other in security to this day.

THE LIGHT

ELVES.

6l

In the Song of Sir Olaf, we are told
in,

how he

fell

while riding by night, with the whirling elves;
after their every plea

and how,

and threat that he

should stay from his to-be-wedded sweetheart at

home, and dance, instead, with them, he hears the
weird French refrain
:

O

the dance, the dance

!

How

well the dance goes under

the trees

And

through their wicked

magic, after

all

his

steadfast resistance, with the wild music

and the
there

dizzy
dies.

measure whirling

in

his

brain,

he

All the gay, unsteady, fantastic motion broke

up

at the

morning cock-crow, and instantly the
And, strangest
of
all

little

bacchantes vanished.
betraying flash of the

the

dawn showed

their

peach-like color, their blonde, smooth hair, and

bodily agility changed, like a

Dead Sea
!

apple,

and

turned into ugliness and

distortion

It

was not the

lovely vision of a minute back which hurried

away

on the early breeze, but a crowd
eyed bugaboos, laughing

of leering, sullento

fiercely

think

how

they had deceived a beholder.

62

"BROWNIES AND BOGLES."
These, then, were the Light Elves, not
all

lova-

ble,

or loyal, or gentle, as they were expected to

be, but cruel to wayfarers like

poor Sir Olaf, and

treacherous and

mocking; beautiful so long as

they were good, and hideous
a foul deed.
It is

when they had done

hard to say wherein they were
Elves,

better than

the

Underground

who

were,

despite

some kindly
evil,

characteristics, professional

doers of

and had not the choice or chance
fortunate.

of being so

happy and

But we record

them as we

find them, not without the sobering
at

thought that here, as
are a running

every point, the fairies
the puzzle of our

commentary on

own human

life.

CHAPTER

V.

DEAR BROWNIE.

BROWNIE,
fairies
;

the willing drudge, the kind

little

housemate, was the most popular of

all

and

it is

he

whom we now

love

and know

best.

He was
awake
young

a sweet, unselfish fellow; but very wide

as well, full of mischief,
eagle,

and

spirited as a

when he was deprived
to a tribe of

of his rights.

He
size,

belonged

great influence and
inhabiting

and each division

of that tribe,

different

countries, bore a different
to

name.

But

the
will

word Brownie,
serve as

English-speaking people,
fairies

meaning those
to

who attached

themselves persistently

any spot or any family,
chosen home.
Shetland

and who labored

in behalf of their

The Brownie proper belonged
and the Western
Isles, to

to the

Cornwall, and the High-

63

64

"brownies and bogles."

lands and Borderlands of Scotland.

He was

an

indoor gentleman,
friends the Black
his dwelling in the
in a special

and varied

in

that

from our
took up

and Light Elves.

He

house or the barn, sometimes

corner, or under the roof, or even in
pantries,

the cellar

where he ate a great deal
for him.

more than was good
was supposed
curly
to

In the beginning he

have been covered with short
like

brown
his

hair,

a

clipped water-spaniel,
in

whence

name.

But he changed greatly

appearance.

Later accounts picture him with a
little

homely, sunburnt
long wind

face,
:

as

if

bronzed with

and weather

dark-coated, red-capped,
slippers,

and shod with noiseless

which were as

good as wings
him,
in

to his

restless feet.

Along with

Scotch houses, and in English houses

supplanting him, often lived the Dobie or Dobbie

who was

not by any

means
!

so bright and active

(" O, ye stupid

Dobie
to

" runs a

common

phrase),

and therefore not

be confounded with him.
;

Brownie's delight was to do domestic service he
churned, baked, brewed, mowed, threshed, swept,
scrubbed,

and dusted

;

he

set things in

order,

t)EAR bkOWNlfe.

6s
it

saved many a step to his mistress, and took

upon himself
reform them,

to
if

manage

the maid-servants, and

necessary, by severe and original

brownie's delight was to no domestic service.

measures.
loved,
in the

Neatness and
to

precision

he

dearly

and never forgot

drop a penny over-night

shoe of the person deserving well of him.

But lax offenders he pinched black and blue, and

66
led

"

BROWNIES AND BOGLES."
life

them an exciting

of

it.

His favorite

re-

venge,

among

a hundred equally ingenious, was

dragging the disorderly servant out of bed.
great poet announced in Brownie's

A

name

:

'Twixt sleep and
I

wake
them throw!

do them take,
the key-cold floor

And on
If

out they cry
forth I
fly,
:

Then

And
Like

loudly laugh I

"

Ho,

ho,

ho "
!

all

gnomes

truly virtuous, he could

be the

worst varlet, the most meddlesome, troublesome,

burdensome urchin
was upon him.
doing
all his

to

be imagined, when the whim
in un-

At such times he gloried
;

good deeds

and by way and

of

emphahe tore

sizing his former tidiness
curtains,

industrj*,

smashed

dishes, overturned tables,

and

made havoc among
was done

the kitchen-pans.

All this

in a sort of

holy wrath
if

;

for

be

it

to

Brownie's credit,
courtesy,

that

he were treated

with
duties

and

if

the servants did their

own

honestly, he

was never other than
little self.

his gentle, well-

behaved, hard-working

DEAR BROWNIE.

67

He

asked no wages; he had a

New England
especially

scorn of " tipping,"

when he had been

obliging; and he could not be wheedled into ac-

cepting even so

much

as a

word

of

praise.

A
who

•farmer at Washington, in Sussex, England,

had often been surprised

in the

morning

at the

large heaps of corn threshed for
night,

him during the

determined

at last to sit

up and watch what

went on.

Creeping to the barn-door, and peering

through a chink, he saw two manikins working

away with
stant

their fairy

flails,

and stopping an

in-

now and how
I

then, only to say to each other:
!

" See

sweat

See how
Milton's

I

sweat " the very
!

thing which befell
L' Allegro.
"

"lubbar fiend"

in

The

farmer, in his pleasure, cried
little

Well done,

my

men

!

"

whereupon the

star-

tled sprites uttered a cry,

and whirled and whisked
again
in his

out of sight, never to
It is

toil

barn.

said that not long ago, there

was a whole

tribe of tiny,

naked Kobolds (Brownie's German

name) called Heinzelmanchen, who bound themselves for love to a tailor of

Cologne, and did,

moreover,

all

the washing and scouring and kettle-

68

" BROWNIES

AND BOGLES."
Whatever work there was
;

cleaning for his wife.
left for

them

to

do was straightway done

but no

man

ever beheld them.

The

tailor's

prying spouse

played
avail.

many

a ruse to get sight of them, to no

And they, knowing her curiosity and grieved
suddenly marched, with music playing, out

at

it,

of

the town forever.
viols only, for

People heard their
little

flutes

and

none saw the

exiles them-

selves,

who
!

got into a boat, and sailed "westward,
like

westward "

Hiawatha, and the

city's

luck

is

thought to have gone with them.
B|it

Brownie,

who would

take neither money,

nor thanks, nor a glance of mortal eyes, and who
departed in high dudgeon as soon as a reward

was offered him, could be bribed very
it

prettily,

if

were done

in

a polite and secretive way.
to

He

was not too scrupulous
be dropped on a
stair,

pocket whatever might

or a window-sill, where he

was sure
off,

to pass several times in a day,

and walk

whistling, to

keep

his

own

counsel, and say

nothing about
goodies
left

it.

And

for goodies, mysterious

m

queer places by chance, he had

excellent tooth.

Housewives, from the era of

DEAR BROWNIE,
the
first

69

Brownie, never failed slyly to gladden his

favorite haunt with the dish which he liked best,

and which, so long

as

it

was fresh and

plentiful,

he considered a satisfactory squaring-up of
counts.

ac-

One
made

of these desired treats
of

was knuckled
mill,

cakes,

meal warm from the

toasted

over the embers, and

spread with honey.
;

To
and

other tidbits, also, he was partial
last,

but, first
left

he relished his bowl of cream

on the

floor overnight.

Cream he drank and expected
and
in

the world over

;

Devon, and

in the

Isle of
.

Man, he

liked a basin of water for a bath.
;

Fine clothes were quite to his mind
very vain

he was

when he had them; and

it

was what Pet

Marjorie called " majestick pride," and no
of

whim

anger or sensitiveness, which sent him hurryofif

ing

the

moment

his

wardrobe was supplied by

some

grateful housekeeper, to

eschew work

for-

ever after, and set himself up as a gentleman of
leisure.

Many funny

stories are told of his be-

havior under an unexpected shower of dry goods.

Brownie,
fast

who

in his

humble
his

station,

was so

stead-

and sensible, had

poor head completely

7o
turned
jacket.

BROWNIES AND BOGLES.
b)'

the

vision

of

a

new

bright-colored or
Pixies of

The

gentle

little

Piskies

Devonshire,

who

are of

the

Brownie race, and

BROWNIE RELISHES

HIS

BOWL OF CREAM.

very different from the malicious Piskies in Cornwall,

were likewise great dandies, and sure to
as soon as ever they obtained a fresh cap

decamp

DEAR BROWNIE.
or petticoat.

7

I

Indeed, they dropped violent hints

on the subject.

Think

of a sprite-of-all-work, reto accept

corded as being too proud

any regular

payment even

in fruit or grain,

standing up bra-

zenly before his mistress, his sly eyes fixed on
her,

drawling out this absurd, whimpering rhyme

(for Piskies

scorned to talk prose
Little risky, fair

!)

and

slim,

Without a rag

to cover

him

!

With

his lisp,

and

his

funny snicker, and his

winning impudence generally, don't you think he
could have wheedled clothes out of a stone
course the lady humored him, and
costly,
?

Of
a

made him

trimmed
off
:

suit;

and the ungrateful small
it

beggar mads
another tune

with

post-haste, chanting

to

Pisky
Pisky

fine,

Pisky gay
will

now

run away.

The moment
spectable
figure

the Brownie-folk could cut a rein

fashionable

garments,
living,

they
skur-

turned their backs on an honest
ried

and

away

to astonish the belles in Fairyland.

Very much the same thing

befell

some German

72

"rrownies and bogles.

house-dwarves,

who used

to help

a poor smith,

and make

his kettles

and pans for him.

They

took their milk evening by evening,

and went

back gladly to their work, to the smith's great
profit

and pleasure.

When

he had grown

rich,

his thankful wife

made them

pretty crimson coats

and caps, and

laid

both where the wee creatures

might stumble on them.

But when they had put
off,

the uniforms on, they shrieked " Paid
off
!

paid

" and, quitting a task half-done, returned

no

more.

The Pisky was not
for

alone in his bold request
heart's
desire.

his

sordid

little

A

certain

Piick lived thirty years in a monastery in

Meck-

lenburg, Germany, doing faithful drudgery from
his youth

up

;

and one

of the

monks

wrote, in his
all

ingenious Latin, that on going away,

he asked

was

''tufiicam de diversis

coloribus, et tintitmabulis

plaiam!"

You may

put the goblin's vanity into

English for yourselves.

Brownie

is

known

as

Shelley-coat in parts of Scotland, from a

German

term meaning

bell,

as he wears a bell, like the

Riigen Dwarves, on his parti-colored coat.

DEAR RROWNIE.

73

The famous Cauld Lad
sidered a Brownie.
If

of

Hilton was conleft

everything was

well-

arranged

in

the rooms,

he

amused himself by

•'

Tunicam de

diversis coloribus, et tintinnabulis plenani

'

"

WAS

ALL THAT PUCK DEMANDED.

night with pitching chairs and vases about

;

but

if

he found the place
to

in confusion,

he kindly went

work and put

it

in

exquisite order.

But the

Cauld Lad was, more

likely,

by

his

own

confession,

74

"brownies and bogles.

a ghost, and no true fairy.
of him,
cle,

Romances were

told

and he had been heard

to sing this canti-

which makes you wonder whether he had ever

heard of the House that Jack Built
Wae's me, wae's
nie

!

The

acorn's not yet fallen from the tree

That's to grow the

wood

that's to

make

the cradle

That's to rock the bairn that's to grow to the That's to lay

man

me
to
re-

It

was only ghosts who could be "laid," and
to give

"lay" him meant
lease, so that

him freedom and

he need no longer go about
state.
all

in that

bareboned and mournful

But the merriest grig of

the Brownies was

called in Southern Scotland, Wag-at-the-Wa'.

He

teased the kitchen-maids
their
feet
at

much by

sitting

under

the hearth, or on the iron crook
in

which hung from the beam
which, of old,

the chimney, and

was meant

to

accommodate pots
and he loved and pleasant

and
jokes

kettles.
;

He

loved

children,
distinct

his laugh

was very

but

if

he heard of anybody drinking anything

stronger than home-brewed ale, he would cough

DEAR BROWNIE.
virtuously,

75

and frown upon the company.
all

Now

Wag-at-the-Wa' had the toothache
and, considering his
twinges,

the time,

was

it

not

good
so

of

him
?

to be

cheerful

He
red-

wore

a

great coat

woollen
blue

and

trousers,

and
grey

sometimes

a

cloak over; and he

shivered even then, with one side of his

poor face bundled
up,
till

his

head

seemed big as a cabbage.

He

looked

impish and wrinkled,
too,

and had short
legs.

bent

But his

" wag-at-the-wa'."

beautiful, clever tail

atoned for everything, and

with

it,

he kept his seat on the swinging crook.
fairies

Scotch

called

Powries

and

Dunters

7$

"brownies and

bogles.''

haunted lonely Border-mansions, and behaved
peaceable subjects, beating flax from year

like

to year.

The Dutch Kaboutermannekin worked
well as in houses.
**

in mills, as

He was

gentle and kind, but
are.

touchy,"

as

Brownie-people
in

Though he
but

dressed gayly

red,
tint

he was not pretty,

boasted a

fine

green

on his face and hands.
of

Little Killmoulis
his,

was a mill-haunting brother

who loved

to lie before the fireplace in the

kiln.

This precious old employee was blest with
all
!

a most enormous nose, and with no mouth at

But he had a great appetite for pork, however he

managed

to gratify

it,

Bolieta, a Swiss

Kobold, distinguished himself
safely

by leading cows
mountain-paths,

through

the

dangerous
sleek

and keeping

them

and

happy.

His branch

of the family lived as often
tree, as in the

in the trunk of a

near

house

itself.

In

Denmark and Sweden was

the Kirkegrim,

the " church lamb,"
aisles

who sometimes ran along
after ser\nce-time,

the

and the choir

and
little

to the
child.

grave-digger betokened the death of a

But there was another Kirkegrim, a proper church-

DEAR BROWNIK.
Brownie,

77

who kept

the

pews

neat,

and looked
the sermon.

after people

who misbehaved during

As queer

as any of these was the Phynodderee,

or the Hairy One, the Isle of

Man

house-helper.

He was
an
exile

a wild

little

shaggy being, supposed to be

from fairy society, and condemned to
until

wander about alone

doomsday.

He was

kind and obliging, and drove the sheep home, or
gathered
in the hay,
if

he saw a storm coming.
a ship-Brownie,
in

The Klabautermann was
sat under the capstan,

who

and

time of danger,

warned the crew by running up and down the
shrouds
ing
in

great excitement.

This eccentric Flyit

Dutchman had
;

a fiery red head, and on

a

steeple-like hat

his yellow breeches

were tucked

into

heavy horseman's boots.
lived at

HUttchen was a German Brownie, who
court, but

who dressed
felt

like a little peasant, with

a flapping

hat over his eyes.

The
his

Alraun,

a sort of house-imp
diligence,

shorn of

all

engaging

was very
he lived

small, his

body being made
If

of a root

;

in a bottle.

he was thrown
ball.

away, back he came, persistently as a rubber

78

"

BROWNIES AND BOGLES."

But that instinct was
race.

common

to the

Brownie

The Roman Penates,
old

Vinculi terrei,

which brave

Reginald Scott called " domesticall gods,"

were Brownie's venerable and honorable ancestors.

We

shall

see presently

v.-hat

names

their

descendants bore

in various countries.

But the

Russian Domovoi we shall not count among them,
because they were ghostly,
Lad, and
like the

poor Cauld

seem

to

have been

full-sized.

CHAPTER

VI.

OTHER HOUSE-HELPERS.
modern Greece
the Stoechia. the Brownie

IN
land
lin,
;

was known as
in

He

was called Para
in

Fin-

Trasgo or Duende

Spain

;

Lutin, Gobe;

Follet, in
in
;

France and Normandy

Niss-godin

drange

Norway and
Niss
in

Denmark

;

Tomte,

Sweden
land
;

Jutland,
in

Denmark and
Wales
;

Fries-

Bwbach

or

Pwcca

in Ireland, Fir-

Darrig and, sometimes, Cluricaune; Kobold, in

Germany

;

and

in

England, Brownie figured as

Boggart, Puck, Hobgoblin, and Robin Goodfellow.

Often the Stoechia, a wayward

little

black being,

went about the house under the shape of a lizard
or small snake.

He was

harmless
;

;

his presence

was an omen

of prosperity

and great care was

taken that no disrespect was shown him.

The

services of the Para,

who was

a well-mean-

79

8o

"brownies and bogles."
all in-

ing rascal, were rather singular, and not at

dispensable.

He had

a

way

of

following the

neighbor's cows to pasture, and milking them himself,

in a calf's fashion, until

he had swallowed
as a
little

quart on quart, and was as head.

full

hogs-

Then he went home, uncorked

his thiev-

ing throat, and obligingly emptied every drop of
his ill-gotten
his feelings

goods into

his master's
if

churn

!

How
crit-

must have been hurt

anybody

icized the cheese

and butter

!

The Spanish

house-goblin was a statelier person,
hat,

and wore an enormous plumed
stones in a stolid and haughty

and threw
at

manner

people

he disliked.
the form of

But occasionally the Duende had
a
little

busy

friar,

like

the

Mona-

chiello at Naples.

The
lief,

Lutin, or Gobelin, or Follet of French be-

was likewise a stone-thrower.

He was
it

fond

of children,
to feed

and

of horses

;

taking

upon himself

and caress

his landlord's children

when

they were good, and to whip them

when they were
horses,

naughty

;

and he rode the

willing

and

combed them, and

plaited their

manes

into knotty

OTHER HOUSE-HELPERS,
braids, for which,

51

we may

fear, the stable-boy

never

thanked him.
tease
;

He

knew,

too,

how

to

worry and

and certain
little

French

mothers threatened
:

troublesome
gobelin vous

folk with the " Gobelin

" "

Le

mangeraf" which we may
goblin will gobble you
!

translate

into

:

"

The

" or into the

v/himsical lines of an

American poet
uns'll git you,

The gobble
Ef

You
Don't

Watch
Out!

The Norwegian Nis was

like

a strong-shoul-

dered child, in a coat and peaky cap, who carried
a pretty blue light at night.

He

enjoyed hopping

or skating across the farmyard under the moon's
ray.

Dogs he would not allow
first

in his house.

If

he was

promised a gray sheep for his own, he
to

would teach any one

play the violin.

Like

many another

of

the

Brownie

race, he was a

dandy, and loved nothing better than fine clothes.

Tomte
house.

of

Sweden
was as
tall

lived

in

a

tree

near the

He

as a year-old boy, with a

82

"brownies and bogles."
his cap.

knowing old face beneath

In harvest-

time he tugged away at one straw, or one grain,
until

he laid

it

in

his

master's barn;

for

his
If

strength was not

much

greater than an ant's.
little

the farmer scorned his diligent

servant,

and

made

fun of his tiny load,

all

luck departed from
in

him, and the

Tomte went away

anger.

He

liked tobacco, played merry pranks,

and doubled

up comically when he laughed.

But he had an-

other laugh, scoffing and sarcastic, which he some-

times gave at the top of his voice.

Like the Devon Piskies, the Niss-Puk required
water
left at his

disposal over-night.
of Friesland.

The Nis

of

Jutland was the Puk
his porridge with
roof, or in

He

also liked

butter.

He

lived

under the

dark corners of the stable and house.

He

was

of the

Tomte's
little

size

;

he wore red stock-

ings on his stumpy
cap,

legs,

and a pointed red
coat.

and a long gray or green

For

soft,
if

easy slippers he had a great longing;
pair were
shuffling
left

and

a

out for him, he was soon heard
floor.

in

them over the

He had

long

arms, and a big head, and big bright eyes, so that

OTHER HOUSE-HELPERS.

83

the people of Silt have a saying concerning an inquisitive or astonished person
;

"

He

stares like a

Puk."
ants,

Puk, too, played sorry tricks on the servif

and was indignant

he was ever deprived

of his nightly bowl of groute.

The Bwbach
begged

of

Wales churned the cream, and
Brownie
;

for his portion, like a true

he

was a hairy blackamoor with the best-natured grin
in the world.

But he had an unpleasant habit of
air,

whisking mortals into the
mischiefs generally.

and doing

flighty

The unique name
chaun
in Cork,

Irish

Cluricaune,

who had

that

was called Luricaune and Lepre-

in other parts of the country.
in

He

differed

from the Shefro

living alone,

and

in his

queer

appearance and habits.
house-spirit
in

For though he was a
his ambitions ran

and did house-work,

an opposite direction, and

in his

every spare
or drinking,

minute,

when he was not smoking

you might have seen him, a miniature old man,
with a cocked hat, and a leather apron, sitting on
a low stool,

humming

a fairy-tune, and perpetually

cobbling at a pair of shoes no bigger than acorns.

84

"

BROWNIES AND BOGLES.'
occasionally captured and shown.
seen, Mr. Cluricaune

The shoes were

And

as

we have

was a

for-

tune-hunter,
lin

and a very wide-awake,

versatile gob-

altogether.

In his capacity of Brownie, he

once wreaked a

hard revenge on
a

maid who

served him shabbily.

A Mr. Hara

ris,

Quaker,
his

had on
a
1

farm

C u ricaune
Little

named

W

i

1

d b e a

m
the

Whenever
AN
IRISH CLURICAUNE.

servants left the
beer-barrel
run-

ning through negligence, Little Wildbeam wedged
himself
at great

into

the

cock,

and stopped the
little

flow,

inconvenience to his poor

body,

until

some one came

to turn the knob.

So the

master bade the cook always put a good dinner

down

cellar for Little

Wildbeam.

One Friday

OTHER HOUSE-HELPERS.

85

she had nothing but part of a herring, and some
cold potatoes, whicli she
feast.
left in

place of the usual
fat

That very midnight the

cook got pulled

out of bed, and thrown

down

the cellar-stairs,
it

bumpsore

ing from side to side, so that

made her very

indeed

,

and meanwhile the smirking Cluricaune

stood at the head of the steps, and sang at the
luckless heap below
Molly Jones, Molly Jones

!

Potato-skin and herring-bones
I'll

!

knock your head against the
Molly Jones
!

stones,

In Japanese houses, even,
miliar comers

Brownies were

fa-

and goers.

They were important

and smooth-mannered pigmies, and serenely dealt
out rewards and

punishments

as

they saw

fit.

When

they were engaged in befriending

commend-

able boys and girls, their features had, somehow,
the ingenious likeness of letters signifying " good
"
;

and

if

they

made

it

their business to plague

and

hinder naughty idlers, who, instead of doing their

errands promptly, stopped at the shops to buy
goodies, their queer
little

faces were screwed up

86
to

BROWNIES AND BOGLES.

mean

" bad," as

you see

in

Japanese

artists'

pictures.

The English names

for the affable Brownie-folk

bring to our minds the most wayward, frolicsome
elves
of
all

fairydom.

Boggart was the York-

JAPANESE CHILDREN AND BROWNIES.
shire sprite,

and the Boggart commonly disliked
stole

children,

and

their

food and playthings

wherein he differed from his kindly kindred.
goblin (Hop-goblin)

Hob-

was so called because he
Hobgoblin
is

hopped on one

leg.

the

same as

Rob

or

Bob-Goblin, a goblin whose

full

name

OTHER HOUSE-HELPERS.
seemed
to

87

be Robert.
all

Robin Hood, the famous
was thought
to

outlaw, dear to

of us,

have

been christened

after

Robin Hood the

fairy, be-

cause he, too, was tricksy and sportive, wore a
hood, and lived in the deep forest.

In Ireland lived the mocking, whimsical
Fir-Darrig,
in

little

Rob-

Goodfellow's
twin.

own

He
tight;

dressed in
fitting

red

Fir-

Darrig itself
meant "
man.''
the red

He had

big h u

morous
and most
flexible voice in the world,
will.

ears, and the
softest

which

could mimic any sound at
fire,

He

sat

by the

and smoked a

pipe, big as himself, belong-

ing to the

man

of the house.

He

loved cleanli-

ness, brought good-luck to his abode, and, like a
cat,

generally preferred places to people.

Puck and Robin Goodfellow were the names

88
best

"brownies and bogles."

known and

cherished.

There

is

no doubt

that Shakespeare, from

whom we

have now our

prevailing idea of Puck, got the idea of him, in
his turn,

from the popular superstitions of his day.
all

But Puck's very identity was
since

but forgotten, and
poetical

Shakespeare

was,

therefore, his

creator,
entitle

we

will forego

mention of him here, and

Robin Goodfellow, the same "shrewd and
elf,"

meddling

under another nickname, the true

Brownie of England.

He was both

House-Helper and Mischief-Maker,

" the most active and extraordinary fellow of a
fairy," says Ritson, " that

we anywhere meet

with."

He

was said

to

have had a supplementary brother
;

called

Robin Badfellow

but there was no need
in

of that, because he
self,

was Robin Badfellow
whimsical
little

him-

and united

in his

character
con;

so

many

opposite qualities, that he

may be

sidered the representative elf the world over

for

the old Saxon Hudkin, the Niss of Scandinavia,

and Knecht Ruprecht, the Robin of Germany,
are nothing but our masquerading goblin-friend on

continental

soil.

And

in the

red-capped smiling

OTHER HOUSE-HELPERS.

89

Mikumwess among
there he
is

the

Passamaquoddy Indians,

again

!

By

this

name

of

Robin he was known

earlier

than the thirteenth century, and " famosed
olde wives' chronicle for his

in everie

mad

merrie prankes,"

two hundred years

later.

His biography was put
1628,

forth in a black-letter tract in

and

in a yet

better-known ballad which recited his

jests,

and

was
ing.

in free circulation while

Queen Bess was

reign-

The

forgotten annalist says very heartily,
:

alluding to his string of aliases
But
I
call liim

by what name you

list

have studied on
think the

my

pillow,

And

name he

best deserves
!

Is Robin, the

Good Fellow

We

class

him

rightly as a Brownie, because he

skimmed

milk,

knew

all

about domestic

life,

and

was the delight or terror
might be.
clatter

of servants, as the case

He was

fond of making a noise and
playing harps, ringing bells,
travellers
;

on the

stairs, of

and misleading passing
his knavery, he

and despite

came

to

be much beloved by his

house-mates,

Very like him was the German Hem-

go

"

BROWNIES AND BOGLES.
But the laugh

pelman, who laughed a great deal.
of

Master Robin sometimes foreboded trouble and

death to people, which Henipelman's never did.

The

jolly

German Kobold had

a laugh which

filled his throat,

and could be heard a mile away.
if

Bu he was

a

gnome malignant enough

he was

neglected or insulted.

He

very seldom

made a

mine-sprite of himself, but stayed at home, Brownie-like,

and " ran " the house pretty much as he

saw

fit.

To

the

Dwarves he was, however, closely
after their fashion, except

related,

and dressed

that

sometimes he wore a coat of as many colors
it.

as the rainbow, with tinkling bells fastened to

He

objected to any chopping or spinning done on

a Thursday.

Change

of servants, while he held

his throne in the kitchen, affected
least
;

him not

in the

for the

maid going away recommended her
civilly, at

successor to treat him

her

peril.

A very

remarkable Kobold was Hinzelmann, who called
himself a Christian, and came to the old castle of

Hiidemiihlen in 1584; whose history, too long to

add here,

is

given charmingly in Mr. Keightley's

Fairy Mythology.

OTHER HOUSE-HELPERS.

91

A certain

bearded

little

Kobold

lived with

some

fishermen in a hut, and tried a trick which was
quite classic,

and reminds one

of the

Greek story

of Procrustes, which all of
will

you have met with, or
Says Mr. Benjamin

meet
:

with,

some day.

Thorpe

" His chief amusement,

when

the fisher-

men were
even.

lying asleep at night, was to lay
this

them

For

purpose he would
all

first

draw them

up

until their

heads

lay in a straight line, but
!

then their legs would be out of the line

and he

had

to

go

to their feet

and
all in

pull

them up

until the

tips of their toes

were

a row.

This game he

would continue

till

broad daylight."

Now
rest,

all

Brownies, Nissen, Kobolds

and the

were very much of a piece, and when you
the virtues

know

and

faults of

one of them, you

know

the habits of the race.

So that you can un-

derstand, despite the slight but steady help given
in

household matters, that a joerson so variable
this

and exacting and high-tempered as
little

curious

sprite

might happen sometimes to be a great
inspire
his

bore,

and might

master or mistress
It

with the sighing wish to be rid of him.

was a

92
tradition in

"

BROWNIES AND BOGLES.
that to shake off the Lutin
to scatter for he

Normandy
it

or Gobelin,
flax-seed

was merely necessary
to pass
;

where he was wont
it

was
soon

too neat to let
of picking
it

lie

there,

and yet
left
it

tired so

up,

that he

in disgust,

and

went away

for good.

And

there

was a

sprite

named
tend,

Flerus

who

lived in a farm-house near Os-

and worked so hard, sweeping and drawing

water,

and turning himself

into

a plough-horse

that he might replace the old horse
for

who was

sick,

no reward,

either, save a little fresh
his

sugared

milk

— that
in

soon

master was the wealthiest

man

the

neighborhood.

But a giddy young

servant-maid once offended him, at the day's end,

by giving him

garlic in his milk
it,

;

and as soon as

poor Flerus tasted

he departed, very wrathful

and

hurt,

from the premises, forever.

There were few such successful instances on
record.

Though Brownie was

ready,

in

every

land under the sun, to leave
the fancy, or
lace

home when he took
gifts of

when he was puffed up with

and

velvet, so that

no mortal residence was

gorgeous enough for him, yet he would take no

OTHER HOUSE-HELPERS.'
hint,

93

nor obey any command, when either pointed

to a

banishment.
of

Near Kopenick once, a man thought
a

buying

new house, and turning

his

back on a vexatious

THE PERSISTENT KOBOLD OF KOPENICK.

Kobold.

The morning
saw
his

before he meant to change
sitting

quarters, he

Kobold

by a

pool,

and

asked him what he was doing.

" I

am

doing

my

washing! " said the sharp rogue, "because we

94

"

BROWNIES AND BOGLES."

move to-morrow."

And

the

man saw

very well

that as he could not avoid him, he

had better take
thing hap-

the

little

nuisance along.

The same

pened

in the capital

Polish anecdote of Iskrzycki
to his excruciating

(make your respects

name!)

and over Northern Europe the
we're
flitting
is
!

sarcastic joke "Yes,

" prevails

in folk-song

and

story.

There

many and many an example
and going
off in

of families

selling the old house,

great glee

with the furniture, thinking the elf-rascal cheated

and

left

behind

;

and

lo

!

there he was, perched
in the cart itself,

on a rope, or peering from a hole

on

his congratulated master.

The

funniest

hap

of

all

befell

an ungrateful

farmer who fired his barn to burn the poor Kobold in
it.

As he was

driving

off,

he turned to

look at the blaze, and what should he see on the
seat behind

him but the same excited Kobold,
and shrieking sympathiz-

chattering, monkey-like,

ingly

:

" It was about time for us to get out of that,
it ?

wasn't

The dark-skinned
stay
;

little

house-sprites

came

to

and as

for being snubbed, they

were quite

OTHER HOUSE-HELPERS.
above
it.

95

They were

the sort of callers to

whom

you could never show the door, with any dignity
for
if

you had done

so, the

grinning goblin would

have examined knob and panels with a squinted
sye,

and gone back whistling

to

your easy-chair.

CHAPTER

VII.

WATER-FOLK.

OF
its

old, there

were Oreads and Naiads

to peo-

ple the rivers

and the

sea, but they

were

not fairies; and in after-years the beautiful, bright
water-life of Greece, with its shells

and dolphins,
its

palaces,

its

subaqueous music, and

happy-

hearted maids and men, faded wholly out
ory.

of

mem-

No one dominant

race

came

to replace them.

Merpeople, Tritons and Sirens we meet now and
then, as did

Hendrik Hudson's crew, and the
Morverch (sea-daughters)

Moruachs

of Ireland, the
;

of Brittainy

but they, too, were grown, and halfswift,

human. They were beautiful and
sat

and usually
one

combing

their long hair, with a mirror in
tails

hand, and their glossy

tapering from the waist.
gold-haired,

The Danish Mermaid was
and treacherous
;

cunning

the

Havmand
96

or

Merman was

WATER-FOLK.

97

handsome,

too,

with black hair and beard, but kind

and beneficent.

The Swedish

pair ofifered presents to those on

shore, or passing in boats, in hopes to sink

them

beneath the waves.

England and Ireland had no water-sprites which
answered
row,
to the

Nix and the Kelpie, only the Mer-

who was

a

Mermaid.
fingers.

She was a

fair

woman,

with white,

webbed

She carried upon her
to
it

head a

little

diving-cap,

and when she came up
it

the rocks or the beach, she laid

by

;

but

if

were stolen from her, she
ing to the sea.

lost the

power

of return-

So that

if

her cap were taken by a

young man, she very often could do nothing better
than to marry him, and spend her time hunting
for
it

up and down over
it,

his house.
all

And

once she

had found
go home

she forgot

else but her desire to

to " the

kind sea-caves," and despite the

calling of her neighbors

and husband and

chil-

dren, she flitted to the shore, and plunged into the
first

oncoming

billow,

and walked the earth no

longer.

Tales of these spirit-brides who suddenly de-

98

"brownies and bogles."

serted the green earth for their dear native waters,
are

common

in

Arabian and European

folk-lore.

And

this characteristic

was noted also

in the Sea-

trows of the Shetland Islands,
selves of a shining fish-skin,

who

divested themfind the

and could not

MER-FOLK.

way

to their
It

ocean-beds

if it

were kept out of their

reach.
laid

was the Danish

sailor's belief that seals

by their skins every ninth night, and took

maiden's forms wherewith to sport and sleep on the
reefs.

And

for their capture as they were,

warm.

WATER-FOLK.
living

99
to snatch

and human, one had only
their talisman-skin.

and hide

away

The
hat,

strange

German Water-man wore

a green

and when he opened
;

his mouth, his teeth as
girls

well were green
his lake,

he appeared to

who passed
it

and measured out ribbon, and flung

to

them.

But we must search for smaller sprites than
these.

The
to

little

water-fairies

who devoted themselves

drawing under whomsoever encroached on their

pools and brooks, were called Nixies in Germany,

Kerrigans (for
tainy
;

this

was part

of their office) in Brit-

Ondins about Magdebourg, and Roussalkis,

the long-haired, smiling ones,

among

the Slavic

people.

The engaging Nixies were very minute and
chievous, and

mis-

abounded

in the

Shetland Isles and

Cornwall, as did, moreover, the Kelpies,
like tiny horses,

who were

known even

in

China; sporting on

the margin, and foreboding death by drowning, to

any who beheld them; or tempting passers-by to
mount, and plunging, with their victims, headlong

lOO
into the deep.

BROWNIES AND BOGLES.

The Nix-lady was recognized when

she came on shore by the edges of her dress or

apron being perpetually wet.

The dark-eyed

Nix-

man

with his seaweed hair and his wide hat, was
his
slit

known by

ears

and

feet,

which he was very

THE UTTLE OLD NIX NEAR GHENT.
careful to conceal.

Once

in a while

he was ob-

served to be

half-fish.

The naked Nixen were

draped with moss and kelp; but when they were
clothed, they

seemed merely

little

men and women,

save that the borders of their garments, dripping
water, betrayed them.

They

did their marketing

ashore, wheresoever they were, and, according to

WATER-FOLK.
all

lOI

accounts,
the

with

a

sharp

eye

to
to

economy.
dance

Like
sing.

land-elves, they

loved

and and

Nix did not favor

divers, fishermen,

other intruders on his territory,

and he did

his best

to

harm them.
altogether

He was
a
^

fierce,

grudging,
T*il^
little

covetous
ture.

crea-

« ^

THE WORK OF THE NICKEL.

His comelier wife was much better-natured,
to the

and befriended human beings
her power.

utmost of

Near Ghent was a

little

old Nix

who

lived in the

Scheldt; he cried and sighed much, and did mischief to

no one.

It

grieved him when children ran
if

away from him,

yet

they asked what troubled his

conscience, he only sighed heavily, and disappeared.

I02

"BROWNIES AND BOGLES.
believed in a black sprite

The modern Greeks

haunting wells and springs, who was fond of beck-

oning to strangers.

If

they came to him, he be;

stowed

gifts

upon them

if

not, he

never seemed

angry, but turned patiently to wait for the next
passer-by.

There was a curious sea-creature

in

Norway,
with no

who swam about
head.
Nickel.
ers,

as a thin

little

old

man

About the magical

Isle of Riigen lived the

His favorite game was

to astonish the fishtrees.

by hauling their boats up among the

At Aries and other towns near the Spanish border
in

France, were the Dracs,

who

inhabited clear

pools and streams, and floated along in the shape
of gold rings

and cups, so that women and

chil-

dren bathing should grasp them, and be lured
under.

The Indian
winning
in

water-manittos, the Nibanaba, were

appearance, and wicked in disposition.
kill

They, joining the Pukwudjinies, helped to

Kwasind.
In Wales were the

Gwragedd Annwn,

elves

who

loved the stillness of lonely mountain-lakes, and

WATER-FOLK.

103

who seldom ventured
had
their

into the

upper world.

They

own submerged towns and battlements
their
little

and from
out,

sunken

city the fairy-bells sent

ever and anon, mufifled silver voices.

The

Gwragedd Annwn were

not fishy-finned, nor were
in

they ever dwellers in the sea; for

Wales were

no mermaid-traditions, nor any
beguiled mortals
Under

tales of those

who

the glassy, cool, translucent wave.

The Neck and
were two
of
little

the Stromkarl of Swedish rivers
hair's

chaps with hardly a
Either

breadth

difference.

appeared

under various

shapes;

now as

a green-hatted old

man

with a long

beard, out of which he wrung water as he sat on the
cliffs
;

now

loitering of a

summer

night on the sur-

face, like a chip of

wood

or a leaf, he

seemed a

fair

child, harping, with yellow ringlets falling

from befair-

neath a high red cap
ies

to his shoulders.

Both

had a genius

for

music

;

and the Stromkarl,

especially,

had one most marvellous tune to which

he put eleven variations.

Now,

to ten of

them any
;

one might dance decorously, and with safety

but

I04

"brownies and bogles.
which was the enchanted one,
;

at the eleventh,

all

the world went

mad and

tables, belfries, benches,

houses, windmills, trees, horses, cripples, babies,
ghosts,

and whole towns

full

of sedate citizens

began capering on the banks about the invisible
player,
last

and kept

it

up

in furious fashion until the

note died away.
that the

You know

wren was hunted

in certain
is

countries on a

certain day.

Well, here

one
fairy

legend about her.

There was a malicious

once

in the Isle of

Man, very winsome

to look at,

who worked
of the town,

a sorry Kelpie-trick, on the young

men

and inveigled them

into the sea,

where

they perished.

At

last

the inhabitants rose in

vengeance, and suspecting her of causing their loss

and sorrow, gave her chase so hard and
land, that to save herself, she
into that of an innocent

fast

by

changed her shape

brown wren.

And because

she had been so treacherous, a spell was cast upon
her,

inasmuch as she was obliged every
to fly

New

Year's

Day

about as that same bird, until she should

be killed by a human hand.
sunset, therefore,

And from

sunrise to

on the

first

bleak day of Janu-

WATER- FOLK.
ary, all the

105

men and boys

of the island fired at the

poor wrens, and stoned them, and entrapped them,
in the

hope of reaching the one guilty

fairy

among

them.

And

as they could never be sure that they
right one, they kept

had captured the
year, chasing

on year by
flock.

and persecuting the whole

But

every dead wren's feather they preserved carefully,

and believed that

it

hindered them from drown;

ing and shipwreck for that twelvemonth

and they

took the feathers with them on voyages great and
small, in order that the

bad
it

fairy's

magic may
of yore

never be able to prevail, as

had prevailed

with their unhappy brothers.

The presence
it,

of the sea-fairies

had a terror

in

and against

their arts only the strongest
to

and

most watchful could hope

be victorious.

Their

sport was to desolate peaceful homes, and bring

destruction on gallant ships.

They, dwelling

in

streams and

in the

ocean, the world over, were
:

like the waters

they loved

gracious and noble in
to

aspect,

and meaning danger and death

the

unwary.

We

fear that, like the earth-fairies, they
quite.

were heartless

io6

BROWNIES AND BOGLES.
it

But

may be

that the gentle Nixies

had only a

blind longing for
willingly

human

society,

and would not

have wrought harm to the creatures of

another element.

We

are

more

willing to urge

excuses for their wrong-doing than for the like

HOB IN HOBHOLE
fault in our frowzly

under-ground folk

;

for ugliallied

ness seems, somehow, not so shocking

when

with evil as does beauty, which was destined for
all

men's delight and

uplifting.

As

the air-elves

had

their Fairyland whither mortal children

wan-

dered, and whence they returned after an unmeas-

WATER-FOLK.
ured lapse of time,
ruins of

I07

still

children, to the ivy-grown

their homes, so

the water-elves

had a
;

reward for those they snatched from earth

and

legends assure us the wave-rocked prisoners a hun-

dred fathoms down, never grew old, but kept the
flush of
their
last

morning rosy ever on

their

brows.

Among

a

little

community

full of guile,

there

is

great comfort in spotting one honest, kind waterboy, who, not content with being harmless, as were

the Flemish and Grecian Nixies, put himself to

work
ries

to

do good, and charm away some of the worills

and

that

burdened the upper world.
lived in

His

name was Hob, and he

Hobhole, which
in old

was a cave scooped out by the beating tides
Northumbria.

The

lean pockets of the

neighboring doctors
this

were partly attributed to
person
;

benignant

little

for

he set

up an opposition,
of whooping-cough.

and

his

specialty

was the cure

Many

a Scotch mother took her lad or lass to the spray-

covered mouth of the wise goblin's cave, and sang
in

a low voice

:

io8

"brownies and bogles."
Hobhole

Hob
t'

Ma

bairn's gotten
!

kink-cough:

Tak't off

tak't off

And
the sea.

so he did, sitting there with his toes in

For Hobhole Hob's small sake, we can

afford to part friends with the whole naughty race
of water-folk.

CHAPTER

VIII.

MISCHIEF-MAKERS.

THE
saddled

fairy-fellows

who made

a regular busi-

ness of mischief-making seemed to have

two favorite ways of setting
themselves with

to work.

They

either

little

boys and spilled
or else they

them, sooner

or later, into the water,

danced along holding a twinkling
any one so foolish as
into
to follow

light,

and led

them a pretty march
Their jokes were
like

chasms and quagmires.

grim and hurtful, and not merely funny,
Brownie's
(except
;

for

Brownie usually gave
Jones's
case)

his victims

in

Molly

nothing
to

much
have

worse than

a pinch.

So people came

great awe and horror of the heartless goblins

who

waylaid travellers, and
dead.

left

them broken-limbed or

Very often quarrelsome, disobedient or vicious
109

no

"BROWNIES AND BOGLES.

folk fell into the snare of a Kelpie, or a Will-o'-the-

Wisp

;

for the little whipper-snappers

had a

fine

eye for poetical justice, and dealt out punishments
with the nicest discrimination.

We

never hear
;

that they troubled good, steady mortals
that

but only
love,

sometimes they beguiled them, for sheer

into Fairyland.

We know
change

that all "

ouphes and elves " could
;

their shapes at will

therefore

when we

spy fairy-horses, fairy-lambs, and such quadrupeds,

we guess

at

once that they are only roguish small

gentlemen masquerading.
fun of
it,

Never
!

for the innocent

either

;

but alas

to bring silly persons

to grief.

In Hampshire, in England, was a spirit

known

as Coltpixy, which, itself shaped like a miniature

neighing horse, beguiled other horses into bogs

and morasses.

The

Irish

Pooka or Phooka was

a horse too, and a famous rascal.
land,
tiny,

He

lived
:

on
a

and was something

like the

Welsh Gwyll
with

black, wicked-faced wild

colt,

chains

dangling about him.

Again, he frisked around in

the shape of a goat or a bat.

Spenser has him

MISCHIEF-MAKERS.

m
,
.

Ne let the Pouke, ne other evill spright, Ne let holjgoblins, names whose sense we see
Fray us with things that be not."
" Fray," as you are likely to guess, frighten or to scare.

.

not,

means

to

THE
Kelpies,

IRISH

POOKA WAS A HORSE TOO.
Scotch, haunted fords and

who were

ferries, especially in

storms

;

allured bystanders
it

into the water, or swelled the river so that

broke

the roads,

and overwhelmed

travellers.
little

Very

like

them were the Brag, the

Shoopil-

112

"BROWNIES AND BOGLES.
and the Nick, who
;

tree of the Shetland Islands,

was the Icelandic Nykkur-horse
ceivers
all,

gamesome

de-

who

enticed

children and others to
as

bestride them, and

who were treacherous

a

quicksand, every time.

And

there

were many
can

more

of

the Kelpie kingdom, of

whom we

hunt up no clews.

A man who
lost
;

saw a Kelpie gave himself up
sure,

for

for he

was

by hook or crook,

to

meet

his

death by drowning.

Kelpie, familiar so far

away
tries,

as China, never stayed in the next-door coun-

Ireland or England, long enough to be rec-

ognized.
of the

They knew nothing

of

him by

sight,

nor

Nix

his cousin, nor of anything resembling
;

them.

In Ireland lived the merrow

but she was

only an amiable mermaid.

The Japanese had
" whose office
to
it

a water-dragon called Kappa,
to

was

swallow bad boys who went
parents' com-

swim

in

disobedience to their
at

mands, and
the River

improper times and places."

In

Tees was a green-haired lady named
in

Peg Powler, and

some streams

in
;

Lancashire

one christened Jenny Greenteeth

two hungry

WILL-O'-TIIE-WISP.

MISCHIEF-MAKERS.

II5

goblins whose only delight was to drown and de-

vour unlucky travellers.
that the water-sprites were

But we know already

more than

likely so to

behave.

In Provence there

is

a tale told of seven

little

boys who went out at night against their grandmother's wishes.

A

little

dark pony came prancing
his

up

to them,

and the youngest clambered on

sleek back, and after him, the whole seven, one
after the other,
for the

which was quite a wonderful weight
;

wee creature

but his back meanwhile kept

growing longer and larger to accommodate them.

As

they galloped along, the children called such

of their playmates as

were out of doors,

to join

them, the obliging nag stretching and stretching
until

thirty
!

pairs of

young

legs dangled at

his

sides

when he made
in,

straight for
all.

the sea,

and

plunged

and drowned them
or

The

Piskies,

Pigseys,

of

Cornwall, were

naughty and unsociable.

Their great trick was

to entice people into marshes,

by making them-

selves look like a light held in a man's hand, or

a light in a friendly cottage window.

Pisky also

ii6

"brownies and bogles."

rode the fanners' colts hard, and chased the farmers'

cows.

For

all his

diabolics,

you had

to excuse

him

in part,
;

when you heard

his hearty fearless
"

laugh

it

was so merry and sweet.

To

laugh like

a Pisky," passed into a proverb.
of Yorkshire, like the

The Barguest

Osschaert of the Nether-

lands,

was an open-air bugaboo whose presence
portended disaster.

always

Sometimes he ap-

peared as a horse or dog, merely to play the old
trick with a false light,

and

to vanish, laughing.

The Tuckebold was
rying a candle,

a very malicious chap, car-

who

lived in

Hanover

;

his blood-

relation in .Scandinavia
in Flanders

was the Lyktgubhe.

Over

and Brabant was one Kludde, a fellow
little

whisking here and there as a half-starved
mare, or a
cat, or

a frog, or a bat

;

but

who was

always accompanied by two dancing blue flames,

and who could overtake any one as
snake. ing
fire)
fire,

swiftly as a

The Ellydan (dan
and also a

is

a

Welsh word mean:

lure or a snare

a luring

elf-

was a rogue with wings, wide

ears, a tall

cap

and two huge torches, who precisely resembled
the

English Will-o'-the-Wisp,

the

Scandinavian

MISCHIEF-MAKERS.

II7

Lyktgubhe and the Breton Sand Yan y Tad.

Our

American negroes make him out Jack-muh-Lantern
:

a vast, hairy, goggle-eyed, big-mouthed ogre,

leaping like a giant grasshopper, and forcing his
victims into a swamp, where they died.

The genat

tlemen of
night, like
little

this tribe preferred to

walk abroad

any other torchlight procession.

Their

bodies were invisible, and the traveller

who

hurried towards the pleasant lamp ahead, never

knew
until

that he

was being tricked by a grinning

fairy,

he stumbled on the brink of a precipice, or
in

found himself knee-deep
brazen
out
little

a bog.

Then

the

guide shouted outright with glee, put

his mysterious flame,

and somersaulted

off,

leaving the poor tourist to help himself.

The only
coat

way

to

escape his arts was to turn your

inside out.

You may guess

that the ungodly wights
:

had
great

plenty of fun in them, by this anecdote

A

many Scotch
called,

Jack-o'-Lanterns, as they are often

were once bothering the horse belonging

to a clergyman,

who

with his servant, was returning

home

late at ni^ht.

The horse reared and whin-

ii8

"

BROWNIES AND BOGLES."
for a thou-

nied,

and the clergyman was alarmed,
fires

sand impish

were waltzing before the wheels.

Like a good man, he began to pray aloud, to no
avail.
aff

But the servant just roared

:

" Wull ye be
in

noo, in the deil's

name

!

"

and sure enough,

a wink, there

was not a goblin within gunshot.

PISKY ALSO CHASED

THE FARMERS' COWS.

There were some freakish

fairies in old

England,
Bythe

whose names were Puckerel,
gorn, Bogleboe,
last

Hob Rowland,
Bloodybones
;

Rawhead

or

two were certainly scarers of nurseries.
a
little

The Boggart was
farms and

spectre

who haunted
;

houses, like

Brownie or Nis

but he

was usually a sorry busybody, tearing the bed-cur-

MISCHIEF-MAKERS.
tains, rattling

119

the

doors, whistling

through the

keyholes, snatching his bread-and-butter from the

baby, playing pranks upon the servants, and doing
all

manner

of mischief.
in

The Dunnie,
annoying
ers.

Northumberland, was fond of

farmnight

When
he

came,

gave

them and himself a
rest,

and
long

hung
legs

his

over the
whistling
his

crags,

and banging
idle heels.

Red

Comb

or Bloody
a
ty-

Cap was
rant

who

RED COMB WAS A TVKANT.
lived
castle,

in every

Border

dungeon and tower.

He

was short and thickset long-toothed and skinnyfingered, with big red eyes, grisly flowing
hair,

and iron boots; a pikestaff
a red cap on his ugly head.

in

his left hand,

and

I20

"BROWNIES AND BOGLES.
village of

The
land,

Hedley, near Ebchester, in Engfar

was haunted by a churlish imp known

and wide as the Hedley Gow.
of a cow,

He

took the form

and amused himself
the pails,

at milking-time with
call-

kicking over

scaring the maids, and

ing the cats, of

whom

he was fond, to

lick

up the

cream.

Then he

slipped the ropes and vanished,

with a great laugh.
the

In Northern
next-of-kin,

Germany we
there, too,

find

Hedley Gow's

and

were

little

underground beings who accompanied maids
to the milking,
if

and men
spilt
;

and drank up what was
spilt

but

nothing happened to be

in

measuring out the quarts, they got angry, overturned the
pails,

and ran away.

These jackain

napes were a foot and a half high, and dressed
black, with red caps.

Many ominous

fairies,

such as the Banshee, por-

tended misfortune and death.
a high shrill voice, and
while she

The Banshee had
Once
in a

long hair.
as
tall

seemed

to be

as an

ordinary

woman, very

thin, with

head uncovered, and a

floating white cloak, wringing her
ing.

hands and

wail-

She attached herself only

to certain ancient

MISCHIEF-MAKERS.
Irish families,

121

and cried under
sick,

their

windows when
to die.

one of their race was

and doomed

But she scorned families who had a dash of Saxon

and Norman ancestry, and would have nothing

to

do with them.
Every single
fairy that ever

was known

to the

annals of this world was, at times, a mischief-

maker.

He

could no more keep out of mischief

than a trout out of water.

What

lives the dandi-

prats led our poor great-great-great-great grandsires
!

As

a very clever living writer put

it

"

A man

could not ride out without risking an encounter

with a Puck or a Will-o'-the Wisp.
a stream
in safety unless

He could not

approach

he closed his ears to the sirens'
In the

songs, and his eyes to the fair form of the mermaid.
hillside

were the dwarfs,

in

the forest

Queen Mab and her
and Robin
the

court.

Brownie ruled over him
in his

in his house,

Goodfellow
a Christian

walks and wanderings.

From

moment

came

into the world until his departure there-

from, he was at the mercy of the fairy-folk, and his devices
to elude

them were many.

Unhappy was

the

mother who

neglected to lay a pair of scissors or of tongs, a knife or her

husband's breeches,
for
if

in the cradle of

her new-born infant

she forgot, then was she sure to receive a changeling

in its place.

Great was the loss of the child to whose bap-

tism the fairies were not invited, or the bride to whose wed-

122

"BROWNIES AND BOGLES.
If the inhabi-

ding the Nix, or water-spirit, was not bidden.
tants of

Thale did not throw a black cock annually into the

Bode, one of them was claimed as his lawful victim by the

Nickelmann dwelling

in that stream.

The Russian peasant
at

who

failed to present the

Rusalka or water-sprite he met

Whitsuntide, with a handkerchief, or a piece torn from his
or her clothing,

was doomed

to death."

One had
the sharp

to be ever

on the lookout to escape

little

immortals, whose very kindness to
a species of coquetry, and

men and women was
who never spared

their friends' feelings at the ex-

pense of their own saucy delight.

CHAPTER
PUCK
;

IX.

AND

rOETS' FAIRIES.

PUCK,
Cwm
tic

as
is

we

said,

is

Shakespeare's

fairy.

There

some probability

that he found in

Pwca, or Puck Valley, a part of the roman-

glens of Clydach, in Breconshire, the original

scenes of his fanciful

Midsummer Nighfs Dream.

This glen used to be crammed with goblins. There,

and

in

many like-named Welsh

places. Puck's

pranks were well-remembered by old inhabitants.

This Welsh Puck was a queer

little figure,

long and

grotesque, and looked something like a chicken
half out of his shell
;

at least, so a

peasant drew
Pvvcca, or

him, from memory, with a bit of coal.

Pooka,

in

Wales, was but another name for Ellyhis favorite joke

dan

;

and

was also

to travel along
his

before a wayfarer, with a lantern held over

head, leading miles and miles, until

he got to

123

124

"brownies and bogles.

the brink of a precipice.

Then

the

little

wretch

sprang over the chasm, shouted with wicked glee,

blew out his lantern, and
to reach

left

the startled traveller

home

as best he could.

Old Reginald

Scott must have had this sort of a

Puck

in

mind

when he put
tity

Kitt-with-the-Candlestick,
in

whose iden-

troubled the critics much,

his catalogue of

" bugbears."

The very
horns,
tail,

old

word Pouke meant the
all
;

devil,

and

from that word, as

it

grew

more human and

serviceable,

came

the

Pixy of

Devonshire, the Irish Phooka, the Scottish Bogle,

and

the Boggart in Yorkshire
title

;

and even one nurall,

sery-tale

of

Bugaboo.
give

Oddest of
to an

the

name Pug, which we

now

amusing race

of small dogs, is an e very-day
lost

reminder of poor

Puck, and of the queer changes which, through

a century or two,

may befall

a word.

Puck was con:

sidered court-jester, a mild, comic, playful creature

A
Born

little

random

elf

in the sport of

Nature, like a weed,

For simple sweet enjoyment of myself,
Hut for no other purpose, worth or need

And

yet withal of a most

happy breed.

PUCK; AND poets' FAIRIES.
But he kept to the
joker,
last his

1

25

character of practical

and

his alliance with his

grim

little

cousins,

the

I.yktgubhe and the

Kludde,

Glorious old

Michael Drayton made a verse of his naughty
tricks,

which you

shall

hear

:

This Puck seems but a dreaming
Still

dolt,

walking

like

a ragged

colt,

And oft out of a bush doth bolt On purpose to deceive us; And leading us, makes us to stray
Long winter
nights out of the

way;

And when we stick in mire and clay, He doth with laughter leave us.
Shakespeare,
of the night,"

who

calls

him a "merry wanderer
to fly " swifter than
first

and allows him

arrow from the Tartar's bow," was the

to

make Puck

into a house spirit.

The

poets were

especially attentive to the offices of these housespirits.

According to them,
thing in-doors which

Mab and Puck do

every-

we think

characteristic of a

Brownie.

William Browne, born in Tavistock, in

the county of Devon, where the Pixies lived, prettily

puts

it

how

the fairj'-queen did

126

"brownies and bogles."

command her elves To pinch those maids that had not swept their And further, if by maiden's oversight,
Within doors water was not brought
at night,

shelves;

THE WELSH PUCK.

Or

if

they spread no table, set no bread.
nips from toe unto the head
!

They should have

And
She

for the

maid who had performed each thing
bade leave a
ring.

in the water-pail

Herrick confirms what we have just heard

PUCK; AND POETS
If ye will

FAIRIES.

127

with

Mab
in its

find grace,

Set each platter

place

Rake

the

fire

up,

and get

Water

in ere the sun be set

Wash

your

pails,

and cleanse your

dairies;

Sluts are loathsome to the fairies!

Sweep your house

:

who doth
toe.

not so,

Mab

will

pinch her by the

John Lyly,
morphosis has

in his very beautiful

Maylie's
song,

Meta-

this
tlie

charming
grass,
:

fairy

which

takes us out to

and the

soft night air,

and the
Hy
the

softer starshine

moon we

sport and play

With

the night be-

gins our day

As we
Trip

dance, the
fall.

dew doth
it,

little

urchins

all!

Lightly as the
bee,

little

Two
And

by

two,

and

three by three,

about go we,

A MERRY NlGHT-WANUEKIiK.

and about go we.

What
Here
is

a picture of the wee tribe at their revels!
another, from

Ben Jonson's Sad

Slieplieni

128

"brownies and bogles."
Span-long elves that dance about a pool,

With each

a

little

changeling

in

her arms.

In what
tioned,
in the

is

thought to be Lyly's play, just menPrisio have

Mopso, Joculo, and

something

way
:

of a

pun

for

each fairy they address
I call

Mop.
\st

I

pray you, what might

you

}

Fairy :
:

My name
am
sorry
I

is

Penny.

Mop.
Pris.

I

cannot purse you

:

I

pray you,

sir,
is

what might
Cricket.

I

call you.'

zd Fairy :

My name

(Mr. Keightley says that the Crickets were a
family of great note in Fairyland
:

many

poets

celebrated them.)
Pris.
Joe.
:

:

I

would

I

were a chimney for your sake
little

!

I

pray you, you pretty

fellow, what's

youi

name

?
:

yi Fairy
/oc:

My name

is Little Little

Prick.
fairy,

Little Little Prick!

O
I

you are a dangerous
in the

and

fright all the little
I

wenches

country out of their
in,

beds.
yours.

care not whose hand

were

so

I

were out of

Drayton, again, gives us a
ladies'

list

of tinkling elfin-

names, which are pleasant to hear as the
:

drip of an icicle

PUCK; AND poets' fairies.

I2g

Hop and Mop
To Mab
Her

and Drop so

clear,

Pip and Trip and Skip that were
their sovereign ever dear,

special

maidsof-honor

Pib and Tib and Pinck and Pin,

Tick and Quick, and
Tit and Nit, and

Jil

and

Jin,

Wap

and Win,

The

train that wait

upon her

"BY THE MOON WE SPORT AND PLAY."

Young Randolph has an

equally delightful ac-

count in the pastoral drama of Amymtas, of his wee
folk orchard- robbing
;

whose chorused Latin Leigh

Hunt

thus translates, roguishly enough

130

"

BROWNIES AND

BOGLES.*'

We

the fairies blithe and antic,
gigantic,
us.

Of dimensions not

Tho' the moonshine mostly keep
Oft in orchard frisk and peep us.

Stolen sweets are always sweeter;
Stolen kisses

much completer

Stolen looks are nice in chapels
Stolen, stolen, be our apples
I

When

to

bed the world

is

bobbing,

Then's the time for orchard-robbing

Yet the

fruit

were scarce worth peeling.

Were

it

not for stealing, stealing

You

will

notice that Shakespeare
in the

places his

Gothic goblins

woods about Athens, a place

where

real fairies never set their rose- leaf feet,

but where once sported yet lovelier Dryads and
Naiads.

These dainty
:

British

Greeks are very

small indeed

Titania orders them to

make war

on the rear-mice, and make coats of their leathern
wings.

Mercutio's

Queen Mab
Prospero,
in

is

scarce bigger

than a snowflake.

The Tempest, com-

mands, besides

his " delicate Ariel," all

elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes,

and groves.

PUCK; AND POETS

FAIRIES.

I3I

The make-believe
know how
to

fairies in

The Merry Wives

pinch offenders black and blue.
Winter's
Tale,

The

shepherd, in the

takes
all

the baby

Perdita for a changeling.

So that

the Shakes-

peare people seem wise in goblin-lore.

You

see that

we have looked

for the literature

of our pretty friends only

among

the old poets,

and

only English poets at that; but the foreign fairies
are no less charming.

Chaucer and Spenser loved
Robert Herrick knew
all

the brood especially.

about

the elves also,
little

Whose

eyes glow

;

Sidney smiled on them once or twice, and great
Milton could spare them a line out of his majestic
verse.

But the high-tide of their praise was ebb-

ing already

when Dryden and Pope were

writing.

Lesser poets than any of these, Parnell and Tickell,
wrote fairy
tales,

but they lack the relish of the

honeyed

rhymes

Drayton,

Lyly,

and supreme
to them,

Shakespeare, give us.

Keats was drawn

though he has
it
;

left

us but sweet and brief proof of
of all gentle

and Thomas Hood,

modern

poets.

132

ERUVVNlES

AND

BOGLES.

has done most for the " small foresters and gay."
In prose the fairies are " famoused " east and west
for

which they may sing their loudest canticle to

the
arts

good Brothers Grimm,

in
;

Fairyland.

The
of this

have been their handmaids

and some

THE ELVES WHOSE LITTLE EYES GLOW.
world's most lovable spirits have delighted to do

them merry honor: Mendelssohn

in his quicksil-

ver orchestral music, and dear Richard Doyle in
the quaintest drawings that ever
fell,

laughing,

from a pencil-point.

CHAPTER

X.

CHANGELINGS.

KIDNAPPING
sons concurred to
ing trade.

was a

favorite pastime with

our small friends, and a great

many

rea-

make
told

it

a necessary and thriv-

We

are

that

both the Tylwyth
that their frail

Teg and

the Kerrigans

had a fear

race was dying out, and

sought to steal hearty
bright, sickly
in
its

young children, and leave the wee,
"changeling,"
or

ex-changeling,
;

place.

That sounds
ries

like a quibble

for

we know
of

that fai-

were free from the

shadow

death, and

could not possibly dread any lessening of their

numbers

from

the

old,

old

cause.

Yet

we

saw that the

air-elves held

pitched battles, and

murdered one another
the world's beginning
gling
little
;

like gallant soldiers,

from
strag-

and again comes a

proof to

make

us suspect that they had

^33

134

"brownies and bogles.
However,

not quite the immortality they boasted.

we pass

it

by, sure at least that the philosopher

who

first

observed the merry goblins to be at botin-

tom wavering and disconsolate, recognized an
stance of
it

in

this pathetic

eagerness to adopt

babies not their own.
in general, to

Fairy-folk were believed,

have power over none but unbap-

tized children.

A

tradition older

and wider than the Tylwj'th

Teg's runs .that a yearly tribute was due from
Fairyland to the prince of the infernal regions, as

poor King ^Egeus had once to pay Minos of Crete
with the seven fair boys and girls
the sake of sparing their
;

and

that, for
little

own dear

ones, the

beings, in their fantastic dress, flew east

and west

on an anxious hunt
be
captured

for

human

children,

who might
bondage

and

delivered

over

to

instead.
cradle,

And

they crept cautiously to

many

a

and having secured the sleeping innocent,

"plucked the nodding nurse by the nose," as

Ben Jonson

said,

and vanished with a scream

of

triumphant laughter. caught
in the

Welsh

fairies

have been

very

act of the theft,

and a pretty

CHANGELINGS.
fight they

135

made, every time,

to

keep their booty

;

but the strength of a
course, too

man

or a

woman, was,

of

much

for

them

to resist long.

Now, whenever a mother, who, you may count
upon
all
it,

thought her own urchin most beautiful of

under the moon, found him growing cross and

homely, in despite of herself, she suddenly awoke
to this view of the case
:

that the dwindled

babe

was her babe no longer, but a miserable young
gosling from Fairyland slipped into
its

place.

A

miserable young foreign gosling
hour, though
kiixl of a
it

it

was from that

had her own grandfather's special
its

nose on

unmistakable face.
a great sensation

The discovery always made
people

came from
at the

the

surrounding villages to

wonder

lean, gaping,

knowing-eyed small
all

stranger in the crib, and to propose

sorts of

charms which should

rid the

house of his presence,

and

restore the rightful heir again.

They were
In

not especially polite to the poor changeling.

Denmark, and

in Ireland as well,
!

they dandled

him on a hot shovel

If

he were really a change-

ling, the fairies, rather

than see him singed, were

136

"brownies and bogles."

sure to appear in a violent fluster and whisk him

away, and at the same minute to drop

its
if

former
it

owner plump

into the

cradle.

And

were

not a changeling,

how

did those queer by-gone
to stop

mammas know when
baking?

the

broiling

and

Mr. George Waldron, who

in

1726 wrote an en-

tertaining Description of the Isle of
it

Man, recorded
to

that he once

went

to see a
it

baby supposed
to

be

a changeling ; that

seemed

be four or

five

years old, but smaller than an infant of six months,
pale,

and

silky-haired,

and (what was unusual)
;

with the fairest face under heaven

that

it

was

not able to walk nor to move a joint, seldom smiled,
ate scarcely anything,

and never spoke nor cried
it

;

but that

if

you called

a

fairy-elf,

it

fixed

its
it

gaze

on you as

if it

would look you through.

If

were

left alone, it

was overheard laughing and
it

frolick-

ing,
its

and when

was taken up
prettily

after,

limp as cloth,

hair

was found
it

combed, and there were
its

signs that

had been washed and dressed by

unseen playfellows.

The main

point to put the family

mind

at rest

CHANGELINGS.

137

on the matter, was

to

make

the changeling "

own

up," force him to do something which no tender

mortal in socks and bibs ever was able to do, such
as dance, prophesy, or

manage

a musical instru-

ment.
est

There was an
five

Irish changeling, the young-

of

sons,

who,

being

teased,

snatched a bagpipe

from a

visitor,
it

and

played upon

in the

most

accomplished

and melting manner,
sitting

up

in

his
his

wooden

chair,

big goggle-eyes fixed

on the

company.
he knew

THERE WAS AN

IRISH CHANGE-

And when

LING.

he was found out, he sprang, bagpipe and
the river
;

all,

into

which leads one to suspect that he was

a sort of stray Stromkarl.

The Welsh

fairies

had good

taste,

and admired

wholesome and handsome children.
such often, and
left

They

stole

for

substitute

the plentyn-

138

"brownies and bogles."
at first

newid (the change-child) who
like the elled,

was exactly

absent nursling, but soon grew ugly, shriv-

biting, wailing,

cunning and ill-tempered.
it

In the hope of proving whether waif or not, people put the
little

were a

fairy-

creature to such

hard

tests, that

sometimes

it

nearly died of acquaint-

ance with a rod, or an oven, or a well.
If

the bereaved parent did

some very

astonish-

ing thing in plain view of the wonder-chick, that

would generally entrap

it

into betraying its secrets.

A

French changeling was once moved unawares
it

to sing out that

was nine hundred years

old, at

least!

In Wales, and also in Brittainy (which are
is

sister-countries of one race) the following story

current

:

A mother whose infant had been spirited
much perplexed over what
she

away, and who was

took to be a changeling, was advised to cook a

meal for ten farm-servants in one egg-shell.
the queer
little

When

creature, burning with curiosity,

asked her from his high-chair what she was about,
she could hardly answer, so excited was she to

hear him speak.

At

that he cried louder
in

:

"

A

meal for

ten,

dear mother,

one egg-shell

?

The

"THE ACORN BEFORE THE OAK HAVE

I

SEEN."

CHANGELINGS.
acorn before the oak have
seen,

14I

I

and the wilderI

ness before the lawn, but never did
thing like that
of his age
!

behold any-

"

and so gave damaging evidence
his

and
:

unlucky wisdom.

And

the

woman
much,

replied

"

You have seen
shall

altogether too
!

my

son,

and you

have a beating "
until

And

thereupon she began to thrash him,

he

screeched, and a fairy appeared hurriedly to rescue

him, and in the crib lay the round, rosy, real child,

who had been missing

a long while.

Now
eye

the " gentry " of
to

modern Greece had an
;

also

clever children

but they

almost

always brought them back, laden with
in person than

gifts, lovelier

when they were taken from home.

And

if

they appointed a changeling in the meanit

time (which they were not very apt to do)

never

showed
unlike

its elfin

nature until

it

was quite grown up
all

the

uncanny goblins who were
first

too

ready from the
slightest hint.

to give autobiographies on the

The Drows
game.

of the

Orkney Islands fancied

larger

They used

to stalk in

among church

con-

gregations and carry off pious deacons and deacon-

142

"brownies and bogles."
!

esses
1670.

So wrote one Lucas Jacobson Debes,

in

In a pretty Scotch

tale,

a sly fairy threatened to

steal the " lad bairn," unless the

mother could

tell

the fairy's right name.
stranger,

The

latter

was a complete
;

and the woman was sore worried

and

went

to

walk in the woods to ease her anxious and

aching heart, and to think over some means of
outwitting the

enemy

of her boy.

And

presently

she heard a faint voice singing under a leaf

Little

kens the glide dame
is

at

hame
!

That Whuppity Stoorie

ma name

When

the smart lady in green
" lad bairn," the
!

came

to take the

beautiful

mother quietly called
off

her " Whuppity Stoorie
a cry of fear
miigeli, the "
;

"

and

she hurried with

like

the

Austrian dwarf Kruzi" of Friesland,

dear Ekke

Nekkepem
tried

and many another who
trick,

to play the

same

and who were always themselves the means

of telling mortals the very
ceal.

names they would con-

Fairy-folk

young and old were coquettish enough

CHANGELINGS.

M3

about their names, and greatly preferred they
should not be spoken outright.

This habit got
of "

them

into
?

many

a scrape.
!

The anecdote

Who

hurt you

Myself

"

was

told in Spain, Finland,

SHE HEARD A FAINT VOICE SINGING UNDER A LEAF.

Brittainy, Japan,

and a dozen other kingdoms, and

seems

to

be as old as the Odyssey.
tells

Do you

re-

member where Ulysses
name
is

the Cyclop that his
?

Outis, which

means Nobody

and how,

after the eye of the

wicked Polyphemus has been

144

BROWNIES AND BOGLES.

put out, the comrades of the big blinded fellow ask

him who did the deed, and he growls back, very
sensibly
typical
:

"

Nobody

!

"

Consider what follows a
of the

modern version

same

trick.

A

young Scotch

child,

whom we

will call

Alan,

sits

by the

fire,

when

a pretty creature the size oE the

a doll, waltzes

down

chimney

to the hearth,
it

and begins
shrewdly
like
:

to frolic.

When asked its name
;

says

" Ainsel "
it

which

to

the

boy sounds

what

really

is,

" Ownself,"

and makes him.

CHANGELINGS.

145

when

it is

his turn to

be questioned, as saucy and

reticent as he supposes his elfin playfellow to be.

So Alan

tells

the sprite that his
it.

name

is

" J/y

Ainsel," and gets the better of

For bye-and-

bye they wax very frisky and friendly, and right
in

the middle
fire,

of

their sport,

when

little

Alan

pokes the

and gets a spark by chance on
pain,

Ainsel's foot,

and when he roars with

and

the old fairy-mother appears instantly, crying angrily
:

"

Who has hurt thee

?

Who

has hurt thee
!

?

the elf blurts, of course, "

My

Ainsel

"

and she

kicks him unceremoniously up chimney, and bids

him stop whimpering, since the burn was

of his

own

silly

doing!

Alan, meanwhile, climbs up-

stairs to bed, rejoicing to

escape the vengeance of
in his sleeve at

the fairy-mother,

and chuckling

the funny turn things have taken.

CHAPTER

XI.

FAIRYLAND.
"

And

never would

I tire, Janet,

In Fairyland to dwell."

SO

runs the song.

Who
At

would weary of so

sweet a place
;

?

least,

we think

of

it

as
it

a sweet place

but like this own world of ours,
it
;

was whatever a man's eyes made

good and
evil.

gracious to the good, troublous to the

Ac-

cording to an old belief, a
truthful person, always

mean

or angry, or un-

exposed himself, by the

very violence of his wrong-doing, to become an

inmate of Fairyland
not have been
fairy-ring
all

;

and

for such a one,

it

could

sunshine.
to

A

foot set

upon the

was enough
off,

cause a mortal to be

whisked
left far

pounded, pinched, bewildered, and
It

from home.
is

was a strange experience,
it

and

it

recorded that

befell

many

a lad and

146

FAIRYLAND.

I47

maid

to be loosed

from earth, and cloistered for
our Catskill hero,
to

uncounted years,

to return, like

Rip Van Winkle,
little

after

what he supposes

be a

time,

and

to find that generations

had

f>assed

away.

For those absent took no thought

of time's

passing, and on reaching earth again, would begin

where

their lips

had dropped a sentence

half-

spoken, a hundred years before.
truants are

Tales of such

common

the world over.

Gitto
boy,

Bach

(little Griffith)

was a Welsh farmer's

who looked

after

sheep on the mountain-top.

When

he came home at evenfall he often showed

his brothers

and

sisters bits of
it

paper stamped
to

like

money.
real

Now when

was given
fairy-gifts

him,

it

was

money; but the

would not bear

handling, and turned useless and limp as soon as
Gitto showed them.

One day he

did not return.

After two years his mother found him one morning
at the door, smiling,

and with a bundle under
tears,

his

arm.

She asked him, with many
long, while they
is

where he
for

had been so
as dead.
said Gitto.

had mourned

him

"It

only yesterday I went away!"

" See the pretty clothes the mountain-

148

BROWNIES AND BOGLES.

children gave me, for dancing with them to the

music of their harps."

And he opened
:

his bundle,

and showed a beautiful dress
it

but his mother saw

was only paper,

after

all,

like the fairy

money.

GITTO BACH AND THE FAIRIES.

Our pretty friends enjoyed beguiling mortals
their shining underworld, with song,

into

and caresses,

and winning promises.

Once

the mortal entered,
all,

he met with warm welcomes from
exquisite

and the most
before him.

meat and drink were

set

FAIRYLAND.

149

Now,

if

he had but the courage to refuse

it,

he

soon found himself back on earth, whence he was
stolen.

But

if

he yielded to temptation, and his

tongue tasted fairy food, he could never behold
his native hills again for years

and years.

And

when, after that exquisite imprisonment, he should
be torn from his delights and set back
at his father's

KAGUYAHIME, THE MOON-MAID.

door, he should find his

memory almost

forgotten,
seat.

and others

sitting with a claim in his

empty

And

he should not remember
silent

how long he had

been missing, but grow
sit

and depressed, and
on lonely slopes
of

for hours, with

dreamy

eyes,

and wildwood bridges, not desiring' fellowship
any soul alive
;

but with a heartache always for his

150

"brownies and bogles.
lost playfellows,

little

and for that bright country

far away, until

he died.
in

Often the creature who has once stood
courts of
released,

the

Fairyland,

is

placed under vow, when

and allowed

to visit the earth, to

come

back

at call,

and abide there always.

For the
es-

spell of that place is so strong,

no heart can

cape

it,

nor wish to escape

it.

Thus ends

the old

romance of Thomas the Rhymer:
of seven years, he

that, at the

end

was freed from Fairyland, made
;

wise beyond

all

men

but he was sworn to return

whenever the summons should reach him.

And

once as he was making merry with his chosen comrades, a hart
village street
his glass,

and a hind moved slowly along the
;

and he knew the
;

sign, laid

down

and smiled farewell

and followed them

straightway into the

strange wood, never to be

seen more by mortal eyes.

A
first

wonderful and beautiful Japanese story,

too,

the ancient Taketori Monogatari, written in the
half of the tenth century, tells us

how a

grey-

haired bamboo-gatherer found in a bamboo-blade

a radiant elf-baby, and kindly took

it

home

to his

FAIRYLAND.
wife

15I

;

and because of their great and ready genergods made them thrive
little

osity to the waif, the

in

purse and health

;

and how, when the

one

had been with them three months, Kaguyahime,
for that
girl,

was

she,

grew suddenly

to a tall

and

fair

and so remained

unchanging, for twenty

years, while five gallant Japanese lords were doing

her strange commands, and running risks the world
over.
suitor,

Then, though the emperor,

also,

was her
of

and though she was unspeakably fond

her old foster-parents, and grieved to go from

them, she, being a moon-maid, went back in her
chariot one glorious night to her shining home,

whence she had been banished

for

some old

fault,

and whither the love and longing and homage
all

of

the land pursued her.

Many

sweet wild Welsh and Cornish legends

deal with shepherds and
a fairy
fashion,

yeomen who

set foot

on

mound by

chance, or who, in some other
to

were transplanted

the realm of

the

dancing, feasting elves.

But they have a pathetic

ending, since no wanderer ever strayed back with
all

his old wits

sound and sharp.

He seemed

as

152

"brownies and bogles,"
in sleep,

one who walked

and had no care or

rec-

ognition for the faces that once he held dear.

And

if

he were roused too rudely from his long he died of the shock.
tale,
is

reverie,

A

merrier

and one which

is

very wise and

pretty as well,

current in

many

literatures.

The

THE LITTLE HUNCHBACK.
Irish version runs

somewhat

in this fashion,

and

the Spanish
rily like
fall
it.

and Breton versions are extraordina-

A

little

hunchback resting

at night-

in

an enchanted neighborhood, heard the
from their borderlands near by, singing

fairies,

over and over the names of the days of the week.

"And
chorus

Sunday, and Monday, and Tuesday!" they
:

"

and Sunday and Monday and Tuesday."

FAIRYLAND.

1

53

The boy

thinks

it

rather hard that they do not

know enough
names
a
of the

to finish their musical chant with the

remaining days
softly,
!

;

so,

when they pause

little,

very
"

and

tunefully, he adds:

"And
and

Wednesday

The wee

folk are delighted,
;

make

their chant longer
in their finery

by one strophe

and they

crowd out

from the mound, bearing
its

the stranger far

down

into

depths where there
:

are the glorious open halls of Fairyland

kissing
'the

and praising

their friend,

and bringing him
;

daintiest fruit lips ever tasted
lastingly, their soft little

and
lift

to

reward him

hands

the cruel

hump
at a

from his back, and he runs dancing home,
year's end, to acquaint the village with his

happy

fortune.
bor,
is

Now

another deformed

lad,

his neigh-

racked with jealousy at the sight of his
fair
;

former friend made straight and
rushes to the fairy-mound, and
sits,

and he

scowling, wait-

ing to hear them begin the magic song.
rise the silver

Presently

voices

:

"

And Sunday, and Monday,

and Tuesday, and Wednesday, and Sunday and

Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday "

:

whereat

the audience breaks in rudely, right in the middle

154
of a

"brownies and bogles.
cadence
"

:

And

Friday."

Then

the gentle

elves were wrathful,

and swarmed out upon him,
at

snarling

and striking

him

in scorn

;

and before

he escaped them, they had fastened on his crooked

back beside his own, the very
longed to the
is

hump

that

had beit

first

comer

!

In the anecdote, as

given in Picardy, the justice-dealing goblins

are described as very small and comely, clad in
violet-colored velvet,

and wearing hats laden with

peacock plumes.

In the Japanese rendering, a

wen

takes the place of the hump.
is

Fairyland

the

home

of every goblin, bright
of; the

or fierce, that ever
the ogres

we heard

home,

too, of

and dragons, and enchanted princesses,
of all time.

and demons, and Jack-the-giant-killers

The Brownies belonged
their worldly finery,

there,

and went

thither in
;

when

service

was over

the

gnomes and

snarling mine-sprites, the sweet danc-

ing elves, the fairies

who

stole children, or

romped

under the

river's current, or
it

plagued honest farm-

ers, or tiptoed

with a torch

down

a lonesome

road — every one
fireside.

there had his country and his

FAIRYLAND.
In that merry

1

55

company were many who have
sit in

escaped

us,

and who

a blossomy corner by
:

themselves, the oddest of the odd

like the Jap-

anese Tengus,

who have

little

wings and feathers,
;

like birds, until

they grew up

mouths very

sel-

dom

opened, and most amazing big noses, with

which, on earth, they were wont to fence, to white-

wash, to write poetry, and to ring bells
too,

!

There,

were the dark-skinned Indian wonder-babies:

Weeng, whom Mr. Longfellow celebrates as Nepahwin, the Indian god of sleep, with his numer-

ous train of

little

fairy

men armed

with clubs
in-

who

at nightfall

sought out mortals, and with

numerable
pelled

light

blows upon their foreheads, com-

them

to slumber.

The

great boaster, lagoo,

whom Hiawatha
seen King
with

knew, once declared that he had
himself, resting against a tree,
his

Weeng

many waving and music-making wings on
Indian, likewise, was the spirit

back.

named
;

Ca-

notidan,

who dwelt

in

many

a hollow tree

and

the lively fellow,

Taknakanx Kan, who sported "in
;

the nodding flowers

who flew with

the birds, frisked

with the squirrels, and skipped jvith the grasshop-

156

BROWNIES AND BOGLES.

per

;

who was merry with

the gay running brooks,

and shouted with the waterfall; who moved with
the sailing cloud,

and came forth with the dawn."
to sleep,

He

never

slept,

and never had time

being

iAKNAKANX KAN.
the

god

of perpetual motion.

Near him, perhaps,

see-sawed a couple of long-eyed Chinese San Sao,
or
the

glossy-haired

Fees of Southern

France
also,

pelted one another with dew-drops.
the African

There

Yumboes had
strange

their magnificent tents

spread

:

those

little

thieving

Banshee-

FAIRYLAND.
Brownies, wrapped in white cotton pangs,

157

who

leaned back in their seats after a gorgeous repast,

and beheld an army of hands appear and carry
the golden dishes
!

off

There abided, as the vene-

rated elder of the rest, the long-bearded Pygmies

whom Homer,

Aristotle

and good Herodotus had

not scorned to celebrate,
ville

whom
and

Sir

John Mande-

avowed

to be " right fair

gentle, after their

quantities, both the

men

artd the

women.

.

.

.

And

he that liveth eight year,
.
. .

men

hold him right
of our stature

passing old

and

of the

men

have they as great scorn and wonder as we would
have among us of giants "
!

Of these and thousands more marvellous
Fairyland
full
;

is

full of

things startling and splen:

did and grewsome and visionary

full of noises,

Sounds and sweet

airs that give delight,

and hurt

not.

Any
dull

picture of

it is

tame, any worded description
it

and heavy,

to

you who discover
its

daily at

first

hand, and

who know

faces and voices, which

fade too quickly from the brain.

All fine advent-

15S

"brownies and bogles."
all

ures spring thence

:

loveliest color,

odor and

companionship are

in that stirring, sparkling world.

Can you not help us back
knows the path ?
a sign-post
safe inside,
?

there for an hour?

Who
set

Who can

draw a map, and

up

Who

can bar the gate, when we are
in

and keep us forever and ever

our

for-

saken " dear sweet land of Once-upon-a-Time " ?

CHAPTER

XII.

THE PASSING OF THE LITTLE PEOPLE.

THERE was once a very
her fairy-book on
its

childish child

who

laid

face across her knee,
of the

and

sat all the

morning watching the cups

honeysuckle, grieved that not one solitary
left to

elf

was

swing on

its

sun-touched edges, and laugh

back

at her, with unforgetful eyes.

We

are sorry for her,
!

and sorry with

her.

The

Little People, "alas

have gone away; would that

they might return they
left

!

No man knows why

nor when

us

;

nor whither they turned their faces.
softly

The exodus was made

and

slowly,

till

the

whole bright tribe had stolen imperceptibly into
exile.

Mills, steam-engines

and prowling disbe-

lievers

joined to banish them; their poetic and
is

dreamy drama
their

over, their

magic lamp

out,

and

jocund music hushed and forbidden.
159

Or

l6o

"

BROWNIES AND BOGLES."

perhaps they of themselves went lingeringly and
sorrowfully afar, because the world had

grown too

rough for them.
Geoffrey Chaucer, in the fourteenth century,

wrote in his sweet, tranquil fashion
In olde dayes of the

Kyng Arthour

.

.

.

Al was
I

this

lond

fulfilled of faerie

speke of mony hundrid yeer ago

But now can no man see non elves

mo

which you may understand as an announcement

somewhat ahead

of time.

For many, many "elves

mo

"

were on record after the good poet's lyre was

hushed, and " thick as motes in the sunbeam " centuries after their reported flight.

There have been

sound-headed folk

in

every age, of

whom Chaucer
and
their

was one, who jested over the poor
arts,

fairies

and spoke of them only for gentle satire's sake.
per-

But though Chaucer was sure the goblins had
ished, his neighbors

saw manifold

lively

specimens

of the race, without stirring out of the parish.

Up

to

two hundred years ago prajers were said

in the

churches against bad fairies
Sir

Walter Scott related that the

last

Brownie

THE

PASStNti OF

TME LITTLE PEOPLE.

l6l

was the Brownie

of Bodsbeck,
is

who

lived there long,

and vanished, as

the wont of his clan,

when
of

the mistress of the house laid milk

and a piece
to go,

money

in his haunts.
all

He

was loath
to

and

moaned

night

:

" Farewell

Bonnie

Bods-

"al was this lond fulfilled of faerie."

beck

!

"

till

his departure at

break of

daj'.

A

girl

from Norfolk, England, questioned by Mr. Thomas
Keightley, admitted that she had often seen the
Prairies, dressed in white,
little cities

coming up from

their

underground

!

Mr. John Brand saw a
that

man who

said he

had seen one

had seen

fair-

i62

"brownies and bogles."

ies

!

And

Mr. Robert Hunt, author of the Drolls

and

Traditions of

Old

Cor/nvall, wrote that forty

years ago every rock and field in that country was

peopled with them

!

and that " a gentleman

wellreIt

known
cently

in the literary

world of London very
fairies
!

saw

in

Devonshire a troop of

was a breezy summer afternoon, and these beautiful
little

creatures

were

floating
hill,

on

circling

zephyrs up the side of a sunlit
playing,

fantastically

'Where

oxlips

and the nodding

violet grow.'

So here are three trustworthy gentlemen, makers
of books on
this special subject,

and none

of

them

very long dead, to offset Master Geoffrey Chaucer,

and

to bring the " loud fulfilled of faerie " closer

than he dreamed.

About

the year 1865, a correlittle

spondent told Mr. Hunt the following queer
story

" I heard last

week

of three fairies having

been
lived

seen in Zennor very recently.
at the foot of

A man

who

Trendreen Hill

in the valley of Trehill.

ridge, I think,

was cutting furze on the

Near

THE PASSING OF THE LITTLE PEOPLE.

163

the middle of the day he saw one of the small people,

not more than a foot long, stretched at

full

length and fast asleep, on a bank of heath, sur-

rounded by high brakes of
off his furze-cuff

furze.

The man took
little

and slipped the

man

into

it

FAIRY STORIES.

without his waking up, went

down

to the house,

and

took the
stone,

little

fellow out of the cuff on the hearthquite pleased
c^iil-

when he awoke, and seemed

and
dren,

at

home, beginning to play with the

who were

well pleased also with the small

body, and called him Bobby Griglans.

The

old

people were very careful not to

let

Bob

out of the

164

"brownies and

150GLES.''

house, nor be seen by the neighbors, as he had

promised to show the
were buried on the
brought,
all

man where

crocks of gold

hill.

A

few days after he was

the neighbors camfe with their horses,

according to custom, to bring

home

the winter's

reek of furze, which had to be brought
hill in

down

the

trusses on the backs of the horses.
sight,

That Bob

might be safe and out of
were shut up io the barn.

he and the children

Whilst the furze-carriers
contrived to get

were

in to dinner, the prisoners

out to have a run round the furze-reek,

when they
larger than

saw a

little

man and woman

not

much

Bob, searching into every hole and corner
the trusses that were

among

dropped round the unfin-

ished reek.

The

little
'

woman was

wringing her

hands and crying

O my

dear and tender SkillyShall

widden! wherever canst thou be gone to?
I

ever cast eyes on thee again

?

'

*

Go

'e

back

!

says
are

Bob

to the children
too.'

*
;

my

father

and mother
:

come here

He

then cried out

'

Here

I

am,

mammy

'
!

By

the time the words were out of

his mouth, the little

man and woman,

with their

precious Skillywidden, were nowhere to be seen,

THE PASSING OF THE LITTLE PEOPLE.
and there has been no
since.

165

sight

nor sign of them thrashing for

The

children got a sound

letting Skillywid-

den escape."

Such

is

the

lat-

est evidence

we

can find of the

whereabouts
our goblins.

of

We
ever,

may, how-

consider
THE CAPTURE OF SKILLYWIDDEN.

ourselves

their

contemporaries, since

among

the peasantry of
is

many

countries over-seas, the belief

not yet extinct.

But
as

it is

pretty clear to us,

modern and American
anybody was

we

are (safer in so thinking than
!

anywhere before

)

that the "restless people," as

the Scotch called them, are at rest,
of this world;

and clean

quit

and perhaps

satisfied, at last, of their

chance of salvation, alopg with fortunate Christians.

Such a great system as

this of fairy-lore,

propped

on such show

of earnestness,

grew

up, not of a

i66

"brownies and bogles."
like

sudden

a

mushroom

after a July rain, but

gradually and securely, like a coral-reef.

And

the

dream-building was not nonsense at
of putting

all,

but a way
into a

what was evident and marvellous
If

familiar guise.

certain strange things, which

are called phenomena,

happened

— things

like the

coming

of pebbles

from clouds, music from sand,

sparkling light from decay, or disease and death

from the mere handling of a velvety

leaf

— then our

forefathers, instead of gazing straight into the eyes

of the fact, as

we

are taught to do, looked askance,

and made a fantastic rigmarole concerning the
pebbles, or the music, and passed
ligion
it

down

as re-

and

law.

The simple-minded
trifling fairies.

citizens of old referred

any

occurrence, pleasant or unpleasant, to the

The demons and

deities,

according to
matters
in

their notion of fitness,

governed
sprites

in vaster

and the new, potent

took shape

the

popular brain as the controllers of petty
If a

affairs.
it

shepherd found one of his flock
elf-shot;
if

sick,

had

been
it

a girl's wits went wool-gathering,
in fairyland
;

was a sign she had been

if

a coo-

THE PASSING OF THE LITTLE PEOPLE.
ing baby turned peevish and thin,
ling
!

167

it

was a changecobweb, a

Wherever you now see a
;

mist, a

moving shadow on the grass

wherever you hear

a cricket-chirp, or the plash of a waterfall, or the

cry of the bird on the wing, there of yore were the
fairy-folk in their beauty.

They stood

in the

mind

to represent the lesser secrets of Nature, to ac-

count for some wonder heard and seen.

It

was

many

a century before nations stopped romancing

about the brave things on land and sea, and began
to speculate, to observe

more keenly,

to

hunt out

reasons, and to

lift

the haze of their

own fancy

from heroic facts and deeds.

Think a moment

of the

Danish moon-man, who

breathed pestilence, and the moon-woman, whose harp was so charming.
Well, the

moon-man meant

nothing else than the marsh, slimy and dangerous,

which yielded a malarial odor
with

;

and the wee
musical

woman

her harp represented the

night-wind, which played over the marsh rushes

and reeds.

Was
?

it

not so, too, with the larger

myths of Greece
carried

For the story of Proserpine,

away by

the

god of the under world, and after

1

68

"brownies and bogles."

a weary while, given back for half-a-year to her fond

mother Ceres,
is

tells really of the

seed-corn which
;

cast into her dark soil,
in glory,

and long hidden

but

re-

appears

and stays overground for months,

basking

in the sun.

And

so

on with many a

fable,

which we read, unguessing of the thought and
purpose beneath.
hardly thank too

Though

it

was

erring,

we can

much

that joyous
it

and reverent

old paganism which fancied

saw

divinity in each

move

of Nature, kept a natural piety towards every-

thing that lived, and

made

a thousand sweet

mem-

oranda, to remind us forever of the wonder and

charm

of

our earth.

All
it,

mythology,

and the
is

part the fairies play in

stands for what

true.

" Still

Doth

the old instinct bring back the old

names "

and again and again, when we
fiction of

cite

some beautiful
White Dwarf or
it

Merman and Kobold,

of

Pooka, we but repeat, whether aware of

or not,

how

the

dews come down

at

morning, or the

storm-wind breaks the strong trees, or
trailing light, bursts

how

a comet,

headlong across the wide sky.
fairy-stories, to get

To comprehend

under the

THE PASSING OF THE LITTLE PEOPLE.
surface of them,
all at

1

69

we would have

to

go over them

great length, and with exhaustless patience.
as in digging for the tendrils of a delicate,

And

berry-laden vine,

we have

to search, sometimes,

deep and wide into the woodland loam, among
gnarly roots of shrubs and giant pines, so in tracing the scources of the simplest tale which

makes

us glad or sad,

we

fall

across a network of ponderlost

ous ancient lore; of custom, prejudice, and
day-dreams, from which this vine, also,
is

hard to

be severed.

The
was

spirit of

these neat
;

little

goblin-chronicles

right

and sincere

but the matter of them

was often sadly

astray.

Of course, sometimes,
gathered
it

useless, misleading details

tD

obscure

the

first

idea,

and to overrun

with a tangle

of error;

and not only were

fine stories spoiled,
silly,

but

many were

started which were funny, or

or grim merely, without serving any use beyond
that.

But so powerful
ally a grain of
it

is

Truth,

when

there was actu-

at

the centre, that even those

versions which were exaggerated and distorted,

170

"brownies and bogles.
call Folk-lore,

played into the hands of what we

and

laid their
will

golden key

at the feet of Science.

You

discover that, besides pointing out the
fairy-tales rested

workings of the natural world, the

often on the workings of our own minds and consciences.
set

The Brownie was

a

little

schoolmaster
of

up

to teach love of order,
;

and the need

perfect courtesy

the

Nix betokened anything

sweet and beguiling, which yet was hurtful, and
to

which

it

was, and

is,

a gallant heart's duty not
to end, the

to yield.

And

thus,

from beginning

elves at

whom we

laugh, help us toward larger

knowledge, and a more chivalrous code of behavior.

How
?

shall

we

say, then, that there never

was

a fairy

A
took
tiny

miner, hearing the drip of subterranean water,
it

to

be a Duergar or a Bucca, swinging his
over the shining ore.
it

hammer

His notion of

the Bucca,

askew as

was, was one at bottom

with our knowledge of the, dark brookletj
the

You,

young

heirs of mighty Science, can often out-

strip the

slow-gathered wisdom of dead philosofine old

phers.

But do not despise that

imagina-

1

THE PASSING OF THE LITTLE PEOPLE.
tion,

1

73

which

felt its

way almost

to the
all

light.

A

sixteenth-century boy,

who was

excitement

once over the pranks of Robin Goodfellow, knew

many

precious things which our very great nine-

teenth-century acuteness has

made

us lose

!

Good-bye, then, to the army of vanishing "gentry,"

and

to their steadfast friends,
!

and

to you, chil-

dren dear

who

are the guardians of their wild
Shall you not miss

unwritten records.

them when

next the

moon

is

high on the blossomy hillocks,
to

and the thistledown, ready-saddled, plunges
off

be

and away

?

Merry fellows they were, and
;

shrewd and

just

and we were very fond

of

them

and now they are gone.

And

their going, like a

mounting harmony, note by
one noble chord, with a hush
a serious parting word.

note,
after

which ends
it,

in

leads us to

Keep

the fairies in kindly

memory do
;

not lose your interest in them.

They

and

their history

have an enchanting value, which
set aside
;

need never be outgrown nor
gravest mind they bring

and

to the

much which

is

beautiful,

humane and

suggestive.
in the Little

We

have found that believers

Peo-

174

"brownies and bogles.
and
that the eye

pie were not so wrong, after all;

claiming to have seen a fairy saw, verily, a sight
quite as astonishing.

Let us think as gently of

other myths to which

men have given

zeal,

awe and

admiration, of every faith hereafter which seems
to us

odd and mistaken.

For many things which

are not true in the exact sense, are yet dear to

Truth
lisps

;

and follow her as a baby's tripping tongue
of
its

the language

mother, not very suc-

cessfully, but still with loyalty,

and with a mean-

ing which attentive ears can always catch.
" Surely, our ancestors loved the " span-long elves

who wrought them no
them help and cheer.

great harm, and

who gave
them, too.

We
little

will praise

Who knows
directed

but some

goblin's thorny finger

many an innocent human

heart to march,
light of

albeit waveringly, towards the

ample

God ?

I

r\J

GR

G85 1888
C.l

ROBA
L^

.Xv

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