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they exchanged their original mischievous propensi- Cattle, which are suddenly seized with the cramp, or ties. The Fairies of Shakspeare, Drayton, and Men
some similar disorder, are said to be els-shot ; and nis, therefore, at first exquisite fancy portraits, may the approved cure is, to chafe the parts affected with be considered as having finally operated a change in a blue bonnet, which, it may be readily believed, the original which gave them birth.'
often restores the circulation. The triangular flints, While the fays of South Britain received such at- frequently found in Scotland, with which the ancient tractive and poetical embellishments, those of Scot- inhabitants probably barbed their shafts, are supland, who possessed no such advantage, retained posed to be the weapons of Fairy resentment, and more of their ancient and appropriate character.
are termed els arrow-heads. The rude brazen battlePerhaps, also, the persecution which these silvan
axes of the ancients, commonly called cells, are also deities underwent, at the instance of the stricter Pres- ascribed to their manufacture. But, like the Gothic byterian clergy, had its usual effect, in hardening duergar, their skill is not confined to the fabrication their dispositions, or at least in rendering them more of arms; for they are heard sedulously hammering in dreaded, by those among whom they dwelt. The linns, precipices, and rocky or cavernous situations, face of the country, too, might have some effect; as where, like the dwarfs of the mines mentioned by we should naturally attribute a less malicious dis-Georg. Agricola, they busy themselves in imitating position, and a less frightful appearance, to the fays the actions and the various employments of men. who glide by moonlight through the oaks of Windsor, The Brook of Beaumont, for example, which passes, than to those who haunt the solitary heaths and lofty in its course, by numerous linns and caverns, is nomountains of the North. The fact at least is certain; torious for being haunted by the Fairies; and the and it has not escaped a late ingenious traveller that perforated and rounded stones which are formed by the character of the Scottish Fairy is more harsh and trituration in its channel, are termed, by the vulgar, terrific than that which is ascribed to the elves of fairy cups and dishes. A beautiful reason is assigned our sister kingdom.-See STODDART's View of Sce- by Fletcher for the fays frequenting streams and nery and Manners in Scotland.
fountains : He tells us of Soine curious particulars concerning the Daoine Shie, or Men of Peace, for so the Highlanders call
“A virtuous well, about whose flowery banks Fairies, may be found in Dr. GRAHAME'S “ Sketches
The nimble-footed Fairies dance their rounds, of Picturesque Scenery on the Southern Confines of
By the pale moonshine, dipping oftentimes
Their stolen children, so to make them free Perthshire.” They are, though not absolutely male
From dying flesh and dull mortality." volent, believed to be a peevish, repining, and en
Faithful Sheperdess. vious race, who enjoy, in the subterranean recesses, a kind of shadowy splendour. The Highlanders are It is sometimes accounted unlucky to pass such at all times unwilling to speak of them, but espe- places, without performing some ceremony to avert cially on Friday, when their influence is supposed to the displeasure of the elves. There is, upon the top be particularly extensive. As they are supposed to
As they are supposed to of Minchmuir, a mountain in Peebles-shire, a spring be invisibly present, they are at all times to be spoken called the Cheese Well, because, anciently, those who of with respect.
passed that way were wont to throw into it a piece The Fairies of Scotland are represented as a dimi- of cheese, as an offering to the Fairies, to whom it nutive race of beings, of a mixed, or rather dubious
was consecrated. nature, capricious in their dispositions, and mischie
Like the feld elfen of the Saxons, the usual dress vous in their resentment. They inbabit the interior of the Fairies is green; though on the moors, they of green hills, chiefly those of a conical form, in Gaelic have been sometimes observed in heath-brown, or in termed Sighan, on which they lead their dances by weeds dyed with the stoneraw, or lichen.' They moonlight ; impressing upon the surface the marks often ride in invisible procession, when their preof eircles, which sometimes appear yellow and blasted, sence is discovered by the shrill ringing of their bridles. sometimes of a deep green hue; and within which it on these occasions, they sometimes borrow mortal is dangerous to sleep, or to be found after sunset. steeds; and when such are found at morning, pantThe removal of those large portions of turf, which ing and fatigued in their stalls, with their manes and thunderbolts sometimes scoop out of the ground with tails dishevelled and entangled, the grooms, I presume, singular regularity, is also ascribed to their agency. often find this a convenient excuse for their situa
Croydon, Act 4, Scene 1. At other times, however, he is presenied in the vernal livery of the elves, his associates :
* Tim, I have made
Some speeches, sir, in verse, which have been spoke
The City Natch, Act I. Scene 6.
title of the “ Fairy Queen " being probably suggested by the elfia
-“ A Fairy thee unweeting rest;
Book I. Canto 10.
tion; as the common belief of the elves quaffing the beld rendezvous in the Calton Hill, near Edinburgh,
the story of Lord Duffus, below) might occasionally cloak detained me for some time at Leith, which is near the delinquencies of an unfaithful butler.
Edinburgh, in the kingdom of Scotland, I often met The Fairies, besides their equestrian processions, some of my acquaintance at a certain house there, are addicted, it would seem, to the pleasures of the where we used to drink a glass of wine for our rechase. A young sailor, travelling by night from Dou- fection ; the woman which kept the house was of hoglas, in the Isle of Man, to visit his sister residing in nest reputation among the neighbours, which made Kirk Merlugh, heard the noise of horses, the holloa me give the more attention to what she told me one of a huntsman, and the sound of a horn. Immediately day about a fairy boy, (as they called him) who lived afterwards, thirteen horsemen, dressed in green, and about that town. She had given me so strange an gallantly mounted, swept past him. Jack was so account of him, that I desired her I might see him much delighted with the sport, that he followed the first opportunity, which she promised ; and not them, and enjoyed the sound of the horn for some long after, passing that way, she told me there was miles; and it was not till he arrived at his sister's the fairy boy, but a little before I came by; and, house, that he learned the danger which he had in- casting her eye into the street, said, Look you, sir, curred. I must not omit to mention, that these little yonder he is at play with those other boys; and depersonages are expert jockeys, and scorn to ride the signing him to me, I went, and, by smooth words, little Manks ponies, though apparently well suited to and a piece of money, got him to come into the house their size. The exercise, therefore, falls heavily upon with me; where in the presence of divers people, I the English and Irish horses, brought into the Isle demanded of bim several astrological questions, which of Man. Mr. Waldron was assured by a gentleman he answered with great subtilty; and, through all of Ballafletcher, that he had lost three or four capital his discourse, carried it with a cunning much above hunters by these nocturnal excursions.-Waldron's his years, which seemed not to exceed ten or eleven. Works, p. 132. From the same author we learn, that “He seemed to make a motion like drumming upon the Fairies sometimes take more legitimate modes of the table with his fingers, upon which I asked him, procuring horses. A person of the utmost integrity Whether he could beat a drum? To which he replied. informed him, that having occasion to sell a horse, Yes, sir, as well as any man in Scotland; for every he was accosted among the mountains by a little gen- Thursday night I beat all points to a sort of people tleman plainly dressed, who priced his horse, cheap- that used to meet under yonder hill, (pointing to the ened him, and, after some chaffering, finally purchased great hill between Edenborough and Leith.) How, him. No sooner had the buyer mounted, and paid boy? quoth I, What company have you there? There the price, than he sunk through the earth, horse and are, sir, (said he,) a great company both of men and man, to the astonishment and terror of the seller; who women, and they are entertained with many sorts of experienced, however, no inconvenience from dealing musick, besides my drum; they have, besides, plenty with so extraordinary a purchaser.'-Ibid. p. 135. of variety of meats and wine, and many times we are
It is hoped the reader will receive, with due res carried into France or Holland in a night, and return pect, these, and similar stories, told by Mr. Waldron; again, and whilst we are there, we enjoy all the for be himself, a scholar and a gentleman, informs pleasures the country doth afford. I demanded of him us, “as to circles in grass, and the impression of how they got under that hill? To which he replied, small feet among the snow, I cannot deny but I have that there was a great pair of gates that opened to seen them frequently, and once thought I heard a them, though they were invisible to others; and that whistle, as though in my ear, when nobody that within there were brave large rooms, as well accomcould make it was near me." In this passage there modated as most in Scotland.-I then asked him, is a curious picture of the contagious effects of a su how I should know what he said to be true ? Upon perstitious atmosphere. Waldron had lived so long which he told me he would read my fortune, saying, among the Manks, that he was persuaded to believe I should have two wives, and that he saw the forms their legends.
of them sitting on my shoulders; that both would be The worthy Captain George Burton communicated very handsome women. As he was thus speaking, a to Richard Bovet, gent., author of the interesting woman of the neighbourhood coming into the room, work, entitled “ Paudæmonium, or the Devil's demanded of him, What her fortune should be ? He Cloister Opened,” the following singular account told her that she had two bastards before she was of a lad called the Fairy Boy of Leith, who, it married, which put her in such a rage, that she desired seems, acted as a drummer to the elves, who weekly not to hear the rest.
I“ Under each of these six heads of dissertation, a number of wild catalogue of metamorphoses, into amusing anecdotes of sorcurious out-of-the-way relations are compiled from the forgotten cery, fableries of romance, or tales of wonder, into a Thousand repositories of fabulous marvels. Many of them will serve for the und One Nighls' Entertainment, or golden legends of shuddering story of future ballads, and the decoration of yet unwritten me astonishment."- Critical Review, November, 1803. —There is trical romances. They constitute the elements of British mylbo- something bere as much the spirit of prophecy as of criticism. logy; and in the hands of a Modern Ovid, may be shapen into a | -Ed.]
“The woman of the house told me that all the tation, the old man gave Sir Godfrey to understand, people in Scotland could not keep him from the ren that he resided under his habitation, and that he had dezvous on Thursday night; upon which, by promi- great reason to complain of the direction of a drain, sing him some more money, I got a promise of him or common sewer, which emptied itself directly into to meet me at the same place, in the afternoon, the his chamber of dais. * Sir Godfrey Macculloch was Thursday following, and so dismist him at that a good deal startled at this extraordinary complaint; time. The boy came again, at the place and time ap- but, guessing the nature of the being he had to deal pointed, and I had prevailed with some friends to with, he assured the old man, with great courtesy, continue with me (if possible) to prevent his moving that the direction of the drain should be altered ; and that night. He was placed between us, and an caused it to be done accordingly. Many years afterswered many questions, until, about eleven of the ward, Sir Godfrey had the misfortune to kill, in a clock, he was got away unperceived by the company; fray, a gentleman of the neighbourhood. He was apbut I, suddenly missing him, basted to the door, prehended, tried, and condemned. 3 The scaffold, and took bold of him, and so returned him into the upon which his head was to be struck off, was erected same room; we all watched him, and, of a sudden, he on the Castle hill of Edinburgh ; but bardly had he was again got out of doors; I followed him close, and reached the fatal spot, when the old man upon his he made a noise in the street, as if he had been set white palfrey, pressed through the crowd, with the upon; but from that time I could never see him. rapidity of lightning. Sir Godfrey, at his command,
GEORGE BURTON." sprung on behind him; the “good neighbour” spurred Pandemonium, or the Devil's Cloister. By Richard his horse down the steep bank, and neither he nor the. Bovet, Gent. London. 1684, p. 172.
criminal was ever again seen. From the History of the Irish Bards, by Mr. The most formidable attribute of the elves, was the Walker, and from the glossary subjoined to the lively practice of carrying away and exchanging children, and ingenious Tale of Castle Rackrent, we learn, that and that of stealing human souls from their bodies. the same ideas concerning Fairies are current among “A persuasion prevails among the ignorant,” says the vulgar in that country. The latter authority the author of a MS. history of Moray, that " in a conmentions their inhabiting the ancient tumuli, called sumptive disease, the Fairies steal away the soul, and barrows, and their abstracting mortals. They are put the soul of a Fairy in the room of it.” This betermed “the good people;” and when an eddy of lief prevails chiefly along the eastern coast of Scotwind raises loose dust and sand, the vulgar believe land, where a practice, apparently of druidical origin, that it announces a Fairy procession, and bid God is used to avert the danger. In the increase of the speed their journey.
March moon, withes of oak and ivy are cut, and The Scottish Fairies, in like manner, sometimes twisted into wreaths or circles, which they preserve reside in subterranean abodes, in the vicinity of human till next March. After that period, when persons are habitations, or, according to the popular phrase, under consumptive, or children bectic, they cause them to the “door-stane,” or threshold; in which situation, pass thrice through these circles. In other cases the they sometimes establish an intercourse with men, cure was more rough, and at least as dangerous as by borrowing and lending, and other kindly offices. the disease, as will appear from the following exIn this capacity they are termed “the good neigh- tract :bours,”• from supplying privately the wants of their “There is one thing remarkable in this parish of friends, and assisting them in all their transactions, Suddie, (in Inverness-shire,) which I think proper to while their favours are concealed. Of this the tradi- mention. There is a small bill N. W. from the church, tionary story of Sir Godfrey Macculloch forms a cu- commonly called Therdy Hill, or Hill of Therdie, rious example.
as some term it; on the top of which there is a well, As this Gallovidian gentleman was taking the air which I had the curiosity to view, because of the seon horseback, near his own house, he was suddenly | veral reports concerning it. When children happen accosted by a little old man arrayed in green, and to be sick, and languish long in their malady, so that mounted upon a white palfrey. After mutual salu- they almost turn skeletons, the common people ima
· Perhaps this epithet is oniy one example, among many, of the tured this to have been the temnos adjoining to some ancient Pagan extreme civility which the vulgar in Scotland use lowards spirits of temple. The unavowed, but obvious, purpose of this practice, was a dubious, or even a delerminedly mischievous, nature. The arch to avert the destructive rage of Satan from the neighbouring posfiend himself is often distinguished by the sostened title of the sessions. It required various fulminations of the General Assem“goodman." This epithet, so applied, must sound strange to a bly of the Kirk to abolish a practice bordering so nearly upon the southern ear; but, as the phrase bears various interpretations, ac doctrine of the Magi. cording to the places where it is used, so, in the Scottish dialect, The best chamber was thus currently denominated in Scotland, the goodman of such a place signifies the tenant, or lise-renter, in from the French dnis, signifying that part of the ancient halls which opposition to the laird, or proprietor. Hence, the devil is termed was elevated above the rest, and covered with a canopy. The turfa the goodman, or tenant, of the infernal regions. In the book of seats, which occupy the sunny side of a cottage wall, are also termthe Universal Kirk, 1314 May, 1594, mention is made of "the ed the dais. horrible superstitoune usil in Garioch, and dyvers parts of the 3 In this particular, tradition coincides with the real fact; the countrie, in not labouring a parcel of ground dedicated to the devil, trial took place in 1697. under the title of the Guid-Man's Croft.” Lord Hailes conjec
gine they are taken away (at last the substance) by the truth, she should make a clear fire, sweep the spirits, called Fairies, and the shadow left with them; bearth very clean, and place the child fast in bis chair, so, at a particular season in summer, they leave them that he might not fall, before it, and break a dozen all night, themselves watching at a distance, near this eggs, and place the four-and-twenty half-shells before well, and this they imagine will either end or mend it; then go out, and listen at the door : for, if the them; they say many more do recover than do not. child spoke, it was certainly a changeling; and then Yea, an honest tenant who lives hard by it, and she should carry it out, and leave it on the dungbill whom I had the curiosity to discourse about it, told to cry, and not to pity it, till she heard its voice no me it has recovered some, who were about eight or The woman, having done all things according nine years of age, and to his certain knowledge, they to these words, heard the child say, 'Seven years bring adult persons to it; for, as he was passing one old was I before I came to the nurse, and four years dark night, he heard groanings, and, coming to the have I lived since, and never saw so many milk pans well, he found a man, who had been long sick, before.' So the woman took it up, and left it upon wrapped in a plaid, so that he could scarcely move, the dunghill to cry, and not to be pitied, till at last a stake being fixed in the earth, with a rope, or tedder, she thought the voice went up into the air; and comthat was about the plaid; he had no sooner inquired ing, found there her own natural and well-favoured what he was, but he conjured him to loose him, and child."-GRose's Provincial Glossary, quoted from out of sympathy he was pleased to slacken that “ A Pleasant Treatise on Witchcraft.” wherein he was, as I may so speak, swaddled; but, if The most minute and authenticated account of an I right remember, he signified, he did not recover.' exchanged child is to be found in Waldron's Isle of
-- Account of the Parish of Suddie, apud MACFAR- Man, a book from which I have derived much legenLANE's MSS.
dary information. “I was prevailed upon myself,” According to the earlier doctrine, concerning the says that author, “ to go and see a child, who, they original corruption of human nature, the power of told me, was one of these changelings, and, indeed, demons over infants had been long reckoned consider-must own, was not a little surprised, as well as able, in the period intervening between birth and bap- shocked, at the sight. Nothing under heaven could tism. During this period, therefore, children were have a more beautiful face; but though between five believed to be particularly liable to abstraction by the and six years old, and seemingly healthy, he was so fairies, and mothers chiefly dreaded the substitution far from being able to walk or stand, that be could of changelings in the place of their own offspring. not so much as move any one joint; his limbs were Various monstrous charms existed in Scotland, for vastly long for his age, but smaller than any infant's procuring the restoration of a child which had been of six months; his complexion was perfectly delicate, thus stolen; but the most efficacious of them was sup- and he had the finest hair in the world. He never posed to be, the roasting of the supposititious child spoke nor cried, ate scarce any thing, and was very upon the live embers, when it was believed it would seldom seen to smile; but if any one called him a vanish, and the true child appear in the place, whence fairy-els, he would frown, and fix his eyes so earnestly it had been originally abstracted.' It may be ques on those who said it, as if he would look them through. tioned if this experiment could now be made without His mother, or at least his supposed mother, being very the animadversion of the law. Even that which is poor, frequently went out a chareing, and left him a prescribed in the following legend is rather too hazar-whole day together. The neighbours, out of curiosity, dous for modern use.
have often looked in at the window, to see how he “A certain woman having put out her child to behaved while alone; which, whenever they did, they nurse in the country, found, when she came to take were sure to find him laughing, and in the utmost it non, that its form was so much altered that she delight. This made them judge that he was not withscarce knew it; nevertheless, not knowing what time out company, more pleasing to him than any mortals might do, took it home for her own. But when, could be; and wbat made this conjecture seem the after some years, it could neither speak nor go, the more reasonable, was, that if he were left ever so poor woman was fain to carry it, with much trouble, dirty, the woman, at her return, saw him with a clean in her arms; and one day, a poor' man coming to the face, and his bair combed with the utmost exactness door, God bless you, mistress,' said he, and your and nicety.”—P. 128. poor child; be pleased to bestow something on a poor Waldron gives another account of a poor woman, man.'—'Ah! this child,' replied she, “is the cause of to whose offspring, it would seem, the Fairies had all my sorrow,' and related what had happened, add-taken a special fancy. A few nights after she was ing, moreover, that she thought it changed, and none delivered of her first child, the family were alarmed of her child. The old man, whom years had rendered by a dreadful cry of “ Fire!” All flew to the door, more prudent in such matters, told her, to find out while the mother lay trembling in bed, unable to
· Less perilous recipes were sometimes used. The editor is tion. It has been carefully preserved for several generations, was possessed of a small relic, fermed by tradition a toad-stone, the in. often pledged for considerable sums of money, and uniformly reGuence of which was supposed to preserve pregnant women from deemed from a belief in its efficacy. the power of demons, and other dangers incidental to their situa- |
protect her infant, which was snatched from the in the posture wherein he was found. It is said the
Notwithstanding the special example of Lord DufBut the power of the Fairies was not confined to fus, and of the top, it is the common opinion, that unchristened children alone; it was supposed fre persons, falling under the power of the Fairies, were quently to be extended to full-grown persons, espe- only allowed to revisit the haunts of men, after seven cially such as in an unlucky hour were devoted to years had expired. At the end of seven years more, the devil by the execration of parents and of masters;' they again disappeared, after which they were seldom or those who were found asleep under a rock, or on seen among mortals. The accounts they gave of their a green hill, belonging to the Fairies, after sunset, situation differ in some particulars. Sometimes they or, finally, to those who unwarily joined their orgies. were represented as leading a life of constant restA tradition existed, during the seventeenth century, lessness, and wandering by moonlight. According concerning au ancestor of the noble family of Duffus, to others, they inhabited a pleasant region, where, who, “walking abroad in the fields, near to his own however, their situation was rendered horrible, by house, was suddenly carried away, and found the the sacrifice of one or more individuals to the devil next day at Paris in the French king's cellar, with a every seventh year. This circumstance is mentioned silver cup in his hand. Being brought into the king's in Alison Pearson's indictment, and in the Tale of presence, and questioned by him who he was, and the Young Tamlane, where it is termed, “the paying how he came thither, he told his name, his country, the kane to bell,” or, according to some recitaand the place of his residence; and that, on such a tions, “the teind,” or tenth. This is the popular day of the month, which proved to be the day imme reason assigned for the desire of the Fairies to abdiately preceding, being in the fields, he heard the stract young children, as substitutes for themselves noise of a whirlwind, and of voices, crying, 'llorse in this dreadful tribute. Concerning the mode of and Hallock !' (this is the word which the Fairies are winning, or recovering, persons abstracted by the said to use when they remove from any place), Fairies, tradition differs ; but the popular opinion, whereupon he cried · Horse and Hattock' also, and contrary to what may be inferred from the following was immediately caught up and transported through tale, supposes, that the recovery must be effected the air, by the Fairies, to that place, where, after he within a year and a day, to be held legal in the Fairy bad drunk heartily, he fell asleep, and before he woke, court. This feat, which was reckoned an enterprise the rest of the company were gone, and had left him of equal difficulty and dlanger, could only be accom
· This idea is not peculiar to the Gothic tribes, but extends to that is an execration against a child be spoken in an evil hour, the those of Slavic origin. Tooke (History of Russia, vol. i. p. 100) child is carried off by the devil. The being, so stolen, are neither relales, that the Russiau peasants believe the nocturnal demon fiends nor men; they are invisible, and afraid of the cross and holy Kikimoro to have been a child, whom the devil stole out of the water; but, on the other hand, in their nature and dispositions. womb of ils znother, because she had cursed it. They also assert, they resemble mankind, whom they love, and rarely injure.