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ment;" and you, Grimalkin, arch not your back at your sister, Puss, therefor that is the cat of Whittington, thrice Lord Mayor of London. Ha! enter dreamingly, like Lady Macbeth, the sleeping Beauty; and lo another Beauty! -yea, Beauty and the Beast; and beside them-apt collocation-walk Valentine and Orson-another and another. Lo Tom Thumb! borne by the enchanter, Merlin, and scorning the perils of the red cow's mouth; his train consists of Bigendians from Liliput. St. George bears the dragon's head before King Arthur, and Jack the Giant Killer, with his belt emblazoned-

"This is the valiant Cornish man, That slew the giant Cormoran,"

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is close behind. Blunderbuss looks daggers at the Man-mountain queller, and his train of Brobdignagians bite their thumbs scornfully. Upon the brows of Hop-o'-my-Thumb's twelve brothers and sisters glitter the twelve golden crowns, which the twelve young ogres wore as night-caps. Wit hath conquered ferocity - innocence hath outsped the seven-league boots. Room for majesty-King Cole passeth with his pot in his hand, his pipe in his mouth, dancing to the strain of "his fiddlers three." Ha! a rush of wings Peter Wilkins and the flying Indians." Peter, take care of thy wife, or verily she will soar from thee even as a bird-she is a human bird-and leave thee lone and bewildered as thy German namesake, surnamed Schlemil, who walked in the fair sunshine, and cast no shadow! Behold-a mortal in the company of supernaturals! Amid the ringing of fairyland bridles, comes the chatter of a parrot-amid the glitter of fairyland gold, comes a vision of a goat's-hair umbrella, and a rusty axe! Robinson Crusoe, the immortal mortal -object of many a boy's sleeping dreams, and waking sympathies-why shouldst thou not also take thy place in our fool's paradise? Come, with honest Friday, who puzzled thee upon matters theological, Robinson, and bring to our minds again that fearful piece of satire, when, with gun-point leveled against the naked, dancing, unconscious savages

-Oh, Defoe, how bitter was thy wit!thou mutteredst, "Now, Friday, fire in the name of God!"

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How easy is it to summon these visions of half-forgotten boyhood lore

around us to fill the shadowy chamber with a shadowy people! And with all the glittering, glancing throng, how curiously are associated in our minds the sources whence we first drew the ideas of their beauty and variety! Yes, the well-thumbed, dog's-eared, twopenny story-book of old days-with its flaring red, blue, or yellow wrapper, and its outrageous wood-cuts--was the "conjuration and the mighty magic" that charmed all these spirits from the vasty deep. Now, they are half forgotten. The mind's eye can only see them dimly as through a glass. So be it. We would not again read our nursery Fairy Tales. We are turned skeptical -we fear we should experience some slight difficulty on the score of beliefwe have lost the faith that never thought of question-we can enjoy a fairy tale as it should be enjoyed-no more. Yet it is permitted to call them back to recollection, and to summon along with them some faint shadow of that mood of childish mind with which we originally denounced our "story-books"that mood which knew not incredulitywhich eagerly received and treasured up any marvel, and then looked gapingly abroad for more! Interesting, too, is it in these musings, and easy as interesting, to trace the physical peculiarities and the characteristic habits of thought reflected in the fabulous literature of each separate people.

In the East, indisputably, were the fountains from which welled forth the first streams of supernatural fiction. They have flowed through every civilized clime, the waters receiving their tint and tone from the lands they rolled over; but if we would trace the various rivers to their source, we should arrive at one common well-head-and this is reasonable. The East is a land of fertility of matter and of mind. The teeming earth pours forth its treasures in the very wantonness of wealth. Luxuriance there becomes almost rankness. Nature, too, when she is very prodigal, is eccentric. With stupendous growth is oftentimes united fantastic shape the richness that cherishes the one forms the other. And can we not trace an analogy between the physical products of the East and its supernatural legends? In both everything is on a grand scale. The banyan tree covers acres of ground; the oriental genie rears his head to the very clouds;

the deserts, the palaces, the cities of their stories are all vast, for so are the natural features of the land. And then the eastern fertility of imagination—the "Arabian Nights" is the most wonderful work of fancy ever put together. How endless are its combinations! how unflagging its marvels! On, on, proceeds the web of story-telling-each wonder unraveled, more wonderful than its predecessor. There would be no "writing out" the author of the "Arabian Nights." But, had they only one author? Could the overflowings of one imagination furnish forth such a tide of fiction? Or were these marvelous tales collected by slow degrees from different lips-chanted, perhaps, to enliven the long night in the caravanserai, or to cheer the hot halt in the desert?

Most of the supernatural beings of oriental fiction have been reproduced in the fairy literature of other lands. Its genii, however, stand alone in their vastness-peculiar to the bold fancy of the Persian fiction-weaver. In the magi of eastern tale, however, are to be found the prototypes of the enchanters of other lands. The ogre of ours is nothing else than the ghoul of oriental story; while it is equally clear that from the peri of India sprung the fairy of Europe. And, in this particular, we cannot but think that we have improved upon the original. Beautiful was the peri-pure in mind, high in aspiration, rich in affection. Yet is there something still more delicate in Oberon and Titania. They are what Campbell called humming-birds—

"Atoms of the rainbow fluttering round."

How glorious was their moonlight revelry beneath the broad-leaved oaks! How deftly they tripped it, and yet hurt no blade of the dewy grass, which grew the greener from their touch! Mortal eye might not view them, except the eye of genius, which once beheld and recorded the vision of a " Midsummer Night's Dream." But although Titania was bewitched by the love-plant, ere dawn the spell was broken, and the delicate pageant faded with the starlight! The fairies of the more northern countries of Europe were less exquisitely delicate beings than their compeers of the sunny south. They were capricious -spiteful; they envied men their condition, and often wrought them evil; their state was splendid, yet it was de

ceptive; and whon the court rode forth with "bit and bridle ringing," no mortal, whose dazzled eyes beheld the scene, could guess that its glory was delusion--that the green-robed throng were anxious and unhappy, spite their pretended gayety, for every seventh year a tribute was to be paid to hellthat their shining palaces were grim caves-their prancing steeds, ragweed switches-their broad pieces, clipped leaves. The fairies of the Ariel and Titania mould dwelt" under the blossom that hangs from the bough," and warbled low melodies to the nightingale; but the king of the northern fairy-the Danish ballad informs us

"-Wonned within the hill,

And like wind in the porch of a ruin'd church His voice was ghastly shrill."

The northern elves were woodland in their predilections; they loved the forest and the deer, but though they protected wild, they persecuted tame animals, and no farmer's cow was safe from their flint-hearted arrows, unless shielded by the magic influence of a branch of the rowan tree. Thus we see in the more peevish, deceitful, and gross northern fairy, the influence of the less sunny climes, and the sterner and more gloomy cast of thought of the Teutonic nations. Let us go further north still, and amid the rocks and snows, and stormy firths of Norway and Lapland, we shall find that the fairy entirely disappears, or degenerates into a misshapen and malignant elf, haunting sepulchral caverns, or the dreary galleries of deserted mines. The imaginations of the bards of Scandinavia were as vigorous as they were gloomy; they sang

"Round the shores where loud Lofoden Whirls to death the roaring whale; In the halls where Runic Odin

Howls his war-song to the gale ;"

and they attuned their lays and legends to the stern scenery which surrounded them. Continually engaged in war or the chase, they well knew the value of iron; and it is a characteristic attribute of their supernatural creations, that the elves were all cunning workmen in metals-that they labored by the lurid glare of unearthly fires in forging swords and battle-axes, before whose dints weapons and armor framed by human hands cracked and splintered like glass.

The domestic tendencies of England

bred up a peculiar species of household goblin, occasionally useful, but more frequently troublesome. He was a sort of supernatural servant of all work, and had no objection to dirty work; such were the brownies of Scotland. We are not aware whether their English brethren rejoiced in any distinctive generic appellation, but Milton has drawn their portraiture, and—

"Tells how the drudgin goblin sweat,

To earn the cream-bowl duly set,
When in one night, ere glimpse of morn,
His shadowy flail hath thrashed the corn
That ten day-laborers could not end;
Then lays him down, the lubber fiend,
And stretched out all the chimney's length,
Basks at the fire his hairy strength;
And crop full out of doors he flings,
Ere the first cock his matin rings."

In Scotland, as well as England, brownies appear to have been a milkloving race and, in consequence, the occasional committers of petty larceny in the dairy. In spite, however, of his domestic labors, the absence of the brownie was generally considered better than his company. It is recorded that a farmer near the Borders being sorely annoyed by the freaks of his supernatural inmate, who was continually turning the house out of the windows, determined to dodge the brownie by "flitting," Anglice, removing to another dwelling. Accordingly the honest man packed up bag and baggage and set off. A neighbor accosted him on the way. "I am leaving the old place," quoth the brownie-haunted; "nobody could live with such an evil spirit as we have been plagued with there."-"Oh, yes, John, we're flitting, you see, we're flitting," chimed in a well-known voice from the interior of a churn, which was packed on the top of the luggage-cart; and brownie popped out his head and nodded complacently to the new comer. Imagine the farmer's face!

The Germans have à noble Ghosteology. Amid the smoke of their tobacco pipes have they seen strange visions. The Hartz and the Brocken are the places on earth "where spirits most do congregate." Along the Rhine, indeed, there is a tolerable sprinkling of the unearthly, but the Rhine ghosts are mostly commonplace. The spirits of ancient barons clothed in ancient armor, and going clashing about in ancient castles, may be respectable ghosts, but they have no pre

tensions to belong to the airy aristocracy. And as for the Lurley maid luring the boatmen over the cataract by her singing, we think of the syrens of yore and refuse the claim to originality of the modern water sprite. 'Tis in the recesses of the pine forests that the genuine German ghostly people dwell. There stalks the Brocken spirit -crowned with a chaplet of oak-leaves, and bearing a broken branch in its shadowy grasp. There sweeps the wild huntsman, the flying Dutchman of the land, with horn and whoop and halloo, careering over the trees a whirlwind of men, and dogs, and horses. And there is it-in deep dark glens, amid the waving of sombre pines-that the charcoal-burner, keeping his midnight watch, seeth a bonfire kindled, and dark shadows passing and repassing before it. With trembling limbs and bristling hair he maketh his way towards it. The blaze pales as he approaches-then vanishes. Taking heart of grace he rushes to the spot-and lo! -the greensward whereon the fire leaped, and blazed, and crackled, is crisp and unscathed; and the boughs, round which the fierce flames twined, and roared, and wreathed, are green and fresh, and wet with the dews of midnight!

Witches are the productions of later times than fairies, and we suspect that many of the tales of our beloved twopenny books are of more recent manufacture than is generally believed, from the circumstance of witches and fairies being very frequently confounded therein. Now here is a grievous wrong to the land of faêrie." Witches are all very well in their way, and we have all due respect for them; but we cannot consent to have our little, moonlightdancing, green-robed elves made up into old women, like Mother Hubbard, with a crutch, a sugar-loaf cap, and high-heeled shoes. No; let the fairy lurk in butter-cups, drink dew from acorns, and dance in rings beneath the oaks the witches may bestride their broomsticks, every one with her black cat on her shoulders, and fly off, like so many aërial machines, to keep their devil's Sabbath; but let not the revels of the one tribe interfere with those of the other. We are for no cross breeds -no mules. Fairies are fairies, and witches witches, to the end of the chapter; and, by the way, English witches

had a curious national peculiarity. The continental sisterhood rode on goats or broomsticks; but we were always a nautically-inclined people, and accordingly our witches sailed in sieves!

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In fairy tales, be they from the East, West, North, or South, it is pleasing to trace the superiority awarded to ingenuity over brute force. Everybody will remember the fisherman and the genie. Never was any one more completely done than was the rebellious servant of King Solomon. One cannot help chuckling at the simplicity of the genie in repacking himself in the copper vessel. However, he profited by experience, like other fools; and on making his second exit from the vase, very naïvely kicks it into the sea. less brilliant device than the fisherman's, however, has been successful. In a Persian tale, a ghoul informs a merchant that unless he can prove himself to be as strong as his host (the scene is the ghoul's cave) he will have the pleasure of dining-not with himbut on him. The ghoul lifts a stone and squeezes it, until it distils forth a fluid. The merchant takes an egg for a stone and squeezes it to as good purpose as the pebble has been squeezed before. The ghoul then flings a second stone into the air, so high that nobody sees it come down again; the merchant

lets loose a bird, and the ghoul is cheated a second time. Verily, these gentry were easily deceived. One lawyer

would have been more than a match for all the ghouls that ever feasted on church-yard rottenness. Our own giants, too, were as silly as they were big. The extensive gentleman who ripped up his stomach instead of an outside bag of hasty pudding, really deserves no commiseration. To such stupidity we can only say, sarved you right." He was a Welsh giant, if we remember, and really did no credit to the leek.

CHAPTER XXIV.

WITCHING TIMES.

A NOVEL IN THIRTY CHAPTERS.

DEA

EACON BOWSON would have nothing to do with his wife now, but made her keep to separate rooms and eat alone, "because, forsooth, she came of a breed naturally magical and dangerous." But in spite of this, and many other "elaborately solicitous precautions," he felt that the cunning old serpent was not only getting an advantage over him, but had actually got it. In fact, the last rung of his craziness was reached, and he imagined that he had, himself, become a wizard. He knew that it was very wrong to be one; he was perfectly willing to be damned for being one; but that he was one he now scarcely

It would be easy to adduce many instances of the usually generous and manly spirit which runs through our nursery literature, but we forbear. Poetic justice is always strictly awarded. The morale is universally good. By these tales a child's best sympathies are stirred-its imagination is set to work, and we will answer for it that in his future life the man will often think with gratitude and affection of those wildly imaginative beings, indissolubly mingled up with his childhood's reminiscences of half-forgotten yet happy days, when he knew no care or toil, and when a laugh was as easily raised by the grotesque oddity of Tom Thumb, as a tear was drawn by the sad fate of the Babes in the Wood.

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ever doubted. His suspicions, on this point, dated from his dream and, they grew by constant meditation, into a pretty stout-bodied certainty. He thought that he could raise Samuel as well as the woman of Endor, and tried it one cold night, in the garden, but only froze his ears by the experiment. Resolved to be out of suspense, as to his magical character, he consulted his sybil, his pythia, Sarah Carrier. "Sairy," he said, reverently, am I one of the goatish flock of the bad shepherd? Am I one of the wizards which do afflict Salem ?"

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“I should think you was," replied the girl, pettishly; for she still sulked at having been separated from Rachel.

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The question seemed to give her a hint ; she fell down at him presently, and accused him of tormenting her. Her revelations increased in value as she continued them; and, finally, she declared that it was he who had afflicted her from the first, only he had his face covered so that she could not tell whose spectre it was; but now she had found him out by his red nose sticking through a hole in the veil.

The deacon surveyed his nose in a glass, and, observing that it was indeed red, he swallowed Sarah's assertion with greedy gravity. This new belief quite completed his insanity, and flung his thoughts, all at once, into a novel current. The next morning he told Sarah, with great composure, that Satan had promised to make him prince of the wizards, and he wanted to know if she would like to be princess of the witches -a dangerous honor, which Sarah uncivilly declined. That day, he was observed to be earnestly occupied in some mysterious preparations. He made He made Hannah roast him a turkey, which he stowed away in the pantry, with many solemn charges that none of the family should touch it. He brought in, from his shop, a couple of quart stone bottles, and filled one with rum, the other with his choice old canary, after which, he occupied himself, for two hours, in fastening straps to them so that they could be slung handily over the shoulder. From time to time, he tried them on, and took a gentle gallop about the room, as if to see whether they were in any danger of breaking by such a mode of carriage. Apparently that peril was considerable; for they banged together several times with a click which brought him up, so to speak, on his haunches. Having arranged them, at last, to his satisfaction, he put them away with the turkey, and renewed his cautions to the household, not to meddle. Sarah Carrier watched all his movements with intense curiosity, and asked him, twenty times, what he was going to do with that turkey, and that rum, and that canary. He nodded his head mysteriously at her, and muttered something about a good tuckout and doing the chore bravely." Indignant at what she considered a disrespectful evasion, Sarah fell down at him with great spirit, foaming and roaring like a small cataract. But the deacon walked off unconcernedly, and com

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menced hunting the house over for old broomsticks. When he had found a couple he threw them into the fire, because they were dirty, and got two new ones out of his shop, which he also placed in the pantry. His next additions to this store of material were a gigantic horse-pistol, and an old battered cavalry-trumpet, both borrowed from a neighbor. At supper, he would only taste of a mouthful or two, and replied to the appetizing solicitations of Hannah, by telling her that he had food to eat that she knew not of.

"I know," broke in Sarah Carrier; “I seen the rum and turkey up in the pantry."

After dark, Mrs. Bowson ran across the garden to talk with Mark and his mother about the little girl, who was so dear to them all, and in such danger. The deacon remained, as usual, by his fireside, and read largely from books on witchcraft to the yawning Sarah. He was especially gratified with a new word, thaumatographical, and got it by heart, although it boggled him a good deal. At nine o'clock-the hour for Puritanic slumber-he asked Sairy whether she would like to become the princess of the thaumatographical powers of the air. Sairy once more rejected this generous offer, whereupon he called her a false confessor, slapped her, tweaked her ears, and trundled her off to bed by the nape of the neck. The girl was amazed at this new discipline, and tried to daunt him by her usual spittings and caterwaulings; but he fairly cuffed her down as a child will a kitten, and told her, triumphantly, that if she were a power, he was a principality. Having locked all the members of the family into their rooms, he went back to the kitchen, built a roaring fire, and sat up by it, over his satanic literature, until near midnight. The wind rose about this time, and began to beat, flutter, and moan at the windows like a distressed angel of outer darkness. Throwing down Cotton Mather's" Memorable Providences," relating to witchcraft, he hastily brought out the turkey, the stone bottles, the trumpet, the pistol, the broomsticks, and, disposing them curiously on the table, proceeded to mutter over them some most extraordinary extemporaries in the way of witch benedictions. The devil's blessing having been duly asked, he put the pistol in his pocket, and hurried,

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