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sovereign for that accommodation, I joined the cards, are published conspicuously upon a black mighty stream of pedestrians who set towards the board erected for that purpose. The sun shines upon scene of action, ceaselessly, like a river to the sea their glossy coats, as upon a mirror: scarlet, and - turbid waves of the lower classes of the sporting white, and orange, and blue and yellow, with variefraternity-ex-grooms and hangers-on to stable-yards, gated scarfs, and combinations of all these colours, fringed with a gayer foam of gipsies, and recruits, are the riders-a goodly show indeed. One of them, and card-sellers, in rags of red-coats and shreds of the scarlet, has but one arm to guide his fiery steed hunting-caps. To judge by the number of us with over that perilous course ! Once, if you please, a straw in our mouths, we must have carried with gentlemen, over these hurdles before you start, that us at least a couple of ricks in that manner; but the noble sportsmen in the stand may back you or what symbolic meaning may attach to the practice, the reverse, according to their judgments. BeautiI do not know. Moreover, it appeared that there fully ridden, scarlet; if you had been Briareus,
a mysterious something connected with the instead of single-handed, as you are, you could not sports of the day, which made us converse senten- have cleared it cleaner! Ah, purple, balking at your tiously or in oracular whispers, as though we had a first jump; see that you play no such tricks as these weight upon our minds not lightly to be communi- in the real race, or you will get the spur indeed! cated. We had also, for the most part, cupidon or Clumsy yellow, to knock the hurdle down! Nefarious bow-legs; and when we stood still, we straddled as green, to prefer the gap thus offered to him to the much as possible, consistent with our putting both fence! Good, orange! agile violet! Now back again, our hands in our pockets, as though we were afraid to where the neat and well-appointed clerk of the of having them picked; for, although we did not look course is beckoning with his hat; there is your startas if we had so much to lose, we kept up a running- ing-point. “Fall into line, gentlemen; there is room fire of bets of from half-a-crown to half-a-sovereign. enough for all.' The murmur of the multitude ceases;
As we neared the racing-ground, the crowd filled all the venders of 'Cigar and a light,' of 'Pine-apple the turnpike-road, and particularly those parts of it toffy,' of 'Three heaves at the Chiney ornaments for which the horses would have to cross in their career; a penny,' are for the moment silent; the gipsy has a ditch and hedge on one side, with a steep bank to be broken off in her splendid promises of an heiress and surmounted, and on the other side ' a drop,' as my four in hand to the young man sitting in the gig, and sporting friends euphoniously termed it, but which I stands up on the wheel herself to watch the start, should call a precipice. In the field where the grand Everything is hushed, except those hoarse cracked stand was built, were horseless carriages of all sorts voices in the ring, unlovely tones which bespeak standing outside the ropes, and filled with beauty and the character of their proprietors: “Three to one fashion, as upon ordinary race-courses; but there were that nobody names the winner; five to one against no Bounding Brothers of Byzantium, or portable Melpomeen' (meaning Melpomene). theatres, or · Now you have my grandmother's night- The flag is dropped; the twelve are off upon their cap, and here you have Nicolas the hex-Hemperor of all rapid but hazardous journey ; they near the hurdles; the Roosias, and there you have the Great Exhibition 'You may cover them with a handkerchief,' exclaims of eighteen hundred and fifty-one'-all made out of my right-hand neighbour-say a carpet, and it really a paper fan. The aspect of the place was gay, but seems as if you may-all together, so closely, that we business-like; we were all come there in earnest, wonder they do not hustle one another; they rise at either to do or to be done. The view from the grand the fence, and clear it like a flying rainbow. Beautiful stand was certainly very brilliant, and the shouting sight, indeed! They slacken their speed because they and confusion of sounds that came up thither mellowed are coming to the leap into the road. Well cleared, by distance, was as music to written words. The agile violet, and well cleared again into the meadows. course lay mapped out before us in a circle of about The green is down! the scarlet is over him! the rest two miles and a half, by means of white and yellow are safe! See how the dense crowd closes in upon the flags, and included more than a dozen fences. Of struggling men and horses! My numerous sporting these there was but one artificial fence immediately friends who could not command five shillings for the opposite, consisting of hurdles heightened by furze. stand, took there their post, being well aware that There being still considerable time to spare before the those two fences would afford them some gratificaraces began-one of the peculiarities of proceedings tion. The one-armed man is in the saddle again in Breakneckshire being their postponement for at and after the others; the green and his unfortunate least two hours after the advertised hour of starting animal disappear from the public eye altogether. -a device, I believe, to benefit their principal sub- Proceedings in Breakneckshire are becoming unposcribers, the innkeepers—I spent that period in pular as it is, and the spectacle of shooting a horse had making a tour of the course. The first jump after better be, in these mawkish days, a private one. As the hurdles was into the road and out of it; next for the rider, he has only a shattered rib or two, and came some very heavy water-meadows, with a broad is accustomed enough to be carried home on shutters brook or two with bad taking-off; a bank of slimy and other hard conveyances; he considers himself in earth, with a hedge at the top of it; a wall; then luck to-day, for he has met with a straw hurdle. another part of the road, with the obstacles, of course, I am forgetting, in these miserable considerations, in reverse order, “the drop' being upon the contrary the continuance of the race itself. side; more water-meadows, with ditches; and last The next brook has been cleared by all; nay, there of all, a broadish leap, with stunted bushes growing are but ten where there should be eleven competitors; upon the further bank—the worst place of the lot, but still there are plenty to look at. Clumsy yellow perhaps-after which was a flat run to the front of is leading, and has knocked down the wall for the the stand. Of my own free-will, I would not have rest of them. If some inhuman tyrant should have ridden at one of these impediments for fifty pounds ; | forced me, under pain of death, to have ridden I might have been induced to attempt the whole this steeple-chase, I would have stuck behind clumsy course, perhaps, if I had been blindfolded, and yellow like a leech. Another brook, and the field securely fastened on to the saddle-and not other-is reduced to seven ; and now comes that terrible wise--for a thousand pounds; but my son would road again. Agile violet leaping well on to it over most probably have enjoyed the money.
the bank and hedge, slips on the muddy path, slides The bell now rang for saddling: out of thirty backward as black is about to spring; two horses horses entered for the first race, twelve only are down, three horses, four horses down! White, howgoing to start, whose numbers, as printed on the ever, and orange, are both over, and clumsy yellow
has got upon the right side also, plastered from ears about us; then one, two, three apparitions of flying to tail with specimens of every soil in Breakneckshire. men and steeds ; and fourthly, a thud and plunge in Slowly over the heavy meadow-lands, slowly over the the water, that wetted us through, even where we brooks, and well in hand and all together at the last stood. The jock, a mere lad, was upon the bank in fence of all; there, too, has arrived one-armed scarlet, an instant; but the beautiful aninial which he had whom a fall rather refreshes than otherwise; and at bestridden lay in the brook without the power to no great distance comes the agile violet, making up extricate itself. A crowd closed round it, so that we not quite half of the dozen who started. Orange, as saw no more; but I heard the shrill, small voice say: well he may, swerves from the stunted bushes ; Well, I'm sorry for it; but get the saddle and bridle scarlet, with only one arm to hinder it, must needs off at once, will ye, for I have to ride Saladin for swerve also, and refuses. "White,' says my right-hand the next race.' neighbour, 'is bound to be in if he don't ride harder As for his late steed, it was all over with him then at it than that;' and he redeems his bond by going in and there. 'Broke a wessel,' answered a stable-boy accordingly. Only clumsy yellow of the four gets over carelessly, of whom
we inquired what had happened. it, with the exception of his hind-legs, which, after a 'A blood-vessel, I suppose he means?' said I. struggle, he drags out and connects them with the 'He means you to think so,' replied my astute others in the usual way, and so would have come in an companion. 'People begins to say them steeple-chase easy winner; but cantering home too carelessly, clumsy jumps is too much for a horse's stride, as, indeed, yellow is overtaken, headed, and after a sharp struggle, they often are; so those that likes the sport to go defeated at the post by agile violet. Let us make on, gives out that they break a vessel, when in one of the cheering crowd which accompanies the reality they break their backs.' fortunate moustached rider to the weighing-machine: Besides being wet through, and therefore desirous eleven stone, with saddle and bridle and spurs, as he of getting home, this piece of information disinclined was before the race, quite regular, and as he should me to witness any more steeple-chasing; so I hurried be. But see, what have become of his magnificent away as fast as I could to Rasperton. moustaches? They are off, and in his pocket; and When I got to the Weasel Asleep, it was already now that he has changed his clothes, you would never dusk, and I had to pick trusty Seaman out from about recognise agile violet in the quiet-looking young a hundred other animals; by that uncertain light, all spectator in black. We are respectable and domestic horses not absolutely white are brown, and it seemed young men in private life, and do not care to be to me as if I had driven a whole drove of Seamen into known as gentlemen-riders at a steeple-chase, that is Rasperton. Even in broad noonday, I have always a all. Nothing, not even a pair of moustaches, is what difficulty in recognising a horse, unless its colour it pretends to be in these proceedings in Breakneck- happens to be particularly marked, such as a pieshire. For instance, are there refreshments under the bald; and therefore it is not to be wondered at that grand stand ? Certainly. Anything else? Oh, dear I mistook Lord Scattertin's tandem leader, which no; all gambling is contrary to the law. Only a would have kicked the old gig to atoms in five. smiling, smooth-shaven gentleman just lifts a crimson minutes, and then Farmer Whityer's colt, which curtain as we enter into the luncheon-tent, and would not have got me home till daybreak, for my Roulette, gentlemen ?' says he, as innocently as borrowed quadruped. Each of these misfortunes, though he were requesting us to partake of ginger- however, was prevented by the hostler, who, upon beer. Within the ring, the betting has now com- bringing out the real Simon Pure, seemed to look at menced in earnest, for the great race of the day, me a little askance, as at one who had made a couple the open steeple-chase, takes place immediately, and of attempts at felony. the horses are mostly well-known favourites of the "You 're sure you've got him right now, sir?' sporting public.
inquired he. "I'll bet against Hyacinth,' cries a disbeliever in Yes,' said I, making a little inventory of his printhat noble animal, running the three first words into cipal features: short tail, thin neck, bit of gray on one, so rapidly are they delivered; but accenting the his mane. All right this time.
Thank you, my name of the mare with great distinctness. “I'll bet man.' against Bluebonnet; I'll back Brimstone against the There was a slight fog prevailing, but the moon Field. What anxiety in those roving eyes--what was large and bright enough to make my road cautiousness in those unsmiling lips ! To judge, perfectly visible; moreover, I remembered it with indeed, from this portion of the tribe of Ishmael here great exactness, and was therefore exceedingly astonassembled, whose hand is against every man's, and ished when the horse refused to take a turning to every man's hand against them, this trade of betting, the left hand, about three miles from Rasperton. I book-making must be, I fancy, very far from a conquered him, indeed, but not till after a struggle; pleasant one.
and instead of the slapping pace at which he had Certainly the professional jocks have the advantage come hitherto of his own accord, he crawled along of the amateurs in point of appearance; a nobleman without even heeding my frequent applications of may, and often does divest himself of every vestige of the whip. Gig after gig, four-wheel after four-wheel his class, in his attempts to emulate his groom; but, passed me, and when I got to Blewbourn, a village after all, the groom looks his own character better about half-way home, there was a great array of than he who would play it. Never did I see a finer vehicles in front of the public-house-their proprietors set of party-coloured centaurs than those who started were of course drinking within--and as the fog was for the open Rasperton. 'Neat, sir; devilish neat, by this time getting down my throat pretty thickly, sir,' acquiesced my right-hand neighbour, as I made I thought I would take a little something stronger this observation; and he looked down upon the half- and warmer to mix with it. There was a jovial sovereign which formed the head of his scarf-pin, as company of yeomen in the bar-parlour, and I happened much as to add that that was devilish neat also, and to enter just as one of them was concluding an rather a happy fancy. After seeing the whole array amusing story. fly, bird of Paradise-like, over the hurdles, I hurried So the major is going this way with one pistol, and away with this gentleman to a certain position by his brother the other with the fellow to 't. Neither of one of the broadest of the brooks, where we were them are the sort of folks to lose a horse without safe,' he said, 'to see a purl or two; and if we had paying out the chap as took it. His favourite trotter, luck, it might be half-a-dozen.' Presently there came too, with the white nose.' a rushing noise and a shaking of the heavy morass How came the man at the Weasel Asleep to let
the horse go?' inquired one. • Why, that's a very of good and evil actions. Our information on these old trick.
matters is not very extensive, but we have gathered • Ay, old enough,' resumed the narrator ; 'but the lately, from reading Mr Brace's book on The Norse scoundrel acted, it seems, so natural-like-pretended Folk, some few singular particulars which will probably so innocently to be in search of a horse of his own, be entertaining to the most of our readers.* that poor Jem was clean taken in. Howsomever, it One of the most fearful phantoms to a peasant will be the worse for master Clever if the major do benighted on a lonely mountain road, is the come up wi' him; he is taking the Downs road, I Aasgaardsreia, or the Wild Riders, who, should a hear, in a proper passion.'
storm be going on, are apt to gallop by with a I swallowed my brandy-and-water at a gulp, and horrible glee, enough to terrify all hearts but the ran to the gig. Good heavens! the horse had a stoutest. These are the spirits of drunkards, and ale. white nose; it did not look in the least like Seaman! house fighters and perjurers, who, having been conNo wonder it had not liked to turn to the left.
sidered hardly bad enough for the depths below • I see you have the major's nag, sir,' observed the purgatory, are compelled to ride over the world till helper gaily. (How frightfully recognisable some doomsday. They are mounted on coal-black steeds, horses are! However, it was clear this man could with eyes of fire, and red-hot iron bridles; and the not as yet have heard of the robbery, and if I could clanking and rush they make as they sweep over only hinder him from going into the inn, all might lake and mountain, may be heard at the distance of yet be well.)
They appear to be more commonly “Yes,' said I coolly; "he's lent it to me. Look here, heard than seen. They ride most at Christmas time, my good fellow: I have left a pocket-book at the and especially like to frequent scenes of drunken inn, a mile and a half down the road; here is a fightings and carousals, or places where murder is sovereign for you if you will start at once and ask for being planned or perpetrated. If they drop a saddle it while I wait here.
on the roof of a house, the inmates may expect death. No sooner had the hostler's hobnails ceased to beat Whosoever meets them, should throw himself flat on pit-a-pat upon the frosty road, than I was in the his face, till the clanking, cursing crew have passed by, driving-seat, and going at some fifteen miles an hour in which case he will probably not be hurt. This is towards home. Three miles beyond Blew bourn, I said to be one of the oldest beliefs in Norway, dating came upon an empty cart-house, and there I took out before the introduction of Christianity. the horse, and put up the gig. I rode the animal for suppose it to have originated in some one's taking a mile further along the highway, and then fastened fright during a tempest. him to a tree by the roadside, where he could be The story of 'Gertrud's Bird' is a curious superstieasily seen. I did not wish them to think that you, tious legend, which travellers in Norway are apt to who had so kindly lent me Seaman and the gig, were inquire about from frequently hearing it alluded to. the thief, you know. Then I left the turnpike-road, Thorpe, a writer quoted by Mr Brace, gives it as it and ran a little steeple-chase, all by myself, across the passes current among the peasants. In Norway,' fields, because of the major, to your door.
says he, 'the red-crested, black woodpecker is known
under the name of Gertrud's Bird. It came to be so And that was how Mr Robert Jones came home from called from the following extraordinary circumstance: the races upon foot, and why I had to send next When our Lord, accompanied by St Peter, was day for my horse and gig.
wandering on earth, they came to a woman who was occupied in baking; her name was Gertrud, and on
her head she wore a red hood. Weary and hungry NORTHERN SUPERSTITIONS. from their long journeying, our Lord begged a cake. In Sweden and Norway, and probably too in Denmark, She took a little dough, and set it on to bake, and it there are some curious superstitions wbich the civil it too much for alms, she took a smaller quantity of
grew so large that it filled the whole pan. Thinking isation and enlightenment of the present century dough, and again began to bake, but this cake also have not yet eradicated from the beliefs and memories swelled up to the same size as the first; she then of the peasantry. They are nearly all of a harmless, took still less dough, and when the cake had become somewhat poetical character, though many them as large as the preceding ones, Gertrud said: “You may be traced back to pagan times, and most of the must go without alms, for all my bakings are too rest to a period when paganism was beginning to large for you!” Then was our Lord wroth, and said: give way before the force of Christianity. There is punishment, become a little bird, shalt seek thy dry
“Because thou gavest me nothing, thou shalt, for no telling strictly how old they are, nor how they food between the wood and the bark, and drink only came originally to be believed. No doubt the rugged when it rains.” Hardly were these words spoken, and massive scenery of the Scandinavian country had when the woman was transformed into the Gertrud something to do with their creation; desolate rocks bird, that flew away through the kitchen chimney; and mountains, precipices and torrents, lonely lakes and at this day she is seen with a red hood and black
She and interminable forests, being naturally suggestive body, because she was blackened by the soot. of invisible and mysterious powers, and tending to constantly pecks the bark of trees for sustenance, and impress beholders with a sense of awe and wonder. whistles against rain; for she always thirsts, and Be this as it may, the northern mind, familiar through
hopes to drink
This is strange enough as a piece of natural history; long ages with awe-inspiring objects and phenomena, but it seems to shadow forth a certain moral meaning has shaped the feeling of dread and mystery 80 which is tolerably obvious. The poorest understanding engendered into sprites, fairies, elves, and mountain-may gather from it that one ought to avoid greed; monsters, spirits of fells and cataracts, demons of that in bestowing charity, it is not proper to be stingy, storms and hurricanes, and the wandering ghosts of but what is given should be given with a free and ready men and women too sinful to be admitted into heaven. hand. A significant moral meaning seems also to be There are other appearances, of a partly human, and whose material existence there is a very widely spread
figured in the anomalous creature called the Huldra, in partly monstrous nature, which seem to represent certain spiritual and moral contrasts, and reflect the
* The Norse Folk; or a visit to the Homes of Norway and popular conceptions of the supernatural consequences Sweden. By Charles Loring Brace. London : Bentley.
belief. This creature looks like a beautiful woman, mentation? One troweth not. Such a theory would but is disfigured by a cow's tail and udder. Being in account for the increase of the milk, but how about the the habit of attending country-weddings, it sometimes cream? There needs another theory to account for happens during the dancing that her tail betrays her; that; and so we must leave the Puke in his original and very much offended she is if she finds it noticed. state of mystery. Polite people accordingly avert their eyes as much as Many of the Swed superstitions ha a specially possible, but take care not to remain long in her characteristic tone-amore sober and religious element company. She is pictured as a sad and pensive being, than the superstitions of other European peasantry. with a face of wondrous loveliness; and her song, This is particularly true of those which appear to which is often heard in lonely places among the hills, have sprung out of the struggle between heathenism has a tone of melancholy which excites sympathy and Christianity. The mysterious spirits of the and pity. The belief respecting her is very ancient, streams and mountains are not merely fairies-creaand seems to personify the moral disfigurement which tions of pleasant fancy; they are the unfortunates arises from the inseparable union of the animal nature who did not enjoy, in their mortal lives, the light of with the higher spiritual qualities when the propensi- Christianity, and are now awaiting the Redemption. ties have been predominantly developed. The mixture They are often mournful, almost despairing creaof loathsomeness with beauty is thought to proceed tures ; and the passing traveller may wound them from, and be a fitting punishment of sin.
bitterly by hinting reckless opinions respecting their The notion of a supernatural influence affecting a condemnation. A plaintive melody is sometimes person's fortunes, and being the cause of his success heard about the shores of lakes, which is attributed or non-success in life, appears to be very prevalent to the Necken. This being is described in different among the northern people. Two peasants, let it be forms; sometimes as a young man with bestial supposed, start in life with equal blessings; each has extremities, representing the power of animal passion, his rich grain-fields, his patch of wood, his red house, which has brought him to this deformity; sometimes his horses, and his cattle. One thrives from the as a forlorn old man; but more often as a sad beginning, and always goes on thriving; his stacks and solitary youth playing a harp upon the waters. are fuller every day, his crops better, his live-stock The best offering that can be made him is a black healthier, his house constantly protected from storms lamb, accompanied by hopeful expressions with regard and the effects of winter. With the other, it is just to his salvation ; the matter about which he is underthe contrary. The roof of his house leaks, his barns stood to be most concerned. To tell him that he is decay, the wheat mildews, the hay rots, the land cut off from all chances in this direction, is the way to grows every season poorer. What is the reason of overwhelm him with sorrowful consternation. Two this difference ? Manifestly, the first has his Tomte, boys are reported to have once said to one of them : or little attendant spirit. The last has offended this What dost thou profit by sitting here and playing ? friendly guardian. The Tomte, as every peasant Thou wilt never gain eternal happiness ;' an unfeeling knows, is the spirit of some poor heathen slave, who taunt, which threw him into a passion of weeping. must work out his salvation by kindly services to Among the stories related of the Neck, Thorpe quotes human beings before the day of judgment. He is a a beautiful one as follows: ‘A priest, riding one repulsive, deformed little fellow, hardly larger than evening over a bridge, heard the most delightful tones a baby, with a shrivelled, shrewish old face, and is of a stringed instrument, and on looking round, saw a fantastically dressed in a red cap, gray jacket, and young man, naked to the waist, sitting on the surface wooden shoes. The unlucky peasant had seen him at of the water, with a red cap and yellow locks. He the usual time of his appearance, the broad noonday, saw that it was the Neck, and in his somewhat intemdragging wearily along an oaten straw to the stack, perate zeal addressed him thus: “Why dost thou so or one ear of wheat to the barns, and scorned him, joyously strike thy harp ? Sooner shall this dried cane and railed at him, saying he might as well bring that I hold in my hand grow green and flower, than nothing as such trifles. Then the Tomte, feeling hurt thou shalt obtain salvation.” Thereupon the unhappy at the treatment, has gone over sadly to the other, musician cast down his harp, and sat bitterly weeping who now becomes rich, while the first sinks into on the water. The priest then turned his horse, and poverty. If the Tomte brings only an acorn to the continued liis course. But lo! before he had ridden barn, he must not be despised. A proverb says: “The far, he observed that green shoots and leaves, mingled woodman holds the axe, but the Tomte fells the tree.' with most beautiful flowers, had sprung from his old One sees that the virtue of thrift, the duty of being staff. This seemed to him a sign from Heaven, directcareful of small things, is here allegorically inculcated. ing him to preach the consoling doctrine of redemption Let every man, and no less every woman, take heed after another fashion. He therefore hastened back to cultivate the favour of the Tomte.
to the mourning Neck, shewed him the green flowery The superstition about the Puke is more common- staff, and said: “Behold how my old staff is grown place, but may be noticed in passing. He is a green and flowery, like a young branch in a rosekitchen elf, who is apt to leave offensive traces of his garden ; so likewise may hope bloom in the hearts of presence about the milk-vessels. Certain old women, all created beings, for their Redeemer liveth!” Comit is said, are accustomed to sell themselves to the forted by these words, the Neck again took up his devil, in order to get possession of these elves, as then harp, the joyous tones of which resounded along the they will have as much milk and cream as they desire. shore the whole night long. A pretty story, surely, If any one wishes to discover these old women, the and one suggestive of charitable sympathies and litter left by the Puke must be collected and burnt hopeful considerations touching the fate of the fallen with bits of wood from nine different trees, at a spot and the lost. where three roads meet, and then the old ladies will There are some curious legends connected with appear. The Puke, if traced to his hole, might perhaps particular localities and striking natural objects, be found to be a mouse; but one does not see how the which obtain extensive credence, not only among the possession of such a sprite could tend to increase the northern peasantry, but even to some extent among products of the dairy. Does the fable point satirically the more refined and educated classes. At a certain to some ancient practice of adulteration among milk- old castle in the southern parts of Sweden, Mr Brace dealers, presumably now obsolete—to some cow with was shewn an antique drinking-horn and a little bone an iron tail,' for instance, whose "profits,' by judicious or ivory whistle, which are reported to have come into mixture with the produce of the more authentic possession of the family through a very remarkable cattle, may be supposed to have occasioned the aug- circumstance. The legend runs, that there was once a terrible giant who lived in a mountain at some dis- down. And the lady answered : ‘Begone, ye goblins ! tance from that neighbourhood, and who took great | In the holy name, begone!' and at that word they all offence at the erection of a church by some pious vanished into the air, and were never seen any more ; Christians about fifty miles off near the sea. Though though sometimes now the servants think they hear so far off, it seems the giant could not help hearing them round the castle. The horn and whistle were the singing of the nuns; and it grieved him. Every kept and shewn to visitors; but in a few days the bold morning and evening his peace of mind was disturbed huntsman who got them, and the horse he rode on, by the holy chantings, until at length he grew very both died very suddenly. Nothing happened to the angry, and took up a great stone, as large as a con- horn and whistle until many years afterwards, when siderable house, and threw it with all his might at the the Danes, during an invasion, attacked the castle, and pious edifice. The stone, however, broke in two among other plunder, carried them off; and then it without reaching it, and one piece fell not far from came to pass, as the fairy-queen had prophesied, that the aforesaid castle. It lies there in the shape of a the castle was burned down. Subsequently, the things large boulder near the village. For a long time, no were brought back, and remained in the restored castle one observed anything wonderful about this stone, a long while; but being objects of great curiosity, and it was not suspected that the wicked little moun- they were visited and touched by so many people, that tain folk, called the Trolls, came there; but in the they became a little worn and injured, and were sent course of ages, stories got abroad that these fantastic away to be mended, when suddenly, through some | little elves were in the habit of raising the stone on accident, the castle was burned down again. A third golden pillars, and dancing under it. A grand old time, a hundred years later, people forgot the elfin lady lived at the castle then, and when she heard of queen’s warning, and sent away the relics for some this, she became possessed with a great desire to know unknown reason; and the building was burned down something of the habits of the fairies; so she promised once more. The family that owned them finally died gold and jewels to any one of her huntsmen who should out; and now they are in the possession of another visit this giant's stone when the Trolls were there. family, and are kept in a glass case, so that nobody The Trolls, you should be informed, always dance on can touch them. The relics are allowed by scholars to Christmas-morning, between cockcrowing and the be genuine antiquities; and the date assigned to the break of day. At first, no one ventured to go, but story in a printed narration is about the year 1490. finally a brave young huntsman volunteered, and on Such a legend, however, is likely to have been the the Christmas-eve rode forth to the stone. * When product of a much earlier period. Things of this sort he came near by, he heard the noise of music and require time to grow; and less than four hundred dancing, and he saw the great rock raised up on golden years seems hardly long enough, considering that the pillars, and bright lights underneath. And there was ascribed date of the huntsman's foray is more recent a host of beautiful little fairies, dancing, and singing, than the invention of the art of printing. and drinking, as if mad; they wound about among There are so many superstitions about the Trolls, each other, and flew and whirled like the leaves in a and they appear to have reference to so remote an whirlwind; and there was one of them who was the antiquity, that some antiquarian scholars have thought most beautiful creature ever seen. She had a diamond it possible the primeval inhabitants of Sweden might crown, and a little whistle in her hand: it was the have survived, in some of the deep forests, till modern queen of the elves.' Seeing the bold huntsman, she times. The boulders and rocking-stones, so common on ran towards him and welcomed him; and he was so the plains throughout the country, are always attricharmed with her, that he hardly knew what he was buted to the Trolls. Usually, it is their supposed doing. Telling her servants to offer him drink, they hatred to Christianity which led them to throw these brought him å hornful of some not very pleasant- at some newly erected church. There are a number of looking liquor. He was just on the point of tasting families still believing they derive their descent from it, when his good angel whispered to him that if he the mingling of the children of men with these creadid so, he would straightway forget everything in his tures. Many of the Trolls are said to be seen on the past existence, and become transformed into an elf; uninhabited rocks and islands which abound on the 80 he dashed the drink on the ground, snatched the coast of Sweden, whither they were driven by the whistle from the queen, and spurred his horse away. early Christians. “Some sailors belonging to Bohuslan,' Where the drops fell on his horse from the horn, the relates Thorpe, when once driven on a desert shore hide was burnt. The elves followed him close, shrieking by a storm, found a giant sitting on a stone by a fire. and crying fearfully, like the witches after Tam o' He was old and blind, and rejoiced at bearing the Shanter. Had they caught him, it may be supposed northmen, because he was himself from their country. he would have fared worse than Tam's gray mare. He requested one of them to approach and give him Luckily, the direction he had taken was the way his hand, “ that I may know,” said he,“ whether there homewards. As he approached the castle, he found is yet strength in the hands of the northmen.” The the portcullis down, and the lady and her guards old man, being blind, was not sensible that they took standing waiting for him. They knew if he could a great boat-hook, which they had heated in the fire, only get over the moat, the Trolls could not injure and held out to him. He squeezed the hook as if it him. Galloping up with the speed of the wind, he had been wax, shook his head, and said : “I find the barely escaped being overtaken." At length, however, northmen now have but little strength in their hands he sprung upon the bridge, got safely over, and it was compared with those of old.”' A noble family in Sweden, drawn up after him. Then there stood on the other side the 'Trolls, derive their name from a bold deed of one great numbers of the little elves, moaning and crying of their ancestors, who struck off the head of a Troll piteously: ‘Give us our horn and our whistle! Oh, queen that offered him magic drink in her horn. This do give them back to us!' And the elfin queen came horn, we are informed, was long preserved in the forward, and offered countless diamonds and stores of cathedral of Wexiö. It is supposed that the offspring gold to the lady if she would be pleased to give them of the Trolls are countless, but that they die when it up. But the lady replied: "Thou wicked imp! thou thunders. shalt never have thy horn and whistle again. They It would be hardly proper to close this article withshall remain here; and thou mayst cry till
ye all come out noticing some of the ghost-stories which pass current to judgment at doomsday!' Thereupon the queen among the Norse Folk. Not only are the lakes, and said that if they persisted in keeping those elfin things, streams, and mountains infested with a supernatural they must guard them carefully; for should they be population, but human habitations, as elsewhere, are at any time taken away, the castle would be burnt I liable to be haunted by the spirits of the departed.