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The Baldwinl Libry
THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES
PARIS. IMPRIMERIE A. LAHURE
Rue de Fleurus, 9,
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It happened that one of the little Princesses, Sybil, was an invalid, recovering from
measles, which prevented her accompanying the party, and she was very unhappy at
being the only one left at home.
M" C. -W. ELPHINSTONE HOPE
BY JOHN LAURENT
SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON, SEARLE, & RIVINGTON
CROWN BUILDINGS, 188, FLEET STREET
[All rights reserved.]
THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES
Once upon a time, in one of the stars of heaven there was a
world called Luminarium, which like our earth contained many
countries. Among these Freeland had been one of the most power-
ful and flourishing, but at' the time my story opens, its power had
begun to decline and its name to lose its prestige, for Ponymus,
the King, was prematurely old and feeble, and left his kingdom
entirely in the charge of his ministers, who cared more for their
own popularity and aggrandizement, than for the honour of their
country. Ponymus had married late in life, and had several chil-
dren, of whom his favourite was the Princess Blanche, his eldest
daughter, then about twelve years of age, who most resembled
her mother, Queen Lucinda. This young Princess had great
abilities, and was particularly fond ot reading, but though
delighting in tales of noble deeds, it never occurred to her to try
2 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
and emulate them. Satisfied with being born a great Princess, with
having everything that she desired, she never troubled herself about
her fellow-creatures, nor cared to think whether she might be able
to alleviate some of the misery in the world, and thus be noble
also. No, she never gave a thought to any one but herself. Fairy
Egoiste was her constant companion, and spoilt what might, under
different tutelage, have been a distinguished character.
Blanche was tall and graceful, and her face would have been
beautiful had its expression been sweeter, but the perfectly formed
features were cold and haughty, taking away all charm from her
otherwise lovely countenance. Being a Princess, of course she was
surrounded by flatterers, who made her believe that she could do
nothing wrong. Her haughty, imperious manner was termed royal,
her insolence was designated wit, and her headstrong self-will was
In the large wood adjoining her father's park there was a lovely
glade, where she could indulge her passion for reading undisturbed.
One day she had betaken herself to her favourite nook, and reclin-
ing on a mossy couch, was engrossed in the contents of her book,
when suddenly she felt some one touch her arm, and looking up,
beheld a very shabbily-dressed old woman, who seemed blind.
Disliking every thing ugly and poor, the Princess sprang from her
SThe princess sprang from her couch.
B o -- I:,"BsI~3 i~~~i~-~~
o............ o %
TIE STAR OF TIE FAIRIES. 3
couch, and roughly shook off the old woman, who being very feeble,
What do you want, why do you disturb me? she asked,
Pray, little lady, be not angry, replied the old woman,
humbly, I have wandered into the wood after my dog, which
some cruel boys have stolen from me, and being almost blind
I cannot find my way out. I should not have seen you, had not a
ray of sunshine penetrated through the trees, and dimly shown me
a child's face, so I made bold to ask, if you would kindly lead me
out of the wood. " 0 my good woman, scornfully answered
the Princess, you must really find some one else, to help you out
of the wood ; you have no right to be in it, you are trespassing.
However, you are sure to find some one to show you the way :
I am engaged, you must excuse me. So saying, Blanche threw
herself again on her couch, and returned eagerly to her book,
while the poor old woman heaved a deep sigh, and turned away,
stumbling as she went. Somehow, that long, sad sigh lingered in
Amanda's ears, and prevented her continuing her book with the
same interest, but though her conscience smote her, she tried to
read on, and forget the tiresome old woman.
She was doomed, however, to be disturbed this day, for not very
"4 TIIE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
long afterwards a vivid light fell across her book, and looking up to
see whence it came, she beheld a beautiful Fairy, clad in raiment
of gold and jewels, the brilliancy of which seemed to envelop her
in a blaze of light.
Perceiving that the Princess had not courage to address her, the
Fairy spoke : You are solitary, little lady, in this big wood !
Now, I dislike solitude, so observing you alone as I passed, I came
to ask you, to bear me company. I know my way out of the wood,
but prefer society. Will you come?"
The Princess jumped up with sprightly readiness, to oblige the
Fairy, closing her book at once, delighted to make the acquaint-
ance of such a dazzling creature, while she laughingly answered;
As a rule, I love solitude, and allow no one to disturb me in
my glen, but to-day you are my second visitor, and such a charm-
ing one, that I cannot refuse you. The Fairy smiled, shaking
her head as she said; Ah! little Princess, you know how to
make pretty speeches when it pleases you. She then held out
her hand to Blanche. and they walked on together in silence for
some time, the Princess wondering why the lively Fairy, who asked
for her company, should now seem to prefer her own thoughts to
The Fairy divined what was passing in her mind, and in answer
THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. 5
said : You are wondering why I am grave and silent, when
you are kind enough to bear me company, and I will tell you. I
was in the wood, when you refused the aid of your beautiful bright
eyes, to the poor blind woman, and grieving to see how the qualities
of your heart were neglected, I resolved, in spite of Fairy Egoiste,
to exert my influence to make you as good as you are beautiful.
But in order to accomplish this, you must undergo some affliction.
Hitherto you have been too prosperous and blessed, to feel for, and
sympathise with others. You never even think of how you may
be useful and obliging in your own home, much less do you give
a thought to the suffering there is in the world, and whether,
young as you are, you could possibly give any help. "
The Princess tossed her head, and felt indignant that the Fairy
should presume to dictate to her, but, being afraid of her power, was
compelled to listen, so after a short pause the Fairy continued:
"( You regret that you came with me, and think me ungrateful, but
I owe you no thanks, as I am indebted to the glitter of m'y dress
for your society. Knowing that I had no need of your assistance,
you, like a worldling, allthemore graciously acceded to my request."
At this Blanche hung her head, blushing guiltily, for she felt the
truth of her companion's words, and as she remained silent, the
Fairy resumed : Dear little Princess, believe me, the truest
6 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
happiness consists in making.others happy. You have never expe-
rienced this best happiness, because you have never cared for others;
but you may do so if you follow my instructions, and bear pa-
tiently the affliction that is now to befall you. As soon as you enter
your chamber, you will become blind..... Blind! ejaculat-
ed the Princess, pressing her hands to her eyes in horror. And
your blindness will last until you have quite banished Fairy
Egoiste from your presence, continued the Fairy, unmoved;
"during your affliction you will have time to reflect, which you never
do now; you will feel what it is to be dependent on others for small
acts of kindness, and will discover how many you have neglected
to perform. While your eyes are thus in darkness, your mind will
become enlightened, your heart softened, and when you recover
your sight you will see with different eyes. Let your motto hence-
forth be "To do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to
every one you can, and as long as ever you can." The old woman's
sigh was not deeper than the one which now escaped from Blanche's
breast, as for the first time in her life she saw sorrow in store for
her, and felt that her habits would have to undergo a total change,
which in her present state of mind seemed any thing but desirable.
Still she did not interrupt as the Fairy proceeded: If at any time
you feel discouraged and fainthearted, call for the Fairy Queen
THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. 7
Bont6, and I will give you comfort and help. As soon as you have
bidden an eternal adieu to Fairy Egoisle, I will reward you by
taking you on a visit to Fairyland, a kingdom so enchanting, that
you will ever afterwards be good and noble in order to return
to it. "
By this time they had reached the gate leading into the road, and
there Blanche saw, with eyes somewhat dimmed by tears, the Fairy's
car awaiting her, supported by eight magnificent swans, which flap-
ped their wings in joyous salutation of their queen. As Fairy
Bont6 stepped into the car, she held out her hand to the Princess,
saying : "Goodbye, Blanche, think of me as a true friend, who will
help you in your need, though you may not like the advice I give
you now, and never again refuse to help any one out of the wood. "
Then nodding a kind farewell, she gave the signal to depart. The
swans spread out their large wings joyfully, and mounting into the
air, bore their beautiful burden to her fairy home. Blanche watch-
ed them until they were out of sight, and then sadly and wearily
wended her way to the palace. As she walked languidly through
the majestic avenue that led to her own apartments, her mind
was filled with wonder, as to whether what had just happened were
indeed reality, or only a dream, and dread lest the Fairy's words
should prove true.
8 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
With a sinking heart she unfastened the windows opening into
her boudoir, and passed unnoticed into her bedroom. She had no
sooner entered, than she felt a burning sensation in her eyes, and a
dizziness in her head. Rushing in an agony of fear to the nearest
mirror, she perceived that already the lovely eyes were disfigured,
the lids red and swollen, and the pupils nearly hidden. With a
faint cry she sank upon her bed, and for a short time lost in un-
consciousness, the sense of her misery. When she recovered, she
was not only quiteblind, but her eyes were smarting as if filled with
burning sand. If she could only have them bathed with some
soothing lotion, how thankful she would be Why were they so long
in coming? Could she find the bell? she wondered, and lifting
her poor aching head from the pillow, she stretched out her hands
to grasp the nearest piece of furniture, and so feeling her way from
one object to another, she reached the door, which she opened, and
then stood listening, ready to call the first person she should hear.
Just at this moment, her second brother, George, a sturdy, hand-
some boy of ten, came rushing in from the grounds at full speed.
"Oh George, is that you? cried Blanche, eagerly, do come
to me I can't, shouted the prince, bounding up the stairs
ashe replied. Oh! how unkind she exclaimed, stamping
her foot in impatient anger, tears rolling down her cheeks as she felt
THE STAR OF TIIE FAIRIES. 9
her helpless condition. "Unkind?" derisively laughed George,
nearly at the top of the stairs now, I should like to know
when you ever come if you're not inclined Rend is after
me. By this time he had reached his own landing, and was out
of hearing. Blanche waited, afraid to move from the door, lest she
should stumble against something, and also expecting her eldest
brother, Rend, to pass. She had not long to wait, for scarce-
ly had George disappeared, when Ren6 came, running too, evident-
ly anxious to overtake his brother. Rene, dear, do come and
ring the bell for me, the Princess breathlessly cried, thinking
that if she could make him hear how small a service she re-
quired of him he would lend a more willing ear, but he answered,
stopping for a moment on the stairs, and leaning over the balus-
ters, Couldn't possibly, my dear sister, that's rather too fine!
You do little enough for yourself or anyone else. " am blind"
she screamed. That in Italics is a joke, laughed Rend, who
was continuing to ascend, turning his head again in her direc-
tion, but you don't suppose I shall believe that! And so
saying, he scampered along the upper corridor at redoubled speed.
"Blanche cried aloud in helpless rage and pain, and presently a
maid came running towards her, exclaiming : Oh! my precious
Princess, what has happened to grieve you, what can 1 do? "
10 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
Do! retorted the Princess, removing her handkerchief from
her eyes, thus shewing their swollen and inflamed lids to the hor-
rified domestic, you may well ask what you can do now, when I
have been suffering torture through your inattention. Why were
you not here before? she inquired angrily.
If I had had an idea that Your Royal Highness wanted me, of
course I should have come instantly, stammered the maid in terror,
" but Your Royal Highness seldom returns so early, and I heard
no bell. "
How can I find the bell when I am blind replied the Prin-
cess, still in a rage, stamping her foot. In future if you are not
in my room whenever I need you, you shall be dismissed. Go at
once and fetch my parents, that something may be done to soothe
the smarting of my eyes. Lose not a moment, do you hear she
screamed, as the bewildered and frightened maidwaited for an ins-
tant, to see if there were any further instructions. She now fled to
obey them, muttering as she went however : Tyrannical little crea-
ture, she just deserves to suffer! which caught Blanche's ears,
sharpened as they were in hearing, since her affliction. Oh! miser-
able creature that I am! she exclaimed, her rage having exhausted
itself, and feeling only her pain and helplessness. Afflicted and un-
loved, of what use is life to me Even my own maid has no pity for
THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. 11
me, and only serves me because she is compelled! And wearily
she sought her bed again.
The King and Queen were quickly at her bedside, alarmed and
astonished at her sudden blindness. Send for the first oculists in
the land," she cried, and let them soothe the pain, if they cannot
restore my sight. Her request was instantly complied with, mes-
sengers were despatched all over the kingdom for the most skilful
oculists, who arrived in turn at thepalace. None of their lotions, how-
ever, could ease her pain, and they declared at length that nothing
but the power of magic could relieve her, as they had exhausted
their science in vain. So the little maid tossed in her bed impa-
tiently, none around being able to help her, while news of the cala-
mity spread over the country. Then one day in her despair she cried
for Fairy Bonte, and begged for help.
Immediately there appeared at the Palace gates a little old
woman, almost blind, who demanded admittance, insisting that
she could give the Princess relief. The soldiers laughed, called her
a lunatic, and would not let her pass, till Prince Rend riding in at
this moment inquired what the queer old woman wanted, and upon
being told, thought there would be no harm in her trying, so he
said kindly : Come along, old dame; if you succeed your for-
tune will be made. My man will lead you in, and she was
12 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
led into the Palace to Blanche's room. Advancing to the bed she
placed her hand over Blanche's eyes, murmuring "Poor child! "
Who is it that speaks? almost screamed Blanche, for her
quick ear recognized the voice of the old woman, for whom she had
been thus punished. Ah! you recognize me, little Princess, "
she replied gently, I heard of your affliction, and come to offer
you my services. If you accept them, you must place yourself
entirely under my care. "
Have you come to cure me, when I would not help you? "
asked Blanche incredulously. I will soothe your pain, but do you
not remember what alone will restore your sight? Blanche
reflected, and recollected that her character would have to undergo
great change, but she did not seem to know how to begin the
reformation. Well, first I will attend to your pain, and then I
will stay with you until you regain your sight, for I may be able
to help you, said the old woman,- at the same time taking a phial
out of a bag she carried, and saturating a piece of linen with its
contents. This she placed over the Princess' eyes, and at once the
inflammation subsided, and the smarting ceased, magically she
was relieved, and fell into a long tranquil slumber. When she awoke
the old woman was still sitting by her side, and said : "You are free
from pain "now, and in order to continue so, you must wear this
"THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. 13
charmed handkerchief bound over your eyes until you can see, "
and she lied a beautifully light tissue handkerchief over them.
" Now that you have ceased to suffer, you will be able to think "
she added, therefore I will leave you for a while, and
accordingly she quitted the room, leaving the Princess' maid alone
with her. Blanche did think, for her mind seemed wonderfully
clear after the delicious repose she had enjoyed, she began to
analyse her character, her conduct and her awakened conscience
told her that Fairy Bonte was right, that she was selfish and una-
miable, and considered no one's happiness but her own, that
although she was a great Princess, she was of no use in the world,
- it would have done just as well without her. This was a
humiliating conclusion to arrive at, particularly when she contrasted
the behaviour of the poor old woman, whom she had repulsed in
her supposed superiority, and who now came to reward her evil
with good. What did her high rank and fine clothes profit her in
her affliction Was she not now dependent on the woman whose
poverty she had scorned? Oh how admirable was this poor
creature, how truly noble, while she, the great Princess, had prided
herself upon her nobility of birth, forgetting that true nobility
is that which begels good deeds. Oh! she would try hard to be-
come better, she would study the pleasure of others and endeavour
\ ., '
1: THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
to be useful. Mary! she called to her maid, who at once
approached, I feel so thankful to be free from pain, and have
been thinking I remember speaking very harshly to you the
other, day, when you were not to blame, and am very sorry for
it now. I shall try in future to be kinder. This was a great
deal for the Princess to say, for she was of a very proud imperious
nature. Mary, who was a warm-hearted impulsive woman, seized
her young mistress' hand in both her own, kissing it with tears
of sympathy, as she lamented the Princess' affliction.
Blanche determined at once to set about being useful and being
good, so the next day she talked to her governesses, and told them
to let her know of any deserving cases which she might help. She
soon heard of several, enough to occupy her thoughts and to dis-
pose of her money, but she found it a far harder task to alter her
character. In earnestly striving however, to overcome her defects,
and meekly acknowledging her faults, the blind Princess exercised
a most beneficial influence over the royal household. Her little
brothers and sisters vied with each other as to who should give way
most graciously, imitating Blanche, so that there were rarely any
quarrels in the nursery, and the servants, seeing their royal mistress
so gentle, took pattern by her also. Still, however, Fairy Egoiste
did not entirely leave her, and consequently she remained blind.
.Guided par their voices Blanche ran too, but her foot slipped and she tum-
bled into the river .
TIE STAR OF TIE FAIRIES. 15
One day they were going for a long drive into the country, where
in the secluded lanes they could gather blackberries, an amuse-
ment which the young Princes liked very much, and Rene had pro-
mised to take Blanche under his particular charge. It happened
that one of the little Princesses, Sybil, was an invalid, recover-
ing from measles, which prevented her accompanying the
party, and she was very unhappy at being the only one left at
In her distress she appealed to Blanche to stay with her, but
Blanche was too anxious to enjoy herself, to accede to her request.
It would be such a merry day, the weather so fine, the boys in
such spirits; how wretched in comparison to remain at home with
this ailing child! So trying to soothe her little sister, she excused
herself, and started with the others.
Soon after they had alighted from the carriage, a large brilliant-
looking insect buzzed over their heads, causing the young Princes
great excitement, and when it darted off in front of them, Rend let go
off Blanche's hand, in the ardour of pursuit. Guided by their voices
Blanche ran too, but her foot slipped and she tumbled into the river,
which the other children were crossing by the bridge, she having
missed it by one false step. She was soon rescued, but her charm-
ed handkerchief was gone, lost in the river. The violent smart-
16 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
ing returned to her eyes, and she was obliged by 'the pain to leave
the merry party, and return home.
The old woman was sent for at once, and quickly repaired to the
How is this, my child? she asked. Oh! dear good Fairy,
- for I am sure you are a Fairy do have pity on me again, and
I will dismiss Fairy Egoiste for ever I She has caused my misfor-
tune to-day, for if 1 had listened to my sister's entreaties, and given
up my own pleasure for hers, I should have been saved this suf-
Be comforted, child, your term of probation is nearly over,
you will soon be cured. Lie down and I will apply the soothing
lotion to your eyes, and then see about recovering your handker-
As soon as the Princess was somewhat relieved, the old woman
sought Prince Rend, and asked him if he would undertake the
recovery of his sister's handkerchief.
It will require courage and perseverance, she said, but you
are nobly gifted, and therefore I have selected you for the task. "
The young Prince, though slight and delicate in frame, had a
brave as well as a kind heart, and being sincerely grieved at his
sister's suffering, caused, lie felt, by his own neglect, was only
THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. 17
too glad to be instrumental in affording her relief. Then
clothe yourself in this costume, said the old woman, handing
him one of brilliant hue and peculiar texture. You must dive into
the sea, where by following your own kindly instincts you will find
a guide, who will instruct you as to what you are to do. Your dress
will enable you to live under water, being endued with magical vir-
tue. Use despatch, and wend your way at once to the subterra-
neous kingdom of the Genii Temptum, whom you must overcome
before you can recover the handkerchief. "
Without loss of time the young Prince bade adieu to his family,
and setting out with the frm determination to succeed or perish.
he cast himself into the depths of the river.
As he swam out towards the sea, lie saw many uncommon crea-
tures and prettily marked fish, which he had never seen before,
but would not tarry to examine them, remembering that his sister
would suffer until he returned. Hastening on, he soon arrived at
the mouth of the river, when he heard a cry of pain. Astonished
to hear such a sound at the bottom of the sea, he swam in
the direction whence it came, and saw a beautiful golden dra-
gonet in the jaws of a huge sea-wolf, whose sharp teeth had
already entered its flesh. Striking the vicious fish with all his
strength, thus causing it to release its prey, the Prince took the
18 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
injured dragonet in his hand, and with gentle touch tried to close
the wound made by the sea-wolf's teeth, speaking to it caressingly
the while, but to his surprise it became smaller and smaller, until
at last it dwindled into nothing While he was still examining
his empty hand, he heard a voice timidly address him, and looking
up, saw before him a beautiful nymph, who thus spoke :
Oh! most kind and noble Prince, how can I sufficiently thank
you for your goodness, which has restored me to my original shape!
I was transformed into a dragonet by a hideous Genii, whom I re-
fused to marry, and who in revenge turned me into that poor perse-
cuted fish, saying that I should be pursued by voracious creatures,
until some mortal should dive to the bottom of the sea, and go out
of his way to rescue me, a thing he considered so unlikely, that he
thought I should remain for ever in my misery. My gratitude is
too great to be expressed in words, but I may be of use to you, and
need I tell you that my services are at your command ? The Prince
had been looking at her in amazement and admiration, but her
words recalled to his mind the importance of despatch in his en-
terprise, the object of which he explained to her in brief words.
Whereupon she answered : I will no longer hinder you. Follow
me, and I will guide and help you.
Chatting pleasantly as they went along, the distance grew quickly
TIIE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. 19
less and less, and at last they arrived at a huge gale, which looked
too ponderous to be opened. The nymph boldly pulled the bell, the
noise of which seemed like thunder under the sea. Immediately
the heavy prison-like gates opened, and in the entrance stood an
animal of immense proportions, whose rhinoceros-like skin emitted
sparks of fire, and from whose nostrils streamed flames, as he
glared in ferocious silence on the intruders.
The nymph waved him fearlessly aside, motioning to the Prince
to follow her, and no sooner had he entered, than the great black
gates closed with a terrific clang, and shouts of demoniac laughter
rent the air, the sound of whieh made the Prince's blood for a
moment curdle in his veins. Endeavouring to shake off its
depressing influence, he looked around him, and saw an immense
waste or plain, covered with creeping things of the most hideous
description, which he learnt afterwards were enchanted mortals,
who had fallen into the power of the Genii, and who now had to
lick the dust in retribution for their earthly offences. The air was
heavy and stifling, and a lurid scorching light shone with wither-
ing power over the mournful waste.
Coming towards them in a cloud of smoke they saw the dreaded
Genii, and as he approached, the Nymph gave the Prince the fol-
lowing instructions. Before you can redeem your sister's handker-
-20 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
chief, you must traverse this desert plain, and gain the furthermost
gate. The path will be beset with dangers, all of which you can
overcome if you only fearlessly pursue your way. Beware of the
Genii's wily tongue, never give ear to his voice, for if you once
turn aside to listen, your foot will slip, and you will be engllphed
in one of the numerous pitfalls that abound in this region. Quick !
Lose not a moment Speed on your way! Thus saying, and
waving him an adieu, she vanished into air.
Scarcely had his friendly guide disappeared, than with horror
the Prince perceived himself almost in the grasp of the Genii's
already outstretched arms. With a bound the Prince leapt for-
ward, and flew along the perilous path, pursued by the Genii,
whose heavy strides so close behind him made even the brave
boy's heart turn faint with dread. After what seemed to the young
Prince an interminable race, greatly to his delight the sound of
the pursuing footsteps gradually became more and more indistinct,
and as his failing strength and weary limbs made him long for a
little rest, a pleasant soothing voice whispered : Why hasten now
so urgently? All danger is over. Your enemy is far behind, and
you can tarry a while and rest. Look round and convince your-
self. As he was about to turn his head, in obedience to his
natural impulse, he remembered the Nymph's warning, and in
THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. 21
spite of his inclination to the contrary, looked steadily before him,
and hurried on apace, resolved not to be lulled into false security
by any alluring words. Looking onward always, his joyful gaze at
last described the turrets of the gloomy portal which was to give
him freedom, and with renewed strength he bounded forward.
The distance however was much greater than it had appeared.
lie felt choking with the dust which was like hot sand, and
longed for a draught of water to cool his parched throat and
quench his thirst. No streams or rivulets, no springs or fountains
could he see on the barren waste before him, and still he must go
on, must continue his weary way unrefreshed he thought, when
to his surprise a golden bowl was presented to him by invisible
hands, filled with an effervescing red liquid, which seemed irre-
sistibly tempting to the thirsty young Prince. Taking the welcome
bowl in his hands, he eagerly raised it to his lips, and was about
to drain its contents, when he thought he heard a little cry like that
of the wounded dragonet, and a genlle voice seemed to say : Do not
drink, all is poison here. "
Dashing the tempting bowl to the ground, Rene strode hastily
on, grateful to the little voice which had rescued him in time from
the snare, but he soon became aware of hurried footsteps endea-
vouring to overtake him. Instinctively feeling that the Genii's
22 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
aim was to intercept his course towards the gate, which was now
within sight, the Prince increased his speed, bitterly regretting his
momentary delay, but too late! His adversary laid hands upon
him ere he reached the desired goal, and there was nothing for him
to do now but to face his enemy, which he did boldly and fear-
lessly, grappling bravely with him in his endeavour to disengage
himself from his grasp.
The Genii however tried to throw something into his eyes to
blind him, and Rene felt that he must at once overcome him, or
he would be powerless to protect himself. Remembering that his
costume was charmed, he tore off the belt, and struck the Genii
with it, felling him to the ground, where he lay helpless and at his
mercy. Planting his foot on his chest, the Prince demanded the
restitution of his sister's handkerchief.
In exhausted but rebellious tones the Genii replied : You have
conquered me, and I must perforce obey; even now the gate is
opening to give you egress. Take therefore your sister's handker-
chief and begone! The Prince eagerly seized the handkerchief, and
lightly springing through the open gate, plunged again into the
sea. Meeting with no accidents or adventures on his homeward
course, he soon reached his native shore, and delivered the hand-
kerchief into the old woman's hands.
THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. 23
You may imagine Blanche's delight at its recovery, and how the
brave young Prince was feted and praised on his return! There
were grand illuminations in his honour, and all the people of
Freeland rejoiced in the thought that he would one day be their king.
Not long after this the royal family went to a country seat on the
frontiers of Justland, and the children one day were all out fish-
ing in a trout stream, which ran through one of their woods.
Blanche was safely seated on a grassy mound while the others
were scattered about, and was wishing that she could see to read, to
make the time seem less wearisome, when she heard a sudden
rush through the trees, and something sink down heavily, groan-
ing. She turned her head in alarm towards the spot whence the
sound proceeded, but could scarcely tell whether the moans came
from an animal or a human creature. If the later, how dreadful!
She might be able to help, she must try, notwithstanding her
blindness. So she started up, and despite briars and brambles
which intercepted her path, guided by the groans she found her
way to where a youth lay, evidently wounded.
"Who are you? What is the matter? Can I help you? she asked
24 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
in trembling eagerness, as she passed her hands over his face.
" Staunch my wound, or I shall die, replied the youth with
eyes half closed by pain. The Princess knelt beside him, and
said :" Guide my hand Io your wound, forI am blind, at the same
time tearing the charmed bandage from her eyes, and when he
had guided her hand, applying it to the wound. Instead how-
ever of the smarting pain returning to her eyes, they immediately
opened, with their sight restored. She had at last attained the
perfection of unselfishness which Fairy Bonte desired, preferring
even to suffer herself, rather than refuse help to a fellow-creature
in such sore need.
The first use she made of her eyes was to look upor the
wounded youth before her; she perceived that he had a fine open
face, and was richly clothed in the costume of a Prince. His eyes
were still half closed, but colour was gradually returning to his
cheeks, his face lost its look of contracted pain, and his breathing
came more regularly. The charmed handkerchief was doing its
work as she pressed it to his wound, and soon she had the satisfac-
tion of seeing him open his eyes, and gaze on her with gentle sur-
prise. In answer to his mule inquiry, she explained who she was,
and how she had been able to help him, and in return expressed
curiosity as to who he was.
..... Guide my hand to your wound, for Sam blind, at the same time
tearing the charmed bandage from her eyes, and when he had guided her hand,
applying it vo the wound.
A il I 1; I.'1
i, ,, ,,I
THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. 25
"I am Fairplay, King of Justland, he said, and will explain
the cause of my present condition, if it will not weary you. "
Blanche assured him that it would interest her very much, but
begged him first to allow her to raise him that he might lean
against a tree, and to let her fetch him a draught of water from the
Healing Spring, a few miles off. He thanked her warmly, accept-
ing her kind offer, and after being strengthened by the healing
draught, and comfortably seated, he began :
I was the second son of my parents, and succeeded to the crown
at the death of my brother, the late King, when I was twenty
years of age. At my birth I was especially inoculated with love of
Fairy Justice, who is the presiding Fairy of my country, as Liberty
is of yours, and have ever been her champion. My brother Fearus,
the late King, was very feeble bolh in body and will, and just before
his birth there was a coolness between my parents and the Fairy,
owing to their having neglected her for Fairy Liberty, whose more
dazzling attractions put Justice in the shade. She was therefore
not godmother to their eldest son, and for many years was a rare
"visitor, but at last seeing that the country was suffering for want of
her more constant presence, she forgave personal slights in her
anxiety for the common good, and chose me as her instrument to
reform the laws. During the reigns of my father and brother, the
26 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
love for Fairy Juslice had diminished, and had increased for our
neighbour's presiding Fairy, who, although a very grand and glor-
ious dame, is somewhat too independent, for Justice I know has
often wished to combine with her to form a perfect government, but
she refuses any associate. Liberty had many adorers, particularly
among the lower orders, miscreants and giants, the latter being a
strong turbulent body of men, glad to create disturbances in the
hope of profiting by them, and these enraged at my success in
reforming the laws after my accession to the throne, conspired
together to waylay and kill me. Oh! how different are the vota-
ries of Justice. As long as they have her to protect them they do
not sigh for Liberty, for they know that in a just land people have
liberty to do anything that is right. Well! These rebellious
giants fled to your friendly shores, where they took counsel with
the refugees of all nations who congregate in Grandum, and hear-
ing that I was hunting on the boundaries of my kingdom, they
lay in ambush, while I, unthinking, in the excitement of the chase,
rode in advance of my suite, whose steeds lacked the breed of
mine, which was a gift from the Fairies. Such a splendid horse! "
the young King exclaimed enthusiastically. His name is Magic,
his pace is so swift : and then continued, I was, as I said, far
in advance of my escort, when 1 was suddenly surrounded by a
THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. 27
number of giants, who started out upon me from an adjoining
thicket. Relying upon the fleetness of my steed, I cut my way
through them with my hunting whip, and dashed on at mad speed
until I reached this wood, when the trees impeding my progress, I
dismounted, and bidding my horse return to my escort, to guide
them to my succour, I set her free. I had not proceeded many
yards when a shot struck me, fired by a giant concealed amongst
the trees, and I fell where you found me, and should have died
had you not so generously come to my assistance. Your charmed
handkerchief has saved my life, and I shall ever esteem this the
happiest day of my existence, as it has been the means of our
becoming acquainted. No doubt the Fairies have arranged to-day's
adventure with an object, which I trust may be to unite our two
countries. I should dearly treasure such a sweet little wife, and
thus Justice and Liberty might become allies. Blanche had listen-
ed with keen interest to the young King's story, and her smiles
and blushes as he concluded, showed that she was well pleased at
his words. After a moment's pause however, she suddenly cried,
starting up in alarm, and looking around: But perhaps there are
giants close to us now, ready to kill us! "
Not likely ", answered the King, rising also, it was very
daring of the one who shot me to venture into your father's private
28 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
demesne, and as soon as he saw me fall, he would be satisfied
and decamp. I expect my people will soon be here. "
But you will accompany me to the Palace, will you not?
With the greatest pleasure! he replied, though I must not
tarry long. The news of this affairwill soon be bruited abroad, and
I would not have the people for a moment believe that the champion
of Fairy Justice had fallen a victim to the base shot of a giant. Your
great Fairy, Bonte, watched over me through you to save me, and
good Fairies always will watch over us, and render futile the malice
of the wicked, if we follow their instructions...." Here the King
was interrupted by the approach of his escort, following in the
wake of Magic, who led the way. A splendid black charger was
Magic, and so overjoyed was he to see his master unhurt, that he
much injured his glossy coat against the trees, in indulging in
gambols of joy. After briefly relating his adventure to his alarmed
attendants, the King accompanied Blanche to seek her party, who
engrossed in their fishing seemed to have forgotten her. Great
was their surprise and delight to see her with sight restored, and
they soon made friends with the youthful King, whom they looked
upon as a hero of romance, when they had heard his story.
They all returned to the Palace, where the King's suite had al-
THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. 29
ready preceded them, and prepared Blanche's parents for his
visit. IHe was received with all the honour due to a neighboring
potentate, and one already renowned for the wisdom of his rule. A
sumptuous repast was served, and a most joyous company as-
sembled, for it was an importantday for the two kingdoms, the life
of king Fairplay having been saved, and the sight of the Princess
Blanche restored. When at last the time for parting came, the
royal host and hostess regretted that the King must so soon leave
them, and insisted that he should soon pay them a lengthened visit.
I shall be delighted ", he said, although he laughingly
added my life is in greater danger when I approach Freeland, my
enemies the giants taking refuge here. However I will trust to
the Fairies! And mounting his superb horse he bade them a
Blanche went to her room filled with wonder and joy at what
had happened, and had scarcely closed her door when she heard the
blind old woman's gentle tap. Immediately opening it and
embracing the old woman, she informed her of all that had taken
place, and thanking her for all her kindness, again regretted her
former selfish conduct.
All that is forgiven and forgotten," answered the old dame,
"you have quite obliterated that from my memory by your sincere
30 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
repentance and improvement; you have well earned your reward,
which shall not be delayed. Go and ask your parents if you may
pay a visit to Fairyland, and in half an hour Fairy Bonte will be
in her car at the Palace gates, ready to carry you thither. "
But dear dame exclaimed the Princess, taking her hand
with tender respect, and scarcely able to contain her joy, do tell
me who you are, for I am sure you are a Fairy, and I do so wish you
would go to Fairyland with me ".
You shall know who 1 am one day laughingly replied the old
woman, and you will see me in Fairyland, although you will not
recognize me. But now go, hasten, and let not the Fairy Queen wait".
The royal household heard the news, and assembled to see the
Princess' departure. As they stood in breathless expectation,
looking on all sides from the entrance, they heard the flapping of
large wings overhead, and saw the fairy car descending supported
by its swans. Queen Bonte, gorgeously arrayed as before, dazzled
their eyes by the brilliancy of her apparel, and stepping out of her
car took Blanche in her arms, and affectionately embraced her.
Then turning to the King and Queen, she promised not to keep
their daughter long, and to return her to them strengthened in
good resolves, and still more wedded to the good life she had
THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. 31
Thus speaking and bowing her adieux she re-ascended her car,
bidding Blanche to take a scat beside her. Then the swans spread
out theirwings proudly, and soared aloft. While every one had been
anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Fairy Queen, no one had
noticed the disappearance of the blind old woman, but as soon as
the excitement of Blanche's departure was over, they discovered to
their grief and dismay that she was gone, no one knew when or
whither, but all regretted the loss of the sweet old dame.
As they were borne swiftly through the air, Blanche thrilled with
pleasure at the delightful sensation, and nestled among the feathery
cushions in a state of dreamy happiness. Onward they sped towards
a gorgeous star,which was the Fairy Queen's kingdom. There the air
seemed to change, to become buoyant, laden with hope, a heavenly
atmosphere, and all around and below was bathed in the golden
glory of a sun brilliant asour own, but without its scorching,wither-
ing power, resembling more the moon in its calm softness, beam-
ing in the sky a celestial light indeed. A sense of delicious repose
stole over Blanche as she entered this enchanting land, and inhaled
the fragrant air; she felt she had lelt all struggles and respon-
32 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
sibilities behind, and entered into a haven of rest. BontW was loath to
disturb her reverie, but at last she said,"Look Blanche: beneath you
lies the valley of Contentment, with its golden cornfields, its orange
groves, its verdant pasture, and its eternal rivers. There to the right
the mountain of Strength towers into the clouds. Yonder spreads
the forest of Peace, traversing our kingdom, and in the distance rolls
the mighty ocean, fathomless in the depth of its tranquillity, gra-
ciously buoying on its waves the vessels confided to its care, bear-
ing them gently, surely to their destination.
Blanche looked in silent admiration, and perceived, as the Fairy
finished speaking, that they were approaching a magnificent glitter-
ing castle, situated in the midst of the Forest of Peace. What a
wonderful castle I never had she beheld anything so brilliant. As
she came closer she could see that it was built of diamonds, no false
glitter here, but true jewels of the purest water, illuminating all
around by their lustre. UJnder the gleaming, majestic archway
she could see a bevy of Fairies, dancing and capering about in high
glee, and as the car at last touched the ground, and they stood
before the entrance, the Fairies clustered joyfully around them sing-
ing a song of welcome. They were dressed, some in snowy white,
denoting purity, others in blue, emblem of truth, and the rest in
pink, which signifies love.
THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. 33
After saluting them graciously, and introducing Blanche, the
Fairy Queen said, "'We must not tire this little mortal, she has seen
almost enough for to-day. Let us refresh ourselves after our jour-
ney" she added smilingly, taking the Princess' hand, and leading
the way, while the fairies followed. They passed through several
lofty halls, some of coral, some of rubies, others of various precious
stones, and Blanche's footstep was as light as that of the Fairies',
for the gladness of her heart gave elasticity to her step, and she felt
as if she trod on air. They entered finally the banqueting room, a
hall of immense dimensions, and extraordinary height. The walls
were of emeralds, huge and irregular, like rocks, giving the appear-
ance of a grotto, and down them rushed cascades of nectar, cours-
ing in an impetuous stream towards the fount beneath. A canopy
of gold was suspended from the ceiling, hiding it : garlands of roses
lovingly entwined the emerald pillars which intersected the sides of
the hall, and hung in festoons from one to the other, making groves
or alleys. Here the rarest trees grew, and on their branches re-
clined the musical Fairies, clad in sparkling raiment which glistened
through the leaves, each with her jewelled instrument, sending forth
the sweetest strains. In the centre were several small tables co-
vered with silvery cloths, on which were set golden plates and
goblets. At each of these four Fairies stood, dressed in gold and
34 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
silver, some holding the choicest fruits in their golden baskets,
others carrying their ambrosial beverage in ruby jugs, each having
some tempting dish, some delicious fruit, or refreshing drink to
offer and over the whole bewitching scene shone the brilliant
golden light shedding its glory around. Blanche and the Fairy
Queen sat alone at a little table at the end of the room heading all
the others, and after a most delicious meal, Queen Bonte said,
addressing the fairies : Well, children, what have you done dur-
ing my absence? Have you any adventures to relate? " Oh yes ",
cried several voices eagerly, We have". Then Charity be-
gin, commanded the Queen, addressing a Fairy in pink with a
beaming face. Fairy Charity accordingly rose, and took a seat at
the Queen's table, as was the custom, so that all might hear her
well,- and thus began her story.
Not long after your departure, Fairy Mother, I paid a visit also
to Freeland, accompanied by my sisters Temperance and Hope,
for we had heard how liberty was abused in that land, and how
much poverty and misery abounded, in spite of its wealth and pros-
perity. We alighted in one of the poorest districts of Grandum,
the capital, just as the grey dawn was breaking on a bitter cold
day, and entered one of the garrets of a tall, rickety looking
house. The paper hung in shreds upon the walls, which were
THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. 35
damp from the drizzling sleet that trickled slowly down them from
the cracks in the roof. The boards were bare, and had many sus-
picious looking holes, such as rats gnaw. A little straw was all
the furniture of the room, and on it lay a woman with her babe, her
head pillowed on her husband's arm. A tall, muscular looking
fellow, was the husband,like a countryman rather than a Grandum-
ite. His features were large and haggard; his eyes, deep set,
might have looked honest once, now they looked fierce and fam-
ished, and the scanty amount of clothes he wore, hung in rags
about him. He was not sleeping, though he lay still, moodily
watching his wife, while she moaned in her sleep, and an expression
of anguish came into his face, as he gazed intently on her sad worn
countenance. Ah! my poor lass, that was so bonny once, your
own mother if she lived, would not know you now, and the man
tenderly stroked her hair as he spoke, while the tears gathered in
his eyes. The gentle movement broke her light slumber; and
opening her eyes and fixing them wistfully on her husband, the
"woman said: Oh! Tom dear, don't despair, I've had such a
beautiful dream in spite of the cold, which makes me moan, and I
am sure it is to give us courage to hope still. Joy is in store for us,
- and an end to all our suffering! And not too soon, my
Kitty, "replied Tom, morosely, "for it's more than we can bear. It's
36 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
death most likely your dream means, and if it would only come
quickly, and take us all together, I should find it in my heart to be
grate-ful, but this is such a lingering death! And a desperate
look came into the man's eyes.
It is hard, poor Tom ", she answered, for we haven't
deserved it! And I, who always used to think that people must be
bad to come to such dreadful poverty and starvation! "
Ah I you didn't know the world then, my girl, Tom replied
bitterly, one hears much of the charitable institutions in this
land of liberty, but where is there one that will help us excepting
the workhouse, which we must enter or starve? "
Kitty shuddered as she repeated : The workhouse! oh! rather
death They would separate us, treat us like criminals, we
should be prisoners I They use us so harshly as it is, that I
always dread to go near them. So cruel of them, too, when
they know how weak you are. "
Ah! yes, my lass, they haven't much sympathy, and as to ap-
pealing to the charitable societies, we at all events have had a
wretched experience of them. Poor Joe died of starvation while
they were investigating his case, and we are like to do the same !
They don't seem to think that starving people can be honest and
THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. 37
Oh Tom, exclaimed his wife beseechingly, laying her hand
on his arm, let us make a last effort against this starvation!
We must leave this place to-day Mrs Ruthless says she can give
us shelter no longer; we owe her two weeks' rent, and how are we
to give it her, when we have not even bread to eat?"
1 have an idea, she continued coaxingly, while a glance
of hope lighted up her face, we will go into the fashionable
parts of the city, and there separate, and each of us will accost
any kindlooking stranger who would seem likely to listen to
our story, and then, oh dear Tom, we may get help and
work! Andshe clasped her hands in the enthusiasm of her
As you will, lass, as you will, sighed Tom, but it's a sad
day for you and the baby to be out, so poorly clad Anyhow we
ought to be about starting, for we've many miles to go ; I only wish
1 had a copper to get you a drop of milk "
Never mind, dear, replied Kitty soothingly; perhaps
some kind soul on the way will give us breakfast. I shall be glad
to leave before Mrs Ruthless is stirring, as though she knows we
are going and can't pay her, she is sure to give vent to her vexation
in abuse. Come along she added, after having shaken her thin
old shawl, and folded it neatly over her shoulders, and tried to
38 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
bend her faded bonnet into more respectable form, and don't
make more noise than you can help going down. "
She whispered this while opening the door, the man nodding
his head in acquiescence, and thus they noiselessly quitted their
garret, and descended into she street, whither we followed them.
We saw many other pitiable cases of misery, but were so touched
by the love which this couple showed for each other in spite of
their adversity, that we resolved to devote ourselves for the
time entirely to them. Fairy Hope had begun our work by inspir-
ing them with courage, and on they trudged through the almost
deserted streets for two or three miles, without meeting even a
milkmaid, and their steps grew more and more weary with fatigue
and exhaustion, till at last Kitty begged to rest a little on a
doorstep. They found a nice seat and shelter under the portico of a
large brick house, and very soon after they had made themselves
as comfortable as they could here, a buxom-looking dairy-maid, with
her milk-pails on each side of her, came up to the door, and seeing
them exclaimed : "Why! Mercy on us! Have you been sleeping
here all the night? " Almost as bad, good wife, replied Tom,
moving out of her way, my poor lass is trying to walk to the
town, but I'm afeard she'll not manage it unless she gets some
food to keep her up a bit. "
... A buxan-looking dairymai'd, with her milk-pails on each side of her, came
up vo the door, and seeing their, exclaimed : Why mercy on us haye you been
sleeping here all the night ? x
..i ,- -
~ ~ ~ '''' ,,1 'ii''"'" '
'11 ,.... : ,' :,,! ,,,r ,,,: -
THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. 39
Well you do look starved in no mistake the milkwoman
asserted, after staring at them compassionately. No, don't you
disturb yourselves, she continued, seeing them rise when she
pulled the bell, I know the cook here well; she's not a bad
soul, tho' her temper ain't o' the sweetest. Here she comes! "
And as she spoke the door was unbolted, and a tall sallow-faced
woman appeared, loaded with jugs. Before the milkwoman had
time to speak, the cook had perceived our friends, and at once
addressing them, she cried, waving her hand : Be off with
you !. We don't allow no vagrants to hamper up our doorstep! "
Now, Mary Jane, exclaimed the dairy-maid indignantly, all
her sympathy aroused "don't you be too fast! they are not beggars
at all, and I told them to stay. I was sure you would not have the
heart to turn these poor famished creatures away without any
food, when you've got plenty of odd bits! "
Yes, but Missus says they's to be given to the deserving poor,
and I don't see as rags can be deserving, cook replied, eyeing
"' 1 should like to know how you're to tell who are the deser-"
ving," returned the milkmaid scornfully,"'it's always by the clothes
you're judging! Look at this ere babe, taking the child from its
mother's arms, 'why it's nothing but skin and bones, yot can see
40 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
it's starved! Your Missus'ud be satisfied if you gave your odd bits
to such as these, I know! Fetch a mug at the same time, there's a
good woman, and I'll give them some milk, she added, as Mary
Jane somewhat reluctantly turned to go and see what odd bits she
Have you any little ones of your own? asked Kitty as the
woman laid the baby in her arms again.
Oh! bless yer, yes! a round half dozen! but mine are hearty
fine growd childer; I never had such a weakly looking infant as
that of your'n. But never mind, it's victuals you all want, you'll
look better when you 've eaten. Ha! ha!" She chuckled as she
perceived Mary Jane reappearing with a large dish, "I told you she
was much better than she looked, and she seized the dish eagerly,
feeling it quile a treat to feed such really famished creatures. The
man's stern face twitched with emotion, which his weakness made
it hard for him to conceal, at the unwonted kindness, and picking
out the choicest bits for Kitty, who, however, made him some-
times eat them, they made a hearty meal, washing it down with a
good draught of the woman's pure milk, of which baby also had
plentifully partaken. Refreshed and invigorated, their spirits rose,
and they felt ready to continue their journey. Mary Jane's sallow
face had relaxed into a smile by this time; it had softened her
THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. 41
heart to see that she had really done a good action, that these odd
bits at all events were not wasted, for she was an industrious
conscientious woman, and had no opinion of beggars; no honest
people, she thought, could ever come to beggary, but certainly the
milkwoman was right, these were deserving poor; there was no
whine or cant about them, no grumbling like the professional beg-
gars; they ate joyfully and were grateful. So much was her
heart softened that as they rose to go, and she noticed the woman's
thin shawl and the still drizzling sleet, she recollected that she
possessed a much warmer one, which was too faded and old for
her to wear, and this she could bestow on the gentle-looking Kitty.
Just wait a bit, will ye ? she cried, and turned in doors once
more in search, while the milkwoman exultant said : She's gone to
find you something else, be sure It's lucky you came to this door,
and that I had'nt passed, for she's one of the best servants along
here, but it's not every one who can manage her. Ah! did'nt I tell
yer That's something like a shawl taking it out of Mary Jane's
hands; you'd better wrap yours round the baby, addressing
Kitty, who trembling in delighted excitement proceeded to do as she
was bid, and then the milkwoman pinned the cook's gift well over
Kitty's chest in true motherly style, making her feel warmer than
she had done for many a long day. Showering heartfelt thanks and
42 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
blessings on the two kind women, Tom and Kitty took their leave,
the dairy-maid also going on her way, wishing them more good
luck, and assuring her friend Mary Jane in parting, that if she indul-
ged her natural good feelings oftener, she was sure she wouldn't
have to sigh much longer for Jack Beau to come to the point, for it
was quite astonishing how it improved her looks! With mutual
smiles they nodded their last adieux,and we accompanied our couple.
They walked on bravely, Kitty all the time building the most
charming castles in the air founded on the happy commencement of
their day, and Tom delighting to listen to her cheerful chat, which
made the road seem less tiring. At last they arrived at the fashionable
quarter, where they were to separate, which we did likewise, Tem-
perance going with Tom, and Hope and I following the woman. She
wandered about until nightfall with little success, for there were
many professional beggars who understood better how to touch the
hearts of the passersby, or to weary them into giving, so that Kitty's
humble request : Kind lady, can you help me? was passed
unheeded usually, and in the few cases where she gained attention,
they preferred to give a few halfpence rather than investigate the
truth of her words. Therefore, depressed by her failure, she
turned her steps to meet her husband, whom she saw walking
slowly and heavily towards her.
S. . Sam so tired a she exclaimed involontarily, just as they neared a bril-
liantly illuminated place called the Palace of Drink.
a Well, w'ed better go in there, a said Tom, ( it's only place to get warm ..
II o" .,
'' '' g i C
I' 'L I
,'.'I , i
THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. 43
Well Tom ? she inquired wearily, too tired to put her mean-
ing into more words.
"Ah! lass! he replied moodily it's like begging! the women
were frightened of me, and the men too seemed to think I wanted to
rob them. They walked on quickly, sometimes putting a copper into
my hand. If I attempted to follow and said : Oh! sir, I don't ask for
alms, but for work, for help to get work the gentleman would
answer: 'I have no time to listen to your tale, but if you are deserving,
there are plenty of charitable societies which will help you, and
would hear no more. Have you fared no better ?"
"No answered Kitty sadly but it is such a bad day, people
don't like to be bothered. I dare say if the sun had shone they would
have felt more inclined to listen. I am so tired !" she exclaimed
involuntarily, just as they neared a brilliantly illuminated place
called the Palace of Drink.
Well, we'd better go in there, said Tom '' it's the only place to
get warm, and where we are to sleep to night I'm sure I don't know.
Kitty shivered, but hesitated to go into the palace, saying : It looks
very bright, but you know, Tom, it leads people to ruin; let us keep
out of temptation! She had scarcely finished speaking when a man,
whom they had not noticed, but who had been observing them, came
up and said, Well, mate, this is something like a raw winter's
44 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
night, ain't it? slapping his hands together. Rather trying for
your Missus, I should fancy she don't look over strong."
We shouldn't be out, depend upon it, if we had a roof to
shelter us, replied Tom rather gruffly, we were just thinking of
going in there to have a warm, pointing towards the Palace of
Drink, 'but my Kitty is afear'd of those sort o'places; there's general-
ly a low lotin them, not pleasant for a respectable woman to meet. "
You're quite right, exclaimed the man, looking at Kitty ap-
provingly, "' they're dens of iniquity, and ought to be shunned by
honest people. But how comes it you are in such a strait? "
Long lingering illness, low fever has reduced us to this, said
Tom, and I haven't the strength yet to return to my trade: I could
do light, odd jobs, but I feel like an old man, all the strength gone
out of me." "Ah there's a deal of suffering in the world," asserted
their new acquaintance, sympathisingly: look here, good folks, "
he added, resuming his cheery manner, if you like to come home
with me, I've got a cozy room, and a nice motherly landlady, who'd
look after your Missus and the infant, and I may likely put you in
the way of earning something. "
Thank you kindly, sir, I'm sure we shall be delighted," said
Kitty, answering for herself and Tom, and accordingly they accom-
panied their new friend to his lodging, their hearts growing
THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. 45
lighter as theywent, for Hope kept closely at their side. When they
arrived at their destination, they were shown into a warm room
where a bright fire was blazing, the landlady being just then busy
in brushing up the hearth. As they entered she looked up, and
exclaimed : I began to think you weren't coming home to sup-
per, Mr Ielpful! "
I hope we're not too late, Mrs Pleasant, replied their guide
"for I think we all have good appetites : as you perceive I've brought
company to supper, and I want you to let these good folks have
that spare room of yours. Mrs Pleasant looked rather surprised
at this request for such shabby looking people, but hastened to lay
the supper which looked very tempting to Tom and Kitty. After
they had all eaten heartily Mr Helpful offered Tom a pipe, and asked
him to tell his story, while Kitty retired to the room which ihe
kind landlady had made snug for her reception.
Tom's story was this : he had been a hard working engineer,
living in a country town where there had been a strike among his
fellow-workmen, and he and a few others being satisfied with their
wages had continued to work. This had enraged the Unionists (those
on strike) and poor Tom suffered many losses through their malice.
The windows of his cottage were broken, his vegetables were torn
up in the night, his pigs poisoned until at last Kitty became alarmed
46 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
by their threats, and persuaded her husband to leave the place and
go to Grandum, where they thought they should be at peace.- But
in Grandum they had to pay more for one room in an ill-ventilated
house than for their cottage with its large productive garden, and
soon the want of fresh airand the comforts to which they had been
accustomed, told upon the health of their little ones, who one after
the other were stricken down with low fever, and after lingering
some time died.-Thus they had lost five children, and one had since
been born to them.-Tom at last was attacked too, and lay for weeks
between life and death, while Kitty was worn and wasted with
sorrow and watching. No murmur, however, escaped her lips;
always patient and gentle, soothing and loving, she had been like
an angel to the poor sick man, who in the midst of his despair sent
up a prayer of gratitude for the gift of such a perfect wife, and was
saved from any act of desperation. The parish had helped them,
but so barely that they could gain no strength to work, and all
that they had possessed had gone to procure necessaries in their
illness. No one would give them work while they were in rags,
and there were so many hundreds of equally poor people in their end
of the town, that nothing could be done to help them. Tom was too
weak yet to return to his trade, and tried in vain to get light jobs,
and thus it happened that Tom and his wife had at last come to
THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. 47
starvation, for want of a friendly hand to assist them in their sorest
need. Mr. Helpful sympathised with him in all that he had suffered,
and promised to talk matters over with Mrs Pleasant the following
day. Then Tom, bidding his host good night, joined Kitty.
The next day Mr Helpful took counsel with Mrs Pleasant how to
assist the poor couple to obtain work, and they both agreed that the
first thing to be done was to procure them clothes. I know
what I'll do, exclaimed Mrs Pleasant-after having examined the
ceiling for some time, as if she thought it would inspire her with
an idea, I'll go round to the big house, and ask to see Milady
Goodheart herself! She's a real charitable lady, and when I relate
the facts, she's sure to give them something more decent to wear;
I'll start at once. "
Mr Helpful wrung the good woman's hand as if it had been a per-
sonal service she was rendering him, and when he returned from
his work was astonished and rejoiced to see the change she had
effected. He found his visitors looking warm and respectable in
clothes which his kind landlady had obtained from the grand lady
of the neighbourhood. Kitty was sitting by the fire sewing
industriously, her face beaming with smiles; Tom was busy mend-
ing Mrs Pleasant's sewing machine, while she sat working also,
and looking radiant with satisfaction. The baby was lying on the
48 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
hearthrug, stretching its tiny limbs under the influence of the com-
Ibrling heat, which it had never felt before, and as Mr Helpful
entered the room, and gazed upon its contented happy looking
inmates, his heart swelled with gratitude to you, Queen Bonte, for
having permitted me to visit Freeland and touch his heart, thus
enabling him to be the means of saving these poor creatures from
starvation. The work which the worthy man and his kind landlady
had so well begun was completed most satisfactorily. Tom and Kitty
soon had work, and Tom was not so very long before he regained
enough strength to return to his trade,where he earned sufficient to
rent the room, which had been a haven of rest to them after all
their troubles. Interest having been excited in their behalf, they
found several kind friends to help them until they were able to be
independent, and then they did not fail to show how truly grateful
they were, letting these good folks realise the delight it is, to
spread happiness around.
Thank you for your story, Charity, said the Fairy Queen,
" it is very interesting; 1 see that Fairy Justice is eager to tell her
tale, but I fear our little Princess will be over fatigued, her cheeks
are already flushed with excitement, and she will be glad of rest.
Let us go into the park; while you dance in the moonlight, Blanche
shall sleep in my own bower. Quickly the Fairies sprang to their
She looked on the beautiful Fairies dancing gracefully beneath her, in their
glittering attire borrowing a silvery light from the pure moon shining above them.
THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. 49
feet, the musical ones leapt from their branches, and soon all were
assembled on the velvety lawn. An exquisite view stretched
before them, and on each side magnificent trees reared their stately
heads, while Fairy bowers were dotted all over the picturesque
park. The Fairy Queen's light bower rested on the branches of
three grand trees, which grew close together, their graceful boughs
touching each other, but giving a full view of the lawn. Two
large swans advanced, and Blanche imitating the Queen, at her
desire, seated herself on the back of one, and was carried to the
Fairy dwelling, which was more enchanting than anything her
brightest dreams had ever pictured to her imagination.
As she lay on her luxurious couch, a heavenly repose stole over
her. She looked on the beautiful Fairies dancing gracefully be-
neath her, in their glittering attire borrowing a silvery light from
the pure moon shining above them. She heard the delicious
strains of music issuing from the neighboring trees, whither the
musical Fairies had betaken themselves, and as the balmy peace-
laden air played on hereye-lids, she felt she was in Elysium, and
was soon wafted into Dreamland. She was awakened in the
early morning by the gay carolling of voices, which seemed to sur-
round her, beneath, -above, around,- all things appeared
to unite in singing a song of happiness. Birds of brilliant plumage
50 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
flew from tree to tree warbling their gay song, and the fairies
scattered about seemed irresistibly to join in their joyful
Instinctively Blanche raised her voice also, not being able to
withstand the glad buoyancy of her heart, which freed now from
all care and sorrow, bounded with irrepressible delight, and she
sang as she had never sung before, trying to give voice to the new
born happiness within her. The Fairy Queen was soon at her
side, and invited her to roam over the beautiful grounds before
breakfast, the swans being in attendance to bear them down.
Blanche gladly acquiesced, and having reached the ground they
began their ramble. Their path was strewed with flowers first
with roses, then forget-me-nots, then heartsease, violets and
many other beautiful flowers, Blanche tripping as lightly as if she had
been a Fairy, not crushing them at all; at length they entered
the path of the lilies of the valley, which led to a cool grotto, where
a silvery fountain was playing, reflecting in its glittering spray the
many brilliant hues of the stones which formed the cave. Sealed
in one of its cosy niches they perceived theFairies Love and Justice,
in earnest conversation.-As the Fairy Queen entered, they rose to
salute her, and she laughingly inquired if Justland was still their
theme, begging them to remain, as Blanche was very curious to
THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. 51
hear about that country, and also about its great hero, Harry Noble.
Nothing loath Fairy Justice began :
I will not tire you with the full history of my favourite, Harry
Noble; I will only tell you that he rose from the comparatively
obscure position of a poor gentleman's son, to fill the important
post of Chief Minister and friend of the King. All the highest
honours were showered upon him, and he had the respect even of
his adversaries, for never had man more courageously fought and
suffered for his cause than he. Not that he was a soldier, his
battles were moral ones, strength of will, elevation of purpose,
and perseverance made him a conqueror. He never thought of
himself except as an instrument to do good to his country, to whose
interests he was loyally devoted, and for which he was prepared
to sacrifice his life. Earnest and resolute, this noble-minded man
effected the reforms which he had cherished from his youth, despite
the incalculable obstacles and difficulties which beset his path.
Steadfast and fearless, no adversary could daunt his true patriot's
spirit, and if perchance a feeling of weariness came over him at
times, when all the world seemed arrayed to thwart him, his sweet
little wife, the childish friend of his boyhood Ruby Comfort -
was always near, to cheer and solace him, and if all the world had
lost faith in him, she never would. And so he laboured and toiled
52 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
courageously cheerfully until he overcame, and after a time,
when the people's good sense made them recognize the good he
had done, they all delighted to honour him next to the king, who
loved him like a brother.
I will tell you one of the adventures that befel him, in conse-
quence of the reforms which he endeavoured to introduce. The
giants (his particular enemies), who were the leaders and instiga-
tors of the strikes, conspired together to carry him off and kill him,
unless he agreed to adopt their principles, and set to work to lay
a trap to catch him. One of them, Mr Double-Face, had rather
a nice looking countenance, if you saw only one side of it, and he
undertook to be the bait.
Accordingly on a bitter night in March, Harry left the Council
House with two or three of the members, who, after walking a little
way together, separated in turn, each going his own way, leaving
Harry to proceed to his home, which was not far distant. Mr Dou-
ble-Face had followed, and now seized his opportunity. Approach-
ing respectfully, and touching his hat, he begged him to listen to
All right, my man, talk away, said Harry cheerily, but
walk on, for this is no weather for standing, and he walked
THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. 53
Double-Face walked by his side, and in a tone of assumed melan-
choly recounted a piteous story, which he had invented for the
purpose. Harry looked at the man keenly by the light of the street-
lamp, but only saw the good side of his face, and was inclined to
believe his story, still he said: It would suit me much better
in the day time, if to-morrow would do equally well for you?"
Well, sir, I don't like to inconvenience you, but that may be
too late, began Double-Face, when Harry interrupted him, saying
hastily : How far is it from this? "
Not much above a mile, sir. "
Oh I very well; I will just walk on to my house, a few
yards distant, and if you await me here, I will return in ten mi-
"Very good, sir," said Double-Face, touching his cap, and
as Harry walked rapidly on, he rubbed his hands together in glee,
saying: Ay! my fine fellow, I think I've caught you pretty
Meanwhile Harry had entered his house and sought Ruby, who
had already retired to rest. He gave her a hasty outline of the
man's story, telling her to go to sleep and not to be anxious about
him, but to remember that she wore the ruby cross which he gave
her on her wedding-day, to be a talisman against all evil.
54 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
In spite of her anxiety, sleep seemed irresistibly to possess her,
and she slept long and soundly, dreaming the while a strange dream.
She dreamt that the man led Harry through several dull streets,
until he came to a good sized house, where there was a light in one
of the top rooms.
"That is my room, said the man, where the light is, as he
put the key in the latch. I'm sorry there's no light in the passage,
sir, but it's quite straight walking, you needn't turn right nor left."
The doorwas shut, and before Harry had advanced many steps, he
was met by another giant, who quick as lightning put a plaster over
his mouth, which made him fall insensible into the arms of Double-
Face. A lantern was brought, by whose dim light they carried him
into a back parlour, where a third giant sat awaiting them.
"Well done! Double-Face! he cried, as they entered bearing
their inanimate burden. There's no time to be lost, boys Bill, go
and harness Jerry at once, and bring the cab round, for we must
be off before day-break. "
"Have yer got the luggage ready? asked Bill with agrin. Ye
may be sure o' that, returned the other severely, I'm not like
to forget what's necessary. "
Bill perceiving that his friend was not in the best of tempers re-
frained from more inquiries, and proceeded to obey orders. He
THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. L5
returned with a cab, which the giants loaded with luggage as if
bound for a voyage, getting in themselves with their prisoner,
whose clothes they had taken the precaution to change, putting a
rough overcoat on him in lieu of his own. They drove a long dis-
tance and at last reached the harbour, where they pulled up, and
were joined by other giants. These assisted in unloading the cab,
and carrying the luggage down to the vessel, which was lying along-
side, while the others carried Harry on board. Then the order was
given to get under weigh. The vessel steamed out of the harbour,
and up the muddyriver, which to Ruby's sleep-tied eyes, seemed
blacker and thicker than ever.
At last, after what seemed hours in Ruby's dream, they came to a
large opening in a rock, looking like a cavern, and there the steamer
put in, and after having landed Harry and the giants, proceeded on
its way. The cave was very large and gloomy-looking, although
there were several lights on the long table, at which more giants
sat, awaiting the new arrivals.
A comfortable repast was spread in readiness, which the new-
comers appeared to appreciate, as they at once seated and helped
themselves, while the others attended to Harry, and endeavoured to
restore him to consciousness.
A bright wood fire was burning, but still it was damp and
56 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
uncomfortable What could they want with Harry! He was
recovering now, she heard him sigh, but itwas long before he
opened his eyes. Languidly he looked around, thinking it was all
a dream, for his head was not yet clear from the effects of the
drugged plaster. They made him drink some warm coffee which
revived him, and gradually he awakened to a sense of the truth,
and tried to collect his thoughts.
Why have you brought me hither?" he cried, standing erect
and stern, and fixing his eyes on Double-Face with such a gaze,
that even the big giant trembled in his boots, for a bad conscience
makes the strongest men cowards.
"I brought you here, because you're trying to injure us through
your reforms, and you don't suppose we're going to allow that like
lambs, do ye ? "
And what good do you suppose it will do you to bring me
here ? inquired Harry, haughtily.
Why! replied one, who seemed to be a leader, thrusting his
face close to Harry's, and speaking in a low concentrated tone, if
you don't recant your fine notions, and agree to what we want, I tell
ye, yer life's not worth that and he snapped his fingers in Harry's
face. Harry saw that his position was serious, and thought of his
dear little wife, but lie was essentially a brave man, fearing nothing
The cave was very large and gloomy-looking, although there were several lights on
the long table, at which more giants sat, awaiting the new arrivals.
THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. 57
in the path of duty, which he always unhesitatingly followed.
Therefore calm and not a whit disconcerted, he answered, You
have allured me hither by a base stratagem in the depth of the
night, when all is dark, fit time for evil deeds. I am here then
by compulsion, but will answer any questions you may wish to
address to me, as I would do if you came to me in the broad day-
light, under the shelter of my own roof, though then I should
have more respect for you."
He's mighty cool, Jim, I say !" ejaculated one to the giant who
seemed chief of the society.
1 say," exclaimed Bill, who secretly admired Harry's pluck,
" leave that chap alone for to-night, he'll come to his senses by
to-morrow; let's have some hot grog to drive the cold out. "
Thiswastoowelcome a suggestion tobe refused; so puttingamonster
kettle on the fire, they all approached the table, to prepare their grog.
Harry meanwhile felt faint from hunger and cold, and Bill, who
seemed to have more compunction than the others, asked him if
he would sit down and eat. As preservation of one's life is a natu-
ral instinct, Harry did not refuse. He therefore sat apart from the
rest, and the giants seemed involuntarily to respect his presence,
and to wish to make him comfortable, offering him the best their
table afforded, and giving him also some of their hot beverage.
58 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
This revived Harry very much, he fell his strength returning,
and was sure that the good Fairy who had protected him thus far,
would find some means of saving him. He therefore composed
himself to sleep on the damp ground, without the least fear of being
murdered while he slept. His confidence astonished the giants,
most of whom hoped it would not be necessary to kill him.
Then still in her dream Ruby saw Fairy Love descend, as it were,
from the skies, and so seductive and enchanting was her appear-
ance, that Ruby pressed her to her heart in a fond embrace, feeling
that it would give her courage to go on to the end, whatever that
might be. Lying in her embrace, Fairy Love reminded her of her
talisman, the ruby cross, and told her to kiss it; then it would render
her invisible, and aid her in rescuing her husband.
As soon as you awake, rise, dress yourself; and although you
will not see me with your waking eyes, I shall be with you, aiding
you with my irresistible power, for who can withstand my power? "
asked Fairy Love in deliciously musical tones, smiling archly
and triumphantly : It is a power more potent than any other,
- more sure to overcome than any new-fangled inventions, only
be true to me, and I will inspire you as to what you are to do.
You will find a tiny soft tube on your table, containing an inex-
haustible magic fluid. This take with you, and squeeze over the
THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. 59
giants' eyelids when they are all asleep, and they will sleep for
twelve hours. I will attach wings to your feet, so that wafted on
the wings of Love, you will speedily arrive at the cave by the sea,
and when there, guided by me, your wit shall teach you how to
act. As the Fairy spoke these last words, her sweet voice
gradually died away, and her form became indistinct, and as Ruby
tried to press her more tightly in her arms, she awoke, rubbed
her eyes, and looked around her. She was alone! No sign
of a Fairy, and worse still, no sign of Harry What was the time?
Nearly four o'clock, and Harry not yet returned! What could it
mean, and what a strange dream she had had She thought of
the Fairy's words,
When you awake, rise, dress yourself, and you will see a
small soft tube, containing a magic fluid on your table. "
She looked towards her dressing-table, and thought she saw a
tiny object which she had not observed before, lying close to the pin-
cushion. Springing out of bed -at once, she went to examine it,
and found that it was indeed a tube of ivory whiteness and opaque-
ness, and soft as india-rubber. Her dream was true then,-it was
a vision to guide her to the deliverance of her husband Oh! to
think that her beloved Harry was in danger! She must not
linger, not lose a moment, and at once she commenced dressing
60 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
herself. But a fairy wand was waved over her, and in a moment
her toilet was completed. Heaving a great sigh of relief at this proof
of the Fairy's power, Ruby took up her cross and kissed it lovingly;
immediately she became invisible. Looking in the glass she
could not see her own reflection, and yet she was standing in front
of the mirror, and could see everything else in the room! What a
wonderful piece of magic! Well, now she was ready, equipped
for her voyage of discovery, she only wanted the wings to fly
away. Scarcely had she uttered the wish when she felt something
flapping at her heels, and in another moment was lifted into the air.
She passed through the open window as if she were air herself, and
flew straight across the country towards the sea. Although she
had wings she was in dread of being too late, for if the giants
were awake, how could she drop the magic water on their eyelids!
On, on she flew until she came to the sea, and soon after to the
cavern, which looked so gloomy that she paused in terror. What
a noise the waves made, dashing their foam against it with
all their force, as if they too were angry with the giants, and
would like to engulph them Timidly she entered, looking fear-
fully around, and oh she nearly screamed as she stumbled over
one great body, which she had not perceived in her way.
Fortunately, she being light as air, the giant did not feel her, but
THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. 61
snored on undisturbed. All over the ground lay these immense
men. Were all asleep? No! There were some big eyes (watching
her, she thought, but then remembered that she was invisible)
wide open, none of them looking too amiable, and some unplea-
How was she to lull these wakeful men to sleep, whose con-
sciences were evidently too bad to allow them to enjoy the repose of
the just! All seemed more or less restless; even those who slept
made discordant noises, as if ill-tuned spirits possessed them, so
that at a loss how to proceed, she again called on Fairy Love to aid
her. To her astonishment she saw the Fairy assume the forms of
several differentgirlsat once, and dance in all these disguises before
the weary eyes of the giants One girl was dark and pale, another
fair and ruddy, one was fall and slender, another short and plump,
many styles of beauty and plainness she adopted to suit their various
tastes, and as each was an embodiment of Love dancing before
their tired eyes, they yielded to the spell, too entrancing to their
senses to be repelled successfully! Gradually their eyelids closed,
and were soon fast locked in sleep. Then quickly Ruby pressed
her tube, and squeezed a few drops of its magical contents on the
eyelids of each, going like a puff of wind from one to the other.
" Are all safe ? Haven't I missed a single one ? she asked herself,
62 THE STAR OF THE I'AIRES.
as she paused, tube in hand, her heart palpitating so loudly that
she thought they must hear it. Carefully she walked all over the
cavern, peeping into all the creeks and holes lest a giant should be
concealed from sight; but no, they were all safely sleeping, and
would sleep for twelve long hours under the influence of her magic
water! Her heart bounded with delight, as she wended her way to
where her husband lay, sleeping also, with his old happy smile on
his face. She divined his dream. It was of her, and of all the
good they would do together, a theme which was never wearying
to them, for they were one in heart as well as by law. Bending
gently over him she awoke him with a kiss, upon which, startled,
he looked around, to see if it were possible that Ruby could be near,
for surely no other lips could be like hers In vain he looked -
he could see nothing but the giants lying about, he must have
dreamt it, of course ", he sighed. Then a soft voice whispered
in his ear : It is uo dream! I am here to save you, but am invi-
sible for the time, owing to the influence of my dear ruby cross.
I have sprinkled magic water on the giants' eyelids, which will
keep them fast locked in sleep for twelve hours, during which time
you must escape. "But how? inquired Harry, as he rose and
looked out from the mouth of the cave upon the boisterous waves,
thinking that they would probably dash him to pieces against the
THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. 63
rocks, if he trusted himself to their tender mercies, when Ruby spoke
again. Dearest she said, will you follow my advice, which
is dictated by Fairy Love? Slay here, while I fly over the sea in
search of a well-manned ship, and direct it hither. I am so loath
to leave you, darling, but I must not tarry, for though I go on the
wings of Love, the ship will only have sails to carry her to your
rescue, therefore there is danger in delay. Keep up a brave heart,
for good Fairies are watching over you, and soon you will be free.
One farewell kiss! Good-bye dear love! "Harry again fell Ruby's lips
pressed against his, and was comforted to find that there was still
something of flesh about her, that she was not altogether ethereal.
To think that Love should have endued her with such power, his
sweet little wife! How glad he should be to embrace her in her
own form again, for he almost feared the mystery of this magic.
Though it might deliver him, once possessing her, would it yield her
again, or might she possibly remain dim air for ever?
Leaving Harry with his sad thoughts as he surveyed the broad
ocean from the narrow outlet, we will follow Ruby who flew
rapidly away. A contrary wind impeded her progress, but she
battled bravely with it, and congratulated herself in anticipation, on
the superior advantage it would be, to have it aiding the ship when
sailing towards the cavern, for as it was against her now, it surely
64 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
would be with her coming back. She espied a ship, lying at
anchor, which seemed the kind to suit her, and at once she made
her way towards it. Alighting on the quarter deck, she inquired
of one of the sailors where the captain was. Bedad! Ted!"
cried the one she addressed to another not far from him, but if
I belated in sperrits I'd be thinking I heard one of their voices
this ere minute. "
"Sure Pat, you're fond o' drawing, and are not awake yet!
answered his compatriot, for both these sailors came from Humid
Isle, where the soil is damp and the brogue strong. -" No! Ted,
I'm not drawing though I'd like the chance, for I had to come
aloft long afore my eyes was quenched with sleep, worse luck!"
quoth Pat.- Ruby knew that she had no time to waste, so obtain-
ing no answer from Pat, she fluttered over to Ted, and put the
same question to him.
"None of your jokes now, Pat," he cried striking out his hand
in the direction of the voice, it's some trick o' yours, and
you're wanting me to belave it's a sperrit." Did it spake to you
too?" inquired Pat, coming close to him, with a scared expression
on his face. Seeing the real alarm expressed on his friend's
countenance, Ted began to feel uneasy. "What did it say to you?"
askel Ted, still half incredulously.
TIE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. 65
It asked for the captain, in a sweet woman's voice," replied
Pat, lowering his own, and speaking solemnly.
"Oh! beshrew me! it's the captain it's after! Sure and he'll have
been playing some poor wench false, and her sperrit's come to
torment him," said Ted. Howsomever Pat, it's no' for us, so
just spake to the sperrit, and give her the information."
Me, ejaculated Pat, turning white, at the same time try-
ing to assume an air of virtuous indignation. It's not my mo-
rals to have dealings with female sperrits You're not a married man
with a family, Ted, you'd just better spake to her yourself. Ruby
grew impatient and spoke in a louder key this time, addressing
Ted, as he seemed rather the bolder of the two. Ted," she cried,
" if you do not at once answer my question, you will regret it
Speak, where is your captain. "
Bedad my lady! he answered trembling, you'll find the
captain in his own cabin, just having his early cup o'tay "
Which way, she asked.
Down these steps, then turn to your left, and it's the first
door on your right. "
Without more loss of time Ruby flew the way indicated, and
reached the cabin just as the captain was sipping his hot tea,
Ruby forgot that not being prepared, her voice would startle him,
66 THE STAR OF TIE FAIRIES.
and forthwith began to whisper in his ear, but it so tickled him
that he nearly choked, and upset all the hot tea. This besides
irritating him very much, delayed operations, and Ruby felt that
until he had made himself more comfortable, he would lend no
ear to her tale; she resolved therefore to be more careful in future.
When the captain was somewhat composed, Ruby ventured
again to approach him.
Plague on the wind, I wish it wouldn't tickle so confound-
edly he exclaimed, rubbing his ear.
Pray forgive me, kind sir, replied Ruby, as gently as she
could, but as you know, the wind sometimes takes liberties, and
it makes me blow harder than I would, for I am most anxious to
gain your ear. "
Who by all the Fairy powers, is that speaking? asked the
Captain, who was a believer in Fairies, and having a good conscience
was not alarmed ".
I am the wife of the best man in the world,-Harry Noble,-of
whom doubtless you have heard, answered Ruby, and by the
kind aid of a good Fairy I am invested with magical power, in order
the better to deliver him out of the hands of his enemies, who have
carried him off by force, and now keep him a prisoner in a dismal
cave, which is hidden under a precipitous rock in the sea, some
Without more lass of time Ruby flew the way indicated and reached the cabin just
as the captain was sipping his hot tea. Ruby forgot that not being prepared, her voce
would startle him, and forthwith began vo whisper in his ear, but it so tickled him
that he nearly choked, and upset all the hot tea.
1141~~~~ ~~ ... I'' 'li:'l'I ~i''I 'I iil,"
-, L_ :L'" , ,, I i:' ,"
6', ':, I',,
ii ''i !' I
THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. 67
miles distant. At present they are in an enchanted slumber which
will only last twelve hours, so I beseech you, kind Captain, to
hasten to my noble husband's rescue, and to bind the wicked giants
with strong ropes while they sleep, that they may be secured. "
Ho, ho! So my friends the giants have been at their pranks
again, have they! I fancy it will cost them dear this time, for when
the Fairies interfere, mortals are powerless exclaimed the cap-
tain, then continued, turning towards the direction of Ruby's voice.
Give your instructions as to the direction we must take, invi-
sible fair one, and we will at once set sail for the cave. "
Dear, good Captain, she exclaimed joyfully, I can promise
you on behalf of the Fairies, that you will be amply rewarded for
thus braving the elements, and going out of your way to help a fellow -
This white scarf, taking one that was hanging out of a ham-
mock, attached to my girdle, will float on the wind and guide the
ship, as I fly towards the cavern. I will leave you while you make
preparations, and in the meantime will see which way the wind
blows. Thus saying Ruby quitted the cabin, and flew above to
investigate the state of the elements, which seemed to be warring
with each other since her arrival on board. To her dismay she
discovered that the wicked Genii Temptum was out, battling with
68 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
Fairy Love, and had changed the wind again, in order to delay the
ship. But though alarmed to see such a powerful enemy in league
with the giants, still she was not disheartened, for she remem-
bered that though the wicked may prevail for a time and cause
much trouble, they are always overcome in the end, so despite the
Genii's furious roar she courageously began her flight, aided by her
The sails were unfurled, the anchor was weighed, and the
helmsman tried to steer in the direction of the scarf, which could
be seen waving in the air. But so terrible a gale arose that the
crew became alarmed, and Pat especially murmured at the order
to set sail.
It's all the doing o'that uncanny wench, cried he, the
divil's in this wind, I know, and he's too mighty for the like
o'her to tackle! Much better let him have his way, than give us
the chance of being kilt and drowned. "
Ach! Pat, I wonder you've the conscience to spake so, when
the sperrits are about, said Ted reprovingly.
Ye know the master tould us we were goin on a voyage o'deli-
verance, to rescue some poor gintleman who the giants ha' go
should of, so whin we're sailing in a good cause ye've no need to be
fearin the divil.
THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. 69
This is my first acquaintance wi sperrits, and I'll be glad if
it's the last, quoth Pat, discontentedly," for I know they'll lead to
harm! what do I care about the gintleman ? Let the sperrits go to
another ship, where maybe the lads ull like the job better! Ach !
by Jabers! if I didn't think that gust would carry away the top
mast! It's certain we'll soon be sayin' the bottom of the say! Here,
Jack! he cried to a sailor who had just come on deck with a
supply of rum for the men, let's have first pull! and so saying
Pat seized the can and took a good draught, which nearly emptied
it, not caring if his companions went without.
The divil take ye for a thirsty pig! cried Ted in great anger,
seizing the can in his turn, and perceiving that its contents were
almost drained. Ha, ha! the divil ull no' have me yet! laughed
Pat, into whose head the fumes of the spirit had mounted, and
who for the moment forgot his fears, I mane to drink a mony
more cans o'rum in my time! "
Scarcely had he uttered these words, when the force of the gale
seemed to explode just beside him, clearing everything by the board.
With unsteady legs, and in blind fright, Pat sought safety by rushing
in the opposite direction, but forgot that there was no railing to pro-
tect that part, and the wind catching him as he ran, carried him
overboard. Ropes were thrown, but the angry waves had already
70 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
borne him out of reach, and shrieking for help, he disappeared into
their foaming depths.
Ruby meanwhile had struggled bravely with the contending ele-
ments, and though she noticed with anxiety that the day was
advancing, while the ship was tossed about, making little way, still
she had faith in the good Fairy's power, and would not give way to
despair. Nine hours had passed since she had left the giants in their
enchanted sleep, and her heart beatfast with suspense, as it seemed
impossible that the ship could arrive in time to save Harry by natu-
ral means ; all she could do was to trust to the Fairy. At length
she was rewarded The Genii was defeated. After damaging the
ship, and delaying their voyage, he caused a last furious whirlwind,
endeavouring to sink the vessel, but finding his utmost attempts
fruitless, and Ruby and the crew still persevering on their way in
spite of him, he left as suddenly as he came, departing in disgust.
After the welcome calm, a soft breeze rose blowing in a favourable
direction, and grateful for the repose after the stormy struggle, the
ship sailed swiftly in her wake, and soon made good speed.
As they approached the cave she described the figure of a man
watching from its entrance, which she soon recognized as Harry's;
all these weary hours he had spent in watching and waiting.
Short time remained for the work to be done. Quickly the sailors
while the ship was tossed about, making little way
,_.-. c o.--- -- : ...
-:. :.- :_ 4e ~ ----- Z
.,- _, _. :
~~~~~~~~~: .... 5 ,__Z 7. .3 L7 1
S -ZI":- -.-
THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES 71
brought their ropes and bound the giants securely, but only just in
time, for as the last was bound they awoke! Imagine their fury, their
vain attempts to get free! The sailors laughed at their wrath, and
carried them on board, whither Harry had already preceded them.
They then set sail for Fortunatum, and as soon as they reached the
shore, the giants were delivered into the hands of Justice, and Harry
returned home, hoping to find Ruby there, in her natural form again.
No sooner was he in their chamber than he heard a fluttering noise
beside him, as if the wind were playing pranks, then looking round
he beheld his dear wife, and took. her in his arms. Oh! how he
hugged her to his heart, and thanked her for her courage and
patience, but she said they must give all the praise to good Fairy
The giants being exiled, they took refuge in Freeland, and
King Fairplay and Harry set to work to make a perfect government.
The spacious bright-looking coffee houses more than equalled the
attractiveness of the Palaces of Drink : instead of public houses
there were plenty of poor men's clubs, with smoking and reading
rooms, which supplied the poor also with all they required in the
way of refreshment. There were inspectors of work to see how
people got their living, and there was a tariff for wages and also
for food, which put an end to strikes. There were numerous
72 THE STAR OF THE FAIRIES.
alms-houses for the deserving poor, who either from age or afflic-
tion were unable to earn their own living, and these were made
pleasant abodes for them.
There were no workhouses, instead there were Aid-houses,
where any one in need could be admitted and cared for, but who
were not allowed to leave until their case had been investigated.
If they were found to be deserving wanting work and unable
to find it, they were kept until employment was found for them,
working meantime at their respective trades for the benefit of the
establishment. Whatever was necessary to help them on in life
was furnished by this charitable institution clothes tools
- or money, which they were to repay when able.
Those who proved to be lazy vagrants were sent to prison, which
in Justland was a terrible place, so uncomfortable and gloomy that
it was rare that prisoners returned a second time. They were made
to work so hard, that they preferred afterwards to work and earn
money for themselves, rather than to work for a prison.
Drunkenness was most severely dealt with,-the term of impri-
sonment was longer each time the offender returned, and if he
were a confirmed drunkard he was kept in confinement sometimes
for years considered as a lunatic, a dangerous and irrespon-
sible person, let out occasionally, but always with supervision,
then looking round he beheld his dear wife, and took her in his arms.
ala? T ,-,:
TIE STAR OF THE FAIRIES. 75
and at once sent back to confinement, if he could not remain
sober.- Thus the country was rid of poverty, drunkenness and
strikes, and a delightful prosperity and peace reigned in the land.
None who were deserving were allowed to want, and none who
could work 'were allowed to be idle and live on charity. Charity
was distributed with a liberal, and at the same time discrimina-
ting hand, so that it reached only those who were deserving.
" But as you are going to pay a visit to Justland, Princess Blanche,
you will see that goodly country and judge for yourself. When
Fairy Justice had concluded her story, the Princess thanked her
warmly, saying that she quite longed to make the acquaintance of
Harry and Ruby. Queen Bont6 promised to take her to Justland
and introduce her to them, which she accordingly did, accompa-
nied by Fairy Justice. How young and happy they looked, and
what bonny children they had! Three I named Fairplay, Harry, and
Ruby. The King insisted upon being godfather to all, and was as
often at their house as at his own. Harry had been made a Duke,
and was called Duke Noble. He begged the Fairies and the Prin-
cess to remain their guests as long as it pleased them, and during
her visit Blanche saw a great deal of the King; they became
more and more attached to each other, and it was arranged that the
King should go to Freeland on a visit to her parents as soon as the