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A New Book of the Fairies
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"You are an ugly thing, Arabella Stuart."
A New Book of
BY BEATRICE HARRADEN
"SHIPS THAT PASS IN THE NIGHT" "IN VARYING MOODS' ETC. ETC.
ILLUSTRATED BY EDITH D. LUPTON
GRIFFITH FARRAN BROWNE & CO. LIMITED
35 BOW STREET, COVENT GARDEN
"If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumbered here
While these visions did appear."
MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM.
[The Rights of Translation and of Reproduction are Reservedj
PREFACE TO NEW EDITION
MY thanks are due to the publishers for kindly allow-
ing me to revise the text of this fairy book, which was
written and, published some six years ago. Now,
looking once more through the pages, I am glad to
renew my acquaintance with these fairy friends, and
I turn by instinct to my favourites, the Soot Fairies,
and the little gentlemen who rang the Curfew many
centuries ago, and perhaps also the inhabitants of the
big old fiddle with the carved head.
Every day, however, something new comes into one's
life, and new fairy friends have sprung up from unex-
pected lurking-places during these last few years; some
of them having presented themselves to me in their
own informal fashion, and others having come to me
with letters of introduction from most unlikely people-
one of the most unlikely being an old German Pro-
fessor, a very grave scholar, who, so you might have
thought, would have known nothing about fairies. But
really, one can never tell, for these fairies take posses-
sion of whomsoever they will.
So, some day, I must add fresh records to these
Preface to New Edition
present chapters, and write down the story of several
persistent little creatures, who often come and tease me
at dusk and at night: fairies of our dear old country
and its grey skies, fairies, too, of a foreign land and
a sunny clime-very pushing little visitors, desiring
always to know, like other friends-" Well, and ihen
are you going to put us into a book ?"
But they must bide my time. And meanwhile 'the
Bread Fairies, and History Fairies, and the Grammar
Fairies, and the other little beings of this book, plead
for kind indulgence and a welcome.
March 29th, 1897.
I. THE BREAD-FAIRIES I
II. THE HISTORY-FAIRIES 17
III. THE OTHER BOOK-FAIRIES 38
IV. THE SOOT-FAIRIES 51
V. THE FIRE-FAIRIES 64
VI. THE MUSIC-FAIRIES 84
VII. THE STORY OF LITTLE CLEMENCY 110
VIII. THE SOOT-FAIRIES' DINNER PARTY I16
IX. THE PICTURE-FAIRIES 127
X. THE FLOWER-FAIRIES 142
XI. BERYL ENTERTAINS ALL THE FAIRIES. 160
XII. THE HUMAN-FAIRIES 177
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
"You are an ugly thing, Arabella Stuart' Frontispiece
Some were still getting out of the loaf 3
" Hold out your apron wide" 13
She found she had struck her head against the fender 15
There was a history-book .
She was soon absorbed in her work .
"I am the fairy jester" 22
" My master makes goblets and rings for the King" 23
"I am one of the fairies who toll the curfew" .24
At that moment a little Blue-coat fairy perched himself on
Arabella Stuart's left foot 27
Trying to push the scent-bottle 34
"Get in quickly, dear; don't you see they are lifting me
already ?" 36
The history-book had fallen on the floor 37
"How do you do, Beryl ?" said the grammar-fairies 40
"She took us down so tenderly, one by one" 45
She looked through them carefully 53
"And when they think they are looking particularly hand-
If you please, Mr. Sweep," she said, "I want you to take a
message for me" 65
"When.the kettle boils over" 73
"We are particularly fond of the bellows" 76
List of Illustrations
"He was so delighted with our antics, that for the time
being he quite forgot his pain" 79
Beautiful musical instruments of all ages 84
"And as for you, you dear old fiddle, with your funny carved
head, I am sure I could make quite a pet of you" 87
Saw hundreds of little people getting out of the trumpets 90
Beryl sat on the hearth, and a great many of the fairies sat
near her 94
"To which the children in the street dance" oo
The merry music-fairies 102
"Who used to watch for the organ-grinder" 103
" She used to sing sweet love-songs" 107
" But there was one little girl whom we loved" III
" And then she would take up her basket 112
Whispering her prayer .. I14
Holding the daintiest little horn-lantern 119
One evening she leaned back in her chair 128
"A peasant child called Pierre" 132
" The children laughed at him" 133
Little Pierre went on working, and old Madeleine went on
"What did the primroses say ?" 145
" They love the little human children best of all 151
" There was a dear little girl'who came to pluck some flowers 153
"She began to cry" 55
She kissed them all away 158
She stood by the door, holding in her hand a little posy 167
She struck out in all directions 75
A NEW BOOK OF THE FAIRIES
IT was just about tea time, and the light was
growing dim in the old schoolroom; but the
glow from the fire fell upon the face of a little
girl, who was sitting on the hearth,-in company with
her doll, and a white kitten, and a fairy-book. She
threw down the book, and said rather impatiently-
"I don't believe one bit in these stupid fairies, and
I'm tired of fairy-books; yes, and I'm tired of dolls,
too, and'of white kittens, too; and I hate everyone
Having delivered herself of this amiable speech, she
pushed away the white kitten, which had been playing
with her soft brown hair, and she took up her doll, at
which she gazed critically for several seconds.
"You are an ugly thing, Arabella Stuart," she
A New Book of the Fairies
remarked, "and I am surprised that I have ever been
fond of you. Oh, dear me! I wish it were tea-time.
What is the use of having the table all ready laid if we
cannot have our tea ?"
It certainly did look a tempting tea table. The
cloth was snow-white, and there was a bread-platter of
which Beryl was particularly fond. It was not one of
those round platters with sheaves of corn carved round
the edge, or texts, but it was just a square piece of
wood, perfectly smooth and white. A large loaf rested
on it, not a loaf with a head and a body, but a hedge-
hog-kind-of-loaf, without the prickles, of course, covered
all over with what I like to call bread-dimples. It was
so big that there was not any room for the knife, which
lay, rather a disconsolate object, between the butter-
dish and the marmalade-jar. The teapot was one of
those cosy dark-brown things, which, for some mys-
terious reason best known to clever housewives, are
always supposed to produce the best cup of tea.
Beryl looked at these treasures of the table, and
I do believe I am sleepy," she said to herself.
And all of a sudden she heard the sound of a great
"Pull away, pull away!" they cried. "One, two,
three. We are free now, but we do not ever remember
having been in such a tough loaf as this one."
Beryl started up, and could scarcely believe her eyes;
for the tea-table was now crowded with a number of
human beings, who did not look at all like human
beings, they were so small and so very quaint.
Some were perched on the butter-dish, others on the
and others on "
the teapot, but .L i
most of them
surrounded the .. ~
bread, and some
were still get-
ting out of the'
loaf, which they .. ..
torn open by
A good many
of them were
and were fan-
with their tiny
Some were still getting out of the loaf.
dressed in the
loveliest manner possible, in every shade of colour, but
Beryl noticed that most of them looked as if they had
tumbled into a barrel of flour, and had forgotten to
have themselves carefully brushed. She was a little
A New Book of the Fairies
timid of coming too near the table, in case she might
frighten them all away; so she drew back gently to
her old seat by the fireplace, where she could see them
all distinctly, perhaps unseen by them.
Oh," said one little lady-fairy, dressed in terra-cotta
silk smeared with flour, I thought we were never going
to get out of that loaf I feel quite faint with the effort;
but I believe a little of that yellow stuff in that pot
would do me good. I think mortals call it marmalade ;
but, whatever it is called, it looks very tempting."
Very good," said a little gentleman-fairy. "Come
along, comrades! Off with the marmalade cover!"
All hands lent their aid, and Beryl saw the fairies
busily engaged in eating.
"Good gracious!" she said to herself, "I am afraid
they will finish it, and nurse will scold me for having
been greedy. I must stop them."
It really was time she did something, for now they
were attacking the butter-dish, and about a hundred of
them were carrying the milk-jug over to the other side
of the table, where some of the exhausted fairies were
Beryl felt rather timid; still, she owed it to her own
personal character to interfere. She crept up to the
table, smiled her prettiest, and said nervously-
If you please, I am sorry to disturb you, but if you
finish all the marmalade, and all the butter, and all the
milk, nurse will say that it is my fault. You know you
are really quite welcome to everything I have, for I
can't bear people to be selfish, and I hope you do
not think that I want to keep all the marmalade for
myself. If I had known you were coming, I would
have kept my chocolate-creams for you; and, as they
were my very own, nurse could not have been angry
with me for giving them to you. I hope I have not
disturbed you. Please not to be angry with me. I
don't know who you are, but my name is Beryl, and
that is my doll, Arabella Stuart, and that is my white
Several eye-glasses were put up by the fairies, and
Beryl was scanned from top to toe. If she had not
been so nervous, she would have liked to laugh out-
right, for they did look so odd in their eye-glasses, and
it seemed so queer that they should have to put on
spectacles to look at a great big thing like herself. It
would have been much more appropriate for her to
have used a magnifying glass to see them. However,
she kept her composure, and allowed them to look at
her. Evidently her appearance pleased their fancy,
for they all exchanged glances of approbation, and
some of the -lady-fairies were much taken with her
brown hair, which streamed over her shoulders, and
hung in free natural curls.
"You need not introduce yourself to us, my dear,"
they said; "we know quite well who you are, and we
have been intending for a long time to come and see
you, but really we have been so busy that we have
had to put off many of our visits. And we thought
A New Book of the Fairies
we could put off our visit to you until it was quite
necessary for us to come, but I feel sure that we dared
not have delayed one day longer. For there are times,
Beryl, when our books, and our dolls, and our white
kittens, and all our other pleasures cease to have any
charm for us, and then it is the moment for the fairies
to pay their visit. Such a time has come to you, Beryl.
You have been saying some rather disrespectful things
about us this afternoon, but fairies do not bear malice."
Beryl clasped her hands eagerly together.
"Then you are really, really fairies!" she cried ex-
citedly. Oh, how glad I am to make your acquaint-
ance! I did not mean to say anything disrespectful
about you ; I only meant that it is rather dull always to
read about people and never to see them. Do tell me
about yourselves, and where you have come from, and
who you are, for you are not in the least like the fairies
described in the fairy-books; and do let me get a brush,
and brush the flour off your clothes, for perhaps you do
not know that you look as if you had tumbled into a
barrel of flour."
The fairies laughed merrily.
"You're very kind," they cried, "but if you were to
brush us all day long, you would never make our clothes
"Your clothes must soon get shabby," said Beryl
thoughtfully; at least, that is what I am told when my
clothes are muddy or dusty."
"Ah, but human beings are so different from fairies,"
said a little fairy-lady, the prettiest of them all, and of
course human clothes are different from fairy-clothes;
fairy-clothes never grow shabby, nor do fairy-hearts
grow cold. Those who win the fairies' love keep the
"How shall I win your love ?" asked Beryl eagerly.
"By letting us finish all the marmalade!" laughed
one of them.
Beryl laughed too.
"You shall do whatever you like," she said, "and I
shall not mind if nurse is angry. Now I'm going to sit
down at the table, and you are going to tell me all about
She dragged a chair to the table, and sat surrounded
by fairies, and she watched them whilst they played
their merry games, chasing each other round the plates,
and over the knives, and, into the teaspoons, and into
the sugar-bowl, jumping from one lump of sugar to
another, just as ordinary people might jump from
Do be careful," said Beryl anxiously; I am sure
you will tumble down and break your necks, or else
cut yourselves terribly with the edges of the knives.
My heart would break if harm .should happen to any
one of you. You really make me anxious, and I am
afraid some of you will be drowned in the milk-jug.
The milk is very deep."
They smiled, and promised to be careful, but it
was really wonderful what narrow escapes they had.
A New Book of the Fairies
Beryl thought she had never seen any people enjoy
themselves so much as these fairies in their gam-
bols. How she longed to be one of them, and to
play with them around the great bread-loaf, and all
over the tea tray! She had never cared much
about playing with other children, but all her
heart went out to these little people, and she cried
"Oh, if I could only be one of you, how happy I
should be! People do not love me very much, and I
do not love them, and something is always going
wrong with me here, and I cannot make myself loved
like Winifred over at the White House is loved."
"There, there, child, don't cry!" said the fairies,
seeing that Beryl looked tearful. I think we are all
pretty well tired, so we will just sit down quietly and
talk to you, and tell you all our secrets. We are the
bread-fairies, we live in loaves, or perhaps in flour-
barrels, and in some kinds of buns, generally of the
mealy description, and in dinner-rolls, but not as a rule
in what is called fancy-bread. We live in tin-loaves
and sugar-loaves, but what we prefer is a good sensible
loaf, like this one, for instance, where there is plenty of
room to run about in."
"I should not have thought there was very
much room," said Beryl, looking at the loaf doubt-
"You wouldn't understand," said one of the fairies,
"as you're only a human. being, and have human
notions of time and space. As a matter of fact, there
are acres and acres of space in that bread-loaf."
I'm altogether puzzled," said Beryl, "for I always
thought that loaves were baked in an oven, and so I
suppose you must be baked inside the loaves. I should
have thought you would have died outright."
"A little more or less baking does not make any
difference to us," answered the fairies; "but we have
our revenge, if by any chance the oven should have been
Here all the fairies burst out laughing. He! he !
he! he!" they cried, "and it's great fun having our
revenge sometimes, he! he! he! he!" and the little
creatures held their sides, and laughed so long and so
heartily that Beryl was afraid they would have a fit.
"And what is your revenge?" she asked as she
picked up very tenderly a little fairy-lady, dressed in
myrtle-green silk, who had tumbled off the butter-dish.
(" Oh, I hope you're not hurt, my little dear I")
"Not at all, thank you," answered the myrtle-green
fairy; "fairies have not any spines worth speaking of."
"Well," continued the other fairies, "you may have
heard the word 'indigestion' mentioned ?"
"When folk eat hot rolls or hot buns, they have
indigestion, you know; but it's all our fault really, and
it only takes place when we are a little excited and
vexed in a stuffy oven. We must lose our tempers to
someone, and this is our way of showing that we are
A New Book of the Fairies
vexed with the world in general. So when you hear of
people having indigestion from eating hot rolls, you may
know that it isn't really indigestion, but simply the
fairies in a bad temper.
I am glad you told me this," said Beryl, for I shall
never take hot loaves."
"Oh, we shall not hurt you, Beryl dear," they
answered, as we have made a friend of you."
But how is it you don't get cut when the knife is
put into the loaf?" Beryl asked. I shall always be
afraid of cutting a loaf now."
"Knives do not hurt fairies," was the answer;
"besides, we always have our warning. Do you suppose
that the bread-knife is not in sympathy with the bread-
loaf, and have not you heard the crackling noise the
knife makes when it is put into the loaf?
"Yes," said Beryl; "but I always thought it was the
cracking of the crust."
Nothing of the sort," said the fairies; it's the
signal, which we all understand. Then we gather
together to a remote part of the loaf, and at a suitable
opportunity we all escape. But sometimes we ourselves
break open the loaf, as we have done to-day. I really
think that is all we have to tell you."
"Oh, please," cried Beryl eagerly, "I should like to
know what all those little holes are for, on the top of
Holes?" said the fairies indignantly; "why, they
are the loveliest little dells imaginable. You have
never seen anything like them. As for the flowers in
them, not even the sweetest poetry could describe them
-" Oh, how I should like to see them !" said Beryl;
"do take me back with you into the loaf."
"May she come, fairies?" said the little myrtle-green
lady. I think she is rather a nice child, don't you?"
"Yes, she may come," said the fairies in willing
chorus; "and she may bring her doll, Arabella Stuart,
and her white kitten, too, if she chooses ; there is plenty
of room for them all."
Beryl clapped her hands with delight, and danced
round the tea-table.
Oh," she cried, "what fun! what fun! I shall be
as happy as the day is long with you, dear fairies. I
would rather be with you than with anyone else."
Have you thought of all the conditions?" said the
fairies. How will you like being baked, for instance?
And how will you like to see your pretty prune dress
always covered with flour ?"
"Oh, I shall not mind about my dress," said Beryl,
"and think it will be rather amusing to help to give
people indigestion; and thank you for allowing me to
take Arabella Stuart and the white kitten. I pretend
not.to be fond of them, but I should not like to leave
them behind. Shall we go now? I am afraid if we do
not go soon, nurse will be coming back, and I do not
think she will be very pleased if I run away."
"We will start in good time," said the fairies, "but
A New Bbok of the Fairies -
now that we are here, we want to look about. We do
not often visit such a beautiful schoolroom as this, Beryl;
and we think you ought to be a very happy little girl."
I was not at all happy until you came," she said,
just a little sadly; "and I am so lonely, and the days
seem so long sometimes. -And though, you see, I have
a lot 6f playthings in that corner yonder, I never play
with them now. I want to go out into the world and
see different places, and that is why I am so glad you
are going to take me into the loaf, though I cannot
conceive how I am going to get inside."
"Help us down on to the floor, Beryl," said the
fairies. Hold out your apron wide, and then we will
roll into it, and you can put us gently on the floor."
- So Beryl held out her apron, and all the bread-fairies
rolled into it helter-skelter.; and then she knelt'ldo-wn on
the floor and let the fairies out, and they scampered off
in all directions. Some of them captured the white
kitten, and turned him into a white steed, and the
kitten seemed to understand all the fun, and bore them
gallantly round the room. Some were on his ears, and
some were on his tail, and some hung on to his whiskers,
and some clung on to his pale-blue ribbon (nearly
choking him, by. the way), and one cheeky little thing
rode on his very nose. Beryl had never laughed so
much in all her life. But suddenly she heard a voice
from the. table say-
If you please, dear Beryl, you've forgotten me."
'Beryl ran to the table, and saw the little myrtle-green
fairy gazing disconsolately at her companions below.
" I have lost my eye-glass, Beryl," she said. Just help
me to find it, dear."
Beryl looked about, and at last found it in the
"Hold out your apron wide."
marmalade-pot. Of course it was sticky, and so she
wiped it with the corner of her handkerchief, and
returned it to its owner.
"Now, lift me down, Beryl dear," she said, "and in
about five minutes we shall be ready to take you home.
A New Book of the Fairies
Pack up your things, while we have another merry
dance. Take any luggage you like with you, but do
not let the boxes be heavy. Those sort of Noah's-Ark
boxes which you mortals generally use are quite a
disgrace to you. I wonder they do not break the
Beryl was so intent upon watching the fairies that she
quite forgot to get any luggage ready. She thought
she had never seen such pretty dancing. It was so
light and so rhythmical that she could almost fancy that
she was listening to a poem. Suddenly they all closed
round her and danced' their fairy rings, with her for
"Beryl, Beryl, you will believe in us now," they cried,
"will you not? Quick, child, spread out your apron
that we may jump into it, for we must be going. In
less than a minute your nurse will be coming into the
room, and then it may be too late to take you with us."
They scrambled into her apron, and thence on to
the table. Then she stooped down and picked up-the
white kitten and Arabella Stuart.
"Are you ready, Beryl ?" they asked as they formed
themselves into a heavy mass, and prepared to drag her
by her brown hair into the bread-loaf.
"I shall never, never get there," said Beryl in
despair; "'and you will only hurt yourselves. I am
afraid you must leave me behind, after all." -
"Trust entirely to the fairies," whispered the little
liyrtle-green lady, "and let yourself go. Though we
are going to pull you by the hair, we shall not hurt one
hair of your head."
"Heave ho! heave ho!" cried the fairies, pulling at
Beryl's hair, just as the sailors pull at the ropes when
they are heaving in a boat.
Beryl felt herself lifted into the air, together with
She found she had struck her head against the fender.
Arabella Stuart and the white kitten, and she was not
in the least nervous, for she heard the sweet little voice
of the myrtle-green fairy whispering-
"Courage, Beryl; trust entirely to the fairies We
are nearly in the loaf now."
A New Book of the Fairies
"Heave ho heave ho!" they cried again, and in
another moment they would have really been inside
the loaf, but an accident happened, and Beryl struck
her head against something hard. As she opened her
eyes, she heard a voice murmur as though in the
"We shall see you again, dear."
Then she looked up, and found she had struck
her head against the fender.
ALL the next day Beryl was regretting that the
bread-fairies had not taken her away.into the
loaf; but as she felt quite sure that they would
visit her again at tea-time, she determined to ask them
to try once more.
"Perhaps it is that I am not good enough to live
with the fairies," she told the white kitten. "I must
try to be better, I suppose. I must get all my sums
right, and do my French exercise without a mistake,
and not tear my frocks, and not spill the ink, and not
lose my temper, and then perhaps the fairies will come
and take me."
So, at five o'clock that evening, when the tea-table
was laid, Beryl waited in breathless excitement.
But no fairies came out of the bread.
"Oh, perhaps it was only a dream after all," she
said crossly; "but I really did think they were real.
Besides, I heard their voices distinctly, and I remember
thinking that the myrtle green lady's voice was the
sweetest voice that I had ever heard. Of course they
were real fairies, and the last words they said were-
A New Book of the Fairies
"' We shall see you again.'
"So I must just wait patiently;
But there was not a sign of the
only, it is so dull
fairies all during
tea-time, and Beryl
scarcely touched the bread
and marmalade. At last the
tea-things were cleared away,
and she s.,rr, wiull'y watched
the loal c.n the square platter
oi .t 'L the
r.. o Her
x". enit withit.
asa \\Vhen the
There was a history-book. was left
alone, she opened her bookcase, and took out several of
her lesson-books, and put them on the table. There
was a history-book and a grammar-book and a Latin
primer, and a new story-book, which she had not yet
cut. It was an historical book, and had been given to
Beryl a few days before, by one of her aunts. She had
looked at some of the pictures, but had not taken the
trouble to cut the leaves.
"I will read it when I have done my sums," she
remarked to Arabella Stuart, whom she had placed on
She was soon absorbed in her work.
the table and propped up
"I envy you, Arabella
sums to do. They have
with a French dictionary.
Stuart, not having any
a way of never coming
She was soon absorbed in her work, and was trying
hard to prove a long-division sum, which, between our-
selves, was utterly wrong; but Beryl was determined
A New Book of the Fairies
not to give up, and went on working bravely. Suddenly
she heard a voice cry out-
Beryl, Beryl, for pity's sake bring a paper-knife and
cut the leaves of the new book, for we cannot stay in
here any longer !"
Beryl started up and looked around, but she did not
see the owner of the voice.
I think it must only have been my fancy," she said;
"but I'll listen, so as to be quite sure."
And the same voice cried again: "Beryl, are you
deaf? Don't you hear that we are in trouble, and that
you can help us ? Do bring the paper-knife quickly,
and cut the leaves of the new historical book. It is
discreditable to leave a book uncut such a long time.
You don't deserve to have a book given to you."
Beryl ran to her drawer and took out a small black
paper-knife with forget-me-nots painted on it, and
began to cut the leaves of the new book.
Be careful how you cut the leaves," cried the voice,
" as you might hurt us; and please do not leave any
ragged edges; for though you may not think it, those
ragged edges are extremely difficult to walk over.'
The little girl's hand trembled with excitement.
"What can it all mean?" she said aloud. "Am I
going to see some more fairies ?"
She cut the leaves very carefully, and did not make
one ragged edge, and, when at last she put the book
down, hundreds and hundreds of fairies jumped on
to the table-fairies of every description, Anglo-Saxon
fairies, and Norman fairies, and medieval fairies, dressed
in the most extraordinary fashions. There were
Cavalier fairies, and Roundhead fairies, and heavy
Hanoverian fairies; in fact, fairies of every century, and
of every rank of life-little bits of things not much bigger
than Beryl's thumb-nail.
How do you do?" said Beryl when she had re-
covered from her surprise. "I am very pleased to
"Thank you, Beryl," they said as they came and
sat upon her arithmetic-book. Last night we received
a message from our friends the bread-fairies, asking us
to come and see you. The bread-fairies told us that
they thought you would be pleased to see us."
"May I offer you any refreshment?" said Beryl,
anxious to act the hostess with proper dignity. I
have some biscuits with pink sweets on the top, and
I think you would find them very good."
"Much obliged," said an Anglo-Saxon fairy; "but
we all dined before we came here. Dear me! what a
blessing it is to get out of that book. Do you know,
Beryl, it is quite barbarous of you not to cut a book the
minute it is given to you."
"I shall always remember that," said Beryl humbly.
"There's a good child," said a little Elizabethan
fairy, smiling kindly at Beryl.
She was dressed most gorgeously in damask silk, and
wore a huge ruff, and one of those handsome stomachers
thickly studded with precious stones.
A New Book of the Fairies
What a very pretty dress you have on, my dear,"
she said to Beryl; I'm particularly fond of heliotrope.
I don't ever remember having seen that shade in our
world, and the texture is quite a novelty, too. I should
be much obliged if you could cut me off a little pattern;
and then I will ask my friends the. silkworms to weave me
something like it for my next court dress. Their charges
are rather high; but one
cannot have anything "
without paying for it." K
I will just get a pair "
of scissors," said Beryl,
"and cut you a pattern
off at once." '
"Don't trouble to do
that, dear," said the little
Elizabethan fairy; "for
I have a pair in my own
I am, the fairy jester."
pocket. Here they are."
They were such midget things that Beryl went into
fits of laughter.
I think you had better cut the piece off," she said
to the little Elizabethan fairy, "because I am not
accustomed to use such tiny scissors. In fact, I could
not get my fingers into the loops."
So the fairy cut the tiniest morsel out of Beryl's right
sleeve, and placed it, for safety, in her purse.
"' Thank you, Beryl dear," she said. You are a nice
little girl. The bread-fairies spoke very highly of you."
And who are you all ?" asked Beryl eagerly. I
cannot understand anything about you, for you are
all dressed in differently-fashioned dresses, and you
all wear different kinds of shoes, and different kinds
of hats. Who can you be?"
.. -"--~-,---_.< : :---.--: .-., ;_.-.'4 -2
-"- -.-" *:*..-
"My master makes goblets and rings for the King."
"We are the book-fairies," said a little man who
was dressed like a jester, and had bells in his cap, and
a bauble in his hand, the very image of himself. "I
am the fairy jester of His Majesty King Edward the
"But that was ever so many centuries ago!" cried
Beryl. You ought to be dead by now."
A New Book of the Fairies
" How stupid you are! Fairies never die," said the
i fairy jester. "We
\belong to all cen-
tries ; time is
nothing to us."
LAnd who are
you?" said Beryl,
turning to a little
S fairy, who looked
like a goldsmith's
apprentice, and in-
deed bore in his
hand a finely-
wr utght golden goblet.
I am one of the fairies
living in the workshop
'of the Master of the
\Vorshipful Guild of Gold-
smiths," he said. "There is
S a whole story about me in
S dithe book which you have just
and rings for the King; and
there is no cleverer gold-
smith than he in all the
'I am one of the fairies who toll "-What century? asked
the curfew." Beryl.
"The fourteenth century," said the fairy, handing
her the golden goblet. "There, you may keep
"How generous you are!" said Beryl. "I don't
know whether I ought to take such a handsome
present from a stranger. What can I give you in
Nothing," said the fairy goldsmith, unless it be one
of your long brown hairs, which would make a very
handsome chain. May I pull one out?"
"Certainly," laughed Beryl. He beckoned to about
fifty of the other fairies, and together they broke off one
of Beryl's hairs, and he wound it round his neck.
"And who are you ?" said Beryl, turning to a very
Early English fairy.
"I am one of the fairies who toll the curfew," he
answered, "and a great nuisance it is, too, sometimes !
I do wish the custom would die out."
"Good gracious! said Beryl; "they don't toll the
curfew in this century, do they ?"
"They toll it in my century," said the fairy,-" the
eleventh century, you know; that's the century I'm
living in. I don't know anything aboutyour century."
"I'm getting quite confused," said Beryl, putting her
hands up to her head. "If you all go on like this, I
shall not know in what century I do live."
"Don't worry yourself," said the little Elizabethan
fairy; it really does not matter if you do not know in
what century you live."
"And who are you ?" said Beryl, addressing some
A New Book of the Fairies
scholarly-looking fairies, who carried little books under
We belong to Lady Jane Grey," they said. If you
remember, she is a great scholar. But perhaps you
know her ?"
"I have seen portraits of her," said Beryl. "Poor
thing How sad it was that she was beheaded !"
What a strange remark to make said the fairies.
" Lady Jane Grey is quite well-at least, she was when
we left her a few minutes ago."
"But this is the nineteenth century," said Beryl half
angrily, and Lady Jane Grey was beheaded over three
hundred years ago, in the sixteenth century."
But we are living in the sixteenth century," said the
fairies.- Surely we ought to know."
Well, I really think I'm going mad," sighed Beryl;
"this is far more difficult than arithmetic."
Excuse me, dear, but I really think you are mad,"
said a little gentleman who came up at that moment.
And who are you ? said Beryl.
Oh, I am one of Master William Caxton's printers,"
said the fairy. You cannot think what a good master
-he is to us all."
I was reading all about him the other day," said
Beryl eagerly. How I should like.to see some of his
So you shall," said the fairy; and -he took from his
pocket a miniature copy of one of the first books that
Caxton printed-" Ye Game and Playe of y Chess."
"Oh, I am delighted to see it!" said Beryl, smiling
You may keep it for your own," said the fairy; I
am sure Master Caxton will not grudge it to you."
"You are generous," said Beryl. ." I shall prize this
more than all my other books put together."
At that moment a little Blue-coat fairy
perched himself on Arabella Stuart's
At that moment a
little llue-coat fairy
pcrl:ed himself on
Arabella Stuart's left
Good gracious !"
cried Beryl. You are a Blue-coat boy, aren't you ?"
"Quite right," answered the fairy. "I am one of
Edward vI.'s scholars."
"I should have known you anywhere," said Beryl
triumphantly ; they still dress like that in our century."
She would have liked to have spoken more to the
A New Book of the Fairies
Blue-coat fairy, but the jester hurried up and told her he
wanted to introduce to her one of Joan of Arc's fairies.
"With pleasure," said Beryl; I think I am quite
prepared to meet anyone now without surprise. How
do you do ?" she said, turning to the new little fairy,
who was dressed as a poor peasant. "Please tell me
something about Joan of Arc."
She is quite well, thank you," said the fairy, "and is
tending her sheep at home. She sent many kind
messages to you, and is very proud to think that she is
one of your heroines."
I always did love Joan of Arc," said Beryl half
dreamily. "I called my best doll Joan of Arc, and,
strangely enough, she was burnt, too. I always thought
that so curious. Dear Joan of Arc, I cannot bear to
think of her having been burnt!"
What are you talking about ? said the fairy sharply.
" You are talking nonsense."
Well," said Beryl, appealing to the jester, I always
thought she was burnt. Please help me, Mr. Jester."
Oh, I can't help you, Beryl," he said, turning head-
over-heels, and playing all manner of antics. "I am
only the history-fool; I am not supposed to know any-
thing. Ask some of the other century fairies."
Beryl turned to the little Elizabethan lady.
Please tell me," she said, "whether or not Joan of
Arc was burnt."
Of course she was cried the Elizabethan fairies in
At this remark the fifteenth-century fairies became
very agitated, and it was evident, from their excited
manner, that a serious disturbance was going to take
place. Weapons were drawn on both sides, and Beryl
felt that she really must interfere.
"Oh dear! oh dear!" she pleaded," don't let there
be any fighting; it is all my fault, because I ought not
to have been so inquisitive. I won't ask any more
questions, and I won't any longer worry my brain about
you; but I'll just enjoy having you, and, after all, it does
not matter who we are, so long as we are happy
So she pacified the fairies, and the excitement soon
Well done! whispered a fairy, who looked rather
like a poet. "You are quite a clever child, for it is not
everyone who can prevent the history fairies from
quarrelling. You see, Beryl, each century has its own
gowns, its own shoes, its own hats, its own events, and
its own ideas. So that there is really everything to
make the fairies of one century disagree with the fairies
of another century."
Don't the history-fairies ever agree, then ? asked
"No, child," he answered; for they have nothing in
But, seeing that her face clouded over, he added
quickly, I said that they had nothing in common with
each other, but perhaps I was a little hasty. For there
A New Book of the Fairies
is one aspiration common to all the centuries, one
beautiful aspiration-the heart's longing after something
nobler than itself, Beryl; so that, whether you were sent
flying into the tenth or the twelfth or the fourteenth
century, you would at least have this to help you live
Thank you," said Beryl, that will always be a great
help to me. And you've put such a splendid idea into
my head, Mr. Fairy : I should so very much like to go
back into the centuries. I wonder whether some of you
would take me with you; I should like to go with you,
for I am sure you are wise, and would teach me how
to be wise too. And I want to be wise."
"There is no reason why you should not come back
into the centuries, if you wish," he said, "and I will take
you back into the fifteenth century. The jester belongs
to my century; you will find him very amusing, and he
can teach you a great deal. For there is many a thing
learnt in fun, Beryl."
Beryl's delight knew no bounds.
"Oh," she cried aloud, "how I shall enjoy myself
going back into the fifteenth century !"
"Come with us !" cried the other century fairies;
"you have chosen a most stupid century."
"Come with us!" cried 'the fairies of the Stuart
"No, come with us !" cried the Elizabethan fairies.
"No, come with us!" cried the Anglo-Saxons.
Beryl was quite distracted.
"I am sure I do not want to offend anyone," she
said, smiling kindly at them all, "and I should much
like to visit you all; but, if you don't mind, I should
prefer to go into the fifteenth century first."
There would probably have been another disturbance,
but, fortunately, the white kitten, which was sleeping on
Beryl's lap, feeling the caressing touch of her hands,
began to purr as only a white kitten can purr. The
noise spread terror amongst the fairies, for fairies have
very delicate nerves. Many of the ladies fainted away,
and the little Elizabethan lady fell into the arms of a
Norman baron. Beryl was quite concerned, and ran to
get her eau-de-cologne bottle. She put some of the
scent in her hand, and sprinkled it over the sufferers,
and she nearly drowned the little Elizabethan lady.
Be careful, Beryl," cried the jester; hold hard with
your scent; one tiny drop will do."
Oh, I'm so sorry to have been so thoughtless," said
Beryl tearfully. I do hope I have not drowned many
The little Elizabethan fairy opened her eyes, and
smiled forgivingly at Beryl.
"Never mind, dear," she gasped; I am better now;
but you nearly did drown me."
Let me put just a tiny drop of scent on your fore-
head," said Beryl, "and let me blow on it. My mother
always says that is very refreshing."
"You'll blow her away if you are not careful, Beryl,"
said the Norman baron crossly. "Don't try to nurse
A New Book of the Fairies
her, but just tell us what was that fearful noise. Hark !
it's beginning again, louder than before. It isn't safe
to stay here. I really think we shall have to go,
"Oh, it's only the white kitten purring," said Beryl.
He certainly does make a terrific noise when he once
begins, and one can't stop him, but I assure you there
is no danger."
Oh, we're not afraid, if it's only the white kitten,"
cried the fairies, starting up in great excitement. "The
bread-fairies particularly mentioned the white kitten,
and said that we were to be sure to make friends with
Here is the white kitten," said Beryl, putting him in
the centre of the table. "Hasn't he got sweet little
The fairies did not wait for a formal introduction, but
surrounded the white kitten and talked to him; and
really he seemed to understand everything they said.
Finally, he rolled on his side, and had a regular romp
with them all. Beryl stood and watched, and wished
that she were a fairy to join in the fun.
"We shall soon have to be going," said the little
Elizabethan fairy, who was watching the games, not
feeling strong enough yet to join them. I wish you
were coming into my century, dear. But when you do
come into my century, I will take every care of you,.
and put you in the way of things; for every century has
its own way of doing things."
"That is what the learned-looking gentleman yonder
has been telling me," said Beryl; "I like to listen to
him. He told me, too, that one thing never alters: the
heart's longing after something better than itself. I
shall never forget that. Who is he ?"
"He is a poet," said the little Elizabethan lady, "a
poet for all the centuries, like all great poets, you know.
So we all love him. He will say many beautiful things
to you; you are lucky to have made a friend of him,
for he does not often speak to mortals. See, he is
coming over to us."
"We shall have to be going soon, Beryl," he said;
" so, if you are coming with me, it is time for you to
pack up. By the way, though, we are only the history-
fairies; and you might wish to make the acquaintance
of some of the other book-fairies-the grammar-fairies,
and the geography-fairies, and the spelling-fairies, and
the arithmetic-fairies. The grammar-fairies are rather
grave; they have to abide by certain rules, but I think
you would like them. Would you not care to see them
,before you go back into the centuries ?"
No," answered Beryl; I should like to go with you
"Very well," said he; "but if you wish, I will send a
message to those other fairies, so that they may come
and see you afterwards."
"But supposing I didn't come back from the cen-
turies?" said Beryl anxiously.- "It would be very
awkward for them to find no one but nurse here."
A New Book of the Fairies
"Perhaps you are right, Beryl," he replied. Then,
turning to the little Elizabethan fairy, he said most
courteously, "You still look tired, madam; pray take
As they walked across the table, they stumbled over
the eau-de-cologne bottle, which had a silver top to it.
"That is a very lovely thing," said the Elizabethan
fairy admiringly. I should much like to have it."
"Please take it with you," said Beryl; "I shall be
to give it to
Trying to push the scent-bottle. b r i g h t l y.
"Do you not
think so, Master Poet ? "
He too smiled at her.
I'm not at all nice," said Beryl, hanging her head;
" I like fairies, but I don't like people."
Still she was glad that the fairies smiled so kindly at
"I will get two or three hundred of the Elizabethan
fairies to carry the scent-bottle along for me," said the
little lady, "and I know the jester will help, for he is
always so obliging. He might have lived in any cen-
tury, he adapts himself to all. -Come here, Master
Wag-tongue, and help -me to carry, this scent-bottle,
which Beryl has just given to me."
He came running to her call, smiling as usual with
"Of course I'll help," he said cheerily, trying to push
"You must not li(t it by yourself," interfered Beryl
hastily; "you may hurt yourself"
"We'll all help cried the fairies, who had finished
playing with the white kitten.
"Now, Beryl," whispered her friend the poet-fairy,
"in a few minutes we shall be starting home."
"Where? asked Beryl.
"Why, into the history-book, of course," was the
answer. "Don't lose sight of me, or else you may get
into the wrong chapter, and it is not easy to get from,
one chapter into the other, and I particularly want you -
to come into my century, because I feel that I can
teach you so many things. which will help you in your
life. Now, remember, all you have to do is not to lose
sight of me. Trust to the fairies, and they will do the
rest for you."
He was just hurrying off when she said-
May Arabella Stuart and the white kitten come.too,
if you please, Master Poet ?"
"Certainly," he replied; "but they too must look at
me, or else they will get into the wrong chapter."
A New Book of the Fairies
Beryl's heart beat with excitement. She put her doll
under her left arm, and her white kitten under her right,
and gave them instructions to stare at her fifteenth-
But you know, when you stare very hard at a thing,
sometimes you do not .see it after a while; and that is
what happened to Beryl. She had stared so hard at
"Get in quickly, dear; don't you see they are
lifting me already?"
the little gentleman that he seemed to have disappeared.
"I can't see him anywhere," she cried in despair.
"What shall I do? what shall I do?"
Never mind," whispered the little Elizabethan fairy,
who was getting into a sedan chair which a Georgian
fairy had lent her. I'll take you back with me, for I
love you, Beryl, and would like to have you always with
me. There is plenty of room in the sedan chair. Get
in quickly, dear; don't you see they are lifting me
But before Beryl could get into the sedan chair it
had drifted out of her reach, and then it disappeared,
and the more Beryl stared the less she could see of any
of the fairies.
Suddenly she heard a tremendous bang. She started
up, and rubbed her eyes, and she saw that the
history-book had fallen on the floor!
I expect the history-fairies must have knocked it
down," she said; "but I hope they have not hurt them-
And then she had a good cry because she felt so dis-
appointed that the fairies had not taken her with them
The history-book had fallen on the floor.
THE OTHER BOOK-FAIRIES
" MUST have gone to sleep over that long-division
1 sum," Beryl said as she took up her pen and
tried to go on with her work. Sums are sleepy
things, to be sure."
She screwed her little lips together, and tried very
hard to make nine go into twenty-one four times, with
I don't think that's quite right," she said to Arabella
Start, who was still propped up against the French
"I should think it wasn't!" said a sharp voice.
Beryl looked up, and saw that her arithmetic-book
and her grammar-book were wide open, and that a
number of little people had crept out of the leaves, and
were trying to pull off the brown paper-covers, which
Beryl had stitched on so carefully a few days before.
"Beryl," they said, "don't ever put brown paper-
covers on your books. It is such a horrid habit.
Fairies don't like it. When you see a brown paper-
cover torn, you may be quite sure that the fairies
have been at work. Naturally enough, too! For
The other Book-Fairies
how would you like to be covered with brown
"I'm sure I'm very sorry," said Beryl sadly. "I
have -so much to learn. I never knew till a few
minutes ago that fairies lived in books. Pray tell
me who are you?"
"We are the arithmetic -fairies," said the little
gentleman who had reproved her at the onset. "And
those grave-looking persons yonder are the grammar-
How do you do, Beryl?" said the grammar-fairies,
advancing towards her in an orderly procession.
Wont you break your ranks," said Beryl, "and
come and sit down a little while? You look tired,"
she said, addressing a pale little lady; "pray sit
"No, thank you, dear," said the little pale lady;
"and besides, I must observe my place, for I am a
I see," said Beryl; "but I thought you might make
an exception to the rule this time, as you've come to
visit me. Do you always have to observe grammar-
rules, even in holiday-time ?"
Well," said some of the grammar-fairies to each
other, "suppose we do let the rules take care of
themselves to-day in honour of Beryl; she's not par-
ticular, you know. Let all who agree hold up their
All the verbs, and adverbs, and prepositions, and
A New Book of the Fairies
adjectives held up their right hands; but the con-
junctions were a little sulky.
"Don't take any notice of the conjunctions," said the
others; "they are always disagreeable, and never will
join in any fun."
.' Please, con-
smiling, "do say
(L \ ^ ^K No one could
Sand so the con-
.' junction fairies
Si? agreed with the
S: others, that all
W "rules should be
S. abolished, for
--- that evening at
least. And you
amazed to see
'How do you do, Beryl?" saidamazed to
the grammar-fairies. what a terrible
place amongst the grammar- fairies. The adjectives
went and danced with the verbs, and the adverbs
played leap-frog with the articles, and the preposi-
tions, who are never allowed to be together as a rule,
The other Book-Fairies
joined hands, and skipped about, singing louder than
any yellow canary-bird: and that is saying a great deal,
"Hurrah! hurrah!" they cried; "isn't it nice not to
be in a sentence? I suppose you never have been in a
grammar sentence, Beryl ? "
"No," said Beryl, laughing.
"Well," said the arithmetic-fairies, in astonishment,
"we could not have believed that the grammar-fairies
could have been such good companions. But we are
really quite glad of it; for we had a message by the
telephone from the history- fairies, saying that you
wished to see us. So, of course, having come here,
we ought all to make ourselves agreeable to our big
"I think, Beryl dear," said a little arithmetic-fairy,
sitting down on her long division sum, "that you've
made a little mistake in your calculations. I'll just
light a cigarette, and correct that mistake."
He drew the tiniest little cigarette-case from his
pocket, and took out from it a mere ghost of a
I hope you don't object to my smoking ?" he
"Not at all," answered Beryl; "pray make yourself
"Dear me, how very annoying! said the little fairy.
".I've forgotten my matches."
I'll get you some," said Beryl. And she climbed on
A New Book of the Fairies
a chair, and took from off the mantelpiece a box of
safety matches. When she returned to her exercise-
book, she found that the fairy had corrected her
Here was your fault, Beryl," he said. "You ought
to know your multiplication-table better. Ah! you've
brought the matches, I see; what great things, though!
They are like so many planks."
I will strike one for you," said Beryl, as I think it
will be too heavy for you to hold."
She struck it; and all the fairies began to cough from
the effects of the fumes.
"Dear, dear, what have I done ?" said Beryl, in
great distress. "I wish I had some lozenges to offer
Now, Beryl," said the gentleman with the cigarette,
"hold the torch quite steady, so that you may not set
me on fire."
Beryl laughed heartily, for it sounded so absurd to
hear a little match spoken of as a great torch; and
it was all she could do to keep her hand steady, and
to prevent herself from lighting up the little gentleman,
instead of the little gentleman's cigarette.
"Thank you," he said as he took a long puff; "now,
if you like, we'll tell you a little about book-life."
"I should be so very much obliged," said Beryl
eagerly. "The history fairies did not tell me half
enough, and what they did tell me I did not under-
stand; for they are very puzzling."
The other Book-Fairies
"Yes," said some of the grammar-fairies, who had
taken up their position on the match-box, the history-
fairies are very puzzling and very quarrelsome."
Here several of the gentleman-fairies came up to the
first little smoker, and lit their cigarettes from his, and
some of the little preposition lady-fairies took sweets out
of their fancy hand-bags, and, after offering some of the
dainties to Beryl, helped themselves liberally.
"Now," said the first little smoker, we are prepared
to give an account of ourselves. You know we are the
book-fairies; we live in dictionaries, and grammars, and
spelling-books, and poetry and geography books, and
adventure and story books of all kinds, and when we
are tired of one book we march into another. Some-
times, though, we are shut up for years in great cases,
and no one takes us out, and no one cares about us;
and what do you think we do then ?"
"I can't imagine," said Beryl, who was listening eagerly.
"Well," continued the fairy, "when we cannot bear it
any longer, we bore little holes from one book to another,
right through all the leaves, and right through the covers;
tiny holes, you know, but quite big enough for us to get
"Really? said Beryl. "I have seen those sort of
holes, but I always thought they were done by book-
worms, not by book-fairies."
The fairies laughed.
"What mistakes you mortals do make!" they said;
"there are no such things as book-worms,"
A New Book of the Fairies
Once," continued the little cigarette gentleman, "we
were shut up in a Greek dictionary, and we were so tired
of being there, year after year, that one day we began
boring, just like you mortals bore a tunnel., We passed
through all manner of books, and the inhabitants of each
book asked us to stop, and make our home there.
"'There is plenty of room,' some of them said; 'you
see how very wide the margins are.'
"At last we came to a lovely old poetry-book, full of
the most beautiful poems and of the sweetest thoughts,
and we stopped there. We felt that we could not
possibly find a more beautiful land. It was worth all
the trouble of going the distance, to live in such a lovely
book as that."
"Was the binding very beautiful ?" asked Beryl.
"Yes," answered the fairy; "it was the handsomest
book I ever lived in; not that I am at all particular-
about bindings. It was green morocco, with a tooled
gold border of beautiful design. No one ever took the
trouble to open the bookcase, until one day a little
girl, rather like you, Beryl, came into the library, and
jumped on to a chair, and opened the case, and said-
"'Poor dear books, how dusty you all are! I shall go
and get a duster and clean you up.'
"Then she ran out of the room, and, after a few
minutes, came back with two great dusters. Then she
tucked up her sleeves and pinned up her white dress,
and set to work in real earnest.. She took us down so
tenderly, one by one."
" She took us down so tenderly, one by one."
The other Book-Fairies
"How nice of her!" said Beryl,. who was most
"And," continued the fairy, "she panted dreadfully
over some of the big books, and we did not think her
little arms were big enough to carry them; but she
managed wonderfully with all except the folios, which
were too big. And she talked to us all the time, having
guessed, of course, that we were real persons. She used
to say, 'Dear, dear books, and to think that no one
comes to see you, except myself. How lonely you
must be Never mind, you shall be my playmates.
I shall come and spend all my spare hours with
"And did she ?" said Beryl.
"Yes," said the fairy, and when we heard her turn
the key of the bookcase we were ever so happy,
because we loved being with her. There was something
so sympathetic about her. She did not always read us,
you know; she built houses with us, and beautiful
castles, and we let her do whatever she liked, for we
loved to feel the touch of her little hands. Every day
became a pleasure to us, because we knew we should
see our dear little girl-friend."
Did you ever speak to her ?" asked Beryl.
"Sometimes," said the fairy, "we spoke to her at
dusk. We told her that we should be her friends all
through her life; and you know, Beryl, they say that
books are the best friends one can have. She was
intelligent, and we helped her with her studies. When
A New Book of the Fairies
you hear of people being clever, you may know that it
is because the book-fairies love them."
If I cannot be like her," Beryl said, "I shall always
remember to take care of books, at least."
"Then we shall love you too," said the fairy kindly.
"By the way, dear, don't ever turn down the leaves of
your book, because you might squash a fairy, and that
is the one thing from which fairies never recover-
being squashed. I myself had a narrow escape the
other day, in your arithmetic-book. You turned down
one of the pages of the chapter marked 'long-division,'
and you nearly squashed my left arm. Fortunately we
have a very good doctor, and he dressed it for me at
"Oh, I am sorry," said Beryl. I'll never turn down
another leaf. Do tell me whether you suffered much
pain from your arm."
"It's quite well now," he said cheerily; "fairies'
wounds do not take long to heal; and as for being
angry with you, Beryl, why, it is not to be expected that
you should know all these things by yourself."
Beryl had been so interested in her conversation with
this little fairy that she had really forgotten all about
his companions. When he had finished speaking, she
looked up, and saw to her amazement that hundreds of
fairies were busily engaged in taking the matches out
of the match-box. It required about fifty fairies to lift
one of the matches, and some of them looked very hot
over the exertion.
The other Book-Fairies
"What are they going to do? she thought to herself,
not liking to disturb them in their amusement Some
of them made see-saws and gave the ladies a ride, but
others were plotting more ambitious and more dangerous
schemes; for they were trying to strike the matches
against the edge of the box, just as Beryl had done.
Beryl noticed that the grammar-fairies were the most mis-
chievous of all, and she began to feel rather sorry that
they had not kept to their grave procession. As for the
prepositions, they seemed to have gone quite mad, for
they roared with laughter as they tried with all their
might to strike the matches. Beryl was so amused that
she did not interfere, thinking, no doubt, that they
would not succeed in setting light to the matches.
Suddenly the preposition-fairies cried out in chorus-
"Present arms! Fire!"
Beryl heard a sound of "Tsp! Tsp Then she
heard shouts of alarm from all the fairies, and the whole
table seemed to be in a blaze. She stood up, and blew
on the flames, but was not able to put them out. She
ran for some water, and at last succeeded in subduing
the fire. But when the smoke had cleared away, Beryl
looked in vain for the fairies. They were nowhere to
"Fairies, fairies!" she cried. "What has become of
you all? Are you burnt?"
She was just going to sit down and weep, when she
heard the voice of her little cigarette-friend whispering
in her ear-
A New Book of the Fairies
"Don't be anxious, Beryl dear. We are all safe in
our books; but we had a very narrow escape. We shall
not meddle with fire again. A few hundred of us are
When Beryl opened her eyes, she -noticed that the
white kitten was playing with something which was not
a ball. She stooped down and rescued from him a box
THE days went by, and although Beryl looked
forward eagerly to seeing the fairies, they did
not visit her again. She thought about them
all the day long, and dreamed about them all the night.
Certainly, if dreaming and thinking could bring fairies,
Beryl would never have been separated from them.
She could not say which of them she liked the best;
she only knew she loved them all. She tried her best
to please them, too, and she tried to be like the little
girl about whom the fairy had spoken. She hemmed
several new dusters for herself, and she went into her
father's library, and asked to be allowed to take care of
the books there. All her spare time was spent in dust-
ing them, and she looked through them carefully to see
if she could find any fairy tunnels. Once or twice she
came across leaves which were turned down; she
smoothed them out, hoping all the time that no fairies
had been squashed. She built palaces with the books
just as the little girl had done, and she dragged out the
old volumes, which had not been opened for years,-
dull, stupid old creatures, which could not easily have
A New Book of the Fairies
interested anyone, and she spoke kind words of sym-
pathy to them, and the shabbier the books the kinder
were her words. Sometimes she sat surrounded by
them. She thought it would be a little change for them
to sit near the fire, especially as some of them looked
damp, and no doubt suffered from rheumatism. She
was horribly shocked when the white kitten tried to eat
the corners of the books, and it was a long time before
she could make him understand that fairies like to be
played with, but not eaten up. She had a good deal
of sewing to do, too; for, having seen all those curious
costumes which the history-fairies had worn, she felt
that she could not be content till she had made some
new clothes for Arabella Stuart. She decided to dress"
her like the little- Elizabethan lady, and spent *long
time in cutting out a wonderful ruff. She worked'hard
at her lessons, too, and found that they had become
very much easier to her than they were before. But
when her governess praised her, and said she had been
diligent, she did not like to take the praise to herself,
so she shook her head and said-
It's the book-fairies, you know; they've been help-
But as time went on, and as neither the bread-fairies
idr. the book-fairies came back to her, she began tb feel
very sorrowful., Every evening she gazed reproachfully
at the. bread-platter, and once or twice she looked
yearningly into the marmalade-pot, but there we teno
signs of any .fairies in either of these places.
She looked through them carefully.
One evening, when she was sitting by the fire sewing,
a quantity of soot fell down the chimney.
How horrible that soot is!" she said to the white
kitten, and moved her seat farther away from the fire-
place. Then she added, "You had better come too,
dear, as the smuts will make you quite black, and I
shouldn't like to see your beautiful coat black instead
of white. I don't want to see you look like a sweep.
Dear me, how teasing those smuts are!"
Just at that moment she heard angry voices, calling
her name impatiently-
Really, Beryl, you're very rude What is the use
of our taking the trouble to come down the chimney to
see you, if you move away and say insulting things
about us? A nice kind of a hostess you are, to be
Beryl looked round and saw, to her astonishment,
that what she had mistaken for a mass of soot was
really a dense crowd of little black persons, who began
distributing themselves in all directions, flying on to the
white kitten, and making him look like a Hottentot,
flying on to the beautiful clothes she was making for
Arabella Stuart, and literally covering her own white
apron. She tried to appear as pleasant as she could
under the circumstances, and said-
Please tell me who you are ?"
Why, we're the soot-fairies," they answered. "Who
else should we be ?"
Oh, if you're fairies," Beryl answered eagerly, I'm
A New Book of the Fairies
very pleased indeed to see you all; but I thought you
were what we call 'blacks' or 'smuts,' and I was just
going to brush you all away, for nurse will be
angry if my white apron gets dirty, and I myself
should not like to see the white kitten look like
a nigger. He has such a beautiful white coat, I
think. But, of course, if you are the soot-fairies, I
have nothing to say, and I hope you'll make your-
selves quite at home."
Beryl," said one little soot-lady who had been flying
about in the air, and now perched herself on Beryl's
nose, let me tell you one very important thing. You
should never brush away a smut, because, for all you
know, you might be hurting a fairy. I don't say that
all smuts are fairies, dear; but still, it is best to be on
the safe side. At any rate, if you must brush away the
smut, do it as gently as possible."
I will certainly remember," said Beryl, suppressing
an inclination to brush the soot-fairy off her nose. She
was glad she had restrained herself, for the little lady
flew away of her own accord, and came and rested on
Beryl's hand. She was the prettiest little thing, dressed
in black crape, without a speck of white anywhere; she
wore a handsome black jet necklace.
Well, dear," she said, and so you have never heard
of the soot-fairies ? How very much you have to learn !
We've often watched you, and the other day, when we
were visiting the book-fairies, they asked us to give you
Did they say whether they were coming to see me
again ? asked Beryl eagerly ; I do so love them."
Oh yes, you'll see them again soon," was the answer.
"They sent their love to you. We thought perhaps
that you might like to come and pay us a visit; as it
would be a little change for you."
"Where do you live? asked Beryl.
The soot-fairy laughed.
"Why, up the chimney, to be sure!" she answered.
"You cannot think how beautiful and black it is up
there. I am sure you would enjoy yourself with us,
Beryl. There are no fairies so merry as the soot-fairies.
Our black dresses do not interfere with our merry
hearts." At this moment she took some stitching out
of her work-bag, and put a tiny thimble on her finger.
"I have a good deal of sewing to do for the other
fairies," she said in excuse, "and my time is rather
valuable. What huge stitches you've put into your
sewing, Beryl! I should think each one of your stitches
must be five miles long."
"Not quite as long as that," said Beryl, laughing;
but still they are longer than yours. Indeed, I can't
see your stitches."
That's because you're a mortal," said the fairy. But
if you'll come home with me, dear, I'll teach you many
things up the chimney, and I'll teach you to fly about
just like the soot-fairies fly, and I really think you'd
like the chimney-sweep, who comes and visits us occa-
sionally. All chimney-sweeps are not nice, you know,
A New Book of the Fairies
but this one is so gentle and considerate. He knows
all about the secrets of the chimney, and he would not
hurt one of the soot-fairies. He does not like to disturb
us in our homes, and, though he is obliged sometimes to
take us away in his sack, we like going with him. We
cling about his coat, and we dance all over his face, and
"' Doesn't that chimney-sweep look black !'"
I'm sure I've often said that," said Beryl, smiling.
Of course you have," laughed the fairy, "because
you did not understand. But the chimney-sweep goes
on his way laughing, not minding what people say, for
he dearly loves the little soot-fairies, and likes them to
cling about him. He did not come for a long time, and
so one day we asked the new man what had become of
our old friend, for we thought he must be ill, since he
had forsaken us."
"And was he ill? asked Beryl.
No," said the fairy; "the stranger told us he was
tired of chimney-sweeping, and that he had become a
gardener. That made us very sad, and we determined
to go and reproach him. So one day, when the stranger
came to fetch us away in a bag, we all escaped, and
flew in a crowd to the garden where our friend was
working. He looked quite different from his old self;
his face was quite white, and his clothes were not in the
least smutty. We swarmed about him, and made
such a commotion that he dropped his spade and
"'Here are, the .soot-fairies, the dear little soot-
"' We can't do without you,' we cried as we caressed
him. 'There is no chimney-sweep like you. Come back
to us, for we're getting quite pale with grief.'"
And did he come back ? asked Beryl.
A few days after," continued the fairy, we heard
the housemaid say that the chimney was to be swept
the next morning; and you can imagine how delighted
we were when we heard his voice sing out to us the old
"'Dear little soot-fairies, good-morning to you all!'"
"Oh, I'm so glad he came back," said Beryl, clapping
her hands with delight. "Do you know, I shall never
any more be frightened of chimney-sweeps. And I
should so like to make his acquaintance."
And so you shall, dear," said the fairy, if you come
home with me."
Beryl thought, in her heart of hearts, that she would
prefer to make the acquaintance of the chimney-sweep
this side of the chimney, but she was polite enough to
thank the fairy for her kind invitation.
"You'll see wonderful things up the chimney," said
the fairy. "We have the most lovely black flowers,
with such a delicious scent. Surely you must have
smelt the chimney-flowers. There is nothing like them
I certainly have smelt a sooty smell," thought Beryl,
but she kept the thought to herself. I must say I
A New Book of the Fairies
should like to got up the chimney," she said after a.
pause, "if only I could be quite sure ,f not coming
down quite black. Nurse would be so angry with me.
But it's true I could have a bath afterwards."
"My dear child," they cried, "it's all quite nonsense
to suppose that you would be black because you went
up the chimney. It's altogether a mistaken notion to
suppose that soot makes things black."
"Perhaps I'm only an ignorant little girl," thought
Beryl to herself, "but, unless I'm quite mad, the soot-
fairies have made the white kitten black, and they've
made my white apron black. But never mind I must
not let them see that I am distressed; and they must
be nice, after all, since the chimney-sweep loved them."
So she let them do just as they wished, and she did
not interfere with their games with the white kitten.
He did not seem to worry much about the alteration in
his complexion, but rolled about on the ground, keeping
the fairies on the alert, to escape being squashed.
Then they got tired of the kitten, and they went and
played around the coal-scuttle, which was one of those
great brass pans, with a handle to it. At last they said
they must be starting for home, and they asked Beryl
whether she were willing to accompany them.
"Come along, dear," they urged; "it's such good fun
being a soot-fairy. And you don't know how amusing
it is to fly about just as you like, and tease people,
by sitting on their noses, when they don't want you, and
when they think they are looking particularly handsome."
"And when they think they are looking particularly handsome."
The Soot Fairies
"I'll come another day," said Beryl in despair.
"No, come now !" said the soot-fairies.
So, as she did not see how she could refuse, she
"Very well, I'm ready to go up the chimney, but
promise me I shan't become black."
"We promise you!" they cried. "Trust our word:
soot-fairies never make anyone black."
Beryl felt herself being pushed towards the chimney.
We've forgotten the white kitten," she cried suddenly.
"Do let's go back for it." .
Then the soot-fairies seemed to lose hold of her, and
to float up the chimney, circling with the smoke; and
she heard their voices saying reproachfully-
"Beryl must come to us another time, when she is
willing. She is not willing now. She is making
No, I'll come now," she cried, starting up and running
towards the fender.
But it was too late, for the soot-fairies had gone
beyond recall. But she remembered their words-
"The soot-fairies never make anyone black."
And when she looked at the white kitten and at her
own spotless apron, and at the clothes she had been
making for Arabella Stuart, she knew that the soot-
fairies had kept their word.
BERYL regretted very much that she had not gone
off cheerfully with the soot-fairies, because she felt
that by her reluctance she had put a slight upon
them. She thought of them the next day, and wondered
how she could send a message to them. She felt so
strongly on the point, that I think she would have
wished to go up the chimney by herself, especially as
she had their word that the soot-fairies never made
anything black. But, just as she was debating what
course she should take, nurse came in to tell her that
the sweep was coming that very morning, and that she
must go downstairs and do her lessons in the dining-
room. Here was a chance for Beryl: she would send
her message by the chimney-sweep. So she waited on
the stairs, and when the chimney-sweep passed up that
way, she stopped him, and held out her hand for him
If you please, Mr. Sweep," she said, I want you to
take a message for me to the soot-fairies. They have
told me all about you, and you don't know how fond
they are of you."
,fW^ ,-s-. ."
"If you please, Mr. Sweep," she said, "I want you to take
a message for me."
The chimney-sweep smiled kindly, and Beryl thought
he quite understood her meaning, although I daresay
he was really smiling at her quaint little ways.
I want you to tell them," continued Beryl eagerly,
"how sorry I am that I did not go with them yesterday.
I think I was very rude. You won't forget, will you? "
No, I'll not forget," he said cheerily as he held her
little hand in his own. "Ain't you afraid to give me
your little dainty hand, miss? Mine's only a great
black thing, you see."
Ah, but the soot-fairies don't make anything black,"
she said gravely.
The sweep laughed.
"And you used to be afraid of me once, missie," he
said. "Why, you used to run away when I came up
"The soot-fairies have told me how very good you
are," said Beryl, looking up at him and smiling; "and
so, of course, as you're a friend of theirs, you're a friend
of mine. Good-bye, Mr. Sweep; and tell the fairies I
send them ever so much love."
So she ran away, leaving the chimney-sweep rather
mystified, but very much delighted; and she herself
felt much easier in her conscience. She was very gentle
with any smuts which came bothering her, and tried
hard to think that soot flowers had a much more
beautiful scent than roses or pinks.
"The chimney-sweep must. have thought so," she
said to the white kitten several times; "for, if you
A New Book of the Fairies
remember, dear, he left the garden to go back to the
She spent most ot that day in the library amongst the
books, and in the evening she sat on the great big
dictionary, which she had placed near the fire. Her
doll, as usual, lay by her side, and the white kitten sat
bolt upright, gazing fixedly into the fire. Beryl did the
same, for she loved to look at the fire. I do not know
how long she watched the flames dancing about, but
suddenly one of them danced right on to the hearth,
and came quite near her dress, and as she drew it away,
rather nervously, she heard a voice from the flame say-
Don't be alarmed, Beryl; I shall not do you any
She looked, and saw that what she had taken to be a
flame was a little man, dressed in red garments, which
were decorated all over with sparks.
Who are you?" asked Beryl.
"I am a fire-fairy," he answered, and I have been
sent to ask you to come into the fireplace. All the fire-
fairies wish to make your acquaintance, and would like
to show you some hospitality. Will you come back
with me now?"
Beryl looked at the fire, which was one of those glow-
ing red fires, relieved here and there by tiny blue and
green flames. It was one thing to look at a fire, and
another thing to be inside it. The fire-fairy saw that
"The fire-fairies will not burn you, dear," he said
gently; "all you have to do is to trust in them. If
you had trusted in the soot-fairies yesterday, you would
have had a real merry time up the chimney."
I would like to come with you very much," said
Beryl eagerly, "and I am quite ready now. May the
doll and the kitten come with me? They would be so
lonely without me."
"By all means," said the fire-fairy. "Are you ready,
Beryl never knew how it was managed, but when she
recovered her senses she found herself in the grate,
surrounded by thousands of little red fire-fairies, who
were giving her a most kindly welcome. They placed
her in a red velvet chair, together with the white kitten
and the doll, which had arrived there in the same
mysterious manner as herself.
"We are delighted to see you, Beryl dear," they
cried as they danced around her in glee. Is not this
a delicious climate ? Can you be surprised that we like
living in the grate?"
t is perfectly delicious," said Beryl, sinking
back in the chair; "not at all too hot, and not
at all too cold. Why, do you know, I thought I
should have been scorched. Oh, pray tell me what
is that blue and green light yonder? I, have often
watched it outside the grate, and wondered what it
The fairies whistled, and the blue and green lights
came running up, and then Beryl saw that they were
A New Book of the Fairies
blue and green fairies, lovelier even than the red fairies,
-and that was saying a good deal.
"I have often watched you dancing about," said
Beryl. "Yes, I do believe I have watched you for
hours and hours; you cannot think how I wondered
what was going on in the fire. I have seen all sorts of
strange pictures there."
"That's what mortals always say," said the fairies.
" And they see faces they love in the fire; and I don't
know how it is, but they see their own lives in the fire,
and we have often watched them bending over, and
great tears gushing from their eyes. So I suppose we
have the power of making some mortals sad."
You don't make me sad," said Beryl, but I suppose
that is because I am young; perhaps, when I am old,
and sit watching you, I too shall be sad then."
At this moment one of the fairies brought her a
beautiful posy of fire-flowers, which she held fearlessly
in her hand, and some other little lady-fairies brought
a wreath of'spark-flowers for her head.
"You're a fire-fairy now, Beryl," they exclaimed,
"and I think we must really put a wreath round the
white kitten, so as to make him a fire-kitten."
Having done that, they brought her some delicious
ices, strawberry and vanilla.
"You'll find those very good, Beryl," they said; "we.
have an excellent cook. And here is some home-made
cake, which will go very well with the ices."
Beryl did not count how many ices she ate, for it
evidently was the fashion 'in fire-land for the fairies
to eat as many ices as they could. The dishes
were no sooner emptied than they were filled again
as if by magic. At last, after her sixtieth ice, Beryl
Now, dear fairies, do tell me about yourselves, and
why you invited me here to-night; for I think it so
kind of you to take any interest in me."
"Well, Beryl," said a grey-haired lady-fairy, "I dare-
say you know by this time that all the fairies are in-
terested in you, and we thought you were a little lonely,
and that we could do something to cheer you up. Some
children go out to parties, don't they? But you do not
go; so we thought it would be a change for you to be
invited by the fairies."
"Thank you," said Beryl, kissing the grey-haired fire-
fairy; I have not had such a treat for a long time. I
much prefer fairies to human beings like myself. I get
on so much better with the fairies, and they have taught
me so much, too. Do you know; until I came here, I
always thought that fire was a very cruel thing. But
you do not seem to me to be at all cruel."
I think we do make ourselves disagreeable some-
times," said a little fire-lady, but we mean it all for the
best. The fact of the matter is, we have one great
peculiarity. We don't like people to come to us un-
invited, and so, if fingers or hands are thrust in without
our- consent, we simply burn those fingers or those
hands, in order to give people warning. I wish we
A New Book ofthe Fairies
could warn them in a gentler way, but we spare them
'as much pain as possible."'
What becomes of you all when the fire goes out?"
asked Beryl. '
Oh," laughed the fairies, "we go to sleep, and turn:
.rey or white, just as we please; so when we're awake
we're red, you see; and when we're asleep we're grey.
What you mortals call ashes are nothing more nor less
than sleeping fairies."
Isn't it wonderful?" laughed Beryl.. I can scarcely
"And sometimes, you know," continued a fairy, "a
fire: will not light, and the housemaid's persuasions are
of no avail. That is because we've had a bad night, and.
don't care to wake up at the proper time. Sometimes
we never get any rest at all, for we dori't care to go to
sleep when people are ill. We. are 'quite red-thei, and
we watch through the long night' It is very long .ome-
"That is. very nice -of you, dear fairies," said
"We are not often'in bad tempers," said the fairy,
".but one thing annoys us tremendously, and that is
when the kettle boils over.: Then we hiss and scream
until we are quite exhausted. But I.must say we have
really beehnprovoked, for there is nothing more uppish
than a black kettle; it boils over from 'pride,' and all
that steam which you can see coming out of its spout is-
horrid temper. But there, now I Our anger, even with
'When the kettle boils over."
a black kettle, does not continue for very long. We soon
'become friends again."
"I am glad of that," said Beryl. "I myself am so
fond of black kettles that I can't bear to think of any-
one being cross with them."
"We are particularly fond of the bellows," said the
fairy, "and many of us never consent to live in a grate,
unless we know for certain that the bellows will live
near us. They can do anything they like with us, and
when we are feeling drowsy we always wake up when
the bellows come and speak to us. You must have
noticed that yourself, dear Beryl."
Of course I have," said Beryl. But I never thought
that the bellows spoke to you; I thought they only
"That's all you know about it," answered the fairy,
laughing. Come, I'll tell you what the bellows say.
"'Wake up, you dear lazy little fire-fairies It's not
your bedtime yet, and you must n6t turn grey until it
is your bedtime.'"
"And what do you say?" asked Beryl eagerly,
"because it isn't pleasant to be disturbed when one is
going to sleep. I know that."
Oh," said the fairy, "we say-
"'Go away, you horrid old bellows, and don't come
"But we wake up all the same, in spite of our grum-
blings, for fire-fairies who do not yield to the persuasion
A New Book of the Fairies
"We are particularly fond of the be
of the bellows
are considered to
be very far gone
Beryl, "I never
knew that before.
I suppose, then,
if I do not wake
up when I am
called in the
morning, that I
am very far gone
in wickedness ?"
the fairy, laugh-
ing ; that is
you to remember.
I am glad we are
able to teach you
was a little boy
whom we knew,
bt- a great many
years ago now,
and we were able
to teach him
allows manythings. His
name was Ronald; he was very delicate, and could
not run about like other children, but had to lie
quietly on the sofa, off which he could not move
without help. He suffered a great deal of pain, too,
and at times we used to hear him crying. So we
felt that we ought to try and comfort him as well as
Good little fire-fairies !" said Beryl eagerly.
"You see, Beryl," continued the fairy, it was not
quite so miserable for him in the summer, for then he
could be carried out into the garden, or else was taken
for drives, and could enjoy the sweet fresh air. But the
long winter months tried him terribly, and he used to
get tired of lying still and reading. So we took counsel
together, and one afternoon we came out of the. grate
and danced on the wall, just opposite his couch. We
invented new kinds of dances, too, to please him. He
was so delighted with our antics, that for the time being
he quite forgot his pain and laughed heartily. We had
not thought that such hearty laughter could come out of
such a feeble frame. Now, you know that after an
hour or so people do get out of breath with dancing;
and that is just what happened to us. We" felt that we
could not dance a single step more, and we were all
obliged to stop, although Ronald cried out-
"'Oh, don't leave off dancing! It does amuse me so
"But then, I suppose, he noticed that we were tired,
for he immediately added-
A New Book of the Fairies
"'Please have a good rest first; it was selfish of me
to wish you to go on.'
"At last, when we had recovered our strength, we
went on with our dancing, and we did not leave off
until the little fellow closed his eyes and fell fast
"Then you did not speak to him at all," said Beryl
in a very disappointed voice. I quite hoped you were
going to introduce yourselves to him."
"Don't be so impatient, Beryl," said the fire-fairy.
"We spoke to Ronald the very next morning, and
told him how sorry we were for all his suffering.
"'You must be patient, Ronald,' we whispered, 'and
then, as the months go on, all will be well with you;
and who knows but that you may grow up to be as
strong and active as you.would wish to be?'
"' I can't of myself learn to be patient,' he said ; 'but
perhaps I could learn if you would teach me, bright
"-Then we promised to come and teach him every
evening at dusk; and of course we kept our word.
First of all we danced for him, for that seemed to ease
his pain; and then we gathered near him, and told him
stories of the people whom we had known, and who had
borne pain without murmuring, and sorrows without
complaining. We told him that these were the true
heroes and heroines of life."
"And what did he say?" asked Beryl.
"He used to ask us to tell him more about each
"lie N as so i-iighted with our antics, that for the time being he
quite forgot his pain."
person," said. the fairy; and after we had kissed him
and said 'good-night' to him, I believe he used to think
of all we had told him. Then he became more patient
as time went on.
One day a lady came to see him, and told him that
he was patient.
"' If I am a little more patient than I was before,' he
said to her, 'it is because of the fire-fairies; they have
taught me so much.'"
Poor little Ronald I" said Beryl, and tears came into
Oh!" said the fairies, "you mustn't cry, Beryl, for
we do not.like water of any description! Besides, you
will put the fire out."
"I hope I haven't done any harm," said Beryl,
anxiously, as she dried her eyes, but I could not help
feeling sorry for Ronald. I wonder what became of
He grew stronger every month," said her friend the
fairy, and now he is a middle-aged man. But he has
never forgotten us, Beryl, and when his work for the
day is over he loves nothing better than to watch
us as we dance to him at dusk. Yes, he will steal
away from his other friends, in order to come and be
At this moment one or two of the lady-fairies began
to smother little yawns, and turned greyish, and Beryl
thought that it was about time for her to be returning
home again, although she had not a notion how she
SA New Book of the Fairies
could possibly reach home; it seemed miles and miles
away from fire-land.
I cannot tell you how I have enjoyed myself with
you," she said; "and I think I should always like to
live with you in the grate. I hope you'll allow me to
come and see you again very soon, and I should like
you to tell me some of the stories that you told to
Certainly," said the fairies; and if you like, we will
come and dance to you sometimes, for you seem to be
quite as nice a child as the bread-fairies said."
"How am I to get out of the grate ?" said Beryl.
" And, dear me, I've forgotten all about the white kitten.
I must not leave him behind, and I must not forget
my doll either. I don't like to be unloyal to my old
This is how we are going to send you three home,"
said the fairies, "only you must not be alarmed. We
are going to shoot you out on a piece of coal; you must
often have seen pieces of coal being shot out of the
grate. Now you will know that this is our way of send-
ing our guests home."
"Well, I am surprised," laughed Beryl as she sat on
the piece of coal that was brought to her, and lifted
Arabella Stuart and the white kitten into her lap.
"Hold fast, Beryl!" cried the fairies. "One, two,
three, and away!"
Then the piece of coal shot through the air, and fell
on the hearth, and Beryl started up-and, rubbing her
eyes, saw a little piece of black coal lying outside the
"Why, I do believe that is the very piece of coal I
have just come home on," she said to herself.
Then she threw it back into the grate, in case the fire-
fairies might want it for another guest.
THERE was a room in the house into which Beryl
was not often allowed to go, as it contained a
collection of very rare and beautiful musical
instruments of all ages: strange old fiddles with carved
. A- *
Beautiful musical instruments of all ages.
heads, curious-shaped trumpets and flutes, quaint guitars
handsomely inlaid with mother-o'-pearl, an elegant
harp, an old spinet, and an organ which had come
from some old church, and which had a particularly
sweet and sympathetic tone. Beryl sometimes peeped
longingly into the room, and often thought that she
would like to make these queer old instruments her
playmates and companions. She felt that they would
be far more companionable than dolls or white kittens;
and as for doing them any harm, as her father feared
she would, why, she would be gentleness itself with
every one of them. If she might only touch them, she
felt sure that she would nurse them all tenderly, just as
though she were a little mother. To-day she peeped
into the music-room, and saw that a fire had been lit in
the old-fashioned grate; and a wonderful longing came
over her to go and sit in that room all by herself. She
ran off to ask her father's permission, and he told her
that she might sit there if she would promise him not to
touch anything in the room.
I should be very angry if anything were broken,
Beryl," he said.
Full of delight, she promised, and ran off to fetch
Arabella Stuart and the white kitten, and at once
hastened into the music-room. There was no light
there, except that of the fire, which seemed to give
a weird appearance to all the instruments lying about.
Beryl shut the door carefully, and then put the doll and
the white kitten on the hearth, and placed a footstool
for herself near the fire. But she could not resist just
looking at all the instruments, and she crept about the
room, her hands behind her, and peered eagerly at each
A New Book of the Fairies
"You darlings," she said, smiling at them brightly.
" I do love you all! How I should like to make you
my companions, and what games we might have
together! And, of course, I should pretend you were
all real persons, and I should give you real names. I
think you are all beautiful. And as for you, you dear
old fiddle, with your funny carved head, I am sure I
could make quite a pet of you. I am so sorry I may
not touch any of you; but, of course, I have given my
word, and I must keep it. But I should like to take
you all down from your places, and I daresay you too
would enjoy the change; for it must be rather dull
being always in the same position. At least, that's
what I should think."
Perhaps she thought that if she stood looking at them
any longer she would not be able to keep her word,
and so she ran back to the fireside, and settled herself
down in an easy-chair, and the white kitten jumped
upon her lap.
"I wonder," she said as she stroked the kitten,
"what the fire-fairies are doing to-night. That was a
very pleasant evening I spent with them yesterday. I
rather wish they would come and fetch me away, or
else come and visit me and tell me some of their stories.
Or it would not be bad fun to make an excursion up
the chimney, and visit the soot-fairies. Wouldn't that
be fun ?" she added, shaking the white kitten.
But the kitten was drowsy, and so just blinked
his little eyes, and fell fast asleep, and Beryl curled
"And as for you, you dear old fiddle, with your funny carved head, I am
sure I could make quite a pet of you."