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Granny's Wonderful Chair
Granny's Wonderful Chair
And its Tales of Fairy
Illustrated by Marie Seymour Lucas
Griffith Farran Okeden & Welsh
Newbery House Charing Cross Road
'abIl of Contentcz.
THE CHRISTMAS CUCKOO.
THE CHRISTMAS CUCKOO (Continued).
THE LORDS OF THE WHITE AND GREY CASTLES.
THE GREEDY SHEPHERD.
THE STORY OF FAIRYFOOT.
THE STORY OF FAIRYFOOT (Continued)
THE STORY OF CHILD CHARITY.
SOUR AND CIVIL.
SOUR AND CIVIL (Continued).
THE STORY OF MERRYMIND.
THE STORY OF MERRYMIND (Continued).
PRINCE WISEWIT'S RETURN.
List of Coloureb 311luttrations.
CHAIR OF MY GRANDMOTHER, TELL ME A STORY. .Frontispicc
LISTEN TO THE STORY 15
THE MORE THEY TALKED THE LIGHTER GREW THEIR HEARTS 23
THEY MENDED THE SHOES OF LORDS AND LADIES 29
SENT TO HERD THE SWINE AND SLEEP ON STRAW 33
THEY CAME INTO THE RAVENS' NEIGHBOURHOOD 37
THE BROTHERS LIVED PEACEABLY 43
ONCE A YEAR THE FOREMOST SCULLIO WAS SENT 50
FAIRYFOOT MAKING A HUMBLE REVERENCE 56
SHE SCOURED PAILS 59
THE PROUD COUSINS STRUTTED LIKE PEACOCKS 65
CIVIL HELPED THE GREAT FIS 69
SHE FLUNG IT INTO THE SEA .. 78
AN OLD DINGY FIDDLE 81
TWO FAIR MAIDENS SPINNING 88
DAME FROSTY FACE YET SPINS .
"1 RANNY'S WONDERFUL CHAIR was first published in 1856,
in the small quarto shape which was then so familiar, and was
s' J illustrated by Kenny Meadows. Although a small book it was
published at 3s. 6d. plain, and 4s. 6d. coloured," and it very speedily became
popular, and went out of print. It was not reprinted until 1880, when it was
issued in more modern dress as an eighteenpenny volume; it then took
a fresh lease of life: New Editions appeared in 1881-1882-1883-1884
-1887, and in 1889, when, owing to the effect of competition, it had to
take its place in a shilling series. In the meantime a very curious circum-
stance had occurred. In the year 1887, Mrs Frances Hodgson Burnett
commenced in St Nicholas, "The Story of Prince Fairy Foot," which she
intended to be the first of a series under the general title of "Stories from
the Lost Fairy-Book, retold by the Child who Read Them." It was im-
mediately discovered that the lost fairy-book was the little volume called
"Granny's Wonderful Chair, and the Tales it Told;" and in regard to
this lost fairy book Mrs Burnett wrote in St Nicholas in February 1887 :-
When I was a child of six or seven, I had given to me a book of fairy-stories, of which I
was very fond. Before it had been in my possession many months, it disappeared, and though
since then I have tried repeatedly, both in England and America, to find a copy of it, I have
never been able to do so. I asked a friend in the Congressional Library at Washington-a man
whose knowledge of books is almost unlimited-to try to learn something about it for me. But
even he could find no trace of it; and so we concluded it must have been out of print some
time. I always remembered the impression the stories had made on me, and, though most of
them had become very faint recollections, I frequently told them to children, with additions of
my own. The story of Fairyfoot I had promised to tell a little girl; and in accordance with the
promise, I developed the outline I remembered, introduced new characters and conversation,
wrote it upon note-paper, inclosed it in a decorated satin cover, and sent it to her. In the first
place it was rewritten merely for her, with no intention of publication ; but she was so delighted
with it, and read and re-read it so untiringly that it occurred to me other children might like to
read it also. So I made the plan of developing and rewriting the other stories in like manner,
and having them published under the title of Stories from the Lost Fairy-Book, retold by the
Child who Read Them.'"
GRANNY'S WONDERFUL CHAIR.
3ntro bucto rV.
N an old time, long ago, when the fairies were in the world, there
lived a little girl so uncommonly fair and pleasant of look, that
they called her Snowflower. This girl was good as well as
pretty. No one had ever seen her frown or heard her say a
cross word, and young and old were glad when they saw her coming.
Snowflower had no relation in the world but a very old grand-
mother, called Dame Frostyface ; people did not like her quite so well
as her granddaughter, for she was cross enough at times, but always
kind to Snowflower; and they lived together in a little cottage built of
peat, and thatched with reeds, on the edge of a great forest; tall trees
sheltered its back from the north wind; the mid-day sun made its front
warm and cheerful; swallows built in the eaves; daisies grew thick at
the door; but there were none in all that country poorer than Snow-
flower and her grandmother. A cat and two hens were all their live-
stock : their bed was dry grass, and the only good piece of furniture in
the cottage was a great arm-chair with wheels on its feet, a black velvet
cushion, and many curious carvings of flowers and fawns on its dark
On that chair Dame Frostyface sat spinning from morning till
night to maintain herself and her granddaughter, while Snowflower
gathered sticks for firing, looked after the hens and the cat, and
did whatever else her grandmother bade her. There was nobody in
the shire could spin such fine yarn as Dame Frostyface, but she
spun very slowly. Her wheel was as old as herself, and far the more
worn; indeed, the wonder was that it did not fall to pieces. So
the dame's earnings were small, and their living meagre. Snow-
flower, however, felt no want of good dinners or fine clothes. Every
evening, when the fire was heaped with the sticks she had gathered
till it blazed and crackled up the cottage chimney, Dame Frostyface
set aside her wheel, and told her a new story. Often did the little
io GRANNY'S WONDERFUL CHAIR.
girl wonder where her grandmother had gathered so many stories,
but she soon learned that. One sunny morning, at the time of the
swallows coming, the dame rose up, put on the grey hood and mantle
in which she carried her yarn to the fairs, and said, My child, I am
going a long journey to visit an aunt of mine, who lives far in the north
country. I cannot take you with me, because my aunt is the crossest
woman alive, and never liked young people: but the hens will lay eggs
for you; there is barley-meal in the barrel; and, as you have been a
good girl, I'll tell you what to do when you feel lonely. Lay your head
gently down on the cushion of the arm-chair, and say, 'Chair of my
grandmother, tell me a story.' It was made by a cunning fairy, who
lived in the forest when I was young, and she gave it to me because
she knew nobody could keep what they got hold of better. Remember,
you must never ask a story more than once in the day; and if there
be any occasion to travel, you have only to seat yourself in it, and say,
'Chair of my grandmother, take me such a way.' It will carry you
wherever you wish; but mind to oil the wheels before you set out, for
I have sat on it these forty years in that same corner."
Having said this, Dame Frostyface set forth to see her aunt in the
north country. Snowflower gathered firing and looked after the hens
and cat as usual. She baked herself a cake or two of the barley-meal;
but when the evening fell the cottage
looked lonely. Then Snowflower re-
membered her grandmother's words, and,
laying her head gently down, she said,
-: "Chair of my grandmother, tell me a
-- -- -,- story."
.' f Scarce were the words spoken, when
a clear voice from under the velvet
cushion began to tell a new and most
S'wonderful tale, which surprised Snow-
r ._ f flower so much that she forgot to be
S frightened. After that the good girl was
S -'lonely no more. Every morning she
/ baked a barley cake, and every evening
the chair told her a new story; but she
11 could never find out who owned the
S-- '. f voice, though Snowflower showed her
--- .. gratitude by polishing up the oaken
Sr' .back, and dusting the velvet cushion,
till the chair looked as good as new.
The swallows came and built in the
eaves, the daisies grew thicker than
ever at the door; but great misfortunes fell upon Snowflower.
Notwithstanding all her care, she forgot to clip the hens' wings, and
they flew away one morning to visit their friends, the pheasants, who
lived far in the forest; the cat followed them to see its relations;
the barley-meal was eaten up, except a couple of handfuls; and Snow-
flower had often strained her eyes in hopes of seeing the grey mantle,
but there was no appearance of Dame Frostyface.
"My grandmother stays long," said Snowflower to herself; "and
by and by there will be nothing to eat. If I could get to her, perhaps
she would advise me what to do; and this is a good occasion for
Next day, at sunrise, Snowflower oiled the chair's wheels, baked a
cake out of the last of the meal, took it in her lap by way of provision
for the journey, seated herself, and said, Chair of my grandmother,
take me the way she went."
Presently the chair gave a creak, and began to move out of the
cottage and into the forest the very way Dame Frostyface had taken,
where it rolled along at the rate of a coach and six. Snowflower was
amazed at this style of travelling, but the chair never stopped nor
stayed the whole summer day, till as the sun was setting they came
upon an open space, where a hundred men were hewing down the
tall trees with their axes, a hundred more were cleaving them for
firewood, and twenty waggoners, with horses and waggons, were
carrying the wood away. Oh! chair of my grandmother, stop!"
said Snowflower, for she was tired, and also wished to know what this
might mean. The chair immediately stood still, and Snowflower,
seeing an old woodcutter, who looked civil, stepped up to him, and said,
" Good father, tell me why you cut all this wood ?"
What ignorant country girl are you ?" replied the man, not to
have heard of the great feast which our sovereign, King Winwealth,
means to give on the birthday of his only daughter, the Princess
Greedalind. It will last seven days. Everybody will be feasted, and
this wood is to roast the oxen and the sheep, the geese and the turkeys,
amongst whom there is a great lamentation throughout the land."
When Snowflower heard that she could not help wishing to see, and
perhaps share in, such a noble feast, after living so long on barley cakes;
so, seating herself, she said, Chair of my grandmother, take me quickly
to the palace of King Winwealth."
The words were hardly spoken, when off the chair started through
the trees and out of the forest, to the great amazement of the wood-
cutters, who, never having seen such a sight before, threw down their
axes, left their waggons, and followed Snowflower to the gates of a
great and splendid city, fortified with strong walls and high towers, and
GRAANNY'S WONDERFUL CHAIR.
standing in the midst of a wide plain covered with cornfields, orchards,
It was the
richest city in
all the land ;
came there to
buy and sell,
r and there was
.1m a saying that
"F people had
S.-- ..only to live
seven years in
S-it to make
Rich as they
were, however, Snowflower thought she had never seen so many dis-
contented, covetous faces as looked out from the great shops, grand
houses, and fine coaches, when her chair rattled along the streets;
indeed, the citizens did not stand high in repute for either good-nature
or honesty; but it had not been so when King Winwealth was young,
-and he and his brother, Prince Wisewit, governed the land together-
Wisewit was a wonderful prince for knowledge and prudence. He
knew the whole art of government, the tempers of men, and the powers
of the stars ; moreover, he was a great magician, and it was said of him
that he could never die or grow old. In his time there was neither
discontent nor sickness in the city-strangers were hospitably enter-
tained without price or questions. Lawsuits there were none, and
no one locked his door at night. The fairies used to come there at
May-day and Michaelmas, for they were Prince Wisewit's friends-all
but one, called Fortunetta, a shortsighted but very cunning fairy, who
hated everybody wiser than herself, and the prince especially, because
she could never deceive him.
There was peace and pleasure for many a year in King Winwealth's
city, till one day at midsummer Prince Wisewit went alone to the
forest, in search of a strange herb for his garden, but he never came
back; and though the king, with all his guards, searched far and near,
no news was ever heard of him. When his brother was gone, King
Winwealth grew lonely in his great palace, so he married a certain
princess, called Wantall, and brought her home to be his queen. This
princess was neither handsome nor agreeable. People thought she
must have gained the king's love by enchantment, for her whole dowry
INTR OD UCTOR Y.
was a desert island, with a huge pit in it that never could be filled, and
her disposition was so covetous, that the more she got the greedier she
grew. In process of time the king and queen had an only daughter,
who was to be the heiress of all their dominions. Her name was
the Princess Greedalind, and the whole city were making preparations
to celebrate her birthday-not that they cared much for the princess,
who was remarkably like her mother both in looks and temper, but
being King Winwealth's only daughter, people came from far and near
to the festival, and among them strangers and fairies who had not been
there since the days of Prince Wisewit.
There was surprising bustle about the palace, a most noble build-
ing, so spacious that it had a room for every day in the year. All the
floors were of ebony, and all the ceilings of silver, and there was such
a supply of golden dishes used by the household, that five hundred
armed men kept guard night and day lest any of them should be
stolen. When these guards saw Snowflower and her chair, they ran
one after another to tell the king, for the like had never been seen nor
heard of in his dominions, and the whole court crowded out to see the
little maiden and her chair that came of itself.
When Snowflower saw the lords and ladies in their embroidered
robes and splendid jewels, she began to feel ashamed of her own bare
feet and linen gown; but at length taking courage, she answered all
their questions, and told them everything about her wonderful chair.
The queen and the princess cared for nothing that was not gilt. The
courtiers had learned the same fashion, and all turned away in high
disdain except the old king, who, thinking the chair might amuse him
sometimes when he got out of spirits, allowed Snowflower to stay and
feast with the scullion in his worst kitchen. The poor little girl was
glad of any quarters, though nobody made her welcome-even the
servants despised her bare feet and linen gown. They would give
her chair no room but in a dusty corner behind the back door, where
Snowflower was told she might sleep at night, and eat up the scraps
the cook threw away.
That very day the feast began; it was fine to see the multitudes
of coaches and people on foot and on horseback who crowded to the
palace, and filled every room according to their rank. Never had
Snowflower seen such roasting and boiling. There was wine for the
lords and spiced ale for the common people, music and dancing of all
kinds, and the best of gay dresses; but with all the good cheer there
seemed little merriment, and a deal of ill-humour in the palace.
Some of the guests thought they should have been feasted in
grander rooms ; others were vexed to see many finer than themselves.
All the servants were dissatisfied because they did not get presents.
GRANNY'S WONDERFUL CHAIR.
There was somebody caught every hour stealing the cups, and a
multitude of people were always at the gates clamouring for goods and
lands, which Queen Wantall had taken from them. The guards con-
tinually drove them away, but they came back again, and could be
heard plainly ifi the highest banquet hall: so it was not wonderful
that the old king's spirits got uncommonly low that evening after
supper. His favourite page, who always stood behind him, perceiving
this, reminded his majesty of the little girl and her chair.
It is a good thought," said
King Winwealth. I have not
heard a story this many a year.
i.. BIring the child and the chair
.'. instantly !"
SThe favourite page sent a
messenger to the first kitchen,
who told the master-cook, the
Sr master-cook told the kitchen-
maid, the kitchen-maid told the
chief-scullion, the chief-scullion
told the dust-boy, and he told
// 'j Snowflower to wash her face,
SI r.,L rub up her chair, and go to the
Highest banquet hall, for the
S --great king Winwealth wished
... -to hear story.
Nobody offered to help her,
but when Snowflower had made
herself as smart as she could with soap and water, and rubbed the
chair till it looked as if dust had never fallen on it, she seated herself,
and said:-" Chair of my grandmother, take me to the highest banquet
Instantly the chair marched in a grave and courtly fashion out of
the kitchen, up the grand staircase, and into the highest hall. The
'chief lords and ladies of the land were entertained there, besides many
fairies and notable people from distant countries. There had never
been such company in the palace since the time of Prince Wisewit;
nobody wore less than embroidered satin. King Winwealth sat on his
ivory throne in a robe of purple velvet, stiff with flowers of gold; the
queen sat by his side in a robe of silver cloth, clasped with pearls; but
the Princess Greedalind was finer still, the feast being in her honour.
She wore a robe of cloth of gold, clasped with diamonds; two waiting-
ladies in white satin stood, one on either side, to hold her fan and
handkerchief; and two pages, in gold-lace livery, stood behind her
INTROD UCTOR .
chair. With all that Princess Greedalind looked ugly and spiteful;
she and her mother were angry to see a barefooted girl and an old
chair allowed to enter the banquet hall.
The supper-table was still covered with golden dishes, and the best
of good things, but no one offered Snowflower a morsel: so, having
made an humble courtesy to the king, the queen, the princess, and the
good company, most of whom scarcely noticed her, the poor little girl
sat down upon the carpet, laid her head on the velvet cushion, as she
used to do in the old cottage, and said :-" Chair of my grandmother,
tell me a story."
Everybody was astonished, even to the angry queen and the
spiteful princess, when a clear voice from under the cushion, said :
" Listen to the story of the Christmas Cuckoo "
Ibe Cbrivtmas Cuckoo.
" NCE upon a time there stood in the midst of a bleak moor,
in the north country, a certain village; all its inhabitants
were poor, for their fields were barren, and they had little
trade, but the poorest of them all were two brothers called
Scrub and Spare, who followed the cobbler's craft, and had but one
stall between them. It was a hut built of clay and wattles. The door
was low and always open, for there was no window. The roof did not
entirely keep out the rain, and the only thing comfortable about it was
a wide hearth, for which the brothers could never find wood enough
to make a sufficient fire. There they worked in most brotherly friend-
ship, though with little encouragement.
The people of that village were not extravagant in shoes, and
better cobblers than Scrub and Spare might be found. Spiteful people
said there were no shoes so bad that
they would not be worse for their
mending. Nevertheless Scrub and
Spare managed to live between their
own trade, a small barley field, and
a cottage garden, till one unlucky
day when a new cobbler arrived in
the village. He had lived in the
capital city of the kingdom, and, by .
his own account, cobbled for the
queen and the princesses. His awls
were sharp, his lasts were new; he I
set up his stall in a neat cottage with
two windows. The villagers soon
found out that one patch of his would
wear two of the brothers'. In short, --
all the mending left Scrub and Spare,
and went to the new cobbler. The
season had been wet and cold, their barley did not ripen well, and the
cabbages never half closed in the garden. So the brothers were poor
that winter, and when Christmas came they had nothing to feast on but
a barley loaf, a piece of rusty bacon, and some small beer of their own
THE CHRISTMAS CUCKOO.
brewing. Worse than that, the snow was very deep, and they could
get no firewood. Their hut stood at the end of the village, beyond it
spread the bleak moor, now all white and silent; but that moor had once
been a forest, great roots of old trees were still to be found in it,
loosened from the soil and laid bare by the winds and rains-one of
these, a rough, gnarled log, lay hard by their door, the half of it above
the snow, and Spare said to his brother-
"' Shall we sit here cold on Christmas while the great root lies
yonder ? Let us chop it up for firewood, the work will make us warm.'
"'No,' said Scrub; 'it's not right to chop wood on Christmas;
besides, that root is too hard to be broken with any hatchet.'
"' Hard or not we must have a fire,' replied Spare. 'Come,
brother, help me in with it. Poor as we are, there is nobody in the
village will have such a yule log as ours.'
Scrub liked a little grandeur, and in hopes of having a fine yule
log, both brothers strained and strove with all their might till, between
pulling and pushing, the great old root was safe on the hearth, and
beginning to crackle and blaze with the red embers. In high glee, the
cobblers sat down to their beer and bacon. The door was shut,
for there was nothing but cold moonlight and snow outside; but the
hut, strewn with fir boughs, and ornamented with holly, looked cheerful
as the ruddy blaze flared up and rejoiced their hearts.
"'Long life and good fortune to ourselves, brother!' said Spare.
'I hope you will drink that toast, and may we never have a worse fire
on Christmas-but what is that ?'
"Spare set down the drinking-horn, and the brothers listened aston-
ished, for out of the blazing root they heard, Cuckoo! cuckoo !' as plain
as ever the spring-bird's voice came over the moor on a May morning.
"' It is something bad,' said Scrub, terribly frightened.
"'May be not,' said Spare; and out of the deep hole at the side
which the fire had not reached flew a large grey cuckoo, and lit on the
table before them. Much as the cobblers had been surprised, they
were still more so when it said-
"' Good gentlemen, what season is this ?'
"' It's Christmas,' said Spare.
'' Then a merry Christmas to you!' said the cuckoo. 'I went to
sleep in the hollow of that old root one evening last summer, and never
woke till the heat of your fire made me think it was summer again;
but now since you have burned my lodging, let me stay in your hut till
the spring comes round-I only want a hole to sleep in, and when I
go on my travels next summer be assured I will bring you some present
for your trouble.'
"'Stay, and welcome,' said Spare, while Scrub sat wondering if it
GRANNYS WONDERFUL CHAIR.
were something bad or not; 'I'll make you a good warm hole in the
thatch. But you must be hungry after that long sleep ?-here is a slice
of barley bread. Come, help us to keep Christmas!'
The cuckoo ate up the slice, drank water from
the brown jug, for he would take no beer, and flew
thatch of the hut.
"Scrub said he was afraid it wouldn't be lucky;
but as it slept on, and the days passed, he forgot
his fears. So the snow melted, the heavy rains
came, the cold grew less, the days lengthened, and
one sunny morning the brothers were awoke by the
cuckoo shouting its own cry to let them know the
spring had come.
S'Now I'm going on my travels,' said the bird, 'over the world to
tell men of the spring. There is no country where trees bud or flowers
bloom, that I will not cry in before the year goes round. Give me
another slice of barley bread to keep me on my journey, and tell me
what present I shall bring you at the twelvemonth's end.'
Scrub would have been angry with his brother for cutting so large
a slice, their store of barley-meal being low; but his mind was occupied
with what present would be most prudent to ask : at length a lucky
thought struck him.
"' Good master cuckoo,' said he, 'if a great traveller who sees all
the world like you, could know of any place where diamonds or pearls
were to be found, one of a tolerable size brought in your beak would
help such poor men as my brother and I to provide something better
than barley bread for your next entertainment.'
I know nothing of diamonds or pearls,' said the cuckoo; 'they
are in the hearts of rocks and the sands of rivers. My knowledge is
only of that which grows on the earth. But there are two trees hard
by the well that lies at the world's end-one of them is called the
golden tree, for its leaves are all of beaten gold: every winter they fall
into the well with a sound like scattered coin, and I know not what
becomes of them. As for the other, it is always green like a laurel.
Some call it the wise, and some the merry tree. Its leaves never fall,
but they that get one of them keep a blythe heart in spite of all mis-
fortunes, and can make themselves as merry in a hut as in a palace.'
"' Good master cuckoo, bring me a leaf off that tree!' cried Spare.
"' Now, brother, don't be a fool!' said Scrub; 'think of the leaves
of beaten gold Dear master cuckoo, bring me one of them '
Before another word could be spoken, the cuckoo had flown out of
the open door, and was shouting its spring cry over moor and meadow.
THE CHRISTMAS CUCKOO.
The brothers were poorer than ever that year; nobody would send
them a single shoe to mend. The new cobbler said, in scorn, they
should come to be his apprentices; and Scrub and Spare would have
left the village but for their barley field, their cabbage garden, and a
certain maid called Fairfeather, whom
/both the cobblers had courted for
seven years without even knowing
which she meant to favour.
r "Sometimes Fairfeather seemed
inclined to Scrub, sometimes she
smiled on Spare; but the brothers
Never disputed for that. They
sowed their barley, planted their
l- cabbage, and now that their trade
was gone, worked in the rich villagers'
S fields to make out a scanty living.
SSo the seasons came and passed:
Spring, summer, harvest, and winter
followed each other as they have
done from the beginning. At the
S end of the latter, Scrub and Spare
had grown so poor and ragged that
Fairfeather thought them beneath her notice. Old neighbours forgot
to invite them to wedding feasts or merrymaking; and they thought
the cuckoo had forgotten them too, when at daybreak, on the first of
April, they heard a hard beak knocking at their door, and a voice
"' Cuckoo! cuckoo! Let me in with my presents.'
Spare ran to open the door, and in came the cuckoo, carrying on
one side of his bill a golden leaf larger than that of any tree in the north
country; and in the other, one like that of the common laurel, only it
had a fresher green.
"' Here,' it said, giving the gold to Scrub and the green to Spare,
'it is a long carriage from the world's end. Give me a slice of barley
bread, for I must tell the north country that the spring has come.'
Scrub did not grudge the thickness of that slice, though it was cut
from their last loaf. So much gold had never been in the cobbler's
hands before, and he could not help exulting over his brother.
"' See the wisdom of my choice !' he said, holding up the large leaf
of gold. 'As for yours, as good might be plucked from any hedge. I
wonder a sensible bird would carry the like so far.'
"' Good master cobbler,' cried the cuckoo, finishing the slice, 'your
conclusions are more hasty than courteous. If your brother be disap-
GRANNYS WONDERFUL CHAIR.
pointed this time, I go on the same journey every year, and for your
hospitable entertainment will think it no trouble to bring each of you
whichever leaf you desire.'
"'Darling cuckoo!' cried Scrub, 'bring me a golden one;' and
Spare, looking up from the green leaf on which he gazed as though it
were a crown-jewel, said-
"' Be sure to bring me one from the merry tree,' and away flew the
"'This is the Feast of All Fools, and it ought to be your birthday,'
said Scrub. 'Did ever man fling away such an opportunity of
getting rich Much good your merry leaves will do in the midst
of rags and poverty!' So he went on, but Spare laughed at him,
and answered with quaint old proverbs concerning the cares that
come with gold, till Scrub, at length getting angry, vowed his brother
was not fit to live with a respectable man ; and taking his lasts, his
awls, and his golden leaf, he left the wattle hut, and went to tell the
They were astonished at the folly of Spare, and charmed with
Scrub's good sense, particularly when he showed them the golden leaf,
and told that the cuckoo would bring him one every spring. The new
cobbler immediately took him into partnership ; the greatest people
sent him their shoes to mend; Fairfeather smiled graciously upon him,
and in the course of that summer they were married, with a grand
wedding feast, at which the whole village danced, except Spare, who
was not invited, because the bride could not bear his low-mindedness,
and his brother thought him a disgrace to the family.
Indeed, all who heard the story concluded that Spare must be mad,
and nobody would associate with him but a lame tinker, a beggar-boy,
and a poor woman reputed to be a witch because she was old and ugly.
As for Scrub, he established himself with Fairfeather in a cottage
close by that of the new cobbler, and quite as fine. There he mended
shoes to everybody's satisfaction, had a scarlet coat for holidays, and a
fat goose for dinner every wedding-day. Fairfeather, too, had a
crimson gown and fine blue ribands; but neither she nor Scrub were
content, for to buy this grandeur the golden leaf had to be broken and
parted with piece by piece, so the last morsel was gone before the
cuckoo came with another.
Spare lived on in the old hut, and worked in the cabbage garden.
(Scrub had got the barley field because he was the eldest.) Every day
his coat grew more ragged, and the hut more weatherbeaten; but
people remarked that he never looked sad nor sour; and the wonder
was, that from the time they began to keep his company, the tinker
grew kinder to the poor ass with which he travelled the country, the
THE CHRISTMAS CUCKOO.
beggar-boy kept out of mischief, and the old woman was never cross
to her cat or angry with the children.
Every first of April the cuckoo came tapping at their doors with
the golden leaf to Scrub and the green to Spare. Fairfeather would
have entertained him nobly with wheaten bread and honey, for she had
some notion of persuading him to
bring two gold leaves instead of
one; but the cuckoo flew away
to eat barley bread with Spare,
saying he was not fit company
for fine people, and liked the old
hut where he slept so snugly from
Christmas till Spring.
"Scrub spent the golden
leaves, and Spare kept the merry -- -_ I
ones; and I know not how many '--
years passed in this manner,
when a certain great lord, who
owned that village came to the neighbourhood. His castle scood
on the moor. It was ancient and strong, with high towers and
a deep moat. All the country, as far as one could see from the highest
turret, belonged to its lord; but he had not been there for twenty
years, and would not have come then, only he was melancholy. The
cause of his grief was that he had been prime-minister at court, and in
high favour, till somebody told the crown-prince that he had spoken
disrespectfully concerning the turning out of his royal highness's toes,
and the king that he did not lay on taxes enough, whereon the north
country lord was turned out of office, and banished to his own estate.
There he lived for some weeks in very bad temper. The servants said
nothing would please him, and the villagers put on their worst clothes
lest he should raise their rents; but one day in the harvest time his
lordship chanced to meet Spare gathering watercresses at a meadow
stream, and fell into talk with the cobbler.
How it was nobody could tell, but from the hour of that discourse
the great lord cast away his melancholy : he forgot his lost office and
his court enemies, the king's taxes and the crown-prince's toes, and
went about with a noble train hunting, fishing, and making merry in his
hall, where all travellers were entertained, and all the poor were
welcome. This strange story spread through the north country, and
great company came to the cobbler's hut-rich men who had lost their
money, poor men who had lost their friends, beauties who had grown
old, wits who had gone out of fashion, all came to talk with Spare, and
whatever their troubles had been, all went home merry. The rich
GRANNY'S WONDERFUL CHAIR.
gave him presents, the poor gave him thanks. Spare's coat ceased to
be ragged, he had bacon with his cabbage, and the villagers began to
think there was some sense in him.
By this time his fame had reached the capital city, and even the
court. There were a great many discontented people there besides the
king, who had lately fallen into ill-humour, because a neighboring
princess, with seven islands for her dowry, would not marry his eldest
son. So a royal messenger was sent to Spare, with a velvet mantle, a
diamond ring, and a com-
mand that he should re-
pair to court immediately.
'To-morrow is the
first of April,' said Spare,
'and I ,will go with you
two hours after sunrise.'
/' "The messenger lodged
all night at athe castle, and
the cuckoo came at sunrise
with the merry leaf.
"' Court is a fine place,'
a he said when the cobbler
told him he was going;
'but I cannot come there,
They would lay snares and
catch me; so be careful of
the leaves I have brought
you, and give me a fare-
well slice of barley bread.'
"Spare was sorry to
part with the cuckoo, little
as he had of his company;
but he gave him a slice
hklch would havLrkln Scrui s heart in former times, it was so thick
a-d:l larng ; and. Ihailig sewed up the leaves in the lining of his leather
dl-;i:'let, he ..et:'-'ut \with the messenger on his way to court."
"'s ^ .
Cbe Cbritmae Ciuckoo-(continzued).
r" .- IS coming caused great surprise there. Everybody wondered
what the king could see in such a common-looking man;
but scarce had his majesty conversed with him half an hour,
when the princess and her seven islands were forgotten, and
orders given that a feast for all comers should be spread in the
banquet hall. The princes of the blood, the great lords and ladies,
ministers of state, and judges of the land, after that discoursed with
Spare, and the more they talked the lighter grew their hearts, so that
such changes had never been seen at court. The lords forgot their
spites and the ladies their envies, the princes and ministers made
friends among themselves, and the judges showed no favour.
As for Spare he had a chamber assigned him in the palace, and a
seat at the king's table; one sent him rich robes and another costly
jewels ; but in the midst of all his grandeur he still wore the leather
doublet, which the palace servants thought remarkably mean. One
day the king's attention being drawn to it by the chief page, his
majesty inquired why Spare didn't give it to a beggar? But the
"' High and mighty monarch, this doublet was with me before silk
and velvet came-I find it easier to wear than the court cut; moreover,
it serves to keep me humble, by recalling the days when it was my
The king thought this a wise speech, and commanded that no one
should find fault with the leather doublet. So things went, till
tidings of his brother's good fortune reached Scrub in the moorland
cottage on another first of April, when the cuckoo came with two
golden leaves, because he had none to carry for Spare.
Think of that!' said Fairfeather. 'Here we are spending our
lives in this humdrum place, and Spare making his fortune at court
with two or three paltry green leaves What would they say to our
golden ones ? Let us pack up and make our way to the king's palace;
I'm sure he will make you a lord and me a lady of honour, not to speak
of all the fine clothes and presents we shall have.'
"Scrub thought this excellent reasoning, and their packing up
GRANNY'S WONDERFUL CHAIR..
began ; but it was soon found that the cottage contained few things fit
for carrying to court. Fairfeather could not think of her wooden bowls,
spoons, and trenchers being seen there. Scrub considered his lasts and
awls better left behind, as without them, he concluded, no one would
suspect him of being a cobbler. So putting on their holiday
clothes, Fairfeather took her looking-glass and Scrub his
drinking horn, which happened to have a very thin rim of
silver, and each carrying a golden leaf
carefully wrapped up that none might
see it till they reached the palace, the
S..iur set out in great expectation.
S"' How far Scrub and Fairfeather
journeyed I cannot say, but
When the sun was high and
warm at noon, they came
-w -- into a wood both tired and
-1-- ~ ~~~~ ------- i~~- hISY
"' '- -" -"- ..." "If I had known it was
_. _- so far to court,' said Scrub,
S I would have brought the end of
that barley loaf which we left in
S., the cupboard.'
"' Husband,' said Fairfeather, 'you shouldn't have such mean
thoughts : how could one eat barley bread on the way to a palace ? Let
us rest ourselves under this tree, and look at our golden leaves to see if
they are safe.' In looking at the leaves, and talking of their fine
prospects, Scrub and Fairfeather did not perceive that a very thin old
woman had slipped from behind the tree, with a long staff in her hand
and a great wallet by her side.
"' Noble lord and lady,' she said, for 1 know ye are such by your
voices, though my eyes are dim and my hearing none of the sharpest,
will ye condescend to tell me where I may find some water to mix a
bottle of mead which I carry in my wallet, because it is too strong for
As the old woman spoke, she pulled out a large wooden bottle such
as shepherds used in the ancient times, corked with leaves rolled
together, and having a small wooden cup hanging from its handle.
"' Perhaps ye will do me the favour to taste,' she said. It is only
made of the best honey. I have also cream cheese, and a wheaten
loaf here, if such honourable persons as you would eat the like.'
"Scrub and Fairfeather became very condescending after this
speech. They were now sure that there must be some appearance of
nobility about them; besides, they were very hungry, and having
THE CHRISTMAS CUCKOO.
hastily wrapped up the golden leaves, they assured the old woman they
were not at all proud, notwithstanding the lands and castles they had
left behind them in the north country, and would willingly help to
lighten the wallet. The old woman could scarcely be persuaded to sit
down for pure humility, but at length she did, and before the wallet
was half empty, Scrub and Fairfeather firmly believed that there must
be something remarkably noble-looking about them. This was not
entirely owing to her ingenious discourse. The old woman was a wood-
witch; her name was Buttertongue; and all her time was spent in
making mead, which, being boiled with curious herbs and spells, had
the power of making all who drank it fall asleep and dream with their
eyes open. She had two dwarfs of sons; one was named Spy, and the
other Pounce. Wherever their mother went they were not far behind;
and whoever tasted her mead was sure to be robbed by the dwarfs.
Scrub and Fairfeather sat leaning against the old tree. The
cobbler had a lump of cheese in his hand; his wife held fast a hunch
of bread. Their eyes and mouths were both open, but they were
dreaming of great grandeur at court, when the old woman raised her
"' What ho, my sons come here and carry home the harvest.'
No sooner had she spoken, than the two little dwarfs darted out
of the neighboring thicket.
"' Idle boys !' cried the mother, 'what have ye done to-day to help
our living ?'
"' I have been to the city,' said Spy, 'and could see nothing.
These are hard times for us-everybody minds their business so
contentedly since that cobbler came; but here is a leather doublet
which his page threw out of the window; it's of no use, but I brought
it to let you see I was not idle.' And he tossed down Spare's doublet,
with the merry leaves in it, which he had carried like a bundle on his
To explain how Spy came by it, I must tell
you that the forest was not far from the great city
where Spare lived in such high esteem. All j
things had gone well with the cobbler till the
king thought that it was quite unbecoming to
see such a worthy man without a servant. His
majesty, therefore, to let all men understand his
royal favour toward Spare, appointed one of his
own pages to wait upon him. The name of this
youth was Tinseltoes, and, though he was the .. -
seventh of the king's pages, nobody in all the
court had grander notions. Nothing could please
GRANNY'S PVONDERFUL CHAIR.
him that had not gold or silver about it, and his grandmother feared
he would hang himself for being appointed page to a cobbler. As for
Spare, if anything could have troubled him, this token of his majesty's
kindness would have done it.
The honest man had been so used to serve himself that the page
was always in the way, but his merry leaves came to his assistance; and,
to the great surprise of his grandmother, Tinseltoes took wonderfully
to the new service. Some said it was because Spare gave him nothing
to do but play at bowls all day on the palace-green. Yet one thing
grieved the heart of Tinseltoes, and that was his master's leather
doublet, but for it he was persuaded people would never remember that
Spare had been a cobbler, and the page took a deal of pains to let him
see how unfashionable it was at court; but Spare answered Tinseltoes
as he had done the king, and at last, finding nothing better would do,
the page got up one fine morning earlier than his master, and tossed
the leather doublet out of the back window into a certain lane where
Spy found it, and brought it to his mother.
"' That nasty thing!' said the old woman ; 'where is the good in
By this time, Pounce had taken everything of value from Scrub
and Fairfeather-the looking-glass, the silver-rimmed horn, the
husband's scarlet coat, the wife's gay mantle, and, above all, the.
golden leaves, which so rejoiced old Buttertongue and her sons, that
they threw the leather doublet over the sleeping cobbler for a jest,
and went off to their hut in the heart of the forest.
The sun was going down when Scrub and Fairfeather awoke from
dreaming that they had been made a lord and a lady, and sat clothed
in silk and velvet, feasting with the king in his palace-hall. It was a
great disappointment to find their golden leaves and all their best
things gone. Scrub tore his hair, and vowed to take the old woman's
life, while Fairfeather lamented sore; but Scrub, feeling cold for want
of his coat, put on the leather doublet without asking or caring whence
"Scarcely was it buttoned on when a change came over him; he
addressed such merry discourse to Fairfeather, that, instead of lamen-
tations, she made the wood ring with laughter. Both busied them-
selves in getting up a hut of boughs, in which Scrub kindled a fire
with a flint and steel, which, together with his pipe, he had brought
unknown to Fairfeather, who had told him the like was never heard of.
at court. Then they found a pheasant's nest at the root of an old oak,
made a meal of roasted eggs, and went to sleep on a heap of long green
grass which they had gathered, with nightingales singing all night long
in the old trees about them. So it happened that Scrub and Fair-
THE CHRISTMAS CUCKOO.
feather stayed day after day in the forest, making their hut larger and
more comfortable against the winter, living on wild birds' eggs and
berries, and never thinking of their lost golden leaves, or their journey
"In the meantime Spare had got up and missed his doublet.
Tinseltoes, of course, said he knew nothing about it. The whole
palace was searched, and every servant questioned, till all the court
wondered why such a fuss was made about an old leather doublet.
That very day things came back to their old fashion. Quarrels began
among the lords, and jealousies among the ladies. The king said his
subjects did not pay him half enough taxes, the queen wanted more
jewels, the servants took to their old bickerings and got up some new
ones. Spare found himself getting wonderfully dull, and
very much out of place: nobles began
to ask what business a cobbler had
at the king's table, and his majesty
ordered the palace chronicles to
be searched for a precedent.
The cobbler was too wise
to tell all he had lost with
that double, but being
by this time somewhat
familiar with court cus-
toms, he proclaimed a -a. pblI ...
reward of fifty gold
pieces to any who
would bring him news con-
Scarcely was this made known in the city, when the gates and
outer courts of the palace were filled by men, women, and children,
some bringing leather doublets of every cut and colour; some with
tales of what they had heard and seen in their walks about the neigh-
bourhood; and so much news concerning all sorts of great people came
out of these stories, that lords and ladies ran to the king with
complaints of Spare as a speaker of slander; and his majesty, being
now satisfied that there was no example in all the palace records of
such a retainer, issued a decree banishing the cobbler for ever from
court, and confiscating all his goods in favour of Tinseltoes.
"That royal edict was scarcely published before the page was in
full possession of his rich chamber, his costly garments, and all the
presents the courtiers had given him; while Spare, having no longer
the fifty pieces of gold to give, was glad to make his escape out of the
back window, for fear of the nobles, who vowed to be revenged on
GRANNY'S WONDERFUL CHAIR.
him, and the crowd, who were prepared to stone him for cheating them
about his doublet.
"The window from which Spare let himself down with a strong
rope, was that from which Tinseltoes had tossed the doublet, and as
the cobbler came down late in the twilight, a poor woodman, with a
heavy load of fagots, stopped and stared at him in great astonishment.
"'What's the matter, friend ?' said Spare. 'Did you never see a
man coming down from a back window before ? "
"'Why,' said the woodman, 'the last morning I passed here a
leather doublet came out of that very window, and I'll be bound you
are the owner of it.'
"'That I am, friend," said the cobbler. 'Can you tell me which
way that doublet went ? "
"'As I walked on,' said the woodman, 'a dwarf, called Spy,
bundled it up and ran off to his mother in the forest.'
"' Honest friend,' said Spare, taking off the last of his fine clothes
(a grass-green mantle edged with gold), I'l:1giye y,.sHthis if you will
follow the dwarf, and bring me back my doblt.-?- .-
'It would not be good to carry fagots in,' said the woodman.
'But if you want back your doublet, the road to the forest lies at the
end of this lane,' and he trudged away.
"Determined to find his doublet, and sure that neither crowd-nor
courtiers could catch him -in the forest, Spare went on."-is way, and was
soon among the tall trees; but neither hut n'rr dwa-ffcould he see.
Moreover, the night came on; the wood- wa\- Ja'rk and tangled, but
here and there the moon shone through its alleyis, thd great owls flitted
about, and ther-nightingales sang. So he went. In, hoping-to find some
place of shelter. At last the red light of a fire, gleaming through a
thicket, led him to, the door- of a low hut. It;$tood half open, as if
there was nothing to fear, and within he saw his brother Scrub snoring
loudly on, a bed of grass, at the foot of which lay his own leather
doublet; while Fairfeather, in a kirtle made of plaited rushes, sat
roasting pheasants' eggs by the fire.- ,' -
"'Good evening, mistress,' said Spare, ste-:pingn.-
The blaze shone on him, but so change.ld was her brother-in-law
with his court,life, that Fairfeather did not knvw li p, and she answered
far more courteously than was her wont.
"'Good evening, master. Whence come ye so late? but speak
low, for my good man has sorely tired himself cleaving wood, and is
taking a sleep,, as you see, before supper.'
"' A good rest to him,' said Spare, perceiving he was -not.known.
I come from the court for a day's hunting, and have lost my way in
THE CHRISTMAS CUCKOO.
"' Sit down and have a share of our supper,' said Fairfeather, I
will put some more eggs in the ashes ; and tell me the news of court
--I used to think of it long ago when I was young and foolish.'
"' Did you never go there ?' said the cobbler. 'So fair a dame as
you would make the ladies marvel.'
"'You are pleased to flatter,' said Fairfeather; 'but my husband
has a brother there, and we left our moorland village to try our fortune
also. An old woman enticed us with fair words and strong drink at
the entrance of this forest, where we fell asleep and dreamt of great
things; but when we woke, everything had been robbed from us--my
looking-glass, my scarlet cloak, my husband's Sunday coat; and, in
place of all, the robbers left him that old leather doublet, which he has
worn ever since, and never was so merry in all his life, though we live
in this poor hut.'
"' It is a shabby doublet, that,' said Spare, taking up the garment.
and seeing that it was his own, for the merry leaves were still sewed in
its lining. 'It would be good for hunting in, however-your husband
would be glad to part with it, I dare say, in exchange for this handsome
cloak;' and he pulled off the green mantle and buttoned on the doublet,
much to Fairfeather's delight, who ran and shook Scrub, crying-
"' Husband! husband! rise and see what a good bargain I have
"Scrub gave one closing snore, and muttered something about the root
being hard; but he rubbed his eyes, gazed up at his brother, and said-
"'Spare, is that really you ? How did you like the court, and have
you made your fortune ?'
"'That I have, brother,' said Spare, 'in getting back my own good
leather doublet. Come, let us eat eggs, and rest ourselves here this
night. In the morning we will return to our own old hut, at the end
of the moorland village where the Christmas Cuckoo will come and
bring us leaves.'
"Scrub and Fairfeather agreed. So in the morning they all
returned, and found the old hut little the worse for wear and weather.
The neighbours came about them to ask the news of court, and see if
they had made their fortune. Everybody was astonished to find the
three poorer than ever, but somehow they liked to go back to the hut.
Spare brought out the lasts and awls he had hidden in a corner; Scrub
and he began their old trade, and the whole north country found out
that there never were such cobblers.
They mended the shoes of lords and ladies as well as the common
people; everybody was satisfied. Their custom increased from day to
day, and all that were disappointed, discontented, or unlucky, came to
the hut as in old times, before Spare went to court.
GRANNY'S VONDDERFUL CHAIR.
The rich brought them presents, the poor did them service. The
hut itself changed, no one knew how. Flowering honeysuckle grew
over its roof; red and white roses grew thick about its door. Moreover,
the Christmas Cuckoo always came on the first of April, bringing three
leaves of the merry tree-for Scrub and Fairfeather would have no
more golden ones. So it was with them when I last heard the news of
the north country."
"What a summer-house that hut would make for me, mamma!"
said the Princess Greedalind.
"We must have it brought here bodily," said Queen Wantall; but
the chair was silent, and a lady and two noble squires, clad in russet-
coloured satin and yellow buskins, the like of which had never been
seen at that court, rose up and said-
That's our story."
"I have not heard such a tale," said
f ~ King Winwealth, "since my brother
SWisewit went from me, and was lost in
the forest. Redheels, the seventh of my
pages, go and bring this little maid a pair
of scarlet shoes with golden buckles."
The seventh page immediately
:- brought from the royal store a pair of
scarlet satin shoes with buckles of gold.
Snowflower never had seen the like before, and joyfully thanking the
king, she dropped a courtesy, seated herself and said-" Chair of my
grandmother, take me to the worst kitchen." Immediately the chair
marched away as it came, to the admiration of that noble company.
The little girl was allowed to sleep on some straw at the kitchen
fire that night. Next day they gave her ale with the scraps the cook
threw away. The feast went on with great music and splendour, and
the people clamoured without; but in the evening King Winwealth
again fell into low spirits, and the royal command was told to Snow-
flower by the chief scullion, that she and her chair should go to the
highest banquet hall, for his majesty wished to hear another story.
When Snowflower had washed her face, and dusted her chair, she
went up seated as before, only that she had on the scarlet shoes.
Queen Wantall and her daughter looked more spiteful than ever, but
some of the company graciously noticed Snowflower's courtesy, and
were pleased when she laid down her head, saying, "Chair of my
grandmother, tell me a story."
Listen," said the clear voice from under the cushion, to the story
of Lady Greensleeves."
Cbe o1rbs of the Thite antb rep Castles.
"" NCE upon a time there lived two noble lords in the east
country. Their lands lay between a broad river and an old
oak forest, whose size was so great that no man knew it. In
the midst of his land each lord had a stately castle; one was
built of the white freestone, the other of the grey granite. So the one
was called Lord of the White Castle, and the other Lord of the Grey.
There were no lords like them in all the east country for nobleness
and bounty. Their tenants lived in peace and plenty; all strangers
were hospitably entertained at their castles; and every autumn they
sent men with axes into the forest to hew down the great trees, and
chop them up into firewood for the poor. Neither hedge nor ditch
divided their lands, but these lords never disputed. They had been
friends from their youth. Their ladies had died long ago, but the
Lord of the Grey Castle had a little son, and the Lord of the White a
little daughter; and when they feasted in each other's halls it was
their custom to say, 'When our children grow up they will marry,
GRANNY'S WONDERFUL CHAIR.
and have our castles and our lands, and keep our friendship in
So the lords and their little children, and tenants, lived happily
till one Michaelmas night, as they were all feasting in the hall of the
White Castle, there came a traveller to the gate, who was welcomed
and feasted as usual. He had seen many strange sights and countries,
and, like most people, he liked to tell his travels. The lords were
delighted with his tales, as they sat round the fire drinking wine after
supper, and at length the Lord of the White Castle, who was very
curious, said- '
"' Good stranger, what was the greatest wonder you ever saw in
all your travels ?'
"'The most wonderful sight that ever I saw,' r'-pl-lJ the traveller,
was at the end of yonder forest, where in an ancient \\w:,",,-.n house
there sits an old woman weaving her own -hair into grey cloth on an
old crazy loom. When she wants'more yarn r he cuts .if her own grey
hair, and it grows so quickly that though I swal it c.lyti-n the morning,
it was out of the door before noon. She f6ld" mn it was her purpose
to sell the cloth, but none of all who came that way had yet bought
any, she asked so great a price; and, only -the way is so long and
dangerous through that wide forest full of boars and wolves, some rich
lord like you night buy it for a mantle.' w
All w-iho hiardi.this story wer(,':'.a.tl*ni hl:d .. but when the
tr.'veller had. g..,rie -n his way the -6rd i: th,. \\ hiir Castle could
nfiereat n'-cr.s1cp for iiishing to dse the o;ld \wv.':;'mn that wove her
own haj~. At- length he made up his mind to, e>:x;l''.- the forest in
search of her ancient hobise, and told the: Lord :tI th':- Grey Castle his
intention. Being a prudent man, this 1:irl replied that traveller's tales
were n ot al\ ays to be trusted, and earnestly advised him against under-
taking such a lon-g ,and dang-:ro'Ius journey, for few that went far into
that forest ever returned However, when the curious lord would go
in spite of all, he vowed to bear him company for friendship's sake,
and they agreed to set out privately, lest the other lords of the land
might laugh at them. The Lord of the White Castle had a steward
who had served him many years, and his name was Reckoning Robin.
To him he said--
"' I am going on a long journey with my friend. Be careful of my
goods, deal justly with my tenants, and above all things be kind to my
little daughter Loveleaves till my return;' and the steward answered-
'Be sure, my lord, I will.'
The Lord of the Grey Castle also had a steward who had served
him many years, and his name was Wary Will. To him he said -
"'I am going on a journey with my friend. Be careful of my
THE LORDS OF THE WHITE AND GREY CASTLES. 33
goods, deal justly with my tenants, and above all things be kind to my
little son Woodwender till my return;' and his steward answered
"' Be sure, my lord, I will.'
"So these lords kissed their children while they slept, and set out
each with his staff and mantle before sunrise through the old oak forest.
The children missed their fathers, the tenants missed their lords. None
but the stewards could tell what had become of them; but seven
months wore away, and they did not come back. The lords had
thought their stewards faithful, because they served so well under their
eyes; but instead of that, both were proud and crafty, and thinking
that some evil had happened to their masters, they set themselves to
be lords in their room.
Reckoning Robin had a son called Hardhold, and Wary Will, a
daughter called Drypennny. There was not a sulkier girl or boy in
the country, but their fathers resolved to make a young lord and lady
of them; so they took the silk clothes which Woodwender and Love-
leaves used to wear, to dress them, clothing the lords' children in frieze
and canvas. Their garden flowers and ivory toys were given to Hard-
hold and Drypenny; and at last the stewards' children sat at the chief
tables, and slept in the best chambers, while Woodwender and Love-
leaves were sent to herd the swine and sleep on straw in the granary.
The poor children had no one to take their part. Every morning
at sunrise they were sent out--each with a barley loaf and a bottle of
sour milk, which was to serve them for
breakfast, dinner, and supper-to watch a
great herd of swine on a wide unfenced
pasture hard by the forest. The grass
was scanty, and the swine were continu-
ally straying into the wood in search of
acorns; the children knew that if they
were lost the wicked stewards would
punish them, and between gathering and
keeping their herds in order, they were
readier to sleep on the granary straw at -
night than ever they had been within their
own silken curtains. Still Woodwender. "
and Loveleaves helped and comforted
each other, saying their fathers would
come back, or God would send them some friends: so, in spite of
swine-herding and hard living, they looked blithe and handsome as
ever; while Hardhold and Drypenny grew crosser and uglier every
day, notwithstanding their fine clothes and the best of all things.
GRANNY'S WONDERFUL CHAIR.
"The crafty stewards did not like this. They thought their
children ought to look genteel, and Woodwender and Loveleaves like
young swineherds; so they sent them to a wilder pasture, still nearer
the forest, and gave them two great black hogs, more unruly than all
the rest, to keep. One of these hogs belonged to Hardhold, and the
other to Drypenny. Every evening when they came home the
steward's children used to come down and feed them, and it was their
delight to reckon up what price they would bring when properly
One sultry day, about midsummer, Woodwender and Loveleaves
sat down in the shadow of a mossy rock: the swine grazed about them
more quietly than usual, and they
plaited rushes and talked to each
other, till, as the sun was sloping
..down the sky, Woodwender saw that
: the two great hogs were missing.
SThinking they must have gone to
Sthe forest, the poor children ran to
search for them. They heard the
thrush singing and the wood-doves
S. calling; they saw the squirrels leap-
ing from bough to bough, and the
great deer bounding by; but though
they searched for hours, no trace of
the favourite hogs could be seen.
Loveleaves and Woodwender durst
not go home without them. Deeper and deeper they ran into the
forest, searching and calling, but all in vain; and when the woods
began to darken with the fall of evening, the children feared they had
lost their way.
It was known that they never feared the forest, nor all the boars
and wolves that were in it; but being weary, they wished for some
place of shelter, and took a green path through the trees, thinking it
might lead to the dwelling of some hermit or forester. A fairer way
Woodwender and Loveleaves had never walked. The grass was soft
and mossy, a hedge of wild roses and honeysuckle grew on either side,
and the red light of sunset streamed through the tall trees above. On
they went, and it led them straight to a great open dell, covered with
the loveliest flowers, bordered with banks of wild strawberries, and all
overshadowed by one enormous oak, whose like had never been seen
in grove or forest. Its branches were as large as full-grown trees.
Its trunk was wider than a country church, and its height like that of a
castle. There were mossy seats at its great root, and when the tired
THE LORDS OF THE WHITE AND GREY CASTLES.
children had gathered as many strawberries as they cared for, they sat
down on one, hard by a small spring that bubbled up as clear as crystal.
The huge oak was covered with thick ivy, in which thousands of birds
had their nests. Woodwender and Loveleaves watched them flying
home from all parts of the forest, and at last they saw a lady coming by
the same path which led them to the dell. She wore a gown of russet
colour; her yellow hair was braided and bound with a crimson fillet.
In her right hand she carried a holly branch; but the most remarkable
part of her attire was a pair of long sleeves, as green as the very
Who are you ?' she said, 'that sit so late beside my well ?' and
the children told her their story, how they had first lost the hogs, then
their way, and were afraid to go home to the wicked stewards.
"' Well,' said the lady, 'ye are the fairest swineherds that ever came
this way. Choose whether ye will go home and keep hogs for Hard-
hold and Drypenny, or live in the free forest with me.'
'We will stay with you,' said the children, 'for we like not keeping
swine. Besides, our fathers went through this forest, and we may
meet them some day coming home.'
"While they spoke, the lady slipped her holly branch through the
ivy, as if it had been a key-presently a door opened in the oak, and
there was a fair house. The windows were of rock crystal, but they
could not be seen from without. The walls and floor were covered
with thick green moss, as soft as velvet. There were low seats and
a round table, vessels of carved wood, a hearth inlaid with curious
stones, an oven, and a store chamber for provisions against the winter.
When they stepped in, the lady said-
"' A hundred years have I lived here, and my name is Lady
Greensleeves. No friend or servant have I had except my dwarf
Corner, who comes to me at the end of harvest with his handmill, his pan-
nier, and his axe : with these he grinds the nuts, and gathers the berries,
and cleaves the firewood, and blithely we live all the winter. But
Corner loves the frost and fears the sun, and when the topmost boughs
begin to bud, he returns to his country far in the north, so I am lonely
in the summer time.'
By this discourse the children saw how welcome they were. Lady
Greensleeves gave them deer's milk and cakes of nut-flour, and soft
green moss to sleep on; and they forgot all their troubles, the wicked
stewards, and the straying swine. Early in the morning a troop of
does came to be milked, fairies brought flowers, and birds brought
berries, to show Lady Greensleeves what had bloomed and ripened
She taught the children to make cheese of the does' milk, and wine of
the wood-berries. She showed them the stores of honey which wild
36 GRANNY'S WONDERFUL CHAIR.
bees had made, andI6ft in hoHow trc-rs, the rarest plants of the forest,
and the herbs that n ad-.- all. its. creatires' tame.
- All that sumfriWr \V,.ild\\-en.l,'r and Ldveleaves lived with her in
th.r~ rEat oat k -tr-..'-, \'. rfir nii toil and care; and the children would have
-tlAl- ta;q:'.,, butt they\ co: 1 -hear no tirihin of their fathers. At last
the'tavs -'l:,-c. t ,,t adand thie flowers to fall a Lady Greensleeves
-aid tlh'Ta.Cornir, \va; czain ; and -die moonlight night she heaped
sticks on tih-t'ir., an..l1se-t her door open, when Woodwender and
Lovc-1lehvcs \cre giig'r, -lIep, saying she expected some old friends
to tell lic -thryn t?\ l th'- forestt.
-4 Lovel:es .\was not quite so curious as her father, the Lord of the
Whit. Cas.le :-.tic t she kept- awake to see what would happen; and
t-rribly frightenred'thh little girl 'was when in walked a great brown
"' Good evening, -lady,' said the bear.
"-:' Good evening, bdar,' 'ail. Lady Greensleeves. 'What is the
news in our ieig.h ,hboih.,lt ?b'.-
i "'-Not much,' said the bear; 'only the fawns are growing very
CLInin.1) --o:ne can't catch above three in a day.'
*" :'hat's bad news,' said Laldy Greensleeves; and immediately in
valke:I 1 a reaat \\ilMd cat. .'
'" G '.:l'ld-- Rning, lad.1-.' said the ca..
'-G..o'd- e.ning, car,' aid Ladi ~ Grc,-nsl~i c:-:s. 'W hat is the
n-\\s in vnUlr-'n--.h l:,ou h-rhood -' "
"' Not mu-ch, -sai.. th,-' cat;: '--rnl thie birds -re growing very
p:l'.:I ti l' t ij..n,: t \\l-orth c-ie's bwlte to catch 'th .' .
T" hat'sugood news,' said L-ady Gr-densl-\'es ; and in flew a great
black raven. i--
"' Good eI-\ninr, lady,' said tle raven.
Good -evening, raven,' said Lady
Greenileeves. .' What is the news in your
"' Not much,' said the raven; 'only
S-'i a hundred years or so we shall be very
genteel and private-the trees will be so
"'How is that?' said Lady Green-
"'Oh!' said the raven, 'have you not
heard how the king of the forest fairies laid
a spell on two rnoble ,,--rJs, who were travelling through his dominions
to see the old woman that weaves her own hair ? They had thinned
his oaks every 3 -ar, cutting firewood for the poor: so the king met
THE LORDS OF THE WHITE AND GREY CASTLES.
them in the likeness of a hunter, and asked them to drink out of his
oaken goblet, because the day was warm; and when the two lords
drank, they forgot their lands and their tenants, their castles and their
children, and minded nothing in all this world but the planting of acorns,
which they do day and night, by the power of the spell, in the heart of
the forest, and will never cease till some one makes them pause in
their work before the sun sets, and then the spell will be broken.'
"'Ah!' said Lady Greensleeves, 'he is a great prince, that king of the
forest fairies; and there is worse work in the world than planting acorns.'
Soon after, the bear, the cat, and the raven, bade Lady Green-
sleeves good night. She closed the door, put out the light, and went
to sleep on the soft moss as usual.
In the morning Loveleaves told Woodwender what she had heard,
and they went to Lady Greensleeves where she milked the does, and
"' We heard what the raven told last night, and we know the two
lords are our fathers: tell us how the spell may be broken!'
I fear the king of the forest fairies,' said Lady Greensleeves,
'because I live here alone, and have no friend but my dwarf Corner;
but I will tell you what you may do. At the end of the path which
leads from this dell turn your faces to the north, and you will find a
narrow way sprinkled over with black feathers-keep that path, no
matter how it winds, and it will lead you straight to the ravens'
neighbourhood, where you will find your fathers planting acorns under
the forest trees. Watch till the sun is near setting, and tell them the
most wonderful things you know to make them forget their work; but
be sure to tell nothing but truth, and drink nothing but running water,
or you will fall into the power of the fairy king.'
The children thanked her for this good council. She packed up
cakes and cheese for them in a bag of woven grass, and they soon found
the narrow way sprinkled over with black feathers. It was very long,
and wound through the thick trees in so many circles that the children
were often weary, and sat down to rest. When the night came, they
found a mossy hollow in the trunk of an old tree, where they laid them-
selves down, and slept all the summer night-for Woodwender and
Loveleaves never feared the forest. So they went, eating their cakes and
cheese when they were hungry, drinking from the running stream, and
sleeping in the hollow trees, till on the evening of the seventh day they
came into the ravens' neighbourhood. The tall trees were laden with
nests and black with ravens. There was nothing to be heard but con-
tinual cawing; and in a great opening where the oaks grew thinnest, the
children saw their own fathers busy planting acorns. Each lord had on
the velvet mantle in which he left his castle, but it was worn to rags
GRANNY'S WONDERFUL CHAIR.
with rough work in the forest. Their hair and beards had grown long;
their hands were soiled with earth; each had an old wooden spade,
and on all sides lay heaps of acorns. The children called them by their
names, and ran to kiss them, each saying-' Dear father, come back to
your castle and your people!' but the lords replied-
"'We know of no castles and no people. There is nothing in all
this world but oak-trees and acorns.'
"Woodwender and Loveleaves told them of all their former state in
vain-,nothing would make them pause for a minute : so the poor children
first sat down and cried, and then slept on the cold grass, for the sun
set, and the lords worked on. When they awoke it was broad day;
Woodwender cheered up his sister, saying-' WVe are hungry, and there
are still two cakes in the bag, let us share one of them-who knows
but something may happen ?'
"So they divided the cake, and ran to the lords, saying-' Dear
fathers, eat with us :' but the lords said-
There is no use for meat or drink. Let us plant our acorns.'
Loveleaves and Woodwender sat down, and ate that cake in
great sorrow. When they had finished, both went to a stream hard by,
and began to drink the clear water with a large acorn shell; and as
they drank there came through the oaks a gay young hunter, his
mantle was green as the grass: about his neck there hung a crystal
bugle, and in his hand he carried a huge oaken goblet, carved with
flowers and leaves, and rimmed with crystal. Up to the brim it was
filled with milk, on which the rich cream floated; and as the hunter
came near, he said-' Fair children, leave that muddy water, and come
and drink with me;' but Woodwender and Loveleaves answered-
"'Thanks, good hunter; but we have promised to drink nothing
but running water.' Still the hunter came nearer with his goblet,
"'The water is foul: it may do for swineherds and woodcutters,
but not for such fair children as you. Tell me, are you not the children
of mighty kings ? Were you not reared in palaces ?' But the boy
and girl answered him-
"' No: we were reared in castles, and are the children of yonder
lords; tell us how the spell that is upon them may be broken!' and
immediately the hunter turned from them with an angry look, poured
out the milk upon the ground and went away with his empty goblet.
Loveleaves and Woodwender were sorry to see the rich cream
spilled, but they remembered Lady Greensleeves' warning and seeing
they could do no better, each got a withered branch and began to help
the lords, scratching up the ground with the sharp end, and planting
acorns; but their fathers took no notice of them, nor all that they
THE LORDS OF THE WHITE AND GREY CASTLES.
could say; and when the sun grew warm at noon, they went again to
drink at the running stream. Then there came through the oaks an-
other hunter, older than the first, and clothed in yellow: about his
neck there hung a silver bugle, and in his hand he carried an oaken
goblet, carved with leaves and fruit, rimmed with silver, and filled with
mead to the brim. This hunter also asked them to drink, told them
the stream was full of frogs, and asked them if they were not a young
prince and princess dwelling in the woods for their pleasure ? But
when Woodwender and Loveleaves answered as before--'We have
promised to drink only running water, and are the children of yonder
lords: tell us how the spell may be broken!'-he turned from them
with an angry look, poured out the mead, and went his way.
"All that afternoon the children worked beside their fathers, plant-
ing acorns with the withered branches; but the lords would mind
neither them nor their words. And when the
evening drew near they were very hungry; so
the children divided their last cake, and when
no persuasion would make the lords eat with '- *"4'
them, they went to the banks of the stream,
and began to eat and drink, though their
hearts were heavy.
The sun was getting low, and the ravens
were coming home to their nests in the high J
trees; but one, that seemed old and weary. T.. -.
alighted near them to drink at the stream. As c'..
they ate the raven lingered, and picked up the
small crumbs that fell.
"'Brother,'said Loveleaves, 'this raven is sur:i-Iy
hungry; let us give it a little bit, though it is our last
"Woodwender agreed, and each gave a bit to the raven; but
its great bill finished the morsels in a moment, and hopping
nearer, it looked them in the face by turns.
"' The poor raven is still hungry,' said Woodwender, and he gave
it another bit. When that was gobbled, it came to Loveleaves, who
gave it a bit too, and so on till the raven had eaten the whole of their
"'Well,' said Woodwender, 'at least, we can have a drink.' But
as they stooped to the water, there came through the oaks another
hunter, older than the last, and clothed in scarlet: about his neck there
hung a golden bugle, and in his hand he carried a huge oaken goblet,
carved with ears of corn and clusters of grapes, rimmed with gold, and
filled to the brim with wine. He also said-
GRANNY'S WONDERFUL CHAIR.
"' Leave this muddy water, and drink with me. It is full of toads,
and not fit for such fair children. Surely ye are from fairyland, and
were reared in its queen's palace!' But the children said-
"' We will drink nothing but this water, and yonder lords are our
fathers : tell us how the spell may be broken !' And the hunter turned
from them with an angry look, poured out the wine on the grass, and
went his way. When he was gone, the old raven looked up into their
faces, and said-
"' I have eaten your last cake, and I will tell you how the spell
may be broken. Yonder is the sun, going down behind yon western
trees. Before it sets, go to the lords, and tell them how their stewards
used you, and made you herd hogs for Hardhold and Drypenny.
When you see them listening, catch up their wooden spades, and keep
them if you can till the sun goes down.'
"Woodwender and Loveleaves thanked the raven, and where it
flew they never stopped to see, but running to the lords began to tell
as they were bidden. At first the lords would not listen, but as the
children related how they had been made to sleep on straw, how they
had been sent to herd hogs in the wild pasture, and what trouble they
had with the unruly swine, the acorn planting grew slower, and at last
they dropped their spades.
T hen Woodwender, catching
S' 'up his father's spade, ran to
th- stream and threw it in.
Slcloveleaves did the same for
the Lord of the White Castle.
That moment the sun dis-
appeared behind the
western oaks, and the
lords stood up, looking,
like men just awoke, on
the forest, on the sky,
and on their children.
_-, "So this strange
story has ended, for
S Loveleaves went home
rejoicing with their fathers.
Each lord returned to his
castle, and all their tenants
made merry. The fine toys and the silk clothes, the flower-gardens
and the best chambers, were taken from Hardhold and Drypenny, for
the lords' children got them again; and the wicked stewards, with their
THE LORDS OF THE WHITE AND GREY CASTLES.
cross boy and girl, were sent to herd swine, and live in huts in the
wild pasture, which everybody said became them better. The Lord of
the White Castle never again wished to see the old woman that wove
her own hair, and the Lord of the Grey Castle continued to be his
friend. As for Woodwender and Loveleaves, they met with no more
misfortunes, but grew up, and were married, and inherited the two
castles and the broad lands of their fathers. Nor did they forget the
lonely Lady Greensleeves, for it was known in the east country that
she and her dwarf Corner always came to feast with them in the
Christmas time, and at midsummer they always went to live with her
in the great oak in the forest."
Oh mamma, if we had that oak said the Princess Greedalind.
Where does it grow ? said Queen Wantall : but the chair was
silent, and a noble lord and lady, clad in green velvet, flowered with
gold, rose up and said-
That's our story."
Excepting the tale of yesterday," said King Winwealth, I have
not heard such a story since my brother Wisewit went from me, and
was lost in the forest. Gaygarters, the sixth of my
pages, go and bring this maiden a pair of white silk
hose with golden clocks on them."
Queen Wantall and Princess Greedalind at this
looked crosser than ever; but Gaygarters brought the
white silk hose, and Snowflower, having dropped her il
courtesy, and taken her seat, was carried once more to ,1
the kitchen where they gave her a mattress that night,
and next day she got the ends of choice dishes. I
The feast, the music, and the dancing went on, so
did the envies within and the clamours without the
palace. In the evening King Winwealth fell again into low spirits
after supper, and a message coming down from the banquet hall, the
kitchen-maid told Snowflower to prepare herself, and go up with her
grandmother's chair, for his majesty wished to hear another story.
Having washed her face and combed her hair, put on her scarlet shoes,
and her gold-clocked hose, Snowflower went up as before, seated in her
grandmother's chair; and after courtesying as usual to the king, the
queen, the princess, and the noble company, the little girl laid down
her head, saying-" Chair of my grandmother, tell me a story;" and
a clear voice from under the cushion said-
Listen to the story of the Greedy Shepherd."
Ube Greebv bebeerb.
f NCE upon a time there lived in the south country two
i brothers, whose business it was to keep. sheep on a great
SL. grassy plain, which'las bounded on the one side by a forest,
and-oirthe other by a chain of high hills. No one lived on
that plainm- but ihhedhd ; who dwelt in low cottages thatched with
heath, anid lrat.:he l: trll -h!t -p'sb' carefully that no lamb was ever lost,
nor had ne of th eshlie.i-, -1- ever travell.d b', -nd-the foot of the hills
and the kirts .t:.tl fi-ie .
There -wrr 'nn,-, .m o:ng them n:m'ir'e r- rfrtiHl trlan these-two
brothers, one of whom was caileid Clutch, :mnl thli,--: t in:tl. Though
brethren born, two mel'.'of distant c:..i, could not be more unlike
in disposition. Clutch thought of nothing in this -world but how to
catch and keep some profit for himself; while KiJ ',il.ll haive shared
his last morsel with a hungry dog. Thi- ci' -i'r-'. in mi-:i.le Clutch
keep all his father's sheep when the ,: .lI m:n '- :I-_a..id and gone,
because he was the eldest brotheP, allow ing, In. i .:thinr I:.ut the place
of a servant to help him !'1 ,:.:i-n;; after th,:-m. IK rnl-.ii l:,,.,d n't quarrel
with his brother for the -I.:- :t' tli; she4p. so he- helpd him to keep
them, and Clutch had all his ow'i \a. This i de himi agreeable.
For some.-time the broth,-s'fi d p.i1'al:.[y in t err father's cottage,
which stood low and lonely tui: r the .-1-A. iW'-of a geat sycamore-tree,
and kept their flock with pipe and crook on th~lgrassy plain, till new
troubles arose through Clutch's covetousness. .
On that plain th,-. 4-i-. n,-ith r D t.iv- iri:!r ciir,. nr mar!k.-t-place,
where people might sell I'r LbuI ,-, t lh ph -' .rI c;'r_-.l litti' l'r trade.
The wool of their flock- m.i'-i' t -l. '-.. ; frif, millk i-e them
butter.and cheese. 'At la1 t ,in v r,-'i d-._t l .:-1. or so;
their fields yielded them i a l,- r I.'-'_.I. qTf t. -Siu:.li:I. them
with. firewood for winter : an.I-l r,, i1,tinT r'. ti'li i tlhr sheep-
shearing time, traders from a certain. I'ar-'ft city caml e throLigl it by an
ancient way to purchis, all the v _.:-ltl h' -shepherds could spare, and
giv "them-in exchange either goods or money.
One midsummer it so happened that thl-:-- tr.:u,lers praised the
wool of Clutch's flock above all.bh:-, found on ili,:.1 plain, and gave him
THE GREED Y SHEPHERD.
the highest price for it. That was an unlucky happening for the sheep :
from thenceforth Clutch thought he could never get enough wool off
them. At the shearing time nobody clipped so close, and, in spite of
all Kind could do or say, he left the poor sheep as bare as if they had
been shaven; and as soon as the wool grew
long enough to keep them warm, he was
ready with the shears again-no matter how
chilly might be the days, or how near the
winter. Kind didn't like these doings, and
many a debate they caused between him
and his brother. Clutch always tried to
persuade him that close clipping was good
for the sheep, and Kind always strove to '
make him think he had got all the wool-
so they were never done with disputes.
Still Clutch sold the wool, and stored up
his profits, and one midsummer after another i
passed. The shepherds began to think
him a rich man, and close clipping might
have become the fashion, but for a strange
thing which happened to his flock.
"The wool had grown well that summer. .
He had taken two crops off them, and was
thinking of a third,-though the misty
mornings of autumn were come, and the
cold evenings made the shepherds put on
their winter cloaks,-when first the lambs,
and then the ewes, began to stray away; and search as the brothers
would, none of them was ever found again. Clutch blamed Kind with
being careless, and watched with all his might. Kind knew it was
not his fault, but he looked sharper than ever. Still the straying
went on. The flocks grew smaller every day, and all the brothers
could find out was, that the closest clipped were the first to go; and,
count the flock when they might, some were sure to be missed at the
Kind grew tired of watching, and Clutch lost his sleep with
vexation. The other shepherds, over whom he had boasted of his
wool and his profits, were not sorry to see pride having a fall. Most
of them pitied Kind, but all of them agreed that they had marvellous
ill luck, and kept as far from them as they could for fear of sharing it.
Still the flock melted away as the months wore on. Storms and cold
weather never stopped them from straying, and when the spring came
back nothing remained with Clutch and Kind but three old ewes, the
GRANNY'S WONDERFUL CHAIR.
quietest and lamest of their whole flock. They were watching these
ewes one evening, in the primrose time, when Clutch, who had never
kept his eyes off them that day, said-
"' Brother, there is wool to be
had on their backs.'
"'It is too little to keep them
warm,' said Kind. 'The east wind
iA- still blows sometimes-' but Clutch
S-was off to the cottage for the bag
^ and shears.
S' Kind was grieved to see his
-. brother so covetous, and to divert
,. his mind he looked up at the great
hills : it was a sort of comfort to
him, ever since their losses began,
to look at them evening and morn-
ing. Now their far-off heights were growing crimson with the setting
sun, but as he looked, three creatures like sheep scoured up a cleft in
one of them as fleet as any deer: and when Kind turned, he saw his
brother coming with the bag and shears, but not a single ewe was to
be seen. Clutch's first question was, what had become of them ; and
when Kind told him what he saw, the eldest brother scolded him with
might and main for ever lifting his eyes off them-
"' Much good the hills and the sunset will do us,' said he, 'now
that we have not a single sheep. The other shepherds will hardly
give us room among them at shearing time or harvest; but for my
part, I'll not stay on this plain to be despised for poverty. If you like
to come with me, and be guided by my advice, we shall get service
somewhere. I have heard my father say that there were great shep-
herds living in old times beyond the hills; let us go and see if they
will take us for sheep-boys.'
Kind would rather have stayed and tilled his father's wheat-field,
hard by the cottage; but since his eldest brother would go, he resolved
to bear him company. Accordingly, next morning Clutch took his bag
and shears, Kind took his crook and pipe, and away they went over
the plain and up the hills. All who saw them thought that they had
lost their senses, for no shepherd had gone there for a hundred years,
and nothing was to be seen but wide moorlands, full of rugged rocks,
and sloping up, it seemed, to the very sky. Kind persuaded his brother
to take the direction the sheep had taken, but the ground was so rough
and steep that after two hours' climbing they would gladly have turned
back, if it had not been that their sheep were gone, and the shepherds
would laugh at them.
THE GREED Y SHEPHERD.
By noon they came to the stony cleft, up which the three old ewes
had scoured like deer; but both were tired, and sat down to rest.
Their feet were sore, and their hearts were heavy; but as they sat
there, there came a sound of music down the hills, as if a thousand
shepherds had been playing on their tops. Clutch and Kind had never
heard such music before. As they listened, the soreness passed from
their feet, and the heaviness from their hearts; and getting up, they
followed the sound up the cleft, and over a wide heath, covered with
purple bloom; till, at sunset, they came to the hill-top, and
saw a broad pasture, where vil't r!' r:-w thick among the
grass, and thousands of snowv-\I hitch ,I' p h--. r- feeding,
while an old man sat in th: mi l-.t ~ f th- ., !.r, ing on his
pipe. He wore a
long coat, the colour
of the holly leaves; S, -
his hair hung to his 'i- :
waist, and his beard .
to his knees; but
both were as white
as snow, and he had "
the countenance of
one who had led a
quiet life, and known no cares nor losses.
"'Good father,' said Kind, for his eldest brother hung back and
was afraid, 'tell us what land is this, and where can we find service;
for my brother and I are shepherds, and can well keep flocks from
straying, though we have lost our own.'
"' These are the hill pastures,' said the old man, 'and I am the
ancient shepherd. My flocks never stray, but I have employment for
you. Which of you can shear best ?'
"'Good father,' said Clutch, taking courage, 'I am the closest
shearer in all the plain country: you would not find as much wool as
would make a thread on a sheep when I have done with it.'
"' You are the man for my business,' replied the old shepherd.
'When the moon rises, I will call the flock you have to shear. Till
then sit down and rest, and take your supper out of my wallet.'
Clutch and Kind gladly sat down by him among the violets, and,
opening a leather bag which hung by his side, the old man gave them
cakes and cheese, and a horn cup to drink from at a stream hard by.
The brothers felt fit for any work after that meal ; and Clutch rejoiced
in his own mind at the chance he had got for showing his skill with the
shears. Kind will see how useful it is to cut close,' he thought to
himself: but they sat with the old man, telling him the news of the
GRANNY'S WONDERFUL CHAIR.
plain, till the sun went down and the moon rose, and all the snow-white
sheep gathered and laid themselves down behind him. Then he took
his pipe and played a merry tune, when immediately there was heard
a great howling, and up the hills came a troop of shaggy wolves, with
hair so long that their eyes could scarcely be seen. Clutch would have
fled for fear, but the wolves stopped, and the old man said to him-
"' Rise, and shear-this flock of mine have too much wool on them.'
Clutch had never shorn wolves before, yet he couldn't think of
losing the good service, and went forward with a stout heart; but the
first of the wolves showed its teeth, and all the rest raised such a howl
the moment he came near them, that Clutch was glad to throw down
his shears, and run behind the old man for safety-
"' Good father,' cried he, I will shear sheep, but not wolves.'
"' They must be shorn,' said the old man, 'or you go back to the
plains, and them after you; but whichever of you can shear them will
get the whole flock.'
"On hearing this, Clutch began to exclaim on his hard fortune,
and his brother who had brought him there to be hunted and devoured
by wolves; but Kind, thinking that things could be no worse, caught
up the shears he had thrown away in his fright, and went boldly up to
the nearest wolf. To his great surprise, the wild creature seemed to
know him, and stood quietly to be shorn, while the rest of the flock
gathered round as if waiting their turn. Kind clipped neatly, but not
too close, as he had wished his brother to do with the sheep, and
heaped up the hair on one side. When he had done with one, another
came forward, and Kind went on shearing by the bright moonlight till
the whole flock were shorn. Then the old man said-
"'Ye have done well, take the wool and the flock for your wages,
return with them to the plain, and if you please, take this little-worth
brother of yours for a boy to keep them.'
Kind did not much like keeping wolves, but before he could make
answer, they had all changed into the very sheep which had strayed
away so strangely. All of them had grown fatter and thicker of fleece,
and the hair he had cut off lay by his side, a heap of wool so fine and
soft that its like had never been seen on the plain.
"Clutch gathered it up in his empty bag, and glad was he to go
back to the plain with his brother; for the old man sent them away
with their flock, saying no man might see the dawn of day on that
pasture but himself, for it was the ground of the fairies. So Clutch and
Kind went home with great gladness. All the shepherds came to hear
their wonderful story, and ever after liked to keep near them because
they had such good luck. They keep the sheep together till this day,
but Clutch has grown less greedy, and Kind alone uses the shears."
THE GREED Y SHEPHERD.
With these words the voice ceased, and two shepherds, clad in
grass-green and crowned with garlands, rose up, and said-
That's our story."
Mamma," said Princess Greedalind, what a lovely playground
that violet pasture would make for me!"
What wool could be had off all those snow-white sheep!" said
Queen Wantall: but King Winwealth said-
Excepting yesterday's tale, and the one that went before it, I have
not heard such a story as that since my brother Wisewit went from me,
and was lost in the forest. Spangledhose, the fifth of my pages, rise,
and bring this maiden a white satin gown."
Snowflower took the white satin gown, thanked the king, courtseyed
to the good company, and went down on her chair to the best kitchen.
That night they gave her a new blanket, and next day she had a cold
pie for dinner. The music, the feast, and the spite continued within
the palace: so did the olamours without ; and his majesty, falling into
low spirits, as usual, after supper, one of the under cooks told Snow-
flower that a message had come down from the highest banquet hall for
her to go up with her grandmother's chair, and tell another story. Snow-
flower accordingly dressed herself in the red shoes, the gold-clocked
hose, and the white satin gown. All the company were glad to see her
and her chair coming, except the queen and the Princess Greedalind;
and when the little girl had made her courtesy and laid down her head,
saying, Chair of my grandmother, tell me a story," the same clear
Listen to the story of Fairyfoot."
Ebe Storv of fatirfoot.
NCE upon a time there stood far away in the west country a
]) town called Stumpinghame. It contained seven windmills,
S'., a royal palace, a market place, and a prison, with every other
convenience befitting the capital of a kingdom. A capital
city was Stumpinghame, and its inhabitants thought it the only one in
the world. It stood in the midst of a great plain, which for three
leagues round its walls was covered with corn, flax, and orchards.
Beyond that lay a great circle of pasture land, seven leagues in breadth,
and it was bounded on all sides by a forest so thick and old that no
man in Stumpinghame knew its extent; and the opinion of the learned
was, that it reached to the end of the world.
There were strong reasons for this opinion. First, that forest was
known to be inhabited time out of mind by the fairies, and no hunter
cared to go beyond its borders-so all the west country believed it to
be solidly full of old trees to the heart. Secondly, the
S people of Stumpinghame were no travellers-man,
woman, and child had feet so large and heavy that it
S was by no means convenient to carry them far.
,/ Whether it was the nature of the place or the
S. <-people, I cannot tell, but great feet had been
Sthe fashion there time immemorial, and the
higher the family the larger were they. It
was, therefore, the aim of everybody above
the degree of shepherds, and such-like
"rustics, to swell out and enlarge their
feet by way of gentility; and so success-
'ful were they in these undertakings that,
.-, on a pinch, respectable people's slippers
would have served for panniers.
S "Stumpinghame had a king of its
own, and his name was Stiffstep; his
family was very ancient and large-footed.
His subjects called him Lord of the World, and he made a speech to
them every year concerning the grandeur of his mighty empire. His
THE STORY OF FAIR YFOOT.
queen, Hammerheel, was the greatest beauty in Stumpinghame. Her
majesty's shoe was not much less than a fishing-boat; their six children
promised to be quite as handsome, and all went well with them till the
birth of their seventh son.
For a long time nobody about the palace could understand what
was the matter-the ladies-in-waiting looked so astonished, and the
king so vexed; but at last it was whispered through the city that the
queen's seventh child had been born with such miserably small feet
that they resembled nothing ever seen or heard of in Stumpinghame,
except the feet of the fairies.
The chronicles furnished no example of such an affliction ever
before happening in the royal family. The common people thought it
portended some great calamity to the city; the learned men began to
write books about it; and all the relations of the king and queen
assembled at the palace to mourn with them over their singular mis-
fortune. The whole court and most of the citizens helped in this mourn-
ing, but when it had lasted seven days they all found out it was of no
use. So the relations went to their homes, and the
people took to their work. If the learned men's
books were written, nobody ever read them; and
to cheer up the queen's spirits, the young prince '-. -
was sent privately out to the pasture lands, to I:
nursed among the shepherds. *
"The chief man there was called Fleece- '
fold, and his wife's name was Rough Rudd).
They lived in a snug cottage with their
son Blackthorn, and their daughter Brown- .
berry, and were thought great people, be-
cause they kept the king's sheep. More- ;
over, Fleecefold's family were known to be -
ancient; and Rough Ruddy boasted that
she had the largest feet in all the pastures. .
The shepherds held them in high respect,
and it grew still higher when the news
spread that the king's seventh son had
been sent to their cottage. People came
from all quarters to see the young prince, and great were the lamenta-
tions over his misfortune in having such small feet.
The king and queen had given him fourteen names, beginning
with Augustus-such being the fashion in that royal family; but the
honest country people could not remember so many; besides, his feet
were the most remarkable thing about the child, so with one accord
they called him Fairyfoot. At first it was feared this might be high-
GRANNYS TVONDERFUL CHAIR.
treason, but when no notice was taken by the king or his ministers, the
shepherds concluded it was no harm, and the boy never had another
name throughout the pastures. At court it was not thought polite to
speak of him at all. They did not keep his birthday, and he was never
sent for at Christmas, because the queen and her ladies could not bear
the sight. Once a year the undermost scullion was sent to see how he
did, with a bundle of his next brother's cast-off clothes; and, as the
king grew old and cross, it was said he had thoughts of disowning him.
"So Fairyfoot grew in Fleecefold's cottage. Perhaps the country
air made him fair and rosy-for all agreed that he would have been a
handsome boy but for his small feet, with which nevertheless he learned
to walk, and in time to run and to jump, thereby amazing everybody,
for such doings were not known among the children of Stumpinghame,
The news of court, however, travelled to the shepherds, and Fairyfoot
was despised among them. The old people thought him unlucky; the
children refused to play with him. Fleecefold was ashamed to have
him in his cottage, but he durst not disobey the king's orders. More-
over, Blackthorn wore most of the clothes brought by the scullion. At
last, Rough Ruddy found out that the sight of such horrid jumping
would make her children vulgar; and, as soon as he was old enough,
she sent Fairyfoot every day to watch some sickly sheep that grazed on
a wild, weedy pasture, hard by the forest.
Poor Fairyfoot was often lonely and sorrowful; many a time he
wished his feet would grow larger, or that people wouldn't notice them
so much; and all the comfort he had was running and jumping by him-
self in the wild pasture, and thinking that none of the shepherds'
children could do the like, for all their pride of their great feet.
Tired of this sport, he was lying in the shadow of
a mossy rock one warm summer's noon, with the sheep
'l feeding around, when a robin, pursued by a great hawk,
S flew into the old velvet cap which lay on the ground beside
S him. Fairyfoot covered it up, and the hawk, frightened
by his shout, flew away.
S"' Now you may go, poor
S -' robin!' he said, opening the
-_ cap; but instead of the bird,
S out sprang a little man dressed
in russet-brown, and looking
S"" as if he were an hundred years
old. Fairyfoot could not speak
for astonishment, but the little man said-
"'Thank you for your shelter, and be sure I will do as much for
you. Call on me if you are ever in trouble, my name is Robin Good-
THE STORY OF FAIR FOOT.
fellow;' and darting off, he was out of sight in an instant. For days
the boy wondered who that little man could be, but he told nobody,
for the little man's feet were as small as his own, and it was clear he
would be no favourite in Stumpinghame. Fairyfoot kept the story to
himself, and at last midsummer came. That evening was a feast
among the shepherds. There were bonfires on the hills, and fun in the
villages. But Fairyfoot sat alone beside his sheepfold, for the children
of his village had refused to let him dance with them about the bonfire,
and he had gone there to bewail the size of his feet, which came between
him and so many good things. Fairyfoot had never felt so lonely in
all his life, and remembering the little man, he plucked up spirit, and
"'Ho! Robin Goodfellow!'
"'Here I am,' said a shrill voice at his elbow; and there stood the
little man himself.
"' I am very lonely, and no one will play with me, because my feet
are not large enough,' said Fairyfoot.
'Come then and play with us,' said the little man. We lead the
merriest lives in the world, and care for nobody's feet; but all com-
panies have their own manners, and there are two things you must
mind among us: first, do as you see the rest doing; and secondly,
never speak of anything you may hear or see, for we and the people of
this country have had no friendship ever since large feet came in
"' I will do that, and anything more you like,' said Fairyfoot; and
the little man taking his hand, led him over the pasture into the forest,
and along a mossy path among old trees wreathed with ivy (he never
knew how far), till they heard the sound of music, and came upon a
meadow where the moon shone as bright as day, and all the flowers
of the year-snowdrops, violets, primroses, and cowslips-bloomed
together in the thick grass. There were a crowd of little men and
women, some clad in russet colour, but far more in green, dancing
round a little well as clear as crystal. And under great rose-trees
which grew here and there in the meadow, companies were sitting
round low tables covered with cups of milk, dishes of honey, and carved
wooden flagons filled with clear red wine. The little man led Fairy-
foot up to the nearest table, handed him one of the flagons, and said-
"' Drink to the good company!'
"Wine was not very common among the shepherds of Stumping-
hame, and the boy had never tasted such drink as that before; for
scarcely had it gone down, when he forgot all his troubles-how Black-
thorn and Brownberry wore his clothes, how Rough Ruddy sent him to
keep the sickly sheep, and the children would not dance with him: in
GRANNY'S WONDERFUL CHAIR.
short, he forgot the whole misfortune of his feet, and it seemed to his
mind that he was a king's son, and all was well with him. All the
little people about the well cried-
"' Welcome! welcome!' and every one said-' Come and dance
with me!' So Fairyfoot was as happy as a prince, and drank milk
and ate honey till the moon was low in the sky, and then the little man
took him by the hand, and never stopped nor stayed till he was at his
own bed of straw in the cottage corner.
Next morning Fairyfoot was not tired for all his dancing. No-
body in the cottage had missed him, and he went out with the sheep as
usual; but every night all that summer, when the shepherds were safe
in bed, the little man came and took him away to dance in the forest.
Now he did not care to play with the shepherds' children, nor grieve
that his father and mother had forgotten him, but watched the sheep
all day singing to himself or plaiting rushes; and when the sun went
down, Fairyfoot's heart rejoiced at the thought of meeting that merry
The wonder was that he was never tired nor sleepy, as people are
apt to be who dance all night; but before the summer was ended
Fairyfoot found out the reason. One night, when the moon was full,
and the last of the ripe corn rustling in the fields, Robin Goodfellow
came for him as usual, and away they went to the flowery green. The
fun there was high, and Robin was in haste. So he only pointed to
the carved cup from which Fairyfoot every night drank the clear red
"' I am not thirsty, and there is no use losing time,' thought the
boy to himself, and he joined the dance; but never in all his life did
Fairyfoot find such hard work as to keep pace with the company.
Their feet seemed to move like lightning; the swallows did not fly so
fast or turn so quickly. Fairyfoot did his best, for he never gave in
easily, but at length his breath and strength being spent, the boy was
glad to steal away, and sit down behind a mossy oak, where his eyes
closed for very weariness. When he awoke the dance was nearly
over, but two little ladies clad in green talked close beside him.
"'What a beautiful boy!' said one of them. 'He is worthy to be
a king's son. Only see what handsome feet he has!'
"'Yes,' said the other, with a laugh that sounded spiteful; 'they
are just like the feet Princess Maybloom had before she washed them
in the Growing Well. Her father has sent far and wide throughout
the whole country searching for a doctor to make them small again, but
nothing in this world can do it except the water of the Fair Fountain,
and none but I and the nightingales know where it is.'
THE STORY OF FAIR YFOOT. 53
"' One would not care to let the like be known,' said the first little
lady: there would come such crowds of these great coarse creatures
of mankind, nobody would have peace for leagues round. But you
will surely send word to the sweet princess!--she was so kind to our
birds and butterflies, and danced so like one of ourselves!'
"'Not I, indeed!' said the spiteful fairy. Her old skinflint of a
father cut down the cedar which I loved best in the whole forest, and
made a chest of it to hold his money in; besides, I never liked the
princess-everybody praised her so. But come, we shall be too late
for the last dance.' "
.-*<*& ., -*< -"' '
C be torV of fa irn foo t-(continued).
[c-JHEN they were gone, Fairyfoot could sleep no more with
U\/i astonishment. He did not wonder at the fairies admiring
his feet, because their own were much the same; but it
amazed him that Princess Maybloom's father should be
troubled at hers growing large. Moreover, he wished to see that same
princess and her country, since there were really other places in the
world than Stumpinghame.
"When Robin Goodfellow came to take him home as usual he
durst not let him know that he had overheard anything; but never was
the boy so unwilling to get up as on that morning, and all day he was
so weary that in the afternoon Fairyfoot fell asleep with his head on a
clump of rushes. It was seldom that any one thought of looking after
him and the sickly sheep; but it so happened that towards evening the
old shepherd, Fleecefold, thought he would see how things went on in
the pastures. The shepherd had a bad temper and a thick staff, and
no sooner did he catch sight of Fairyfoot sleeping, and his flock stray-
ing away, than shouting all the ill
names he could remember, in a
voice which woke up the boy, he
S\ran after him as fast as his great
: _feet would allow; while Fairyfoot,
S seeing no other shelter from his
S. fury, fled into the forest, and never
S stopped nor stayed till he reached
S -the banks of a little stream.
"Thinking it might lead him
-' to the fairies' dancing-ground, he
Followed that stream for many an
hour, but it wound away into the
... heart of the forest,flowing through
--. dells, falling over mossy rocks,
and at last leading Fairyfoot, when
he was tired and the night had
fallen, to a grove of great rose-trees, with the moon shining on it as
bright as day, and thousands of nightingales singing in the branches.
THE STORE Y OF FAIR FOOT.
In the midst of that grove was a clear spring, bordered with banks of
lilies, and Fairyfoot sat down by it to rest himself and listen. The
singing was so sweet he could have listened for ever, but as he sat the
nightingales left off their songs, and began to talk together in the
silence of the night-
"' What boy is that,' said one on a branch above him, 'who sits so
lonely by the Fair Fountain ? He cannot have come from Stumping-
hame with such small and handsome feet.'
"' No, I'll warrant you,' said another, 'he has come from the west
country. How in the world did he find the way ?'
"' How simple you are!' said a third nightingale. What had he
to do but follow the ground-ivy which grows over height and hollow,
bank and bush, from the lowest gate of the king's kitchen-garden to the
root of this rose-tree ? He looks a wise boy, and I hope he will keep
the secret, or we shall have all the west country here, dabbling in our
fountain, and leaving us no rest to either talk or sing.'
Fairyfoot sat in great astonishment at this discourse, but by and
by, when the talk ceased and the songs began, he thought it might be
as well for him to follow the ground-ivy, and see the Princess May-
bloom, not to speak of getting rid of Rough Ruddy, the sickly sheep,
and the crusty old shepherd. It was a long journey; but he went on,
eating wild berries by day, sleeping in the hollows of old trees by night,
and never losing sight of the ground-ivy, which led him over height
and hollow, bank and bush, out of the
forest, and along a noble high road, with
fields and villages on every side, to a great ..
city, and a low old-fashioned gate of th,-
king's kitchen garden, which was ...
thought too mean for the scullions,
and had not been opened for seven .
"There was no use knocking-the
gate was overgrown with tall weeds *
and moss; so, being an active boy, he
climbed over, and walked through tll,
garden, till a white fawn came frisking b:,..
and he heard a soft voice saying sorro,- -
"' Come back, come back, my fawn! I
cannot run and play with you now, my feet have
grown so heavy;' and looking round he saw the loveliest young
princess in the world, dressed in snow-white, and wearing a wreath
of roses on her golden hair ; but walking slowly, as the great people
GRANNY'S WONDERFUL CHAIR.
did in Stumpinghame, for her feet were as large as the best of
"After her came six young ladies, dressed in white and walking
slowly, for they could not go before the princess; but Fairyfoot was
amazed to see that their feet were as small as his own. At once he
guessed that this must be the Princess Maybloom, and made her an
humble bow, saying-
Royal princess, I have heard of your trouble because your feet
have grown large: in my country that's all the fashion. For seven
years past I have been wondering what would make mine grow, to no
purpose; but I know of a certain fountain that will make yours
smaller and finer than ever they were, if the king, your father, gives
you leave to come with me, accompanied by two of your maids that are
the least given to talking, and the most prudent officer in all his house-
hold; for it would grievously offend the fairies and the nightingales to
make that fountain known.'
"When the princess heard tha .she danced forjoy in spite of her large
feet, and she and her six maids brought Fairyfoot before the king and
queen, where they sat in their palace hall, with all the courtiers pay-
ing their morning c,:'mplimin. nt... Th-h lords were very much astonished
to see a ragged, bare-focte .l bi:y.-br.lught in among them, and the
ladies thought Princess Ma\ bloom c, mu.t have gone mad; but Fairyfoot,
making an humble reverence, -tgid. .is .message to,the king and queen,
and offered to set out with the princess that very day. At first the
king would not believe that:there could be any use in his offer, because
so many great physicianEghad Jailed to. ~ive any relief. The courtiers
laughed Fairyfoot to s::,rn,~thl~ pare, nwant':-.:l to turn him out for an
impudent impostor, and tl';' prime-nmini rer. .aid he ought to be put to
death for high-tr-:.::-. n
Fairyfogt \i, h 'l him..1 safe in the forest again, or even keeping
the sickl, he-i : lbt ithiq,'i, being a prudent woman, said-
"' I i:.r-.. v: uri -,. 1-- 1 t to noticc Nhait fine feet this boy has. There
may be ..,mi-truLth in hi- -.or). F.or the sake of our only daughter, I
will choc- .\ :i \, h':t talk the least of all our train, and my chamber-
lain, who is the most dis,>-rt officer in our household. Let them go
with the princess : who knows btirt our sorrow may be lessened ?'
After some persuasion the thing consented, though all his councillors
advised the contrary. So the two 'silent maids, the discreet chamber-
lain, and her fawn, which would not stay behind, were sent with Princess
Maybloom, and they all set out after dinner. Fairyfoot had hard work
guiding them along the track of the ground-ivy. The maids and
the chamberlain did not like the brambles and rough roots of the forest
-they thought it hard to eat berries and sleep in hollow trees; but the
THE STORY OF FAIR YFOOT.
Princess went on with good courage, and at last they reached the grove
of rose-trees, and the spring bordered with lilies.
The chamberlain washed-and though his hair had been grey, and
his face wrinkled, the young courtiers envied his beauty for years after.
The maids washed-and from that day they were esteemed the fairest
in all the palace. Lastly, the princess washed also-it could make her
no fairer, but the moment her feet touched the water they grew less,
and when she had washed and dried them three times, they were as
small and finely-shaped as Fairyfoot's own. There was great joy
among them, but the boy said sorrowfully-
"' Oh if there had been a well in the world to make my feet large,
my father and mother would not have cast me off, nor sent me to live
among the shepherds.'
"' Cheer up your heart,' said the Princess Maybloom; 'if you want
large feet, there is a well in this forest that will do it. Last summer
time, I came with my father and his foresters to see a great cedar cut
down, of which he meant to make a money chest. While they were
busy with the cedar, I saw a bramble branch covered with berries.
Some were ripe and some were green, but it was the longest bramble
that ever grew ; for the sake of the berries, I went on and on to its
root, which grew hard by a muddy-looking well, with banks of dark
green moss, in the deepest part of the forest. The day was warm and
dry, and my feet were sore with the rough ground, so I took off my
scarlet shoes, and washed my feet in the well; but as I washed they
grew larger every minute, and nothing could ever make them less again.
I have seen the bramble this day; it is not far off, and as you have
shown me the Fair Fountain, I will show you the Growing Well.'
Up rose Fairyfoot and Princess Maybloom, and went together till
they found the bramble, and came to where its root grew, hard by the
muddy-looking well, with banks of dark green moss in the deepest dell
of the forest. Fairyfoot sat down to wash, but at that minute he heard
a sound of music, and knew it was the fairies going to their dancing
If my feet grow large,' said the boy to himself, 'how shall I dance
with them ?' So, rising quickly, he took the Princess Maybloom by the
hand. The fawn followed them; the maids and the chamberlain
followed it, and all followed the music through the forest. At last they
came to the flowery green. Robin Goodfellow welcomed the company
for Fairyfoot's sake, and gave every one a drink of the fairies' wine.
So they danced there from sunset till the grey morning, and nobody
was tired; but before the lark sang, Robin Goodfellow took them all
safe home, as he used to take Fairyfoot.
There was great joy that day in the palace because Princess May-
GRANNY'S WONDERFUL CHAIR.
bloom's feet were made small again. The king gave Fairyfoot all
manner of fine clothes and rich jewels; and when they heard his
wonderful story, he and the queen asked him to live with them and be
their son. In process of time Fairyfoot and Princess Maybloom were
married, and still live happily. When they go to visit at Stumpinghame,
they always wash their feet in the Growing Well, lost the royal family
might think them a disgrace, but when they come bafk,~f;1i y make haste
to the Fair Fountain; and the fairies and the iightingales are great
friends to them, as well as the maids and the chamberlain, because they
have told nobody about it, and there is peace and quiet;yet in the grove
Here the voice out of thecushion ceasedc, ancd tv. -: rhan wor crowns
of gold, and were clothed in cloth .f sill;r, .rse ii; and'said-.
"That's our story." ..
"Mamma," said -Prifcess: Greedalind, "if we co~ild"find oit that
Fair Fountain, and kef .-ir.all to ourselves "
Yes, my daughter, and the Growing Well to.wash our money in,"
replied Queen Wantall : but King Winwealth said- -
"Excepting-yesterday's tale- and the two that went before it, I have
S not heard such a story since my brother Wisewit
.- went from me, and was lost in the forest. Silver-
S spurs, the fourth of my pages, go and bring this
Maiden a pearl necklace."
Snowflower received the necklace accordingly,
-3 gave her thanks, made her courtesy, and.went down
i on her grandmother's chair to the servants' hall.
That night 'they gave her a down pillow, and next day she dined
on a roast -,icken. The feasting within and the clamour with-
<,iut \vent .o-n La', the- la:vs before: King Winwealth f,.ll int., his
ac:Iculitomed. w -i[.,i".I- .iitLer supper, and sent down a message for
Sn'ri li. \v \-v', *1Tiw,-.a tr.ld her by the master-cook. So the little girl
v,-_lrt up in h,'r g_,a.ilh' [th',-'s chair, with red shoes, the clocked hose,
the white satin gown, and the pearl necklace on. All the company
welcomed her with joyful looks, and no sooner had she made her
courtesy, and laid down her head,, saying-" Chair.<6f nyt'grandmother,
tell me a story," tha-n. the. cleait voice fro m under.the cushion said--
Listrel:t6 the story of Childe Charity."
hbe ttorv of ebilbe Charity.
NCE upon a time, there lived in the west country a little girl
who had neither father nor mother; they both died when
she was very young, and left their daughter to the care of
her uncle, who was the richest farmer in all that country. He
had houses and lands, flocks and herds, many servants to work about his
house and fields, a wife who had brought him a great dowry, and two
fair daughters. All their neighbours, being poor, looked up to the
family-insomuch that they imagined themselves great people. The
father and mother were as proud as peacocks; the daughters thought
themselves the greatest beauties in the world, and not one of the
family would speak civilly to anybody they thought low.
Now it happened that though she was their near relation, they
had this opinion of the orphan girl, partly because she had no fortune,
and partly because of her humble, kindly disposition. It was said that
the more needy and despised any creature was, the more ready was
she to befriend it: on which
account the people of the west
country called her Childe Charity,
and if she had any other name,
I never heard it. Childe Charity .
was thought very mean in that .-
proud house. Her uncle would
not own her for his niece; her i ..
cousins would not keep her com- .
pany; and her aunt sent her to .-
work in the dairy, and to sleep
in the back garret, where they
kept all sorts of lumber and dry
herbs for the winter. All the,.
servants learned the same tune,
and Childe Charity had more
work than rest among them. All the day she scoured pails, scrubbed
dishes, and washed crockeryware; but every night she slept in the
back garret as sound as a princess could in her palace chamber
GRANNAY'S VIONDERFUL CHAIR.
Her uncle's house was large and white, and stood among green
meadows by a river's side. In front it had a porch covered with a
vine; behind, it had a farmyard and high granaries. Within, there
were two parlours for the rich, and two kitchens for the poor, which
the neighbours thought wonderfully grand; and one day in the harvest
.lii,, when this rich farmer's corn had been all cut down and housed,
he condescended so far as to invite them to a harvest supper. The
west country people came in their holiday clothes and best behaviour.
Such heaps of cakes and cheese, such baskets of apples and barrels of
ale, had never been at feast before; and they were making merry in
kitchen and parlour, when a poor old woman came to the backdoor,
begging for broken victuals and a night's lodging. Her clothes were
coarse and ragged; her hair was scanty and grey; her back was bent;
her teeth were gone. She had a squinting eye, a clubbed foot, and
crooked fingers. In short, she was the poorest and ugliest old woman
that ever came begging. The first who saw her was the kitchen-maid,
and she ordered her to be gone for an ugly witch. The next was the
herd-boy, and he threw her a bone over his shoulder; but Childe
Charity, hearing the noise, came out from her seat at the foot of the
lowest table, and asked the old woman to take her share of the supper,
and sleep that night in her bed in the back garret. The old woman
sat down without a word of thanks. All the company laughed at
Childe Charity for giving her bed and her supper to a beggar. Her
proud cousins said it was just like her mean spirit, but Childe Charity
did not mind them. She scraped the pots for her supper that night,
and slept on a sack among the lumber, while the old woman rested in
her warm bed; and next morning, before the little girl awoke, she was
up and gone, without so much as saying thank you, or good morning.
That day all the servants were sick after the feast, and mostly
cross too-so you may judge how civil they were; when, at supper
time, who should come to the backdoor but the old woman, again
asking for broken victuals and a night's lodging. No one would listen
to her or give her a morsel, till Childe Charity rose from her seat at
the foot of the lowest table, and kindly asked her to take her supper,
and sleep in her bed in the back garret. Again the old woman sat
down without a word. Childe Charity scraped the pots for her supper,
and slept on the sack. In the morning the old woman was gone; but
for six nights after, as sure as the supper was spread, there was she at
the backdoor, and the little girl regularly asked her in
"Childe Charity's aunt said she would let her get enough of
beggars. Her cousins made continual game of what they called her
genteel visitor. Sometimes the old woman said, 'Child why don't
you make this bed softer ? and why are your blankets so thin ?' but
THE STORY OF CHILD CHARITY.
she never gave her a word of thanks nor a civil good morning. At
last, on the ninth night from her first coming, when Childe Charity
was getting used to scrape the pots and sleep on the sack, her
accustomed knock came to the door, and there she stood with an
ugly ashy-coloured dog, so stupid-looking and clumsy that
no herd-boy would keep him.
"' Good evening, my little girl,' she said when Childe
Charity opened the door, 1 will, not have
your supper and bed to-night-I am going
on a long journey to see a friend ; but here
is a dog of mine, whom nobody in all the
west country will keep for me. .He is a
little cross, and not very handsome; but I
leave him to your care till the shortest day -
in all the year. Then you and I will
count for his keeping.'
When the old woman had said
the last word, she set off with such -
speed that Childe Charity lost sight .' i
of her in a minute. The ugly dog '-I~.
began to fawn upon her, but he.
snarled at everybody else. The i,
servants said he was a disgrace .
to the house. The proud cousins
wanted him drowned, and it was with great trouble that Childe Charity
got leave to keep him in an old ruined cow-house. Ugly and cross as
the dog was, he fawned on her, and the old woman had left him to her
care. So the little girl gave him part of all her meals, and when the
hard frost came, took him privately to her own back garret, because the
cow-house was damp and cold in the long nights. The dog lay quietly
on some straw in a corner. Childe Charity slept soundly, but every
morning the servants would say to her-
"' What great light and fine talking was that in your back garret ?'
There was no light but the moon shining in through the shutter-
less window, and no talk that I heard,' said Childe Charity, and she
thought they must have been dreaming; but night after night, when
any of them awoke in the dark and silent hour that comes before the
morning, they saw a light brighter and clearer than the Christmas fire,
and heard voices like those of lords and ladies in the back garret.
Partly from fear, and partly from laziness, none of the servants
would rise to see what might be there; till at length, when the winter
nights were at the longest, the little parlour maid, who did least work
and got most favour, because she gathered news for her mistress, crept
out of bed when all the rest were sleeping, and set herself to watch at
GRANNY S WONDERFUL CHAIR.
a crevice of the door. She saw
Childe Charity sleeping soundly
through the shutterless window;
the dog lying quietly in the corner,
in her bed, and the moon shining
but an hour before daybreak there
came a glare of lights, and a sound of
far-off bugles. The window opened,
and in marched a troop of little men
clothed in crimson and gold, and bear-
ing every man a torch, till the room
looked bright as day. They marched
up with great reverence to the dog,
where he lay on the straw, and the
most richly clothed among them
"' Royal prince, we have pre-
pared the banquet hall. What will
your highness please that we do
S '" Ye have done well,' said the
dog.. 'Now prepare the feast, and
see that all things be in our first
fashion: for the princess and I mean
to bring a stranger who never feasted in our halls before.'
Your highness's commands shall be obeyed,' said the little man,
making another reverence; and he and his company passed out of the
window. By and by there was another glare of lights, and a sound
like far-off flutes. The window opened, and there came in a company
of little ladies clad in rose-coloured velvet, and carrying each a crystal
lamp. They also walked with great reverence up to the dog, and the
gayest among them said-
"' Royal prince, we have prepared the tapestry. What will your
highness please that we do next ?'
"' Ye have done well,' said the dog. 'Now prepare the robes, and
let all things be in our first fashion : for the princess and I will bring
with us a stranger who never feasted in our halls before.'
Your highness's commands shall be obeyed,' said the little lady,
making a low courtesy; and she and her company passed out through
the window, which closed quietly behind them. The dog stretched
himself out upon the straw, the little girl turned in her sleep, and the
moon shone in on the back garret. The parlour-maid was so much
amazed, and so eager to tell this great story to her mistress, that she
could not close her eyes that night, and was up before cock-crow; but
when she told it, her mistress called her a silly wench to have such
foolish dreams, and scolded her so that the parlour-maid durst not
THE STORYI OF CHILD CHARITY.
mention what she had seen to the servants. Nevertheless Childe
Charity's aunt thought there might be something in it worth knowing;
so next night, when all the house were asleep, she crept out of bed, and
set herself to watch at the back garret door. There she saw exactly
what the maid told her-the little men with the torches, and the little
ladies with the crystal lamps, come in making great reverence to the dog,
and the same words pass, only he said to the one, Now prepare the
presents,' and to the other, 'Prepare the jewels;' and when they were
gone the dog stretched himself on the straw, Childe Charity turned in
her sleep, and the moon shone in on the back garret.
"The mistress could not close her eyes ;ny more than the maid
from eagerness to tell the story. She woke up Childe Charity's rich
uncle before cock-crow; but when he heard it, he laughed at her for a
foolish woman, and advised her not to repeat the like before the neigh-
bours, lest they should think she
had lost her senses. The mistress i
could say no more, and the day
passed; but that night the master
thought he would like to see what
went on in the back garret: so
when all the house were asleep he
slipped out of bed, and set him-
self to watch at the crevice in the "
door. The same thing happened
again that the maid and the
mistress saw: the little men in j .
crimson with their torches, and '
the little ladies in rose-coloured ---
velvet with their lamps, came in g' -'
at the window, and made an
humble reverence to the ugly dog,
the one saying, Royal prince, we
have prepared the presents,' and the other, 'Royal prince, we have
prepared the jewels;' and the dog said to them all, 'Ye have done
well. To-morrow come and meet me and the princess with horses and
chariots, and let all things be in our first fashion : for we will bring
a stranger from this house who has never travelled with us, nor feasted
in our halls before.'
The little men and the little ladies said,' Your highness's com-
mands shall be obeyed.' When they had gone out through the
window, the ugly dog stretched himself out on the straw, Childe
Charity turned in her sleep, and the moon shone in on the back garret.
The master could not close his eyes any more than the maid or
GRANNY'S WONDERFUL CHAIR.
the mistress, for thinking' of this strange sight. He remembered to have
heard his grandfather say, that somewhere near his meadows there lay
a path leading to the fairies' country, and the haymakers used to see it
shining through the grey summer morning as the fairy bands went
home. Nobody had heard or seen the like for many years; but the
master concluded that the doings in his back garret must be a fairy
business, and the ugly dog a person of great account. His chief
wonder was, however, what visitor the fairies intended to take from his
house; and after thinking the matter over, he was sure it must be one of
his daughters-they were so handsome, and had such fine clothes.
"Accordingly, Childe Charity's rich
uncle made it his first business that
morning to get ready a breakfast of
roast mutton for the ugly dog, and
S;', carry it to him in the old cow-house;
._:- ,- but not a morsel would the dog taste.
~ On the contrary, he snarled at the
master, and would have bitten him if
he had not run away with his mutton.
"' The fairies have strange ways,'
said the master to himself; but he
called his daughters privately, bidding them dress themselves in
their best, for he could not say which of them might be called into
great company before nightfall. Childe Charity's proud cousins,
hearing this, put on the richest of their silks and laces, and strutted
like peacocks from kitchen to parlour all day, waiting for the call their
father spoke of, while the little girl scoured and scrubbed in the dairy.
They were in very bad humour when night fell, and nobody had come;
but just as the family were sitting down to supper the ugly dog began
to bark, and the old woman's knock was heard at the backdoor.
Childe 'Charity opened it, and was going to offer her bed and supper as
usual, when the old woman said-
This is the shortest day in all the year, and I am going home to
hold a feast after my travels. I see you have taken good care of my
dog, and now if you will come with me to my house, he and I will do
our best to entertain you. Here is our company.'
As the old woman spoke, there was a sound of far-off flutes and
bugles, then a glare of lights; and a great company, clad so grandly
that they shone with gold and jewels, came in open chariots, covered
with gilding and drawn by snow-white horses. The first and finest of
the chariots was empty. The old woman led Childe Charity to it by
the hand, and the ugly dog jumped in before her. The proud cousins,
in all their finery, had by this time come to the door, but nobody
THE STORY OF CHILD CHARITY.
wanted them; and no sooner was the old woman and her dog within
the chariot than a marvellous change passed over them, for the ugly
old woman turned at once to a beautiful young princess, with long
yellow curls and a robe of green and gold, while the ugly dog at her
side started up a fair young prince, with nut-brown hair and a robe of
purple and silver.
"'We are,' said they, as the chariots drove on, and the little girl sat
astonished, 'a prince and princess of Fairyland, and there was a wager
between us whether or not there were good people still to be found in
these false and greedy times. One said Yes, and the other said No;
and I have lost,' said the prince, 'and must pay the feast and presents.'
Childe Charity never heard any more of that story. Some of the
farmer's household, who were looking after them through the moonlight
night, said the chariots had gone
one way across the meadows,
some said they had gone another,
and till this day they
cannot agree upon the ,
direction. But Childe
Charity went with -
that noble com- .
such as she had '
never seen for .
all the ground, and
the light was al-
ways like that of
a summer evening. They took her
to a royal palace, where there was
nothing but feasting and dancing for seven days. She had robes of
pale green velvet to wear, and slept in a chamber inlaid with ivory.
When the feast was done, the prince and princess gave her such heaps
of gold and jewels that she could not carry them, but they gave her a
chariot to go home in, drawn by six white horses; and on the seventh
night, which happened to be Christmas time, when the farmer's family
had settled in their own minds that she would never come back,
and were sitting down to supper, they heard the sound of her coach-
man's bugle, and saw her alight with all the jewels and gold at the very
backdoor where she had brought in the ugly old woman. The fairy
chariot drove away, and never came back to that farmhouse after. But
Childe Charity scrubbed and scoured no more, for she grew a great
lady, even in the eyes of her proud cousins."
GRANNY'S TVON'DERFUL CHAIR.
Here the voice out of the cushion ceased, and one, with a fair face
and a robe of pale green velvet, rose from among the company, and
That's my story."
Mamma," said Princess Greedalind,
Sif we had some of those fine chariots !"
Yes, my daughter," answered Queen
\ Wantall, and the gold and jewels too!"
But King Winwealth said-
"Excepting yesterday's story, and the
three that went before it, I have not heard
such a tale since my brother Wisewit went
,. from me, and was lost in the forest. High-
Sjinks, the third of my pages, go and bring
this maiden a crimson velvet hat."
SSnowflower took the hat and thanked
y the king, made her courtesy, and went
down on her grandmother's chair to the
housekeeper's parlour. Her blanket
was covered with a patchwork quilt
,' that night; next day she had roast
turkey and meat for dinner. But the feast
went on in the palace hall with the usual
spites and envies; the clamour and complaints at the gate were still
heard above all the music; and King Winwealth fell into his wonted
low spirits as soon as the supper was over. As usual, a message
came down from the banquet hall, and the chief-butler told Snow-
flower that she and her chair were wanted to tell King Winwealth a
story. So she went up with all the presents on, even to the crimson
hat, made her courtesy to the good company, and had scarcely said,
" Chair of my grandmother, tell me a story," when the voice from under
the cushion said-
Listen to the story of Sour and Civil."
Sour anb Civil.
NCE upon a time there stood upon the sea-coast of the west
country a certain hamlet of low cottages, where no one lived
but fishermen. All round it was a broad beach of snow-white
sand, where nothing was to be seen but gulls and cormorants,
and long tangled seaweeds cast up by the tide that came and went
night and day, summer and winter. There was no harbour nor port
on all that shore. Ships passed by at a distance, with their white
sails set, and on the land-side
there lay wide grassy downs,
where peasants lived and shep-
herds fed their flocks. The
fishermen thought themselves
as well off as any people in
that country. Their families .
never wanted for plenty of -- .- -
herrings and mackerel; and -.. .
what they had to spare the .. i
landsmen bought from them at -. '
certain village markets on the -
downs, giving them in ex-- - -
change butter, cheese, and
"The two best fishermen
in that village were the sons of two old widows, who had no other
children, and happened to be near neighbours. Their family names
were short, for they called the one Sour, and the other Civil. There
was no relationship between them that ever I heard of; but they had
only one boat, and always fished together, though their names expressed
the difference of their humours for Civil never used a hard word
where a soft one would do, and when Sour was not snarling at some-
body, he was sure to be grumbling.at everything.
"Nevertheless they agreed wonderfully, and were lucky fishers.
Both were strong, active, and of good courage. On winter's night or
summer's morning they would steer out to sea far beyond the boats
of their neighbours, and never came home without some fish to cook
GRANNY'S WONDERFUL CHAIR.
and some to spare. Their mothers were proud of them, each in her
own fashion-for the saying held good, 'Like mother, like son.'
Dame Civil thought the whole world didn't hold a better than her son;
and her boy was the only creature at whom Dame Sour didn't scold
and frown. The hamlet was divided in opinion concerning the young
fishermen. Some thought Civil the best; some said, without Sour he
would catch nothing. So things went on, till one day about the fall
of winter, when mists were gathering darkly on sea and sky, and the
air was chill and frosty, all the boatmen of the hamlet went out to
fish, and so did Sour and Civil.
"That day they had not their usual luck. Cast their net where
they would, not a single fish came in. Their neighbours caught
boatsful, and went home, Sour said, laughing at them. But when the
sea was growing crimson with the sunset their nets were empty, and
they were tired. Civil himself did not like to go home without fish-
it would damage the high repute they had gained in the village.
Besides, the sea was calm and the evening fair, and, as a last attempt,
they steered still further out, and cast their nets beside a rock which
rose rough and grey above the water, and was called the Merman's
Seat-from an old report that the fishermen's fathers had seen the
mermen, or sea-people, sitting there on moonlight nights. Nobody
believed that rumour now, but the villagers did not like to fish there.
The water was said to be deep beyond measure, and sudden squalls
were apt to trouble it; but Sour and Civil were right glad to see by
the moving of their lines that there was something in their net, and
gladder still when they found it so heavy that all their strength was
required to draw it up. Scarcely had they landed it on the Merman's
Seat, when their joy was changed to disappointment, for besides a few
starved mackerel, the net contained nothing but a monstrous ugly
fish as long as Civil (who was taller than Sour), with a huge snout,
a long beard, and a skin covered with prickles.
Such a horrid ugly creature!' said Sour, as they shook it out of
the net on the rough rock, and gathered up the mackerel. 'We
needn't fish here any more. How they will mock us in the village for
staying out so late, and bringing home so little!'
"' Let us try again,' said Civil, as he set his creel of mackerel in
"'Not another cast will I make to-night;' and what more Sour
would have said, was cut short by the great fish, for, looking round at
them, it spoke out-
'I suppose you don't think me worth taking home in your dirty
boat; but I can tell you that if you were down in my country, neither
of you would be thought fit to keep me company.'
SOUR AND CIVIL.
"Sour and Civil were terribly astonished to hear the fish speak.
The first could not think of a cross word to say, but Civil made answer
in his accustomed manner.
"'Indeed, my lord, we beg your pardon, but our boat is too light to
carry such a fish as you.'
"'You do well to call me lord,' said the fish,' for so I am, though it
was hard to expect you could have known my quality in this dress.
However, help me off the rock, for I must go home; and for your
civility I will give you my daughter in marriage, if you will come and
see me this day twelvemonth.
Civil helped the great fish off the rock as respectfully as his fear
would allow him. Sour was so terrified at the whole transaction, that
he said not a word till they got safe home; but from that day forward,
when he wanted to put Civil down, it was his custom to tell him and
his mother that he would get no wife but the ugly fish's daughter.
Old Dame Sour heard this story from her son, and told it over the
whole village. Some people wondered, but the most part laughed at it
as a good joke; and Civil and his mother were never known to be
angry but on that occasion. Dame Civil advised her son never to fish
with Sour again; and as the boat happened to be his, Civil got an old
skiff which one of
the fishermen was
going to break up
for firewood, and
cobbled it up for
In that skiff
hewent to sea alone
all the winter, and a e c
all the summer: K s
but, though Civil
was brave and skil- -
ful, he could catch
little, because his
boat was bad--and
everybody but his
mother began to
think him of no
value. Sour having the good boat got a new comrade, and had the
praise of being the best fisherman.
Poor Civil's heart was getting low as the summer wore away.
The fish had grown scarce on that coast, and the fishermen had to steer
further out to sea. One evening when he had toiled all day and caught
GRANNY'S WONDERFUL CHAIR.
nothing, Civil thought he would go further too, and try his fortune
beside the Merman's Rock. The sea was calm, and the evening fair
Civil did not remember that it was the very day on which his troubles
began by the great fish talking to him twelve months before. As he
neared the rock the sun was setting, and much astonished was the
fisherman to see standing upon it three fair ladies, with sea-green gowns
and strings of great pearls wound round their long fair hair; two of
them were waving their hands to him. They were the tallest and
stateliest ladies he had ever seen ; but Civil could perceive as he came
nearer that there was no colour in their cheeks, that their hair had a
strange bluish shade, like that of deep sea-water, and there was a fiery
light in their eyes that frightened him. The third, who was less of
stature, did not notice him at all, but kept her eyes fixed on the setting
sun. Though her look was mournful, Civil could see that there was a
faint rosy bloom on her cheek-that her hair was a golden yellow, and
her eyes were mild and clear like those of his mother.
"' Welcome! welcome! noble fisherman!' cried the two ladies.
'Our father has sent us for you to visit him,' and with one bound they
leaped into his boat, bringing with them the smaller lady, who said-
"'Oh bright sun and brave sky that I see so seldom !' But Civil
heard no more, for his boat went down miles deep in the sea, and he
thought himself drowning ; but one lady had caught him by the right
arm, and the other by the left, and pulled him into the mouth of a rocky
cave, where there was no water. On they went, still down and down,
as if on a steep hill-side. The cave was very long, but it grew
wider as they came to the bottom. Then Civil saw a faint light, and
walked out with his fair company into the country of the sea-people.
In that land there grew neither grass nor flowers, bushes nor trees, but
the ground was covered with bright-coloured shells and pebbles.
There were hills of marble, and rocks of spar; and over all a cold blue
sky, with no sun, but a light clear and silvery as that of the harvest
moon. The fisherman could see no smoking chimneys, but there were
grottoes in the sparry rocks, and halls in the marble hills, where lived
the sea-people-with whom, as old stories say, fishermen and
mariners used to meet on lonely capes and headlands in the simple
times of the world.
Forth they came in all directions to see the stranger. Mermen
with long white beards, and mermaids such as walk with the fishermen,
all clad in sea-green, and decorated with strings of pearls; but every
one with the same colourless face, and the same wild light in their eyes.
The mermaids led Civil up one of the marble hills to a great cavern
with halls and chambers like a palace. Their floors were of alabaster,
their walls of porphyry, and their ceilings inlaid with coral. Thousands
SOUR AND CIVIL.
of crystal lamps lit the palace. There were seats and tables hewn out
of shining spar, and a great company sat feasting; but what most
amazed Civil was the quantity of cups, flagons, and goblets, made of
gold and silver, of such different shapes and patterns that they seemed
to have been gathered from all the countries in the world. In the
chief hall there sat a merman on a stately chair,
with more jewels than all the rest about him.
Before him the mermaids brought Civil, say- .
"'Welcome, noble fisherman!' cried tlh,-
merman, in a voice which Civil rememl- r .' )
with terror, for it was that of the great ilJy .
fish; 'welcome to our halls! Sit down -, n
feast with us, and then choose which iof mi,' y
daughters you will have for a bride.'
"Civil had never felt himself s.: -/
thoroughly frightened in all his lif- '
How was he to get home to his ..
mother ? and what would the old
dame think when the dark night .-
came without bringing him home ?
There was no use in talking-Civil
had wisdom enough to see that: he
therefore tried to take things quietly; and, having thanked the merman
for his invitation, took the seat assigned him on his right hand. Civil
was hungry with the long day at sea, but there was no want of fare on
that table: meats and wines, such as he had never tasted, were set
before him in the richest of golden dishes; but, hungry as he was, the
fisherman perceived that everything there had the taste and smell of
If the fisherman had been the lord of lands and castles he could
not have been treated with more respect. The two mermaids sat by
him-one filled his plate, another filled his goblet; but the third only
looked at him in a stealthy, warning way when nobody perceived her.
Civil soon finished his share of the feast, and then the merman showed
him all the splendours of his cavern. The halls were full of company,
some feasting, some dancing, and some playing all manner of games,
and in -every hall was the same abundance of gold and silver vessels;
but Civil was most astonished when the merman brought him to a
marble chamber full of heaps of precious stones. There were diamonds
there whose value the fisherman knew not-pearls larger than ever
a diver had gathered- emeralds, sapphires, and rubies, that would
GRANNY S WONDERFUL CHAIR.
have made the jewellers of the world wonder; the merman then
"' This is my eldest daughter's dowry.'
"'Good luck attend her!' said Civil. 'It is the dowry of a queen.'
But the merman led him on to another chamber: it was filled with
heaps of gold coin, which seemed gathered from all times and nations.
The images and inscriptions of all the kings that ever reigned were
there; and the merman said-
"' This is my second daughter's dowry.'
"'Good luck attend her!' said Civil. 'It is a dowry for a
So you may say,' replied the merman. 'But make up your mind
which of the maidens you will marry, for the third has no portion at all,
because she is not my daughter; but only, as you may see, a poor silly
girl taken into my family for charity.'
"'Truly, my lord,' said Civil, whose mind was already made up,
'both your daughters are too rich and far too noble for me ; therefore
I choose the third. Her poverty will best become my estate of a poor
"'If you choose her,' said the merman, 'you must wait long for
a wedding. I cannot allow an inferior girl to be married before my
own daughters. And he said a
great deal more to persuade him;
but Civil would not change his
mind, and they returned to the
"There was no more atten-
tion for the fisherman, but every-
body watched him well. Turn
where he would, master or guest
Shad their eyes upon him, though
he made them the best speeches
he could remember, and praised
all their splendours. One thing,
however, was strange-there was
/ ,no end to the fun and the feast-
S. ing; nobody seemed tired, and
--nobody thought of sleep. When
Civil's very eyes closed with
Sweariness, and he slept on one
of the marble benches-no matter
how many hours-there were the company feasting and dancing away;
there were the thousand lamps within, and the cold moonlight without.
SOUR AND CIVIL.
Civil wished himself back with his mother, his net, and his cobbled
skiff. Fishing would have been easier than those everlasting feasts;
but there was nothing else among the sea-people-no night of rest, no.
"Civil knew not how time went on, till, waking up from a long
sleep, he saw, for the first time, that the feast was over, and the
company gone. The lamps still burned, and the tables, with all
their riches, stood in the empty halls; but there was no face to
be seen, no sound to be heard, only a low voice singing beside
the outer door; and there, sitting all alone, he found the mild-eyed
"' Fair lady,' said Civil, 'tell me what means this quietness, and
where are all the merry company?'
"' You are a man of the land,' said the lady, 'and know not the
sea-people. They never sleep but once a year, and that is at
Christmas time. Then they go into the deep caverns, where there is
always darkness, and sleep till the new year comes.'
"'It is a strange fashion,' said Civil; 'but all folks have their
way. Fair lady, as you and I are to be good friends, tell me,
whence come all the wines and meats, and gold and silver vessels,
seeing there are neither corn-fields nor flocks here, workmen nor
"'The sea-people are heirs of the sea,' replied the maiden; 'to
them come all the stores and riches that are lost in it. I know not
the ways by which they come; but the lord of these halls keeps the
keys of seven gates, where they go out and in; but one of the gates,
which has not been opened for thrice seven years, leads to a path
under the sea, by which, I heard the merman say in his cups, one
might reach the land. Good fisherman, if by chance you gain his
favour, and ever open that gate, let me bear you company; for I was
born where the sun shines and the grass grows, though my country
and my parents are unknown to me. All I remember is sailing in a
great ship, when a storm arose, and it was wrecked, and not one soul
escaped drowning but me. I was then a little child, and a brave sailor
had bound me to a floating plank before he was washed away. Here
the sea-people came round me like great fishes, and I went down with
them to this rich and weary country. Sometimes, as a great favour,
they take me up with them to see the sun; but that is seldom, for they
never like to part with one who has seen their country; and, fisherman,
if you ever leave them, remember to take nothing with you that
belongs to them, for if it were but a shell or a pebble, that will give
them power over you and yours.'
"'Thanks for your news, fair lady,' said Civil. 'A lord's daughter,
74 GRANNY'S WONDERFUL CHAIR.
doubtless, you must have been while I am but a poor fisherman;
yet, as we have fallen into the same misfortune, let us be friends,
and it may be we shall find means to get back to the sunshine
"'You are a man of good manners,' said the lady, 'therefore I
accept your friendship; but my fear is that we shall never see the
"' Fair speeches brought me here,' said Civil; 'and fair speeches
may help me back; but be sure I will not go without you.'"
0OUr anb CVpiVl-(contimned):
" ]jHIS promise cheered the lady's heart, and she and Civil spent
S that Christmas time seeing the wonders of the sea country.
CJ, They wandered through caves like that of the great merman.
The unfinished feast was spread in every hall; the tables were
covered with most costly vessels; and heaps of jewels lay on the floors
of unlocked chambers. But for the lady's warning, Civil would fain
have put away some of them for his mother.
"The poor woman was sad of heart by this time, believing her son
to be drowned. On the first night when
,, he did not come home, she had gone
down to the sea and watched till morning.
Then the fishermen steered out again, and
i Sour having found his skiff floating about,
brought it home, saying, the foolish young
man was doubtless lost; but what better
could be expected when he had no discreet person to take care of him.
This grieved Dame Civil sore. She never expected to see her
son again; but, feeling lonely in her cottage at the evening hour when
he used to come home, the good woman accustomed herself to go down
at sunset and sit beside the sea. That winter happened to be mild on
the coast of the west country, and one evening
when the Christmas time was near, and the
rest of the village preparing to make merry,
Dame Civil sat, as usual, .I &
on the sands. The tide at. -.
was ebbing and the sun
going down, when from
the eastward came a lady
clad in black, mounted on ..
a black palfrey, and fol- -.... ..".
lowed by a squire in the
same sad clothing; as the
lady came near, she said-
Woe is me for my daughter, and for all that have lost by the sea!'
GRANNY'S WONDERFUL CHAIR.
"'You say well, noble lady,' said Dame Civil. 'Woe is me
also for my son, for I have none beside him.'
When the lady heard that, she alighted from her palfrey, and sat
down by the fisherman's mother, saying-
"'Listen to my story. I was the widow of a great lord in the
heart of the east country. He left me a fair castle, and an only
daughter, who was the joy of my heart. Her name was Faith Feign-
less; but, while she was yet a child, a great fortune-teller told me that
my daughter would marry a fisherman. I thought this would be a
great disgrace to my noble family, and, therefore, sent my daughter
with her nurse in a good ship, bound for a certain city where my
relations live, intending to follow myself as soon as I could get my
lands and castles sold. But the ship was wrecked, and my daughter
drowned; and I have wandered over the world with my good Squire
Trusty, mourning on every shore with those who have lost friends
by the sea. Some with whom I have mourned grew to forget their
sorrow, and would lament with me no more; others being sour and
selfish, mocked me, saying, my grief was nothing to them: but you
have good manners, and I will remain with you, however humble be
your dwelling. My squire carries gold enough to pay all our charges.'
So the mourning lady and her good Squire Trusty went home with
Dame Civil, and she was no longer lonely in her sorrow, for when the
dame said -
'Oh if my son were alive, I should never let him go to sea in a
cobbled skiff!' the lady answered-
"'Oh! if my daughter were but living, I should never think it a
disgrace though she married a fisherman !'
"The Christmas passed as it always does in the west country-
shepherds made merry on the downs, and fishermen on the shore; but
when the merrymakings and ringing of bells were over in all the land,
the sea-people woke up to their continual feasts and dances. Like one
that had forgotten all that was passed, the merman again showed Civil
the chamber of gold and the chamber of jewels, advising him to choose
between his two daughters; but the fisherman still answered that the
ladies were too noble, and far too rich for him. Yet as he looked at
the glittering heap, Civil could not help recollecting the poverty of the
west country, and the thought slipped out-
"' How happy my old neighbours would be to find themselves here!'
"'Say you so ? said the merman, who always wanted visitors.
'Yes,' said Civil, I have neighbours up yonder mi the west country
whom it would be hard to send home again if they got sight of half
this wealth;' and the honest fisherman thought of Dame Sour and her
SOUR AND CIVIL.
"The merman was greatly delighted with these speeches-he
thought there was a probability of getting many land-people down, and
by and by said to Civil-
"' Suppose you took up a few jewels, and went up to tell your poor
neighbours how welcome we might make them ?'
"The prospect of getting back to his country rejoiced Civil's heart,
but he had promised not to go without the lady, and, therefore,
answered prudently what was indeed true-
"' Many thanks, my lord, for choosing such a humble man as I am
to bear your message; but the people of the west country never
believe anything without two witnesses at the least; yet if the poor
maid whom I have chosen could be permitted to accompany me, I
think they would believe us both.'
The merman said nothing in reply, but his people, who had heard
Civil's speech, talked it over among themselves till they grew sure that
the whole west country would come down, if they only had news of the
riches, and petitioned their lord to send up Civil and the poor maid by
way of letting them know.
"As it seemed for the public good, the great merman consented;
but, being determined to have them back, he gathered out of his
treasure chamber some of the largest pearls and diamonds that lay
convenient, and said-
Take these as a present from me, to let the west country people
see what I can do for my visitors.'
Civil and the lady took the presents, saying-
"'Oh, my lord, you are too generous. We want nothing but the
pleasure of telling of your marvellous riches up yonder.'
"'Tell everybody to come down, and they will get the t
like,' said the merman; 'and follow my eldest daughter, for '.
she carries the key of the land gate.'
Civil and the lady followed the mermaid through a
winding gallery, which led from the chief banquet hall far
into the marble hill. All was dark, and they had neither
lamp nor torch, but at the end of the gallery they came to
a great stone gate, which creaked like thunder on its hinges.
Beyond that there was a narrow cave, sloping up and up
like a steep hill-side. Civil and the lady thought they would never
reach the top; but at last they saw a gleam of daylight, then a strip of
blue sky, and the mermaid bade them stoop and creep through what
seemed a crevice in the ground, and both stood up on the broad sea-
beach as the day was breaking and the tide ebbing fast away.
"'Good times to you among your west country people,' said the
mermaid. 'Tell any of them that would like to come down to visit us,
GRANNY'S WONDERFUL CHAIR.
that they must come here midway between the high and low water-
mark, when the tide is going out at morning or evening. Call thrice
on the sea-people, and we will show them the way.'
"Before they could make answer, she had sunk down from their
sight, and there was no track or passage there, but all was covered by
the loose sand and sea-shells.
"'Now,' said the lady to Civil, 'we have seen the heavens once
more, and we will not go back. Cast in the merman's present quickly
before the sun rises ;' and taking the bag of pearls and diamonds, she
flung it as far as she could into the sea.
Civil never was so unwilling to part with anything as that bag, but
he thought it better to follow a good example, and tossed his into the
sea also. They thought they heard a long moan come up from the
waters; but Civil saw his mother's chimney beginning to smoke, and
with the fair lady in her sea-green gown he hastened to the good dame's
"The whole village were woke up that morning with cries of
'Welcome back, my son!' 'Welcome back, my daughter!' for the
mournful lady knew it was her lost daughter, Faith Feignless, whom
the fisherman had brought back, and all the neighbours assembled to
hear their story. When it was told, everybody praised Civil for the
prudence he had shown in his difficulties, except Sour and his mother:
they did nothing but rail upon him for losing such great chances of
making himself and the whole country rich. At last, when they heard
over and over again of the merman's treasures, neither mother nor son
would consent to stay any longer in the west country, and as nobody
persuaded them, and they would not take Civil's direction, Sour got out
his boat and steered away with his mother toward the Merman's Rock.
From that voyage they never came back to the hamlet. Some say
they went down and lived among the sea-people; others say-I know
not how they learned it-that Sour and his mother grumbled and
growled so much that even the sea-people grew weary of them, and
turned them and their boat out on the open sea. What part of the
world they chose to land on nobody is certain: by all accounts they
have been seen everywhere, and I should not be surprised if they were
in this good company. As for Civil, he married Faith Feignless, and
became a great lord."
Here the voice ceased, and two that were clad in sea-green silk,
with coronets of pearls, rose up, and said-
That's our story."
Oh, mamma, if we could get down to that country said Princess
"And bring all the treasures back with us!" answered Queen Wantall.
SOUR AND CIVIL.
Except the tale of yesterday, and the four that went before it, I
have not heard such a story since my brother Wisewit went from me,
and was lost in the forest," said King Winwealth. Readyrein, the
second of my pages, rise, and bring this maiden
a purple velvet mantle." ..
The mantle was brought, and Snow-
flower having thanked the king, went down ,
upon her grandmother's chair; but that .
night the little girl went no further than thr-
lowest banquet hall, where she was bidden (: i
to stay and share the feast, and sleep
hard by in a wainscot chamber. That }
she was well entertained there is no
doubt, for King Winwealth had been '-.--_
heard to say that it was not clear to
him how he could have got through the seven days' feast without her
grandmother's chair and its stories; but next day being the last of the
seven, things were gayer than ever in the palace. The music had
never been so merry, the dishes so rich, or the wines so rare; neither
had the clamours at the gate ever been so loud, nor the disputes and
envies so many in the halls.
Perhaps it was these doings that brought the low spirits earlier
than usual on King Winwealth, for after dinner his majesty fell into
them so deeply that a message came down from the highest banquet
hall, and the cupbearer told Snowflower to go up with her chair, for
King Winwealth wished to hear another story.
Now the little girl put on all her finery, from the pink shoes to the
purple mantle, and went up in her chair, looking so like a princess
that the whole company rose to welcome her. But having made her
courtesy, and laid down her head, saying, Chair of my grandmother,
tell me a story," the clear voice from under the cushion answered-
Listen to the Story of Merrymind."
HCbe Ztorr of MDerri minb.
f" 7" NCE upon a time there lived in the north country a certain
poor man and his wife, who had two corn-fields, three cows,
i.J five sheep, and thirteen children. Twelve of these children
were called by names common in the north country-Hard-
head, Stiffneck, Tightfingers, and the like; but when the thirteenth came
to be named, either the poor man and his wife could remember no other
name, or something in the child's look made them think it proper, for
they called him Merrymind, which the neighbours thought a strange
name, and very much above their station: however, as they showed
no other signs of pride, the neighbours let that pass. Their thirteen
children grew taller and stronger every year, and they had hard work
to keep them in bread; but when the youngest was old enough to
look after his father's sheep, there happened the great fair, to which
everybody in the north country went, because it came only once in
seven years, and was held on midsummer-day,-not in any town or
village, but on a green plain, lying between a broad river and a
high hill, where it was said the fairies used to dance in old and
"Merchants and dealers of all sorts crowded to that fair from far
and near. There was nothing known in the north country that could
not be bought or sold in it, and neither old nor young were willing to
go home without a fairing. The poor man who owned this large
family could afford them little to spend in such ways; but as the fair
happened only once in seven years, he would not show a poor spirit.
Therefore, calling them about him, he opened the leather bag in
which his savings were stored, and gave every one of the thirteen a
"The boys and girls had never before owned so much pocket-
money; and, wondering what they should buy, they dressed themselves
in their holiday clothes, and set out with their father and mother to
the fair. When they came near the ground that midsummer morning,
the stalls, heaped up with all manner of merchandise, from gingerbread
upwards, the tents for fun and feasting, the puppet-shows, the rope-
dancers, and the crowd of neighbours and strangers, all in their best
THE STORE Y OF MERR YrlIND.
attire, made those simple people think their north country fair the
finest sight in the world. The day wore away in seeing wonders, and
in chatting with old friends. It was surprising how far silver pennies
went in those days; but before evening twelve of the thirteen had got
fairly rid of their money. One
bought a pair of brass buckles,
another a crimson riband, a third
green garters; the father bought 'J
a tobacco-pipe, the mother a horn i
snuffbox-in short, all had pro-
vided themselves with fairings .
The cause of the silver penny .
remaining in his pocket was that
he had set his heart upon a fiddle; i
and fiddles enough there were in
the fair-small and large, plain
and painted: he looked at and priced the most of them, but there was
not one that came within the compass of a silver penny. His father
and mother warned him to make haste with his purchase, for they
must all go home at sunset, because the way was long.
"The sun was getting low and red upon the hill; the fair was
growing thin, for many dealers had packed up their stalls and departed;
but there was a mossy hollow in the great hill-side, to which the out-
skirts of the fair had reached, and Merrymind thought he would see
what might be there. The first thing was a stall of fiddles, kept by a
young merchant from a far country, who had many customers, his
goods being fine and new; but hard by sat a little grey-haired man,
at whom everybody had laughed that day, because he had nothing on
his stall but one old dingy fiddle, and all its strings were broken.
Nevertheless, the little man sat as stately, and cried, 'Fiddles to sell!'
as if he had the best stall in the fair.
"' Buy a fiddle, my young master ?' he said, as Merrymind came
forward. 'You shall have it cheap : I ask but a silver penny for it;
and if the strings were mended, its like would not be in the north
Merrymind thought this a great bargain. He was a handy boy,
and could mend the strings while watching his father's sheep. So
down went the silver penny on the little man's stall, and up went the
fiddle under Merrymind's arm.
Now, my young master,' said the little man, 'you see that we
merchants have a deal to look after, and if you help me to bundle up
my stall, I will tell you a wonderful piece of news about that fiddle.'
GRANNY'S WONDERFUL CHAIR.
Merrymind was good-natured and fond of news, so he helped him
to tie up the loose boards and sticks that composed his stall with an
old rope, and when they were hoisted on his back like a fagot, the little
"'About that fiddle, my young master: it is certain the strings can
never be mended, nor made new, except by threads from the night-
spinners, which, if you get, it will be a good pennyworth ;'
S and up the hill he ran like a greyhound.
Merrymind thought that was queer news, but being
given to hope the best, he believed the little man was only
jesting, and made haste to join the rest of the family, who
were soon on their way home. When they got there
every one showed his bargain, and Merrymind showed his
fiddle; but his brothers and sisters laughed at him for
buying such a thing when he had never learned to play.
His sisters asked him what music he could bring out of
broken strings; and his father said--
'Thou hast shown little prudence in laying out thy
first penny, from which token I fear thou wilt never have
many to lay out.'
In short, everybody threw scorn on Merrymind's bargain except
his mother. She, good woman, said if he laid out one penny ill, he
might lay out the next better; and who knew but his fiddle would be
of use some day? To make her words good, Merrymind fell to
repairing the strings-he spent all his time, both night and day, upon
them; but, true to the little man's parting words, no mending would
stand, and no string would hold on that fiddle. Merrymind tried every-
thing, and wearied himself to no purpose. At last he thought of
inquiring after people who spun at night; and this seemed such a good
joke to the north country people, that they wanted no other till the next
In the meantime Merrymind lost credit at home and abroad.
Everybody believed in his father's prophecy; his brothers and sisters
valued him no more than a herd-boy; the neighbours thought he must
turn out a scapegrace. Still the boy would not part with his fiddle.
It was his silver pennyworth, and he had a strong hope of mending the
strings for all that had come and gone; but since nobody at home
cared for him except his mother, and as she had twelve other children,
he resolved to leave the scorn behind him, and go to seek his fortune.
The family were not very sorry to hear of that intention, being in a
manner ashamed of him; besides, they could spare one out of thirteen.
His father gave him a barley cake, and his mother her blessing. All
his brothers and sisters wished him well. Most of the neighbours
THE STORY OF MERR YMIND
hoped that no harm would happen to him; and Merrymind set out one
summer morning with the broken-stringed fiddle under his arm.
There were no highways then in the north country-people took
whatever path pleased them best; so Merrymind went over the fair
ground and up the hill, hoping to meet the little man, and learn some-
thing of the night-spinners. The hill was covered with heather to the
top, and he went up without meeting any one. On the other side it was
steep and rocky, and after a hard scramble down, he came to a narrow
glen all overgrown with wild furze and brambles. Merrymind had never
met with briars so sharp, but he was not the boy to turn back readily,
and pressed on in spite of torn clothes and scratched hands, till he came
to the end of the glen, where two paths met : one of them wound
through a pine-wood, he knew not how far, but it seemed green and
pleasant. The other was a rough, stony way leading to a wide valley
surrounded by high hills, and overhung by a dull, thick mist, though it
was yet early in the summer evening.
Merrymind was weary with his long journey, and stood thinking
of what path to choose, when, by the way of
the valley, there came an old man as tall and .
large as any three men of the north country..-
His white hair and beard hung like tangled
flax about him; his clothes were made of sack- .'
cloth; and on his back he carried a heavy ,i
burden of dust heaped high in a great pannier. '
"' Listen to me, you lazy vagabond!' he
said, coming near to Merrymind: 'if you take
the way through the wood I know not what
will happen to you ; but if you choose this path
you must help me with my pannier, and I can
tell you it's no trifle.'
"'Well, father,' said Merrymind, 'you
seem tired, and I am younger than you, though
not quite so tall; so, if you please, I will
choose this way, and help you along with the
"Scarce had he spoken when the huge "-
man caught hold of him, firmly bound one side of the pannier to his
shoulders with the same strong rope that fastened it on his own back,
and never ceased scolding and calling him names as they marched over
the stony ground together. It was a rough way and a heavy burden,
and Merrymind wished himself a thousand times out of the old man's
company, but there was no getting off; and at length, in hopes of
beguiling the way, and putting him in better humour, he began to sing