Page:Grimm Goblins (1876).djvu/24

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xvlii EXTRACTS.

where it occnn. [Mr. l^rrwhitt recogniaes its employment only in the two first senses. It has lately been asserted that Chaucer always employs the vior A faerie in the sense of illusion. Let the reader tiy if' this third sense will not best suit most passages where it occurs in his works.]

4 Lastly, the word came to* signify the individual denizens of Fairy-Iand, and was eqiudly applied to the full-sized fairy knights and ladies of romance, and to the pigmy El res yfiko haant tbe woods and delU. At what period it got this, its last and subsequently its most usual, sense, we are unaUe to say positively ; but it was probably posterior to Chauoer, in whom it never occurs, and certainly anterior to Spenser, to whom, however, it seems chiefly indebted for its future general currency. [The Faerie Queen " was published gome years before Midsummer Night's Dream." Warton (Observations on the " Faerie Queene *') observes : " It appears from Maraton's 'Satires/ printed 1598, that the * Faerie Queene 'occasioned many publications in whidi Fa'nries were the principal aetor&

<< < Go buy some ballad of the Faery King* — Ad Leetarem, I ^ * Out stens some Fairy with quick motion,

t And tells him woncfers of some Aowerie vale —

^ Awakes, straight rubs his eyes, and prints his tale.'

B. iii.. Sat. 6.'T It was employed during the 16th oentury for the Fays of romance, and also, especially by translators, foi^ the Elves, as corresponding with the Latin Nymphse.

Thus we have endeavoured to trace out tbe origin and mark the progress of the word Fairy through its varying significations, and trust that the subject will now appear placed in a clear and intelligiblvt Hght.

Dwarfs. — These beings are called Zwerge (dwarfs), Berg and Erdmaniein (bill

and ground manuikins), the Stille Yolk (stiJi i>eople), and the Eleine Yolk (little

people). The followingaccount of the Still People at Plessd will give the popular idea

respecting them. At Pless^, a cantle in the mountains of Hesse, are various springs,

wells, clef ts, and holes in the rocks, in which,according to popular tradition, the Dwarfs

, called the Still People dwell. They are silent and beneficent, and willingly serve thoso

who have the good fortune to please them. If injured they vent their anger, not on

I mankind, but on the cattle, whom they plague and torment. This subterranean

': race has no proper communication with mankind, bat pass their lives within the

earth, where iheir apartments and chambers are fiUed with gold and precious stones.

! Should occasion require their visits to the surface of the earth, they accomplish the

^ business in the night, and not by day. This Hill People are of fiesh and cx>ne like

< mankind, they bear children and die ; but, in addition to the ordinary faculties of

! humanity, they have the gift of making themselves invisible, and of passing

through rocks and walls with the same faciuty as tbroagh the air. They sometimes

appear to men, lead them with them into the clefts^ and, if the strangers prove

agreeable to them, present them with valuable gifts. Wild-Womew,— The Wilde

fVauen or Wild-Women of Germany bear a very strong resemblance to the Elle-

Maids of Scandinavia. Like them, they are beautiful, have fine flowing hair, live

within hills, and only appear singly or in the society of each other. They partake

of the piety of character we find among the German Dwarfs. The celebrated

' Wunderberg, or Underberg, on the great moor near Salzburg, is the chief haunt

. of the Wild- Women. The Wunder^rg is said to be quite hollow, and supplied

I with stately palaces, churches, monasteries, gardens, and springs of gold and sUver.

Its inhabitants, besides the Wild- Women, are little men, who have charge of the

treasures it coo tains, and who at midnight repair to Salzburg to perfomi

their devotions in the Cathedral ; giants, who used to come to the chitfch of Urodick