Page:Grimm Goblins (1876).djvu/30

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EXTRACTS.

called Picts* houses. Covered with artificial raounds, they were generally green hills. When the country came to be iDhiibtted around them a regard for their own safety would induce them to be hid by day, and to come abnmd only in the night. It would be of consequence if at any time their occasions sliould force them abroad in daylight that their clothing ehnuld be as like the ground as possible ; hence they were always dressed in green. Their narrow dwellings kept them much confined by day ; but the exercise of dancini^ by moonlight must have been to them most delightful, and frequently repeated in remote glens and sequestered places. Hence, •tso, their music by night in the open air ; by day in their dwellings it must have U^^trayed them. Hence, also, in dark nights those gleams of light which were necessary to find their way to water, or anything else they might need. Their stock of provisions might at times run f«hort ; hence their females appearing in green gowns, borrowing oatmeal, and repaying it. Their families in that confined state of life, from putrid or infectious dieases, might become thin or wear away ; and hence their carrying off women aAd children to recruit their stock ; hence, also, the return of those carried off being permitted to depart after several years of absence from their own families under a promise of keeping their secret. Difficulties may be started ; but such a supposition seems to account for stories that passed current with people who, though superstitions and apt to be imposed upon by their own imaginations, were not indifferent with regara to what they thought to be truth, more than people of the present age.*'

" But," Dr. Guthrie adds, '* it may be proper to remark that the fairy tales in Scotland are widely different from those we generally find in books."