Page:Celtic Fairy Tales.djvu/282

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Notes and References


Source.—Lady Wilde's Ancient Legends, the first story.

Parallels.—A similar version was given by Mr. D. Fitzgerald in the Revue Celtique, iv. 181, but without the significant and impressive horns. He refers to Cornhill for February 1877, and to Campbell's "Sauntraigh" No. xxii. Pop. Tales, ii. 52–4, in which a "woman of peace" (a fairy) borrows a woman's kettle and returns it with flesh in it, but at last the woman refuses, and is persecuted by the fairy. I fail to see much analogy. A much closer one is in Campbell, ii. p. 63, where fairies are got rid of by shouting "Dunveilg is on fire." The familiar "lady-bird, lady-bird, fly away home, your house is on fire and your children at home," will occur to English minds. Another version in Kennedy's Legendary Fictions, p. 164, "Black Stairs on Fire."

Remarks.—Slievenamon is a famous fairy palace in Tipperary according to Dr. Joyce, l.c. i. 178. It was the hill on which Finn stood when he gave himself as the prize to the Irish maiden who should run up it quickest. Grainne won him with dire consequences, as all the world knows or ought to know (Kennedy, Legend Fict., 222, "How Fion selected a Wife").


Source.—Campbell, Pop. Tales of West Highlands, No. v. pp. 105–8, "Conall Cra Bhuidhe." I have softened the third episode, which is somewhat too ghastly in the original. I have translated "Cra Bhuide" Yellowclaw on the strength of Campbell's etymology, l.c. p. 158.

Parallels.—Campbell's vi. and vii. are two variants showing how widespread the story is in Gaelic Scotland. It occurs in Ireland where it has been printed in the chapbook, Hibernian Tales, as the "Black Thief and the Knight of the Glen," the Black Thief being Conall, and the knight corresponding to the King of Lochlan (it is given in Mr. Lang's Red Fairy Book). Here it attracted the notice of Thackeray, who gives a good abstract of it in his Irish Sketch-Book, ch. xvi. He thinks it "worthy of the Arabian Nights, as wild and odd as an Eastern tale." "That fantastical way of bearing testimony to the previous tale by producing an old woman who says the tale is not only true, but who was the very old woman who lived in the giant's castle is almost" (why "almost," Mr. Thackeray?) "a stroke of genius." The incident of the giant's breath occurs in the story of Koisha Kayn, Maclnnes' Tales,