Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review Volumes 32 and 33.djvu/250

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238
Mingling of Fairy and Witch Beliefs.

clad in white and the king was well-favoured. "I got meat ther from the Queein of Fearrie mor than I could eat," said Isobel. One of the mmisters, who revelled in the delusions and erotic ravings of this poor woman, had been shot at by her, but the elf-bolt unfortunately fell short of this credulous parson.[1]

About the same time (1662) a trial in Bute revealed curious evidence. Here the devil seems to be in opposition to the fairies, giving the witch knowledge of their ill deedsr while she herself cured the "blasting" of their human victims, caused by a whirlwind raised about them by the fairy folk. Fifteen years later two men were tried at Inveraray, and one of them, Donald MacMichael, told how he had entered a fairy hill, where dancing was going on. The fairy king was like "ane large tall corporal Gardman, and ruddie." One of the fairy women engaged Donald to return eight nights after. He obeyed and was in the hill for a month, playing the "trumps" while the fairies danced. At other times and places he had met them, but received a stroke from them for having revealed his dealings with them to a friend. They gave him secret knowledge about various stolen goods; for this and for consulting with evil spirits, Donald was hanged. The judges regarded the fairy revels as diabolical and full of sorcery.[2]

Towards the end of the seventeenth century a pious schoolmaster called Brown at Jedburgh was afflicted with a wife who was a witch. His godly remonstrances were as obnoxious to her as Mrs. Cruncher's "floppings" were to her husband Jerry, and they so annoyed her that she and her associates drowned him in the Jed. While this was going on fairies had been seen dancing on the steeples of the abbey. They were then joined by the witches,

  1. Ib. iii. 603 ff.
  2. Highland Papers, ed. J. R. M. MacPhail (Scottish History Society, ser. 2, vol. XX.), iii. 23 f., 36 ff.