A peep at the pixies - or, Legends of the west by Qmr alzman - Issuu

Page 1

;

I


ti<

r UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH

Uarliiigton JVLemorial Ijibrary


FIXY GATHON.

Page

Si)


A

PEEP AT THE PIXIES; LEGENDS OF THE WEST.

By MRS. BRAY, AUTHOR OF OF THE TAMAR AND THE TAVY," "LIFE OF STOTHARD,' "TRELAWNY," "TRIALS OF DOMESTIC LIFE," ETC. ETC. ETC.

THE BORDERS

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY HABLOT

K.

BROWNE.

(PHIZ.)

LOXDON:

GRANT AND GRIFFITH, (successors to

CORNER OF

ST.

NEWBgRY AND

HARRIS,)

PAUL'S CHURCHYARD.

M.PCCC.LIV.

EVANS AND

BRITTAf^f,

NEW

YORK.


LONDON BY UERTHUlMEll AND FINSBURY CIRCUS. :

I'lUNTtl)


TO

MY DEAR

NIKCE,

JESSY CAEOLIXE DAVIES, who, by expressing a wish that

i

would write a book for

"little people," like herself, first suggested to

me the composition of the following TALES,

THESE PAGES ARE INSCRIBED BY HER AFFECTIONATE AUNT,

ANNA

The Vicarage, Tavistock, August

5th, \>ib2.

ELIZA BRAY.


MKS. BRAY^S WORKS.

NOVELS AND ROMANCE S, COLLECTIVELY OR SEPARATE. I.— THE WHITE HOODS (with Portrait and General Preface). Vol. II.— DE FOIX.

Vol. v.— THE TALBA. Vol.VL— WARLEIGH. Vol.VIL— TKELAWNY. Vol. VIII. -TRIALS OF THE HEART. III.— THE PROTESTANT. FITZ-FOKD. Vol. IX.— HENliY DE POMEROY. IV.— FITZ OF Vol. X.— COURTENAY OF WALREDDON.

Vol.

Vol. Vol.

TRIALS OF DOMESTIC LIFE; A father's CURSE; A DAUGHTER'S SACRIFICE.

LETTERS FROM NORMANDY AND BRITTANY,

MEMOIRS OF THE LATE CHARLES

A.

STOTHARD,

F.S.A.

THE BORDERS OF THE TAMAR AND THE TAVY.

THE MOUNTAINS AND LAKES OF SWITZERLAND. LETTERS TO THE LATE

R.

SOUTHEY, POET LAUREATE

WITH AN ACCOUNT OF MARY COLLING, AND HEU FABLES.

LIFE OF

THOMAS STOTHARD,

WITH NUMERODS ILLUSTRATIONS FROM

HIS

R.A.

WORKS.


ADVERTISEMENT. In a work of mine, addressed in a

series of letters to the late

Laui'eate, Robert Southey, entitled "

Tavy," I gave an account of several legends

and

many

The Borders

of the

lamented poet

Tamar and

traditions, peculiar to this delightful county:

them were a few Pixy

stories.

among

These had the good fortune to meet

favor both from critic and reader;

tlie

of our local superstitions, and related

and confirmed the opinion

I

witli

had pre-

viously formed concerning the general interest attached to Pixy lore.

The

following tales were written for the entertainment of a family circle

of children and tlie

young

persons.

Finding they afforded some amusement in

quarter for wiiich they were originally designed, I

commit them

to the press, in the

hope that they

may

am

induced to

not be altogether

unacceptable to a more extended circle in their hours of harmless recrea tion

from more serious pursuits,

A. E. B.

The Vicarage, Tavistock, Alifliist 5, 1S5-).

â&#x20AC;˘


TABLE OF CONTENTS. page

Introduction

Pixy Gathon

;

or,

The Three Trials

The ;

Tailor's Needle

or,

.

.

.

.

17

.

38

The Story of Crabby Cross

The Seven Crosses of Tiverton;

or,

The Story of Pixy 57

Picket

FoNTiNA

;

OR,

1

The

Pixies'

Bath

103

The Lady of the Silver Bell The Belfry Kock;

or,

The

Pixies'

132

Revenge

.

.

Appendix, containing Notes in Reference to the Tales

.

149 159


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

A PEEP AT THE

PIXIES.

INTRODUCTION. Dartmoor

described.

What In

this

said to

and

hills

birds,

and

it

their Haunt.

with plenty of woods, and

rivers,

and flowers.

And we

country called Dartmoor^ where the

some of them are tiful

make

most pleasant part of England, the county of Devon,

we have many fields,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;The Pixies

they are sujjposed to be, and what they do.

like mountains,

have a large tract of

hills are so

high that

with a number of beau-

sparkling streams and waterfalls, and a great

some standing

many

and others piled on the top of the heights in such an odd way, that they look like the rocks,

alone,

ruins of castles and towers built

time, and these are called Tors

by the giants ;

in the olden

they are so lofty that the

clouds often hang upon them and hide their heads.

what with trees,

its

being so large and lonely, and

its

And

having no

except in one or two spots near a river, Dartmoor

altogether,

though a wild, a very grand

is

place.

In going fiom Tavistock to Exeter, persons sometimes cross the

moor, where there

is

now

a

good road, but

it


A PEEP AT THE

2 so dreary

is

and

solitary,

that

PIXIES.

you may

travel for miles

and only here and there see a hut of the very poorest kind, built of turf dug on the spot, and thatched with green rushes, so that at a little distance it looks like the ground on which it stands. The people who live in these humble dwellings are not very nice, for the pig-stye

near the door, and the children are not the pigs. let

It is

them be

is

generally

cleaner than

the more discreditable to their mothers to

so, as

and keep clean

much

all

there

is

water enough around

to

wash

the children in Devonshire.

Corn can only be made to grow in a few scanty patches on Dartmoor, but there is plenty of grass between the rocks and stones, and on this sheep and oxen feed in great

Many

horses and young colts are also there sent and there run about and gambol, with their manes and tails flowing and whisking about to keep off the flies (which are abundant), in the most frolicksome

numbers.

to pasture,

manner; and even the poorest have a donkey, that feeds near their huts.

The poor burn peat useful kind of fuel

is

instead of

wood

or coal

;

and

this

nothing more than decayed turf dug

out of the surrounding bogs.

It is cut in

long pieces and

and then piled up, the one piece upon the other, till becomes a large heap, which at a little distance looks not

dried, it

unlike a tent, and

when

several of

them

are seen standing

together, they remind the traveller of a camp. is

principally sold to cottagers

when

it is

carried to market,

put on what

is

it

called a crook,

and farmers is

for

This peat fuel;

and

not taken in a cart, but

which

is

made of wood,

in


DARTMOOR, THE ADDERS, GRANITE, MOSS, ETC. sliape

something like

tlie

3

prongs of a pitchfork turned up-

ward, and when placed upon the back of a horse or donkey, it

holds, piled

upon

it,

a great load.

The moor, being very

hot in summer, abounds with

adders or vipers, that creep under the stones and hide in the

long grass; and the men,

when

at

work, bind ropes of

straw round their legs to save themselves from the bite of

venomous reptiles. The farmers hang boughs of ashround the necks of their cattle, believing that it will save them from being harmed by the adders; but it is of no use, as they are often sadly bitten. There are a great many low walls, built of loose stones, to hinder the cattle from straying; for if any of them attempt to jump o-ver, the stones not being fastened come tumbling down^ and frighten them terribly. The rocks consist of a very hard stone called granite, which is quarried out and cut into blocks; and these are sent by a rude railway to Plymouth, where they are shipped oiF to London and elsewhere, to be used for building houses, churches, bridges, etc. The famous Waterloo bridge was partly these

tree twisted

built of the granite

The rocks grows a

sort

a beautiful

from Dartmoor.

are useful in another

way

also; for

on them

of grey moss, which in the autumn produces

little

red flower, not so big as a red berry from

the holly tree; and this moss

is

gathered and sold to the

which he dyes woollen cloth a bright scarlet; and many boys and girls have coats and frocks made out of dyer, with

the cloth so dyed, I

do not

know

a prettier sight than to watch the river3_


A PEEP AT THE

4

and streams of Dartmoor, rapid

;

PIXIES.

as tliey rusli along strong

and every now and

rock in a sheet of white foam, or in a number of

And when

bright cascades.

way, the water

is

so clear

and

over great masses of

tlien fall

little

they pass on in a more quiet

you may

see every stone beneath

and several of the rocks standing in the middle or

it;

the sides of these streams, are often quite

moss and what

is

at

covered with

These are of various

called lichens.

colours; white, gi-een, grey, or of the deepest black, like a

piece

of rich black velvet.

And

it

here to see the water-wagtail, a nice

and grey tail

feathers,

is

little

skimming over the

up and down, dipping moment.

his

very pretty, too, bird with white

rocks, shaking his

wings into the stream and

off again in a

On Dartmoor, too, as I have noticed in a previous work,'^ we meet in spring, upon a sunny morning, the pale yellow butterfly, usually seen in the garden among the flower beds; but here sporting on the front of some old grey rock, or settling

on the wild thyme, or on the golden

furze, as its

wings shake

with a quickness that will sometimes dazzle the sight.

And how find

beautiful

on the moor!

is

the song of the birds that

The

we

often

thrush, that never tires; or the

which sings first and soars highest; and the pretty wheat -ear that builds her nest amongst the old rocks, whose colour it so resembles in the black and grey of its wings, lark,

you sometimes do not observe it perched uj)on them you hear its small cry. Tliere, too, is the goshawk, so rare in Devon; and the kite, that now is seldom found in that

till

* "

Borders of the Tamar and Tavj."


BIRDS OF THE MOOR inhabited valleys,

its

moor, as

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;DANGEROUS

MISTS.

5

prowls, like a robber, about

still

tlie

of his prey; and the ring-ouzel finds

if in search

a dwelling in the hollows of the stones,

and the poor

little

reed-wren makes them her home: and robin, that favourite of old and young, there need fear no pilferer; for so is

this pretty bird

much

the familiar friend of children in our

neighbourhood, that the boys will pelt any one of their

companions who may

But though moor has its

there are so

pleasant sights, yet the hills

and

lofty

be visited with sudden mists which are

as thick as the clouds;

persons

many

Those very high

dangers.

tors are liable to

known

but an egg from poor robin's nest.

steal

when

and

so hide every thing, that I

have

seated in a carriage and caught in one

of these say, that they could not plainly see the heads of

the horses which drew them along.

It is sad to think

how

many poor

people in old times before the good broad road

was made,

lost their lives

by wandering about by getting

into bogs

on the moor in these mists; some cold,

and others

and being swallowed up

alive before

all

night in the

help could be given them.

Many

years ago, a very remarkable instance occurred of a

native of this place, the late

Mr. Edward Smith, being

enveloped in a mist, whilst endeavouring to make his (^from a stream

where he had been

way

fishing) across Mistor,

with a view to shorten his road to Princetown on the moor.

The

following

particulars I

have gathered and selected

from Mr. Smith's own account of the circumstance."^ *

Given at large

vol.i, p. 208.

in tlie "

Borders of the Tamar and the Tavy,"


A PEEP AT THE

â&#x201A;Ź

He

advanced more

liad not

his ascent,

when he Was

PIXIES.

tlian a quarter of a

dense, dark, and flaky, that

startled

it

side appeared whirling masses of mist,

sistency that

but thinking

it it

a straight line

advance

He

aifected his very breathing.

At

last

every

err in hill,

paused;

walking in

continued to

The way seemed

but in this he was deceived.

;

On

him.

of so thick a con-

would be impossible to over the summit of a

lengthen before him.

mile in

so suddenly enveloped in a cloud,

to

he descried a few of those

immense fragments of granite with which the summit of Their appearance through the fog the tor was strewed. was wonderfully grand, wavy, fantastic, and as if possessing life. Although even with the surface, such was the deception,

they appeared upright, each in succession perpen-

dicular, imtil

he arrived

so close, that it required almost the

There were

very touch to prove the deception. scattered sheep, one here and there.

twenty or thirty yards,

for

At

also

some

the distance of

he could distinguish nothing

had the appearance of a moving unshapen Every now and then one of these animals would start from the side of a block of

further, they

mass, infinitely larger than reality.

granite close to his feet, affrighted

ing bleat, as

When,

if,

as

he

Mr. Smith stood above,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;sometimes with a scream-

like himself, filled

beneath,

believed, still

and looked about him.

and

all

around,

times even rushing, of white fog. to rest, feeling unable to painful,

with surprise and awe.

he had gained the summit,

walk

on.

There was

a mass, flaky, and

At

His situation

and the evening rapidly approaching.

at

down was now The fog

length he sat


;

DANGER OF A AVANDERER IN A increased in miirkiness, and

He

away vanished.

all

hopes

MIST.

tliat it

7

would

clear

looked around for some large frag-

ments of stone, under the

shelter of

which

to take

up

his

From exertion he had been hot but was now shivering and chilled. At

quarters for the night.

even to excess,

length he endeavoured to proceed.

The ground began himself descending

to

incline,

and he suddenly found

a very steep acclivity;

presently

he

heard the distant rushing of water; the sound enlivened him it

was

like the voice of a

onward; when suddenly,

compare

it

to

guide and friend, and he pressed so instantaneously that

nothing but the

lifting

up of

he could

a veil, the fog

rushed from liim, and the scene which opened induced him ahnost to doubt his very senses.

At

the river

his feet,

Walkham brawled amongst the On his left, was just its bed.

rocks scattered throughout

hamlet of Merrivale open to show the

sufficient of the

eastern arch of

its

picturesque bridge, whilst in the distance

the fantastic rocks of Vixen Tor were mist.

At

his right, within

still

wreathed in

two or three hundred yards,

was the very spot he had first quitted to ascend the mountain, and in front arose one of those grand and lofty tors which render the moor so striking; it was dark and frowning,

its

topmost ridges embosomed in clouds, whose summits

were gilded by the broad sun, now rapidly descending behind them. The whole scene was like magic; even whilst looking on

now found

that,

appeared to him as a dream.

He

during a space of two hours and a

half,

it, it

he had walked up the mountain, taken a complete

circuit


A PEEP AT THE

Âť

of

PIXIES.

summit, and almost retraced his steps in his descent,

its

such had been the deception of this most dangerous mist.

In the winter months, the snow often entirely covers the

moor, and so suddenly and heavily will a snow-storm come on, that travellers have not unfrequently been confined to

the house in which they

had the good luck

to take shelter

many days and weeks together. At various times, many a poor creature has been frozen to death on the moor. An instance that happened many years ago, was truly melancholy. A shepherd who had so before

arose, for

it

perished was not found

when

his

dog,

nearly

watching near the body of

At

some weeks

till

starved,

death,

after his

was discovered wistfully

his unfortunate master.

two boys were sent from a neighbouring some strayed sheep on the moor. They

a later period,

farm to look for were surprised by a sudden storm of snow; and not returning their master grew uneasy, and with some of his men Avent out to search for them.

buried in snow, state

they were removed

restored to

life,

The

lads

were found nearly In this

and both apparently sleeping. to

the

farm-house;

one was

but the other was quite dead.*

Besides the huts I mentioned just now, there are a few cottages and houses, and a very large building on the

which

is

Some

now

a dismal one

years ago,

when

there was a

and France, King George

III.

Frenchmen who were taken soldiers

and

sailors;

moor

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a prison. war between England

used to

prisoners

send there in battle

by

the his

and now his grand-daughter. Queen

* In the severe winter of 1853, four soldiers and a poor pedler lost in the snow on the moor.

were also

,


THE PRISONâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; DRUIDICAL REMAINS. Victoria,

still

uses

it

for a prison:

and sends

9

tliere

no

less

than twelve hvmdred convicts as a punishment for their

having broken the laws of the land in many ways.

These wicked men are not allowed to Avarden,

armed with

also a great

live in idleness;

work upon the moor, under the

are sent out to

many

There are

a double-barrelled gun.

of the Queen's troops

but

care of a

who

are placed

there to guard them, and to prevent their running away,

which, however,

I

am

told they sometimes do; but happily

they are always caught again through their being unable to find

any place of

shelter,

or anything to live upon, in

that barren, lonely, and desolate region.

You have read, my young

friends, in your History of Engsome accounts of the ancient Britons, and of the Druids^ who were priests and judges among them. The Druids lived very much together, and formed schools, in

land,

which they taught such arts and learning as they were acquainted with; and they studied much the stars on heights and open places, such as those on Dartmoor, where a great many of them dwelt. They said it was unlawful to perform the rites and ceremonies of their religion within a covered temple or under a roof of fore,

they chose a

any kind. Whenever they could, there-

hill or lofty

mound

for the purpose, as

from

such they could have a better view of the sun, and the moon,

and the

Now

planets,

which they were

so ignorant as to worship.

made by setting upright rough, unhewn stones in the form of a

these temples they

earth large,

and many such are

when they found

in the circle;

on Dartmoor.

Sometimes

a very large rock of a strange

and unusual

still

to be seen


A PEEP AT THE

10 sliape,

they would at once choose

PIXIES. for a place of worship,

it

and cut hollows like basins at the top to catch the rainwater, with which they sprinkled the people, and pretended to cure them of many diseases of body and mind. One of these rocks on Dartmoor, called Vixen Tor, is a hundred and ten feet high and so curiously formed by nature, that it resembles the Egyptian Sphinx, which is a very large stone cut into the shape of a man's face and head, that ;

stands in the sandy desert on the banks of the river Kile.

Many

of the Britons lived in huts on Dartmoor, and these

were made, like the temples, by rough hewn stones set upright in the ground, in the form of a circle, with walls

made tents. circle its

of

wood and

There

roofs of rushes,

are, also, still to

high and tapering like

be seen, here and there, a

of very strong stones, so large as to have within

enclosure a great

many

small huts; and the sheep and

the cattle used to be driven within

it

at night, to save

them

from being devoured by bears and wolves, which in those days prowled about the moor.

When

the Dartmoor Britons buried a chief,

who was

always a warrior or a king, the Druids raised a heap of stones over his grave

;

and sometimes a very large single

piece of granite, supported

we

stones, as

and

this they called a

On

upon three or four upright

see the legs support

an old fashioned table;

Cromlech.

the moor, upon the side of a steep hill which rises

is

called

is the most curious little wood Wistman's Wood, or " the wood of

"

and

supposed to be the remains of one

above the river Dart, there ever seen. the wise

It

men

;

is


THE LITTLE PEOPLE CALLED of

sacred groves of the Druids.

tlie

PIXIES.

11

It consists

of some

very aged and stunted oaks, not above ten or twelve

The

high.

feet

boles of these dwarf-trees are covered with

moss of an exceeding thickness, hung with

ivj,

and have

altogether a most strange and antiquated appearance.

Now

this

wild tract of land, as well as other parts of

Devonshire and Cornwall, of

set

little

children

for,

;

be seen,

it is

is

considered to be haunted by a

called

creatures,

small,

The

are not like

and can sometimes

said they can fly as well as run,

through key-holes, and get into the

many

They

Pixies.

though they are

other places where

little

and creep

bells of flowers,

boys and

girls

and

cannot creep.

Pixies are sometimes good, and do kind acts

;

but

more frequently they are mischievous, and do a great deal of harm to men, women, and children, if they have a spite against them and often hurt the cattle. ;

Some

people say they are the souls of poor children

who die

unbaptised, and others think that they are a kind of

fairies,

but more frolicsome, and have more power to do either

good

or harm.

distinct race friends,

;

They for if

you would

are,

however, generally considered a

you could but see at

creature from a Fairy.

once

Indeed,

that the Faries wished very

see a Pixy,

how

different

it is

much

my young was such a

matter of tradition,

to establish themselves

would not hear of it and a Oberon was, with his host, defeated majesty received a wound in the leg which proved

in Devonshire, but the Pixies terrible

and

his

incurable

had the

;

war ensued.

;

none of the herbs

least beneficial effects,

;

in his

dominions have

though

liitherto

his principal secretary


;

A PEEP AT THE

12

and attendant, Puck, has been in

PIXIES. searcli of

one of a

lieallnof

nature ever since.

Having

much concerning

thus

said

racter, I will

now

proceed to speak a

their general cha-

little

Pixies and their manners in detail, as in

they are very curious

and in doing

;

particulars, I shall venture to

so,

draw upon

more about the

many for

respects

some few

my own

account,

men

given in a former work, which, being intended for

women

and of

only,

mv young my vounof

not at

is

likely to fall into the

all

hands

friends.* rrienc

These tiny elves are

said to delight in solitary places, to

love pleasant hills and pathless woods, or to disport themselves

on the margins of

their

all

and

rivers

and mountain streams.

amusements dancinsj forms

this exercise

Druids of

Of

their chief delight

they are said always to practise, like the

old, in a circle or ring.

though represented

as of

These dainty beings,

exceeding beauty in their higher

order, are nevertheless, in

some

instances, of strange, un-

couth, and fantastic figure and visage

deformity need give them very

little

;

though such natural

uneasiness, since they

are traditionally believed to possess the

power of assuming

various shapes at will.

Their love of dancing music, though

it

is

those sounds which nious. cry,

is

is

not unaccompanied with that of

often of a nature

human

somewhat

different to

ears are apt to consider

harmo-

In Devonshire, that unlucky omen, the cricket's to

them

as

piercing notes of the *

'

animating and as well timed as the fife,

The Borders

or the dulcet

of the

melody of the

Tamar and the Tavy."

flute,


PIXY MUSIC AND DANCING.

13

The frogs sing their double-bass, and the to them like an aged and favoured minstrel piping in hall. The grasshopper, too, chirps with his merry note in the concert, and the humming-bee plays to mortals.

screech-owl

is

" his hautbois"

tripping on the green

to their

;

the

as

small stream, on whose banks they hold their sports, seems to share their hilarity,

and

talks

and dances

in emulation of the revelry, whilst crystal waters a gravelly

bed

the jewel-house of Pixy-land sparkling in the revels as that in

who

it

as well as they,

shows through

as bright as

or else the pretty stream

;

its

burnished gold, lies

moonbeam, for no hour is so dear to Pixy which man sleeps, and the queen of night,

loves not his mortal gaze, becomes a watcher.

It is

under the cold light of her beams, or amidst the

shadows of the dark rocks, where that light never penetrates, that on the moor the elfin king of the Pixy silent

race

holds

his

high

sent, like the spirit

of sovereignty

court

There each Pixy receives

his

and council.

especial charge:

Gathon of Cornw^all,

to

some are

work the

will

of his master in the mines, to show by sure signs, where lies

the richest lode; or sometimes to delude the unfortunate

/jiiner, I

and

to

mock

his toil.

Other Pixies are commissioned on better errands than

own

Ithese; since, nice in their

avowed enemies of maidens do

all

sluts,

their dvity with

cares are neglected to give

persons, for they are the

they

sally forth to see if the

mop and broom, and

them

a

good pinching

!

if these

Many,

in this part of the world, are very particular in sweeping their houses before they

go

to bed,

and they

will frequently


A PEEP AT THE PIXIES.

14

to

accommo-

are great lovers of water;

and some-

by the chimney nook,

place a basin of water

date the Pixies,

who

times requite the good deed by dropping a piece of

money

into the basin.

Many a Pixy

is

sent out

on works of mischief

to deceive

the old nurses and steal away young children, or to do them

This

harm.

Ben

is

noticed by one of our old English poets,

Jonson: â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

"Under a cradle I did creep By day, and, when the childe was asleepe At night, I suck'd the breath, and rose

And

phick'd the nodding nurse by the nose."

The wicked and

thievish elves,

who

are despatched

the dreadful errand of changing children in the cradle, are said to be squint-eyed.

in

all

In such cases (so say our gossips

Devon) the Pixies use the

mother may happen

on

stolen child just as the mortal

to use the changeling

dropped in

its

stead.

Many,

also,

bent solely on mischief are sent forth to lead

poor travellers astray, to deceive them with those called Will-o'-the-wisp, or to guide

trudging

home through woods and

and quagmires and every

peril; or,

them

false lights

a fine dance

i.a

water, through bogs as

Robin Goodfellow

says, to "

Mislead night-wanderers, laughing at their harms."

Others,

who may be said to content themselves with a and who love frolic better than mischief,

practical joke,

will merely

make

sport

by blowing out the candles on a


PIXY MANNERS AND CUSTOMS. sudden, or overturning the cook's pot on the Pixies are dispatched to frolic or

make

15

Some

fire.

and

noises in wells;

the more gentle and kindly race will spin flax and help

do their work.

their favourite damsels to

In Devonshire, and more especially on Dartmoor,

common

very

thing with any person

who

loses his

it is

a

way, to

consider himself as Pixy-led, and this frequently happens to

our stout yeomen and farmers,

have a cup too much there

a remedy.

is

woman

at a

For whoever

herself, Pixy-Jed,

when they happen

merry-making. finds

But

for

to

this

himself, or if a

has nothing more to do than to

turn jacket, petticoat, pocket or apron inside out, and a

Pixy,

who

not stand

hates the sight of any impropriety in dress, can-

this,

and

off the

imp

goes, as

if,

according to the

vulgar saying, he had been sent packing with a flea in his ear.

A

Pixy-house

however, a mole

is

often said to be in a rock; sometimes,

a palace for the elves, or a hollow nut cracked by the "joiner squirrel," will contain the majesty of Pixy-land. And Drayton, who wrote of these little

hill is

fanciful beings as if

he were the chosen laureate of

their race^ thus describes their royal dwelling. "

The walls of spiders' legs are made, Well morticed and finely laid, He was the master of his trade It curiously that builded;

The windows

And

of the eyes of cats,

for a roof, instead of slats,

Is covered with the skins of bats,

With moonshine that

are gilded."


A PEEP AT THE

16

And

noWj

my

young

friends,

PIXIES.

having told you that both

Cornwall and Devonshire, and more particularly the wild waste of Dartmoor, are said to be I shall

much haunted by

proceed to give you what

I trust

Pixies,

will afford

some amusement in those hours not devoted to your or to more serious studies^ in a few Pixy tales.

you

lessons,


PIXY GATHON; THE tailor's NEEDLE.

OR,

"Bad

times! Master Trickett," said Betsy

Humming,

as

she turned her wheel, at which she was most industriously spinning, " bad times to night,

and do spin it,

Never had

so little

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

all

'tis

for tho' I be at

work from morning

Kersey, tho' I say

it

who ought

nobody comes to buy. worked for a along with the coming in of the Scotch any

not to say

living

!

as fine

as

in Crediton,

to

do

the years I've

all

King." " Very bad times, neighbour/' replied Trim Trickett, the tailor,

" for

nobody wears out

to do in the old Queen's time

;

their clothes as they used

or alters their fashions as the

great folk did in the days of Elizabeth.

Except a pair of

trunk hose for master Justice, Sir Simon de Noodle, and a doublet for his young son; and a

new gown

for these first

two months.

crossed a leg in the

" You've as Trickett

;

much

and

Gammer Guy,

so

as

for

Dame

my

needle going

Never had such bad

times, since I

Westcott, I have not had a job to keep

way you

have

of business." deserve,

you,

and more

too,

Master

Humming," said crone, who was sitting

Betsy

a cross-grained old

by the chimney nook, leaning on her staff. She was one of those village gossips who do little themselves, and spend most of their time in hindering their

in the easy chair

neighbours.

C


A PEEP AT THE

18 "

No

comes

thanks to you,

to

Gammer Guy,

me, or to any body

wishing be

ill

as

bad

as

PIXIES.

ill

if

any good luck

else," said tlie tailor;

" for

if

doing, as some folks think, a

body need not go far to find it, when you be near. I know what some people do say of other people." "And what do they say of other people?" asked Gammer Guy, "for I know you mean that hit for me, Master

you suppose every body means harm, or does it, because they be old and past work?" " No, Mother Guy, I think no such thing," replied Trim. "There is old Anastatia Steer bed-ridden now; I never thought any ill of her, nor said it_, tho' she be the oldest Trickett; but do

woman in the "Ah! poor

county; and

may

be in

old soul," said Betsy

all

England."

Humming, "

I've

spun

the woollen for her shroud for her long ago, and that

her

own

by

desire to oblige her; tho' I'm not to be paid for it

she be dead, and calls for it.'^ " Then I reckon you won't much longer be out of pocket,

till

Betsy/' said the

tailor.

" That's true enough. Trim," replied Betsy; "and

be called on soon

and that

for the shroud, you'll

will be grist to

then she has so

many

your

mill.

if I

have to make

Master Trickett.

it;

And

and her great great grandmany, I reckon you'll have to make them all, women and men; and what relations

;

children's children be so

a moiu-nlng suit for

you How your needle will go day and night to have the doublets, and hose, and the a wind-fall will that be for

gownSj and the sell

kirtles

!

ready for the funeral

!

And

them some of my black kersies, and times will be

I shall

better;


PIXY GATHON; OR THE TAILOR's NEEDLE. and we

shall

have something

else to

19

do than to stand and

talk about 'era."

"Weill "

You

if

settle a

old neighbour's death after that fashion

money

into your

own

pockets

Who's

wicked thing!

" Not

Gammer Guy,

ever I heard the like!" said

and Trim Trickett to go for to

I/' said

ill-wishing

Trim, "

I

its

!

now

!

poor harmless

And

all

to put

a cruel and a very I

trow?"

be sure/'

"

Nor I," said Betsy Humming. " Did you not talk of old Anastatia Steer's death? and what a profit it would be to you both, before it comes?" "Yes; but we did not say we'd kill her," said Betsy. "

Nor wish her dead

neither," said Trim, "

we

only said

she was like to die soon.'^

"And

is

not that bad enough," exclaimed

Gammer Guy.

"What's the harm with old Anastatia that you should talk of her in such a way; and she only been bed-ridden these last six months?" " Why, is she not said to be one hundred and forty years old complete? And don't folks come far and near to see her as a

cuerossity?" said the

faster

and

faster

tailor.

"And

doesn't

she

fail

every day? She can't live for ever like the

wandering Jew." " But she has no doctor," said

may

'.

last for

many

Gammer Guy,

" and

" She is blind," said Betsy Humming. " And deaf," said Trim. " And has never a tooth in her head, and can't feed

self," said

Betsy.

so,

a year yet to come."

...

hei"* .-;..:


20

A PEEP AT THE

â&#x20AC;˘

"

And

PIXIES.

has lost her memory, and the use of her limbs,"

said Trim.

"But she's Gammer Guy.

alive,

and

eats,

and

drinks,

" So she may," said Trim; " but I do

said

sleeps,"

say, for all that,

old Anastatia Steer being one hundred and forty years

complete, bed-ridden, blind,

deaf,

and

may be

helpless,

supposed able to die soon, without anything going contrary to the rules of Natur,

my

and

me Humming; and we both wish

and without any ill-wishing from

neighbour, Betsy

her no harm."

Gammer Guy, who was

given to have

suspicions of everybody, shook her head;

a cup of

warm

ill

spiced ale, with an egg beat

Betsy Humming's

cost, repaid

thoughts and

and

after taking

up

in

it,

at

her hospitality by spread-

ing at the next two or three neighbours where she called in for a gossip, that she was quite sure Betsy Humming, for the sake of selling

some of her black

Trickett, for the sake of having to

ing

suits,

were both of them

kersies,

make 'em up

ill-wishing

and Trim as

mourn-

poor old Anastatia

who was comfortable in her bed, free from all sickand might last as long as the king himself, let alone wicked wiles. But such ill-wishing was as bad as a

Steer, ness,

their

downright murdering of

her.

was so indeed in popular opinion, at the time of my tale, in the West of England; when poor old women and men, if they once got the character of ill-wishing, were It

sure to be taken

were

up

as witches, wizards, or sorcerers,

in danger of being tried for their lives,

and

and burnt


pixr gathon; or, the tailor's needle. under

law against witchcraft, which was particularly

tlie

by King James the

patronised

Now

it

21

First.

so happened, that Anastataa Steer unluckily died

suddenly within two or three days after this discourse, of

no

disease

No

whatever, according to

from which there

that

sooner did Betsy

appearance, except

all

no escape

is

Humming

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;worn-out

hear of

it,

nature.

than she pro-

duced the woollen shroud, spun by herself ten years ago to oblige the departed;

custom in

and Trim very innocently

way from

his

solicited

the friends and relatives of the

deceased.

But what was

his surprise,

and that of

his neighbour,

the honest spinster of kersies, to find doors shut in their faces,

backs turned upon them, and an expression of uni-

versal abhorrence

at

the very sight of them, as if they

carried about the plague, at that time rife in a distant part

of the county of Devon.

ing from his

little

monly reported

Humming had

boy,

all

It

was too bad

Johnny

over

ill-wished

;

and Trim hear-

Trickett, that

Crediton,

that

it

was com-

he and

Betsy

poor old Anastatia out of the

world, he grew furious, and at once accused cross-grained

Gammer Guy two honest

of having done this injury to the fame of

souls.

protested that he if

he sought

it

Never was would have at the

tailor so

justice

angry

on

as he;

and he

his defamer,

even

throne of King James the First.

But before he could seek that majestic person to obtain it, the town constable sought out him and his supposed associate, Betsy Humming, and both of them were taken into custody on the very serious charge of having conspired,

by^


A PEEP AT THE

22 witclicraft

and

own

PIXIES.

diabolical arts, the death of Anastatia Steer

purposes and profit. That was an awful ftiorning on which the luckless tailor and spinster appeared before the Justice of the Peace. for their

selfish

They were ushered

into an old Gothic hall, venerable from

age and the smoke of

hung antiquated esquires,

and

many

portraits

generations.

of

various

ladies, representing, in a

De Noodles who had

flourished

About

the walls

judges,

knights,

goodly row,

all

the

and died since the days of

the Conquest. Sir Simon^ the living representative of his distinguished

and importance of person. He had a proud and austere air; was tall and lank, of a somewhat withered appearance, with thin lips, and little pinky eyes, family, seemed to carry the grandeur his long line of ancestry all in his

own

and a sharp-hooked nose, with a pair of barnacles stuck on that pinched so close as to cause

the end of

it

through

with a small squeaking voice.

it

him

to speak

He wore

a large

and a black velvet cap head; and when seated in his

pair of trunk hose, a rich doublet,

stuck on the crown of his

high-backed carved oak-chair, with his clerk on his right hand, prepared with pen, ink-horn, and paper, to take the depositions,

and Master Constable, a figure as broad as he his staff of office, on the other side, Sir

was long, bearing

Simon altogether presented the spectacle of a solemn, stately whose nod or whose frown was enough to scare the poor creatures who were brought before him on old gentleman,

such a charge. After surveying the accused with no very encouraging


PIXY GATHON

OR,

;

THE TAILOR'S NEEDLE.

23

and hearing a general statement of the case, Sir Simon proceeded to examine Gammer Guy and the rest of the "witnesses. The evidence was by no means satisfactory; and of the '* says he," and " says she," and " says I," and " says you," that make up so much of evidence in a country scrutiny,

place, there

many

was a very

alterations

sufficient share.

Though

told with

and much exaggeration, nothing more

really appeared against the accused thtin has already

related; not a single fact could be

been

brought against either

viz., that Betsy Humming had which she was known to fondle and pet considerably that pussy had been seen to sit by her side and on her knee, and to raise her tail quite into Betsy's face; that the said cat would purr to her in a very suspicious manner when pleased, or when her mistress rubbed down her back, or gave her from her own bowl

party except the following, a very favourite black cat, ;

some of her milk porridge. deposed, in the opinion of credible witnesses, spirit,

The

cat,

was solemnly

it

Gammer Guy and many

was no other than a

employed by the aforesaid Betsy

to

other

familiar or evil

do her wicked

will.

And to

as a further evidence of

do deeds of darkness,

it

her league with the tailor

was proved that he kept

cottage a tame, old raven, of which he was very fond

the witness who proved this, said, he would what any honest man could have to do with his dwelling?

And

like

to

in his ;

and

know

a raven about

that the cat beino; black and the bird

of the same colour, was such a sign of agreement in wickedness as could not be mistaken,


A PEEP AT THE

24

His worship, the his head,

justice,

and muttered,

PIXIES.

on hearing in

all this, gravely shook an under tone, " Very sus-

picious."

His clerk shook his head in assent to the sapient observation of his

master, and

shakes of his; one,

it

master constable gave three

to be presumed, in concurrence

is

with his worship's opinion; another in assent to the echo of his clerk, and the last in confirmation of both the former

At length

with his own.

the hearing of the evidence

asainst the accused closed. Sir afi'ain,

Simon de Noodle looked very leant

back in his

thrice^

and then

matter.

The

tone of voice

grained

;

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; asked

wise, shook his

chair, twisted his his clerk

hemmed

what he thought of

tlie

clerk consulted the constable in an under-

and the constable whispered with old

Gammer Guy, who, amongst

charges she on that morning to state that

thumbs,

head

made

many

cross-

bitter

against Trim, forgot not

he had called her an old

much

the

fool.

knowing what would be the result, and fearing nothing less than hanging if the justice took up the matter with the assistance of so many counsellors, rashly stepped forward, and Trim, seeing so

consultation going on, not

proposed that the nearest relatives of the deceased,

who

some property by her death, should be called upon to say whether there might not be great probability of poor old Anastatia Steer, in the one hundred and fortieth had come

into

year of her age, managing to die a natural death, without the assistance either of witches

any kind.

oj*

wizards, or witchcraft of


;

PIXY GATHON; OK, THE TAILOR'S NEEDLE.

Xow

25

more disposed Trim But Gammer to themselves. Sir Simon de Noodle was, in

the relatives of the deceased were far

to settle the matter reasonably than the enemies of

and Betsy, had they been left Guy would interfere; and as respect to knowledge of the law, quite

as

woman

So she persuaded

as herself,

he did not check her.

much an

old

the friends of the dead to drop prosecution for witchcraft

and murder

solely

on the accused subscribing

ing conditions of ordeal

:

to the follow-

namely, that Betsy

Humming

should spin one hundred and forty threads (that being the

number in agreement with the years of the deceased) and spin them so fine, that they should all pass through, and remain in the eye of Trim Trickett's needle with which he But unless this were done by usually worked in his shop. ,

the expiration of one month, and

if

they eventually failed

in such object, then they should both be put ujDon their trial for witchcraft

The

and murder.

and the luckless spinster and

ordeal was a severe one

tailor

looked at each other

But Betsy had a stout heart, far stouter than the tailor; and so, raising her hand after a minute's pause, she gave Trim an encouraging slap on the back, exclaiming, " Never start from the trial, man never We have done no wrong let us do right still and fear. I can trust the rest to all the good saints in the calendar. spin with a clear conscience, and you can thread a needle with an honest man's hand; and so Til try which can spin aghast with affright.

!

;

;

-the finest, I or the spiders.

'Tis for life or death,

Trickett, so never fear; but look to pass one forty of

my

threads through your needle,

forty stick in

it."

till

a

Master

hundred and

hundred and


;

A PEEP AT THE

26 " But "

if

Why

we be

the thing

then

Trim.

fails," said

it fails,"

PIXIES.

replied Betsy; "

tried for witchcraft

us guilty of such wickedness; and

had

to be

and in one month

and murder; but that

in the land, we'll

if there's

have

it,

can't

make

law or justice

Trim, in some way or

other."

Trim shook

his head; but the bystanders observed that

the black cat, which had been brought before the justice as a guilty party in the business, raised her

Betsy spoke, and assembly.

Even

murmur

a Sir

tail

three times as

of dread ran through the

Simon de Noodle did not

sign, nor the understanding

it

seemed

to indicate

like the

between

the witch and her familiar, and directed the constable to detain the cat, saying as

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; that the said cat was

remanded in point of law.

to be considered

Master constable bowed

profoundly to this command; and a bag was ordered to

convey pussy out

law

officer.

and

as she

The

of the court to

cat took her

the safe keeping of the

removal very ungraciously;

scratched and resisted, and

being forced into

the bag,

it

mewed

was considered

equivocal proof of her being a familiar

loudly, on as

an un-

spirit in a

feline

form.

Simon de Noodle now proceeded most solemnly to But as, for the sake of his dignity, he fancied he must do something out of his own head, he rendered the conditions still harder by ordering that Betsy Humming and Trim Trickett should be forthSir

confirm the conditions of ordeal.

with sent to gaol, there to spin the one hundred and forty threads,

and there

to pass

them within the eye of the needle


PIXY GATHON; OR, THE TAILOR'S NEEDLE. and the sapient

justice added, that unless they could

plish this task before the expiration of the for the purpose,

month

27

accomallotted

he thought the evidence so strong against

both of them, that he doubted not one would be burned alive,

and the other certainly hanged.

All this was very cruel.

morning

till

night,

and

till

Betsy

Humming

spun from

she nearly blinded herself with

Tim

the fineness of her work; but

could not get more than

ten or a dozen threads through the eye of his needle.

were

so

They

poor that they had nothing to live on but prison

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;bread and water;

and only straw in their cold, stone For the first week, when they met every day in the court -yard of the gaol, it was only to bewail their ill-fortune, though Betsy^s heart was still fare

cells

to sleep upon.

stouter than Trim's.

But (according to a trite and true observation), as in this is no condition, however good, but some draw-

world there back

is

found to attend

it,

so

is

miserable but some consolation

Now

load of inevitable suiFering.

with Trim Trickett.

named Johnny

is

He was

there none, perhaps, so afforded to lighten the this

was exactly the case

the parent of a

little

boy

an only child, and a very good one.

;

Johnny, seeing how hard

his poor father fared, could not

bear the thoughts of his having nothing to eat but bread

and water (for there

;

and

so

he determined

was a great demand

for

to

do

them

as other boys did at this time),

and

go and work in the mines, to save as much as he could of his small weekly pittance to get some comforts and a little meat

for his father

;

and, if

it

were necessary,

to live

on


;

A PEEP AT THE PIXIES.

28

bread and water himself, so that he might but help his suffering parent.

not detain you,

I shall

you any long account of

my

young

with giving

friends,

more than

a Cornish mine,

to tell

you, that, at a very great depth below the surface of the earth,

running in

on beds, called

lines

to free

fire, so as

it

it

becomes a valuable metal

it

into

A pit, is

many

is

;

and the copper-smith works

made

in the earth,

found and worked several hundred

and men are

let

people find a

is

useful things for household

or hole,

lodes,

dug out and smelted with from the dross mixed with it, and then This

vast deal of copper ore.

down

into

Water

those used at a well.

it

is

and other purposes.

and sometimes a mine feet

below the surface

with buckets, not unlike always found in mines

very large machines, therefore, are erected, by which constantly

pumped

up,

or the

men would As the

whilst digging out the copper ore.

it is

be drowned light of

day

cannot penetrate thus deep in the earthy the miners used but, in our days, more frequently the lamp invented by Sir Humphrey Davy. Boys are much wanted in mines, to do many slight matters of work such as to wheel small quantities of the ore in barrows to the heap, whence the men remove the load above ground. They are sometimes also employed to pick and wash the copper, so as to free it from the loose earth with which it is

candles in lanterns

;

safety

;

mixed.

Now,

who was

In

many

at the

other things they are likewise very useful.

time of

my

story, a

man named

Tregarrens,

of a morose and tyrannical disposition, wanted a

lad to help

him do

his

work

in the mines

;

and seeing

little


PIXY GATHON; Johnny was once

a willing and active lad, he engaged

and the pay he was

;

than the boy expected. to work, but he soon self

THE TAILOr's NEEDLE.

0R_,

him was

Johnny went,

had cause

under his new master

he deserved

to give

for

;

to rue

on

him at more

rather

therefore, eagerly

having placed him-

whether

occasions,

all

or not, the poor lad was abused

it

29

and mal-

by this tyrant below-ground in a very vexatious manner, and kicked, and cuffed, and thrashed for the smallest, and oftentimes for no offence at all. treated

Among

Johnny observed worked wherever they heard a

other practices in the mine,

that the miners anxiously

hammering noise within the rock. Their belief was, this hammering was made by a Pixy, named Gathon,

sort of

that

who acted with considerSometimes he would hammer where there was nothing but rubble to be found and then the men a great frequenter of mines, but able caprice.

;

would hear him laughing and caused their labours

heartily at haHijg so misled them, to be in vain.

times, quite unexpectedly, he to

Whilst, at other

would hammer and

them the

richest and, hitherto, undiscovered ore.

One

when

day,

Tregarrens'

usually brutal, so that poor â&#x20AC;˘

disclose

mood had been more than little

Johnny had received

several blows of a very severe kind (though he

would not

think of quitting his employer, on account of the pittance

which enabled him resist

to help his father),

obscure corner amongst the

work, where

it

he could no longer

He

sat down in an where nobody was at was dark and gloomy, and cried as if his

giving vent to his feelings.

young heart would break

;

rocks_,

the tears literally poured

down


!

A PEEP AT THE

30

PIXIES.

he endeavoured to wipe them away with

his clieeks as

his,

hand.

Whilst he thus

deploring his hard

once he saw a bright and greenish light stream upon the opposite and, on looking up, beheld with surprise side of the rock He was very low the queerest little boy he had ever seen. they seemed to be composed of in stature, but such limbs with a face like a ball, and so full and red, rolls of fat sat

lot, all at

;

!

;

with a nose small,

as

round

as a bottle

gleamed out of

;

whilst the eyes, that were

head like a couple of bright

his

He had

burning coals in a blacksmith's forge.

very large

ears, hairy and long, resembling those of a donkey, and a tail

that he twirled and twisted about, and at last rested

the end of

He

which was

it,

carried a

naked

as

hammer

when he was born

To complete

and bushy, upon his shoulder.

full

in his ;

hand, and was as

fat

little

but that never troubled him.

the whole, there was a look in his face, merry

and waggish.

Johnny did not know what creature,

and was

to

make

afraid to speak to

gentleman did not stand

for

ceremony

;

of such a strange

so

my

But

it.

he

said,

little

laughing

he spoke, " Don't be frightened at me; I'm your friend, Johnny Tricket, and am come to do you good; for I'm a as

good

naturerl little fellow, as

fat.

1

am Gathon

you may

the mining

man

;

see

my being so my hammer

by

look at

Ho, ho, ho," continued he laughing, " I am just come from calling off that tyrant your master, Tregarrens, who intended to thrash you, for being absent from the gallery

when he wanted you

to

help to do his work.

But

as

he


piXT gathon; or, the tailor's needle. started to

come

hither, to look after you, I

31

hammered away

and off he what they won't find, a new run of copper ore. Ho, ho, ho !" Johnny was greatly startled, and could not forbear ex-

furiously in the great rock near his standing;

went

to call the

men

to batter for

disappointment would cause his " Never mind

pressing a fear that the

master to be in a worse humour with him. that,"

the Pixy, "haven't I deceived them finely?

said

Ho, ho, ho

Let Gathon alone

!

mood

make

for a frisk

and a

trick,

when

But now, Johnny Trickett, leave off crying and hear me; for I'm your friend and let me tell you that you may have a worse than Pixy Gathon the hammering man." Johnny's surprise at seeing and hearing a real Pixy was very great. But the poor boy recollected that he had done no harm, though he had suffered a great deal; and so he took heart, and thanking his new friend for his good intentions, begged him to go on. " Well then, this is what I have to say. Johnny Tricand your father once did me a good kett, I pity you much turn, though without knowing it, and Pm not ungrateful. he^s in the

to

fools of the fellows.

;

;

He

once cracked a nut, into which, as

it

wicked old witch had squeezed me, and as

was hollow, a you may see,

I'm not the most easily to be so squeezed, and so he out;

and tliough

raised a

now to

hand

bobbed up against

to brush

Pll repay his

him

I

me

his nose,

to bear patiently the

ill

me

rudely off or to hurt me; and

good deed, by doing good

into the bargain.

let

he never

Don't cry,

my

to his son,

and

boy, but continue

treatment of Tregarreus,

till

the


A PEEP AT THE

32

end of the month your poor father

PIXIES. is

to

be in gaol, and I will

do what no mortal creature could do since for every kick

to serve your father; and cuff which you take patiently from

your tyrant below ground,

And no

needle. to

your share, " Say

five

my

fear of a

hundred and forty

hundred and no

month

fear,

but

of Betsy

of your father's

the eye

lad, before the

take them patiently," said

pass a thread

I'll

Humming's spinning through

is

I'll

cuffs

coming

ended."

have 'em

all

Johnny joyfully; " and then

and

my

dear father will be safe and out of gaol."

"That he will," said Pixy Gathon, "and I And with that the in doing him good I"

shall rejoice little

fellow

tumbled three times head over heels and whisked about his tail to

show

his

joy on the occasion.

" I'm sure, master Gathon," said Johnny, " that father will be grateful; and if it would be no offence to you, and you would like to have them, instead of running about naked in that fashion, father would be very glad to make you a little pair of hose, and charge nothing for them.'" " Pixies never wear hose thank you all the same for the offer, master Johnny; but Til serve you and your father

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

too without seeking reward;" and so for the present

little

Gathon took his leave, popped into a nook among the rocks, and was for the time seen no more. True indeed was the assurance of the Pixy, Johnny gotmany kicks and cuffs, and so well did Gathon keep his word, that, to his exceeding joy and surprise, the tailor,

so

who was

not in the secret, found sometimes five or six

threads, or more, passed in one

day through the eye of

his


PIXY GATHOX; OR, THE TAILOr's NEEDLE.

33

needle from the skein he ah-eadj possessed of Betsy

Hum-

niing's spinning. th]"eads to

Still

there wanted a great

make up one hundred and

In the meanwhile his good in the mines,

and

little

forty.

son continued to labour

to receive all his injuries

On

as well as a patient spirit.

number of

with a cheerful

one occasion, however, his

tyrant was so brutal in the fury of his passion, for some

blow when he mouth of the shaft or pit; he reeled and The poor boy must have been killed on the fell down it. spot, but for the ready services of his friend Gathon. The Pixy had been hammering near the spot, when seebjg the lad's danger he whisked into the bucket, and caught him in it ere he reached the ground, landing him in perfect safety. Tregarrens, when he saw the lad tumble down tlie slight offence, as to strike the lad a violent

stood close to the

shaft,

had been

in a terrible fright

it

by

but he

knew

;

not that he cared a rush

had Johnny

lost

his means, he should be turned out of his place,

and

for the boy's life

;

well, that

be brought up before a magistrate for his conduct on a very serious charge.

had only fallen

When,

therefore, he

found that the lad

and that he had not so much as a scratch by way of injury, it was such a relief to liis fears, it did what nothing else could have done in all the world,

it

Johnny.

into the bucket,

actually put

him

in

a

good humour with

little

This was the very thing which, at the moment,

the lad least desired; for there was only

one day

left

to

complete the month allotted for his father's ordeal; ana his needle wanted but

one

thread more to complete the number

of one hundred and forty.

D


A PEEP AT THE PIXIES.

34

Johnny last

was^ tlierefore, in a terrible fright when, on that

day, Tregarrens, for the

first

time since he had been in

him a good boy; and not

his employ, called

a sign of a

manner him some-

cuif could he trace in his master's face or in his

towards him.

At

this crisis,

hoping to excite

thing like an angry mood, so that

him one

it

in

could but procure from

gentle kick, or if only a box on the ear, he pur-

posely did his task of Avork negligently; and

left

three wheel-barrows with the ore, standing in the

Tresarrens, so that he stumbled

Many

nearly broke his shins.

two

oi*

way

of

over one of them

other

little

and

matters did he

neglect in the duty of the day, with the last forlorn hope

of obtaining but one more cuff; but none came.

Tregarrens

had not yet quite recovered from the joy occasioned by his being relieved from the fright of supposing he had killed little

Johnny;

him with

so that

he could not so immediately favour

a renewal of

In this dilemma, his his aid

;

for

rough kindnesses or tyranny. fat little friend

once more came to

having bound himself by the honour of a Pixy

only to pass a thread through Trim's needle whenever his

son took a cufF patiently

gentleman Pixy

as

;

was not in the power of such a

it

he was,

to break his

word.

But he

bethought him of a way to come to Johnny's relief. Whilst Treo-arrens was at work in the mine, he heard himself repeatedly called by his name, accompanied by peals of lauo-hter,

He He

and the most insulting and provoking expressions.

looked round, and saw only Johnny standing near him. at once accused

loved the truth,

him of

these insults

;

but Johnny ever

and protested he had not spoken a word.


PIXY gathon; or, the tailor's needle. much; but

Tregarrens doubted this

35

keeping

still

liis

temper, he once more turned to his work in the rock.

Whilst

met

engaged, peals of laughter and renewed insults

so

his ears, as if

spoken by some one close at his elbow,

there could be no mistake, for at his elbow stood

little

Johnny.

Now fully a

provoked, Tregarrens turned and gave the lad

most hearty box on the

that this

ear. Johnny, delighted to think blow taken patiently would prociu'e the desired

end and his

father^s liberty,

exclaimed

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; " Thank you, thank

you, Master Tregarrens," and fairly cut a frisk or two in the joy of his heart. Tregarrens, thinking

all

this

was done

in

mockery, and

to add insult to insult, forgot his former forbearance,

the

and in

extremity of his rage, snatched up his pickaxe, with

which he was working, and would have knocked poor little Johnny on the head, had not, at that moment, a most furious hammering in the rock met his ear, from the end Thinking that this was an indication where of the gallery. the rich ore might be found, for he had toiled all that day with very little effect, his covetousness overcame even his fury; and he rushed forward to find the exact spot before the mysterious

No

hammering could

cease.

sooner was he gone, than from out an obscure chink

in the rock, near

where Johnny stood, pojjped Pixy Gathon; spirit, he tumbled head over

with his usual joyousness of heels

by way of

frolic,

without doing the slightest injury

to a large bright bottle, shining like gold, .big as himself,

which he carried under

and almost

his arm.

as

At length


A PEEP AT THE

36

he squatted down

and

Johnny

how he had

in

a

provoked, played upon,

Johnny get up

Tregarrens, he bade

finally deceived

in all haste

and indulging

fashion,

after his

hearty laugh to think

PIXIES.

and follow him.

moment

not a

lost

in

obeying his whimsical

and they soon came beneath the shaft, where was hanging (suspended from aloft) the empty bucket, at a friend;

considerable height from the ground on which they stood.

" Get in this moment," said the Pixy,

"and

give

I will

the signal to those above to raise the bucket."

"I

my

cannot reach

it/'

said

Johnny, "it

high above

so

is

head."

" Never mind that," replied

hold of

my

But

take this bottle;

first

your father;

tail;

it

and

I'll

it is filled

make him

will

Gathon, " but catch

little

whisk you into

it

in a second.

Take

with gold.

a rich

man

for

life.

it

honestly come by; for I've dug deep in the earth to get

up

for

him; and

I

make him

a present of

it.

to

It is it

But, though

shew myself above ground, that's not the way of the hammering man, I shall be with him before you for I will keep my word, and this day will

he will not see me,

for I don't

;

pass the last thread through the eye of his needle.

my

Fare-

and whenever you hear us of the Pixy race ill spoken of as mischievous elves, remember there was one little fellow among them who served you well at the well,

boy

;

hour of your need; and do us sometimes when we

justice as good-natured folk

are pleased,

and

bestir ourselves at a

pinch."

So saying, the Pixy raised his

tail,

Johnny

seized hold of


PIXY GATHON; OR, THE TAILOR's NEEDLE. it

as a skip

overboard

;

boy would of a rope when he held

fast,

in

37

danger of tumbling

and in another second

whisked him into the bucket, pulled a

bell,

little

Gatlion

and up went

Jolmny from the regions below to the surface of the earth. Need I tell what followed on that memorable morning ? That the one hundred and forty threads were completed; Humming and Trim Trickctt were set at

and that Betsy liberty

and pronounced innocent; for they had successfully

Even

undergone the ordeal. cat

was made apparent;

for

the innocence of the black

Master Constable, on opening

the bag in the presence of the justice, found her dead

!

had been allowed no food, clearly proved she was not a familiar, who could have lived without it. Sir Avhich, as she

Simon de Noodle admitted the fact of innocence tested and proved, as pussy had very properly died from an empty stomach. Trim shared the contents of the bottle with Betsy Humming; his little boy was taken into the service of Sir Simon's lady as a very pretty page; and the golden bottle

became a sign

in

Watling

Street,

London; where

multitudes of people, and even King James himself went to satisfy their curiosity

by seeing one hundred and

threads within the eye of the

tailor's needle.

forty


THE THREE TRIALS; OR,

On

THE STORY OF CRABBY

CROSS.

stormy coast of Cornwall there stand,

the

summit of the

the

at

the ruins of the castle of Tintagel

cliffs,

place so ancient that

it is

;

a

said originally to have been built

by Prince Arthur, the famous king of the

The

Britons.

rocks beneath run out into the sea in the most fantastic shapes,

and the waves, which break against them in sheets

of foam, produce a very beautiful

Few

effect.

of the wails

and towers of this castle now remain and they are so old and so weather-beaten that, in colour and in form, they In the cliffs differ very little from the rocks themselves. ;

are

two deep caverns

;

one of these the sea has completely

penetrated through, and so

much have

the continual rush of the waters, that

the

it is

cliffs fallen

a narrow slip of land, or isthmus, that the summit,

the ruins

now

by

only by crossing

where

principally stand, can be reached, and that

not without difficulty and danger.

Near Tintagel village,

is

Trevenna, a mean and strange-looking

with several scattered cottages and very old houses,

built in those times of

read,

when

and red

which you,

my young

roses.

The

traveller

who

have

goes to see Tintagel gets

out of his carriage at Trevenna, and winds

narrow path

friends,

there were in England the wars of the white

in a ravine,

which

lies

down

between two

a steep

hills.

In


THE THREE TRIALS; making the

OR,

descent, he passes

CRABBY

what

always a cheerful

is

object both to hear and to see in a landscape

turned by a stream which rushes

down by

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a water-mill

the side of the

ravine from the heights above, and further on

some rocks into the This

is

finer,

all

lofty towers

its

when

I'alls

over

sea.

a very pretty scene

much

39

CROSS.

;

but in former days

it

was

the castle stood in a perfect state, with

and

walls.

Then men

clad in

armour

kept watch and ward upon the battlements, to see that no

enemy, either by land or by water, might approach unsuspected the dwelling of old Sir Rowland, the Baron of Tintagel.

He was

famous

courage in battle, and, strelsy,

and

for his hospitality,

for

his love

of mirth

for his

and min-

was commonly called Sir Rowland, the merry and

brave.

One night

the wind blew in loud gusts round the walls

and towers of Tintagel, and the sea roared

was

so

dark that not the smallest

the rain came

down

in torrents,

star

and

;

and the sky

could be seen, and it

was altogether so

stormy and dismal that the Baron would not have turned out a dog in such weather.

Whilst he

sat in his castle

hall,

with only two of his followers, over a

dull

and heavily, either from the quantity of rain

fire

that burnt falling

down the large old chimney, or the dampness of the logs of wood piled upon the hearth, the Baron seemed in a very Something had that day happened to vex him and those who sat with him were afraid of him, and were so silent and grave that they neither amused their angry mood. ;

master, nor themselves.

So

cross

was the Baron, that,


A PEEP AT THE PIXIES.

40

when one bending

of

his

liis

favourite doors

came

head and wagging his

attract his notice,

lum,

cronclilno- to

tail,

in

the hope to

he gave the poor animal a kick, and sent

him, with a howl, towards the hall door.

But, no sooner dog stopped, perked up his ears, listened, and gave a short bark two or three times. Immediately after, the blast of a horn was distinctly heard, notAvith standing the bluster of the wind and the roaring of

was he got

there, than the

the sea.

The Baron commanded one of his men

to go and enquire might be that thus sounded for admission at his gates at such an hour and in such a night. In those days there were no knockers to doors, and a horn, suspended

"who

it

without the castle gates, being blown by whoever wanted

come

to

in,

gave notice

to the

porter or warder of the

castle.

The Baron was

speedily informed that there stood with-

out a couple of miserable

men begging

shelter for the night,

saying they were half dead from cold and hunger, and did

not

know

wdiere to go, for so great was the darkness they

feared to pass on their

way

before morning.

On

being

what they were like, the warder replied, that, as well as he could see by the liglit of the torch, as he looked at them for a moment, they seemed to be very coarsely and he thought dressed, and had on old wrapping-cloaks asked,

;

they spoke like

men who were born

over

seas, in a

tone

and manner which shewed them (so, at least, he fancied) His opinion to be more French or Spanish than English. was, that they were a couple of those wandering fools,

who


THE THREE TRIALS; often

CRABBY

OR,

41

CROSS.

foreign parts, and go about begging at

come from

the castle and the convent doors

and, in return for their

;

entertainment, shew their tricks, and dance and sing, and tell

tales,

and make merry,

knights and

'Mf

for

amusement of the

the

friars.

they are such, right welcome shall they be," said

the Baron, " for

we

make

lack something to

us merry; for

no two owls brought from an old church tower

for

my

companions, coidd have been more moping, dull, or dreary, than Gregory and Digory have been

came

away with mc

to

night.

They

gloomy time; but they can neither sing nor say to lighten the weary moments. Go, ask these new-comers who and what they And if merry men and jongleurs from Normandy are? and Bretagne, right welcome; and if they can dance, tumble, and sing, we will have a joyful night of it, let the storm These fools be better than you or the rage as it may. to pass the hours

in this

owls," continued the Baron, laughing at his

companions in no very courteous

Digory bowed in assent were quite in that

The

way.

to their master's

two solemn

Gregory

and

compliment, and

as glad as himself at the prospect of a little sport

gloomy old

hall.

warder soon returned, but with a long face and a

very different report. The strangers were neither foreigners

nor

fools,

and

son,

nor*>

jongleurs, but

who had

set

carry some wax-tapers

two very poor men, father

out on an affair of business,

much wanted

to

at the little chapel

which stood near Nathan^s Kieve, and being overtaken by the darkness and the storm, they feared to go on, and


A TEEP AT THE

42 SO

had ventured

to

beg

PIXIES.

at the castle-gate a shelter for the

night.

The Baron, on hearing

this,

was mightily disappointed;

appointed as his master,

new vexation as much disimmediately obeyed his commands

them away from

his doors as a couple of idle vaga-

he was before

made him to turn

in a very

furious;

this

and the warder, who was

bonds; so that, with cuffs

angry mood, and

many

ill words, and some kicks and two poor men were sent about their They were sadly cast down; so hard did the

to boot, the

business.

wind blow, that they could scarcely keep their footing as they once more retraced their steps down the long, steep, and narrow path that led from the castle to the road. They were disappointed, hungry, cold, and weary; and the bundles of wax-tapers which they bore on their backs were heavy, and required care for fear of breaking by a fall.

As

they were going along, they eased their hearts

by grumbling, and denouncing, in no very gentle terms, the Baron of Tintagel. " Call him merry and brave, I trow," said the old man; " he 's no more mirth in him than old Joan of the wry mouth; for a merry heart likes to make glad the hearts of other men and a brave man would never go for to kick ;

out a couple of poor bodies like dogs from his door, in such a night as this; it.

He

's

as for brave, I don't believie a

word about

only brave behind his stone walls and strong

towers; but bring

darkness as

this,

him out of them in such a wind and if he would not quake for fear if

and see

he heard but the cry of a chough, knowing,

as all

Cornish


THE THREE TRIALS; men

"

43

Arthur is in one of those and comes to give notice of no good hick to the man

hears

And

its

scream in a storm."*

to turn us poor folk that be so

doors," said his son,

"

fearless temper.

would seek

me

CROSS.

do, that the soul of Prince

birds,

who

CRABBY

OR,

to

it,

it

if I

who was

I

be starving

and have

as

she

if any

folk say she has at her

ruffin, as

though

knew where

through fire and water, way." " That's

it,

hungry from

a sturdy youth, of a bold for

his

and

want of a supper. I Joan to help

I called old

now

dwelt.

I 'd

seek her

one of they pixy bodies, which

beck and

call,

would but show the

bold and as dangerous a word. Will Pen-

ever I heard," said the old man; " take heed of

what thou sayest." But scarcely had sturdy Will uttered those words, when they both saw a pale glimmering light, somewhat in the shape of a

ball,

of an emerald hue, not unlike the light

which the glow-worm gives from her little lamp on a fine summer's night. It seemed to roll on before them. 'â&#x20AC;˘That's very strange," said the old man, " I do not half like

it."

" But I like see

it

well," said Will, " and

what comes on't;

may

for,

that never burns for nothing.

"

Do

not,

my

I

be, 'tis ^11

I'll

follow and

a Pixy light, and

after it."

man; " it may lead you the mouth of a mine, or to an

son," said the old

into harm, into a bog, to

open grave in a churchyard.

Do

not follow

it."

* That the soul of Pi'ince Arthur resides in the body of a chough, is

the popular belief of

Cornwall.

many

of the peasantry on the coast of


:

,^^

A PEEP AT THE

44 " But

I will

PIXIES.

thougli," said his son: " and I'll see the

worst or the best on 't, or my name is not Will Penruffin." " Ask it what it be first?" said the father much alarmed. " Holla, ho! you jMaster Jack-a-lantern, what be you, I Teil us if any

pray?

what you

be,

man may know your

business,

and

and where you be going?" "Crabby Cross, To make up your loss."

These strange words seemed

as if

spoken by no one near;

the wind appeared to carry them as the blast swept over the wanderers' heads. " Crabby Cross to make up our loss

our

loss

of a supper and a bed.

gentleman, that talks as

by

all

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

that's to make up What, ho you young the clouds, what do you mean !

if in

I

this?"

"Follow the

light,

'Twill guide

you right

Follow, follow."

" That all

this,

said Penruffin, " Pll see

I will," let

what

Will with rapid

will betide." strides

down

what comes of

And away

strode sturdy

the steep path, his father

following and not half liking the adventure, yet afraid to

(who was none of the most obedient) to his The mysterious ball of fire, if so it could be called, led them on very strangely. Sometimes it rose above their heads high in the air, and shone upon them like the linrht of the brightest star, then it sunk down upon the ground, and shewed distinctly every pebble or wild flower that was in the path, or by its side. Now it

trust his son

own

wilful

ways.


"

THE THREE TRIALS; made as if

a

clart

dancing on

its

of a very

mean

It

journey

this

was

to be the

and he rapped on the

for the night;

door with the walking-staff which he held in his hand. light instantly disappeared,

"Who

comes there,"

and

all

by

common.

Sturdy Will at once understood that his

above the door

cottage with a thatched roof, that stood

the side of a path on a lone and dreary

end of

making rings turned into an

it

at length fixed itself

45

CROSS.

glided on,

Once or twice

way.

unbeaten track, and

CRABBY

OR,

forward; and then

;

was

in

The

profound darkness.

answer to WilFs

said a voice, in

rap.

"

iS^ight

wanderers in quest of shelter and a bed," said

the old man.

" Pass on then/' said the voice within, " this

is

no place

to find a lodijcins;."

"But we want something more than "we be hungry; we want

that," exclaimed

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

Will,

"Something more than

that!

tinued the unseen speaker.

"Crabby

'â&#x20AC;˘

what mean you?" conled you here?"

Who

Cross,

To make up our said Will boldly, " that's all I

loss,"

know about

the matter."

Immediately there sounded from within peals of laughter but laughter so strange hens,

when one

of

them

it

was more

the whole poultry yard in commotion.

though no one seemed bolt; but

open

it

like the cackling of

exultins; in havinfj laid

an

egg;, sets

The door opened,

to turn the key, or to

drop bar or

flew and in walked Will, as bold as a lion,


A PEEP AT THE

46 unlieeding

liis

father,

who

PIXIES.

kept pulling him back by the

cloak, for he did not half like going in, but as Will

go on,

On

would

his father followed after him.

entering, they found themselves in a small low room,

surrounded by walls of stone; a wood

fire

burning on the

lamp dimly on the table, which served more to show the gloom and discomfort of the place than any other purpose. A little old woman, who seemingly had just quitted her seat in the chimney nook, stood ready to receive the strangers. She was very ungainly to look upon. Her dress was of the coarsest brown serge, and patched with rags of many colours. Her neck bare, dark, thin and shrivelled, resembled that of a tortoise. Her eyes were black and fierce, the lids red, sore and inflamed; whilst her mouth was strangely twisted, not so much by disease, as by a cross sour temper. Such was old Joan of the wry mouth. There were many curious things, both living and dead, in that small low room. A very large black cat with green eyes was seated in the chair usually occupied by its mistress. couple of owls were at roost on a piece of wood conveniently placed for them in a little corner recess. A toad was lying at his ease upon the hearth, as a number of unusually large black beetles ran about it, and seemed to enjoy the warmth of the embers. Many herbs were hanging up in dried bundles to the rafters of the ceiling; and a raven chained by one leg, was perched on the back of the same chair, where the black cat, with her tail curled round her, and her fore legs erect, sat purring with vast content hearth, and a

A


THE THREE TRIALS; and

satisflxction,

OR,

nor seemed at

all

CRABBY

47

CROSS.

tempted to move from

her station by several mice which crept in and out of their holes directly under the owls' roost; and they also appeared

disposed to do the

little

animals no harm.

Joan of the wry mouth proceeded to question the newcomers in a very short manner; and sturdy Penruffin, as hold as sturdy, at once

what had they had sought

satisfied

that night befallen

her curiosity, by telling her

him and

How

his father.

shelter at the castle of the old baron, Sir

Rowland, called the merry and brave, and had been turned away from his door; Will's desire expressed aloud to seek a supper and a bed, if he knew how" to reach the dwelling of the good old

dame

(for so

he was

old Joan), in whose presence he

now

civil

enough

to call

stood, the appearance

of the mysterious light, and lastly his father's great need of a supper and a bed as well as his own.

Old Joan heard him very attentively to an end, and then saying, wovdd he do three things which she required, all his wants should be supplied, and his father's also she ;

bade him answer

Yes or No. Will's father, who had no liking either for the place or for old Joan, or for her blind bargain, would have interposed; but the young Penruffin, before his sire could speak, stretched out his great rough hand and his brawny arm from under his cloak, seized the bony hand of the witch, and causing her withered arm to ache to the very elbow with the vehemence of his shake, said, in a loud voice, as he stamped his foot on the ground, " Three things three at once.

!

times three things will

I

do at thy bidding, mother, so that

thou wilt but keep thy word."


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; A TEEP AT THE PIXIES.

48 Joan seized

a long broom, wlilcli stood near lier chair,

about which was twisted a live snake; and flourishing

it

over Will's head, exclaimed "

For weal or for woe for blessing or ban Old Joan keeps her word to woman or man." ;

The bargain was

;

thus sealed; and no sooner was

than such a strange combination of noises

9

room

as never the like

was heard

before.

filled

it

done,

the

little

The owls hooted;

the cat set up a caterwauling, the mice squeaked, the toad croaked, the snake hissed, and half a dozen of black hens

made last

their appearance

from some unobserved nook; these

surrounded Will, ai^d made such a cackling as nothing

could be compared to

it

for discordant sounds.

My family bid you welcome," said old Joan "and now for your promise, you must fulfil that given to me; and if you go well through it, and never flinch, then a "

;

supper and a bed shall be Tintagel,

yours, such as

when he makes merry

given to you or yours.

Kow

in hall,

for the

churl of

the

would never have

proof of your mettle,

you be a man." Here Will's father would again have interposed but old Joan very unceremoniously swept her broom across his

if

;

mouth, so

t'nat

when he endeavoured

to

speak,

his son

She then bade him the fire; and gave in chair near a sit down and be quiet him the assurance that, if he did not play the fool and

could not understand a word he

said.

his son, he should presently have a good supper; but, if he disturbed her again, she vowed she would turn him out, as the bluff Baron had done, to

meddle with her and


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; THE THREE TRIALS; wander

and in

in the dark

CRABBY CROSS.

49

midst of the storm.

He

OR, tlie

obeyed, though rekictantly, for indeed he could not help himself; and seeing into

what

had brought him, he thought

a house his son's it

imprudence

best to be quiet, for fear of

enraging so wicked and so powerful a witch as old Joan.

She now proceeded First she

to her

work.

drew a large

circle

with white chalk round

Will; and

commanded him

within

She next loosed the snake from her broomstick,

threw

wind

it.

within the

it it

swelled

the

Boa

ma<2;ic ring,

till

it

saw her

than

it

seize

it

and

reptile fallen

lengthened, and

it

grew and

beast, almost as big as

may now be

seen at the Zoological

Constrictor that

But Will Penruffin, the sturdy

case.

arm and let the creature twist round Joan laughed like a wild cat as she so well obeyed; and raising her skinny

and bold, held out at its

No

he stood

became a monstrous

gardens in a glass

it

and bade Will to sooner had the

circle,

round his arm.

within the it

to hold his peace as

his

own will. commands

hand, with the forefinger extended, so as to be in a direct line opposite the snake's head, said " Draco, Draco, well

Bite his

and good,

thumb and draw

his blood."

Will the bold, with a firm countenance and without

Draco

altering his position, suffered

and

to

to

open his huge mouth,

plunge his fangs into the fleshy part of his thumb.

The hag clapped her hands fl.inching

courage

;

and,

caught the snake upon

wound.

The moment

it

for

joy at the sight of his un-

holding forth

the

broomstick,

before he could inflict a second

she withdrew

E

it

from. the

circle, it


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;â&#x20AC;&#x201D; A PEEP AT THE

50

;

PIXIES.

She looked round, and observing Will's father shaking and trembling in every limb, shrunk into

though tail,

original size.

its

silent

with

dashed at the

fear; she

and told him that he was an old floor,

the snake's

She next turned

harmless snake from a viper.

stamped her foot on the

man

fool not to

and thrice

know

a

to Will,

called

" Little Lynx, little Lynx,

Come through Immediately a

the chinks."

strange-looking

little

The

through a hole in the door.

creature

popped

creature was not

more

than seven or eight inches high, with wings like a gnat,

and

a curly poll,

which looked more

down

like the

of a

with a very queer and comical face; black,

bird than hair,

sharp eyes, like those of a mouse; being quite naked, and

having a

short

little,

tail

behind, that he whisked and

twisted about at pleasure.

" That's

my

pretty Pixy," said old Joan.

"

What

hast

thou there?" " Fern-seed, night-shade,

With herbs

that work

dew and

my

dill,

mistress' will."

The witch snatched them from

the Pixy's tiny hand " This is

bade him begone, and gave them to Penruffin. thy reward for obeying

now

my

first

command

;

the second

is

was of a more mysterious kind former. Again old Joan enjoined Will neither to the than offer the least resistance whatever should move nor to Having said this, she called aloud betide him. to come/' she said.

"

It

Crabby Cross, Crabby Cross,

Come

to Will's loss."


THE THREE TRIALS; Anotlier

little

Pixy appeared of a

He

ance tliau his brother. child

far

CROSS.

51

more strange appear-

had the face of an ill-disposed His small legs and thighs were

round but roguish.

;

CRABBY

OR,

tail, though short, was more bushy than that of little Lynx, and he had the wings of a No sooner had bat, both on his shoulders and at his heels.

covered

all

over with hair; his

he appeared than he alighted the witch

;

catching hold of

at once it

by

on the broomstick of

his tiny fat fingers,

whirled himself round, and round, and ronnd

Pixy

fun, so that

Old Joan,

who

Pixy, shook hira

ground.

it

dazzled Will's eyes only to see

did not enjoy this sport so

and

in his

it, it.

much

as the

and sent him tumbling upon the

off,

He would have

got a severe

fall,

had not

a dozen

two other Pixies, till that moment unseen, rushed forward and bore him up among them as their leader and or

master.

Joan ordered him

her bidding.

seated himself at once

Cross

made

and

to

He

token of obedience

;

do

a spring and

upon her shoulder, and received

whisper her commands. heals, in

to leave off his antics

Whereupon Crabby

in a

gave three tumbles, head over

and immediately

through the key-hole, followed by

after

popped

his train of attendant

Pixies.

In

less

than a minute, there came a great bounce against

the door, and in the Pixies rolled a large bee-hive, which

had been taken from the cottage garden. Crabby Cross, assisted by his fellows, seized upon an old kettle that stood in the chimney noOk, whilst little Lynx and two or three dozen more snatched up old Joan's

ladle,

heavily burthened, assisted by a whole

and though thus

army

of Pixies, they


A PEEP AT THE

52

PIXIES.

absolutely stuck the old kettle on tke top of Will Pen-

head

ruffin's

and main

;

and there began

upon it with might swarm upon Will's face

to batter

and the bees began

;

to

and head in such a manner that notwithstanding

his

all

courage he gave himself up for a dead man. But convinced she was obeyed, and that Will would really die before he spoke, the hag bade Crabby Cross desist; and at her bidding, kettle, ladle, bees

and hive were

they had been moved on.

as speedily

And now came

moved

the last

off as

trial

of

sturdy Will. "

Chick Pick, Chick Pick, come and soon,

Catch

me

Make

Penruffin ride with thee.

a

beam from

the silver

moon

;

Over the land, over the sea. he flinch, or if he fear. Let the winds toss him far and near 'With dead men's bones and sticks of yew,' Beat him, pinch him, black and blue." If

;

" We'll beat him, pinch him, black and blue," was the

chorus echoed from a thousand

mand

chickens as

-The

;

leader of these was a fat black hen, which, like the

snake, had

than

little throats, to this comand in came such a troop of hens and never before was seen.

of old Joan

it

no sooner entered within the charmed

rose

into a

monstrous bird.

Myriads

of

circle little

wretches, some with heads like those of old men, others with

some with wings of birds, others with those of or gnats; and a thousand other winged all gathered round Will, and fairly pushed him

baby

faces;

bats,

or

creatures,

flies,

on the hen's back;

so that

he was obliged to

sit

across

it


THE THREE TRIALS


THE THREE TRIALS; for safety; as,

most marvellous of

the cottage window, which

little

beings, they passed through

never even touching

Where he.

53

she dashed through

Lynx opened

to

make way

And

it

with

all

the ease imaginable,

its sides.

they went

he neither saw

was

all,

CROSS.

and though she and Will were two such large

for her;

for

CRABBY

OR,

to,

Will's old father did not

tlieir flight

know,

nor their return, so frightened

Will himself afterwards declared that he

really could not very well

remember where he had

been;:

though he was not without a suspicion he had, in that brief ascended above the storm and the clouds which hunj;

flio'ht,

over Tintagel, and had a peep at the

who

man

in the

moon;

was, as he described him, an old gentleman with a long

white beard, and everything about him seemed made of

He

silver. it

supposed, but could not take upon

him

to say

with certainty, that a moon-beam had been caught in

way, as when the black hen brought him down again and whisked him once more in safety through the window; this

he (Will) unquestionably had a moon-beam in his cap,

which old Joan took intention to put

At and

all

his

healed.

carefully

events, she

little

He

off,

as

he thought, with the

into pickle.

was so well pleased with his courage

having kept his word

that she desired

by Pixy

it

him

Lynx,

to

obey her in three things,

charmed herbs, brought thumb, which immediately her bidding, washed his face with

to apply the to his bitten

likewise, at

the dew, also given with the herbs by the Pixy, so that not

a sting from a bee remained to give the fern-seed, he cast

down

him

pain.

And

that to_the great black

as to

hen


A PEEP AT THE PIXIES.

54

which brought him back again and she fell to picking it up and eating it so heartily, that whilst she was thus en;

gaged he slipped

off her

out of

back without damage; and then

and she returned

it;

circle

he led her

to her natural size

and shape,

few seeds beyond the

artfully scattering a

and cackled off in quest of her chickens.

And now came

Old Joan was not worse

Will's reward.

than her word, as he had kept

his.

She gave him and his

father a fine fat goose for supper; delicately cooked Pixies, with apple sauce.

made

of

young

And

and came dairy maid of the West of

formed of rennet and cream,

from the hand of the daintiest

Old Penruffin was

his nervous frights

all

by the

was added a pie

rooks, a favourite dish in Devonshire;

as nice a junket

England.

to this

with hearty good

and

as ever

so well regaled that

he forgot

and drank Joan's health nice a mug of mead, the pro-

fears,

will, in as

duct of her bees of the former year, as ever was tasted.

The supper ended,

she gave

them both

bed, on a large heap of clean straw, as rest

upon.

And

as

as comforatble a

man

could desire to

Will Penruffin's nerves were a

little

shaken by his midnight journey on the hen's back, and he could not immediately

fall

asleep, according to custom, as

soon as he laid his head on the pillow, old Joan resolved to

At her soothe and to compose him to rest with melody. command, the bellows began blowing a soft and gentle air, as the kitchen

door creaked to a perfect tune, the cuckoo

clock set to playing, and the wind came the

window with

Will was the music.

so lulled

humming through

the most plaintive and drowsy sounds.

and charmed that he soon out-snored


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; THE THREE TRIALS

;

OR,

CRABBY CROSS.

55

Morning came; a clear, bright, beautiful morning; and welcome it was after so stormy a night. No sooner did the fixst beams of the sun tip the clouds with red and gold, and make the blue sky look even more lovely than it naturally did by force of contrast, than Will; who was still fast asleep, felt his nose tweaked in a very queer way; whilst his mouth (which he had been sleeping with wide open) was tickled inside as if by a hair; and his ears pulled for him in right good earnest. Scarcely awake, he put up both hands, and rubbed his eyes; and in doing so, to his extreme surprise, pushed off

a it

little

for

wretch

who was

amusement,

sides of a

as if

sitting astride

upon

his nose kicking

he had been laying his heels into the

My little

Pixy pony.

gentleman was very dapper,

being dressed in a green cloak and hood, very like a peascod; with a white cap, resembling a pea blossom, upon his

His face was gay

head, altogether very trim and pretty.

and handsome

;

he wore moustachios on his upper

lip

;

there

was a free air about him, and a dash of the saucy fellow. His under clothes were tight to his shape but with a little ;

hole behind for the convenience of swinging carelessly his tail,

which was curly and

striking,

though

dressed.

They were

still

silky.

The

other Pixies were less

well looking, clothed and

all

trimly

singing in their small squeaking

way "

Will, off the

The moon

is a-bed, and up is the sun ; Get up, Peurufl&n, and have your fun."

now

fairly

awake, obeyed the summons

Pixy company, who took

it

in

good

part,

he shook

;

and flying


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; A PEEP AT THE

56 tlirougli

PIXIES.

the keyLole, tliey went to announce to old Joan

that her guest

Whereupon

was

risen

that

and ready

ancient

for breakfast.

dame regaled him and

his

bowl of milk fresh from the cow, and some hot cakes baked on the hearth, no doubt by the Pixies. Their meal ended, both father and son were about to depart, but as they would not be ungrateful for their good

father with a

cheer, they proceeded to offer their thanks to old their

rough Cornish

Whereupon

Joan in

fashion.

old Joan bade Will put his

pocket of his vest before he departed

;

hand

into the

he instantly obeyed

her command, when what was his surprise to find in purse

filled

it

with several pieces of gold coin, as bright as

just struck at the king's mint.

On opening

a if

the purse to

count the contents, for he was desirous to ascertain the

amoimt of

his riches, out

jumped Crabby

Cross, as queer-

The Pixy thus

looking, with as roguish an air as ever.

addressed Penruffin, as he stood for a minute on the pieces

of gold which Will held in the open palm of his hand "

trials you bore for your supper and bed Without sign of fear or feeling of dread Old Joan keeps her word for blessing or ban, And with gold thus rewards a bold and brave man."

Three

;

;


THE SEVEN CROSSES OF TIVERTON; OR,

The

events I

TUE STORY OF PIXY PICKET.

am now

about to relate occurred soon after

was slain in the Bosworth Field; and the Earl Richmond, who of of

that cruel king, the crook-backed Richard, battle

won

the day, ascended the throne of England, as Henry,

the seventh of that name.

During the wars which ended in being so wicked a

man

his downfall, Richard,

was joined by many men

himself,

low degree, who were also very wicked. was Randolph Rowle, who, for the brutality of his disposition, was commonly called Randolph the Ruffian. He had served for many years under the late King Henry the Sixth, and (though it was never proved against him) was strongly suspected, on account of his of high and

Among

these

hard-heartedness, of having been chosen

murderers

who

assisted in

as

smothering the poor

one of the little

princes

in the Tower.

Long

before this he had married a

young woman of

his

who was much

too

native town, Tiverton, in Devonshire,

good

for

him.

He

used her very

ill;

and though he had

seven children, none of them lived to be a year old. Strange things were said about the

they came by their deaths.

name was

way

in

which

it

was supposed

Their poor mother, whose

Bridget, had a very tender heart, and grieved


A PEEP AT THE

58

much

for the loss of her babes, as

PIXIES. as she rejoiced

her husband went away to the wars and

left

whenever

her at home;

had a little quiet, with nobody to beat and illBut as her husband took with him all the little she had gained in money by working hard to help her neighbours, and even deprived her of what wheat she had stored up by gleaning in the fields, she was very poor and needy. The last time he went away was to fight in Bosworth Field; and then he left her with only seven eggs in the world to live upon and these she had concealed in an for then she

use her.

;

old,

cracked oaken bowl that stood in a dark place in the

corner cupboard.

To add

to her troubles, her

hen had

left

off laying eggs.

In the evening of the day of Randolph's departure,

when

the Avinds were blowing and the rain beating in heavy

showers against her cottage window, Bridget wood-fire

made by

accompanied by a gentle tapping in haste, for she fancied this

benighted traveller

;

and

so

bread, she would gladly share

the

at

looking

her door.

Bridget rose

must be the cry of some

it

if

little

distress

she had but a crust of

with any poor soul

So she opened the door

queerest

and what she should

kind was her heart that

never cried to her in vain, for

had none.

fate,

Suddenly she heard a moaning without,

to help herself

up

over a

a few sticks which she had collected in

the forest, thinking upon her hard

do

sat

at once,

creature

she

when

in

had ever

who came seen,

dressed almost in rags, dripping wet and shivering with cold. It

seemed

round

to

be a child, and a very small one, with a

face, a curly poll, a

fat

snub nose, and blue cunning


!

THE SEVEN CROSSES OF TIVERTOX, eyes, but very sparkling

thing of

all

was

when

for all the

world like a

wet rags and the either, for

with the

its

little

old child, neither one thing

that very pretty."

though she

own

petticoat,

hard

as

a horse after a heat, and got

head, yet the

tail

trice,

This done she

sat as well,

was new

Bridget

She answered

had

her

as she

rose

up with

and

stool,

chimney corner; and she if never a broken leg had

it

now

asked the

little

girl

her

was Picket, and

said that she

and begged

something to

in the dark,

for

declared herself to be very hungry.

eat,

;

half, in the

name.

way

it

in her dripping clothes,

one down on the low

not once rocking, as

been under her.

lost

fire

but never once smoked

set the little

with two legs and a

groom

as a

the wet from

all

of the petticoat remained bone dry,

she took the urchin to the

they dried in a

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; "it

As to the know what to think of wiped down the creature's locks

all

and looked cleaner and better than when

when

in the

hair, she did not

of her

tail

down

wipes

woman

she told the story: so she used to say

nor the other, and yet for

them

But the most strange

pretty.

was that there was a look of a

which Bridget did not know very well how to

child's face,

describe

and

59

a sigh to think

how

little

Bridget

she had to offer,

but she took from the cracked bowl in the cupboard one of the seven eggs, and asked

have all

it

she had

Picket

she would like to

if

good

as

more eggs was

in the world.

" Six more eggs so

little

boiled or roasted, telling her that six

!"

to give

brothers and sisters

said the child, " then pray,

them to me; at home, and

for all

I

ma'am, be

have in

all

six

very hungry;" and,


A PEEP AT THE

60

like Wordswortli's little girl, she

PIXIES.

added

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; " 'We

are seven;'

and we have neither father nor mother, and don't know what to do for a supper. So give the seven eggs to me, and I will begone, for the rain is over, and I can see through the window the moon above the clouds, and I shall now be able to find my way home, and my brothers and sisters

and

I will all

sup together."

ceremony, the forward tied

them up

little

So without waiting

for

thing took the seven eggs^ and

in a bit of a rag that she

wore

like a cloak

about her. " You are welcome to the eggs, my dear," said the goodnatured Bridget, " and as for your poor little brothers and sisters, I

pity

them very much.

It

makes me cry

afresh to

hear their number; for I have lost seven dear babes myself,

and am now a childless woman." She wiped her eyes as she spoke, and told the little girl that if ever she could serve her, or her brothers and sisters, in any way, though she was very poor, she would never refuse to

help the

fatherless."

The

child seemed very sensible of her kindness;

asked her what would

make her

and

the most happy in the

world.

" To have just such a pretty to look quite so

No

much

of a

sooner had she

creature began to

said

;

this,

at

you

all

though not

are,

your age."

than the strange

jump and leap about in

thought she would break cloak

girl as

woman

little

a Avay that Bridget

the eggs she had in her

and then she laughed and began

towards the door, whisked out of

it,

to sing

the good

;

and going

woman

could


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; THE SEVEN CROSSES OF TIVERTOX. scarcely

tell

departed

liow, singing very gaily tliese

61

words

as

slie

:

"Seven given in charity Seven shall return to thee, In a hopeful progeny."

Bridget stood

dumb with

wliat to

make of

all

herself,

and went

to

surprise, and did not know She crossed herself and blessed

tliis.

bed in a very doubtful frame of mind.

The next morning when glitter in her old shoe^

she got up, she saw something

and found

King's mint-

Next the hen

to her

and new

a piece of silver coin, fresh

amazement

as if just

it

was

from the

saluted her ears with the greatest

cackling and ran about the yard, as if half

mad with

delight.

Bridget found she had laid an egg, and so the fowl continued to

do every day

enough eggs

after for

for her to

weeks together,

hatch chickens

;

till there were and then she reared

seven of the finest that ever were seen.

wonder

is

But the

greatest

yet to be told.

A few months after all this had happened, as Eandolph Eowle was one day returning home, his absence having been shorter than usual, he observed a great many people,

young and old, about his house, all talking, moving, lifting up their hands and eyes, as if in amazement. The stir and bustle

was considerable,

for all the

women

in the village

seemed assembled together.

"What^s

the matter?" inquired Eandolph

proached them,

" Are you

all

as he apgone mad to-day, or what

my door?" " 0, Master Eandolph Eowle, don't you

has happened that you so beset

come

to pass?" said a neighbour.

know what

has


A PEEP AT THE PIXIES.

62 "

How

should I?"

Lunnun with some

of

" I have been up to

lie

replied.

my

old fellows at arms to try to get

new king, but he will not home again, and nothing better

taken into the service of the

have us; and

so here

am

I

better

in

fortune!"

in fortune."

"Nothing "

gossips.

man

exclaimed one of the

Master Randolph Rowle, you are the luckiest

in the world; there never

was such a thing known or

heard of before." " You '11 be the envy of half the great barons and ladies in the county," said a '^

young woman.

You'll be talked of

"For what?" tongues that run

far

and near,"

said an old one.

"You

have

all

enough, but will not one of you

tell

exclaimed Randolph. fast

me what all this is about?" " And such a blessing upon your head," said an old grandmother who was present. " And I hope you will remember the poor neighbours who first told you of it," said another speaker; " and will give me something to drink your health with, for I am quite ready to do a neighbour's part."

"

And

I

hope you'll give us

all

something to drink your

health with, and to bring good luck on your roof, for as

many more so they

blessings every year," said another gossip.

went on chattering

Randolph grew angry

women

all

was about. walking

;

his ears

were stunned with twenty

talking together, whilst he

At

last

staff that

And

like magpies.

knew not what

he grew rough, and

he held in his

it

up a great hand, vowed he would lifting


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; THE SEVEN CROSSES OF TIVERTON. clear his door of

them

once, and in plain terms,

On

hearing

body a

this,

if they would not what had happened.

all

an old

woman

63

tell

him

at

advanced, inclined her

spread out her two hands open before her,

little,

looked up in his

face,

and

said in a sort of scream, indica-

tive of an excess of joyous congratulation

"

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

Why, Randolph Rowle, this it be then. You be man in all the new king's kingdom you be

happiest

the the

;

and

father of seven children, all alive

well,

and

all

born at

you will give me something to buy spoons, I stand godmother to them all myself. Joy, joy Hurra, hurra!" to you, Randolph Rowle! " And pray give something to wet the throats of us gossips, for bringing you the good news," and all the women, old and young, huddled round him^ each claiming the same time; and

if

'11

a reward for herself, for having been the it,

first

to

announce

and give him joy.

Randolph

hands up to his

instinctively put his

neither seemed overjoyed, nor at

all

ears,

and

gladdened, as any

honest father would have been at the hearing of such a piece of

good

in one day.

him

all

rather looked vexed and angry about

it;

luck, as having seven babies born to

He

and protesting that not the cackling of the geese on the

common, nor the the

hum

squalling of

his senses as their tongues;

in the plainest staff,

all

the cats in the village, nor

of the bee-hives^ could so vex his ears and

manner

madden

he gave the old crone who had

told

him

the news a poke with his

kicked and pushed the others aside with heels and

elbows, it after

made his way within him in all their faces.

his

own

door, and

banged


A PEEP AT THE PIXIES.

64

Eandolpli found dressed in

tlie

wife sitting up, quite well, nicely-

liis

was by her

nicest cradle, covered with a white satin quilt,

and

side,

out of

in

it

seven sweet pretty babies, just as

wax and

as like the

;

The

had ever worn.

neatest clothes she

one to the other

made

if

many-

as so

pats of butter.

The

numerous a

sight of so

family- caused

Eandolph' to

be very angry; and without giving one kind word, or even look, to his wife, he said, in a rough voice and manner, '.'

What's

Seven

this?

all

and to keep

little

me day and

starving myself

I shall

stay here; I will not

wretches to

call

me

father,

night working for them, and

They

do no such thing.

have them.

And

what's

all

shall

not

You

this?

so fine as my lady the Countess of Devon, xnp at the Castle; and white satin, too, thrown over this bundle of kittens. How comes all this? I don't understand it."

" "

I

all I

am sure, I can't tell you, husband," said Bridget, know is, that neither the clothes, nor the cradle, nor

the white satin quilt cost us the smallest bit of money; for I

found them

all

by the bed-side when

on waking from the

And

babes were born.

sleep that

first

husband,

I

opened

my

eyes,

I got after the dear

for the love

of

all

the

saints, don't call these seven sweet, pretty, dear, beautiful â&#x20AC;˘little

girls.

They

babes, kittens.

And when

will live to be

are

human

creatures,

and

all

they are made Christians, I hope they

good

ones,

and a

comfoii, to you.

So do

give tliem a father's blessing, and be thankful for having seven of them

number we

sent all at one time to

lost formerly."

make up

for the


THE SEVEN CROSSES OF TIVERTON. " I bless tliem

me

!"

seven plagues

said

Randolph, "

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; seven

mouths

for

to

65

what? For bringing

fill

instead of one.

I

worms; wretches were

can't feed babes as thrushes do their young, with

and

my

wish, wife,

is,

that these seven little

food for them in the church-yard." " Randolph, don't say such a wicked thing, for fear the roof should

them.

To

fall

down upon

us and crush us both with

think such an unnatural wish should come from

the lips of a father,

it

is

shocking

!

But

babes day and night to maintain them.

them myself living.

own in

till

work

I'll

And

I'll

for the

do

all for

they are old enougli to get their

So do now be a good man

for once,

and

bless

own your

dear children."

Randolph looked down upon the poor innocents sleeping the cradle, but with no relenting expression. He spoke

not a word. " Don't they look just like so

many

daisies, sweet, pretty

dears," said Bridget, her admiration of her little

inspiring

her with the

first

progeny and only poetical mode of

speech she ever ventured to use in the presence of her

husband.

He

answered her by calling her a

fool for

her

pains; and, without stopping to say another word, left the

cottage and went in search of old Pancras Cole, the

of the evil eye, as she was called,

who

woman

lived in a lonely hut

by the road-side near the neighbouring forest. It was said that, when she had nothing else to do, she Avould amuse herself by taking a seat on a rock by the way-side, and there would work some spell to the injury of every traveller mounted on horse-back who refused to give her money;

F


A PEEP AT THE

66 tliat slie

would make

PIXIES.

his horse stumble or

throw the rider

Randolph the

before he got to his journey's end.

ruffian

had, on more occasions than the present, been seen to seek

her

when

his

disposed to

humour

work

or his passions, like her own, were

evil.

Pancras Cole Avas seated on the rock as he approached her.

She was dressed in an

old,

dark

gown and

cloak, with a

hood thrown over her head, leaving the face and forehead uncovered. She had the most formidable aspect. Though seated, she appeared to be a very tall woman, strong and robust, with the muscles of her

arms so marked, that they

They

looked almost like whip-cords drawn round them.

were quite bare nearly up

was thrown back.

Her

to her shoulders, for her cloak

face

was dark, her eyes

fiery

and she had a black beard on the upper

and

and would have been a great improvement She to her, had she sent for the village barber to shave it. was leaning on her staff, and seemed to be looking out for a comer, when Randolph approached. Before he could dark

also,

about the chin;

lip

it

speak, she thus greeted him. "

Dogs have whelps more than

are needed

;

Kittens have their deaths unheeded.

Why

should seven make thee

moan

?

Babes they are, and all thine own. Seven in a basket heap them, Seven let the river keep them. !

!

" Good," said Randolph the I never differ in our *'

Nor

way

ruffian,

" Mother, you and

of thinking."

of acting," exclaimed Pancras Cole, " but

what


THE SEVEN CROSSES OF TIVERTON. you would

morrow

do,

night.

must be done before the moon wanes toAnd more than that, Kandolph Eowle/'

my

she added, " follow stout sword

"

67

counsel,

and good pay

What must

shall

and bread and

ale

and a

be yours/'

would go below the earth and tahe service with that dark gentleman you serve so well upon it, mother, for such guerdon as you tell me of," said I

do?

I

the reprobate Kandolph, with a grin which was the nearest

approach to a smile his countenance ever assumed.

me what

to

do,

and where

to go,

and

I

am

not the

" Tell

man

to

flinch in the matter."

" Go and take service with the Baron La Zouch, who was King Richard's friend," said the hag. " He has been fined heavily, and his castle seized, for serving the dead king but the living one has granted him pardon for his life, and he is about to thank King Henry for it as I would have him. He is secretly drawing together a band of discontented men, and stirring up some of the great barons against him. I have given him my blessing. If this treason thrives, you will be a made man, Randolph Rowle. Go before the moon wanes to-morrow night, and, by the power of my art, I foresee you will be taken into his ;

service."

"

And

the seven imps at

home

?" said the profane Ran-

dolph.

"

Do

this," replied old

Pancras Cole

;

and she rose up

and whispered something in Randolph's her arm^ and pointed with her opposite direction

;

ear, then raised " skinny finger" in an

and, bidding the evil one prosper

r2

him


A PEEP AT THE

68 in

ways,

all his

PIXIES.

left liim to liiraself,

went

and shut the door after her. Now, ray young friends, you want said to him. But how can I tell you ? to hear

it

;

and

living creature,

with

No

In the days of which flies,

it

I write, there

my

tale

may

;

were neither stage-

Gentlemen and

gigs, 'nor rail-roads.

(for this

any

was.

generally travelled on horse-back

bad roads

nor Eandolph

subject of that whisper to

But, perhaps, the next event in

it.

she

one was there

quite impossible that I can be acquainted

it is

enable us to guess what

coaches,

know what

to

Pancras Cole

as neither

Rowle ever made known the

into tlie cottage,

ladies

and that through such

was long before Mr.

M'Adam was

born),

they seldom made a journey of any distance, unless com-

They

pelled so to do.

generally contented themselves, if

they lived in the country, with riding about hunting and

hawking on

own

There were, also, no newswhat with the want of such coaches and rail-roads, and newspapers, news of any kind travelled slowly and an event which was very stirring in one village might not be known in the next for some days, This I tell you, my young friends, or even weeks, after. in order to account for Randolph Rowle's good luck, in their

papers in those days

;

lands.

so that,

;

having seven

little

girls all at once,

not being so speedily

much known in the neighbourhood as the gossips round his door, who wanted to get some money from him, or so

had predicted.

At

the time of

my

story, there

was a certain Countess of


THE SEVEN CROSSES OF TIVERTON. Devon, a widow, wliose son was a care of a

^ood master

69

boy, and under the

little

The Countess

at Winclaester Scliool.

and lands

till

he sliould be of

age to take possession of them himself;

and she lived

took charge of

all

his castles

always in one or the other of these strongholds.

among them,

Now

there

which had been built early in the twelfth century. It stood on the north side of the market-town of Tiverton and to this day, though but a portion of its ruins are in existence, it forms an object of curiosity with the traveller and the antiquary. The ruins consist of a large gateway and some strong towers and walls, partially overgrown with ivy. was,

a very noble residence,

;

Just before the opening of

my

tale,

the Countess had

been much annoyed by a law-suit, commenced against herself set

and her

up

little

son by the wicked Baron

most unjust claim

a

he had a

riglit to

his suit,

to Tiverton Castle, pretending

the lands on which

a great deal of time

La Zouch, who

and money spent

and the Countess remained

it

to

stood.

But, after

no purpose, he

lost

in full possession of the

castle.

In the times of which I write, the town and neio-hbourhood of Tiverton were different in many respects to what they now are. A large park and forest belonging to the Earls of Devon formed part of the castle domain, and the

woods that have long since been destroyed, would now be in vain to seek for the spot where the good and pious Countess of Devon erected a little

river ran through so that

it

chapel or oratory, to which she was fond of retiring to

pray and meditate, without being disturbed by any of her


A PEEP AT THE

70

PIXIES.

numerous household or guests. The chapel was some distance from the castle, but she took a pleasure in walking to

it

alone early of a morning.

In one of these walks, she came suddenly npon a

who was just

man

about turning into a narrow path, which led

through the wood to the river. a basket, and that

would pass her

She observed he was carrying

when he saw

at once;

her, he

first

made

as if

he

moved down his load for a he knew who she was,

then he stood back, then he

forward again, and though he put

minute to doff his cap to her,

for

yet he snatched the basket up again in a very hasty manner,

and seemed

he had hardly the

so desirous to get on, that

patience to let her pass.

" Good man," said the Countess,

something very strange in

all

who thought

this,

there was

" what makes you in

such a hurry, and what have you there in that basket?" " Whelps, my lady, whelps.^^ " Whelps

!"

said the Countess. "

Do

let

me

see them."

They are not worth looking at, my lady," replied the man; '^ they are only puppies not worth the rearing." " And what are you going to do with them?" inquired *'

the Countess.

" Drown them,

my

lady; toss

them

into the river; such

whelps are not worth the rearing." " I will see them," said the Countess.

" Put the basket

down." " They are

my

own, and I have a right to do what I " If I open the

please with them," muttered the man. basket, they'll

jump

out and run away^ and I

Ve no

time


THE SEVEN CROSSES OF TIVERTON. them

to spare to catch

And

so

:

good-morrow

to you,

71

my

lady."

with that he attempted to push past her in a very

rude manner.

But this purpose was not so easily effected. The Counthough alone, was not unattended; she had hy her side a guard who understood and obeyed the slightest sign she gave him of her pleasure.

tess,

" Seize him,

Harold,

seize

him

!"

accompanied by a

motion of her hand, caused a noble bloodhound in a mo-

ment

to ily at the fellow,

and

seize

the struggle his foot slipped, and he

him by fell

on the ground, striking the back of

the throat.

In

with some violence

his

head against the

The fellow was somewhat stunned by the blow. The Countess, whose command over her dog was no less surprising than his intelligence in obeying her, now made some sign, and the roots of an oak-tree that crossed the path.

hound held the man by the

throat, but without throttling

him. In another

when who

moment

shall

she removed the lid from the basket;

speak her surprise,

on beholding what

Seven sweet beautiful

then met her eyes!

little

babies,

all put together with their heads uppermost, like birds in a nest, and some opening their mouths, as if asking for food,

like those birds,

"

you you

you

from their dams.

cruel,

wicked man!" said the Countess.

shall not escape

to

know

committed on

At

that

punishment;

my

" But

people shall teach

murder can neither be intended nor domain without chastisement."

that

my

moment,

all

the seven babies began to cry, and


A PEEP AT THE

72

PIXIES.

the Countess became sorely embarrassed wliat to do, between

her desu'e to save the children, and to detain the

would have destroyed them.

But the

were, she justly judged, of the

time was to be in

lost, for

want of bread-pap.

first

man who

lives of the

former

consequence; and no

they seemed very hungry, and

much

She, therefore, at once put the lid

on the basket, but found she could not carry

without

it

Calling oiF Harold from the man, she bade the

assistance.

dog take one handle in his mouth, whilst she held the other, and in this way proposed to carry it between them But the noble hound, who seemed on that to the castle. morning to possess even more than his accustomed intelligence, relieved her by taking at once the basket in his mouth, and without any help whatever, wagged his tail, and trotted off with it towards the castle.

The Countess such a ruffian raising

;

feared to remain without her guard, near

and observing that the fellow was now

himself up from the ground, she said to him,

" Repent

;

and be thankful that you have been prevented

doing a most cruel deed," and followed the dog

as fast as

her steps could carry her.

The Countess of Devon

truly did a

good deed,

the lives of Eandolph Eowle's seven poor

little

in saving

babes from

No

the wicked purpose of their unnatural father.

knew what became

of

him

;

but, after

many

found out the mother, and was very kind to her

much had ill

Bridget fretted for the

loss

one

enquiries, she ;

but, so

of her babes, and so

had she been used by her husband, that her health failed Seeing this, and thinking it not safe that

her very much.


THE SEVEN CROSSES OF TIVERTON. the poor

woman

might be

73

remain where so cruel a husband

sliould

likely to return

some day or other

to molest her,

the Countess persuaded Bridget to go to a distance, and

recommended her to the abbess of a convent in Cornwall, where she might make herself useful in household work to help the nuns.

Bridget agreed to the proposal castle,

ately;

by

;

and, before she

left

the

took leave of her seven sweet babies very affection-

and the Countess made the poor woman quite happy, would do all for the dear little

assuring her that she

creatures just the

same

She kept her word an education

fit

;

as if

they were children of her own.

had them

PART

Fifteen

years

the last chapter.

had gone

mand

and gave them

II.

had passed away

The

left his

since the events related in

Countess' son had

to travel for the

manners, and

christened,

for the first ladies in the land.

grown up a man, his mind and

improvement of

good lady-mother in the

full

com-

of his castle of Tiverton, where she liked principally

to dwell.

The Countess now began

it

was high

call

Patience,

to consider that

time for her seven daughters, as she

used to

Katherine, Margaret, Mabel, Alice, Isabel, and Ursula, to see something of the world, and be introduced into com-

pany, so that they might appear balls she often

gave

at the

at the castle.

grand dinners and

The Countess always


A PEEP AT THE

74 kept

lier son's

her friends,

made

birth-day, and

lier followers,

PIXIES.

upon it to and the poor Avere

a great feast

and tenants

;

not forgotten on so joyous an occasion. absent to

have the

fifteen

now

True, he was

but she loved him so dearly, that she determined

;

feast just as usual

years before,

;

and

as it so

happened

that,

she preserved the seven children on

her son's birth-day, she determined to

make

a festival of

it

more than usual splendour. So grand was everything to be, with such plenty of good cheer, that it took a whole month to prepare for the day. "When it came at last, on the 15th of July, though it was St. Swithin's day, not a drop of rain fell and the sun shone out so bright, and ;

with such a

upon the

full face, as if

he could never

tire

with looking

and giving a warm welcome to the

revelry,

guests.

Everything was ready

;

the Countess sat at the head of a

long table in the old castle

and pages, were her seven

fair

all

all

;

whilst

daughters, the children of adoption, sat by

her, four on the right,

were

Knights, ladies, esquires,

hall.

present in their gayest attire

and three on the

left

the one from the other,

by the

They

hand.

dressed in white satin, and could only be

known,

variety in colour of the

knots of ribband which they wore upon their bosoms.

much, indeed, were they found

it difficult

brown curly lilies

as

and

good

to distinguish them.

So

Countess herself

They had

all

light

and necks and cheeks

hair, fine blue eyes,

roses.

as

alike, that the

like

Beautiful as they were, they were quite

they were beautiful

only contest they ever had

;

and

so grateful, that the

among themselves

was, which


THE SEVEN CROSSES OF TIVEETON.

75

do most to oblige and serve the good lady who had been to them all such a good friend and benefactress. It was really a very pretty sight, to see both them and sliould

the dinner

were

set

;

how

plentiful

it

was

;

how

out with festoons of flowers

;

gaily the tables

how

the cups of

wine and mead went sparkling round the board. It was cheering to hear with what a shouting the healths of the Countess of Devon, her absent son, and her seven fair daughters, were given in the hall, as the old harper struck

up

his

harp and sang to

echo again with

its

it

a song

which made the old roof

joyous sounds.

Just as the harper was concluding his song, the horn,

which hung at the castle gates to announce the arrival of any one who desired admission, sounded loud and long. The Countess was surprised^ as all the guests of any consequence she had invited were already arrived, and seated al the table, and for no common person would the horn blow after that fashion. A page ran in haste up to his mistress^ and begged her to go to the window, which looked towards the lono- avenue that led to the

castle,

and she would see a sight that would surprise her. The Countess and her seven young ladies, none of whom were wanting in curiosity, did as they were advised to do, and ran to the window, and there saw what I really do not

know how

to describe, so glorious

was

it.

There appeared, coming along the Avenue, a sort of small open car, so white and dazzling that it looked as if made of ivory and silver. It was drawn by four creamcoloured ponies, but not larger than ordinary sized dogs.


A PEEP AT THE PIXIES.

76

The

harness they had about

mother-of-pearl little

;

them was composed of gold and

and on their heads, and

animals had bunches of flowers

pink, and green ribbands.

Multitudes of

each wearing such shining dresses, that I can particularize them,

miniature

men

It

up with

blue,

little

men on foot,

is

not possible

it

were seen around the

each carried a javelin in one hand, and a across his shoulders.

at their ears, the

tied

little

was quite evident,

car,

and

shield slung

therefore, these

acted as soldiers.

In front of this guard of honour, walked the musicians;

they were very queer and whimsical in their appearance, dresses,

They were

and instruments.

all

men;

like little

but some among them looked old and ugly; and each

who ment

man

played the fiddle had carved on the top of his instrua face resembling his

were Jew's harps, and

own, in

flutes that

all its ugliness.

of old broom sticks; which was the more

where everything was

so fine.

There

seemed to be formed out extraordinary

Several pot-lids were used

by way of cymbals; and the leader of the band, a very pompous little fellow, wearing what was in his day a novelty, a full-bottomed wig, carried a salt-box under his

arm, and played upon set

it

with great taste and expression

of performers on the marrow-bones and

;

a

cleaver, probably

the finest in Europe, completed the band.

In the car was seated a lady, so very splendidly dressed that to look at her as

when

the beams of the sun

fell

they did on her coming into the court of the

as trying to the eyes, as it reflects the sun's rays.

On

upon

her,

was upon water, when it a nearer view, it was seen that

is

to look

castle,


THE SEVEN CROSSES OF TIVERTON. altlioiigli

way

she was loaded with jewels, she wore nothing

hy

of ornament but what in form resembled some object

in nature.

wrens

Her

tiara

their eyes

;

was made by a row of golden-crested

were of diamonds, and the

gold formed the crown of the birds of each was a

was

77

little

;

gems.

collar of the richest

of the thinest silver tissue ;

finest

chased

whilst round the neck

and over

it

Her gown

a robe lined with

the white and glossy plumage from the breast of the swan.

At

the back of her car sat seven ladies, her maids of

honour, each carried something in her hand over which

was thrown a white napkin probably to conceal it from common gaze. There were at least one hundred knights ;

the

and

as

many

squires, all in the

gayest

attire,

with bright

armour, and the richest velvets and jewels, and helmets and bonnets, with diamond and emerald ornaments; and white

plumes drooping over their heads. The Countess was lost in wonder; but nothing in this splendid sight so much surprised her as to see

men, the

ladies,,

how

very small were

the car, and the horses.

they really looked just like a

all

the gentle-

In point of

set of little children

size

playing at

kings and queens, surrounded by their court.

But there they were; and the only probable conjecture make was that they must be people from one of those strange and little known countries, over seas, in the eastern part of the world, which neither in size nor in any thing else resembled the nations of Europe. She had often heard poor pilgrims, who go about from castle to

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

the Countess could

castle telling the

wonders they have seen in their

speak of such beings.

Her

son, too,

was on

travels,

his travels;


;

A PEEP AT THE

78

PIXIES.

perhaps he had visited the court of some Prince of this description,

and might have recommended him with several

of his chief nobility, or probably, his Queen, to

journey to England, and to

The Countess

Castle.

around her ; and they opinion.

told

all

was agreed

It

make a

visit his motlier at

Tiverton

what she thought

to

those

fancied she must be right in her to give the stranger a very

hand-

some and ceremonious reception. The grand little lady gave her hand to the chamberlain of the castle, who bent down to accommodate his height to hers, as he handed her from her car. All the pages and gentlemen present followed his example in paying their respects to the maids of also

shewed the most

honour

;

and many of the household

civil attention to the

mounted knights

and their diminutive horses.

At

new comers

The grand lady

entered the hall.

length the whole of the directed the

master of the salt-box to slop the band, as she was about to

make a The

speech, and to salute the Countess of Devon.

ceived the

little

fair stranger,

and ventured *'

by her seven daughters, redais. She bade the who came about as high as her knee, welcome

Countess^ surrounded

The

lady standing on the

to ask her

name and her

but with a very sweet smile, lest

country.

Princess Picket," she replied, with great dignity; as if to reassure the Countess,

the announcement of the very high rank of her guest

should be too

much

for her.

The

princess

was then con-

ducted to the foot-stool that stood before the chair of

state,

which was too high for her to reach, and seated upon the stool: the maids of honour stood around her, in respectful observance of her pleasure.


;

THE SEVEN CROSSES OF TIVERTON. The Countess,

after

many

civilities,

requested

79

tlie

Princess

which she did not refuse. A nice Httle table was brought in, and many dainties placed upon it. The Princess Pickett and her ladies pulled and and her party

to take refresliment,

picked a few pieces with their fingers; but seemed to like

nothing so well that they

young

kittens,

as

a jimket that

with

to

fell

was produced

their might, lapped the

all

;

and on

cream

like

and soon emptied the dish and called

for

another.

The

little

gentlemen of the Princess'

and

at the long board in the hall;

serving them, for they were not

they were

set

upon the

tall

enough

They

table.

were regaled

suite

as the readiest

fell

way

to touch

of it,

to very heartily

on the good cheer, and did not spare the wines.

Some,

indeed, so far forgot themselves, as to take rather too

much

and more than one had

a

excited peals of laughter

among

who was very

cess,

dignified,

like riot in her attendants

that night, and

tumble on the

;

which only But the Prin-

floor,

his fellows.

would not sanction anything

and saying she had

far to travel

must be gone, directed her people

to prepare

for her departure.

She then rose and very politely complimented the Countess on her fair

hospitality,

daughters.

of hers, and was

knew

and on the grace and beauty of her seven

The Countess

much

said plainly, they

were none

astonished to find that the Princess

perfectly well their history,

more

especially

when

she

added, she was aware the lady of the castle on that day celebrated the anniversary of her son's

being also the day of her having,

birth

;

the same

fifteen years before,

done


;

A PEEP AT THE PIXIES.

80

good a deed

SO

be

as tlie

saving of

tlie

poor babes might truly

Before her departure, she wished to give to

called.

each young lady some token of her regard

and a word of She waved her hand to them gracefully and the girls instantly threw themselves at her feet and declared their readiness to obey her commands. ;

good advice.

;

She bade them

Princess Pickett was satisfied.

arise

;

and

speaking apart to her maids of honour, they also prepared to fulfil her orders.

hand of her

The

took her station on the right-

first

mistress, as she

beckoned

to

one of the

sisters

to approach her.

The

Patience stepped forward.

Princess then took from

the hands of her attendant a beautiful curly ears, and presenting

it

little

dog with long

to Patience, said

" Fidele take —his watchful ear

Will ne'er be closed when danger's near."

She next ordered Katharine

to

come

to her;

and

takinsr

something from another of her ladies in waiting, presented to this sister a small beautifully-carved ivory

hand, the fingers

of which were rather bent towards the thumb. cess

The

Prin-

spoke "

With

Doubt not your way by day or night This ivory hand wiU guide you right."

exactly the same ceremonies, to each of the five

remaining

she

sisters

phial, with these

presented a

" Take, then, this wine

To bind

To Mabel

gift.

To

Margaret, a

words

she

;

it

hath a power

in sleep for one whole hova\"

gave

a

beautiful

little

bird

of the


THE SEVEN CROSSES OF TIVERTON.

81

It was in a Mabel could not help expressing her admiration of the gift in a few words of

dove

class,

but scarcely larger than a wren.

pretty cage with

thankful delight. its

golden wires.

The

Princess, as she put the cage with

feathered tenant into her hand, said "Safely and swiftly through the air

This faithful bird will letter bear."

Alice came next at her desire.

The

Princess gave her

a very plain key, suspended on a ring of gold, with these

words

:

"Through every door

this little

key

Will give escape or entrance free."

To

Isabel she presented

simple

gift, a little

better than a bundle of

gether.

much

The

Isabel

what was apparently a very

parcel of dried herbs that looked no

common dead

Princess smiled as if

was disappointed

but she said as she smiled "The

deadliest

leaves, tied

amused

up

to-

at seeing

how

poor a

gift;

at receiving so

:

wound

of sharpest steel,

Sword, spear, or shaft, this herb

will heal."

Ursula next advanced blushing, and in such a tremor she could hardly stand in so august a presence. cess graciously reassured her,

The

Prin-

and with much condescension

gave her a small but elegantly formed lute with these words

:

"A lute can charm the bosom rude, When passion 's in its fiercest mood."

As if inspired by some powerful last gift. which encompassed them, and was quite irresistible,

This was the spell

G


A PEEP AT THE

82 the seven

sisters fell at tlie

vowed

tlie

in

name of

to dedicate to her at

and and

saints to

whom

feet,

and

tliey prayed,

any time in which she might need had received.

Princess Picket was well pleased with their modest

and took her leave both of them

dutiful behaviour, all

Countess of Devon's

all tlie

their services, the gifts they

The

PIXIES.

present with her accustomed dignity.

and commanded her band

into her car,

She mounted

to give a parting

token of respect to the Countess, by playing one of their

most impressive airs. The Jews' harp, the marrow-bones and cleavers, and the other instruments, led by the salt-box. struck up " Polly put the kettle on," which tune probably not even Sir Henry Bishop himself, with

knowledge date, as to

of music,

is

aware

to

be

all his

of

profound

such ancient

have been performed in such a presence, and by

such a distinguished

set

of musicians as those described

in this veritable history. It

of

was soon

after this eventful day, that the

Devon began

to experience

her old enemy, the Baron La Zouch. lawyers, who, in the

commence

first

good Countess

anew the wicked

instance

designs of

Deserted by the

had urged him on to

the law-suit, in the hope of gaining the lands, he

determined to have no more to do with such deceivers. said they took his

money and

left

him and

He

his cause just as

was before he had anything to do with them. Now the Baron La Zouch was a bold man and very fond of fighting, and so he called his archers and all his merry men about him, and told them that if they would follow him and storm the castle of Tiverton, that was his by right, and if it


THE SEVEN CROSSES OF TIVERTOX. tliey beat tlie

in

it

men

Countess of Devon's

83

at arms,

who were

her guards, he would allow them as soon as they

as

got possession to share the gold and silver cups and spoons

among them, and to all

open the

to

cellars

and help themselves

the wines and strong ale they could find in them.

The Baron's men were very for like their master, they

well pleased with the projjosal,

were no better than thieves: and

so they set forward to the storming of Tiverton castle. I will not detain you,

of

all

my young

the particulars of the siege.

one whilst

it

friends,

with a relation

It Avas a

very stirring

So many men were collected in the

lasted.

surrounding woods, that there was scarcely a branch of a tree,

but a nodding plume, or a helmet, or the glitter of a

steel

cap was seen under

made by

in the effort

it.

There was a

fierce

contest

the besiegers to storm the outward

and to gain access to the castle by crossing the moat or ditch by which it was surrounded. When that was gained by the enemy, there was such a blowing of bugles and sounding of trumpets, and whizzing of arrows, and twanging of crossbows; such a rolling down of stones barriers

and hot pitch from the battlements of the besiegers,

castle on the and such a shouting and a calling and a banging

with swords and axes about each other's heads

;

and such a

clashing of shields, that never was anything like

men began

to kill

in battles or in tournaments.

beaten back

:

it

since

each other for gain, or for amusement,

many

But

at last the besiegers

were

Baron La give over the contest and draw off

lost their lives

;

so that the

Zouch was obliged to men, leaving the Countess of Devon, who had sustained

his


A PEEP AT THE PIXIES.

84 very

little loss,

silver

in full possession of her castle, lier gold

cups and spoons, and

all lier

wine and

and

ale.

Thus defeated in law and in arms, the Baron La Zouch was nevertheless determined not to give over annoying the Covmtess; and thinking that as her son was absent over seas, if

he could but get rid of such a spirited woman, he

should soon possess himself of the

have recourse offered

to

among

La Zouch was

Countess.

So wicked was he, that he

treachery.

by any

either openly or

into execution

he determined to

own people a reward in who would kill the Countess,

the worst of his

gold to any one of them

plans incautious

castle,

secret

a violent ;

means he could

man, but even

so that the plots

against her

life

in his

devise.

own wicked

he was desirous to carry reached the ears of the

All her seven daughters became very watchful

and anxious about her; indeed,

so did her

household and

people generally, for she was a very good mistress over

Every precaution was taken for safety; the drawbridge that crossed the moat was raised every evening before dark, and no one suffered to pass over or to enter into the castle without the warder knowing who he was. One night when the weather was very warm, the Countess, before retiring to bed, opened a window in the room where she slept, which was much larger than castle-win-

them

all.

dows of the time usually were, but she was very fond of air, and so she had it altered to suit her own

plenty of fresh fancy.

in a

She enquired of her attendant,

room adjoining her

little

if a

page

who

slept

oratory was at his post, as,

ever since these alarms about the Baron, he was so stationed


THE SEVEN CROSSES OF as her

hand

guard

for tlie night.

On

85

TIVEETOTST.

being informed he was

in case of need, she dismissed her waiting damsel,

at

and

retired to rest.

About midnight, the Countess was awakened by a strange The raoon shone brightly, for

sound without the window. it

was

at the full,

flood of light,

and streamed into the apartment in a

when

like a child in form,

she fancied she saw a small creature

but not so high

as her

hand, pulling

dog which the Princess Picket had given to Patience, and which^ by that alFectionate girFs wish, the Countess had taken to sleep in her bed-chamber ever since she had been frightened about the Baron. She now looked and wondered^ and fancied that she must be the ears of the

dreaming.

little

The dog growled on having

his ears

pulled,

but did not raise up his nose, which was turned towards his

hind

legs, as

he lay in a manner rolled up on the rushes

near the bed-side. self if she

But before the lady could

window, and, on looking up, saw,

man room.

squeezing himself through

The moon gleamed

he carried in

at the

to her astonishment, a

it,

and getting into her

partially

upon him, and showed

that he wore a steel casque or cap

At

satisfy her-

were waking or sleeping, she heard a noise

:

something glittered that

his hand.

moment, before the Countess could spring from her bed, the dog roused up, and barked so furiously, that the man, who had cleared the window and leaped down on the floor, first made at the dog with the intent to silence it. But though he struck at it again and again, the little creature ran round and round and round him in so quick a that


A PEEP AT THE

86 manner, that

lie

away from

for the

it,

PIXIES.

could neither strike

another, hindering every attempt he foot to reach the Countess.

before did so insignificant a a ruffian bent

it,

nimble animal flew

at

made

He was little

nor

kill

one

to

it,

leg,

nor get

now

at

put forward a

amazed, for never

dog become a match

for

on murder.

In the interval, the Countess leaped from her bed, and

rushing towards that side of the room where her zealous little

guard

still

fought so bravely for her defence,

slipped under the arras or tapestry that walls,

opened a secret door which

it

hung

she

loose over the

concealed,

and in

moment called up the page. She told him he was too young and too slight to encounter the armed man, but bade him run and soimd the alarm-bell that was near her another

chamber, and do

all he could to rouse the castle, and call up the guard, who, night and day, were on the watch at the

castle gates.

She was obeyed; and the ruffian, at the very instant the dog was beginning to weary of his contest with him, was taken prisoner. The Countess spared his life, though he deserved to lose it; but she caused him to be chained and put into a dungeon of the castle. There the priest obtained from him a confession he was one of the Baron La Zouch's :

people.

On

the previous evening he had contrived to de-

ceive the porter, and to pass unsuspected,

when several of wood for fires

the countrymen were bringing great loads of into the castle.

The

villain

had concealed himself in some

bushes that grew under one of the outer walls; and knowing

all

about the

castle,

and where the Countess

slept,

with


THE SEVEN CROSSES OF TIVERTON.

87

the assistance of a scaling-ladder he had got in at lior bedroom window, when all her household was at rest. He acknowledged that the little do^^ had been the means of

saving her

life.

this, all the bushes which had anywhere grown under the walls were cut down; and the people of the castle became more than ever watchful. At

In consequence of

length the Countess was

much

relieved by hearing that the Zouch was absent from the country, and had taken with him all his men, except a few that he left to guard his own castle which was far distant from hers. She now thought herself safe for a time; and as she had been very

Baron

much

la

A ride

it

walls, she

in the forest

sulting with the priest

gave

own

confined within her

fresh air.

began to wish

was proposed.

for

After con-

and the captain of the guard, they

as their opinion that the safest

way would be

for the

Countess and one of her daughters to dress themselves very plainly, like their waiting damsels;

without any attendance, as

household going on their market;

and

so to

go out together

they were merely two of the

if

own

affairs to

the neighbouring

whereas did so great a lady go forth with her

accustomed be devised

state it

might

attract notice,

and some new plan

for her injury.

According to

this advice,

the Countess and Katherine,

each mounted on a pretty and swift pacing pony, wrapped

around her a plain grey cloak with a hood, and having as

They soon reached

plain a foot cloth, set out for an airing.

the forest.

When

the Countess

entrance of the wood, where so

came

many

to the spot at the

years before she

met


88

A PEEP AT THE PIXIES.

Randolph with

liis

basket of live children, she told Ka-

therine that was the place where herself and her sisters had

been saved from a cruel

fate.

at the affecting narrative,

and

The yoving lady shed tears pausing a few moments

after

to express her sense of thankfulness,

and her determination

to serve her benefactress at the risk of

life

itself,

they con-

tinued for some time their ride under the boughs of the

Kow

trees.

and then a deer bounded across

their path, in

way to join the herd to which he belonged, or to go down to the river's side and slake his thirst from the stream

his

that ran as clear as a mirror, reflecting in

the woods and the sky,

so that

it

its

dark surface

looked almost like a

Pixy world seen beneath the waters. The birds were singing merrily, and hopping about the grass, or flying from

bough

At forest,

to bough, as joyous as birds could be.

length, on advancing

Katherine,

more towards the depths of the

who had very

quick eyes and observed

every thing, suddenly drew up her pony by the side of the Countess, and said to her in a hurried manner, " Dear lady,

what

shall

we do?

It is neither safe to

continue on this

road, nor to turn back, for I have looked well about

me

before I would speak to you, because I would speak with certainty.

every

Steel caps

and shining armour and arms glanced

now and then through

passed, to the right of us. glittering at this

direction

we

know

from something that

moment yonder, under

we

I see

the trees in the

am certain there are men What shall we do?"

are going, I

in that quarter also.

" I

the boughs of the trees as

And

concealed

not," said the Countess, giving herself

up

for


THE SEVEN CROSSES OF TIVERTON. " I

lost,

know

not;

we

taken or killed

shall surely be

some of the followers of that wicked Baron

Where can we

89

la

by-

Zouch.

turn for safety?"

Katherine looked for a few minutes greatly distressed;

but

all

at once, as if a

sudden thought struck her, she

stopped; her countenance brightened up; and

still

holding

hand, she passed the other under her cloak, and exclaiming, " I remember now, we are safe," the rein in her

left

immediately drew forth the

ivory hand that had been

little

presented to her by the Princess Pickett.

calmness she held

it

up, and shewed

it to

With

perfect

the Countess.

Instantly on doing so, the fore-finger of the delicately

carved

little

hand moved, and pointed

to an obscure path

(scarcely visible to a casual observer) that led under

some

large overhanging oaks, to an unfrequented part of the

The Countess, who at once saw and understood the bowed her head in token of assent to it; and turning her pony in the direction to which the hand pointed, the forest.

sign,

creature set off with a speed that was astonishing; and yet so easy

was the motion, that the Countess seemed to ride on

the winds rather than on the earth. like

manner.

who had

So

little

known was

ridden in that forest for

before seen

Katherine followed in

this path, that the ladies

many

years had never

it.

They came

at length to

the ponies stopped of their

a very pretty spot;

own

accord.

and there

The woods

still

continued thick above their heads with crossing boughs;

some broken rocks lay immediately before them, over which dashed with a pleasing sound a cool and sparkling fall of


A PEEP AT THE

90 water, not

lofty

PIXIES.

A

but very beautiful.

small bermitage

stood near tbe rocks, low-built, of wood, and covered witb

On a moss-grown man in a grey gown.

a thatcb composed of green bougbs. stone, near the entrance, sat

an aged

His beard hung down upon his breast; his years, his his beard altogether looked venerable.

proach, there was something

in

Yet on

dress,

a near ap-

which

his countenance

seemed to speak a man whose character had not always been that of an humble and meek recluse. There were strong about the brows, which were naturally knit, and pre-

lines

sented no

very pleasing

expression;

mouth

whilst the

retained the traces of passions once strong, and even

not wholly subdued. felt, as all

Still

good people

he was

old,

now

and the Countess and

do, the highest respect for age ;

as the hermit rose to receive her

and help her

off the

pony

she begged his blessing.

The Countess trust so

holy a

told

him her

man with

story frankly, not fearing to

the knowledge of the truth.

He

heard her with attention, invited both the ladies into his

and offered them his brown loaf and a cup of water

cell,

from the spring, such being lay before them.

ceed

;

He

all

the refreshment he had to

then counselled them

how

to pro-

moon when he would conduct them back to the path through the wood, known to so few that

advised to wait in his cell

till

such time as the

should be risen, castle

by a

he considered there could be no danger in following

As

it.

soon as they reached the outskirts, he would go forward

and give notice to the castle of the approach of its lady; and a guard of her own people might then come forth and


THE SEVEN CROSSES OF TIVERTON. conduct

lier

in safety

through the more known and

stantly consented, but

in-

Katherine gave her a look, which

once understood.

-at

fre-

The Countess would have

quented part of the way.

she

91

The young lady

then, without

saying a word to the hermit, consulted again the ivory

hand, and, finding she

felt

it

pointed to where he proposed to go,

All was soon arranged

satisfied.

agreed to adopt the plan without should be risen.

and

It

so the Countess

succeeded as well as

and

;

it

soon as the

fear, as

it

was

moon

could be wished;

was saved that night from danger.

But it soon appeared that the malice of her cruel enemy was not less than his covetousness and that he was determined never to let the poor lady rest till he had gained His leaving the neighbourhood possession of her castle. and it sucwas only a pretence, to put her off her guard Her cousin, Sir William Courtenay, ceeded but too well. a very brave knight, who had helped to defend her most ;

;

valiantly during

that

lowers, to a castle of his

No

far

own

off",

had

retired, with his fol-

near Tregony, in Cornwall.

sooner was this known, than the Baron

with three times as it,

consequence of believing

the siege, in

La Zouch was now

many men

as

La Zouch,

he before brought against

marched suddenly upon Tiverton, surprised the guard

of the outer works, and, before the draw-bridge could be raised,

he and his

soldiers passed over

men-at-arms did their best to defend the short contest,

and her seven

it

was compelled

fair

to yield,

daughters, and

completely at his mercy.

all

;

and though the

castle, after a

very

and the Countess

who were

in

it,

were


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; A PEEP AT THE

92

PIXIES.

Immediately on becoming master of the place, busied himself with securing his prize content to set

men

nor any one of

chamber.

He

watch

to

;

seven,

tlie

;

tlie

Baron

and that night was

so that neither the Countess,

go forth from their

could

sent a message, that he

would

see her

some

time on the following day.

To describe the state of her distress would be impossible. She wrung her hands, she tore her hair, she paced her apartment in a state almost bordering on distraction, to find herself, and all she most loved on earth, prisoners to She turned

so cruel a foe.

much

to the

weeping

sisters,

on their account, lest, in his Baron should put them to death, as he was said malignant and revengeful.

she entertained

As said,

fury,

the

to be

very

the Countess thus poured out her griefs to them, she

"

I care

patience.

you

not so

to ask their advice, as to express the dreadful fears

not for myself,

But when

I

I

could bear

my

think of you,

my

fate

are to me, I wish the most impossible things on

account, so that I could but see

had wings,

you

with

children, for such

safe.

like the birds in the air, to fly

I

your

wish that you

away from

these

towers, and seek shelter afar off in some place of security."

'^0

" Wings, to fly like the birds !" exclaimed Mabel. dearest

madam,

there

wings may serve us

is

one bird in

so well as to

do

the bird in the golden-wired cage

!

all

my

keeping, whose

you wish.

The

Who among us

bird,

has for-

gotten the words of that grand lady, the Princess Picket '

This bird, I give, will bear a letter

Wherever bid â&#x20AC;&#x201D; can bird do

better?'

?


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; THE SEVEN CROSSES OF TIVERTON. Dear madam, sion to

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

it

me

let

;

93

venture to be counsellor on

occa-

tliis

one of great danger, and we must do our best

is

combat

Do you

it.

instantly write

a letter

gallant cousin, Sir William Courtenay.

how you

has happened, and

Tell

are situated

;

your

to

him

all

that

and beg him to

in

coming

himself, with his brave men-at-arms,

to your relief

I will

venture to say, that he will soon

lose

no time

drive this usurping tyrant out of your castle."

The Coimtess of Devon thought good that she wrote the

letter

:

and with a silken neck. all

her

not a

lost

moment

the advice of ]\Iabel so in acting

string, she tied the

paper round

The window was then opened; and fair train

feathered

upon

the pretty bird was taken from

set

nounced these words,

off

on

his

as she let fly

errand.

her

its

She cage glossy

the Countess and

of daughters, crowded around

messenger

it.

its

it

to see the

Mabel pro-

little favorite:

"Fly, pretty bird, and through the air

To Courtenay

The

swift

my

letter bear."

bird with a cheerful note, as

outstretched

its

if in assent to

wings, and in another instant

her desire,

commenced

But though he was gone, the anxiety of the Countess had not flown away She remembered however swiftly the bird with him.

his flight towards the county of Cornwall.

might

fly,

it

was

far

to

Tregony, and that Sir William

Courtenay and his men could not come so as the letter could speed to

happen

him

to ask

it;

fast to

her

relief,

and what mio-ht

in the interval, she feared even to think upon.

when on the next La Zouch entered her chamber, where

Greatly were those fears increased,

evening, the Baron


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; A PEEP AT THE

94

she was sitting surrounded in tears

and drooping

by

lier

PIXIES. seven

like the lilies

fair daugliters

when

the drops of

now dew

on their heads. The Baron appeared calm and stately, which rather surprised his prisoners. He shewed some courtesy in his manner towarda the Countess, and begged are

her to favour him by hearing patiently what he had to say.

He

then drew from under his cloak a piece of written

parchment.

man

The

Countess^

who wished

not to irritate a

whose power she was so completely placed, suppressed her emotions, and as patiently as she could prepared in

to listen to him.

"

You must

He

thus proceeded

be aware. Countess of Devon, that you and

these fair gentlewomen, and in

my

:

all

in this castle, are so entirely

power, that, with a word,

and them to the lowest dungeon,

I

could consign both you

or,

even worse, to instant

death."

" I need not to be reminded,'^ replied the Countess with dignity, " that I

am the conquered, and you the conqueror. But it more becomes you as a man, as a knight, as a gentleman, to shew mercy to me and mine^ than it becomes me to ask

it."

"True, haughty lady," he said, "but mercy is usually However, that you may see my asked before it is granted. disposition towards

obedience,

come

you

is

generous,

to propose terms;

as are just to myself, yet are

they

I,

who

could enforce

and though only such full of mercy to you

and yours.

The Countess cheered up a little at hearing this. With what feelings then of indignation did she listen to what


THE SEVEN CROSSES OF TIVERTON, followed

To terms

!

tlie

95

most hard and unjust, and (no

longer treated with courtesy) to which she was rather commanded than solicited to accede, in these words, " Sign this," as the

Baron La Zouch spread the written parchment

before her on the table, placed the ink-horn

by

its side,

with his rough and gauntleted hand her slender

seized

and put into them a pen, and with

fingers,

his rude grasp

endeavoured to make her write her name. But she stoutly resisted, saying, " What is it you would have me sign?" *'

The

resignation of this castle and

me, the rightful owner; a resignation

now *'

its

its

dependencies to

for ever;

am

I not

master?"

I will

never sign

it," said

" I will never

the Countess.

my son, now absent, so great a wrong, though by his own generous act, he has made the castle mine. He gave do

it,

and

to him, as its rightful lord, shall

death.

I will

"

You

"

I

return at

my

refuse to do so

then?" said the Baron.

do and firmly," replied the Countess.

Your

fate

then

is

no tales,

let

what

this castle.

will be acted in

have they heard, but

La Zouch. " You Madam, they will tell

sealed," exclaimed

have deep dungeons in

I will

it

not sign the paper."

them.

may be not the

last.

Many a

death-groan

Obdurate woman,

myself see you safely lodged, where your body, like

your pride, may find

With

itself

brought low before the morning.

the utmost fury he sprang

a wild animal springs upon

its

upon the Countess,

helpless prey.

With

as

his

iron grasp he held both her wrists in his hands, and com-

menced dragging her

across the

room towards the

door^ as


A PEEP AT THE

96 the

sisters

vainly endeavoured

by

PIXIES.

and

their prayers

tears to

intercede for their benefactress.

At

that

moment sounds

of the sweetest music came from

a remote part of the large chamber, with such a gush of

Baron stopped, and seemed

sweetness, that the

as if sud-

denly fixed like a statue to the spot where he stood. held the Countess by her hands

still

before

him

;

his

along the floor

Gradually, as sound succeeded sound, as

no more violence. still

morning

He

she was on her knees

body was bent in the act of drawing her after him. So he remained, but there was

note after note dropped on his ear,

but

;

now high and

piercing,

sweet, like those of the lark as she ascends in the air

above the clouds, or

as a

volume of harmony

Though

rolled through the apartment, he relaxed his hold.

the Countess was free from his grasp, his hands continued in a position as if he pale.

Then

still

Now

held her.

was he red

;

now

Avould he tremble as if every nerve vibrated to

the " concord of sweet sounds."

Scarcely did he draw his

breath, for fear of breaking the

spell

At

was so entranced.

by which

length his head drooped

;

seemed to overpower him, he staggered and

his

soul

a faintness fell

upon a

couch that stood near.

On

seeing this,

ear of her sister

with for

it

Mabel approached and whispered in the drink, give him drink; and

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; " Drink,

give the sleeping potion.

one whole hour.

Lose no time;

hear the approach of horsemen.

He

will then slumber

for,

sister, sister, I

Look out

!

See

who

comes."

" I see them

!

I see

them

!"

exclaimed Margaret, as she


!

THE SEVEN CROSSES OP TIVERTON.

their banner

on

is

But

!

A

"

rushed to the window.

noble troop

that of Courtenay.

they are but a small band

gain this castle by force of arms, and

Not

*'

Mabel

so," said

he

is

She

Give him

a very child.

Without the

''

softly.

the spell of Ursula's lute.

still

of horsemen;

how he

See

;

97

!''

we

are lost

he

See,

touches

the drink, and

is

its

under

still

and

chords,

all is safe."

of another moment, Margaret

loss

them

leads

they can never

who had

the potion given her by the Princess Pickett, flew to a beaufet that was in the room, poui'ed out a cup of wine,

and mingled with

it

The Baron,

the sleeping potion.

faint

from the power of the music, which had so completely over-

whelmed

his

took

soul^

cup from her hand, and at

tlie

once drank off the contents.

In a few minutes the force

of the drug became evident ; he was

locked in the arms

fast

of sleep.

" This will

last

but one hour," said the Countess. "

must now be done? are

still

but as caged birds."

" But here Alice.

is

that

" The key

!

which

shall give us liberty," said sister

the key

" Througli every door this httle "Will give

" But we must wait escape unobserved."

You

key

escape or entrance free.

the watch

till

near the postern gate, for that

"

What we

All the doors are locked upon us;

,

,

is

is

withdrawn from

the only

way we may

^

are right," said the Countess.

"

And

the subter-

raneous passage, which runs under the moat,

is

wholly

unknown

is

entered

to the

Baron or

his

men. That passage

H


A PEEP AT THE

98

a secret door, whicli covers

:by

descend to tlie

near

it,

secret.

]\Iy

tlie

We

guide.

son taught

it

to

steps

by

wliicli

you

know well the way and me when he made me and

all,

must take a lamp with See

I will

us, for

how

no

the

be your light can

moon

rises

and tips with her silver beams the tops of the

hills,

In half an hour

forest trees.

I

know

I

enter that subterranean vault.

over the

tlie

postern.

mistress of this castle.

PIXIES.

all

the castle will be

still,

and

then for our escape."

Nothing impeded it. The key which the Princess Pickett had given to the sister, with the power to open all locks, gave the Countess and her seven adopted children a free .access to every gallery and winding stair to the walls of And in like manner the postern, without let or danger. they entered and passed the subterranean passage without risk.

But

as

they issued from

it

on the opposite side of the

moat, the watch stationed on the battlements of the castle saw figures, which he could not very well distinguish; he

knew

not

if

they were

men

the instant passed over the

dark or obscure;

being as reckless as the Baron, his

so,

master, and not heeding

arrow

The in the

at the persons shaft,

bosom

or women, for a cloud at moon and rendered every object

who might be

he observed in the

though aimed ;

at

struck, he let fly

an

distance.

random, struck the Countess

she gave a piercing shriek, and

fell.

The

had not forgotten the virtue seemed, the time it was presented, a poor and at â&#x20AC;˘of what mean gift the dried, and apparently withered, herbs. She immediately took the little parcel from under her sisters

flew to her aid.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

Isabel


THE SEVEN CKOSSES OF TIVERTON. cloak, niglit,

99

where slie had purposely secured it on the previous ran and moistened a sprig in the waters of a spring

that was near the spot, and, in another minute, applied to the

her

wound

it

of the Countess, which she bound up with

That noble-minded lady no longer felt pain or and, accompanied by her seven fair

scarf.

weakness of any kind

;

daughters, hastened to join Sir William Courtenay and his

band.

She

at

once put him in possession of the secret

respecting the subterranean entrance into the castle, gave

him

the key that opened

lose not a

moment

all

bade him despatch, and

locks,

in securing the

means thus

rest.

For

herself,

she intimated

her intention

at

to take

hand on the borders of the

shelter in a convent close at forest,

to surprise

men were

the castle, whilst the guilty Baron and his

the abbess of which was her particular friend, and

she had been a benefactress to her and to the nuns.

succeeded to her wish.

She and the young

All

were

ladies

soon housed for the night in safety, whilst Sir William

Courtenay gathered around him his brave men-at-arms, and, in less than an hour, surprised the castle, and

Baron, and

prisoners of the bold

wicked

all

his

made

followers

and

friends.

The next day

Sir

William went

to

the

convent, to

bring back the Countess and her adopted children once more in peace to her own home. Whilst on their road, near the outskirts of the

forest,

approaching to meet them.

by

four milk-white horses,

knights, esquires, and pages

they saw a goodly company

First appeared a car,

drawn

and well attended by

ladies,

;

but

all

of very small stature,


;

A PEEP AT THE

loo

PIXIES.

except one individual, an elderly female, of of ordinary mortals; and an elderly man^

by

tlie

usual lieiglit

still taller,

walked

lier side. tliat tlie bright and jewelled was no other than her old acquaint-

The Countess soon perceived lady, seated in the car,

ance, the Princess Pickett.

She and

at the very spot where, so

many

children had been found in the basket

Devon, and saved by her, with the hound, from a watery grave

grown very

old,

now

;

her train stopped

all

years before, the seven

by the Countess of

assistance of her blood-

the noble animal, though

again sprang to her side

;

for

he

never forsook his mistress.

The

The

car stopped.

Princess, sparkling

and

glittering

with splendour, rose from her seat, and thus addressed the seven sisters, who came forward to give her a thankful greeting for the precious gifts she had bestowed on their last

meeting "

Ye Ye

:

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

Seven, shall

who thus have done your

them

at

duty,

have wisdom, wealth, and beauty.

And, to increase your joy the more, I your own mother here restore And, in this aged hermit, find Your Father, penitent and kind."

So saying, the Pixy Princess, with great delight, led forward, in the one hand, Bridget, and, in the other,

Kandolph Kowle, who was no other than the aged hermit the Countess had seen in the forest on a former occasion,

when he had

served her so well.

wicked, but

now

so penitent,

That Randolph, once

had, for

many

so

years past,


THE SEVEN CROSSES OF TIVERTON. "been

tlie

sorrowing

had sought

recluse

to hide his o;uilt

of those

and

his

101

woods, where he shame from all the

"world.

The seven daughters now gathered round

their long lost

mother, kissed and embraced her in the fondest manner;

and

falling

on their knees before their

remounted her

car,

waved her hand

and, followed by her train, in a

seemed

to

father,

some tremour of the nerves.

blessing with

in

moment

begged

his

The Pixy then

token of farewell,

She

disappeared.

be enveloped in a mist that suddenly surrounded

the spot where she bade the last adieu.

The

father of the seven children

hermitage, there to end his days.

much

affected

by

to think that she lives so

many

tlieir

withdrew again

to his

The Countess of Devon,

re-union with their mother^ rejoiced

had been the means of preserving

their

years before.

In memory, therefore, of that event she gave a large yearly donation to the poor; and with true thankfulness

caused Seven Crosses to be erected on the spot, where the

seven babes had been saved from a cruel death.

hundred years ago, they were tion of

all travellers, as

But

know

I

not if

still

to

be seen

they listened to

now

this

to the

About

a

admira-

wonderful

tale.

there could be found even one

remaining of the

Seven Crosses of Tiverton.


FONTINA; OR,

THE

pixies' BATH.

Part

During kinof

tlie

I.

latter part of tlie turbulent reign

of Enojland, Sir Roofer de Stevenson

guardian, appointed by tbat sovereign, of

tlie

the orphan heir of the honourable

de Batli,

of John,

became the young Henry house of

Bathon, or Bath; whose was Bath Hall, in the parish of North Tawton, Devonshire. On the estate, and within sight of the mansion, was a large principal residence, at that time,

circular pool, not very deep, but of such exceedingly pure

water, issuing from

some spring in the

earth, that

it

was

considered to possess a coolness, freshness, and an invigorating quality unequalled even in that county where rocky rivers, streams,

and wells of every description are found in

It was said to be favoured and protected according to tradition and the current who, by opinion, delighted to sport on its margin, to sail on its tiny waves by moonlight (for Pixies are great lovers of moon-

such abundance. the Pixies;

shine),

and above

Whether did so; and

all

to

make

it

Pixies delighted in

when the

their bath. it

or not, the poor certainly

labourers were toiling in the fields

during the harvest either for hay or corn, and got heated under a scorching sun, they would gladly come and slake their thirst at the Pixies' bath.

very poor,

an alms

who lived

The

old, the feeble, or the

principally, if not entirely,

at the doors of the monasteries,

would hasten on their way,

when within

by begging

and of the

rich,

a mile of the spot,


THE PIXIES 3BATH

Page

13ij


fontina; or, the pixies' bath.

and to beg a morsel or a

to drink of these cool waters;

small piece of

dwelt hard by.

money

103

door of the noble family

at the

who

In order to accommodate these poor people

an iron cup, secured by a chain, had been fixed to a stone seat on the margin of the bath; and this little act of charity had often brought a blessing from the lips of the weary and the traveller, on the kind hand that had bestowed it, as they drew a refreshing draught from the spring. During the minority of Henry de Bath, his guardian Sir Eoger de Stevenson was proud, lived with him.

covetous, churlish.

He

liked not to have his purse

upon, nor his pride and grandeur disturbed by the tions or the presence of the lame, the old

drawn

solicita-

and the ragged.

AVith great cruelty, therefore, did he order the iron cup to

be removed, thinking by so doing obtaining water from the pool.

to

hinder poor folk from

But, strange to say, though

was twice done, the cup was found, each time, restored former place the next morning. Sir Roger was very angry, and though the servants, one and all, protested that this

to

its

they had nothing to do with

he employed one or two of

remove the cup, and took it

it,

yet he would insist

and deed in opposition

their act

it

his

to his will.

it

was

Accordingly

own sturdy followers to own possession, locked

into his

up in his strong oak chest, and put the key in his pocket. But what was his surprise, when on the next morning

he found not the cup, but his own iron basinet (a cap worn under a helmet) chained to the stone, and saw a ragged leper very quietly using it to help himself with water from the pool

!

Sir

Roger now raged indeed

!

His own basinet


A PEEP AT THE

104

made (as

PIXIES.

the drinking cup of a filthy, beggarly, worthless leper

he called the poor diseased man, who was taking a

draught to slake his

thirst), it

was past bearing

!

He

im-

mediately called his hounds about him, went to the pool himselfj hissed

and clapped

his hands, set the

the suffering wretch, and drove

The

off the premises.

dogs upon

dreadfully frightened

basinet was removed, and scrubbed

and scoured and cleaned,

who had

him

as if

it

had been touched by

the plague as well as the leprosy.

a

man

This time

neither the cup nor the cap were again found at the side

of the bath.

But though the affair of the dogs was much talked of, it did not keep away the people from the grounds of young Henry, or from the seeing and the hearing of his proud Still would the laguardian. Sir Roger de Stevenson. bourer and the poor come to drink water out of the palms Still would of their own hands for the want of the cup. the children of the village follow their sports on the margin of the pool; still they delighted to swim in it their little play-thing boats; to throw the daisies they had plucked from the meadows upon its surface, and to see which way they would

float.

their evening

Still,

fires, as

of hot and spiced six inches high

said the country gossips over

so

they roasted crab apples for their jugs

ale, still

were seen

(dressed in coats

little creatures,

and cloaks that

scarcely glittered

moonbeams), skimming like swallows over the surface of the pool and this might be seen of a

and sparkled

in the

;

summer, or even of

a winter's night.

sported, these little creatures

And

were singing

whilst they so

so sweetly, that


FONTINA; OR, THE PIXIES' BATH. the gossips wlio told

tlie

tale

protested, tliat

had they heard anything

their lives

like

it

;

105

never in

all

never, neither

when the minstrels played in the hall at Christinas, nor when they went to churchy and there heard the country singers, on festival days, helped

by the

pitchpipe.

Some of the young girls who listened to all that when going of a morning to milk the cows, for the poultry, they

ful

little

had often found

and rose-buds, and

quantities of roses

flower called

Eye-hright,

floating

lilies,

this, said,

or to look

on the pool,

and that beauti-

which everybody in

Devonshire knew the Pixies were particularly

And

therefore

it

was

to

be inferred those

have been there on the previous night

;

little

for

fond

of.

beings must

who

else

would

take the trouble to dress up a pool of water alter that fashion.

But

Sir Eoger,

who was one

of those

men who

are so

morose and moody, that they are neither happy themselves, nor like to see anything approaching to harmless mirth in others, took all this in a very ill-humour.

why

He

did not see

men, women children, or Pixies, should have any enjoyment contrary to his wishes. He determined, either

with the Pixies' bath, as

therefore, to take such a course

none but a man so bold and having so much power would have dared to think of doing, he would have the bath destroyed altogether. it

might be spared,

neighbourhood had drink of

it,

In vain did his young Avard pray that as the people

so

and to admire

destruction of

it

on

his

estate

and

all

long been accustomed to see its

would be very

the

it,

to

reputed wonders, that the ill

taken the country round.


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; A PEEP AT THE PIXIES.

106

In vain did Sir Malpas,

good humoured and

tlie

parson of the parish, plead for loved

so well, that after

it

it.

Indeed

he had made very

it

was

joviat

he

said

with the

free

brown ale, at the hall, he always washed his face in, and took a refreshing draught from the pool, before he went to his own home, or ventured to scold his clerk, for taking stout

a cup too

who had

much

The

buttery hatch.

at the

been accustomed

to

wash

old nurses

babies' faces in

it,

if

they

make them grow up very fair, pleaded hard to have it left for their use. And the young women, so washed when babies, who on Midsummer eve, were

after

girls,

in

order to

performing certain rights and

the pool, looked with fear and in the

hope

on the margin of

spells

awe upon

its

husbands, they also begged very hard to have

But

it

was

dark surface,

to see reflected in it the faces of their future

all in

it

spared.

vain. Sir

Eoger was decided; the pool

was

said that the execution of his

should be destroyed.

It

purpose was hastened by the following circumstance

Returning one night to the hall when

it

:

was quite dark,

as

he passed near the water, he heard himself called after in the most contemptuous manner. These calls were accompanied by the strangest sounds, and a hissing and a clapping of hands, even as he had hissed and clapped his hands to

dogs on the poor leper. And when he shouted and asked who was it so threatened him, the most violent set the

peals of laughter

deride

him and

seemed his

to issue

wrath.

He

from the pool,

as if to

was very angry, went

instantly to the hall, procured lighted torches,

and with

about a dozen stout fellows at his heels, proceeded to survey


rONTINA; OR, THE PIXIES' BATH. the pool and

grounds about

tlie

and hear notlimg;

all

was dark,

The very next day he

set to

began the destruction of the

it,

107

but could see no one

silent,

and deserted.

work, and in good earnest

Pixies' bath.

But, for a time,

never was there such a labour undertaken in vain.

men worked and day

by

after day,

toiled

and

all to

no purpose;

for the pool,

emptied

But not

night, was always found full in the morning.

even

this,

The

and worked again and again, and

nor the shaking of heads, nor the turning up of

hands and eyes in wonder, nor the threats of the old

and the young

ones, too, that Sir

on himself and

all

women

Roger would bring

who belonged

to him, if

he

evil

persisted,

could make him change his obstinate determination. " When a pig goes the way his driver would have him," said ]\label, the

Bath, " will, to

then.

my

dear

good woman who had nursed Henry de young master's guardian will change his

go the right way instead of the wrong, but not till Eoger will be hard over our young master, John

Sir

by and bye, when he comes old enough to Fm sure they wont be those of his guardian. And I should not wonder if the Pixies dont some day drown him in their bath that he is so bold as to disturb for, take my word for it, John Butler, Sir Roger will never be able to destroy it." John the Butler agreed to the same, and said it would be a mighty pity if he could, for the water from the bath made the best ale, when put to the malt and hops, in the Butler, I fear,

like to

have his own ways; and

;

whole county.

At

last, after

trying a variety of ways to succeed in this


A PEEP AT THE

108

PIXIES.

determination, Sir Eoger was obliged to form an under-

ground channel^ and

to carry the

water that rose from the

spring in another direction, so as to

fall

ejffectual,

into a ditch that

This method proved

ran by the side of the public road.

and nothing remained near the hall but a great,

ugly, iri'egular pit, with a deep hollow in the middle.

was

said, that the

It

night before the waters were turned into

made to drain them, the most dismal cries, Everybody and groans were heard from the bath. now fell to abusing Sir Koger (behind his back) for what the channel thus shrieks,

he had done, and even he thought the very unsightly

;

so that

Again the men went ^o

many mischances

nothing

looked

it filled

up.

reluctantly to their painful toil; but

occurred while they were about

for misfortune could

One man broke

pit thus left

he determined to have

be like

his leg, another his arm.

in

it

all

it,

that

the world.

Every day, several

tumbled head over heels into the deep hollow in the middle,

and hurt themselves very much in the full. One got a broken head, another a broken nose; and although working in a place so lately filled with water, the fleas swarmed in such abundance, that the

bones with scratching.

men At

tore their very skin from their

length, driven to despair

by

such a continuation of disasters and vexations, the poor fellows,

one and

all,

begged Sir Roger not

followers to such a task; terrible

it

wrath of the Pixies.

pleased to send a band of pit,

to

put his faithful

evidently exposed them to the

men

Had to

those

little

people been

keep the workmen off the

they would not have cared for

it;

they would have

fought luan to man; but there was no fighting with Pixies;


;

FONTINA; OR THE TIXIES' BATH.

their

way was own way.

really

work no more, made

the only

to leave tliem alone

and

109

them have

let

men

Sir Koger, finding that his

own

tended to yield his

a virtue of necessity,

will to oblige

them.

could

and pre-

And

so the

was abandoned it remained, as every body said, as ugly an old hole as could well be seen, and a disgrace to be near the mansion of such a noble and ancient family as that

pit

;

of De Bath.

Unsightly and ugly Indeed was the the worst part of

it;

soon was

it

The and in in

first

Bath.

instance occurred durino; the

so dry a

many

De

places,

but that was not

member, however near or

poAver of predicting evil to every

remote, of the family of

pit;

proved to have a terrible

summer, that

without water.

month of August,

and even

wells, were,

One evening

the pit was

rivers,

observed by the household to be so dry that the earth at the sides and at the bottom was or four inches asunder.

full

of great cracks, three

The next morning

it

was

seen,

with water, but over-flowing at the brim, so as to be very inconvenient to those who passed near it on foot. not only

filled

Everybody was now startled, and feared something terriwas about to happen to Henry de Bath, or to the Should the ill luck fall on Sir Koger, in that household. case the bath would have over-flowed with joy to them all for none liked, and all feared him. Eyen the young master of the Hall began to feel uncomfortable under the arbitrary

ble

rule of his guardian.

He would

have the power

to

himself from his control, as soon as he came of age. Sir

Roger wished not

free

But

to be called too strictly to account


"

A PEEP AT THE

110 for

what

had done with the property during the mino-

lie

rity, so it

PIXIES.

kept him a httle in check towards his ward

he

;

him than with any one else but bad enough. The swollen bath now attracted was still he Many came miles to the notice of all the neighbourhood. and most went away shaking their heads, see the wonder and fearing some great calamity. was

less

tyrannical with

;

;

At

length, one afternoon, several men-at-arms were seen

riding slowly up the avenue of old trees, towards the hall.

They were covered with surcoats soiled, they

and sun-burnt

them his

dust, their

wore no

armour was dim,

visors, whilst their

faces told of foreign toil.

their

care-worn

They bore with

a torn banner, and a noble led war-horse, carrying on

back a helmet, a

All this seemed

of this

little

to

shield,

and part of a broken

lance.

The

leader

proclaim tidings of disaster.

band of

dispirited

men

stopped before the gate-

house, and asked to see the youthful master of the household.

Henry received him and the mansion

;

his guardian

his party in the great hall of

was by

his side.

" What

is

this?" said the youth; " surely, or I am much mistaken, a cross, surmounting a the device of yonder torn banner crescent

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; surely

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

it

is

the banner of

He who, though

Gilbert de Bath.

fair cousin.

Sir

so gallant, so free a spirit, to take part in that

went with

crusade set on foot by the

remember

my

not twenty years old,

truly ?

Emperor Frederick.

Say, do I

"

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

" Truly," replied the stranger " and, now, most sadly " Sadly not so, I hope," said Henry, interrupting him. ;

!


;

FONTINA; OK THE PIXIES' BATH. "

How

my

fares

fear the worst

will I

pay

;

But you

cousin Gilbert ?

a prisoner,

may

Ill

are silent.

I

gladly

be, in Palestine.

ransom, so that the turbaned infidel will but

liis

take the gold.

must have gold

Sir Koger, I

my

plenty, to pay

aye, gold in

;

him

dear cousin's ransom, and to give

back to liberty and to his country.

My

life

for

it,

he

fought bravely."

"He

did, indeed,"

bravely, and

He

fell

I

was

fought

body.

his esquire of the

He

Henry de Bath.

loved you well,

"he

replied the stranger;

bravely.

thought of you in

dying moments. As he lay outstretched and bleeding on the burning sands before the walls of Jerusalem, which

his

thrice

he had attempted

promise, that I would

to

fulfil

mount

bring to you, with this torn, but tidings of his death

the foe

;

and

that,

;

still

with his

here

;

is

no

gallant knight

it

last breath,

;

me

would

I

now

with his face to

fulfil this

melan-

and his your door

his banner, here his shield

spirit in

for

I

he sent you the

His noble war-horse stands

broken lance. but there

is

he made

That

honourable banner, the

of his having met

assurance of his undying affection.

choly duty

in vain,

his wishes.

him.

He

he no longer

is

at

no longer

fit

to bear a

raises his head, or chafes

at the sound of the trumpet." .

Young

as

he was, Henry de Bath was, nevertheless,

deeply affected at this melancholy

recital.

He

kindly and

courteously entertained the faithful esquire and his

band.

The

little

banner, the shield, and the broken lance, he

desired might be

hung up

and, before he retired to

rest,

in the neighbouring church

he sent a purse of gold to the


A PEEP AT THE

112

PIXIES.

next monastery, and directed one hundred masses to be sung

He

then retired^ un-

own chamber, and gave

himself up to that

for the repose of his cousin's soul.

attended, to his

strong and unrestrained expression of his grief, in which he

would not indulge before his people. In the morning he rose early but, early as it was, many They seemed of his household were stirring before him. ;

to be in

some commotion.

Several were in the court-yard,

talking to each other with grave looks and eager expressions

;

heads were turned,

whilst

towards the spot where, for as

many

and

fingers

pointed,

weeks, and even so lately

on the preceding evening, the Pixies' Bath had over-

flowed in so strange and mysterious a manner.

now no water

perfectly dry, with

its

the cracks and fissures

it

;

before a drop of water had risen to cover

may

It

There was

and the unsightly pit, deep hollow in the centre, and all at its sides, remained just as it was

to be seen in

it.

well be supposed what a sensation this must have

occasioned in the household at the Hall.

All

now

under-

stood what had been the object of the melancholy and fatal sign.

The waters had overflowed like the sorrow of the had foretold the death of Sir Gilbert.

survivors; their rising

No

sooner was that sad event announced to his nearest

kinsman, than the waters were buried again in the earth, even like him whose

fall

they had foretold.

Two

or three

the same thing was repeated on the death of

months after, an old abbess, of the family of De Bath, who for many years had been the lady superior of a convent of nuns, at Lanherne, in Cornwall.


FONTINA; OR, THE PIXIEs' BATH.

113

Five years more, saw young Henry of age, and

free

from

Before that time arrived (as he

the rule of his guardian.

was more given to learning than to fighting) he had gone London and turned his attention to the study of the law, which he followed with zeal and ability. Whilst he was to

so engaged.

the throne.

King John

died,

and Henry HI. succeeded

Here, then, for a while

next chapter will

treat of

we must

to

The

pause.

very different events to which

all

the foregoing were but as the prelude.

Part H.

The

youthful Henry, as

ancient as that of court of

De

it

became the head of

Henry HI., and

shortly after received the honour

of knighthood from the king's into favour; for he

was of a

nance, courteous in

a family so

Bath, on coming of age visited the

own

hand.

tall stature,

He

speedily rose

a fine open counte-

and of a noble

his manners,

and

generous disposition. This worthy and accomplished gentleman rose into such esteem with his sovereign, that, in a few years, after distinguished offices had been conferred

Henry made him one oÂŁhis justices

itinerant, or

travelled to the large country towns, tried for breaking the laws.

rapid, but well deserved

possessed, as an honest

of

God

;

His

rise

many

upon him. King judges

who

where criminals were in the world had been

and he now used the power he

and a merciful man who had the

constantly before his eyes. I

fear


A PEEP AT THE

114

PIXIES.

But unmixed good is not tlie portion of this life. The more Sir Henry became loved and honoured, so much the more was he hated bj his late and always unworthy Though free from his control, yet such was the guardian. humility of his disposition and his sense of the authority formerly vested in Sir Koger, that he continued to treat him His house was still with all possible deference and respect. open to him whenever he pleased to make Bath Hall his home. How Sir Roger could find it in his heart to hate so good a man as Sir Henry seems almost incomprehensible, did we not know that bad men always hate good men, because the latter are as a reproof to them.

though he

tried

hard

favour as his ward

for

it,

Sir

Roger,

could never win the sovereign's

had done; and he burnt with envy

towards him, and determined to watch ^n opportunity to ruin

him with the

Now whose

it

king.

happened that a follower of

so

assistance

Sir Roger,

from

he hoped much to carry on his designs

against Sir Henry, refused to do his master's bidding;

he work mischief. Seeing this, De Stevenson, in order to punish and degrade this honest servant, who had been one of his own pages, sent him down to a farm he had in Devonshire, and made him keeper of his sheep. The young man bore his degradation patiently;

would not be made the

tool to

but he had never been bred to a farming

knowing how safe,

life;

and not

to fold the sheep at night so as to

keep them

imcommon

near Dart-

the wolves, that were then not

moor, did great injury; and every night a sheep or two was .

lost

from the

fold.

This was just what Sir Roger expected.


FONTINA; OR, THE PIXIES' BATH.

He

115

pretended, however, not to believe a word abont the

wolf, but threw poor

charge

;

first,

who made Devon

;

Maurice

into prison on

that of being connected with a

their

home

in a

a

double

gang of robbers,

thick forest in the north of

and secondly, accused him of supplying them with

his master's sheep.

False witnesses were bribed to support

these unjust and wicked charges. Sir Henry de Bath was the judge appointed to the circuit which embraced the town where Maurice was left to be tried. Before setting out on his duty, he went to his own home in the country, and, whilst there, the wily and treacherous Sir Eoger came to see him. Hearing on what business the judge was going, he wanted to tell him a false tale about the man who would be tried before him for stealing sheep, and supplying them to the robbers of the north of Devon. But Sir Henry only said in reply " Did yon ever learn. Sir Roger, when a judge must be deaf, and when he must hear with both his ears every word that is said to him?"

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

" No,^' answered Sir Roger; " a judge should never be deaf."

" yes, but he must though," replied Sir Henry. "H^e must be deaf when the matter that is to come before him is spoken of out of court. But in the court he must have both his ears open, the one for the accuser,

accused;

and the other

for the

and he must hear both with impartiality and

Say no more, therefore, about your man and the sheep-stealing, for I have my deaf ears on now." Sir Roger was mightily vexed, but he could say no more. attention.


A PEEP AT THE

116

PIXIES.

" Well, Sir Henry," lie continued after a ])ause of a few minutes, " though you will not serve me in this matter, as I expected you would, yet I must serve you." " Say not so. Sir Koger," said Sir Henry; " I will serve

God and you too, for I will endeavour to do justice between you and your man, when the cause comes before me." " Well, I

am

content," replied Sir Roger.

thing in which I will serve you

is this

:

"

Now

the

the roads between

here and the town of assize to which you are journeying

You say that you set forward toare in very bad plight. morrow; you will never reach the town ere nightfall. I advise you, therefore, as there is no convenient inn nor place of rest on the way, to go to the castle which you will see towards the evening to the right of your road, and The owner will not deny hospitality there pass the night. to a gentleman of your rank, nor to your followers."

"

Who

know "

is

the owner?'' enquired Sir Henry.

" I do not

him."

He

is

you have

Simon de Dinant, so often

that baron of

Norman blood

heard of in these parts."

" Is he not disaffected to the present king?" said Sir Henry. " A friend to the Earl of Leicester, who is stirring

on the Commons

so

much

against

Henry?"

" No," replied Sir Roger; " he has rather thrown the curb over Leicester, when, like an imruly

go too much ahead.

st<jed,

he would

Simon, the bold Baron of Dinant,

is

a friend and not an enemy to the King." " If so," said Sir Henry, " I will call at his castle gates,

and crave the rights of

hospitality,

and a night's lodging


fontina; oe, the pixies' bath.

me and

for

my

for

men.

117

I tliank you, Sir Roger, for giving

me

such good couseel liow to proceed in these dreary ways and long journeys, for I am yet but new in this Western Circuit, and little know where to house with comfort or

on

safety

Soon

my

after

road."

they parted, and each went to

rest.

Early the next morning, whilst the Judge was preparing

and his childhood, old Mabel brought him a bowl of milk, to refresh him before he went down to breakfast in the great hall on b(3ef and ale. She seemed to be very officious about him, and to linger to set out, the nurse of his infancy

But Mabel was a Has my Lord Judge looked out of the window this blessed morning?" " No, jMabel; I have been too busy. But what is there to be seen by looking out of the window, that you ask me

longer than she needed in his chamber.

At

privileged person.

last

she thus began: "

the question?"

my

" see full

Lord, a terrible sight

and think of

it,

again and overflowing

my

away from home. "

The

it.

No

none

harm,

for

"

I

!

It

breaks

my

and you are

;

this

I

have no

fears,

at least

myself"

but

came to tell was known :

it, is

day going

Lord, what does that foretell?"

hope, Mabel.

I

have

for

you!

Eemember,

my

that terrible pool has twice before overflowed

before

old heart to

Pixies' bath, as people call

!

And how,

as soon as

in this house,

it

;

Lord,

how

and what

it

your near kinsman^s death

went back again dry

but not so our eyes, nor our hearts

;

for the

as it

was

one had

plenty of water, and the other overflowed with sorrow for


"

A PEEP AT THE

118

PIXIES.

deatli, and remember how before tlie degood lady Abbess, your honour's great aunt remember it all," said tlie Judge, " yet I must go;

poor Sir Gilbert's cease of

"

my

I

duty

"

But

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

my

calls

me away; and

have

I

I

have no fears. 0," she continued, forget-

And

for you.

ting that she was addressing the

how

remembrance him when a babe and a of

to day, or

my

boy,

something

poor

The Judge

little

child, "

fearful

and wherever

and

do not go from home

may happen

"

Good

must, for I cannot tarry here.

I do,

the Judge, in the

to

my own

dear

Henry."

smiled.

hensions, I promise

man and

tenderly she had nursed and loved

you

to

I go.

old Mabel," he said, " go I

But

to quiet

your appre-

be very careful of myself in 1

hope that

I depart

all

on a good

errand, with a wish to do right and act justly; and so I

have no cause

for alarm."

" But 0, as you value your life, don't go with that Sir Roger," said the nurse, " he who behaved so bad to the

Depend upon it, they will take their revenge upon Pixies. him one of these days, and not care for who is in his company. Don't go with him !" " I am not going with him, j\Iabel." " Thank all the saints for that; but where are you going,

my

Lord?"

"

To hold the assize at Bodmin; and, to avoid the band who are so strong in the woods, and create so much terror in these parts towards nightfall, I am going to of robbers

beg hospitality of the Baron de Dinant, and hope night to rest at his

castle.''^

this


FONTINA, OR, THE PIXIES' BATH.

119

" The Baron de Dinant!" exclaimed the old Nurse. " Don't go near him, ray Lord; better to take the risk of tke robbers in the open road, than to darken the gates of

Simon de Dinant. People do

tell

such things of him. They

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

do say he be leagued with worse than robbers traitors to the king, and that no good comes to anybody who goes near him, and that your guardian

and ways; do not go "

You

is

deep in

all

his plots

to him."

are mistaken, Mabel,

what you report

is

nothing

country tales. My late gaurdian has too much me to wish me to risk my safety, or my character, by advising me to take shelter under the roof of a suspected Baron. There is nothing to fear in the course I am about this day to pursue. And again I tell you that I fear nothing."

more than

idle

respect for

Mabel shook her head, looked grave, crossed

herself,

but

seeing she could do no good by her advice, she told the

judge that she would go and

offer up,

candle for his safety, at the shrine of St.

ing convent of nuns vent any

ill

;

and

so she

hoped

with her prayers, a

Ann in a it

might help

But her heart was very heavy,

and she could not altogether overcome her at the

to pre-

from coming upon him from the rising of the

waters at the Pixies' Bath.

Sir

neighbour-

Henry

set off

on

fears.

and rested that night little was he pleased with

his journey,

Baron de Dinant's; but so some things that dropped from him in

his host, or with

conversation, expressing his dissatisfaction with the king

and the government, that he determined next morning

as

early as he

Simon de Dinant with

his

could,

company on

to

go away the

and not his

Way

to

trouble

back.


A PEEP AT THE

120

The by

trial

PIXIES.

of Maurice, for aiding and abetting tKe robbers

stealing for tbera Sir Soger's slieep,

court at Bodmin.

evidence on both

Henry

Sir sides,

merits of the case, he

came on before the

witli great patience

and having

fully

summed up with

heard the

examined into the

perfect impartiality,

and being convinced of the innocence of the accused the

man was

acquitted.

Sir Eoger de Stevenson, on finding what was the verdict, became greatly enraged, and more so when he learnt that from motives of charity Sir Henry had taken poor Maurice into his own service, in lais original employment, as a page. Sir Eoger's

wrath knew no bounds.

real feelings,

London with his revenge,

and appearing

But he dissembled

his

to be well satisfied, set off for

a determination to lose

no time in gratifying

and in working the ruin of Sir Henry de

Bath.

In private, therefore, he sought the king, and under a

show of love to his person and anxiety for his safety, pretended that he came, though with reluctance, to make known to him the treason he had detected in his former ward. Henry was startled at hearing such a charge against But though naturally inclined to his favorite judge. mercy, the king was of a weak disposition, and easily fell He into the snare that had been so artfully laid for him. great

gave credit

to the

most shameful falsehoods on the testimony

of Sir Roger and his followers in evil.

The tifices,

king,

now

completely the dupe of these cruel ar-

determined that Sir Henry de Bath should suffer

for his supposed

disloyalty

and ingratitude.

He

caused,


FONTINA; OR, THE PIXIES' BATH. tlierefore,

tlie

unfortunate judge to be

121

summoned

before

Parliament^ to give answer to the charges of corruption

and

treason.

Conscious of his innocence, Sir Henry boldly came for-

ward but believing himself to be assailed by some strong and secret enemy, who had suborned a set of low villains to appear against him, he came not alone. He was attended by a noble company of knights and gentlemen from the west of England, who had frankly offered their services and their lives in defence of his innocence. Seeing how strongly he was supported, and how fearlessly he entered the Parliament, none who were to judge his cause felt disposed to run the risk of finding him guilty for ;

fear of the consequences to their lives, for in those times,

scenes of violence often took place in that assembly.

king,

who was

present, finding

how daunted were

all

The the

members, flew into a great rage, and cried out with a loud voice, " Whosoever shall kill Henry de Bath, shall be quit of his death, and I do hereby acquit him." this

he immediately

Having

said

retired.

Thus encouraged, the followers of Sir Roger de Stevenson would gladly have executed on the spot the terrible fate denounced against the unhappy man by the king. But fortunately Sir John Mansel, who was of the Privy Council, was present, and now interposed. Saying to these violent men, " Beware what you do. That which our sovereign hath in his wrath commanded, he will be very sorry for when his anger is overblown. And remember the friends of Sir Henry de Bath are powerful as brave. Any outrage


A PEEP AT THE

122

committed against

his life^ will

PIXIES.

be fiercely revenged upon

his destroyers."

This produced the desired

effect;

Sir

immediate danger, and was persuaded

Henry escaped the to

house in the west, and there live privately

go down till

was appeased.

his sovereign

All these particulars were speedily made

Roger de Stevenson.

Henry

to his

the wrath of

Greatly did he

fear,

known

to

Sir

that should Sir

when he more temperate mood, to examine into the truth of the matter, there was every possibility that his own plots would be detected. He resolved therefore as the only way for safety to destroy Sir Henry before the king's anger could was

obtain an interview with his royal master,

in a

have time

words

to cool;

and especially before he could

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; that whoever might

kill

recall his

Henry de Bath, should be

acquitted of his death, and that he did acquit him.

De

Stevenson consulted with his followers, and between them it

was agreed

to seize

on the

him

to follow

in his

spot.

own

These

De Bath

to the west

of England,

him to death men bound themselves by an oath,

dwelling, and to put

evil

not to desert one the other, nor to betray each other in the execution of this dreadful design.

In the interval, Sir Henry,

marriage with a so

suddenly

sister

who had been on the point of when he was attend the Parliament, now

of Sir Arthur Bassett,

summoned

to

resolved no longer to delay the celebration of his nuptials.

On

his return

home, he found old Mabel in great joy;

for

the Pixies' Bath was again dry, the waters having retired into the earth

on the very day

(as

it

appeared) that Sir


FONTINA; OE, THE PIXIES' BATH.

Henry had been preserved from

tlie

123 She

wrath of tlie king.

expressed the liveHest sense of thaukfuhiess for his escape.

Kor was

when

she less delighted

ding was

she found that the wed-

in a few days, as if nothing

to take place

had

happened.

The morning of

marriage with the

Sir Henry's

Margaret Basset, was bright and sunny.

and attended by

all

With much

fair

state,

the knights, esquires, and ladies of the

neighbourhood, Sir Henry and IMargaret, mounted on horses gaily caparisoned, proceeded to the church porch, where, in

Old

those days, the marriage ceremony was performed.

and young greeted them girls

as

they passed along, and

bells struck

up a merry peal

to give

them

home, the

joy.

A splendid banquet or dinner was to be served up to and followers of De Bath,

friends

to

all

the

in the hall of his ancient

His tenants, labourers, and the poor, were to be

dwelling.

treated with an

ox roasted whole

have cause

harper,

Every heart good Sir

in the park.

to rejoice in the marriage of the

Henry, the friend of the

The

the

and children of the village ran before them, strewing

flowers in their path, whilst, as they returned

was

all

who made

it

rich, the benefactor of the poor.

a point to be present at every

festival,

was seated in the

harp an

air of

hall,

ready to strike upon his

welcome, the moment the bridal company

entered within the doors of the mansion on their return

from the church.

Mabel was busied bustling about, here, where, seeing that

ong oak

table,

all

was

set right

there,

and proper

and every-

at the great,

and scolding the maidens and the serving


A PEEP AT THE

124

men,

if

was neglected or

slightest tiling

tlie

PIXIES.

John, the butler, was ready with his wine,

ale,

when

mead, metheglin, and hippocras,

came a sudden cloud over

all

forgotten.

of

store of flagons

there

the mirth and revelry and

business of the household.

By

"

the blessed Saint Bridget!" exclaimed old Mabel, as she looked out at the hall door, " if

wringing her hands

the Pixies' Bath be not risen again, and see

Yes overflows,

down

as

the avenue of old trees, and in

to think

it

poor boy,

my

To

think that

I

he to

may And

full

sight of

it all.

so,

!

should have nursed

live to see this

!

be comino;

and that on his wedding day dear Henry, what will become of him

should be

my

how it overflows

the bride and brideo-room

him

in these arms;

!

and

to think that it is possible a burial

!

follow hard on the heels of a bridal in this old hall." so she

went on lamenting and bewailing; and not a

gentleman, not a lady, not a man, woman, or

any degree

there,

child of

on that day assembled, but shared in the

old nurse's fears.

All the mirth of the company

fled.

Sir

Henry alone

bore himself bravely, indeed cheerfully, as he endeavoured to raise the drooping spirits of his

and

to reanimate his followers

not do

;

every heart feared,

come; nor were their exactly

know what

marked, and

at

all

fears the

to

fear.

young and

and

guests.

trembled for less

lovely bride,

Yet it would what was to

because they did not

The omen

of evil was so

such a time, there was no mistaking

But notwithstanding

all

it.

these apprehensions, the dinner,

wines, and ale were so excellent and

all so plentiful,

that the


FONTINA; OR, THE PIXIES' BATH. company found they had not

lost their appetites

125 with their

joy; and for persons In such a state of suspense and tion, they all certainly

afflic-

played a very good part with the

spoons and platters; for knives and forks, in those days, were used only by the carver, and not by those for whom

he carved. Cups went round the board, and the health of the bride and the bridegroom was drunk with a cheer, notwithstanding all fears; and so potent was the ale, that some stout fellows,

made very bold by

it,

offered to fight, if they could

only see them, the Pixies themselves, or any of their friends

and abettors; and the old harper, towards nightfall, got his spirits so raised by a full and flowing cup of metheglin,

which Mabel had served

to

him with her own hand,

that

he

struck the chords of his harp to a joyous measure, as if in defiance of

On many hall,

all evil

hearing

this,

omens.

some of the young men

a pretty maiden to foot

it

present, led out

to the stirring

music in the

and dancing began right merrily; when, suddenly, a

cry was heard from the Pixies' Bath.

scream in the most fearful manner.

with surprise

at the

Scream followed

All were struck

dumb

hearing of these fearful shrieks so near

—the men and maidens stood — the bride turned Malpas put down the cupuntasted that and pale — the the moment he was of — Henry looked surprised — the revelry ceased— was quiet that

them.

The harp was hushed

motionless in the midst of the dance

faint

Sir

at

act

in

raising to his lips all

nothing but those hall.

cries

Sir

so

of suffering could be heard in the


A PEEP AT THE

126

No

one spoke; when Mabel,

PIXIES.

who trembled

exclaimed with an energy that seemed for

one of her years, " That

is

the scream of Fontina; she

never screams but for one thing. will be in this place

;

and who

in every joint,

more than natural

Before midnight, death

shall say

on whose head the

stroke will fall!"

" Fontina, Fontina,

who

is

Fontina?" whispered many

voices in the hall.

" The

spirit

and a most

of the pool," said Mabel; " the Pixy

spirit,

fearful one."

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

The screams continued the consternation and alarm now became general. Some proposed one thing, some another. At length the young men, brave in numbers as in ale, agreed to go in a body with lighted torches and to examine around the bath. Could it be a trick played off by any one to cause fear on this occasion?

very

terrible;

who was

and

if it

a parson, lay

were a it

The screams were spirit,

quietly at the bottom of the pool

Red Sea, so as no more to company. They then proceeded to or in the

All was

still;

certainly

could not Sir Malpas,

disturb the peace of the

the overflowing waters.

not a creature was to be seen, nor a sound to

be heard around the Pixies' Bath. Sir

Malpas was

now

again appealed to; but he declared

that he had not his books with him; nothing could be done

without his Latin, and that he had

left at

though ghosts and ordinaiy

he

could be laid in the

Red

spirits,

Sea, yet he

home.

knew very

had

Also, well,

his doubts if

it

He, there-

were

possible or lawful so to deal with Pixies.

fore,

very prudently deferred undertaking the work,

till

he


FONTINA;

OR;,

THE

PIXIES' BATH.

127

could obtain more information as to liow best to proceed

with

and drank

it;

off

liis

cup of mead whicli bad been

and to make up

waiting for him;

time he took

for lost

another.

This occurrence so completely broke what of mirth and dispersed. as

there was

little

merriment, that the company one and

Every body seeming anxious

he could; in order,

he hoped,

as

to get

away

all

as fast

to be out of the reach

of death or danger which ]\Iabcl had said

those

terrible

screams of Fontina announced to be so near. All was soon hushed; the hall was

cheerless; half-

left

emptied cups stood on the board; whilst wreaths of drooping flowers,

and expiring lamps and

torches, told a tale of

mirth and a suddenly deserted banquet. fast locked, bolted,

and barred, and the watch

night in the gate-house, which stood at a fronting the hall door. ale,

and speedily

slept

set for

the

distance

little

But the watch had taken

on his

broken

The doors were

too

much

post.

Just before midnight, a trampling of horse was heard in the long avenue,

by two

gered on the premises.

by the fumes

or three stragglers

who

still

lin-

These had been so much overcome

of stout drink, that they had sunk

down upon

in their way home, after quitting the hall. They were, however, awake now and sober; and not a little alarmed when (unseen themselves, as they lay shaded by

the ground

the spreading branches

of a large old beech tree) they

observed several horsemen armed from head to

foot,

each

bearing a naked sword, passing on at a gentle pace, as if careful to avoid giving

any alarm.

One of the

sleepers


;

A PEEP AT THE

128

PIXIES.

awakened was an intelligent young fellow, a tenant of Sir Henry, and lie now listened witli tlie most eager attention as the leader of the armed band commanded his men to halt. All did so. In a brief and hurried manner, he then addressed them in these words: " Let some of you lead your horses yourselves so as to surround the house.

from

Give death to any

it.

must, however,

if

we

sion to Sir

man who would

Henry de Bath, on

station

We

pass on.

can, secure this traitor before he

I will to the hall door,

forth.

forward

Let no one escape

comes

and demand instant admis-

moment from the Do you. Sir John

business of

He

will not refuse to see me. and you, Simon de Dinant, stand close by my side, so as to enter with me, I may need support he may struggle remember, despatch him on the spot the king acquits the deed. Now forward, and this night shall yonder

king.

Fitzallen,

— —

old mansion

when

know me

again for

the beggars that drank from

So spoke heart

its

master; as in those days

I destroyed the foolish Pixies'

;

Sir

its

Bath, and swept away

waters."

Eoger de Stevenson,

in the pride of his

and once more did he place himself

at the

head of

on to treachery and

band of ruffians, to lead them But he had not proceeded ten paces, when suddenly so thick a mist fell on him and his party, and all

his

murder.

around them, that neither lowers, nor even his

own

trees,

nor house, nor his

horse's ears, could

fol-

he distinguish.

Nothing could exceed the confusion into which they were To add to it, two or three entrance-paths to all thrown. the woods were near the spot where this cloud fell so


;

rONTINA densely upon them tlie

;

;

OK THE

and

now one way, and them

road, and carried

all

129

animals, not being guided

tlie

any certainty

rein of their riders with

pulled,

PIXIES' BATH.

(for the

then another), took their into the thickest

by

men own

and most

in-

tricate parts of the forest, instead of following the track

towards the house. Sir Roger, by this strange chance left completely alone, was the only one among them whose intimate acquaintance with the place enabled Jaim to keep the right road. Whilst he approached the Pixies' Bath, the most fearful shrieks

issued from

it.

He was

startled,

mist, if possible, increased

;

but

still

moved

on.

The

and the screams that now arose

from the pool had in them something of exultation

and curdled the very blood to hear them. The young tenant who had heard Sir Roger address

;

it

chilled

his

men, and who, in a moment, understood how great was the danger of his good master, in the hope to be able to save him, and to give the alarm at the Hall, followed close,

but unsuspected,

Roger

rode.

of the horse on which Sir

at the heels

Unfortunately,

when drawing

Bath, he stumbled over a stone

near the Pixies'

and, so great was the

;

darkness, he could follow no further.

Terrified,

and not

knowing what to do, or to fear, yet being full of fears, he sat down upon the large stone over which he had stumbled.

At

that

moment he heard something

and a cry arose from rejoicing at the

fall

it

as

if a

of a sinner.

splash into the water

hundred demons were

He

heard no more, for

to, or by whom he was found, when, on the next morning, Mabel was standing

he

fainted,

and knew not how he came

K


A PEEP AT THE

130

PIXIES.

As

lay on a bencli in the Hall.

over liim as

lie

was restored

to his senses,

soon as he

and quite himself^ he asked

for a

cup of ale, to refresh him.

A

"

nor place for carousing. an awful sight, this

"

exclaimed Mabel;

ale !"

cup of

For,

look there

how wicked men meet

this is !

no time

Look and

see

reward even in

their

world!"

Mabel point with her hand in the direcBath for there a fearful sight indeed There stood about it Sir Henry, and his

Well might

old

tion of the Pixies'

;

was to be seen. young and beautiful bride leaning on his arm, and gazing upon it with looks of wonder and of thankfulness. Nearly The all the household, also, stood around looking on.

now

bath was retreated fate Sir

It

;

once more perfectly dry

the waters had

;

but not before they had consigned to a terrible

Roger de Stevenson.

was supposed

that,

night, the horse he rode

mistaking

it

for the

sufficient in the

in the darkness of the previous

had carried him

path by the

It

side.

middle to drown them

;

into the pool,

was of depth

and there, in the

now dry, hollow pit, was mounted on his courser's back, Sir Roger de Stevensonâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; man and horse were both dead. The Pixies

very centre of that deep, and seen,

still

had, indeed,

accomplished their revenge

never flowed again

was destroyed.

;

;

but their bath

and in a few years every vestige of

it


THE LADY OF THE SILVER BELL. I

HAVE

already told you,

my

nexion with Tintagel; and

young

now

friends, a story in con-

purpose to relate to you

events of which occurred in the same place, somewhat more recent period, when a certain Baron was Lord of that ancient castle^ and lived there with much splendour and state. This great Baron had only one child, a daughter, who was as fair as a lily, and when she turned her head, her neck moved with the grace and beauty of the swan; at least in such terms of praise was she described by the old anotlier; the

though

at a

harper in his songs, halls of Tintao;el

as,

every feast day, he gladdened the

with the thrilling notes and

full

chords of

She was commonly called Serena, on account of her generally placid demeanour; and as her father was very fond of seeing her dressed in white and silver, because he thought she looked prettiest when so attired she was

his harp.

;

not unfrequently called the silver lady. declared, that, when the child was in the had been blessed by the Pixies; and it was that which made her look so fair and beautiful, and caused her " But woe be to to be so lucky in all she took in hand. her," would the old gossip add, when she said this, " woe

Her nurse

cradle, she

be

to her, if

my

lady Serena should offend the Pixies

like us mortal sinners, they will often

;

for,

most hate where they


A PEEP AT THE

132

have most loved

PIXIES.

and especially

;

be jealous or

tliey

if

offended." Altliougli her

mother died when she was an

received a very good education so well

how

to

work with the

tapestry hangings in

wrought by

;

The

her.

needle, that all the finest

the castle were said to be in part old minstrel instructed her in play-

ing the harp; and she often sang to ballad or ditty

;

and above

all,

many

it

a Cornish

Father Hilary had well

disciplined her in her religious duties.

a promise that she

infant, Serena

her nurse taught her

for

She had given him

would never be absent from church

at

the ringing of the vesper bell; never, she said, unless pre-

vented by sickness, would she be tempted to stay away

when

that bell

was calling her

to prayers, let

what would

happen. She gave this promise to Father Hilary so seriously, that he, as well as the nurse, assured her, it,

the good spirits

who were

if

ever she broke

her guardians would

fly

away

from her, and leave her exposed to injury from the bad Serena said, in reply, " No music was so sweet to ones. her

er.rs as

the vesper bell."

But though the Baron's daughter had so many good qualities, she had, I am sorry to say, some very great faults. She was excessively vain and fond of dress, and at times When she grew up to sadly whimsical and capricious. womanhood, her father wanted her to marry some one of the gallant

young knights who came

to the castle

;

was her vanity, she deemed none good enough.

them

Among

who was so how happy she

was a very gentle and amiable youth,

comely and graceful, that every body said

but such


THE LADY OF THE SILVER BELL. would be

And

as liis wife.

from the dreams

slie

liad

133

old nurse declared

tliat,

about liim, and his having

first

tlie

been brought to the sight of her young lady, by the sounds of sweet music, which seemed to float in the air and to

guide his steps to Tintagel,

at the

very

moment Serena was

issuing from the castle gates, she was quite sure

and nothing but the

Pixies,

who

Pixies,

thus led

was the

it

him along

to give him, as a very great favour, to Serena for a husband.

Serena at

first

appeared to like him well, and he came very

often to the castle; but at length she changed her mind, tossed her head, disappointed him, and said that neither he

nor any other of her

were handsome enough

father's friends,

mood, she declared would never marry unless she could meet Avith a young prince who was handsomer, and dressed better, and played on the lute sweeter, than any one she had ever yet to please her; and in the caprice of her

that she

seen or heard.

Her

old nurse sighed as she listened to all this,

"

my

you

say.

dear young lady^ do not talk so

You have behaved

poor young gentleman, so

good and kind.

and whimsically

ill

whom

The only way

Depend upon

it,

the Pixies will take

fault;

promise to Father Hilary. evil spirits

may

manner

know them

to save yourselves

very penitent for your

to that

every body loved; he was

their revenge one of these days for the

you treated him, or I dont

and said, Beware what

!

from their

and

For

if

to

which

spite, is to

be

be mindful of your

you go wrong

take advantage of

in

or their doings.

your

again, the

folly,

sadly to

my

old heart

mislead and deceive you; and I should break


A PEEP AT THE

134 if

any liarm happened

my

to

PIXIES,

young

dear

lady,

whom

I

have nursed in these arms from the hour she was born." Serena paid little heed to this good advice, but soon after

and gaiety, in

indulged in such extravagance

so

much

dancing and singing, that Father Hilary interfered, and enjoined her, as a sort of penance for spending her

strictly

time so idly, to repair alone every day for one month to

come, to a

little

chapel which stood

near

St.

Nathan's

Kieve, and to be sure, according to her promise, always to enter within

had

its

doors before the ringing of the vesper bell

ceased.

St.

Nathan's Kieve was three miles and a half from Tin-

tagel, a

long and weary way, and over a

difficult

road; and

though Serena now and then went on horseback, yet as walking far through such rough paths was a sort of penance, to

please

old Hilary,

who was

rather

cross-grained and

crabbed, and had no pity for her poor feet, she more fre-

quently walked than rode.

On

the day of which

out early

on

in her walk.

foot, as she

I

am

about to speak, Serena

was determined not

She was dressed

in a long

to.

set

be hurried

grey cloak, and

upon her head she wore a little grey cap made of cloth; a scallop shell was seen in front of it, to show that she was going on a sort of pilgrimage. her nurse gave her a caution to

way, but

to

go on straight

As let

she put on her cloak,

nothing stay her by the

to the chapel, to enter before

the bell had ceased ringing, come straight home, for, said the good old woman, " those who allow anything they meet

with to delay them when they are going to prayers, are


THE LADY OF THE SILVER BELL. sure to lay themselves open to the spirits that I told

135

power of those wicked

you of before, they are sure to be punished

for it."

Serena took leave of her aged counsellor with repeated promises to mind what she said.

She passed the castle somewhat hurried manner, for fear of meeting

gates in a

Father Hilary,

as she liked

not to be lectured by him on

With a quick step of Trevenna. As she began

her way.

beyond

it,

Tintagel^

and

cliff

served

it

to

ascend the high ground

she slackened her pace^ and looked back upon

which now opened with all its grandeur of castle upon the view. She had never so attentively obas

on

this

day; and, she could not

she then gazed upon It

did she also pass the village

was indeed a

it

with a melancholy

fine sight,

tell

why, but

interest.

and whilst the walls and towers lit up with a flood of was in complete gloom

of her father's ancient dwelling were light, the

rock called

Long

Island,

from the overshadowing clouds. This rock wild, lofty, broken,

though suri-ounded by the waves, was said and especially after nightfall, by sea-gulls Serena now, therefore, looked upon it in its

close in shore,

to be peopled,

and

spirits.

sombre hue with a

secret sense of dread.

Nor was

it

with-

out a shudder that as she turned to continue her walk she

saw a solitary magpie pacing up and down on the very road she had to cross. She did not like the evil sign, and she thought that she would take a shorter way, and find out that the country people sometimes took in going to chapel.

But Serena was soon bewildered, and a

strange

rough road

over

a

field

at length got into

that

descended as


A PEEP AT THE

136 precipitously as

PIXIES.

roof of a house to the bottom of a ravine,

tlie

beautifully clothed with wood.

She could hear the running came in sight of a stream that ran rapidly under a vast number of trees. This she crossed and still advanced. She now perceived some overhanging rocks, and on the hill above these stood the little chapel. She had not advanced very far, when she heard the vesper of water, and soon

Mindful of her promise she determined to retrace

bell.

her steps as speedily as possible,

though

But

at that

very

Serena

linger,

she heard strains of the most

!

to

mingle with

Serena, quickly turn, hark to

She fancied that a voice above the rocks

the vesper bell."

spoke these words. warning.

moment

Nothing earthly seemed

enchanting music. " those sounds.

among

and no longer

in so lovely a scene.

But, alas

She looked

this

!

she neglected the friendly

way, that way, up the ravine,

the trees, and could see no one; whilst every step

she advanced, the music of the unseen musician appeared to

move on

to see

who

" I will but tarry a few minutes

before her. it is

come from/'

plays thus sweetly, and where the sounds

Serena, " I shall yet reach the chapel

said

yonder, before the bell has done ringing."

She now continued descending the difficult and winding which turned sharply round among rocks that peered

path,

above her head in the most fantastic forms; the roots of

them

the trees clung to

in all directions.

So narrow had

the path become between the rocks and the stream, that scarcely afforded

room

slippery with moss

to

pass;

and

as

the

it

stones were

and damp, and here and there the arm


THE LADY OF THE SILVER BELL. of a tree crossed close above

tlie

137

head, to pass along was

and dangerous.

botli precarious

Again did Serena listen, and still could slie hear, even above the sounds of the rushing waters, the vesper-bell. She now in good earnest determined

to turn back. But at moment, such a strain of sweetness arose; it caught her ear, and she became once more fixed by the spell of such enchanting harmony. Alas! it was of more power

that

than the

of duty over her wavering mind.

call

The music now seemed

come from the opposite

to

much was

of the stream; and so

side

her curiosity excited, that

it, and to find out She looked round and perceived which served, though not without

she took the resolution to try to cross the unseen

minstrel.

some large

loose stones,

Serena was light of foot and very

riskj for stepping-stones.

by marking well where to venture, and springing from rock to rock, she managed to get over the stream. Again did she enter on a narrow path, and followed it for a few yards, when, on a sudden turn, she came in sight of the loveliest waterfall that she had ever beheld. active;

It

and

so

was situated

wildest rocks. it

at the extremity of a recess

was only in front facing the

be gained.

The

fall

that a

view of

it

could

cascade itself was not lofty, not above

or sixty feet in height

which rendered

among the

These formed so complete an inclosure, that

it

;

it

was

its

of such surpassing loveliness.

yards distant from the

fifty

form and accompaniments

A

few

it some which half way up had the appearance of a natural arch; and through this opening the foaming waters were

rocks,

fall,

there stood fronting


A PEEP AT THE

138

seen leaping and

dasMng over the Tlience

beautiful eiFect.

PIXIES. rocks,

wltli

most

tlae

rushed on in the wildest

tliey

tumult over vast masses of granite, which lay in the bed of the stream as

if to

impede

its

course.

Here and

there,

occasioned by the hollows beneath, might be found a calm

deep pool, undisturbed by the impetuosity of the

flood.

Serena stopped, delighted with the beauty of the scene. " This is the sweetest ravine in the world," she said; " such a beautiful waterfall, and the rocks so wild and broken;

and

all

shut in to keep

common which

mortals.

my

nurse

it,

as

it

were, from the approach of

Surely this must be the very place in tells

me, that Merlin of

old, the

great

magician, in the days of Prince Arthur_, used to work his

where the Pixies make their favourite haunt, and where they are now most powerful, and, therefore, most to be feared. But that must be false; for nothing to be feared can ever come into such a charming scene as this. But I spells;

must not linger; and now to hasten back,

for here

no

vesper-bell can be heard, nor even that delightful music

which led me hither, for here the waterfall lets no music but its own meet the ear." Well might Serena thus admire the scene, for what she so gazed upon were the rocks and fall of Nathan's Kieve. Serena gave the cascade one last farewell look, and then turned to retrace her steps;

wonder, when, quitted,

she found

it

who

but

at a short distance

shall

speak

her

from the spot she had

impossible to

proceed without the

danger of stepping upon a human being, who lay outstretched,

with a lute by his

side,

on the narrow path


THE

LAEiY OF

THE SILVER BELL

Page

139-


THE LADY OF THE SILVER BELL. under

tlie

space was

rocks,

ears It

so close to tlie water s edge, that

no

by without disturbing liim. moment; her eyes became as much fascinated

left for lier to

She paused a

by the

and

139

glide

beautiful appearance of the sleeping figure, as her

had before been charmed by the mysterious music. was a strange place

for repose.

The

sleeper

was a

young man, of a very good person, and handsome features, with light brown curly hair. His attire was at once rich and elegant. He wore such a cloak and vest as Serena had never before seen; the plumage of the finest birds seemed

to

have been

rifled

give

to

it

splendour.

And

then the cap on his head, and the tiara which was bound

around his brows, was

so radiant

and glittering with jewels,

and emeralds, and rubies, and sapphires had been clustered together so as to emulate that they looked as if diamonds,

manner of

in the

their

arrangement the colours of the

butterfly's wing.

Serena gazed

till

her admiration of the manly beauty and

splendid attire of the youthful sleeper became as great as

which she had felt, a little while before, for the music; and far exceeded her admiration of the beauties of the scene. She thought that, if ever she married, it should be to just such a beautiful youth and then his dress was so graceful, and as for his tiara, it would be the prettiest thing so rich

that

;

;

imaginable to have just such another to bind around her

own dark and

flowing hair.

She

felt

quite sure

none but a

prince conld altogether be so charmingly dressed, and so

handsome; and he

it

must be who had produced from that

lute such exquisite tones.


!

A PEEP AT THE PIXIES.

140 Serena was her,

now

in

no hurry

and seeing an opening

in

to pass on, but looked about

some rocks near

at

hand, that

were overshadowed by thick and pendant boughs, she determined to conceal herself and to survey more at her leisure the noble features

and the splendid adornments of

when he awoke, he would again lute. The vesper bell was forgotten;

the sleeper; hoping that,

touch the strings of his

and

to

think from what a cause

Serena had given

!

herself up to the influence of a vain curiosity

she cause to rue her folly

;

for

by what could be nothing more than an and deceive her the work of an enemy ;

After a while, a thick mist suddenly

every object around her.

!

Soon had

most sadly was she beguiled

The very

ilhision to ensnare

to her peace.

fell

like a cloud over

rocks and trees which

no longer visible. The wind moaned, and the river rushed along in tumult as the roar of the Serena trembled waterfall became loud as rolling thunder. in every limb her heart beat quick she knew not what to sheltered her were

;

;

do.

Move from

the spot of her concealment she dared not;

she was on the verge of despair, rose like a veil

when

gradually the mist

that had been thrown over the landscape,

and now raised by an invisible hand. The rocks, woods, and waterfall once more were distinctly seen, but under a melancholy aspect no sun-beam fell, upon them all was ;

;

She looked down on the narrow shadow and gloom. pathway; but neither the beautiful sleeping youth, nor the lute by his side were to be seen they were gone and she saw only the broken and mossy rocks wet with the spray ;

and foam of the stream

;


THE LADY OF THE SILVER BELL. At tlie

length

slie

arose, retraced lier steps,

141

and approaclied

but the vesper bell had long ceased ringhig,

cliapel;

and the doors of the chapel were closed

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; closed indeed,

for

the vesper service had been concluded half an hour before

Serena could not but

she reached the spot.

of her folly

of

it

;

and she added to

confined to her

it

feel

ashamed

b j keeping the knowledge

own bosom;

for neither to

Father

what had happened. She was, however, often seen stealing down the pathway that led to Nathan's Kieve; for by a strange fascination she was fond of going there alone; although it was in that spot she first received those impressions which now rendered her so melancholy and unhappy. At length Father Hilary saw something was the matter^ and obtained from her a Hilary, nor to the nurse did she

tell

confession of the trvith, but only in part told; for she confined herself to the statement of having wasted her time in

wandering up to

tlie

waterfall in Nathan's Kieve,

She blushed, but was

too late for the vespers. to confess

how much

and being

so

ashamed

she had been led astray, that she said

not one word about the musician, his

attire, or

the music.

But

Father Hilary was quite sufficiently shocked by what she confessed,

and imposed upon her a very severe penance,

namely, that she should take the ten marks given to her by the Baron to buy a splendid dress to wear at a high festival to be held at the castle,

and should expend the same

in the

purchase of

A SILVER BELL, on which she must cause attired as a penitent,

to be

engraved an image of herself

with her hair hanging down her


A PEEP AT THE

X42

PIXIES.

back, and carrying a taper in her Land, in token of sorrow

what she had done amiss. Serena obeyed, and purchased the silver bell, of which I here give the picture. for

This Father Hilary presented in her name to the chapel situated on the

But though

this

hill

was done, and though Serena had worn

her old robes at the high

ment of

all

little

above Nathan's Kieve. festival of Tintagel, to the

her gaily-clad young friends,

who

amuse-

tittered at

her shabby apparel and envied her pretty looks, and though she had taken care that her

many

visits to

the w^aterfall

should never again interfere with the hour of ringing the vesper bell

;

yet was she dull and melancholy.

Her

spirits

flagged, indeed they had never returned with their natural

vivacity since that unluckly day on which she committed so great a fault.

Still

she longed and sighed once

more

to

hear the charming music, and to see the handsome and gaily dressed minstrel.

But she was always disappointed

and expectations. At length she became so unhappy that she told all her Now, nurse Judy, though goodsecret to nurse Judy.

in her hopes

natured was not a very wise counsellor, for fearing Father

Hilary would put the young lady to a more severe penance

than the former did he very wrong advice

know

all

as will presently

the truth, she gave her

be seen.

She told Serena that she was convinced

all that had was a Pixy delusion, brought about by some of those malignant and spiteful beings, who it was well known were powerful in Nathan's Kieve, and more especially over any one who had been negligent in the

happened

to her


THE LADY OF THE SILVER BELL. performance of

duty.

tlieir

music was the work of their

not doubt that the

Slie did spells;

143

and

as to the beautiful

was nothing more than some mischievous imp, who had assumed that appearance

musician, she

felt

certain that he

on purpose to deceive

her.

In order therefore to counteract these

spells,

she per-

suaded Serena to go and consult old Swillpot^ the famous Cornish wizard,

who

dwelt near the waterfall at Nathan's

Judy

Kieve, and who, nurse

was noted

for being a he entertained no spite against the person who came to consult him; and more said,

kind wizard in his way, that was

if

especially if the individual gave him a purse full of money, and a jar of strong rich metheglin or mead, which had

been made

at the full of the

making

moon

(then considered the

and was three years old at least. Judy declared, that she had metheglin in her own par-

best time for

ticular

it),

had been made under all the moon, and old Swillpot should have that

cupboard which

quarters of the

decocted at the

full.

Serena, though not without fear, took

all

the

money

she

had and put it into her purse; she took also Judy's jar of metheglin, which was so large she found it difficult to carry it under her cloak, and set out for the wizard's dwelling. A very poor and miserable cottage was not the most agreeable place for so delicate a visit;

young lady

but she was unhappy and wanted

as

relief,

Serena to

and

so she

did not care to be nice, but after a gentle rap at once entered the dwelling. pot,

more

especially

She was

civilly received

when he handled

by old

Swill-

the purse, and took


A PEEP AT THE

144 tlie

jar of metlieglin,

PIXIES.

and with a good-humoured chuckle

He then bade Serena sit down, and he would presently talk with her. Old Swillpot had not much the look of a wizard, for he was stout and burly, had a round full face, not unlike the moon (as that luminary is painted on the face of a clock), a very round red nose, and a beard so thick and long it tucked

under

it

his arm.

He was in an exceeding good humour, placed himself at the head of a little table, j)roduced a brown loaf and some Cornish cheese, as hard as reached quite

if it

down

to his waist.

had been cut out of the rocks, or from one of the Cornish

mines, bustled up to his cupboard, produced a couple of

horn cups, opened the This, with a

smack of the

cellent, clear as

amber, rich

originally made^

came

and very heartily pressed Serena

jar,

him some of her own

to partake with

and

into Cornwall.

lips,

as the

for

fit

choice metheglin.

he pronounced to be ex-

honey from which

the king himself

if

it

was

he ever

Serena, not to offend him, just tasted

the cup, and then would have proceeded to

but the charms of the metheglin were so

much

tell

her tale;

greater than

young lady in the estimation of old Swillpot, had half emptied the jar would he hear word she had to say.

those of the

that not until he

a

At

last

potation

;

he seemed a as

he

sat,

little

boozy

Avith the strength of the

neither quite

awake nor yet

asleep,

tapping his fingers on the table, his nose three times redder

than

it

was

yawn and to let her

before, he bade her tell her story,

a lengthened

hum

know how very

at the

and gave a

end of every sentence,

attentive he was to her discourse.


THE LADY OF THE SILVER BELL.

He

145

then leaned back in his chair, looked wise, con-

sidered,

made

a snatch at a fine tabby cat that

was rubbino-

herself against the side of his chair, took her

up on

his

knee, and rubbed her hair the wrong way, as she raised up

her

tail

till

reached his chin and brushed his beard.

it

own thoughts, or the motion of was doubtful which, he very solemnly assured Serena, that all her sufferings and uneasiness proceeded from a wicked delusion that, in fact, she had been After consulting either his the

cat's

tail,

it

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

Pixy-led in the most injurious manner.

he proceeded

to the subject of her cure

the powerful spell under which she was

Having

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

said this,

to free her

still

from

labouring

;

to

cure her vain desire to hear again the mysterious music,

and

handsome musician, which so disturbed her what she had to do must be performed at the Kieve, and in sight of the waterfall, at the full of the moon, he offered to accompany her to the spot. As the moon would be at the full that very night, he said no time to see the

peace.

Lastly, as

should be lost set

;

it

out together.

was therefore agreed that they should Before departing, old Swillpot tucked

the jar, containing the remainder of the metheglin, under his arm,

and

so they speedily gained the place of their

destination.

But what were the when, on arriving

up

fears

there, the

and astonishment of Serena, wizard directed her to climb

which forms the natural arch in and lies directly over what may truly be styled a boiling and foaming cauldron. And, when there, he directed her to perform certain magical to the top of the rock

front of the waterfall,

L


A PEEP AT THE PIXIES.

146 rites to

appease the Pixies;

had been her foes, In what all these watching the moon

for Pixies,

rites consisted, till

I

lie

still

declared,

know

do not

;

a cloud passed over her disk,

but,

and

then repeating certain words of mysterious signification,

were among them. the rock

till

Lastly, she was enjoined to stay on

she heard, even above the

the scream of a night-bird ravine,

of the water, to

haunt the

and there to make the most dismal shrieks that

could be imagined. It

fall

that was said

No

one knew where

was popularly believed

to

be the

it

spirit

had a

nest.

of the great

enchanter, Merlin, thus inhabiting the body of a bird for a certain term of years.

Merlin,

it

was

said,

had been a

enemy to the Pixies. Serena was directed to watch and when she saw something dark come sailing over the cruel

;

rocks above, on out-spread wings, and with loud screams

prepare to dash

fall, then was which the wizard instructed her how to repeat. This done, she might descend from the rock, and would no more be troubled with any mischievous spells or fancies. Serena, with much fear, and a quickly-beating heart, managed to ascend the rock, and to take her perilous stand upon the natural arch above the rapid and roaring flood she did all as commanded. At length she heard a flapping of wings, and saw the dark form of a majestic bird, whose plumage shone bright and silvery in the moon-

she to address

itself into

it

the midst of the

in a form of words,

:

beams, it,

rise

in a firm

from among the

trees.

and plaintive tone

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

Instantly she addressed


;

THE LA.DY OF THE SILVER BELL. " Bird of night,

Thy

'tis

time to leave

and seek St. Nathan's Kieve Bird of power o'er Pixy dells, Disenchant me from their spells. Give me freedom from their thrall. Ere thou seek'st yon waterfall Drive from me idle Fancy's mood, Or drown my folly in the flood." nest,

Serena, as she spoke

l47

these

last

;

words, raised

herself

from the summit of the rock on which she was so precariously placed. At that very moment the bird with hastily

outspread wings dashed against the moon-illumined waterfall,

she lost her footing and tottered.

Before she could

regain her babance, old Swillpot, as fast as he could

the

effort,

make

stepped forward to give assistance. Unfortunately

whilst Serena had been performing the rites he dictated, in

order to keep the night air from chilling his stomach, he

had emptied into lin,

so that

it

the remaining half of the jar of metheg-

he was a

little

more unsteady than before; and hand in helping, were

neither his foot in stepping, nor his so

much under

his control

as

at

all

to be

sure of their

purpose; and he bungled so terribly in trying to give aid, that his foot slipped,

down he pushed

and having caught Serena by the arm,

her; and both were soused into the water.

Swillpot was nearer to the banks, and some

how

or other

managed to scramble out. But not so the unfortunate young lady; she had been pushed so completely over the rock by the tipsy wizard^ that she fell at once into a pool which lay immediately below

it;

the most deep and dangerous in the whole course


A PEEP AT THE PIXIES.

148 of the stream. did her

But long unhappy fate; long was her a sad example of so young and so lovely a Poor Serena was seen no more.

memory

story told as

survive her

creature being led into folly by her vain and idle curiosity.

Old Swillpot, who was not of an unkind heart, though he did not possess a very clear head, was so shocked and concerned at what had happened, owing to his having bewildered his brains and rendered his footing unsteady,

by making

too free with the metheglin

severest penance

he could possibly

renounced strong drink for ever after.

was

so

sending such an old

to

fool, as

upon

And

vexed and angry with herself

mended her young lady

that, as the

;

inflict

very

himself,

old nurse

he

Judy

having recom-

for

go and consult him, and for she called him, her best and

more any mortal creature; and so

stoutest metheglin^ that she took the resolution never

to give

away one drop of

it

to

well did she observe this determination that

And

went down any throat but her own. keeping so

seemed

to

strictly

it

never more

as a

reward

for

her purpose, old Swillpot's red nose

have passed from his face to her own.

It is said to this day,

when

the

moon

is

at the full,

and

her beams sparkle, like filaments of diamonds on the beautiful waterfall of Nathan's Kieve, Serena's Silver Bell

is

heard

ringing in a slow and melancholy cadence, like a funeral

chime

;

though the chapel

to

which

it

was given has long

been destroyed, and neither the belfry nor to be found.

bell are

any more


THE BELFRY ROCK; OR,

On

THE

pixies'

REVENGE.

the borders of 'Dartmoor, in days of yore, there lived a

rich old farmer, in one of the fields near

whose house, stood

a very curious object, a large moor-stone rock, shaped

by

much like an ancient Gothic church with a tower, that it was known among the country people for miles round by the name of" The Pixies' Church." It was also encompassed by a Pixy ring; and many old

nature so

persons declared that ever since they could remember, if

you placed your

ear close to the rock

on a Sunday, you

could hear a small tinkling sound, resembling the church bells at Tavistock,

and usually

very time they were

at the

ringing to warn the good

people of that town for the

morning

said,

was

It

service.

sound could be heard when the as

same

likewise, that the

bells

of Tavistock chimed,

they always did at four, and eight, and twelve o'clock.

One

woman

old

protested that so long ago as

great grand-father,

who was fond

he was frequently seen listen, as

he thought,

he had never been

of music, was a

when little

her boy,

to place his ear against the rock to

to the Pixies' ringing;

at Tavistock,

and although

he thus learned the tune

of the 100th Psalm which the chimes there used to play daily.

He

declared that he heard the Pixy music best

when

he put his head in a hole in the portion of the rock which was called the belfry tower. When he grew up to be a man he learned to play on the bass viol with which he led the choir of a neighbouring village;

and

it

was always


;

A PEEP AT THE

150 noticed

much

there was no tune he played witla so

tliat

spirit as the

PIXIES.

100th Psahn, which he had so often heard at

the belfry rock. " And, as sure as you are alive/' said the ancient dame, who repeated this story round many a Christmas fire, " the Pixies love bell-ringing, and go to church

Well,

make

it

o'

Sundays."

happened, that the farmer wanted stones, to

so

the wall of some additional buildings to his house " Church-rock" being near, he bethought him

and the

how much time, trouble, and expense would be saved, by making the granite of the tower supply his need. But when he made known his intentions to his workmen, they One and all did they declare stood aghast with dread. that they would have no hand in the matter. What dare !

from the Pixies' church

to strike off even a bit of a stone

!

they would not do such a thing for the weight of the

whole rock in gold.

It

would be sure

to bring

down

vengeance of the whole band of Pixies upon them

had

scarcely ever ploughed

but they were sure to suffer for cramps, and rheumatics

dared not do

it

;

and

it,

as to

by pains

they ring,

in the bones,

touching the rock, they

for their lives.

Finding that he could do nothing with farmer, being

;

up or disturbed a Pixy

the

as

stout and

sturdy as

his

men, the old

he was obstinate,

determined to work himself, and to make his sons help him.

And

destruction

so, ;

in

good

and block

earnest, they after block

began the work of

was removed from the

But this deed of mischief and spoliation was not done without some marks of anger, and even of

musical tower.

suffering,

from the invisible

little

beings thus disturbed

in.


!

THE BELFRY ROCK.

Low

their favourite haunts.

151

and piercing shrieks were and the masons (those

constantly heard from the rock

;

who had

refused to help to take the stones from such a

quarry),

whilst

engaged

in

raising

terribly troubled with cramps,

they lay

down

flesh, so that

and

to rest, as if pins

building,

were

every night,

when

the

felt

were running into their

they were heartily glad

when

the

work was

revenge upon the

man who

completed.

But now began the had been

at the

Pixies'

head of thus offending them.

One morn-

ing, when the old farmer came down into the kitchen, he found a heap of ashes on the hearth, within the ample

space of the chimney.

It

looked absolutely as

been a bonfire made of a whole rick of wood

;

if there

had

and, on going

into the wood-yard, he found the better part of his rick,

more especially all the great logs that he had been saving up for the Christmas week, gone. He next proceeded to the cow-house. It was in the depth of winter and there ;

he was struck with horror on beholding his

finest,

fattest,

and most favourite cow, the very queen of cows for grace and beauty, standing shivering and shaking, reduced to a living skeleton

;

her eyes staring out of her head, and her " The What a sight

bones scarcely covered with skin.

!

Pixies have pity on me," exclaimed the old truly do I

fear this is their

ing mornings

it

on the hearth, and now a

At

work."

On

was just the same thing fat

ox reduced

man

;

"for

the two follow-

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a heap of

ashes

to a living skeleton

length the old farmer plucked up courage, and deter-

mined

that,

on the next night, he would watch and find

out the mystery.


A PEEP AT THE

152

He

effected his purpose

PIXIES.

by concealing himself in

a hollow

place in the wall of the kitchen, called the smuggler's hole;

fame did him no wrong, the old fellow was said, now and then, to do business in an unlawful way. Well, there was he concealed. Exactly as the clock struck twelve, he heard a noise something like the humming of bees at the for, if

kitchen door

;

and

directly after perceived a little creature,

human

very diminutive, but shaped like a

come

being,

forth through the key-hole.

Immediately Friskey of this Pixy) took

(for such, it

down from

name hung near

seemed, was the

a nail, where

it

the door, the ponderous key (the weight of which was

almost too

much

for him),

and with

it,

at length, the

young

gentleman managed to unlock the door.

To next of

amazement, what should the old farmer

his utter see,

little

pulling

but one of his

creatures

him by

;

some

fine fat

oxen driven in by myriads

sitting

on the animal's back, others

the ears, a few swinging on his

tail,

and a

couple of rogues, one perched on the tip of either horn,

amusing themselves by turning about, in their

antics, like

the weather-cocks on the tops of the pinnacles of Tavistock

church.

This Pixy progeny, though numerous, were by no means very handsome. The tallest of them was (said the old gossip, the narrator of this most wonderful history) not

higher than her kitchen candle-stick; that was, about six inches from crown to toe

dwarfs

;

among them, were

and the miniature Pixies, or scarcely half so

looked, added this observing old dame, for like

little

stoats,

standing on their hinder

tall.

all

They

the world

legs.

They


THE

PIXIKS'

REVENGE.

Page

152.


^


THE BELFRY ROCK. had

fierce

flashing

153

black eyes, large mouths, and red fiery tongues,

and shining

like pen-knives, as

they thrust them

out.

This band of

little

imps,

who seemed

to

be of no very

gentle or amiable nature, soon drove the poor

kitchen chimney.

threw him down in a minute; fairly

ox near the

Then, urchins though they were, they all

hands

set to

work and

skinned him, being careful in so doing not to break

Whilst

the hide.

operation was going on, another

this

party of these diminutive monsters

(if

so they

may

be called)

busied themselves in bringing in great logs of wood.

It

was truly wonderful to see such little creatures capable, by The logs were their numbers, of removing such loads.

One of the Pixies then breathed disposed upon the hearth. upon them, and immediately they kindled into a flame. Friskey next clapped his tiny hands, and forthwith three obedient Pixies appeared, each mounted and sitting between the prongs of a pitchfork turned upwards, and so they glided

onward towards the fire. The pitchforks stopped of themselves, and then the urchins dismounted; and one putting his fork into the nose of the poor ox, whilst the other did

the same to had him up

his

rump, and the third poked

in a trice,

for roasting before the

and contrived fire.

And

at his side,

to suspend

then they

all

they

him ready set to and

whirled and turned him backwards and forwards and round

about like so

many mad

cook's ladle

and with

turnspits,

all

and basted him with the

the butter and cream that they

could steal from the dairy; for Pixies are very good cooks, and know that meat is never delicate or tender unless basted with care. The roasting was soon finished for a fire ;


A PEEP AT THE

154

kindled by such means

PIXIES.

strong, swift,

is

and subtle

in its

operations.

And

exactly while the old farmer in

tlien,

could count seven, tbree times was tbe ox tbree times again let down, before

This done, one

large kitchen table.

ugly than

it

liis

biding bole

up and

lifted

was transferred little

to tbe

wretch, far more

the rest, with something bright and sparkling

all

about his brows (the form of which the farmer could not exactly make out), stamped with his tiny feet, and bade the

whole band thousand

In another moment, out flew a

to the feast.

knives, each in shape resembling a cutlass,

little

and each Pixy fell to " tooth and nail/' on the good cheer, They all seemed cutting and carving and helping himself highly to enjoy their supper, and chatted and talked as fast as they ate in a sort of squeak very like the squeak of mice These

in a corner.

little

wretches contrived in a few

minutes, to devour fat and lean, and every part of the ox

The

except the brain, the eyes, and bones and sinews.

bones, however, were picked quite clean, and looked to tbe

wondering farmer,

were then

But

when he saw

be

under the

cast

how

to

the old

as

white as drifted snow.

table.

man

did tremble and quake with fear

that one of the small bones of the beast

fallen near the entrance of the hole in the wall,

He

lay concealed.

mind

He

had

where he

had, however, courage and presence of

sufficient to stretch out his

small bone.

They

then shut to the

hand and catch up little softly-sliding

this

panel

that formed a sort of door to the entrance of his secret retreat; for

he

Avas so

overcome with terror that he could

not bear any longer to behold such a scene of mischief,


THE BELFRY ROCK. and could

liardly suppress

favourite ox.

liis

155

groans for tLe

However, he could not

loss

what was still going on. Presently he perceived the Pixy company set

of

liis

now and

forbear^

then, taking a peep at

and capering

mad

and

dancing

to

this they did

in a ring,

holding each other by the hand, and making a

humming

like

things

;

and strange one) which was only interrupted by the mouselike squeak and a sort of chuckling, for that was their manner of mirth and laughter.

noise like a tune (though a very wild

After tliey were pretty well tired with their sports, the little Pixy who looked more old and ugly than all the rest, gave a sharp shrill cry, and immediately all the party began to collect tlie scattered bones,

and to put them together with

wonderfiil ease and precision, fastening

and sinews.

The

little

creatures,

them with

ligatures

however, in building up

the ox, missed the small bone, and appeared greatly alarmed

should bring upon them the anger of their king.

lest

it

But

after consulting together,

to conceal

it

They next

from him pretty

they seemed to form a plan readily.

and had been doing it to oblige any Surgeon Hunter, or Professor Owen, for their schools of anatomy. They then took the horns and the hoofs (which they removed before supper) with very great care and, lastly, drew the skin over the bones with admirable dexterity. It went on without pulling, for there was no flesh left to laid out the skeleton of the ox, as clean

as perfect as if they

;

create the slightest difficulty.

This finished, once more

all

joined hands,

and danced three several times round the ox all

made ;

a ring,

and, lastly,

united in uttering one small shrill piercing cry.

Thi


A PEEP AT THE

156

was repeated

more,

thrice

PIXIES.

" and

Several of

nimbly

as

again,"

tlirlce

witches say in the play of Macbeth, " to

as

make up

them then climbed upon the creature's back, as young cats, and placed themselves about the

head, and seemed to breathe and utter sounds in the

and

the

nine."

mouth

ears.

All these

being accomplished, the leader

rites

among

the

from a broom in the

Pixies took several pieces of birch

after his own fashion, proceeded down the ox, from the tip of his nose to the end of tail. Whereupon the animal began slowly to re-ani-

kitchen, and,

making one

to rub

his

mate.

First

his ears,

he opened one eye, and then another

and rolled out

his

tongue

;

shook

;

and then he gave such

a sudden whisk with his

tail, that he tumbled off from two of Pixies who were amusing themselves by hanging upon it, as ship-boys do upon a rope and, it

a dozen or

;

he gave such a bellow,

lastly,

old farmer in his hole.

and

accomplished,

that

Their sport for the night being

fearing

the ox,

with his bellowing,

would disturb the house, the Pixy drive

tribe

beast towards the door

the poor

even startled the

it

;

proceeded to

but they could

not do even this like other creatures, for they did

it

by

and pinching him in a very wanton manner. then it was found, that, for want of the small mis-

teazing

And

sing bone,

on one

the animal

leg.

They

all,

limped

terribly,

and went lame

however, got out,

much

in the

same way that they got in. Friskey staid behind, to lock the door and hang up the key, and then bobbed through the key-hole

And

now,

my

after the others.

young

friends,

you want

to

know what


THE BELFRY ROCK.

157

became of the old man and I '11 tell you. As soon as all was quiet, he crept out of his smuggling-hole, and went but could not get a wink of to bed, terribly frightened ;

;

sleep all the nisrht for thinking of the

Pixies.

As

soon

as it

was day, he got up, and went straight to the ox-

house

;

and there he found

his

Now, there was a near him, who was called

on one lived

leg.

poor skeleton beast, halting strange kind of old

though he consulted her upon the she

do notliing

could

favour the Pixies

;

for

seemed that

case, it

him, but rather inclined to

very probably they were her personal

However, being hard pressed

friends.

to

give advice,

she told the farmer to go to a conjuror, know'n

name

woman

old Joan, the witch; but,

of the White Wizard

of Exeter

;

by the

a little,

short,

funny old man, who was very formidable when he chose to use his

of

all

power over witches and

pixies,

and

little

devils

kinds and degrees.

The farmer did go

White had happened. How he took down the tower of the Pixy church, and broke it up for stones for his building, and every thing which had befallen Wizard

him own

;

all

and eyes

affair a

and related

to the

that

all

and

had both seen and heard with his The White Wizard thought the

that he ears.

very bad one

counselled

to Exeter,

;

but not altogether hopeless.

the farmer to go home,

pull

down

his

He new

building, carry back all the stones to where he had taken them from, put them down on the same spot, but not to attempt to do anything more to them. Although grieved, and vexed to think he must be at so great a loss as all this implied, yet the old

man

obeyed.

Great


A PEEP AT THE

158

was Ms

PIXIES.

surprise wlien, on going out the next morning,

he found the Pixy church and tower built up again^ exactly

as

was before, and not a stone out of

it

its

place.

But, alas

!

after

he had

first

nothing went well with him

up

built

again, he

;

disturbed the Pixy tower,

though

for,

moped about

low

in

had been which

it

spirits,

he could not overcome, and got as lean and All able as one of his poor skeleton oxen.

miser-

as

the

this

old farmer related to the parson of the parish, and said that he

made

the confession on purpose to ease his con-

gcience before he died,

Now

fhis

which he did soon

very sad and disastrous

after.

tale was, for a

period, the subject of narrative at Christmas

mas

eves, over the hot pies

and the white

long

and Michael-

ale,

also

made

hot, with the addition of spice, eggs,

and sugar, in

the villages bordering on Dartmoor.

It

a

warning both to young and

old,

was related

never

to

all

as

meddle

with, or to destroy, any Pixy rocks, houses or buildings, or rings of any kind or description, as these beings, though

fancy, are, nevertheless,

spiteful

and revengeful in

nature, and will requite an oifence with

be

it

what

it

little

Pixy

sometimes of service where they take a

may.

their

tenfold injury,


;

APPEI^DIX.

Notes to

"

Pixy Gathon

West

;

or,

the Tailor's Needle."

of England

is to tliis day an expression used to denote the mischievous and wicked designs of witchcraft. To be ill-wished by an old woman, signifies neither more nor less than to be bewitched by her. Sometimes persons who fancy that their children, themselves, or their cattle, are so, go to the White Witch, who pretends to the power of curing or removing the evil brought about by the wicked one. Concerning Anastatia Steer, etc., I beg leave to subjoin, for the amusement of my readers, the following extracts from that curious work "J. View of Devonshire in 1630, with a Pedigree of most of its Gentry, hy Thonas Westcote, Gentleman,^'' which, though written so long ago, was only very lately published by subscription. Speaking of the great age of many persons in the county of Devon, the worthy author quaintly says " To add somewhat more concerning long life, it is to be proved, that Anastatia Steer, late of Roborough, hved full one hundred and forty years, double the age the prophet David allowed for old men in his time, when he said

Ill-ivishing in the

" Our time

is

three score years and ten

That we do

live on mould If one see four score, surely then count him wondrous old."

We

And

speaking of Crediton, he says " Their market for kersies hath been very great, especially of the finer sort; (and before the prepeticanos vfere wrought) for the aptness and diligent industry of the inhabitants (for making such


:

APPENDIX.

160 cloth), did

purchase

whereby grew

this

it

a super-eminent name above all other towns, proverb, as fine as Kerton spinning ;

common

(for we briefly call it Kerton) which spinning was indeed very fine which to express, the better to gain your belief, it is very true, that one hundred and forty threads of woollen yarn spun in that town were drawn together through the eye of a tailor's needle; which needle and which threads were for many years together to be seen in Watling Street in London, in the shop of one Mr. Dunscombe, at the sign of the Golden Bottle."

Notes to

"

The Three Trials

;

or,

The Story of Crabby

Cross."

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

Tintagel. The ruins of this once magnificent old castle, traditionally said to have been built by Prince Arthur, stand to this day much as they are described in the tale. The Rev. Mr. Hawker, in his little volume of elegant poetry, called " Records of the Western Shore," says of the Chough, " This wild bird chiefly haunts the coasts of Devon and Cornwall. The common people believe that the soul of King Arthur inhabits one of these birds, and no entreaty or bribe would induce an old Tintagel quarryman to kill one of them." Black cats, black hens, and ravens, I believe, from time immemoand rial, have been considered as the peculiar property of witches the evil spirit, who becomes the familiar of any such wicked persons, is said to take up his abode in the body of one of the above named black creatures, or, in some cases, to assume the appearance of any one of them. Some time since, I saw it stated, I think in Prince's " Worthies of Devon'"' (but have lost the reference to the page), that a certain learned divine, deeply versed in magic, had an attendant spirit in the shape of a black hen, which, on some one reading in a great magical book that lay on the table in the absence of the owner, suddenly became a monstrous and dangerous bird. :

Notes to "The Seven Crosses of Tiverton; Pixy Pickett."

or.

The Story of

The quaint old author, Westcote, above mentioned, gives the following account of the Seven Crosses of Tiverton. He begins by stating, that a poor labouring man of that town had, by his wife, seven sons at a birth, " which being so secretly kejat, as but known


;

APPENDIX.

161

and his wife he, despaii-iug of Divine Providence (which never deceiveth them that depend thereon, but giveth meat to every mouth, and tilleth with his blessing every living thing), resolveth to let them swim in our river, and to that purpose puts them all into a large basket, and takes his way towards the river. The Countess (of Devon) having been somewhere abroad to take the air, or doing rather some pious v/ork, meets him with his basket, and by some, no doubt Divine, inspiration, demands what he carried in his basket. The silly man, stricken dead well near with that question, answers, They are Let me see them,' quoth the lady. they were whelps. I will see,' not worth the rearing.' puppies,' replied he again, quoth the good Countess; and the loather he was to show them, the more earnest was she to see them which he perceiving, fell on his knees and discovered his purpose, with all former circumstances which understood, she hasteth home with them, provides nurses and all things else necessary. They all live, are bred in learning, and, being come to man's estate, gives each a prebend in this parish, which I think are vanished not to be seen, but the Seven Crosses near Tiverton, set up by this occasion, keeps it yet in memory." to himself

;

'

'â&#x20AC;˘

'

'

:

Notes to Sir

"

Henry de Bath,

and a judge

Fontina

or,

a native of

The

Pixies' Bath."

Devon and

a

most worthy man,

IH., in consequence of the king's been prejudiced against him by an artful and designing

in the reign of

mind havmg

;

Henry

enemy, was summoned before the Pai'liament on the charges of corruption and treason. Conscious of his innocence, he came forward in the most fearless manner, supported by his friends, who entered the house armed. Those who were to sit in judgment upon him, feared so much the consequences to themselves did they con demn him, that not one present vvroukl lead the way whereupon the king, in a fit of passion, denounced him, and promised to pardon any one who should put to death Sir Henry de Bath. He, however, escaped the present danger, and was afterwards reconciled to his ;

sovereign.

In the court before Bath House (the ancient family residence near North Tav/ton, Devon) there was formerly a deep pit. Prince says, " so deep in the centre as the height of a man vvfcll mounted on horseback, generally dry, where would sometimes in the dryest season a spring break out, which hlled the pit so full it would overflow its banks." This overflowing of the waters became a fatal


;

APPENDIX.

162

sign of death or calamity to the family of De Bath and Westcote says in the work already cited, " That in those latter days, it had been seen to do so three times in a little more than thirty years." ;

Notes to "The Lady op the Silver Bell." For the wild Pixy incidents which suggested this

my

husband, the Rev. E. A. Bray, who since commenced a little poem on the subject, which is indebted to

Notes to

'

The Belfry Rock

;

or,

The

Pixies'

tale,

many

I

am

years

lost.

Revenge."

Belfry Rock, commonly called the Church Rock, on Dartmoor, on account of its resemblance to a church. I know not if it is still in being, as great havoc of late years has taken place on the moor many rocks have been blasted with gunpowder, broken ujj for the roads, and otherwise destroyed. But the Church Rock was long remembered and many old persons have declared, that they could recollect the time when, if you placed your ear close to it on a Sunday, you could hear a low tinkling sound like the bells of Tavistock Church, and always at the time of warning for service and they also said, that the chimes, at the regular hours of the day for chiming, could be so heard at the rock. All this was duly ascribed to the Pixies, who, it was believed, loved bell -ringing, and went to church. Hence the rock in question received the name of the Pixies' Church. It is not at all improbable, that, when the wind was in the right quartei-, the sounds heard at the rock were the faint echoes of the Tavistock bells. For a knowledge of the local tradition, on which the tale of the Belfry Rock is founded, I am indebted to Mr. Merrilield, a barrister, and a man of talent in more things than the law, a native of the town of Tavistock, and the husband of a lady well known for her literary merits.

The

;

;

THE end.

WKRTIIEIMKR AND CO , PUI.MERS, FI ^ SBUKV

CIUCXJS.


;

CORNER OF

;

ST.

;

PAUL'S CHURCH-YARD, LONDON.

NEW AND POPULAR WORKS FOR THE YOUNG, PUBLISHED BY

GRANT AND GRIFFITH, (successors to

newbery and Harris).

The Favourite Picture Book; A Gallery of Delights, designed for the

Amusement and Instruction of Young. With several Hundred Illustrations by Eminent Artists. Royal 4to., price 3s. 6d., bound in an Elegant Cover. the

Mrs. BRAY'S

A

Peep Or,

NEW WORK.

at the Pixies

By

Legends of the West.

Browne

Mrs. Bray.

Illustrated

by H. K.

(Phiz), 3s. 6d. cloth.

Ocean and her Rulers;

A

Narrative of the Nations

minion over the Sea. Foolscap 8vo., 5s. cloth.

who have from

the earliest ages held doWith Frontispiece.

By Alfred Elwes.

The Day of a Baby Boy A Story for a Young Child. By E. Berger. John Absolon.

Cat and

Price 2s.

6cf.

cloth, plain; 3s.

With 6(i.

Illustrations

by

coloured, gilt edges.

Dog A

Or, Memoirs of Puss and the Captain. Story founded on fact. By the Author of " The DoU and her Friends." lUustrated by H. Weir. Price 2s. 6d. cloth, plain ; 3s. 6d. coloured, gilt edges.


NEW AND

INTERESTING

WORKS

THE BARON KRAKEMSIDES' NEW WORK.

The

Careless Chicken; By the Baron Kkakemsides

;

author of "Funny Leaves for the large coloured Plates, by Alfred

Younger Branches." With Sixteen Crowquill. 4to., 2s. 6d.

for the Younger Branches. Baron Krakemsides, of Burstenoudelafen Castle. by Alfred CnowQniLL. 4to,, coloured plates, 2s. 6d.

Funny Leaves By

tlie

Elustrated

Scripture Histories for Little Children. By

the author of "

trations,

Mamma's

by John Gilbert.

Bible Stories," 3s. plain; 4s.

The History of an Adopted

etc.

With Sixteen

Illus-

coloured.

6c?.

Child.

By Geraldine

E. Jem^sbury, with an Illustration Foolscap 8vo., price 5s. cloth.

by John Absolon.

The Family Bible Newly Opened of it. By Jefferys Taylor, author Glance at the Globe," " The Young Islanders," etc. Frontisof " piece by John Gilbert. Fcap. 8vo., 4s, 6d. cloth.

With Uncle Goodwin's account

A

Kate and Rosalind; Or, Early Experiences.

With an

Illustration

by J. Gilbert.

Fcap.

8vo., price 5s. cloth.

Hidden Treasures; Or, the Heir of Hohenberg. Edited by F. Hardman, Author of " The Student of Salamanca," etc., with Four Illustrations. Fcap. 8vo., 3s.

Good Or, â&#x20AC;˘

6c?.

cloth.

in Everything The Early History

of Gilbert Harland.

By Mrs. Barwell,

Author of " Little Lessons for Little Learners," John Gilbert. Royal 16mo., cl. 3s. 6d. plain; 4s.

etc. 6c?.,

Illustrated

by

cold., gilt edges.

Manco, the Peruvian Chief; Or, the Adventures of an Englisliman in the Country of the Incas. By W. H. G. Kingston, Esq. With Illustrations by Carl Schmolze. Fcap. 8vo., 6s. cloth. Sy the same Author,

Mark Seaworth; A Tale of the Indian Ocean.

Illustrated

by J. Absolon. Fcap. 8 vo. 6s. cl.

Peter the Whaler His early Life and Adventures in the Arctic Regions. Second Edition. With Illustrations, Fcap. 8va, 6s. cloth.


PUBLISHED BY GRANT AND GRIFFITH.

Anecdotes of the Habits and Instincts of Animals. By

Mrs. E. Lee (formerly Mrs. Bowdich), with Illustrations by H. Fcap. 8vo., 6s. cloth.

Weir.

By

the

same Author,

Anecdotes of the Habits and Instincts of Birds, REPTILES, and FISHES.

Twelve Stories

of

ANIMALS. With royal

1

6mo., cloth

Four

by H. Weir. Ecap.

Illustrated

Illustrations

2s. 6rf. plaiu

;

8vo., 6s.

el.

Sayings and Doings of

the

3s. 6c/.

by

J.

W. Archer.

Super-

coloured, gilt edges.

Adventures in Australia; Or, the Wanderings of Captain Spencer in the Bush and the Wilds containing accurate descriptions of the Habits of the Natives, and the Natural Productions and Features of the Country. Second Edition. With Illustrations by J. S. Prout. Fcap. 8vo., 6s, cloth.

Familiar Natural History. With Forty-two

Illustrations

Descriptions by Mrs. Lee. 6s. coloured, gilt edges.

fnjm Drawings by Harrison Weir, and Super Royal IGmo., cloth 3s. (>d. plainj

The African Wanderers; Or, the Adventures of Carlos and Antonio; with Descriptions of the of the Western Tribes, and the Natural Productions of the Country. 2nd Edit. With Engravings. Fcap. 8vo., 6s. cl.

Manners and Customs

" For fascinating adventure, and rapid succession of incident, the volume is equal to any relation of travel we ever read. It exhibits marked ability as well as extensive knowledge, and deserves perusal from all ages." Btitaii/ii/i. " In strongly recommending this admirable work to the attention of young readers, we feel that we are rendering a real service to the cause of African civilization." Patriot.

The Doll and Her Friends Or,

Memoirs of the Lady Seraphina. By the Author of "'Letters from etc. With Illustrations by H. K. Browne ( Phiz). Super-

Madras,"

royal 16mo., cloth, 2s. &d. plain; 3s. &d. coloured, gilt edges.

Stories of Julian and his Playfellows. Written by His Mamma. With Illustrations by John Absolon. Super-royal 16mo.,

2s. 6rf., plain; 3s. 6f/.,

coloured, gilt edges.

Tales from Catland Written for Little Kittens by an Old Tabby. With Four Illustrations Second Edit. Small 4to., 2s. 6d. plain; 3s. 6c?. coloured.

by H. Weir.


NEW AND

INTERESTING

The Wonders of Home, By Grandfather Grey.

WORKS

in Eleven Stories. Second

Edition.

With

Illustrations.

Royal 16mo., price 3s. &d. cloth; 4s. &d. coloured. Contents. 1. The Story of a Cup of Tea. 2. Lump of Coal. Some Hot Water. 4. A Piece of Sugar. 5. The Milk Jug.— 6. Pin. 8. Harry's Jacket. 7. Jenny's Sash. 9. Tumbler. 10. Knife.— 11. This Book.

"

The idea is

selected,

excellent, and and are very happily

its

— A — — A

execution equally commendable.

told in a light yet sensible

manner."

The

3.

A A

subjects are well

Weekly News.

Tales of School Life. of " Tales for Young People." With Four beautiful Illustrations by John Absolon. Second Edition. Royal 16mo., price 3s. 6rf. plain; 4s. &d. coloured.

By Agnes Loudon, Author

•' These reminiscences of school days will be recognised as truthful pictures of every-day occurrence. The style is colloquial and pleasant, and therefore well suited to those for whose perusal it is intended," AtliencEum.

Rhymes

of Royalty.

of England in Verse, from the Norman Conquest to the reign of Queen Victoria; with an Appendix, comprising a summary of the leading events in each reign. Fcap. 8vo., with an Elegant Frontispiece. Price 2s. 6d cloth.

The History

Kit Barn's Adventures; Or, the Yarns of an Old Mariner. Illustrations

"

By Mart Cowden Clarke. With

by George Cruikshank. Fcap.

Svo., price 3s.

6rf.

cloth.

A more captivating volume for juvenile recreative reading we never remember to have

seen," Standard of Freedom. " Cruikshank's illustrations are worthy of his genius. There is a giant and a dwarf, which he never could have drawn, if he had not lived in fairy land." Examiner.

Every-Day Things; Or, Useful Knowledge respecting the principal Animal, Vegetable, and Mineral Substances in common use. Written for Young Persons, by

A Ladt.

18 mo., 2s. cloth.

*** The author, believing that learning by rote from a book of questions and answers only gives a child a smattering of knowledge, without a clear or deiinite idea of any single particular object, recommends, in using this work, that tlie pupil should carefully read the account given of each article, and afterwards be questioned upon it by the parent or teacher, thereby exercising the mind as well as the memory. "The design of the work is very suitably executed." Educational Tiities. ' little encyclopsedia of usefm knowledge, deserving a place in every juvenile library."

A

—Evangelical Magazine.

The History

of a Family

Or, Religion our best Support.

Fcap. Svo., price "

A

2s.

6rf.

With an Illustration by John Absolon.

cloth.

natural and gracefully written story, pervaded by a tone of Scriptural piety, and well calculated to foster just views of life and duty. We hope it will find its way into many English homes."— Englishwoman's Magazine.


PUBLISHED BY GRANT AND GRIFFITH.

Facts from the World of Nature ANIMATE and INANIMATE. Part 1. The

Earth. Part 2. The Waters. Part 3. Atmospheric Phenomena. Part 4. Animal Life. By Mrs. Loudon. With numerous Illustrations on Wood, and a beautiful Frontispiece engraved on Steel. Fcap. 8vo., price 5s. cloth.

" A volume as charming as it is useful." Church and State Gazette. " The young reader is conducted through each region of creation, and has its chief wonders mifolded to liini by one of the pleasantest of guides." Maucliester Examiner.

The

First

Book of Geography

Book for Beginners, and as a Guide to the Teacher. By Hugo Reid, author of " Elements of Astronomy," etc. Second Edition, revised. 18mo., price Is. sewed. " One of the most sensible little books on the subject of Geography we have met with." Specially adapted as a Text

Young

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Educational Times. Visits to

Beechwood Farm

Country Pleasures, and Hints for Happiness addressed to the Young. By Catuerine M. A. Coupee. Four beautiful Illustrations by Absolon. Small 4to., price 3s. Gd., plain. Or,

" Well calculated to impress upon young readers the superiority of simple and natural pleasures over those which are artificial." Englishwoman' s Magazine.

MARIN DE LA VOYE'S ELEMENTARY FRENCH WORKS.

Les Jeunes Narrateurs; Ou Petits Contes Moraux. With a phrases. 18mo., price 2s. cloth.

The

Pictorial

Key

to the difficult

words and

French Grammar;

For the Use of Children.

With Eighty

Illustrations.

Royal

J

6mo.,

price 2s. illimainated cloth.

The Wonder Seeker Or, The History of Charles Douglas. By M. F. Tttler, Author of " Tales of the Great and Brave." With Illustrations by, Absolon.

Second Edit. Fcaji. 8 vo., price 4s. Qd. cloth ; 5s. 6d., coloured, gilt edges. " Books such as these, are always delightful." Athenceum. " It is precisely the book that town boys would like, because it tells them of the country, and country boys cherish, because it teaches them to enjoy, in the country, what perhaps they never enjoyed before." Art Union.

Early Days of English Princes. By

Mrs. Russell Gray.

Roxburghe. l^rice 3s. &d.,

"

With

Dedicated by pel-mission to the Duchess of by John Franklin. Small 4to.,

Illustrations

tinted plates, 4s. &d., coloured.

Cloth.

We cannot too highly recommendits elegant style and moral

tone."

Brighton Gazette


NEW AND

INTERESTING WORKS

Glimpses of Nature And

Objects of Interest described during a Visit to the Isle of Wight. to assist and encourage Young Persons in forming habits of observation. By Mrs. Loudon. Second Edition, with additional Illustrations, and a new Chapter on Shells. 16mo., price 3s. 6d. cloth. " We could not recommend a more "aluable little volume. It is full of information, conveyed in the most agreeable manner." Litei-ary Gazette.

Designed

The

Empire;

Celestial

Points and Pickings of Information about China and the Chinese. l3y the Author of "Paul Preston," " Soldiers and Sailors," etc. With Twenty Engravings. Fcap. 8vo., price 3s. 6c?., cloth. or,

" This very handsome volume contains an almost incredible amount of information." Church and State Gazette.

The Silver Swan; A Fairy Tale. By Madame Leech. " "

Small

de Chatelain.

4to., price 3s, 6rf. plain; As. 6d.

Illustrated coloured.

by John

The moral is in the good, broad, unmistakeable style of the best fairy Tperiod."—Atherueum. The story is written with excellent taste and sly humour." Atlas.

Home Amusements. A Collection of Riddles, Forfeits.

Soldiers

New

and

Charades, Conundrums, Parlour Games, and Price 2s. 6c?. cloth.

Edition, with Frontispiece.

Sailors

;

Or, Anecdotes, Details, and Recollections of Naval and Military Life, as related to his Nephews. By An Old Officer. Fcap., 5s cloth. With 50 beautiful Woodcuts, from Designs by John Gilbert. " Cheerfully do we award the meed of praise to this volume. It is the best book of its we have yet read, containing a rich fund of interesting amusenient for the young, and not without its attractions for those of more mature age." United Service Gazette.

class is

WORKS BY THE AUTHOR OF

Fanny and her

Mamma

MAMIVIA'S BIBLE STORIES.

;

Or, Lessons for Children. In which it is attempted to bring Scriptural Principles into daily practice; with Hints on Nursery Discipline. Illustrated by J. Gilbert. Second Edition. 16mo., price 2s. 6c?. cloth; 3s. 6d. coloured, gilt edges.

Bible Scenes Or, Sunday

Employment

for

Very

Little

Children.

Consisting of

Twelve Coloured Illustrations on Cards, and the History written in Simple Language. In a neat box. Price 3s. 6d. or dissected as a ;

Puzzle, price

6s. 6c?.

First Series.—HISTORY

OF JOSEPH.

Second Series —HISTORY OF OUR SAVIOUR. Third Series.— HISTORY OF MOSES. Fourth Series.—THE MIRACLES OF CHRIST.


PUBLISHED BY GRANT AND GRIFFITH.

Mamma's For her

Bible Stories, Boys and

Little

Girls.

Eighth Edition.

Twelve EngraA'ings.

3*. 6d. cloth.

A

Sequel to

Mamma's

Third Edition.

Bible Stories.

Twelve Engravings.

Price 3s. 6d. cloth.

Short and Simple Prayers, For the Use of Young Children. Square 15mo., price Is. 6d. cloth.

With Hymns.

Third Edition.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

" Well adapted to the capacities of children beginning with the simplest forms which the youngest child may lisp at its mother's knee, and proceeding with those suited to its Special prayers, designed for particular circumstances and gradually advancing age. cordially recommend the book." Christian Giiardian. occasions, are added.

We

The Young Jewess and her Christian By

the Author of " Rhoda," etc. 16mo., price Is. 6c?. cloth.

" Peculiarty adapted to impress upon the of example." EngUskmaii's Magazine.

With a

School-fellows.

Frontispiece by J. Gilbert.

minds of young persons the powerful

efficacy

Third Edition. With Three Square 16mo., price 2s. cloth.

Illus-

Rhoda The Excellence

Or,

trations

of Charity.

by Williams.

" Not only adapted for children, but many parents might derive gi-eat advantage from studying its simple truths." Oiurcli and State Gazette.

Stories from the Old and On an improved plan. By the gravings.

Fifth Edition.

Price

New

Testaments,

Rev. B.

II.

Draper.

With 48 En-

5s. cloth.

AVars of the Jews, As

related

and

by Josephus; adapted to the Capacities of Young Persons, 24 Engravings. Fifth Edition. Price 4s. 6d cl.

illustrated with

True Stories from Ancient History, Chronologically arranged from the Creation of the World to the Death of Charlemagne. By the Author of " Always Happy," etc. Eleventh Edit. 24 Engravings. 12mo. Price 5s. cloth.

True

Stories

from Modern History,

Chronologically arranged from the Death of Charlemagne to the Year 1849. Seventh Edit. 24 Engravings. 12mo., 5s. cloth.

True Stories from English History, Chronologically arranged from the Invasion of the Romans to the Present Time. Sixth Edit. 36 Engravings. 5s. cloth.


WORKS PUBLISHED BY GRANT AND

GRIFFITH.

Trimmer's Concise History of England, With a Continuation to the Reign of Victoria, by Mrs. Milnee, Author of "Life of Dean Milner," etc. With Illustrations. New and Cheaper In one volume, fcap. 8vo., price

Edition.

5s. cloth.

First Steps in Scottish History, By Miss Rodwell, Author of " First Steps With 10

Illustrations

The Prince

by Weigai.l.

to English History," etc.

3s. 6d, cloth; 4s. 6d. coloured.

of Wales' Primer.

New Edition, with 300 Dedicated to her Majesty Queen Victoria. Engravings. Price 6d or Title, Frontispiece, and Cover printed in ;

Gold and Colours,

Is.

Anecdotes of Kings. Selected from History ; or, Gertrude's Stories for Children. With Engravings, 2s. 6d. plain ; 3s. 6d. coloured.

New Edi-

tion.

Bible Illustrations; Or, a Description of Manners and Customs peculiar to the East, and By the Rev. B. H. especially Explanatory of the Holy Scriptures. Draper. With Illustrations. Fourth Edition. Revised by Dr. Kitto, Editor of " The Pictorial Bible." Price 4s. cloth.

The

British History briefly told,

and a Description of the Ancient Customs, Sports, and Pastimes of the English.

With

full-length Portraits of the Sovereigns in then* proper Price 4s. Gd. cloth.

Costumes, and 18 other Engravings.

Facts to correct Fancies Or, Short Narratives compiled from the

Women. By a Mother. With Engravings,

Key

to

Biography of Remarkable 3s.6rf.

plain; 4s.6d. coloured.

Knowledge

Or, Things in

Common Use

Mother, Author numerous

of "

Illustrations.

simply and shortly Explained. Always Happy," etc. Twelfth Edition.

By

a

With

Price 3s. 6d. coloured.

The Mine; An Account of the Operations of the Or, Subterranean Wonders. Miner and the Products of his Labours. By the late Rev. Isaac Taylor. With Corrections and Additions by Mrs. Loddon. Sixth Edition. 45 new Woodcuts and Steel Engravings. Price 4s. cloth.

The Ship A Description of different kinds of Vessels, the Origin

of Ship-building,

a Brief Sketch of Naval Aifairs, with the Distinctive Flags of diifercnt By the late Rev. Nations, and numerous illustrative Engravings. Fifth Edition. Edited by M. H. Barker, Esq., Isaac Taylor. " The Old Sailor." Price 4s. cloth.

WERTHEIMER AND

CO.,

I'HlllrERS,

FIKSEH KY CIRCUS.


^<>-Z^/^


/

Profile for Qmr alzman

A peep at the pixies - or, Legends of the west  

; I UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH ti&lt; Uarliiigton JVLemorial Ijibrary FIXY GATHON. Page Si) By MRS. BRAY, EVANS AND BRITTAf^f, NEW YORK. WITH...

A peep at the pixies - or, Legends of the west  

; I UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH ti&lt; Uarliiigton JVLemorial Ijibrary FIXY GATHON. Page Si) By MRS. BRAY, EVANS AND BRITTAf^f, NEW YORK. WITH...

Profile for qmralzman
Advertisement

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded