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when something made me cast my eyes to the ground, a little before me; and then I saw, as sure as I'm sitting here, no less nor three of the Leprechauns, all bundled together like so many tailors, in the middle of the path before me. They were not hammering their pumps, or making any kind of noise whatever ; but there they were, the three little fellows, with their cocked hats upon them, and their legs gothered up under them, working away at their trade as hard as may be. If you were only to see, ma’am, how fast their little elbows went as they pulled out their ends! Well, every one of them had his
eye me, and their eyes were as bright as the
eye frog, and I could not stir one step from the spot for the life of me. So I turned my head round, and prayed to the Lord in his mercy to deliver me from them, and when I went to look at them again, ma'am, not a sight of them was to be seen : they were gone like a dream.”
“ But, Molly, why did you not catch them?”
“ I was afeard, ma'am, that's the truth of it; but maybe I was as well without them. I never heard tell of a Leprechaun yet that was not too many
any one that cotch him.” • Well, and Molly, do you
think there are any Leprechauns now?
“ It's my belief, ma'am, they're all gone out of
the country, clever and clean, along with the Fairies; for I never hear tell now of them at all.”
Mrs. L. having now attained her object, after a little more talk with the good old woman, took her
attended by Mary, who would see her a piece of the way home. And Mary being asked what she thought of the Leprechauns, confessed her inability to give a decided opinion: her mother, she knew, was incapable of telling a lie, and yet she had her doubts if there ever were such things as Leprechauns.
Huar Prownie coad agus curochd,
Colonies of Gothic Fairies, it would appear, early established themselves in the Highlands, and almost every Lowland, German, and Scandinavian Fairy or Dwarf-tale will there find its fellow. Gaelic Fairies dance and sing, lend and borrow, and they make cloth and shoes in an amazingly short space of time. They make their “ raids” upon the low country, and carry
off women and children; they fetch midwives to assist at the birth of their children, and mortals have spent a night at the fairy revels, and next morning found that the night had extended a hundred years.
The Gael call the Fairies Daoine Shi'*,
* Men of Peace, perhaps the Stille-folk, Still-people. Our stock of Irish or Erse is marvellously slender, yet we venture to doubt the correctness of this explication : Daoine Shi' is perhaps merely Fairy-people. See note in p. 178.
their habitations Shians, or Tomhans. These are a sort of turrets, resembling masses of rock or hillocks. By day they are indistinguishable, but at night they are frequently lit up with great splendour.
These Daoine Shi' are very handsome in their persons, and usually attired in green.
Brownie, too, “ shows his honest face" in the Highlands; and the mischievous water Kelpie also appears in his equine form, and seeks to decoy unwary persons to mount him, that he may plunge with his rider into the neighbouring loch or river.
The Highlanders have the same ideas respecting the seals that their Shetland neighbours have.
Those anxious for particulars of the Highland Fairies will meet full and satisfactory information in Mr. Stewart's work on “ The Popular Superstitions of the Highlanders *."
* Edinburgh, 1823.
Mona once hid from those who search the main,
Mona or Man was early visited by the North
For its size it is, we apprehend, as well peopled by the Fairies as either Scotland or Ireland. One distinguishing trait of Manx Fairies is their fondness for the chase, and their pride in mounting large horses instead of ponies. In almost every respect they differ as little from their eastern or western kindred as the Manx themselves do from the English or Irish.
Mr. Waldron, an English gentleman, who resided in Man towards the middle of the last century, was very minute in his inquiries respecting Fairies, and has recorded a number of stories of them. As almost all these legends are inserted in the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, we think we may here safely omit them, referring our readers to that work, or to Mr. Waldron's *.
Our matter is so abundant that we have felt the necessity of abridging very considerably. As our authorities for this and the preceding head are so accessible, we think it better to omit here than in what is to follow.