History of the yellow dwarf

History of the yellow dwarf  (1852) 


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NEW AND IMPROVED SERIES,

No. 47.


THE HISTORY OF

THE YELLOW DWARF.

GLASGOW:

PRINTED FOR THE BOOKSELLERS.

1852.


Price One Penny.

THE HISTORY

OF

THE YELLOW DWARF.




There was once a Queen, who, though she had born many children, they all died but one daughtor, and being left a widow, without tho hopos of any moro, sho was so very fond of her, that she complotoly spoiled her with indulgence. This Princess was so exceedingly beautiful, that sho went by the name of All-Fair; but flattery, and knowing she was born to a crown, made her so proud and vain, that she thought every person was born only to serve her.

When tho Princess had reached her fifteenth year, tho Queen, who was anxious to get hor married, caused her picture to be drawn, and then sent it to all tho neighbouring courts. Such was the powor of All-Fair’s beauty, that overy ono who saw tho picturo fell despcratoly in love with her, and above twenty kings camo to pay their addresses to her. Never was a court more brilliant; for theso princes vied with each other in giving splendid and expensive entertainmonts in honour of All-Fair, and thought themselves richly recompensed, if she deigned to bestow on them a look or a smile. IIowever desirous they wero to pleaso the Princess, yet none of them had tho power to touch her heart, and sho was so vain of her charms, that she refused every offer of marriage with disdain.

The Princoss's lovers complained to the Queen of hor cruolty, and sho triod to persuade her daughter to marry ono of thom; but it was all to no purposo, for All-Fair told her, that sho was resolved never to marry; and so conceited was this Princess, that she did not think thero was any princo in the world a good enough match for her.

The Queen was in great distress at the stubbornness of her daughter, and sho found, too late, the error she had committed in honouring her so much. However she determined to go and consult the Desert Fairy, who lived at a considerable distance, and to ask her advice concerning the Princess.

Now, as this powerful fairy was guarded by two fierce lions, it was impossible to pass them without appeasing their fury, and this could only be done by giving them a cake made of millet, sugar-candy, and crocodiles' eggs. The Queen having provided herself with a cake made for the purpose, put it in a little basket, which she hung upon her arm, and set out for the abode of the fairy. After travolling for somo time she felt very weary, and lay down under a tree to rest herself, where she fell insensibly asleep.

On awakening, she heard the roaring of the lions which guarded tho fairy, and she immediately seized

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her basket, but alas! the cake was gone; and almost frightened to death, she sunk down at the foot of the tree. She was roused by hearing a voice crying, "Hem! hem!" and looking up, she saw a little yellow man, about half a yard in hoight, sitting on the tree picking and eating oranges.

"Ah! Queen," said the Yellow Dwarf, who was called by this namo on account of his comploxion, and the orange-tree ho lived in, "how will you escape from tho lions that are now approaching you, when you have no cake to pacify them? I know the business that brought you here, and as I am in want of a wife, and you are anxious to get your daughter settled in life, if you promiso her to mo in marriage, I will savo you." The Queen looked at tho frightful littlo wretch, and was struck with such horror at his disgusting appearanco, that she could not utter a word; but at that moment tho lions making their appearance, sho was so dreadfully frightened, that sho cried out, "Save me, good Sir Dwarf, and my daughter is yours." Immediately the

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Dwarf caused the treo to open, and tho Queen having entered, it closed again.

Nothing could exceed tho astonishment of the Queen, for she instantly found herself in her own palace, dressed in a superb robe of curious lace, and attendod by tho Princess and the other ladies of the court. At first the Queen began to think all that passed was only a dream; but the rich dress she wore having convinced her of the reality of it, and the sight of All-Fair, sho was seized with such a fit of melancholy, as to bo unablo either to speak, eat, or sloop. The Princess, who loved her mother, was much grieved at her distress, and having in vain endeavoured to find out the causo of her dejoction, determined to go and consult the Desert Fairy about tho stato of tho Quoen. Accordingly, after proparing a cake to appeaso tho lions, which she put into a basket, tho Princess sot forward on her journey for tho abode of tho Fairy. As sho went exactly the samo road her mother had takon bofore, sho camo to the fatal orango-tree, which was loaded with fine fruit, and feeling a great dosire to gather some, sho set down her basket, and began to pluck and eat the oranges. In tho mean-

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timo the lions fell a-roaring, and tho terror and grief of the Princess was inoxpressiblo, on looking down, to find that both her basket and cake wero gono. While sho was lamenting her deplorablo situation, tho Yollow Dwarf presented himself to her with these words: "Lovely Princess, dry up your tears, and hear what I am going to say: You need not proceod to tho Desort Fairy to know the reason of your mother's indisposition, sho is ungonorous enough to ropent of having promised you, her adorable daughtor, to mo in marriago."—"How!" interrupted tho Princess; "my mother promised mo to you in marriage! you! such a fright!"—"Nay, none of your scoffs," returned the Yollow Dwarf, wish you not to stir up my anger: if you will promise to marry me, I will be the tenderest and most loving husband in the world—if not, save yourself from the lions if you can." In short, the Princess was forced to give her word that she would have him, but with such agony of mind, that she fell into a swoon, out of which when she recovered, she found herself in her own room finely adorned with ribbons, and a ring of a single hair so fastened round her finger that it could not be got off.

This adventure had the samo effect upon All-Fair as the former had upon her mother. She grew melancholy, which was remarked and wondered at by the wholo court. The best way to divert her, they thought, would be to urge her to marry; which the Princess, who was now

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become less obstinate on that score than formerly, consented to; and thinking that such a pigmy as the Yellow Dwarf would not dare to contend with so gallant a person as the King of the Golden Mines, she fixed upon this king for her husband, who was exceedingly rich and powerful, and loved her to distraction. Tho most superb preparations were mado for the nuptials, and the happy day being fixed, the king's rivals, who were in the utmost despair at his good fortune, left the court, and returned to their dominions, not being able to be eye-witnesses to the Princess's marriage.

At last the long-wished-for day came, and the nuptials were proclaimed by the sound of trumpets and other ceremonies, tho balconies were all adorned tapestries, and the houses bedecked with flowers; when as thoy were proceeding to the ceremony, they saw moving towards them a box, whereon sat an old woman remarkable for her ugliness.—"Hold, Queen and Princess," cried she, knitting her brows, "remember promises yon both made to my friend the Yellow Dwarf. I am the Desert Fairy, and if All-Fair doos not marry

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him, I swear by my coif I will burn my crutch." The Queen and Princess were struck motionless by the unexpected greeting of the Fairy; but the Prince of the Golden Mines was exceedingly wroth; and, holding his sword to her throat, "Fly, wretch!" said he, "or thy malice shall cost theo thy life." No sooner had he uttered these words, than the top of tho box flying open out camo the Yellow Dwarf, mounted upon a large Spanish cat, who placing himself botween the King and tho Fairy, uttered these words: "Rash youth, thy rage shall be levelled at me, not at tho Desert Fairy; I am thy rival, and claim her by promise, and a single hair round her finger."

This so enraged the King, that he cried out, "Contemptible creaturo! wert thou worthy of notice, I would sacrificio theo for thy presumption." Whereupon the Yellow Dwarf, clapping spurs to his cat, and drawing a large cutlass, defied the King to combat; when they went into the court-yard. The sun immediately turned red as blood, and it became dark: thunder and lightning followed, by the flashes whereof were perceived two giants vomiting fire on each sido of tho Yellow Dwarf.

The King behaved with such undaunted courage, as to givo tho Dwarf great perplexity; but was dismayed, when he saw the Desert Fairy, mounted on a winged griffin, with her head covered with snakes, strike the Princess so hard with a lance, that she fell into the Queen's arms all covered with blood. This tendor mother, who was touched to the very soul to see hor daughter in this condition, made most sad complaints; and for tho King, ho lost both his reason and courage, fled the combat, and ran to tho Princess, to succour hor, dio with hor; but tho Yellow Dwarf would not allow him timo to get to her, but flew on his Spanish cat into the balcony whero sho was, and took her out of her mother's arms, and from all tho ladies, and then leaping upon the top of the palace, disappeared with his prize.

As the King stood confused and astonished at this strange adventure, ho suddenly found a mist before his

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eyes, and himself lifted up in tho air by some oxtradinary power: for tho Desert Fairy had fallon in love with him. To secure him for herself, therefore, sho carried him to a frightful cavern, hoping ho would there forget All-Fair, and tried many artifices to complete her designs. But finding this schemo ineffectual, sho resolved to carry him to a place altogother as pleasant as the other was terrible; and accordingly sat him by herself in a chariot drawn by swans. In passing through the air, he had the unspeakable surprise to see his adored Princess in a castle of polished steel, leaning her head on one hand, and wiping away the tears with the other. She happened to look up, and had the mortification to see the King sitting by the Fairy, who then by her art made herself appear extremely beautiful. Had not the King been sensible of the Fairy's power, he would cortainly then have tried to free himself from her, by somo means or other; but he knew it would be in vain and therefore pretended to have a liking for her. At last they came to a stately palace, fenced on one sido by walls of emeralds, and on the other by a boisterous sea.

The King, by pretending to be in love with the Fairy, obtained the liberty to walk by himself on the shore and, as he was one day invoking the powers of the sea ho heard a voice, and presently after was surprised with the appearance of a Mermaid, which, coming up with a

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ploasant smile, spoke these words—"O King of the Golden Mines, I well know all that has passed in regards to you and the fair Princess. Don't suspect this to be a contrivance of the Fairy's to try you, for I am an inveterate enemy both to her and the Yellow Dwarf, therefore, if you will have confidence in me, I will lend you my assistanco to procuro the release not only of yourself, but of All-Fair also."

She then cut down some sea-rushes, and blowing upon them, said, "I order you not to stir off from this beach till the Desert Fairy comes and takes you away. Whereupon a skin grew soon over the rashes, and they became an inanimate likeness of the King of the Golden Mines. After this, the Mermaid made the King sit upon her tail, and they sailed away in a rolling sea, with all imaginable satisfaction.

When they had sailed some time, "Now," said tho Mermaid to tho King, "we draw near the place whero your Princess is kept by the Yellow Dwarf. You will have many enemies to fight before you como to her; tako, therefore, this sword, with which you may ovorcomo every thing, provided you never let it go out of your hand." The King returned her all the thanks that the most grateful heart could suggest; and tho Mermaid landed and took leave of him, promising him farther assistance when necessary.

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But to return to tho Desert Fairy: When she saw that her lover did not return, she hastened after to find him, running along all the shore, attended with a hundred young damsels, loaded with presents for him: some brought great baskets full of diamonds, some golden vessels of admirable work, some ambergris, coral, and pearls, and some carried great pieces of stuffs upon their heads of prodigious riches; in short, every thing that might be acceptable. But in what a sad condition was the Fairy, when, following this noblo troop, she saw the rushes in the shape of the King of the Golden Mines: she was so amazed and grieved, that she gavo a terrible shriek, that made the hills echo again: sho threw herself upon the body, cried, howled, and tore fifty of the persons that were with her in picces, as a sacrifice to the manes of the dear deceased.

Tho King, in the meantime, after parting with the Mermaid, advanced boldly forward, and meeting with two terriblo sphinxes, who flew at him, would have torn him in a thousand pioces, had it not been for the Mermaid's sword, which glittered so in their eyes, that thoy fell down at his feet without any strength, when he gavo each a mortal wound. He then attacked six dragons,

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which opposed his passage, and despatched them alse. Then he met with four-and-twenty nymphs, holding iu their hands long garlands of flowers, with which they stopped his passage: "Whither are you going, sir?" said they; "wo are appointed to guard this place, and if we let you pass, it will be bad both for you and us; thoreforo pray be not obstinate,—you would not imbrue your victorious arm in the blood of so many innocent young damsols, who have done you no wrong." At those words, the King, who was a great admirer of the fair sex, and had professod himself always their protector, was so confounded to think that he must force his passage threugh them, that he knew not what to rosolve on; when ho heard a voice say, "Strike! strike! or you will loso your Princess for ever!" upon which he threw himself into the midst of them, and soon dispersed thom. This being the last obstaclo he had to meet with, ho went into the grove where the Princess lay pale and languishing by a brook-side; and upon bis fearfully approaching towards her, she flew from him with as much terror as if he had been the Yellow Dwarf. "Condemn mo not, madam," said he, "before you hear mo; I am neither falso nor guilty of what you imagino, but only an unfortunate wretch, that has displeased you with repugnanco to himself." "Ah! barbarous man!" cried she, "I saw you traversing the air with a beautiful person; was that against your consent?" "Yes, Princess," said he, "it was: the wickod Desert Fairy, not satisfied with chaining me to a rock, took me with her in her chariot, and conveyed mo to a distant part of tho world, where I should have languished out my days, had it not been for a kind Mermaid that brought mo hither. I como, my Princess, to deliver you out of the hands of thoso that detain you here: refuso not the assistance of tho most faithful of lovers." Thereupon ho threw himself at her feet, and catching hold of her gown, unfortunately let fall the magic sword; and the Yellow

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Dwarf, who lay behind some small shrubs, no sooner saw it out of the King's hand, than, knowing its power, he ran and seized it.

The Princess, at the sight of the Dwarf, gave a terrible shriek. "I am now," said the Dwarf, "master of my rival's fate; however, I will grant him his life and liberty, on condition that he consents to my marriage." "No, I will die a thousand deaths first," cried the amorous King in a rage. "Alas!" replied the Princess, "the thoughts of that is the most terrible of them all." "Nothing shocks me so much," answered the King, "as that you should become a victim to this monster." "Then," said the Princess, "let us die together." "No, my Princess," said tho King, "let me have the satisfaction of dying for you." "I would sooner," said she, "consent to the Dwarfs desires." "Oh! cruel Princess!" interrupted the King, "should you marry him before my face, my life would ever after be odious to me." "No, it shall not be before thy face, replied the Dwarf, "for a beloved rival I cannot bear; and at thoso words he stabbed the King to the heart. The disconsolate Princess, aggravated to the last degree at such barbarity, thus vented her grief—"Thou hideous creature! since ontreaties could not avail thee, perhaps

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thou now reliest upon force: but thou shalt be disappointed, and thy brutal soul shall know perpetual mortification from the moment I tell thee I die for the love I have for the King of the Golden Minos!" Aud so saying, she sunk down upon his body, and expired without a sigh.

Thus ended the fate ef these two faithful lovers, which the Mermaid very much regrotted; but, all her power lying in the sword, she could only change them into two palm-trees, which, preserving a constant mutual affection for each other, caress and unite their branches together.

THE HISTORY

OF

LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD.


Near a village called Roseville, in the South of France, dwelt an infirm aged woman, who had nothing to subsist on but the savings of former industry; her chief comfort was a grand-daughter, who resided with her parents, about three miles distant in a fertile valley. Her namo was Celia, but she was better known by that of Little Red Riding-Hood, from her grandmother having mado her one of cherry-coloured silk, which very much became her protty face and dolicato form. Colia kept constant to her school, but overy holiday she, in general, went to visit tho old lady, and take her somo little present, which was a pleasing grateful act of duty. The weather proved cold and rainy, so that Red Riding-Hood had not seen her grandmother for more than a fortnight, which was a great grief to the littlo girl; more so, as sho knew the former was ill. At length to her joy came a fine morning, and her kind parents gavo her a holiday that sho might visit the old lady, and take a pot of butter, somo home-baked cakes, and a bottle of currant wine to comfort her.

When Red Riding-Hood was leaving the cottage, her mother told her not to loiter on the road, to talk with no strangers, and to bo home before dusk; all which commands she promised to obey, but was not so dutiful in performing. Moro than an hour was spent before she even left the village, in talking to the little girls who wero playing about, letting them know that sho was going to tako her grandmother a pot of butter, some cakes, and a bottlo of wino. This was very wrong, as it did not in tho least concern them, and was likewise disobeying tho commands of her indulgent parent.

As sho pursued her way by tho wood side, Red Riding-Hood was startled on beholding a wolf, (a beast of prey with which tho South of France is infested,) who camo from amongst tho trees; she was on the point of flying to somo reapers who wero in the next field, to seek protection, when the wolf speaking civilly to her, she stopped to hoar what he had to say. The wolf was treacherous and designing, thereforo laid his plans accordingly. Willingly would he havo eaten up Red Riding-Hood that minute, for ho was almost famished with hunger, but he was fearful her cries would bring some of tho workmen to her assistance, when it was most likely he would be put to death.

“Good morning to you, my pretty Miss,” said he, “where are you going, and what have you in that basket that hangs on your arm?”

“I am going, Sir Wolf,” said sho, “to see my grandmother, who is very fond of mo. It was her who made mo this pretty rod riding-hood; and I am going to take hor a pot of butter, some cakes, and a little of our best wine, as she is ill; I wish we could spare more.”

“That is very good of you,” said the wolf, “pray does she live far from hence?”

“Yes, Sir, she rosides alone in the white cottage behind the mill you can see yonder.”

“My dear little girl,” said the wolf, “I know the old lady very well, and I shall call and see her shortly.—Good bye, do not hurry yourself, the sun is hot and you may get a fever.”

How very civil the wolf is, thought the silly girl; how wrong people are to be afraid of him and givo out that he eats children. I dare say it is an untruth. I am suro he was very kind to me; the day is indeed warm, and why should I fatigue myself, there is plenty of time between this and dusk. So she amused herself with catching butterflies, and filling the top of her basket with field flowers, to make bow pots for the mantel-piece; and, in fact, tired herself three times more than tho length of the walk would have dono.

At length, having collected a store of butter-cups, blue-bells, violets and daises, she hastenod on,—

Her basket o’er her arm she hung
And as she went she sweetly sung—
A lady liv’d beneath the hill,
And if not gone she is there still.

In the meantime, the artful wolf ran as swift as four legs could convey him, to the white cottage, and tapped at the door.

“Who is there?” said the old woman.

“It is me, your grandchild, Little Red Riding-Hood,” replied the wolf, imitating Celia’s voico.

“I am ill in bed, child,” called the grandmother, “so pull tho bobbin, and tho door will open.”

The wily wolf the bobbin drew,
The cottage door wide open flew.

Alas! poor old woman, instead of beholding a tender dutiful grandchild, it was a ravenous wolf, who having mado no prey for three or four days, sprang upon her, and eat hor up.

The wolf having closed tho door, put on tho old woman’s night-cap and gown, and got into bed, whero ho lay quite snug, waiting tho arrival of Red Riding-Hood.

When ho had lain about an hour, she camo with two or three gentlo raps.

“Who is there?” said tho wolf, with such a rough voice that poor Celia was startled, until she rocollected hearing that her grandmother had a sovore cold. Sho answered, “It is me, Little Red Riding-Hood, with a pot of butter, some cakes, and a bottle of wino.”

“Thank you kindly, darling,” said the wolf, “pull the bobbin, and tho latch will go up.”

Celia did so, and the door opened.

As she entered the room tho wolf said, “Put your basket on tho table, take off your clothes, and como into bed, that you may rest a littlo after your long walk.”

“So I will, grandmother,” said tho poor innocent, “as soon as I have put these pretty flowers, that I have gathered for you in the pots.”

“That is a good child,” said tho wolf, softening his voice as much as possible.

“Shall I sweep up your room dear grandmother, and undraw your curtains, it is so dark,” asked littlo Celia, to whom great merit was due for cloanliness and activity in domestic affairs: who now thought her grandmother’s room looked unusually disturbed.

Ill health, in fact, accounted for this change, and she would most willingly havo exerted herself in making it tidy.

This proposal did not please the wolf, darkness suited him best; and pleading a violent headache as an excuse for not undrawing the curtain, said, cleaning should be left until the following week, when she trusted to be better.

“Do so,” said Celia, who dearly loved her grandmother; “then I will come and bring you some custards, and every thing we have got that is nice.”

The cruel wolf heard all she said without feeling the least pity or desisting from his plan; for though he had made a hearty meal of the poor grandmother, Red Riding-Hood was too dainty a treat for the glutton to withstand; he acccerdingly again desired her to come to bed.

“Only look up dear grandmother, and see how nicely I have decorated your chimney-piece, I know you aro fond of flowers, ”said the artless girl.

“True, darling,” replied tho wolf, burying his head under tho clothes lest he should betray himself, “but my head aches so sadly I cannot raise it from the pillow.”

“How sorry I am,” said Celia, “and how grieved my parents, mother in particular, will be, to hear you aro so ill; when they know it they will soon be hero. Shall I help you to some of the nice white cake, and a glass of wine?”

“No, thank you,” answered he, “I can take none just now, for I made a hearty meal, which I relished much, just beforo you came and I heard your welcome voice.”

Here the wolf spoke true; ho had so filled his stomach with poor granny, that at present he had no appetito for another ropast, or he would not have spared Littlo Red Riding-Hood so long.

Colia had not beon long in bed when she thus began;—“Grandmother, as I was coming along, who do you think I met.”

“I cannot guess, child, so pray tell mo, that is tho readiest and most proper way.”

“I met the wolf of the wood; and at first I was so frightened that I thought to hasten to some farmer’s men who were near, and cry for aid, as you and my mother have often told me if any thing happened on the road to alarm me, to do.”

"So you ought to have done,” said the wolf, “If children always acted according te the advice of their best friends, wolves seldom would havo a treat.”

“Ah, grandmother, he spoke so kind and civil, my fears ended. I dare say he meant me no more harm than you do at this moment.”

“I dare say not,” answered the exulting animal with a malicious grin.

“Then I hope you are not angry with me for speaking to him,” said tho poor girl, “and telling him that I was coming to you with somo wine and cake, and a nice pot of new churned butter.”

“I never was better pleased, you may believe me,” said the wolf, “but go to sleep, my little prattler, for I feel tired with talking, and am faint with illness.”

“Do not let me slumber long,” said Celia, “for my mother told me to be home long beforo dusk.”

“Very well,” replied the supposed old woman, “you do not, however, always obey your mother, or you would not have talked to the wolf; but for the reapers in the field ho might have eaten you up.”

So thought Red Riding-Hood.—“Then my grandmother is angry, though I understood just now she was nover better pleased. It certainly was vory wrong for mo to loiter and stay on the road; and still worse to talk with tho wolf of the wood. I hope my mother will pardon mo when I tell her, and promise never to offend again by disobedience; no I will be wiser in futuro.”

Celia was too good a child to strive to conceal any transaction in which she was concerned from her parents; and this is an examplo worthy of imitation. Candidly tell your faults to thoso friends who have authority over yon, they will the more readily pardon tho past, and assist you with advico as to the futuro.

“Concealment cft becomcs a crime,
So pray young friends attend my rhyme:
Frankness displays a noble mind,
And when with virtuous deeds combin’d
I give it praise beyond all worth,
Of glittering gcms or gold on earth.”

Celia continued to sleep, till the wolf, feeling a return of appetite, threw asido tho curtains to gazo on his delicious feast, and pressed her so tight in his fore paws as to awaken her.

“Dear grandmother,” said Celia, “how rough and long your arms havo grown.”—“The fitter to fondle you, my dear.”—“ How your ears stand up in your cap,”—“The better to hear thy sweet voice, my love.”—“How large and bright your eyes are, grandmother.”— “Tho more proper to gaze on you my darling.”—“But how huge and frightful your teeth are.”—“All the better to devour with.” —And ho sprang on tho child, who screamed out, “Oh! you are not my dear, kind, grandmother, but the wicked wolf of tho wood.” Sho had not time to say moro, for he ate her up in a few minutos.

Tho cruel wolf did not long survive these horrid deeds; for falling asleep after he had despatched his victim, ho neglected to secure a timely retreat, and was caught in the bed by Celia’s parents, and other persons, who, alarmed by her stay, camo late at night in search of her. A slight search disclosed the horrid deeds he had committed, and just vengeance overtook him: he died on the spot covered with wounds.



THE MAGIC BOTTLE.

Mick Purcell rented a few acres of barren ground in the neighbourhood of Mallow, in tho county of Cork. Mick had a wifo and family? they all did what they could, and that was but little, for the poor man had no child grown up big enough to help him in his work; and all the poor woman could do was to mind the children, milk tho one cow, boil the potatoes, and carry the eggs to market; but with all they could do, ’twas hard enough on them to pay the rent. Well, thoy managed it for a good while; but at last came a bad year, and the little grain of oats was all spoilod, the chickens died of tho pip, and the pig got the measles—she was sold for almost nothing; and poor Mick hadn’t enough to half pay his rent, and two terms were due.

“Why, Molly,” says he, “what’ll we do!”

“Wisha, thon, mavourneen! what would you do but sell the cow?” says she; “and Monday is Cork fair-day, and so you must go to-morrow, that the poor baste may be rested again the fair.”

"And what’ll we do when she’s gone?” says Mick, sorrowfully.

“Never a know I knew, Mick; but sure God won’t lave us without him, Mick; and you know how good he has been to us many a time when our backs have been sore enough at tho wall.”—“Och! you are always that way, Molly, and I believe you are right after all, so I won't be sorry for selling the cow.”

Mick drove his cow slowly along the road, and through the stream which crosses it, under the old walls of Mourne.

After six long miles he camo to the top of a hill— Bottle-hill ’tis called now, but that was not the namo of it then, and just there a man overtook him. “Good morrow,” says he. “Good morrow, kindly,” says Mick, looking at the stranger, who was a little man,—you’d almost call him a dwarf.

“Where are you going with the cow, honest man?”

“To the fair of Cork, then,” answered Mick, trembling at his shrill and piercing voice.

Aro you going to sell her?" said he.

“Why then, what else am I going for?”

“Will you sell her to me?”

Mick started—he was afraid to have anything to do with him, and more afraid to say no.

“What’ll you give for her?” at last says Mick.

“I’ll tell you what, I’ll give you this bottle,” said the little one, pulling it out.

Mick, in spite of his terror, could not help laughing.

“Laugh if you will,” said the little man, “but I tell you this bottle is better than all the money you will get for tho cow in Cork.”

Mick laughed again. “Why then,” says he, “do you think I am such a fool as to give my good cow for a bottle—and an empty one too? indeed, then, I won’t.”

“You had better give me the cow, and take tho bottle—you’ll not be sorry for it.”

“Why, then, and what would Molly say? I’d never hear tho end of it; and how would I pay tho rint?”

“I tell you this bottlo is better to you than money; take it, and give me the cow. I ask you for the last time, Mick Purcell.”

Mick started.

Hew dees he knew my name?” theught he.

“Mick Purcell, I knew you, and I have a regard fer yeu; therefore do as I warn you, er you may be sorry for it. Your cow may die before you go to Cork. There may be many cattle at the fair, and you get a bad price, or you may be robbed when you are ceming home; but I see you are determined to throw away your luck, Mick Purcell.”

“Oh! no, I would not throw away my luck, sir, and if I was sure the bottle was as geed as you say, I’d give yeu the cow.”

“Give me the cew!” said he; “I weuld not tell you a lie. Here, take the bettle, and de exactly what I direct.”

Mick hesitated.

“Well, then, geed bye, I can stay no longer: once more, take it, and be rich; refuse it, and beg for your life, with your children in poverty and your wfio dying for want!” said tho little man with a grin.

“May be ’tis true,” said Mick, still hesitating; he did net know what to do,—at length, in a fit of desperation, he seized the bottle—“Take the cow,” said he, “and if you are telling a lie, the curse ef the poor will be on you.”

“I have spoken truth, Mick Purcell, and that yeu will find to-night, if you do what I tell you.”

“And what’s that?” says Mick.

“When you go home, never mind if yeur wife be angry, but be quiet yourself, and make her sweep tho room clean, set the table out right, and spread a clean cloth over it; then put the bottle on the greund, saying these words: ‘Bottle, do your duty!’”

“And is this all ?” says Mick.

“No more,” said the stranger, “Goed bye, Mick Purcell—you are a rich man.”

“God grant it!” said Mick, as the old man moved after the cow, and he retraced tho road towards his cabin. He could not help turning to look after his cow; but nono was to bo soon.

“Lord between us and harm!” said Mick: “He can't belong to this earth; but whero is the cow?” Mick went homeward muttering prayers, and holding fast the bottle.

At last Mick reached his heme. “ Oh! Mick, are you come back?” said his wife. “Sure you weren’t at Cork all the way? Where is the cow? Did you sell her? Tell us every thing about it.”

So Mick had nothing left but to tell the whole story of his meeting with the little man, and how he had told Mick that the bottle was the only thing for him.

Mick’s wife was grieved and angry at her husband’s folly; but at last becoming pacified, she got up, and began to sweep tho floor; put out the table, and spread the cloth upon it, and Mick, placing the bottle on the ground, looked at it and said, “ Bottle, do your duty!”

“Look there! look there, mammy!” said his chubby eldest son, “look there! look there!” and he sprang to his mother’s side, as two tiny little fellows rose like light from the bottle, and in an instant covered the table with dishes and plates ef gold and silver, full of the finest victuals that ever were seen, and when all was done, went inte the bottle again. After a long pause of astonishment, they sat down and made a hearty meal, though they could not taste half the dishes.

“Now,” says Molly, “I wonder will those two good littlo gentlemen carry away these fine things again?” They waited, but no ono came; so Mick next day went to Cork and sold his plate, and bought a horso and cart, and began to show that he was making money. His landlord at last found out the secret, and offered him a deal of money for the bottle; but Mick would not give it, till at last he offered to give him all his farm for ever; so Mick, who was very rich, thought he’d never want any more money, and gave him the bottle: but Mick was mistaken—he and his family spent money as if there was no end of it; and to make tho story short, thoy became poorer and poorer, till at last they had nothing left but ono cow; and Mick onco moro drove his cow before him to sell her at Cork fair, hoping to meet the old man and get another bottlo. It was hardly daybreak when ho left homo, and he walked on at a good pace till he reached the big hill, where he was fortunato enough to meet again with his queer little friend. Mick told his story, and after somo parley got another bottle.

“Good byo to you, sir,” said Mick, as he turned back; "and goed luck to you, and good luck to the big hill—it wants a name—Bottle-hill.—Good bye, sir, good bye;" so Mick walked back as fast as he could, calling out as soen as he saw Molly—“Och! sure I’ve got anether bottle.”

In an instant she put every thing right; and Mick, looking at his bottle, exultingly cried out, “Bottle, do your duty!” In a twinkling two great stout men with big cudgels issued from the bottlo, and belaboured poor Mick and his wifo and all his family, till thoy lay on the floor, when in they went again. Mick, as soon as he recovered, got up and looked about him; he thought and thought, and at last he took the bottle under his coat and went to his landlord, who had a great company: ho got a servant to tell him he wanted to speak te him.

“Well, what do you want now?”

“Nothing, sir, only I have another bottle.”

“Oh! ho! is it as good as the first?”

“Yes, sir, and bettor; if you like, I will show it to you beforo all tho ladies and gentlemen.”

Como along, then.” So saying, Mick was brought into the great hall, where he saw his old bottle stauding high up on a shelf; “Ah! ha!” says he to himself, “may be I won’t have yeu by and by.”

“Now,” says his landlord, “show us your bottle.” Mick set it on the floor, and uttered the words: in a moment the landlord was tumbled en the floor ; ladies and gentlemen, servants and all, were running, and roaring, and sprawling, and kicking, and shrieking, until tho landlord called out, “Stop those two devils, Mick Purcell, or I’ll havo you hanged!”

“They never shall stop,” said Mick, “till I get my own bottle that I see up there at the top of that shelf.”

“Give it down to him, give it down to him, before we are all killed!” says the landlord.

Mick put his bottle in his bosom: in jumped the two men into the now bottle, and ho carried them home, whero he got richer than ever, and much wiser; for ho did not, as beforo, make any show of wealth or grandeur to draw upon him the observation and envy of neighbours, but contented himsolf with a plain supply of those things which best befitted his statien.



This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.