The Green Fairy Book

The Green Fairy Book  (1902) 
edited by
Andrew Lang

The Green Fairy Book (1902), cover.jpg


THE


GREEN FAIRY BOOK


EDITED BY ANDREW LANG.


THE BLUE FAIRY BOOK. With 138 Illustrations. Crown 8vo. gilt edges, 6s.
THE RED FAIRY BOOK. With 100 Illustrations. Crown 8vo. gilt edges, 6s.
THE GREEN FAIRY BOOK. With 99 Illustrations. Crown 8vo, gilt edges, 6s.
THE YELLOW FAIRY BOOK. With 104 Illustrations. Crown 8vo. gilt edges, 6s.
THE PINK FAIRY BOOK. With 67 Illustrations. Crown 8vo. gilt edges, 6s.
THE GREY FAIRY BOOK. With 65 Illustrations. Crown 8vo. gilt edges, 6s.
THE VIOLET FAIRY BOOK. With 8 Coloured Plates and 54 other Illustrations. Crown 8vo. gilt edges, 6s.
THE BLUE POETRY BOOK. With 100 Illustrations. Crown 8vo. gilt edges, 6s.
THE BLUE POETRY BOOK. School Edition, without Illustrations, Fcp. 8vo. 2s. 6d.
THE TRUE STORY BOOK. With 66 Illustrations. Crown 8vo. gilt edges, 6s.
THE RED TRUE STORY BOOK. With 100 Illustrations. Crown 8vo. gilt edges, 6s.
THE ANIMAL STORY BOOK. With 67 Illustrations. Crown 8vo. gilt edges, 6s.
THE RED BOOK OF ANIMAL STORIES. With 65 Illustrations. Crown 8vo. gilt edges, 6s.
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS ENTERTAINMENTS. With 66 Illustrations. Crown 8vo, gilt edges, 6s.


LONGMANS, GREEN, & CO., 39 Paternoster Row, London
New York and Bombay.


The Green Fairy Book (1902), frontispiece.jpg

GORGONZOLA FLIES OFF ON HER DRAGON


THE


GREEN FAIRY BOOK


EDITED BY

ANDREW LANG


The Green Fairy Book (1902), title.jpg


WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS BY H. J. FORD


SIXTH IMPRESSION


LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.

39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON

NEW YORK AND BOMBAY

1902


All rights reserved


TO

STELLA MARGARET ALLEYNE

THE

GREEN FAIRY BOOK

IS DEDICATED


TO THE FRIENDLY READER


This is the third, and probably the last, of the Fairy Books of many colours. First there was the Blue Fairy Book; then, children, you asked for more, and we made up the Red Fairy Book; and, when you wanted more still, the Green Fairy Book was put together. The stories in all the books are borrowed from many countries; some are French, some German, some Russian, some Italian, some Scottish, some English, one Chinese. However much these nations differ about trifles, they all agree in liking fairy tales. The reason, no doubt, is that men were much like children in their minds long ago, long, long ago, and so before they took to writing newspapers, and sermons, and novels, and long poems, they told each other stories, such as you read in the fairy books. They believed that witches could turn people into beasts, that beasts could speak, that magic rings could make their owners invisible, and all the other wonders in the stories. Then, as the world became grown-up, the fairy tales which were not written down would have been quite forgotten but that the old grannies remembered them, and told them to the little grandchildren: and when they, in their turn, became grannies, they remembered them, and told them also. In this way these tales are older than reading and writing, far older than printing. The oldest fairy tales ever written down were written down in Egypt, about Joseph’s time, nearly three thousand five hundred years ago. Other fairy stories Homer knew, in Greece, nearly three thousand years ago, and he made them all up into a poem, the Odyssey, which I hope you will read some day. Here you will find the witch who turns men into swine, and the man who bores out the big foolish giant’s eye, and the cap of darkness, and the shoes of swiftness, that were worn later by Jack the Giant-Killer. These fairy tales are the oldest stories in the world, and as they were first made by men who were childlike for their own amusement, so they amuse children still, and also grown-up people who have not forgotten how they once were children. Some of the stories were made, no doubt, not only to amuse, but to teach goodness. You see, in the tales, how the boy who is kind to beasts, and polite, and generous, and brave, always comes best through his trials, and no doubt these tales were meant to make their hearers kind, unselfish, courteous, and courageous. This is the moral of them. But, after all, we think more as we read them of the diversion than of the lesson. There are grown-up people now who say that the stories are not good for children, because they are not true, because there are no witches, nor talking beasts, and because people are killed in them, especially wicked giants. But probably you who read the tales know very well how much is true and how much is only make-believe, and I never yet heard of a child who killed a very tall man merely because Jack killed the giants, or who was unkind to his stepmother, if he had one, because, in fairy tales, the stepmother is often disagreeable. If there are frightful monsters in fairy tales, they do not frighten you now, because that kind of monster is no longer going about the world, whatever he may have done long, long ago. He has been turned into stone, and you may see his remains in museums. Therefore, I am not afraid that you will be afraid of the magicians and dragons; besides, you see that a really brave boy or girl was always their master, even in the height of their power.

Some of the tales here, like The Half-Chick, are for very little children; others for older ones. The longest tales, like Heart of Ice, were not invented when the others were, but were written in French, by clever men and women, such as Madame d’Aulnoy, and the Count de Caylus, about two hundred years ago. There are not many people now, perhaps there are none, who can write really good fairy tales, because they do not believe enough in their own stories, and because they want to be wittier than it has pleased Heaven to make them.

So here we give you the last of the old stories, for the present, and hope you will like them, and feel grateful to the Brothers Grimm, who took them down from the telling of old women, and to M. Sébillot and M. Charles Marelles, who have lent us some tales from their own French people, and to Mr. Ford, who drew the pictures, and to the ladies, Miss Blackley, Miss Alma Alleyne, Miss Eleanor Sellar, Miss May Sellar, Miss Wright, and Mrs. Lang, who translated many of the tales out of French, German, and other languages.

If we have a book for you next year, it shall not be a fairy book. What it is to be is a secret, but we hope that it will not be dull. So good-bye, and when you have read a fairy book, lend it to other children who have none, or tell them the stories in your own way, which is a very pleasant mode of passing the time.



BOOKS FOR THE YOUNG.

A CHILD’S GARDEN OF VERSES. By Robert Louis Stevenson. Fcp. 8vo. 5s.

TWO LITTLE RUNAWAYS. Adapted from the French of Louis Desnoyers. By James Buckland. With 110 Illustrations by Cecil Aldin. Crown 8vo. 6s.


WORKS BY MRS. L. T. MEADE.

DADDY’S BOY. With 8 Illustrations. Crown 8vo. 3s. net.

DEB AND THE DUCHESS. With 7 Illustrations. Crown 8vo. 3s. net.

THE BERESFORD PRIZE. With 7 Ilustrations. Crown 8vo. 3s. net.

THE HOUSE OF SURPRISES. With 6 Illustrations. Crown 8vo. 3s. net.


THE ADVENTURES OF THE THREE BOLD BABES: HECTOR, HONORIA, AND ALISANDER. A Story in Pictures. By Rosamond Praeger. With 24 Coloured Plates and 24 Outline Pictures. Oblong 4to. 3s. 6d.

THE FURTHER DOINGS OF THE THREE BOLD BABES. By Rosamond Praeger. With 24 Coloured Pictures and 24 Outline Pictures. Oblong 4to. 3s. 6d.


THE ‘GOLLIWOGG’ SERIES.

BY FLORENCE K. AND BERTHA UPTON.

THE ADVENTURES OF TWO DUTCH DOLLS AND A ‘GOLLIWOGG.’ With 81 Coloured Plates. Oblong 4to. 6s.

THE GOLLIWOGG AT THE SEASIDE. With 31 Coloured Plates. Oblong 4to. 6s.

THE GOLLIWOGG’S AUTO-GO-CART. With 31 Coloured Plates. Oblong 4to. 6s.

THE GOLLIWOGG’S BICYCLE CLUB. With 31 Coloured Plates. Oblong 4to. 6s.

THE GOLLIWOGG IN WAR. With 31 Coloured Plates. Oblong 4to. 6s.

THE GOLLIWOGG’S POLAR ADVENTURES. With 31 Coloured Plates. Oblong 4to. 6s.

THE VEGE-MEN’S REVENGE. With 81 Coloured Plates. Oblong 4to. 6s.

STRAY THOUGHTS FOR GIRLS. By Lucy H. M. Soulsby. 16mo. 1s. 6d. net.

STORIES OF THE SAINTS FOR CHILDREN: the Black Letter Saints. By Mrs. Molesworth. With Illustrations. Royal 16mo. 3s. net.

CLEAN PETER AND THE CHILDREN OF GRUBBYLEA. By Ottilla Adelborg. Translated from the Swedish by Mrs. Graham Wallas. With 23 Coloured Plates. Oblong 4to. 3s. 6d. net.

THE BOOK OF SAINTS AND FRIENDLY BEASTS. By Abbie Farwell Brown. With 8 Illustrations by Fanny Y. Cory. Crown 8vo. 4s. 6d. net.

YULE LOGS. Eleven Stories by various Authors. Edited by G. A. Henty. With 61 Illustrations. Crown 8vo. gilt edges, 3s. net.

YULE-TIDE YARNS. Ten Stories by various Authors. Edited by G. A. Henty. With 45 Illustrations. Crown 8vo. gilt edges, 3s. net.

FLOWER LEGENDS FOR CHILDREN. By Hilda Murray (the Hon. Mrs. Murray of Elibank). Pictured by J. S. Eland. With numerous Coloured and other Illustrations. Oblong 4to. 6s.

CHUBBY: a Nuisance. By Mrs. Penrose. With Illustrations by G. G. Manton.

OLD BALLADS IN PROSE. By Eva March Tappan. With 4 Illustrations by Fanny Y. Cory. Crown 8vo. 4s. 6d. net.


HISTORICAL TALES.

By the Rev. A. D. CRAKE. Crown 8vo. 5 vols. 2s. net each.

EDWY THE FAIR; or, The First Chronicle of Æscendune.
ALFGAR THE DANE; or, The Second Chronicle of Æscendune.
THE RIVAL HEIRS: being The Third and Last Chronicle of Æscendune.

THE HOUSE OF WALDERNE. A Tale of the Cloister and the Forest in the Days of the Barons Wars.
BRIAN FITZ-COUNT. A Story of Wallingford Castle and Dorchester Abbey.


LONGMANS, GREEN, & CO. 39 Paternoster Row, London
New York and Bombay.


This work was published before January 1, 1927, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.