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British Goblins Welsh Folk-lore, Fairy Mythology, Legends and Traditions   By:

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Transcriber's Note

Bold text is indicated with equals signs, =like this=.

Individual letters in curly brackets indicate superscripts, e.g. y{e}.

A y with a circumflex above is shown as [^y].

Reverse asterisms are indicated with [.].

Illustration captions in {curly brackets} have been added by the transcriber for the convenience of the reader.

BRITISH GOBLINS:

WELSH FOLK LORE, FAIRY MYTHOLOGY, LEGENDS AND TRADITIONS.

BY

WIRT SIKES,

UNITED STATES CONSUL FOR WALES.

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY T. H. THOMAS.

In olde dayes of the Kyng Arthour ... Al was this lond fulfilled of fayrie. CHAUCER.

LONDON: SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON, SEARLE, & RIVINGTON, CROWN BUILDINGS, 188 FLEET STREET. 1880.

[ All rights reserved. ]

LONDON: PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, STAMFORD STREET AND CHARING CROSS.

[Illustration: THE OLD WOMAN OF THE MOUNTAIN.]

TO

HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS,

ALBERT EDWARD, PRINCE OF WALES,

THIS ACCOUNT OF

THE FAIRY MYTHOLOGY AND FOLK LORE OF HIS PRINCIPALITY

IS BY PERMISSION DEDICATED.

PREFACE.

In the ground it covers, while this volume deals especially with Wales, and still more especially with South Wales where there appear to have been human dwellers long before North Wales was peopled it also includes the border counties, notably Monmouthshire, which, though severed from Wales by Act of Parliament, is really very Welsh in all that relates to the past. In Monmouthshire is the decayed cathedral city of Caerleon, where, according to tradition, Arthur was crowned king in 508, and where he set up his most dazzling court, as told in the 'Morte d'Arthur.'

In a certain sense Wales may be spoken of as the cradle of fairy legend. It is not now disputed that from the Welsh were borrowed many of the first subjects of composition in the literature of all the cultivated peoples of Europe.

The Arthur of British history and tradition stands to Welshmen in much the same light that Alfred the Great stands to Englishmen. Around this historic or semi historic Arthur have gathered a throng of shining legends of fabulous sort, with which English readers are more or less familiar. An even grander figure is the Arthur who existed in Welsh mythology before the birth of the warrior king. The mythic Arthur, it is presumed, began his shadowy life in pre historic ages, and grew progressively in mythologic story, absorbing at a certain period the personality of the real Arthur, and becoming the type of romantic chivalry. A similar state of things is indicated with regard to the enchanter Merlin; there was a mythic Merlin before the real Merlin was born at Carmarthen.

With the rich mass of legendary lore to which these figures belong, the present volume is not intended to deal; nor do its pages treat, save in the most casual and passing manner, of the lineage and original significance of the lowly goblins which are its theme. The questions here involved, and the task of adequately treating them, belong to the comparative mythologist and the critical historian, rather than to the mere literary workman.

UNITED STATES CONSULATE, CARDIFF, August, 1879 .

CONTENTS.

BOOK I.

THE REALM OF FAERIE.

CHAPTER I.

PAGE Fairy Tales and the Ancient Mythology The Compensations of Science Existing Belief in Fairies in Wales The Faith of Culture The Credulity of Ignorance The Old Time Welsh Fairyland The Fairy King The Legend of St. Collen and Gwyn ap Nudd The Green Meadows of the Sea Fairies at Market The Land of Mystery 1

CHAPTER II... Continue reading book >>




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