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The Fairy Nightcaps   By: (1822-1894)

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First Page:

[Illustration]

[Illustration: GOING TO THE MIDSUMMER BALL.]

THE

FAIRY NIGHTCAPS.

BY THE AUTHOR OF THE FIVE NIGHTCAP BOOKS, "AUNT FANNY'S STORIES," ETC., ETC.

NEW YORK: D. APPLETON & COMPANY, 443 & 445 BROADWAY. LONDON: 16 LITTLE BRITAIN. 1861.

ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1860, by FANNY BARROW, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York.

TO MASSA CHARLES, WHOSE MOST LOVABLE QUALITIES WERE BUT FAINTLY PORTRAYED IN THE FIRST NIGHTCAP BOOK, THIS THE SIXTH AND LAST OF THE SERIES, IS AFFECTIONATELY Dedicated.

PREFACE TO THE CHILDREN.

DEAR CHILDREN,

Here is the last Nightcap book, making six in all. The story of "The Three Little Fishes" was taken (but very much altered) from a clever book for grown folks, written, I believe, nearly two hundred years ago; but all the rest is true, "real true."

I have written them out with my heart full of love and good wishes for you, and you , and YOU; and my only desire in return is, that down in a cosy corner of your dear little hearts, you will keep warm, one kind thought of your loving

AUNT FANNY.

CONTENTS.

PAGE

THE FAIRIES' LIFE; WITH AN ACCOUNT OF WHAT THEY DID IN THE BEAUTIFUL HOLLOW, 9

THE CHILDREN'S LIFE; WITH THEIR JOURNEY TO WEST POINT, 37

THE FAIRIES' LIFE; WITH AN ACCOUNT OF THE MIDSUMMER BALL, 77

THE CHILDREN'S LIFE; WITH AN ACCOUNT OF IDLEWILD, THE STAG DANCE, THE BATTLE OF THE FAIRIES, &c., 145

THE DEATH OF CHARLEY, 209

FAIRY NIGHTCAPS.

THE FAIRIES' LIFE.

In the deep shadow of the Highlands, at the foot of the old Crow Nest Mountain, is a wild and beautiful hollow, closed around on every side by tall trees, interlaced together by the clasping tendrils of the honeysuckle, and the giant arms of luxuriant wild grape vines.

The mossy edge of this magic circle is thickly embroidered with violets, harebells, perfumed clover blossoms, and delicate, feathery ferns. A little brook, overhung with grasses and whispering leaves, dances and dimples in the bright sunlight and soft moonbeams, and then trips away, to offer the wild rose leaves that have fallen upon his bosom to his beloved tributary lord, the great Hudson River.

Not a bat dare spread his unclean leathern wings across this charmed place, and the very owls that wink and blink in the hollow trees near by keep their unmusical "hoot toot" to themselves.

In the short young velvety grass, a starry daisy, or a sly little cowslip, peeps up here and there, but nothing else disturbs the lawn like smoothness, save a tiny mound of green moss near the centre of the hollow, shaped marvellously like a throne.

It was the night of the eighteenth of June; and evidently there was something of importance about to happen in the beautiful hollow, for presently a train of glow worms came marching gravely in, and arranged themselves in a circle around the mossy throne; while thousands of fire flies flashed and twinkled through the trees. The soft, coquetting wind wandered caressingly among the flowers, and the moonbeams rested with a sweeter, tenderer light, upon the little brook which murmured and rippled, and gave back many a glancing, loving beam.

Suddenly a silvery tinkling bell was heard, like music at a distance. Twelve times it sounded; and immediately after an invisible chorus of sweet tiny voices were heard singing:

"Hasten, Elfin! hasten, Fay! From old Crow Nest wing your way; Through the bush and dewy brake, Fairies, hasten, for the sake Of a mortal, whose pure breath Soon will fade, and sink in death: We for him sweet dreams will find, We will fill with balm the wind; Watch his young life glide away, Deck with beauty its decay Till the closing earthly strife, Opens into heavenly life... Continue reading book >>




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