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The Village of Youth and Other Fairy Tales   By:

The Village of Youth and Other Fairy Tales by Bessie Hatton

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The Village of Youth And Other Fairy Tales


BESSIE HATTON Author of "Enid Lyle," etc.

With Numerous Illustrations BY W. H. MARGETSON

London, 1895



Printed by Hazell, Watson, & Viney, Ld., London and Aylesbury.



I. The Village of Youth 1

II. A Child of the Winds 31

III. The Flower that reached the Sun lands 72

IV. The Garden of Innocence 96

V. A Christmas Rose 124

VI. The Windflower 144

The Village of Youth

[Illustration: The Village of Youth]

"Yet Ah! that Spring should vanish with the Rose! That Youth's sweet scented manuscript should close!"


There was a young King who ought to have been the happiest monarch in the world. He was blessed with everything a mortal could desire. His palace might have been designed by the Divine architect Himself, so perfect was it in all its parts; and it stood amidst gardens with its dependent village at its gates, like a dream of feudal beauty in a story of romance. Notwithstanding his good fortune, the King was oppressed with what he conceived to be a great trouble. From the happy ruler of a happy people he gradually became grave and anxious, as if an intense fear had taken possession of his soul; and so it had. It was the fear of Age. He could no longer bear to meet old people, and eventually grew to hate the hoary heads and time worn faces of his venerable subjects. He therefore divided his kingdom into two parts. The elders lived in one half of the realm, under the government of his mother, while he was King of the young. Riding, hawking, or sailing along the grey river, he never saw a wrinkled visage. Hence his kingdom was called the Village of Youth.

The King was betrothed to a fair Princess named Rowena. She loved her future husband dearly, though his strange malady and the exodus of the old people from his dominions had clouded her happiness, and made her long for some way of alleviating his suffering.

When the lovers were together they held no gentle, tender discourse. Uriel would only gaze at his betrothed with mournful eyes, and when she besought him not to be sorrowful he would say, "Sweet lady, how can I be other than I am? Each loving word that falls from thy lips, each sweet smile that plays upon thy face, is as a dagger in my heart; for I remember how soon the bloom of youth will pass from thy cheeks and the softness from thy lips. Our village, too, will become the Village of Eld, grim with unlovely age."


Interviews of this kind saddened the Princess to such an extent, that while she sat sewing among her women tears would often fall upon the embroidery, and she would be obliged to leave her work.

Among the many fair maidens who attended upon Rowena, the fairest of them all was the Lady Beryl. She grieved sincerely to see her mistress so dejected, and taxed her brain night and day for some plan by which she might save the Village of Youth. With this thought deep in her heart, she rose early one morning and rode away to seek advice from the people who lived in the Village of Eld. It was spring; the grass was green, the sky was blue. The sunshine gleamed on the maiden's hair and on her dove coloured garments.

As she rode into the village the inhabitants gathered around her. She found herself in the midst of a crowd of grey headed men and women, many of whom touched her dress and kissed her hand, while others knelt down and almost worshipped her; she reminded them of their own early days, a sweet personification of the young spring... Continue reading book >>

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