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How Robin Hood Cane to Be an Outlaw IN MERRY ENGLAND in the time of old, when good King Henry the Second ruled the land, there lived within the green glades of Sherwood Forest, near Nottingham Town, a famous outlaw whose name was Robin Hood. No archer ever lived that could speed a gray goose shaft with such skill and cunning as his, nor were there ever such yeomen as the sevenscore merry men that roamed with him through the greenwood shades.... more...

PREFACE To this Essay on the “Folk-lore of North Wales,” was awarded the first prize at the Welsh National Eisteddfod, held in London, in 1887.  The prize consisted of a silver medal, and £20.  The adjudicators were Canon Silvan Evans, Professor Rhys, and Mr Egerton Phillimore, editor of the Cymmrodor. By an arrangement with the Eisteddfod Committee, the work became the property of the publishers, Messrs. Woodall,... more...

THE FAIRIES' CHAPEL. Farewell, rewards and fairies!Good housewives now may say;For now foule sluts in dairies,Doe fare as well as they:And though they sweepe their hearths no lessThan mayds were wont to doe,Yet who of late, for cleaneliness,Finds sixe-pence in her shoe?" —Percy's Reliques. The ancient mansion of Healey Hall was a cumbrous inconvenient dwelling of timber; but the spirit of improvement having gone forth in the reign of... more...

INTRODUCTION TO THE SECOND SERIES. No method has yet been discovered for preserving the recollection of human actions and events precisely as they have occurred, whole and unimpaired, in all their truth and reality. Time is an able teacher of causes and qualities, but he setteth little store by names and persons, or the mould and fashion of their deeds. The pyramids have outlived the very names of their builders. "Oblivion," says Sir Thomas... more...

INTRODUCTION "Among all the different ways of giving counsel I think the finest and that which pleases the most universally is fable, in whatever shape it appears." JOSEPH ADDISON How shall I bring to your mind the time and distance that separate us from the Age of Fable? Think of what seemed to you the longest week of your life. Think of fifty-two of these in a year; then think of two thousand five hundred years and try to realize that... more...


The gardener left the hamper by the garden gate, so that the carrier could pick it up when he passed. Timmy Willie crept in through a hole in the wicker-work, and after eating some peas—Timmy Willie fell fast asleep.     He awoke in a fright, while the hamper was being lifted into the carrier's cart. Then there was a jolting, and a clattering of horse's feet; other packages were thrown in; for miles and... more...

THE SILVER CROWN   "And shall I be a king?" asked the child, "and shall I wear a crown?" "You shall surely wear a crown," said the Angel, "and a kingdom is waiting for you." "Oh, joy!" said the child. "But tell me, how will it come about? for now I am only a little child, and the crown would hardly stay on my curls." "Nay! that I may not tell," said the Angel. "Only ride and run your best, for the way is long to your kingdom, and the... more...

The Two Mules (Book I.—No. 4) There were two heavily-laden mules making a journey together. One was carrying oats and the other bore a parcel of silver money collected from the people as a tax upon salt. This, we learn, was a tax which produced much money for the government, but it bore very hard upon the people, who revolted many times against it. The mule that carried the silver was very proud of his burden, and would not have been... more...

Introduction Many years have passed by since, delivering the Inaugural Lecture of the Irish Literary Society in London, I advocated as one of its chief aims the recasting into modern form and in literary English of the old Irish legends, preserving the atmosphere of the original tales as much as possible, but clearing them from repetitions, redundant expressions, idioms interesting in Irish but repellent in English, and, above all, from... more...

TRADITION. "What can he tell that treads thy shore?No legend of thine olden time,No theme on which the mind might soarHigh as thine own in days of yore." The Giaour.—BYRON In the beginning of the eighth century Guernsey was a favoured spot. Around, over the Continent and the British Isles, had swept successive conquests with their grim train of sufferings for the conquered; but these storm-clouds had not burst over the island. The... more...