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  CHAPTER I.—The Old House YOU may still see the old Scotch house where Randal was born, so long ago. Nobody lives there now. Most of the roof has fallen in, there is no glass in the windows, and all the doors are open. They were open in the days of Randal's father—nearly four hundred years have passed since then—and everyone who came was welcome to his share of beef and broth and ale. But now the doors are not only... more...

Preface 'What cases are you engaged in at present?' 'Are you stopping many teeth just now?' 'What people have you converted lately?' Do ladies put these questions to the men—lawyers, dentists, clergymen, and so forth—who happen to sit next them at dinner parties? I do not know whether ladies thus indicate their interest in the occupations of their casual neighbours at the hospitable board. But if they do not know me, or do not know... more...

THE BRONZE RING Once upon a time in a certain country there lived a king whose palace was surrounded by a spacious garden. But, though the gardeners were many and the soil was good, this garden yielded neither flowers nor fruits, not even grass or shady trees. The King was in despair about it, when a wise old man said to him: "Your gardeners do not understand their business: but what can you expect of men whose fathers were cobblers and... more...

THE TWELVE DANCING PRINCESSES I ONCE upon a time there lived in the village of Montignies-sur-Roc a little cow-boy, without either father or mother. His real name was Michael, but he was always called the Star Gazer, because when he drove his cows over the commons to seek for pasture, he went along with his head in the air, gaping at nothing. As he had a white skin, blue eyes, and hair that curled all over his head, the village girls used to... more...

Preface The stories in this Fairy Book come from all quarters of the world. For example, the adventures of 'Ball-Carrier and the Bad One' are told by Red Indian grandmothers to Red Indian children who never go to school, nor see pen and ink. 'The Bunyip' is known to even more uneducated little ones, running about with no clothes at all in the bush, in Australia. You may see photographs of these merry little black fellows before their troubles... more...


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.... more...

Preface Each Fairy Book demands a preface from the Editor, and these introductions are inevitably both monotonous and unavailing. A sense of literary honesty compels the Editor to keep repeating that he is the Editor, and not the author of the Fairy Tales, just as a distinguished man of science is only the Editor, not the Author of Nature. Like nature, popular tales are too vast to be the creation of a single modern mind. The Editor's business... more...

INTRODUCTION. Though some of the essays in this volume have appeared in various serials, the majority of them were written expressly for their present purpose, and they are now arranged in a designed order.  During some years of study of Greek, Indian, and savage mythologies, I have become more and more impressed with a sense of the inadequacy of the prevalent method of comparative mythology.  That method is based on the belief that... more...

PREFACE The Editor thinks that children will readily forgive him for publishing another Fairy Book. We have had the Blue, the Red, the Green, and here is the Yellow. If children are pleased, and they are so kind as to say that they are pleased, the Editor does not care very much for what other people may say. Now, there is one gentleman who seems to think that it is not quite right to print so many fairy tales, with pictures, and to publish them... more...

The Cat's Elopement [From the Japanische Marchen und Sagen, von David Brauns (Leipzig: Wilhelm Friedrich).] Once upon a time there lived a cat of marvellous beauty, with a skin as soft and shining as silk, and wise green eyes, that could see even in the dark. His name was Gon, and he belonged to a music teacher, who was so fond and proud of him that he would not have parted with him for anything in the world. Now not far from the music... more...