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his brother's house yonder, so what does he
do but get out and creep up closer did Patsy,
and what should it be but an ould woman,
wrapped up in grey, handing a child out of the
lattice to another ould creatur in grey, who held
up her arms for it down below. ' Have you got
it:' says she. ' I have,' says the other. Well,
he thought it was all a witchery, and that, perhaps,
it was a little owing to the whisky he had
drunk at the fair; but, sure enough, next day,
he found his brother's child had died at the
birth. So he knew what had become of it,
that what they buried was a mere trick of flesh,
and that the real child was snug and safe in
fairylandwhich was a comfort to him, though
he kept it to himself. So niver mention it, your
honour, or it'll hurt the family."

"Why, Dennis," said I, " you are as full of
old stories as an egg is full of meat."

"And fuller too, begging your honour's pardon,"
said Dennis. " I remember hearing a neighbour
of ours at Kilmore tell me that the night of
the great storm she and some other women
were sitting round a fire in a cottage, listening
to the pelt and drive of the rain, and the fluster
and worry of the wind outside the cabincrossing
themselves, I'll be bail, and thinking of the
forrior ganagh (bitter sadness) of those who had
gone to Ameriky, and might be then on the
broad say (rest their sowls!). All of a sudden
there came a bigger roar than ever, as if a wild
baste and the divil on it was waiting hungry at
the thrashal, and bang the door flew open!
Some of them saw nothing more but some
windle straws (larsar lena) blowing round the
floor, but she I spoke to saw distinctly troops
of fairies riding round on horses no bigger than
small birds. Then the door slammed again, and
they heard a clash of swords outside, and a hurry
as if there was a scrimmage going on in the air,
which passed down the road, and gradually
died away in the distance. The next morning,
sure enoughand the woman who told me saw
it with her own eyesthere come news of the
battle of Salamanky, and there was drops of
blood for a quarter of a mile down the causeway;
so no doubt but that was a fairy battle.

"Which clearly accounted, Dennis, for the
big wind and the ships that went down," said I.

"Not a doubt else, and hear me now. The only
way in such perplexities is to go to the fairy
doctor, who knows all about the blast and the
changes and the meal cure. Try a drop of
Parlemint (legal whisky), your honour; it keeps
the cold out of the stomach and the heat in it.
Good luck to thim who invented it (rest their
sowls!) Well, as your honour sames so fond of
these old pishogues (God between you and harm!),
I must tell you about the fairy cow that used to
feed every third night inside the ruins of
Castle Ballynock, till the naygur who kept it,
who was a relation of ours (third cousin) on my
mother's side, kilt it, and laid the skin to soak
in his dunghill. From that time everything
went wrong with him: the cattle died, his
sheep had the rot, and he got into a lawsuit (rest
his sowl!). While he was puzzling his head to
know what brought all this mischief on him
whether it was missing mass, or not going to
St. Bridget's Well, or up Croagh Patrick and
doing the stations, as his dacent father had
done, or whata fairy appears to him one night
in a dream, and says she to him, ' Mr. Flanagan,
that cow you killed was my grandfather, and
that's my grandfather's skin, you spalpeen, you
have got soaking in your dunghill. You black-
gaird, if you have any manners, take and lay it
in the fort to-night, and when the cow comes to
life and runs round the enclosure, turn your
back, you villain, and take care not to cross
yourself, Mr. Flanagan.' This he did, and glad
enough, and out come the cow; he heard a voice
thanking him for returning the skin, and all went
right with him ever afterwards."

After this, Dennis grew silent, and I fell
musing. "The old superstitions of Ireland,"
thought I, " are dying out like the old language."
still Munster has its cluricaun artisan, its
Merrow and Duhallane, its O'Donohue and its
Macgillicuddy. The islanders of Shark and
Baffin have their Terence O'Flaherty, as the
Connaught man has his Daniel O'Raurke, who
rode on the eagle all the way from the moon to
Munster, and May-day bonfires still redden the
sky in remembrance of Baal.

The Irish philosophy of fairies is that they are
fallen angels, who, being neutral beings not
altogether lost, axe sent to suffer a further
probation on earth before they are raised again to
heaven or sealed up for ever to perdition.
The Ulster men think the " wee folk" live wherever
they at first fell. The Irish fairies are
generally old, ugly, lame, and wizen, but have a
power of assuming shapes, as a witch can
change to a hare or a cat. They use these shapes
only to reveal themselves to men in. They
haunt old ruins where they dance and revel,
and, if possible, injure or allure men. Sudden
deaths are generally attributed to their agency,
merely from such deaths being unaccountable,
and so, petitio principii, supernatural. The
Deny and Antrim mountaineers have their
brownie, who with Scotch industry labours for
his " cream bowl" duly set; in other words, the
brownie is a sly servant, working overtime. Still
if on a summer's day, when the sky is burning
blue and hot, the Irish labourer, going to the
bog for turf, sees a whirl of dust twisting playfully
in the air, he ceases to sing and laugh,
holds his breath, looks down, repeats a prayer,
and crosses himself, for he knows that that whirl
of dust contains a flock of the " good" people.

These days of simple faith are, however, going
for ever, even in Ireland. Fairies disappear
before the red-whiskered bagsman, with his tin
boxes and bundles of pattern cards; before the
snort and tramp of the steam-engine; before
fashionable tourists and fashionable guide books.
O'Donohue no longer rises on his white horse
from the lake on May-day morning. No longer the
Antrim brownie, hairy and rude, sweats at his
kindly task, more grateful than man; no longer
fairies circle the mushroom, or minuet in and out
between the rows of daisies.

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