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recesses of mossy banks, from the penetralia
of cowslips' bells, from under the blossoms
that hung on boughs, from where the bee
sucked, from where the owls cried, from
flying on bats' backssatyrs and fauns, elves
and elfins, naïads, dryads, hamadryads,
brycomanes, strange little creatures in skins and
scales, with wings and wild eyes. And
Oberon had but to wave his wand, and lo,
the dewdrops and the glow-worms, and the
will-o'-the-wisps gathered themselves
together, and became a creaturethat creature
Puckthe mischief-loving, agile, playful
Puck, putting " a girdle round the earth in
forty minutes," weaving subtle incantations
upon Bully Bottom with the ass's head, or,
with some million Puck-like sprites bearing
glistening torches, singing in elfin chorus

" Through the house give glimmering light,"

and lighting up the vast marble palace of
Theseus until Philostratus, lord high
chamberlain and master of the revels, must have
thought that his subordinates were playing
the diable à quatre with his stores of " wax
ends from the palace." This was Queen Mab
Titaniathe fairy queen who reigned in
the Piræus and in the Morea, from Athens
to Lacedemon, from Thrace to Corinth.
The bigwigs of Olympus recognised her:
Jupiter winked at her while his ox-eyed
spouse had turned her bucolic glances
another way. Pan was aware of her, and lent
her his pipes ofttimes. Socrates knew
her, and she consoled him when his demon
had been tormenting him unmercifully.
Not, however, to Greece did she confine
herself. She winged her way with Bacchus to
the hot climes of Indy when he became
Iswara and Baghesa; she sported on
crocodiles' tails in Egypt when Bacchus once more
changed himself into Osiris. She was a Sanscrit
fairy when Bacchus became Vrishadwaja.
The stout bulrushes of old Nile, the gigantic
palms of Indostan, the towering bamboos of
China, quavered lightly as the myriad elves
of fairyland danced upon them. Wherever
there was mythology, wherever there was
poetry, wherever there was fancy, there was
Queen Mab: multi-named and multi-formed,
but still queen of the beautiful, the poetical,
the fanciful.

The East was long her favourite abode.
She hovered about Chinese marriage feasts,
and blew out the light in variegated lanterns;
she sat on Chinese fireworks, let off squibs
and crackers and pasted wafers, upon
Mandarins' spectacles, thousands of years before
lanterns, fireworks, or spectacles were ever
heard or thought of in this part of the globe.
When the whole of Europe was benighted
and in gloom, sheQueen Mab, as the Fairy
Peribanouwas giving that gorgeous never-
to-be-forgotten series of evening parties
known as the Arabian Nights' Entertainments.
She had castles of gold, silver, brass,
and precious stones; of polished steel, and
adamant, and glass. She had valleys of
diamonds and mountains of sapphires. In her
stud were flying horses, with tails that
whisked your eyes out; mares that had once
been beautiful women. In her aviaries were
rocs whose eggs were as large as Mr. Wyld's
Globe; birds that talked, and birds that
danced, and birds that changed into princes.
In her ponds were fishes that refused to be
fried in egg and bread-crumb, or, in the
Hebrew fashion, in Florence oil, but
persisted in holding astoundingly inexplicable
converse with fairies, who came out of party-
walls and defied Grand Viziers ; fishes that
eventually proved to benot fishesbut the
mayor, corporation, and burgesses of a highly
respectable submerged city. From them
doubtless sprang, in after ages, the susceptible
oyster that was crossed in love, and
subsequently whistled ; and the accomplished
sturgeon (I think) that smoked a pipe and sang a
comic song. In those golden Eastern days
the kingdom or queendom of Fairyland was
peopled with one-eyed calenders, sons of
kings, gigantic genii who for countless ages
had been shut up in metal caskets hermetically
secured by Solomon's Seal ; and who,
being liberated therefrom by benevolent
fishermen, began in smoke (how many a genius
has ended in the same !), and finally assuming
their primeval proportions threatened and
terrified their benefactors. In the train of the
Arabian Queen Mab, were spirits who
conveyed hunchbacked bridegrooms into remote
chambers, and there left them, head
downwards; there were fairies who transported
lovers in their shirts and drawers to the gates
of Damascus, and there incited them to enter
the fancy-baking trade, bringing them into
sore peril in the long run, through not putting
pepper into cream tarts ; there were cunning
magicians, knowing of gardens underground,
where there were trees whereof all the fruits
were jewels, and who went up and down
Crim Tartary crying " Old lamps for new ;"
there were palaces, built, destroyed, and
rebuilt in an instant; there were fifty thousand
black slaves with jars of jewels on their heads;
there were carpets which flew through the
air, caps which rendered their owners
invisible, loadstones which drew the nails out of
ships, money which turned to dry leaves,
magic passwords which caused the doors of
subterranean caverns to revolve on their
hinges. Yes ; and the Eastern Queen Mab could
show you Halls of Eblis, in which countless
multitudes for ever wandered up and down ;
black marble staircases, with never a bottom ;
paradises where Gulchenrouz revelled, and
for which Bababalouk sighed ; demon dwarfs
with scimitars, the inscriptions on whose
blades baffled the Caliph Vathek, and who
(the dwarfs), being menaced and provoked,
rolled themselves up into concentric balls
and suffered themselves to be kicked into
interminable space. Queen Mab held her

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