Folklore, legends, myths and fairy tales
have followed childhood through the ages, for every healthy youngster has a wholesome and instinctive love for stories fantastic, marvelous and manifestly unreal.
Then as he changed, the tales
he listened to changed too.
If we go by mere facts then the subject is Falk's attempt to get married; in which the narrator of the tale
finds himself unexpectedly involved both on its ruthless and its delicate side.
Before the book was half finished those three were taking things almost entirely into their own hands and working the whole tale
as a private venture of their own--a tale
which they had nothing at all to do with, by rights.
But that is no fairy tale
," said the little boy, who was listening to the story.
of the Ethiopian Prester John, of diamonds that by proper care can be made to grow, of trees whose fruit is an odd sort of lambs, and a hundred other equally remarkable phenomena, are narrated with skilful verisimilitude and still strongly hold the reader's interest, even if they no longer command belief.
But the narrative of Hephaestus binding Here his mother, or how on another occasion Zeus sent him flying for taking her part when she was being beaten, and all the battles of the gods in Homer--these tales
must not be admitted into our State, whether they are supposed to have an allegorical meaning or not.
But that men fear him for that he hath the storms and the lightnings and all the devils that be in hell at his beck and call, they would have dug his en- trails out these many years ago to get at that tale
and squelch it.
THE first three numbers in this collection are tales
of the White Hills in New Hampshire.
An incident in the tale
, which had the good fortune to find favour in the eyes of many readers, is more directly borrowed from the stores of old romance.
And this was the tribute paid by the American public to the master who had given to it such tales
of conjuring charm, of witchery and mystery as "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "Ligea; such fascinating hoaxes as "The Unparalleled Adventure of Hans Pfaall," "MSS.
Once on a time I really imagined myself "an author of fairy tales
," but now I am merely an editor or private secretary for a host of youngsters whose ideas I am requestsed to weave into the thread of my stories.