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.
As he is presented as sensitive enough to be affected permanently by a certain unusual experience, that experience had to be set by me before the reader vividly; but it is not the subject of the tale
. 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.
and poems were ever produced at a greater cost of brain and spirit.
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.
"Yes, if a fairy tale
would come of its own accord; but they are proud and haughty, and come only when they choose.
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.
"Marry, we shall have it a again," sighed the boy; "that same old weary tale
that he hath told a thousand times in the same words, and that he WILL tell till he dieth, every time he hath gotten his barrel full and feeleth his exaggeration-mill a-working.
In the Sketches from Memory Hawthorne gives an intimation of the tale
which he might write and did afterward write of The Great Carbuncle.
Forthwith this frame of mine was wrenched With a woeful agony, Which forced me to begin my tale
; And then it left me free.
It was, however, obvious, that this kind of interest must in the end occasion a degree of sameness and repetition, if exclusively resorted to, and that the reader was likely at length to adopt the language of Edwin, in Parnell's Tale