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English Fairy Tales PDF Free Download
Collection Of Good Stories
Who says that English folk have no fairy-tales of their own? The present volume contains only a selection out of some 140, of which I have found traces in this country. It is probable that many more exist.
A quarter of the tales in this volume have been collected during the last ten years or so, and some of them have not been hitherto published.
Up to 1870 it was equally said of France and of Italy, that they possessed no folk tales. Yet, within fifteen years from that date, over 1000 tales had been collected in each country.
I am hoping that the present volume may lead to equal activity in this country, and would earnestly beg any reader of this book who knows of similar tales, to communicate them, written down as they are told, to me, care of Mr. Nutt.
The only reason, I imagine, why such tales have not hitherto been brought to light, is the lamentable gap between the governing and recording classes and the dumb working classes of this country—dumb to others but eloquent among themselves.
It would be no unpatriotic task to help to bridge over this gulf, by giving a common fund of nursery literature to all classes of the English people, and, in any case, it can do no harm to add to the innocent gaiety of the nation.
A word or two as to our title seems necessary. We have called our stories Fairy Tales though few of them speak of fairies.
The same remark applies to the collection of the Brothers Grimm and to all the other European collections, which contain exactly the same classes of tales as ours.
Yet our stories are what the little ones mean when they clamor for “Fairy Tales,” and this is the only name which they give to them.
One cannot imagine a child saying, “Tell us a folk-tale, nurse,” or “Another nursery tale, please, grandma.” As our book is intended for the little ones, we have indicated its contents by the name they use.
” Why, whatever is the matter ? ” said her mother. ” Oh, mother ! ” says she,
” look at that horrid mallet ! Suppose we was to be married, and was to have a son, and he was to grow up, and was to come down to the cellar to draw the beer, and the mallet was to fall on his head and kill him, what a dreadful thing it would be ! ”
” Dear, dear ! what a dreadful thing it would be ! ” said the mother, and she sat her down aside of the daughter and started a-crying too.
Then after a bit the father began to wonder that they didn’t come back, and he went down into the cellar to look after them himself, and there they two sat a-crying, and the beer running all over the floor.
” Whatever is the matter ? ” says he.
” Why,” says the mother, ” look at that horrid mallet.
Just suppose, if our daughter and her sweetheart was to be married, and was to have a son, and he was to grow up, and was to come down into the cellar to draw the beer, and the mallet was to fall on his head and kill him, what a dreadful thing it would be ! ”
” Dear, dear, dear ! so it would ! ” said the father, and he sat himself down aside of the other two, and started a-crying.
Now the gentleman got tired of stopping up in the kitchen by himself, and at last he went down into the cellar too, to see wjiat they were after ; and there they three sat a-crying side by side, and the beer running all over the floor.
And he ran straight and turned the tap. Then he said : ” Whatever are you three doing, sitting there crying, and letting the beer run all over the floor ?
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English Fairy Tales Pdf Free Download