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then governor of it, Mr Horne, a couple of these creatures, as a present, by a coasting vessel, of which one Captain Boag was the master, and the make of which, according to his description and that of others, was as follows:

They were scarcely two feet high, walked erect, and had perfectly a human form. They were of a sallow white, without any hair, except in those parts in which it is customary for mankind to have it. By their melancholy, they seemed to have a rational sense of their captivity, and had many of the human actions. They made their bed very orderly, in the cage in which they were sent up, and on being viewed, would endeavour to conceal with their hands those parts which modesty forbids manifesting. The joints of their knees were not re-entering, like those of monkeys, but saliant like those of men; a circumstance they have in common with the ourang-outangs in the eastern parts of India, in Sumatra, Java, and the Spice Islands, of which these seem to be the diminutives, though with nearer approaches of resemblance to the human species. But though the navigation from the Carnatic coast to Bombay is of a very short run, whether the sea-air did not agree with them, or they could not brook their confinement, or Captain Boag had not properly consulted their provision, the female, sickening, first died, and the male, giving all the demonstrations of grief, seemed to take it so to heart that he refused to eat, and in two days after followed her. The captain, on his return to Bombay, reporting this to the governor, was by him asked what he had done with the bodies; he said he had

S flung them overboard. Being further asked why he did not keep them in spirits, he replied bluntly he did not think of it. Upon this the governor wrote afresh to Vencajee, and desired him to procure an

other couple at any rate, as he should grudge no expense to be master of such a curiosity. Vencajee's answer was, he would very willingly oblige him, but that he was afraid it would not be in his power: that these creatures came from a forest about seventy leagues up the country, where the inhabitants catch them on the skirts of it; but they were so exquisitely cunning and shy that this scarcely happened once in a century.

If the above relation, concludes our author, should be true, as there is no reason to doubt it, we have here a proof that the existence of Pygmies is not entirely fabulous, as nothing can nearer approach the description of them."

1 Vol. i. p. 231, &c.



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THE earliest mention of FAIRIES is made by

Homer, if, that is, his English translator have, in this instance, done him justice

“ Where round the bed, whence Achelöus springs,

The wat’ry FAIRIES dance in mazy rings.” 1 These nymphs he supposes to frequent or reside in woods, hills, the sea, fountains, grottoes, &c., whence they are peculiarly called Naiads, Dryads, and Nereids


Iliad, b. xxiv. v. 776. The word Fairy, as used in our own language, is a mere blunder. The proper name of the French Fairy is Faće or Fée, or in English, Fay; Faërie, or Féerie, which we apply to the person, being, in fact, the country or kingdom of the Fays, or what we call Fairyland. We have committed a similar mistake in the word barley, which signifies, in fact, the ley or land upon which the bear grows (bere, hor. deum ; leaz, a ley).

“What sounds are these that gather from the shores,

The voice of nymphs that haunt the sylvan bow'rs,
The fair-hair'd dryads of the shady wood,
Or azure daughters of the silver flood !"

-Odys. b. vi. v. 122. The original word, indeed, is nymphs, which, it must be confessed, furnishes an accurate idea of the fays (fées, or fates) of the ancient French and Italian romances; wherein they are represented as females of inexpressible beauty, elegance, and every kind of personal accomplishment, united with magic or supernatural power. Such, for instance, as the Calypso of Homer, or the Alcina of Ariosto. Agreeably” to this idea it is that Shakespeare makes Antony say, in allusion to Cleopatra

To this GREAT FAIRY I'll commend thy acts,” meaning this grand assemblage of POWER and BEAUTY. Such, also, is the character of the ancient nymphs spoken of by the Roman poets: as Virgil, for instance

" 1

Fortunatus et ille, deos qui novit agrestes,

Panaque, Sylvanumque senem, Nymphasque sorores.
They likewise occur in other passages, as well as in

" Gelidum nemus
Nympharumque leves cum Satyris chori ;” 2

and still more frequently in Ovid.

Not far from Rome, as we are told by Chorier, was a place formerly called Ad Nymphas, and at this day Santa Ninfa; which without doubt, he adds, in the

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language of our ancestors, would have been called The place of Fays.1

The word faée or fée, among the French, is derived, according to Du Cange, from the barbarous Latin fadus, or fada. In Italian fata. Gervase of Tilbury, in his “ Otia Imperialia” (d. iii. c. lxxxviii.) speaks of

some of this kind of larve, which they named fada, we have heard to be lovers ;” and in his relation of a nocturnal contest between two knights (c. xciv.), he exclaims : “What shall I say? I know not if it were a true horse, or if it were a fairy (fadus), as men assert.” From the Roman de Partenay, or De Lusignan, MS., Du Cange cites

Le chasteau fut fait d'une fée

Si comme il est partout retrait.Hence, he says, faërie for spectres

Plusieurs parlant de Guenart,

Du Lou, de l'Asne, et de Renart,
De faëries, et de songes,

De fantosmes, et de mensonges.
The same Gervase explains the Latin Fata (fée,
French), a divining woman, an enchantress, or a witch
(d. iii. c. lxxxviii.)

Master Wace, in his “ Histoire des Ducs de Normendie” (confounded by many with the “Roman de Rou"), describing the fountain of Berenton, in Bretagne, says

En la forest et environ,
Mais jo ne sais par quel raison
La scut l'en les fées veeir,
Se li Breton nos dient veir," &c.
(In the forest and around,
I wot not by what reason found,
There may a man the fairies spy,
If Britons do not tell a lie.)

1 Recherches des Antiquitez de Vienne, Lyon, 1659, p. 168.

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