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dianship or superintendence of a particular clan, or family of distinction. Thus the family of Gurlinbeg was haunted by a spirit called Garlin Bodachar; that of the Baron of Kinchardin by Lamhdearg or Red Hand, a spectre, one of whose hands is as red as blood; that of Tullochgorm by May Moulach, a female figure, whose left hand and arm were covered with hair, who is also mentioned as a familiar attendant upon the clan Grant."-I need scarcely remind my readers of the truly sublime manner in which this superstition is made the subject of a striking incident in the popular romance of Waverley.
I shall not pursue the subject of Genii much farther. The notion of every man being attended by an evil genius was abandoned much earlier than the far more agreeable part of the same doctrine, which taught, that, as an antidote to this influence, each individual was also accompanied by a benignant spirit." The ministration of angels," says a writer in the Athenian oracle, "is certain, but the manner how is the knot to be untied. 'Twas generally believed by the antient philosophers, that not only kingdoms had their tutelary guardians, but that every person had his particular genius, or good angel, to protect and admonish him by dreams, visions, &c. We read that Origen, Hierome, Plato, and Empedocles in Plutarch, were also of this opinion; and the Jews themselves, as appears by that instance of Peter's deliverance out of prison. They believed it could not be Peter, but his angel. But for the particular attendance of bad angels, we believe it not; and we must deny it, till it finds better proof than conjectures."
Such were the objects of superstitious reverence derived from the Pantheon of Greece and Rome, the whole synod of which was supposed to consist of demons, who were still actively bestirring themselves to delude mankind. But, in the west of Europe, a host of other demons, far more formidable, were brought into play, who had their origin in Celtic, Teutonic, and even Eastern fables; and as their existence, as well as influence, was not only by the early Christians, but even by the reformers, boldly asserted, it was long before the rites to which they had been accustomed were totally eradicated. Thus, in Orkney, for instance, it was customary, even during the last century, for lovers to meet within the pale of a large circle of stones, which had been dedicated to the chief of the ancient Scandinavian deities. Through a hole in one of the pillars, the hands of contracting parties were joined, and the faith they plighted was named the promise of Odin, to violate which was infamous. But the influence of the Dii Majores of the Edda was slight and transient, in comparison with that of the duergar or dwarfs, who figure away in the same mythology, and whose origin is thus recited. Odin and his brothers killed the Giant Ymor, from whose wound ran so much blood, that all the families of the earth were drowned, except one that saved himself on board a bark. These gods then made of the giant's bones, of his flesh, and his blood, the earth, the water, and the heavens. But in the body of the monster, several worms had, in the course of putrefaction, been engendered, which, by order of the gods, partook of both human shape and reason. These little beings possess
ed the most delicate figures, and always dwelt in subterraneous caverns or clefts of rocks. They were remarkable for their riches, their activity, and their malevolence. This is the origin of our modern fairies, who, at the present day, are described as a people of small stature, gaily dressed in habiliments of green.† They possess material shapes, with the means, however, of making themselves invisible. They multiply their species; they have a relish for the same kind of food that affords a sustenance to the human race, and when, for some festal occasion they would regale themselves with good beef or mutton, they employ elf-arrows to bring down their victims. At the same time, they delude the shepherds with the substitution of some vile substance, or illusory image, possessing the same form as that of the animal which they have taken away. These sprites are much addicted to music, and when they make their excursions, a most exquisite band of music never fails to accompany them in their course. They are addicted to the abstraction
* Sir Walter Scott has supposed that this mythological account of the duergar bears a remote allusion to real history, having an ultimate reference to the oppressed Fins, who, before the arrival of invaders, under the conduct of Odin, were the prior possessors of Scandinavia. The followers of this hero saw a people, who knew how to work the mines of the country better than they did; and, therefore, from a superstitious regard, transformed them into spirits of an unfavourable character, dwelling in the interior of rocks, and surrounded with immense riches.-Border Minstrelsy, vol. ii. p. 179.
+ It is said that, in Orkney, they were often seen clad in complete armour.-Brand's Description of Orkney, 8vo, Edinburgh, 1701, p. 63.
of the human species, in whose place they leave substitutes for living beings, named changelings, the unearthly origin of whom is known by their mortal imbecility, or some wasting disease. When a limb is affected with paralysis, a suspicion often arises that it has been either touched by these sprites, or that, instead of the sound member, an insensible mass of matter has been substituted in its place.
In England, the opinions originally entertained relative to the duergar or dwarfs, have sustained considerable modifications, from the same attributes being assigned to them as to the Persian peris, an imaginary race of intelligences, whose offices of benevolence were opposed to the spiteful interference of evil spirits. Whence this confusion in the proper Teutonic mythology has originated is doubtful; conjectures have been advanced, that it may be traced to the intercourse which the crusaders had with the Saracens, and that from Palestine was imported the corrupted name, derived from the Peris, of fairies;-for under such a title the Duergar of the Edda are now generally recognised. The malevolent character of the dwarfs being thus sunk in the opposite qualities of the Peris, the fairies' Blessing became, in England, proverbial: "Grant that the sweet fairies may nightly put money in your shoes, and sweep your house clean." In more general terms, the wish denoted, "Peace be to this house"
* In Germany, probably for similar reasons, the dwarfs have acquired the name of elves—a word, observes Mr Douce, derived from the Teutonic helfen, which etymologists have translated juvare.
Fairies, for many centuries, have been the objects of spectral impressions. In the case of a poor woman of Scotland, Alison Pearson, who suffered for witchcraft in the year 1586, they probably resulted from some plethoric state of the system, which was followed by paralysis. Yet, for these illusive images, to which the popular superstitions of the times had given rise, the poor creature was indicted for holding a communication with demons, under which light fairies were then considered, and burnt at a stake. During her illness, she was not unfrequently impressed with sleeping and waking visions, in which she held an intercourse with the queen of Elfland and the good neighbours. Occasionally, these capricious spirits would condescend to afford her bodily relief; at other times, they would add to the severity of her pains. In such trances or dreams, she would observe her cousin, Mr William Sympsoune of Stirling, who had been conveyed away to the hills by the fairies, from whom she received a salve that would cure every disease, and of which the Archbishop of Saint Andrews himself deigned to reap the benefit. It is said in the indictment against her, that " being in Grange Muir with some other folke, she, being sick, lay downe; and, when alone, there came a man to her clad in green, who said to her, if she would be faithful, he would do her good; but she, being feared, cried out; but naebodie came to her, so she said, if he cam in God's name, and for the gude of her saul, it was well; but he gaed away; he appeared another tyme like a lustie man, and many men and women with him; at seeing him she signed herself, and