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head as large as that of old Atlas when he was holding up the sky, or an imagination as strong as that of good Bellerophon when he was searching for the winged horse.*

However, as every one knows something of Fairyland, I will try to give an account of some of my acquaintances there, in order to gratify those same little girls when they have an idle hour to spare, and do not know what to do with themselves.

This account shall be of the fairies of our garden, - our garden at Villa Negroni. Now, those two young friends may fancy that they know all about these, as they are old acquaintances of theirs too : but they may be assured that the little beings of Fairy-land appear and act differently to different persons; and very probably they will find that the appearance under which I have seen them is quite another than that under which they have usually seen them. They shall hear, also, of what took place in that happy little invisible world, at midsummer, when all we good people of Villa Negroni had posted away, far out of the country, into cool and lovely Switzerland, and had left the garden and its fairy occupants all to themselves.

* See “The Wonder-book,” by Hawthorne, which was at that time very popular in our family-circle.

† Villa Negroni-Massimo, Rome.

In those long, midsummer days, when the sun in Rome was shining, – oh, how hot! -- and the very grass seemed to shrink beneath it; and the animals would creep away to their holes and their shelters ; and the people in the streets - Heaven bless them!

were glad to escape into their houses when it was not absolutely necessary for them to be out; then it was, that lying in some shady corner of the garden, and dreaming with half-shut eyes, one might have seen the whole little band of elves trying to occupy themselves in one way or another: for these elfin beings, so light of heart and light of toe, — do you think they drowse and dream away all the long, golden summer-days ? Indeed they do not, according to my knowledge. Busy as they may be in the moonlight and at midnight, when they have free scope to do and to dare all their thousand and one little magic arts, the time is not too long for them, even if they add the day; since, for their nimble fingers and their airy feet, there is perpetually some new frolic going on, or some new mischief to be set agoing, or some new honey-beds to seek in the intervals of their short day-nappings: for even fairies will snatch a wink of sleep now and then, and are as much refreshed by it as we mortals.

But at noon, in those hot days of midsummer, let me tell you, not even fairies could have survived, had they not kept themselves a little quiet. So they took the wiser part; and, as I was saying, you might have seen that whole little band trying to settle themselves to some tranquil occupation. There was one who had just clambered upon a tendril of a grape-vine to have a little airy swing. Another had stretched herself at full length upon a bed of the softest and tiniest moss, and seemed to be doing nothing but making her eyes more blue by looking up into the blue sky. Some were fairly slumbering with eyes closely shut. One little impa real little mischief-maker he seemed — was pulling back another that was trying so hard to climb into a blue-bell. Another was very comfortably mounted in the flower of a honeysuckle, sipping the nectarine juice, which was, I suppose, her noonday meal.

I cannot tell you the hundred quiet things they contrived to do in order to occupy and amuse themselves.

But the most wide-awake of all the band was the group around the queen, Adèle ; the very one you - became acquainted with at Rose Island.* You might ask how she came here ; but you know that fairies move about from place to place wherever they please. I cannot tell you in what manner she travelled, — whether she lighted upon some gentle breeze that was blowing in this direction, and so was wafted along ; or sailed upon some fleecy cloud; or came in her own chariot, quite magically, through the air. At all events, she seemed to have popped down into our garden at present, and was quite at home there.

Around the queen stood Dewdrop and Misty, Vial, Glassée, Pebble, and Rosy. These, I think, were the queen's favorites; for one would almost always see them about her. If you would like to take a peep into their characters and dispositions, you might discover them partly by their names. Dewdrop was as sparkling as her namesake: her eyes, her hair, even her very feet, seemed to be all twinkling with dewy light; and, when she wore her dress of silver sheen, you might at a distance, on a summer's morning, have taken her for a veritable dewdrop. Misty - how tender she was! Her soft

* See “Rainbows for Children.”

eyes were veiled with a tearful light whenever any pitiful tale was told her.

Vial was an inquisitive little creature as ever lived. It was her delight to be always finding out something new, and asking all sorts of questions — very sensible ones too — in regard to things that you would not suppose that a fairy would care about at all, as you will see by and by ; and so, I presume, they called her Vial because she was always bottling up so much knowledge in her little head!

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