Random Quote #74 topic: bierce-devil, The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce
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FAIRY, n. A creature, variously fashioned and endowed, that formerly
inhabited the meadows and forests. It was nocturnal in its habits,
and somewhat addicted to dancing and the theft of children. The
fairies are now believed by naturalist to be extinct, though a
clergyman of the Church of England saw three near Colchester as lately
as 1855, while passing through a park after dining with the lord of
the manor. The sight greatly staggered him, and he was so affected
that his account of it was incoherent. In the year 1807 a troop of
fairies visited a wood near Aix and carried off the daughter of a
peasant, who had been seen to enter it with a bundle of clothing. The
son of a wealthy _bourgeois_ disappeared about the same time, but
afterward returned. He had seen the abduction been in pursuit of the
fairies. Justinian Gaux, a writer of the fourteenth century, avers
that so great is the fairies' power of transformation that he saw one
change itself into two opposing armies and fight a battle with great
slaughter, and that the next day, after it had resumed its original
shape and gone away, there were seven hundred bodies of the slain
which the villagers had to bury. He does not say if any of the
wounded recovered. In the time of Henry III, of England, a law was
made which prescribed the death penalty for "Kyllynge, wowndynge, or
mamynge" a fairy, and it was universally respected.



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