It aspires to being a modernized fairy tale
, in which the wonderment and joy are retained and the heartaches and nightmares are left out.
Nay, I do not know all the tale
; there was a woman in it.
WHEN the author of these little tales
commenced them, it was her intention to form a short series of such stories as, it was hoped, might not be entirely without moral advantage; but unforeseen circumstances have prevented their completion, and, unwilling to delay the publication any longer, she commits them to the world in their present unfinished state, without any flattering anticipations of their reception.
We may be sure that when the day's work was done, when the fight or the chase was over, they gathered round the wood fire and listened to the tales
of the story-teller.
As in most of my writings I insist not on the events but on their effect upon the persons in the tale
. But in everything I have written there is always one invariable intention, and that is to capture the reader's attention, by securing his interest and enlisting his sympathies for the matter in hand, whatever it may be, within the limits of the visible world and within the boundaries of human emotions.
And this was the tribute paid by the American public to the master who had given to it such tales
of conjuring charm, of witchery and mystery as "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "Ligea; such fascinating hoaxes as "The Unparalleled Adventure of Hans Pfaall," "MSS.
And I have noticed another thing: that as the short tale
grows into the long tale
, the original intention (or motif) is apt to get abolished and find itself superseded by a quite different one.
"My mother says that all you look at can be turned into a fairy tale
: and that you can find a story in everything."
Sometimes, as in his treatment of the popular medieval beast-epic material in the Nun's Priest's Tale
of the Fox and the Cock, the humor takes the form of boisterous farce; but much more often it is of the finer intellectual sort, the sort which a careless reader may not catch, but which touches with perfect sureness and charming lightness on all the incongruities of life, always, too, in kindly spirit.
And shall we just carelessly allow children to hear any casual tales
which may be devised by casual persons, and to receive into their minds ideas for the most part the very opposite of those which we should wish them to have when they are grown up?
"As I was painting the bright petals of a blue bell, it told me this tale
He said he would state the case exactly accord- ing to the facts; he would tell the simple straightfor- ward tale
, without comment of his own; "and then," said he, "if ye find glory and honor due, ye will give it unto him who is the mightiest man of his hands that ever bare shield or strake with sword in the ranks of Christian battle -- even him that sitteth there!" and he pointed to Sir Launcelot.