It aspires to being a modernized fairy tale
, in which the wonderment and joy are retained and the heartaches and nightmares are left out.
There were certain tales
which all minstrels had to know, and the best among them could tell three hundred and fifty.
I may venture to assert the same of every aspect of the story, while I confess that the particular typhoon of the tale
was not a typhoon of my actual experience.
Poe's initial salary with the "Southern Literary Messenger," to which he contributed the first drafts of a number of his best-known tales
, was $10 a week!
The sea was dark blue, covered with ships full of white sails; and in the barn old women, maidens, and children were sitting picking hops into a large cask; the young sang songs, but the old told fairy tales
of mountain-sprites and soothsayers.
His mind and eye were keen, besides, for moral qualities; he penetrated directly through all the pretenses of falsehood and hypocrisy; while how thoroughly he understood and respected honest worth appears in the picture of the Poor Parson in the Prolog to 'The Canterbury Tales
.' Himself quiet and self-contained, moreover, Chaucer was genial and sympathetic toward all mankind.
There you are right, he replied; but if any one asks where are such models to be found and of what tales
are you speaking-- how shall we answer him?
No fascination has ever been attached to Oriental literature, equal to that produced by Mr Galland's first translation of the Arabian Tales
; in which, retaining on the one hand the splendour of Eastern costume, and on the other the wildness of Eastern fiction, he mixed these with just so much ordinary feeling and expression, as rendered them interesting and intelligible, while he abridged the long-winded narratives, curtailed the monotonous reflections, and rejected the endless repetitions of the Arabian original.
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, the original intention (or motif) is apt to get abolished and find itself superseded by a quite different one.
And they may unfold a tale
of narrow escape, of steady ill-luck, of high winds and heavy weather, of ice, of interminable calms or endless head-gales; a tale
of difficulties overcome, of adversity defied by a small knot of men upon the great loneliness of the sea; a tale
of resource, of courage - of helplessness, perhaps.
"Now, my friends," said she, "to wile away the time till the bright moon goes down, let us each tell a tale
, or relate what we have done or learned this day.
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.