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Irish Fairy Tales

By James Stephens All Rights Reserved ©

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Chapter 1

Finnian, the Abbott of Moville, went southwards and eastwards in great haste. News had come to him in Donegal that there were yet people in his own province who believed in gods that he did not approve of, and the gods that we do not approve of are treated scurvily, even by saintly men.

He was told of a powerful gentleman who observed neither Saint's day nor Sunday. "A powerful person!" said Finnian.

"All that," was the reply. "We shall try this person's power," said Finnian.

"He is reputed to be a wise and hardy man," said his informant. "We shall test his wisdom and his hardihood."

"He is," that gossip whispered—"he is a magician." "I will magician him," cried Finnian angrily. "Where does that man live?"

He was informed, and he proceeded to that direction without delay. In no great time he came to the stronghold of the gentleman who followed ancient ways, and he demanded admittance in order that he might preach and prove the new God, and exorcise and terrify and banish even the memory of the old one; for to a god grown old Time is as ruthless as to a beggarman grown old.

But the Ulster gentleman refused Finnian admittance. He barricaded his house, he shuttered his windows, and in a gloom of indignation and protest he continued the practices of ten thousand years, and would not hearken to Finnian calling at the window or to Time knocking at his door. But of those adversaries it was the first he redoubted.

Finnian loomed on him as a portent and a terror; but he had no fear of Time. Indeed he was the foster-brother of Time, and so disdainful of the bitter god that he did not even disdain him; he leaped over the scythe, he dodged under it, and the sole occasions on which Time laughs is when he chances on Tuan, the son of Cairill, the son of Muredac Red-neck.

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Avell Kro: I've only just started reading this, but I can see that this writer really knows her stuff. Her theme is painful and traumatic, and her sense of place is deep and strong. Being originally from Yorkshire myself the story resonates with me personally, but this is good writing. I look forward to com...

David Ramati: An unusual story, well worth reading. Good conversations, excellent prose, and keeps my interest, maybe because I was there, back in the day. You won't be able to pt this book down.

Mary Abigail: I have always been a serious reader but reading romance has always been an outlet for me to be happy and this, makes me happy. It's entertaining with just enough drama and maybe a bit more - I do need more.

ngonisiga: I am at loss for words in my attempt to descibe the sublimeness of this story. Kudos to you! I am so impressed at the way the story weaves itself from Navarre to England and back and finally to Sicily. You left me wanting more for this is the stuff dreams are made of in book lovers.

PersephanieBoyce: I was intrigued with the subject of this book from the snip it I read, and as I continued to read I felt like I was inside the characters brain. His thought processes, his memories, everything was so beautifully and forcefully made aware.The descriptions were vivid and detailed. At times, I did t...

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