The Fairy Boy Of Leith

"About fifteen years since, having business that detained me for some

time at Leith, which is near Edinburgh, in the kingdom of Scotland, I

often met some of my acquaintance at a certain house there, where we used

to drink a glass of wine for our refection. The woman which kept the

house was of honest reputation among the neighbours, which made me give

the more attention to what she told me one day about a fairy boy (as they

called him) who lived about that town. She had given me so strange an

account of him, that I desired her I might see him the first opportunity,

which she promised; and not long after, passing that way, she told me

there was the fairy boy, but a little before I came by; and, casting her

eye into the street, said, 'Look you, sir, yonder he is, at play with

those other boys'; and pointing him out to me, I went, and by smooth

words, and a piece of money, got him to come into the house with me;

where, in the presence of divers people, I demanded of him several

astrological questions, which he answered with great subtlety; and,

through all his discourse, carried it with a cunning much above his

years, which seemed not to exceed ten or eleven.

"He seemed to make a motion like drumming upon the table with his

fingers, upon which I asked him whether he could beat a drum? To which

he replied, 'Yes, sir, as well as any man in Scotland; for every Thursday

night I beat all points to a sort of people that used to meet under

yonder hill' (pointing to the great hill between Edinburgh and Leith).

'How, boy?' quoth I, 'what company have you there?' 'There are, sir,'

said he, 'a great company both of men and women, and they are entertained

with many sorts of music besides my drum; they have, besides, plenty of

variety of meats and wine, and many times we are carried into France or

Holland in the night, and return again, and whilst we are there, we enjoy

all the pleasures the country doth afford.' I demanded of him how they

got under that hill? To which he replied that there was a great pair of

gates that opened to them, though they were invisible to others, and that

within there were brave large rooms, as well accommodated as most in

Scotland. I then asked him how I should know what he said to be true?

Upon which he told me he would read my fortune, saying, I should have two

wives, and that he saw the forms of them over my shoulders; and both

would be very handsome women.

"The woman of the house told me that all the people in Scotland could not

keep him from the rendezvous on Thursday night; upon which, by promising

him some more money, I got a promise of him to meet me at the same place

in the afternoon, the Thursday following, and so dismissed him at that

time. The boy came again at the place and time appointed, and I had

prevailed with some friends to continue with me (if possible) to prevent

his moving that night. He was placed between us, and answered many

questions, until, about eleven of the clock, he was got away unperceived

by the company; but I, suddenly missing him, hastened to the door, and

took hold of him, and so returned him into the same room. We all watched

him, and, of a sudden, he was again got out of doors; I followed him

close, and he made a noise in the street, as if he had been set upon, and

from that time I could never see him."

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