O, sir,' murmured Sheila, still on her knees, 'please forgive me.''Forgive you! 0, la, la, la!' cunningly cried the droll, and strutting like an actor. 'Forgiveness is easy, is it not? O, yes, it is nothing. You are a young woman full of pride. O. yes! - but that is nothing. And full of penitence, and that is nothing, too. Pride is nothing, penitence nothing, forgiveness nothing, but even a bargain in farthings must be paid to be made, and I am a plain business man. What costs nothing brings no balm, and you would not like that, you would not like that, now would you?' (The Bogey Man)
We are meant to be. He pressed his lips to mine again; against myself, against my worry, I once again succumbed to the power of his kiss. I know that now. Our love is stronger than magic, stronger than the laws of all Feyland. It will survive this...whatever the future brings. - Prince Kian, Silver Frost.
There is a latent fairy in all women, but look how carefully we have to secrete her in order to be taken seriously. And fairies come in all shapes, colours, sizes and types, they don't have to be fluffy. They can be demanding and furious if hey like. They do, however, have to wear a tiara. That much is compulsory.
On the conversion of the European tribes to Christianity the ancient pagan worship was by no means incontinently abandoned. So wholesale had been the conversion of many peoples, whose chiefs or rulers had accepted the new faith on their behalf in a summary manner, that it would be absurd to suppose that any, general acquiescence in the new gospel immediately took place. Indeed, the old beliefs lurked in many neighbourhoods, and even a renaissance of some of them occurred in more than one area. Little by little, however, the Church succeeded in rooting out the public worship of the old pagan deities, but it found it quite impossible to effect an entire reversion of pagan ways, and in the end compromised by exalting the ancient deities to the position of saints in its calendar, either officially, or by usage. In the popular mind, however, these remained as the fairies of woodland and stream, whose worship in a broken-down form still flourished at wayside wells and forest shrines. The Matres, or Mother gods, particularly those of Celtic France and Ireland, the former of which had come to be Romanized, became the bonnes dames of folklore, while the dusii and pilosi, or hairy house-sprites, were so commonly paid tribute that the Church introduced a special question concerning them into its catechism of persons suspected of pagan practice. Nevertheless, the Roman Church, at a somewhat later era, reversed its older and more catholic policy, and sternly set its face against the cultus of paganism in Europe, stigmatizing the several kinds of spirits and derelict gods who were the objects of its worship as demons and devils, whom mankind must eschew with the most pious care if it were to avoid damnation.
It must be understood that in some cases the process by which a god or goddess degenerates into a fairy may occupy centuries, and that in the passage of generations such an alteration may be brought about in appearance and traits as to make it seem impossible that any relationship actually exists between the old form and the new. This may be accounted for by the circumstance that in gradually assuming the traits of fairyhood the god or goddess may also have taken on the characteristics of fairies which Already existed in the minds of the folk, the elves of a past age, who were already elves at a period when he or she still flourished in the full vigour of godhead. For in one sense Faerie represents a species of limbo, a great abyss of traditional material, into which every kind of ancient belief came to be cast as the acceptance of one new faith after another dictated the abandonment of forms and ideas unacceptable to its doctrines. The difference between god and fairy is indeed the difference between religion and folk-lore.
As Mr. R. U. Sayee has well said: 'It should be clear a priori that fairy lore must have developed as a result of modifications and accretions received in different countries and at many periods, though we must not overlook the part played by tradition in providing a mould that to some extent determines the nature of later additions.' It must also be self-evident that a great deal of confusion has been caused by the assumption that some spirit-types were fairies which in a more definite sense are certainly not of elfin provenance. In some epochs, indeed, Faerie appears to have been regarded as a species of limbo to which all 'pagan' spirits - to say nothing of defeated gods, monsters, and demons - could be banished, along with the personnel of Olympus and the rout of witchcraft. Such types, however, are usually fairly easy of detection.
But I find it necessary to repeat in this particular place that the division into classes, which is so salient a part of modern demonology, had, and has, little significance for primitive man or for the peasant in a comparatively low state of mental development. To such people, spirits of all kinds - fairies, the ghosts of the dead, and even witches and water-kelpies - are all creatures of the supernatural class between which he scarcely differentiates.
We designate the spirit of the well as 'she' because in most of her personifications she takes a female form, though not invariably. She appears in many guises - ghost, witch, saint, mermaid, fairy, and sometimes in animal form, often as a sacred fish - and her presence permeates well lore, and indeed water lore generally.
Tink was not all bad: or, rather, she was all bad just now, but, on the other hand, sometimes she was all good. Fairies have to be one thing or the other, because being so small they unfortunately have room for one feeling only at a time. They are, however, allowed to change, only it must be a complete change.
I should add, however, that, particularly on the occasion of Samhain, bonfires were lit with the express intention of scaring away the demonic forces of winter, and we know that, at Bealltainn in Scotland, offerings of baked custard were made within the last hundred and seventy years to the eponymous spirits of wild animals which were particularly prone to prey upon the flocks - the eagle, the crow, and the fox, among others. Indeed, at these seasons all supernatural beings were held in peculiar dread. It seems by no means improbable that these circumstances reveal conditions arising out of a later solar pagan worship in respect of which the cult of fairy was relatively greatly more ancient, and perhaps held to be somewhat inimical.