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been reasonably derived, says nothing to the contrary, but the reverse ; for ta or tum is but a variety of inflection. Fata is the Latin fatum, or fate, whence come the words fatua, fama, and fanum ; words implying something spoken or said,
Aery tongues that syllable men's names. Fari is the Latin to speak. All these words come from the Greek phaton, phatis, phao, to say, which signifies also to express, to bring to light, and to appear; and phaos signifies light. Here is the union of speech and appearance, and thus from the single root pha or fay may have originated the words peri or fari, the English fairy, the old English fay, which is the fée of our neighbors, the Latin fatum or fate, even the parcæ (another Latin word for the Fates), the Greek phatis, the old Persian ferooer (a soul, a blessed spirit, which is the etymology of the author of the “Fairy Mythology”), and the word fable itself, together with fancy, fair, famous, and what not. We do not wish to lay more stress on this matter than it is worth. There is no end to probabilities, and any thing may be deduced from any thing else. Horne Tooke derived King Pepin from the Greek pronoun osper, and King Jeremiah from pickled cucumber,* — a sort of sport which we recommend as an addition to the stock at Christmas. But the extremes of probability have their use as well as abuse. The spirit of words, truly studied, involves a deep philosophy and important consequences; and any thing is
* As thus, “Osper, eper, oper, - diaper, napkin, pipkin, pippin-king, King Pepin.” And going the reverse way, “King Jeremiah, Jeremiah King, jerkin, gerkin, pickled cucumber.” Fohi and Noah, says Goldsmith, are evidently the same ; for change fo into no, and hi into ah, and there you have it.
good which tends to make out a common case for mankind.
Pari is the female genius, beautiful and beneficent. D'Herbelot says there are male Paries, and he gives the names of two of them, Dal Peri and Milan Schah Peri, who were brothers of Merjan Peri, supposed to be the same as the Western Fairy, Morgana. The truth seems to be, that originally the Paries were of no sex: the poets first distinguished them into male and female ; and their exceeding beauty at last confined them to the female kind. We doubt, after all that we see in the writings of Sir William Ousely and others, whether any poet, Western or Eastern, would now talk of a male Pari. At any rate, it would appear as absurd to us of the West, as if anybody were to discover that the three Graces were not all female. The Pari is the female Fairy, the lady of the solitudes, the fair enchantress who enamors all who behold her, and is mightily inclined to be enamored herself, but also to be constant as well as kind. She is the being “that youthful poets dream of when they love." She includes the magic of the enchantress, the supernaturalness of the fairy, the beauty of the angel, and the lovability of the woman; in short, is the perfection of female sweetness.*
Pari has been derived from a word meaning winged, and from another signifying beauty. But enough has been said on this point. We are not aware of any story in which Paries are represented with wings : but they
* Where we say angel-faced, the Persians say pari-faced, pari-peyker, pari-cheker, pari-rokhsar, pari-roy, are all terms to that effect. The Parysatis of the Greeks is justly supposed to be the pari-zade, or pari-born, of the Persians.
have the power of fight. In an Eastern poem, mentioned by D'Herbelot, the evil Jinns in their war with the good take some Paries captive, and hang them up in cages, in the highest trees they can find. Here they are from time to time visited by their companions, who bring them precious odors, which serve a double purpose ; for the Paries not only feed upon odors, but are preserved by them from the approach of the Deevs, to whom a sweet scent is intolerable. Perfume gives an evil spirit a melancholy, more than he is in the habit of enduring: he suffers because there is a taste of heaven in it. It is beautiful to fancy the Paries among the tops of the trees, bearing their imprisonment with a sweet patience, and watching for their companions. Now and then comes a flight of these human doves, gleaming out of the foliage ; or some good genius of the other sex dares a peril in behalf of his Pari love, and turns her patience into joy.
Paries feed upon odors; but if we are to judge from our sweet acquaintance, Pari Banou, they are not incapable of sitting down to dinner with an earthly lover. The gods lived upon odors, but they had wine in heaven, nectar and ambrosia, and furthermore could eat beef and pudding, when they looked in upon their friends on earth, — see the story of Baucis and Philemon, of Lycaon, Tantalus, &c. It is true Prince Ahmed was helped by his fair hostess to delicious meats, which he had never before heard of; odors, perhaps, taking the shape of venison or pilau ; but he found the same excellence in the wines; and the fairy partook both of those and the dessert, which consisted of the choicest sweetmeats and fruits. The reader will allow us to read over with him the part of the story thereabouts. Such quarters of an hour are not to be had always, especially in good company; and we presume all the readers of these papers are well met, and of good faith. If any one of a different sort trespasses on our premises, and does not see the beauties we deal with, all we can say is, that he is in the usual condition of those profane persons who are punished when they venture into Fairy-land, by that very inability of sight, which he, poor fellow, would fain consider a mark of his discernment. — So now to our dinner with a Fairy.
The reader will recollect, that Prince Ahmed shot an arrow a great way among some rocks, and, upon finding it was astonished to see how far it had gone. The arrow was also lying flat, which looked as if it had rebounded from one of the rocks. This increased his surprise, and made him think there was some mystery in the circumstance. On looking about, he discovered an iron door. He pushed it open and went down a passage in the earth. On a sudden," a different light succeeded to that which he came out of;" he entered a square, and perceived a magnificent palace, out of whieh a lady of exceeding beauty made her appearance at the door, attended by a troop of others.
“ As soon as Prince Ahmed perceived the lady, he hastened to pay his respects; and the lady on her part, seeing him coming, prevented him. Addressing her discourse to him first, and raising her voice, she said to him, “Come near, Prince Ahmed; you are welcome.'
“It was no small surprise to the prince to hear himself named in a palace he never heard of, though so nigh his father's capital; and he could not comprehend how he should be known to a lady who was a stranger to him."
By the way, who knows what our geologists may come to, provided they dig far enough, and are worthy ? Strange things are surmised of the interior of the earth; and Burnet, now-a-days, would have rubbed his hands to think what phenomenon may turn up.*
“After the proper interchanging of amenities on either side, the prince is led into a hall, over which is a dome of gold and onyx. He is seated on a sofa ; the lady seats herself by him, and addresses him in the following words : “You are surprised, you say, that I should know you and not be known by you; but you will be no longer surprised when I inform you who I am. You cannot be ignorant that your religion teaches you to believe that the world is inhabited by Genii as well as men ; I am the daughter of one of the most powerful and distinguished of these Genii, and my name is Pari Banou; therefore you ought not to wonder that I know you, the sultan your father, and the Princess Nouronnihar. I am no stranger to your loves or your travels, of which I could tell you all the circumstances, since it was I myself who exposed to sale the artificial apple which you bought at Samarcande, the carpet which Prince Houssain met with at Bisnagar, and the tube which Prince Ali brought from Schiraz. This is sufficient to let you know that I am not unacquainted with any thing that relates to you. The only thing I have to add is, that you seemed to me worthy of a more happy fate than that of possessing the Princess Nouronnihar; and, that you might
* The author of the “Sacred Theory of the Earth,” – a book as good as a romance, and containing passages of great beauty. We speak of the Latin original. Burnet somewhere has expressed a desire to know more about Satan—what he is doing at present, and how he lives. There is a subterraneous Fairy-land, to which King Arthur is supposed to have been withdrawn, and whence he is expected to come again and re-establish his throne. Milton has a fine allusion to this circumstance in his Latin poem, “Mansus,” v. 81. A poetical traveller in Wales might look at the mouth of a cavern, and expect to see the great king with his chivalry coming up, blowing their trumpets, into the daylight.