THESE Norwegian tales of elemental mountain, forest and sea spirits, handed down by hinds and huntsmen, woodchoppers and fisherfolk, men who led a hard and lonely life amid primitive surroundings are, perhaps, among the most fascinating the Scandinavian countries have to offer. Nor are they only meant to delight the child, though this they cannot fail to do. "Grown-ups" also, who take pleasure in a good story, well told, will enjoy the original "Peer Gynt" legend, as it existed before Ibsen gave it more symbolic meanings; and that glowing, beautiful picture of an Avalon of the Northern seas shown in "The Island of Udröst." What could be more human and moving than the tragic "The Player on the Jew's-Harp," or more genuinely entertaining than "The King's Hares"? "The Master-Girl" is a Candida of fairy-land, and the thrill and glamor of black magic and mystery run through such stories as "The Secret Church," "The Comrade," and "Lucky Andrew." In "The Honest Four-Shilling Piece" we have the adventures of a Norse Dick Whittington. "Storm Magic" is one of the most thrilling sea tales, bar none, ever written, and every story included in the volume seems to bring with it the breath of the Norse mountains or the tang of the spindrift on Northern seas. Much of the charm of the stories lies in the directness and simplicity of their telling; and this quality, which adds so much to their appeal, the translator has endeavored to preserve in its integrity. He cannot but feel that "The Norwegian Fairy Book" has an appeal for one and all, since it is a book in which the mirror of fairy-tale reflects human yearnings and aspirations, human loves, ambitions and disillusionments, in an imaginatively glamored, yet not distorted form. It is his hope and belief that those who may come to know it will derive as much pleasure from its reading as it gave him to put it into English.
FREDERICK H. MARTENS.