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Scottish Tales and Legends

Twenty Scottish Tales and Legends

Scottish Highland Fairies

The Daoine Shi’, or men of peace of the Highlanders, though not absolutely malevolent, are believed to be a peevish, repining race of beings, who, possessing
themselves but a scanty portion of happiness, are supposed to envy mankind their more complete and substantial enjoyment.

They are supposed to enjoy, in their subterraneous recesses, a sort of shadowy happiness, a tinsel
grandeur; which, however, they would willingly exchange for the more solid joys of mortality.

They are believed to inhabit certain round grassy eminences, where they celebrate their nocturnal festivities by the light of the moon. About a mile beyond the source of the Forth, above Lochcon, there is a place called Coirshi’an, or, the Cove of the Men of Peace,
which is still supposed to be a favourite place of their residence. In the neighbourhood are to be seen many round, conical eminences ; particularly one, near the head of the loch, by the skirts of which many are still afraid to pass after sunset.

It is believed that if, on hallow-eve, any person alone goes round one of these hills nine times, towards the left hand, a door shall open by which he shall be admitted into their underground abode. Many, it is said, of mortal race, have been entertained in their secret recesses.
There they have been received into the most splendid apartments, and regaled with the most sumptuous banquets and delicious wines. Their females surpass the daughters of men in beauty.

The seemingly happy inhabitants pass their time in festivity, and in dancing to notes of the softest music. But unhappy is the mortal who joins in their joys, or
ventures to partake of their dainties. By this indulgence he forfeits forever the society of men, and is bound down
irrevocably to the condition of a man of peace.

A woman, as is reported in the Highland tradition, was conveyed, in days of yore, into the secret recesses of the men of peace. There she was recognised by one who had formerly been an ordinary mortal, but who had, by some fatality, become associated with the men of peace.
This acquaintance, still retaining some portion of human benevolence, warned her of her danger, and counselled her, as she valued her liberty, to abstain from eating and drinking with them, for a certain space of time.

She complied with the counsel of her friend and when the period assigned was elapsed, she found herself again upon earth, restored to the society of mortals. It is added, that when she examined the gifts which had been presented to her, and which had appeared so tempting to the eye, they were found, now that the enchantment was removed, to consist only of the refuse of the earth.

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