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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 116 pages of information about The Fairy Godmothers and Other Tales.

And they arose; but yet awhile they lingered on the velvet lawn before that country-house, for as they were preparing for flight, the sounds they loved so well, of harmonious music, greeted their ears.

“Ah, there is the artist’s hand again,” cried Ambrosia.  “I see the lovely sketch before me once more!”

And so it was, that it, and the peaceful forest scene, and the interesting face of Hermione, seemed to reappear before them all as they listened to her music.  Tender, and full of sentiment were the sounds at first, as if the musician were acting the scene of the opera whence they came.

“Lieder ohne Worte,"[3] murmured Ambrosia.

[3] Songs without Words.—­Mendelssohn.

But it was to the swelling sounds of a farewell chorus that they arose into the air, and took their leave of earth.

And now, dear Readers, there is but one thing more to do.  To ask if you have guessed the Fairy gift?

The Fairies, you see, had not.  What Euphrosyne had said was true.  They had listened to such a quantity of conversation they could not understand, and they were so unused to think much about any thing, or to hear much beyond their own pretty light talk and sweet songs, that their poor little brains had got quite muddled.

Perhaps remaining so long in the Earth’s atmosphere helped to cloud their intelligence.  Certain it is, they returned very pensive, very cross, and rather dusty to Fairy Land.

They arrived at the beautiful bay I first described, and floated to a large party of their sisters, who were dancing on the sands.

There was a clapping of tiny hands, and shouts of joy as they approached; and “What news? what news?” cried many voices.

“Ah, what news, Sister Euphrosyne!” cried little Aglaia, floating forward, “from the smudgy old earth; Is it beauty, riches, or what?”

“I cannot answer your question,” said Euphrosyne, pushing forward.

A circle was now formed round the travellers, and the details I have given you were made by Ianthe.  And she wound up by saying, “And what Ambrosia’s gift to Hermione has been, we cannot make out.”

“Then I will tell you!” cried little Aglaia, springing lightly high into the air, and descending gently on a huge shell at her feet; “She likes every thing she does, and she likes to be always doing something.  You can’t put the meaning into one word, as you can Beauty and Riches; but still it is something.  Can’t you think of some way of saying what I have told you?  Dear me, how stupid you are all grown.  And liking isn’t the right word:  it is something stronger than common liking.”

“Love, perhaps,” murmured Leila.

“An excellent idea,” cried Euphrosyne; “dear me, this delicious air is clearing my poor head.  Sisters, I will express it for you, and Ambrosia shall say if I am right.  It is THE LOVE OF EMPLOYMENT.”

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