Strange to say, each one calls all other tales superstitions and old-wives' fables; but observe, he always trembles when he tells his own. But they are all true; there is not one old-wife's fable on the list. Necromancers have had private interviews with visitors who had no right to be seen this side the Styx. The Witch of Endor and the raising of Samuel were literal facts.
The little wife had settled her kerchief above her sharp-featured old-wife's face; and, with one hand in her apron-pocket and the other holding a little tin can, she now went from door to door: "For the poor blind man.... God reward you."
This, for more than two centuries had been the tradition of that grewsome palace, till it was famed throughout the city for the sinister line of men who had dwelt therein, and had finally died out with the last Prince. Ivan, when he took up his residence there so suddenly, had put behind him his memories of the old-wife's tales, and his own boyhood experience.
MY DEAR SIR, Here am I on my way to Inverness. I have rambled over the rich, fertile carses of Falkirk and Stirling, and am delighted with their appearance: richly waving crops of wheat, barley, etc., but no harvest at all yet, except, in one or two places, an old-wife's ridge.
There is a wood there, with herons sprawling about the tree-tops, I did not think there were so many in the world, and fish for Lent and Fridays in every puddle and leat, pike and perch, tench and eels, on every old-wife's table; while the knights think scorn of anything worse than smelts and burbot." "Splendeur Dex!" quoth William, who, Norman-like, did not dislike a good dinner.