(The). Gnomes and fairies of the mines: a solemn race, who nevertheless can laugh most heartily and dance most merrily.
“We [earthmen] work at the mines for men; we put the ore in readiness for the miners.” —Besant and Rice: Titania's Farewell.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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