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“stretched out its tiny hands and caught hold of the foot of the statue. The wuzeer instantly came back to life, and stooping down seized the little baby, who had rescued him, in his arms and kissed it.'

There is something more quiet and touching in the silent record of Luxman, which stands in the place of Faithful John's confession at the scaffold, as well as in the doom which is made to depend on the reproaches of his friend rather than on the mere mechanical act of giving utterance to certain words.

In the Deccan story the bride of Rama is won after an exploit which in its turn carries us away to the deeds of Hellenic or Teutonic heroes. When the prince tells Luxman of the peerless beauty whom he has seen in his dream, his friend tells him that the princess lives far away in a glass palace. The glass answers to the ice of the Norse legends. Round this palace runs a large river, and round the river is a garden of flowers. Round the garden are four thick groves of trees. The princess is twenty-four years old, but she is not married, for she has determined only to marry whoever can jump across the river and greet her in her crystal palace; and though many thousand kings have assayed to do so, they have all perished miserably in the attempt, having either been drowned in the river or broken their necks by

The frequent recurrence of this idea in these Hindoo legends might of itself lead anyone, who knew nothing of the subject previously, to doubt whether such images could refer to any actual facts in the history of any given man or woman. In some form or other it may be said to run through almost all. In the story of Brave Seventee Bai it assumes a form more closel.


English Essays III.


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akin to the imagery of Teutonic mythology; and here we find a princess who declares she will marry no one who has not leaped over her bath, which has high marble walls all round, with a hedge of spikes at the top of the walls.' In the story of Vicram Maharajah the parents of Anar Ranee had caused her garden to be hedged round with seven hedges made of bayonets, so that none could go in nor out; and they had published a decree that none should marry her but he who could enter the garden and gather the three pomegranates on which she and her maids slept.' So too Panch-Phul Ranee, the lovely Queen of the Five Flowers, dwelt in a little house round which were seven wide ditches and seven great hedges made of spears.' The seven hedges are, however, nothing more than the sevenfold coils of the dragon of the glistering heath who lies twined round the beautiful Brunhild. But the maiden of the Teutonic tale is sunk in sleep which rather resembles death than life, just as Dêmêtêr mourned as if for the death of Persephone while her child sojourned in the dark kingdom of Hades. This idea is reproduced with wonderful fidelity in the story of Little Surya Bai, and the cause of her death is modified in a hundred legends both of the East and the West. The little maiden is high up in the eagle's nest fast asleep, when an evil demon or Rakshas seeks to gain admission to her, and while vainly striving to force it open, leaves one of his finger - nails sticking in the crack of the door. When on the following morning the maiden opened the doors of her dwelling to look down on the world below, the sharp claw ran into her hand, and immediately she fell dead. The powers of winter which had thus far striven in vain .to wound her have at length won the victory, and at once we pass to other versions of the same myth which tell us of Eurydikê as stung to death by the hidden serpent, of Siegfried smitten by Hagen (the thorn), of Isfendiyar pierced by the thorn or arrow of Rustem, of Achilles vulnerable only in his heel, of Brunhild enfolded within the dragon's coils, of Meleagros dying as the torch of doom is burnt out, of Baldr the brave and pure smitten by the fatal bough of mistletoe, of the sweet Briar-rose plunged in her slumber of a hundred years.

The idea that these myths have been deliberately transferred from Hindoos or Persians to Greeks, Germans, and Norsemen is by general consent dismissed as a wild dream. Yet of their substantial identity, in spite of all points of difference and under every disguise thrown over them by individual fancies and local influences, there can be no question. The keynote of any one of Anna de Souza's stories is the keynote of almost all, and this keynote runs practically through the great body of tales gathered from Germany, Scandinavia, Ireland, and Scotland. It is found again everywhere in the mythology of the Greeks, whether in the legends which have furnished the materials for their magnificent epics, or have been immortalised in the dramas of their great tragedians, or have remained buried in the pages of mythographers like Pausanias or Diodorus. If then all these tales have some historical foundation, they must relate to events which took place before the dispersion of the Aryan tribes from their original home.

To take these stories after any system and arrange their materials methodically is almost an impossible task. The expressions or incidents worked into these

legends are like the few notes of the scale from which great musicians have created each his new world, or like the few roots of language which denoted at first only the most prominent objects and processes of nature and the merest bodily wants, but out of which has grown the wealth of words to feed the countless streams of human thought. In one story we may find a series of incidents briefly touched which elsewhere have been expanded into a dozen tales, while the incidents themselves are presented in the thousand different combinations suggested by an exuberant fancy. The outlines of the tales, when these have been carefully analysed, are simple enough; but they are certainly not outlines which could have been suggested by incidents in the common life of mankind. Maidens do not fall for months or years into deathlike trances from which the touch of one brave knight alone can rouse them ; dragons are not coiled round golden treasures or beautiful women on glistering heaths; princes do not everywhere abandon their wives as soon as they have married them, to return at length in squalid disguise and smite their foes with invincible weapons. Steeds which speak and which cannot die do not draw the chariots of mortal chiefs, nor do the lives of human kings exhibit everywhere the same incidents in the same sequence. Yet every fresh addition made to our stores of popular tradition does but bring before us new phases of those old forms of which mankind, we may boldly say, will never grow weary. The golden slipper of Cinderella was, as

we knew, the slipper of Rhodôpis, which an eagle carried off and dropped into the lap of the Egyptian king as he sat on his seat of judgment at Memphis. This slipper reappears in the beautiful Deccan story

of Sodewa Bai, and leads of course to the same issue as in the legends of Cinderella and Rhodopis. The dragon of the glistering heath represents the sevenheaded cobra of the Hindoo story, and in the legend of Brave Seventee Bai the beautiful Brunhild becomes his daughter. In the Greek myth these snakes draw the chariot of Medeia the child of the Sun, or impart mysterious wisdom to Iamos and Melampus, as the cobras do to Muchie Lal. That the heroes of Greek and Teutonic legends in almost every case are separated from or abandon the women whom they have wooed or loved, is well known; and the rajahs and princes of these Deccan tales are subjected to the same lot with Achilles and Herakles, Odysseus and Edipus, Sigurd and Arthur, Kephalos and Prokris, Paris and Enônê. Generally the newly-married prince feels a yearning to see his father and his mother once more, and like Odysseus, pines until he can set his face homewards. Sometimes he takes his wife, sometimes he goes alone; but in one way or another he is kept away from her for years, and reappears, like Odysseus, in the squalid garb of a beggar. Curiously enough, in these Hindoo stories his detention is caused by one of those charms or spells which Odysseus in his wanderings discreetly avoids. The Lotos-eaters and their magic fruit reappear in the nautch-people or conjurers, whom the rajah who has married Panch-Phul Ranee, the Lady of the Five Flowers, asks for rice and fire. The woman whom he addresses immediately brings them.

But before she gave them to him, she and her companions threw upon them a certain powder, containing a very potent charm; and no sooner did the rajah receive them than he forgot about his wife and little child, his journey, and all that had ever happened to him in his life before;

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