Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review Volumes 32 and 33.djvu/283

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271
Snake Stones.

No doubt it was snake-stones of this kind which Paul Lucas brought home, for among the rarities secured by him are catalogued "Plusieurs de ces Pierres, qu'on nomme Pierres de Serpent, parce qu'elles ont la vertu, étant mises sur la morsure des bétes vermineuses, d'attirer tout le venin. Elles s'attachent sur la plaie et ne tombent que quand le venin est evaporé. On les fait ensuite tremper dans du lait, où elles laissent le poison dont elles s'étoient chargées."[1]



Folk-tales from the Panjab.

(Folk-Lore, vol. xxxii. p. 211 et seqq.)

II.

The Prince and his Clever Wife.

It is said that a certain Prince had six wives, whom he used to beat twelve times with his slippers every morning. One day a Mālin (female gardener) who brought flowers to the royal palace every morning heard of this habit of the Prince from a maid servant employed in the palace, and she said, "If I were married to the Prince he should prepare my hukka (tobacco-pipe) for me every day instead of beating me."

The Prince overheard this conversation, and immediately sent word to the gardener that he wished to marry his daughter. The gardener readily gave his consent, and after a few days the marriage was celebrated. In the morning the Prince wanted to beat his newly 'made wife—but she said that as it was the first day after their wedding all the royal ladies would come to see her, and if they saw she had been beaten they would come to the conclusion that the husband and wife were on bad terms with each other already, and this would be a disgrace to him. "Wait a few days," she added, "and then you may inflict punishment on me."

The Prince waited for a week or so, and then suggested beating her; but she excused herself by saying that up to the present time they had been living on an allowance made to him

  1. Lucas, Voyage en 1714 (edition published at Rouen, 1719), iii. p. 342.