Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/48

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


2,6 The Voice of the Stone of Destiny.

took two golden posts, and fastened on their tops two tapers. They then set up the posts in the middle of the village. Every one was required to jump through them, and the tapers would fall on him who was to be the prince. But they obstinately remained standing until the destined youth came, when they both fell on his neck and burst into flame. If he had not become an emperor, at least he was now a prince: and with that variation, the whole of the bird's prophecy was in due course fulfilled.^ But we need not follow it further. The hero of a Balochi tale likewise falls under his father's displeasure. His father was a king, and the son took advantage of his royalty to break the crockery of his father's subjects. When the people complained, his father drove him away. In the course of his wanderings, he came to a town where the king had just died. The palace door was shut, and upon it was written : " He whose hand shall open this door, shall be king of this city." The wandering prince, reading this, said : " Bismillah." He pushed the door: it opened. He entered, seated himself on the throne, and became king.-

The Kah-gyur, a sacred work of Tibetan Buddhism dating back to the eleventh century or thereabouts, contains a story of king Ananda. The name Ananda is famous in the litera- ture of Buddhism as that of a favourite disciple of the master ; but it is here used in the indiscriminate way in which the mediaeval friars used the names of Pompey, Titus, Pliny, and other famous Romans, in the Gesta Romanorum. This king had five sons, of whom the youngest was endowed with qualities better suited to a ruler than the others, and to whom accordingly he desired to leave the kingdom. But he feared that if he invested his youngest son with sovereign power, his kinsmen would reproach him for having passed over his elder sons. As a way of escape from the difficulty

' Radloff, Proben der Volksliiteratur der Tiirkischen Stdmine Sud-Sibiriens (St. Petersburg, l866), vol. i., p. 208. - Folk- Lore, vol. iv., p. 202.