Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/53

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The Voice of the Stone of Destiny, 41

the first who entered the gates of the city on the morrow of the king's decease, and around whose neck the sacred elephant would throw a garland of flowers.^

At other times the elephant alone does not make the choice. With him is conjoined some other animal or symbol of royalty. A tale from Kashmir speaks of a land where, when the king died, his elephant " was driven all over the country and his hawk was made to fly here, there, and everywhere in search of a successor ; and it came to pass that before whomsoever the elephant bowed and on whosesoever hand the hawk alighted, he was supposed to be the divinely chosen one."'"' In the Kathdkoga, a col- lection of stories illustrating the tenets and practice of Jainism, five ordeals, as they are expressly called, are inv.oked. "The mighty elephant came into the garden outside the city. There the elephant sprinkled Prince Amaradatta [we have already heard of sprinkling as a means of hallowing to kingship], and put him on its back. Then the horse neighed. The two chowries fanned the prince. An umbrella was held over his head. A divine voice was heard in the air: ' Long live King Amaradatta.' ^' ^

In most of these cases the decision is clearly regarded as the judgement of Heaven ; and in every case the judgement of Heaven may at least be inferred. The incident is hardly less a favourite in the West than in the East. In the West, too, it is an appeal to the judgement of Heaven. All the European stories, however, in which it occurs have been recorded within the last century ; consequently the inci- dent in question appears only in a very late form. Now an appeal to the judgement of Heaven in the selection of a ruler is familiar to the peasant mind of the continent in one soli-

' Revue des Traditions Populaires, vol. iv., p. 442.

- Knowles, op. cii., p. 158. Other stories, /(^/(/., pp. 17, 309 ; The Baklityar Niivia, p. 169 (notes by the Editor) ; Lai lieh.ari Day, Folk-tales of Bengal (London, 1883), p. 99, Story No. 5.

' The Kathakoca: or Treasury of Stories. Translated from Sanskrit manu- scripts by C. n. Tawney, MA. London, 1S95, p. 155.