Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/54

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42 The Voice of the Stone of Destiny,

tary instance — that of the choice of a pope. Accordingly this is the favourite, if not the only form of the story as it is told in France, Italy, and Switzerland. The charming collection by the late M. Luzel of religious and quasi-reli- gious tales of Lower Brittany contains one entitled ' Pope Innocent.' The hero is a son of the King of France cast off by his parents, who attempt to put him to death. He sets out for Rome to be present at the election of a new pope. On the way he falls in with two Capuchin monks. The elder of them is gentle to him, the other suspicious and hostile. The youth is a bit of a prig. Perhaps this is not to be wondered at, seeing that he is endowed with supernatural knowledge and power. These qualities make his conduct throughout the journey enigmatical to the point of excusing, if not justifying, the attitude of his unfriendly companion. Everyone takes him for a sorcerer ; and the younger monk says in so many words to the other, that they will be lucky if he do not bring them to the gallows or the stake before reaching Rome. As they draw near the holy city, the boy hears some birds in a hedge foretell that one of the three will be made pope, just as the cocks were overheard in the story I cited a few minutes ago from the Jataka. There- upon he enquires of each of his companions what office he will give him if he (the monk) attain this dignity. The elder monk promises to make him his first cardinal, the younger contemptuously says he will make him beadle in his cathe- dral. Arrived at Rome, they find that the choice of a pope proceeds in this way : There are to be three days' pro- cessions. Every pilgrim has to carry a candle, not lighted, in his hand; and he whose candle lights of itself is the person designated by God to the office of pope. The youth, how- ever, has no money to buy candles. So he carries merely a white wand which he has cut in the hedge where the birds sang ; and people, seeing him, shrug their shoulders and exclaim : " Look at that poor innocent ! " It is, however, not the candle of an archbishop, or bishop, or of any great