Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/69

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The Voice of the Stone of Destiny. 57

may impose injustice and violence upon those people, yet they are none the less known to have the hereditary right to the country." ^

In the same manner, in India snakes are supposed to be specially gifted with the faculty of distinguishing persons of royal race or born to rule." One example will be enough. The Gandharbs of Benares, a caste of singers and prostitutes, ascribe their origin to Doman Deo, the second Raghubansi Rajput king of Chandravati. He had a groom named Shiru, who one day went into the jungle to cut grass, and fell asleep. While he slept, a cobra raised its hood over his head, and a wagtail kept flying above him. In that condition his master saw him, and afterwards asked him what he would do for him if he became king. Shiru promised to make him his prime mmister. Going subsequently to Delhi, the throne of which was vacant, Shiru was chosen emperor, in the manner with which w^e are already acquainted, by an elephant laying a garland on his neck ; and he redeemed his word by making Doman Deo his wazir.^ In Further India a saga of the Chams relates that Klong Garay, who plays a great part in their legendary history, was found by a companion of his wanderings, after a temporary absence, sleeping and watched by two dragons, which were licking his body. Then he knew, we are told, that Klong Garay was of royal race.* The child of a King of Siam by a Naga, or divine snake, bemg exposed, was found and adopted by a hunter. The king's subjects w^ere compelled by law to work in turn for the king. The hunter, when summoned, took with him his adopted child and laid it in the shadow of the palace,

' (jirald. Cambr., Itinerariuni Kauihritr, 1. i., c. 2.

- W. Crooke, The Popular Religion and Folklore of Northern India (London, 1896), vol. ii., p. 142.

^ Crooke, The Tribes and Castes of the North-western Provinces and Oudh (Calcutta, 1896), vol. ii., p. 380. Cf. the Legend of Dhatu Sena, king of Ceylon. Tennent, Ceylcn^ vol. i., p. 389 (London, 1859).

  • A. Landes, Contes TJaiues (Saigon, 1SS7), p. 104.