Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/72

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6o The Voice of the Stone of Destiny.

sion against their will, lost his right of succession. The Portuguese friar, to whom we are indebted for the informa- tion, records a case which happened while he was in Sofala, and in w-hich the claimant entered and formally seated himself in the royal hall with the royal widows. They, howev-r, were unwilling to acknowledge him as their king and husband. Accordingly they secretly summoned another member of the royal family, seated him with them in the public place, and sent officers through the town to proclaim the new sovereign and call his subjects to do homage. The pretender fled. This instance is the more remarkable because the unsuccessful claimant had in his favour the nomination of the previous monarch. Though this constituted not an indefeasible title, it afforded at least a strong presumption in his favour. Yet it was defeated, in accordance with established and publicly acknowledged custom, by the choice of the harem. ^

' Theal, Records, vol. vii., pp. 191, sqq.