Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/398

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The first said, " If your daughter should die before she reaches the age of fifteen, I will give her a grand funeral."

The second said, " If she die before the age of fifteen, I will collect her bones after the body is cremated and bear them to the burial- ground."

The third said, " If your daughter die before she reaches the age of fifteen, I will watch in the burial-ground."

To these proposals the parents of the girl gave their consent. came to pass that the girl died before she was fifteen, and her parents called upon the young men to fulfil their promises, and they did so.

"Whilst the third was watching in the burial-ground a Jogi (ascetic endowed with the power of working miracles) came that way, on his road from Himavanta (the mysterious forest of the Himalaya), and, seeing him, asked if he would like the girl to be made alive again ; and, on his saying that he would, he restored her to him alive and with all her former beauty.

The other two young men on hearing of this said that, as they had performed their promises, they had also a right to have her in marriage.

After arguing the matter between themselves, they agreed to go to Princess Sudhammacari and abide by her decision. After they had each stated their claim, she gave the following decision : —

" One of you performed the funeral ceremonies and went his way ; the other carried the bones to the burial-ground and departed ; but the third remained watching in the burial-ground.

" The man who constituted himself a guardian of the burial-ground is debased for seven generations ; and, inasmuch as the girl came to life when he still remained with her though dead, he has an undoubted right to her now that she has come to life again."

Note. — At the time of the story the marriageable age appears to have been fifteen, and infant marriages had not come into fashion.